Master’s in Nursing Schools in Arkansas
You may be fresh out of college with your Bachelor’s degree in nursing, or perhaps you’ve been using your Bachelor’s degree for several years in a local clinic or hospital. Regardless of what experience you bring to the table, you can deepen your knowledge base and serve the health care community even more with a Master’s in Nursing degree. Nursing schools in Arkansas are responding to the call to encourage RNs to further their nursing education by offering a good selection of Master of Science in Nursing programs across the state. Take a look at the offerings, and request information from those schools that have the MSN programs you are interested in.
The admissions requirements for a Master’s in Nursing can be fairly rigorous. Arkansas nursing schools may look at how well you did in your Bachelor’s degree program, and many schools now require some amount of clinical work experience.
Choosing the right Master’s-level program is key to starting a career you’ll enjoy. Available programs in Arkansas include nurse education, clinical nursing, adult health nursing, mental health nursing, and nursing administration.
Most MSN programs require two years of full-time study. If you plan on working while you’re in school, you can attend part-time classes year-round and still graduate in about three years. Curriculum requirements range from 35 to 45 credits. You may take courses in nursing research, evidence-based care for patients of varying ages, and nursing leadership in different settings. As you move throughout the program, your classes will likely cover advanced aspects of your specialty.
Much of what you learn may be based upon the skills gained at the undergraduate level, so you may want to prepare by going over old research papers, practicing skills you haven’t used in a while, and becoming familiar with new nursing terms.
The scholarship opportunities found in Arkansas can help make your education more affordable. The Arkansas Nurses Foundation awards the Dorothea Fund Scholarship and the Mary Gray Scholarship, both of which are awarded to graduate students. The New Careers in Nursing Scholarship, which is awarded to both undergraduate and graduate students, is worth $10,000.
Take the time to contact the Arkansas schools that offer the degree program you want, in order to get more detailed information about classes, requirements and costs. Once you have found the program that works best for you, you can begin shaping your nursing career future!
Working With Your MSN in Arkansas
The state of Arkansas offers many career opportunities for nurses who have their master’s degree. Two of these career opportunities are a nurse educator and an informatics nurse specialist.
As a nurse educator, you have the opportunity to teach nursing students seeking a nursing degree, or in a hospital setting, ensuring that nurses are getting the proper training and updated information. Those employed as a nurse educator can make approximately $55,300 per year, based upon the 2014 median annual salary in Arkansas (O*net, 2015). In addition, this career field is predicted to have tremendous growth in Arkansas between 2012 and 2022, with an increase of 45 percent (O*net, 2015).
Working as an informatics nurse specialist you will get the opportunity to help develop and troubleshoot digital healthcare documentation systems. This a newer nursing career that more and more nurses are seeking a MSN degree for. Based on the annual median salary of informatics nurse specialists in 2014, nurses in this specialty can make approximately $68,000 (O*net, 2015). This career field is also expected to grow by about 15 percent between 2012 and 2022 (O*net, 2015).
Earning a Master’s degree can put you at the forefront of many exciting changes in the nursing field, many of which are spearheaded by the Arkansas Campaign for Action. Over the coming years, you may be part of greater collaboration between nurses and doctors, a growing body of nursing research, and expanded duties for advanced practice nurses. Working in nursing research, leadership, education, or direct care can help you contribute to the culture of nursing excellence in Arkansas. The Arkansas Health Care Association notes that Arkansas is the only state that consistently scores above average in 15 different areas of health care quality research.
For more information on earning your MSN and working in these career fields, contact the schools listed on this page.
Nursing Schools in Arkansas
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Little Rock, AR
What You Can Expect From Your MSN Program
Arkansas has several accredited universities in the state, yet many qualified nursing school applicants are turned away each year because of a nursing faculty shortage and lack of clinical training sites. The Arkansas State Action Coalition is working hard to improve the environment for the people of Arkansas by transforming healthcare through nursing education.
This is an ideal time to get your graduate degree, which can provide you with better career opportunities and job security. Simply explore your options for getting your Master’s in Nursing in Arkansas and then contact the schools that you are interested in to learn more.
