Department of Nursing

Chair and Professor: B. Williams (PhD), 450-3119
Professor: J. Meaux (PhD)
Assistant Professors: P. Ashcraft (PhD), S. Gatto (PhD), M. Garnica (DNP), R. Lancaster (PhD), N. Nelda (PhD), S. Stroman (PhD)
Clinical Instructors: J. Calvery-Carmen (MSN), M. Cullum (MSN), B. Diehl (MS), T. Elliff (MSN), M. Grantham (MS), M. Hall (MSN), S. Harris (MSN), V. Hart (PhD), K. Jordan (MSN), K. Quinn (MSN), C. Reed (MSN), S. Thornton (MNSc)

[1] Purposes

The Department of Nursing is committed to educating students at the baccalaureate and graduate level to address evolving health care needs and to advance the practice of nursing in a ever-changing society. Graduates of the baccalaureate program have the theoretical base in nursing and related disciplines and the skills, both interpersonal and technological, required for practice and have the foundation for graduate study.

[2] Baccalaureate Degree Program

The professional program requires a minimum of six full semesters during the last three years of the student’s degree studies. It includes both classroom work and clinical and simulated learning experiences in the Simulation Center and in a variety of central Arkansas health care agencies, institutions, and communities. Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from clinical experiences.

Upon successful completion of the program, the student is awarded a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree and is eligible to apply to take the Registered Nurse (RN) licensing examination (NCLEX-RN). Based on Arkansas State Board of Nursing rules and regulations, eligible students are allowed to apply to take the Practical Nurse (LPN) licensing examination (NCLEX-PN) after successfully completing the junior year of the major.

Per state law, persons convicted of certain crimes will not be eligible to take the RN or LPN licensure examination. For more information and a list of crimes refer to, Nurse Practice Act, chapter 3, section 17-87-312.

[3] Articulation/Advanced Placement

LPN to BSN, RN to BSN, and RN to BSN/MSN tracks are available for students already licensed to practice nursing based on the Arkansas Nursing Articulation Model. Visit or contact the Department of Nursing for information. The RN-BSN and RN-BSN/MSN tracks are available on-line.

[4] The Nursing Honors Program

During the spring semester of the junior year, qualified students are invited to become candidates for departmental scholars. The student must have earned at least an overall GPA of 3.5 and a major GPA of 3.7. The scholars program offers opportunities to explore special interests in nursing through an independent project. On successful completion of the project, the student is eligible to graduate with honors in nursing. If final GPA meets university requirements, this distinction is noted on the student’s transcript and diploma and is recognized at commencement. See bulletin section Recognition of Academic Achievement for more information.

[5] Master’s Degree

See Graduate Bulletin.

[6] Accreditation Status

The baccalaureate and master’s programs are approved by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing and accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

[7] Admission to the Nursing Major

Admission is selective and competitive. Preference is given to University of Central Arkansas pre-nursing students. Applications are due by March 1 for the following fall sophomore nursing class. One class is admitted each year. Applications are available each January and may be obtained at

Minimum admission criteria include:

  1. Minimum GPA of 2.5;
  2. Completion, with a minimum grade of C, of WRTG 1310 and 1320, MATH 1390, CHEM 1402 and 2450 or CHEM 1450 and 1451, BIOL 1400 or BIOL 1440 and 2405 or BIOL 2406 and 2407, PSYC 1300, and Oral Communication option or Diversity in World Cultures/Social Science option;
  3. Applicants not born in the United States or in a country where English is the official language must document their English proficiency.  An official score of 83 or higher on the iBT TOEFL exam is required.  The exam must have been taken within the last two (2) calendar years.  Only iBT TOEFL scores received directly from ETS or the UCA Testing Center will be accepted as valid.
  4. Presentation of a complete application within published deadlines;
  5. Completion of an admission exam; and
  6. A $50 non-refundable application fee.

A more detailed list of criteria and information regarding the application review process should be obtained from the department.

