Department of Nursing

Chair and Professor: B. Williams (PhD), 450-3119
Professor: J. Meaux (PhD)
Associate Professor: P. Ashcraft (PhD), S. Gatto (PhD)
Assistant Professor
: M. Garnica (DNP), V. Hart (PhD), N. Nelda (PhD), S. Stroman (PhD)
Clinical Instructor: A. Cleves (MSN), B. Diehl (MS), T. Elliff (MSN), L. Gillis (MSN), M. Grantham (MSN), L. Hall (MSN), S. Harris (MSN), K. Jordan (MSN), K. Quinn (MSN), C. Reed (MSN), S. Stone (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 an 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 Nursing Simulation Center and in a variety of central Arkansas health care agencies, institutions, and communities.

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 Level 3 nursing courses.

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, § 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 Education Progression Model ( Visit or contact the Department of Nursing for information. The RN-to-BSN and RN-to-BSN/MSN tracks are  online programs.

[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 and Doctoral Degrees

See Graduate Bulletin.

[6] Accreditation Status

The baccalaureate and master’s degree programs are approved by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing. The baccalaureate and master’s nursing degree programs at UCA are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 887-6791.

The DNP program and the post-graduate APRN certificate tracks at UCA are new applicants pursuing initial accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education ( [URL updated 2018-05-17]). New applicant status is neither a status of accreditation nor a guarantee that accreditation will be granted.

[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 the following:

  • Minimum GPA of 2.5.
  • Completion, with a minimum grade of C, for
    WRTG 1310 and WRTG 1320
    MATH 1390
    CHEM 1402 or CHEM 1450
    BIOL 1410 and BIOL 2410
    BIOL 2406 and BIOL 2407
    PSYC 1300
    And 2 courses from Oral Communications option, Diversity in World Cultures/Social Science option, and/or Inquiry & Analysis option
  • 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.
  • Applicants must have a valid United States Social Security number filed with UCA.
  • Presentation of a complete application and other required documents within published deadlines
  • 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 of Nursing.

[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 (55 hours)

The lists that follow include 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).

[8.1.1] Lower-Division UCA Core Requirements and the Nursing Major:
Non-Nursing Course Requirements

WRTG 1310 and 1320
MATH 1390
PSYC 1300
CHEM 1402 or CHEM 1450
BIOL 1410 and 2410
NUTR 1300
PSCI 1330 or HIST 2301 or HIST 2302
COMM 1300 or MGMT 2301 or MKTG 2376
Critical Inquiry: Fine Arts/Humanities option
Diversity in Creative Works: Fine Arts option
Diversity in World Cultures: Social Science option
BIOL 2411
BIOL 4311
FACS 2341 or PSYC 2370
PSYC 2330 or SOC 2321 or MATH 2311 or PSCI 2312 or QMTH 2330

[8.2] Nursing Major and Upper-Division Core Requirements (65 hours)

NURS 2305 Health Assessment
NURS 2310 Nursing Pharmacology
NURS 2505 Concepts of Professional Nursing
NURS 2510 Medical-Surgical Nursing
NURS 3201 Nurse as Educator
NURS 3501 Maternal-Newborn Nursing
NURS 3505 Child and Adolescent Nursing
NURS 3510 Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing
NURS 4335 Nursing Informatics
NURS 4510 Community Health Nursing
NURS 4515 Nursing Leadership and Management

[8.2.1] Upper-Division Core Requirements

NURS 3515 Chronic Health and Older Adult Wellness [UD UCA Core: R]
NURS 4220 Health Policy and Professional Issues [UD UCA Core: D]
NURS 4315 Research for Evidence-Based Practice  [UD UCA Core: I]
NURS 4505 Caring for Adults with Complex Health Problems [UD UCA Core: C]
NURS 4430 Immersion Experience [UD UCA Core: Z]

[8.2.2] Articulating Registered Nurses Upper-Division Core

Prior learning assessment (PLA) of Critical Inquiry (I), Communication (C), Responsible Living (R), and Capstone (Z) are assumed with Registered Nurse (RN) licensure. UCA Core requirements for Diversity (D) will be met by NURS 4220 Health Policy and Professional Issues.

[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.

Verification of flu vaccine is required each fall during the program. Other vaccinations, drug screenings, and criminal background checks are required throughout the program.

Students are to upload the following documentation by the published deadlines per directions:

  1. American Heart Association Health Provider CPR certification valid throughout the entire program;
  2. TB skin test results valid each year throughout the entire program;
  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. Students with a failing grade of D, F, or WF in any required nursing course will not be permitted to enroll in those nursing courses that require the failed course as a prerequisite, and must submit an Alternate Progression Plan to the Department of Nursing’s Undergraduate Awards, Admissions, and Progression Committee. A grade of D, F, or WF for any two (2) nursing courses mean the student will be dismissed from the nursing program and will not be eligible for readmission.

Courses in the nursing major are sequentially planned. This means that, unless otherwise specified, nursing courses must be successfully completed in the order and semester listed on the curriculum pattern. Since each nursing course is usually offered only once a year, any unsuccessful attempt of any course may result in a graduation date delay of at least one year.

Courses in the BSN completion tracks (RN to BSN and RN to BSN/MSN) are not sequentially planned. The student is responsible for meeting with the RN to BSN advisor for course scheduling. BSN completion students are also responsible for registering for classes.

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 neither 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.

Any student who has been out longer than 12 months will be required to do additional coursework or repeat courses as deemed necessary by the Department of Nursing’s Undergraduate Awards, Admissions, and Progression Committee.

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 is 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.