There are several accredited online nursing courses offered at the Arkansas State University, the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and Little Rock and the University of Central Arkansas in Conway.
The University of Central Arkansas offers nursing master’s programs for Primary Care Adult/Gerontology Nurse Practitioner, Primary Care Family Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Educator with a Clinical Specialty, Clinical Nurse Leader.
The University of Arkansas in Little Rock offers several MNS Specialty programs, including Nursing Administration. If your interest is in becoming a Nurse Administrator this program will prepare you to effectively work in middle to top-level leadership roles in the health care delivery system. As a student in the advanced practice you will work 17+ hours weekly with top-level nurse executives and experience a full range of leadership responsibilities.
The admission criteria for this and other MSN programs in Arkansas usually includes many of the following items:
- Completed application for the College of Nursing
- Official transcripts from any and all colleges and universities and a basic statistics course with a 2.0
- Proof of earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited program
- Evidence of unencumbered Arkansas RN license
- Evidence of an academic or and ANCC-COA continuing education approved health assessment course
- Admission to the master’s program is competitive and you will be ranked by your GPA calculated from the last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework
- Must hold a GPA of 2.85 or above
- Applicants who have attended a previous graduate nursing school for another health-related professional school must have letter submitted from that school that includes a statement regarding the student’s standing
- The CIA official language field listing to determine whether the TOEFL exam is required for international applicants who declare English as their first language. If English is listed as the official language of their country of birth on the CIA listing, the student will not be required to complete the TOEFL exam as an admission requirement.
- A graduate student must show proof of 2000 hours of work experience as an RN’s
The typical curriculum for a Master’s in Nursing degree in Administration requires 40 semester hours and includes many of the following courses, which are similar across many other MSN programs.
- Theory in Nursing
- Research Methodology
- Research Utilization in Advance Nursing Practice
- Quantitative Epidemiology I
- Technology in Adult Education
- Organizational Behavior in Nursing
- Nursing Informatics
- Personnel Management in Nursing
- Law, Policy & Procedure in Healthcare
- Financial Management for Nurse Administrators
- Nursing Administration Practicum
- Outcomes Portfolio or Theoretical Foundations of Nursing Education
After graduation from this program you are eligible to take one of the credential exams at the American Nurses Credentialing Center. They offer an exam for the Nurse Executive and for the Nurse Executive, Advanced. These exams are considered to be a reliable assessment of the nurse’s skills in clinical knowledge and the management of the daily operations in a healthcare environment. If you are a member of the American Nurses Association the fee for the exam is $270 and for nonmembers it is $395. This credential may help you get your desired job when it is included on your resume.
Chief Nurse Executives in Arkansas earn an annual average income of $90,040 as of 2012 according to O*Net OnLine. Many other master’s prepared careers are out there, and you can reasonably expect that you will be able to earn a stable salary once completing your graduate nursing education in Arkansas.
At RNtoMSN.com, we encourage students to investigate the possible sources for loans and scholarships to help pay for nursing school. You can fill out a FAFSA application, which is a federal grant and loan program that is based on your income. You may also apply for a scholarship at your university. Scholastic ability, leadership qualities and financial need are the criteria primarily evaluated for scholarships.
Low interest long-term loans are also available through the government and several loans and scholarships are listed on the Association of Colleges of Nursing website.
With a graduate degree you may be able to position yourself in an expanded role, which may give you a satisfying career in the profession of nursing while simultaneously expanding your reach within healthcare. Contact the schools on our site to learn more about your options and the programs that are available.
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.
Arkansas Direct Entry MSN
Not everyone finds their ideal career right out of high school. In fact, the Huffington Post notes that 80 percent of people in their twenties would like to change career paths. If you want to become a nurse after already earning a Bachelor’s degree in an unrelated field, you may be interested in direct entry MSN programs in Arkansas.
You can find all of the Direct Entry MSN programs available in Arkansas by reviewing the schools on our site. We also recommend comparing information from multiple schools to make a well informed choice about which program may be right for you.