[8] Program of Study for the BSN Degree

The baccalaureate program consists of 34 hours of pre-nursing/prerequisite courses and six semesters of nursing major, UCA Core, and related major requirements. Courses in the professional major are sequentially planned. Each nursing course is usually offered only once each academic year.

Abbreviation Key – UCA Core Program

[8.1] UCA Lower Division Core and Related Major Requirements (59 hours)

The list that follows includes the UCA Core, which requires completion of 38 hours to meet lower-division UCA Core requirements and completion of upper-division UCA Core requirements using major, minor, or elective courses (see the UCA Core requirements).  See for a more detailed explanation of these requirements.

Lower Division Core Requirements and Nursing Major Requirements:

WRTG 1310 and 1320
MATH 1390
PSYC 1300
CHEM 1402 and 2450 or CHEM 1450 and 1451
BIOL 1400 or 1440, 2405 or BIOL 2406 and 2407
NUTR 1300
PSCI 1330 or HIST 2301 or HIST 2302
SPCH 1300 or MGMT 2301 or MKTG 2376
Critical Inquiry: Fine Arts/Humanities option
Diversity in Creative Works: Fine Arts
Diversity in World Cultures: Social Science option
BIOL 2411
BIOL 4311
FACS 2341 or  PSYC 2370
PSYC 2330, SOC 2321, MATH 2311, PSCI 2312, or  QMTH 2330

[8.2] Nursing Major and Upper Division Core Requirements (61 hours)

NURS 2305, 2310, 2505, 2510, 3201, 3501, 3505, 3510, 4510, 4515

Upper Division Core Requirements:

NURS 4220 Health Policy and Professional Issues [ UCA Core: D ]
NURS 4213 Nursing Research for Evidence-based Practice [ UCA Core: I ]
NURS 4505 Caring for Adults with Complex Health Problems [ UCA Core: C ]
NURS 3515 Chronic Health and Older Adult Wellness [ UCA Core: R ]
NURS 4430 Immerson Experience [ UCA Core: Z ]

[9] Progression Requirements

Upon acceptance into the nursing program, students are to present varicella titer, the first and second of the series of three Hepatitis B vaccinations, and health history and physical examination record. The third of the Hepatitis B series may be completed after the start of the first semester of the major.

Students are to present the following documentation each July:

  1. American Heart Association Health Provider CPR certification valid through May of the school year;
  2. TB skin test results valid through May of the school year;
  3. Current health/hospitalization insurance; and
  4. Any other requirements of the clinical or educational agencies with which they affiliate.

Failure to present this documentation will result in administrative withdrawal from the program.

A minimum grade of C must be achieved to pass a required nursing course and progress in the major.

The current editions of the UCA Student Handbook and the Nursing Student Handbook: Baccalaureate Program specify the rules, regulations, and policies that apply to all UCA undergraduate nursing students. It is the responsibility of the student to know and follow the most recent policies and procedures.

Students must have independent means of transportation for their clinical experiences.

[10] Readmission Policy

If a student withdraws from any nursing course or from the nursing major for any reason (academic or non-academic) or fails to earn a minimum grade of C in any required nursing or specified non-nursing course, the student must be readmitted to enroll in other nursing courses. A grade of D, F, or WF in any nursing course or specified non-nursing course may result in a year’s delay before the student will be able to repeat the nursing course and/or progress. Readmission is not automatic nor guaranteed and will be contingent upon both program and individual factors.

Readmission applications are available from the department. Applications are due to the department by October 1 for readmission to spring nursing courses and by March 1 for readmission to fall nursing courses.

A student, if readmitted, may repeat a specific nursing course only one time. The student who makes a grade of D, F, or WF in two nursing courses will be dismissed from the nursing program and are not eligible for readmission.

The department follows the university’s policy of reserving the right to refuse the privilege of further attendance to a student when it has become evident that the student lacks the personal qualities, professional characteristics, or scholastic attainments essential for success.

[11] Courses in Nursing (NURS)

Follow this link for NURS course descriptions: course link.