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Arkansas RN to MSN Bridge Programs

What's your favorite part of your nursing career in Arkansas? Do you enjoy working with patients and ensuring they receive high quality care, or perhaps you enjoy a leadership role with other nurses on your unit. Maybe you remember your nursing instructors and would like to educate new classes of nurses. By advancing your education, you can explore more career options in the field of nursing and become a major leader in your local nursing community. Learn more about RN-to-MSN bridge programs in Arkansas to get started. You can contact schools directly from our site to get program details, which can help you make a wise decision about your future.

Rather than taking two years to complete your BSN and then spending another two years on your MSN, you can attend one of the RN-to-MSN bridge programs in Arkansas and complete both degrees at the same time. Most programs run for three years, although there are accelerated options that last just two years. Since these programs are fairly demanding, you may be expected to only work part-time while earning your degree.

As an MSN student, you may gain experience and knowledge in many different fields. Though you have to choose a specialty and may work only in that specialty after graduation, you should still be confident talking about and working in other specialties. To meet this educational goal, your curriculum may include classes like Nursing Research, Evidence-Based Practice, and Leadership in Health Care.

If you decide to study nursing administration or leadership, you may take courses that focus on healthcare finance, management, and business. You can plan on taking classes like Health Care Law & Quality Improvement, Human Resource Management in Healthcare Organizations, and Budgeting & Financial Management in Health Care.

Clinical specialties tend to require more hands-on courses and courses based in clinical experience. For example, you may take Clinical Management for Family Nurse Practitioners, Advanced Clinical Pharmacology, Advanced Assessment and Diagnostic Evaluations, and Advanced Physiology.

There are many financial aid options for advanced nursing students in Arkansas. The Arizona State Board of Nursing is an excellent source for grants, scholarships, and loan repayment plans. They offer scholarships like the Faith A. Fields Nursing Scholarship and the Nurse Faculty Loan Repayment Program. For aspiring nurse anesthetists, the Arkansas Association of Nurse Anesthetists awards the Johnnie Rosell Nurse Anesthetist Scholarship. You may apply for scholarships through the Arkansas Nurses Foundation. Available scholarships include the Dorothea Fund Scholarship and the Mary Gray Scholarship.

As is the case in much of the Midwest, nursing salaries in Arkansas tend to fall slightly short of the national average. However, earning an MSN can still help you increase your earning potential in many cases. O*Net reports that nursing instructors in Arkansas earn an average of $54,200 per year. In nurse anesthesia, specialists claim a median income of $136,000 per year (O*Net, 2013). Other nursing salaries fall in between these two extremes.

If you look at job growth rates in Arkansas, you can see that they are fairly similar to salaries reported across the country. O*Net anticipates an 18 percent increase in nurse management job openings from 2012 to 2022. For nursing instructors, they expect a 45 percent increase in job openings (O*Net, 2012).

Depending on which specialty you decide to work in, you may need to apply for an expanded practice license through the Arkansas State Board of Nursing. Clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, and nurse midwives have to apply for an advanced license before beginning the next stage of their career.

Though earning an MSN can be a big commitment, it can also have big dividends for you. As you expand your knowledge and your abilities, you can become a leader in Arkansas nursing and enjoy your new responsibilities. Reach out to the schools on our sites that offer RN-to-MSN bridge programs in Arkansas to get started today.

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