You can often complete your MSN very quickly, so you don’t have to spend another four years in school to begin working as a nurse. Direct entry MSN programs tend to be accelerated, so you attend full-time classes year-round to complete your degree. As a result, you may be able to graduate in as little as 15 months.
Since you join the degree program with a cohort of peers and take all your classes at the same time as them, you have to meet intense prerequisite requirements to be accepted. During your undergraduate years, you must have completed many science courses, including Anatomy & Physiology, Biology, and Chemistry.
As you begin your MSN courses, you may spend lots of time in BSN-level courses like Pathophysiology, Introduction to Nursing Fundamentals, Pharmacology, and Health Policy and Economics. Plan on completing several hundred clinical hours during this time, since you must meet the requirements of a BSN in just a few months! After that, you can begin your Master’s-level courses. You can choose which career you’re interested in—popular options include nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist, nurse administrator, nurse educator, and nurse manager. Courses you may be required to take include Epidemiology for Advanced Nursing, Advanced Health Assessment, Healthcare Informatics, Evaluation in Nursing Education, and Primary Care of Adults.
Clinical work is a core component of Master’s degree courses as well. Whether you shadow advanced practice nurses, nurse executives, or nurse instructors, you may spend up to half of your class hours in the field.
Arkansas is trying desperately to meet the demand for advanced practice nurses across the state, leading to the development of many scholarships and grants. The Arkansas Association of Nurse Anesthetists awards scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $2,500. You can also apply for a scholarship through the Arkansas Nurses Association, which awards the Dorothea Fund Scholarship and the Mary Gray Scholarship. The Arkansas State Board of Nursing funds the Faith A. Fields Nursing Scholarship and has a loan repayment option for nurse educators.
Before you can begin your advanced nursing career, you need a valid license from the Arkansas State Board of Nursing. If you go into direct care, you may need a nurse midwifery, nurse anesthesia, or nurse practitioner license. If you become a nurse educator or nurse administrator, you may simply need to maintain an RN license.
Arkansas generally offers a promising job outlook for post-graduate nursing professions. Job growth rates between 2012 and 2022 range from 18 percent for nurse managers to 45% for nursing instructors.
Salaries in this area tend to be slightly lower than the national average, due to the lower cost of living in the Midwest. Nursing instructors tend to earn lower salaries than other advanced nursing professionals, with a statewide average salary of $54,200 per year (O*Net, 2013). On the high end of the scale, nurse practitioners claim a median income of $89,500 per year (O*Net, 2013).
Though completing an accelerated MSN program can be hard work, it is worth it when you consider the benefits to you and to the nursing profession as a whole. Dedicating yourself to a career in health care can help you increase your earning potential and enjoy a more positive job outlook. Your new leadership skills can also help you explore a range of career options in Arkansas.
As the nursing field pushes for stronger education standards and a broader scope of practice for nurses, your MSN can help you lead the nursing field through upcoming changes. Learning about nursing research, advanced practice, and nursing leadership may give you the skills you need to promote positive change in health care.
Arkansas CRNA Programs
As a BSN-level nurse, you may be wondering how you can take your education to the next level and explore your career options in nursing. If you enjoy working with other nurses, providing evidence-based care to patients, and putting your skills to use in a variety of settings, you may want to consider CRNA programs in Arkansas.
CRNAs, or Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, provide anesthesia to patients with varying needs. Over the course of a shift, you may give an epidural to a laboring woman, set up an IV for a patient with chronic pain, and prepare an emergency trauma victim for surgery. This career requires a Master’s degree in nursing with a focus in nurse anesthesia. You must have an impeccable knowledge of pharmacology, have a great eye for detail, and be willing to work long shifts to meet the needs of your employer. Contact those schools on our site that offer nursing anesthesia degrees in Arkansas to learn more.
Becoming a CRNA may help you meet a growing need in Arkansas. Nurse anesthesia originally started in the 1800s when medical professionals realized how important proper anesthesia is during surgical procedures, and remains one of the most revered nursing specialties in the nation. The need for anesthetic professionals has only increased over the decades, creating a great career opportunity for hardworking nurses. Learn more about CRNA programs in Arkansas and discover what you must study in order to enter into this career field.
Admissions and Curriculum for CRNA Programs in Arkansas
CRNA programs in Arkansas tend to be fairly competitive. But by studying hard during your BSN degree and getting lots of experience as a registered nurse, you may be able to make yourself an excellent candidate for a CRNA program. To start, you need at least one year of full-time nursing experience. Some schools have even more specific requirements, such as critical care nursing experience or emergency room nursing experience. Looking further back, consider how well you did while earning your Bachelor’s degree. You should have a GPA of at least 3.0, although obviously a higher GPA may work in your favor. This should not be a problem, since most BSN programs do not let you graduate or stay in the program if you don’t maintain a GPA of at least 3.0.
To graduate with a master’s degree in nursing anesthesia, you will take courses in fields of study like physiology, pharmacology, patient care, and medical ethics. Plan on completing at least 60 credit hours and spending between two and three years in a CRNA program. Your curriculum may begin with core courses like Advanced Pharmacology for Nurse Anesthesia, Introduction to Nurse Anesthesia Practice, and Advanced Health Assessment. As you move to later semesters, courses you may take include Nurse Anesthesia Practice, Gross Anatomical Dissection, Regional Anesthesia & Pain Management, and Nurse Anesthesia Clinical Internship. The core nurse anesthesia courses tend to have a clinical component, which allows you to start building connections in the CRNA community and develop a strong body of experience. Over the course of your two to three years in school, you should anticipate completing at least 500 hours of clinical experience.
In Arkansas, there are quite a few scholarship resources for nurse anesthesia students. The Arkansas State Board of Nursing funds a variety of nursing scholarships, grants, and loans. Some scholarships are unique to different nursing schools, like the Willard and Pat Walker Charitable Foundation Scholarship. Through the Arkansas Association of Nurse Anesthetists, you can apply for a scholarship if you are planning on staying in Arkansas after graduation.
Working as a Nurse Anesthetist in Arkansas
Before you can begin working as a nurse anesthetist in Arkansas, you have to go through the proper licensing steps as they’re laid out by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing. The Nurse Practice Act requires you to renew your license every two years. This involves completing continuing education that’s specifically relevant to nurse anesthetists and gaining work experience during each licensing period. Continuing education may be offered by your employer, your college, or by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing. Prior to getting your license, you must pay a $100 licensing fee, a $150 fee for prescriptive status, and a $25 fee for a temporary permit.
The job outlook is promising for nurse anesthetists in Arkansas. In the decade from 2012 to 2022, O*Net expects job openings for nurse anesthetists to increase by 22 percent. These jobs may be found in a variety of settings, including emergency rooms, obstetric/labor & delivery wards, and surgical units.
Earning a CRNA license and degree in Arkansas may help you increase your salary potential as well. O*Net reports that nurse anesthetists earn an average salary of $136,000 per year in Arkansas. Some specialties may offer higher pay, so you may want to look into your career options before you commit to a job after graduation.
In addition to increased earning potential, you may find that becoming a nurse anesthetist helps you get more from your work. Working in an increased capacity with patients may help you develop your communication skills and serve as a leader in your department. Furthermore, utilizing your education to its fullest extent may help you truly feel like you are making a difference in the world of health care.
Clearly, becoming a nurse anesthetist can help you develop a career in a high-demand nursing specialty. It all starts with the right education and training. Discover how to earn an MSN and begin a career in nurse anesthesia by contacting CRNA schools in Arkansas today.
Forensic Nursing in Arkansas
In most settings, patients spend the majority of their healthcare time with nurses. Because of that, nurses are trusted to carry out basic healthcare procedures and meet the emotional and educational needs of patients. It is this unique combination of skill sets that led to the development of forensic nursing. Forensic nurses put their skills to use at crime scenes, in crime labs, and in exam rooms with victims and perpetrators.
The importance of forensic nursing is so clear that the Arkansas State Board of Nursing has adopted an official stance on this area of study. They approve the International Association of Forensic Nurses certification, giving you a straightforward way to get into forensic nursing in Arkansas. Find out how you can make your mark in this field by getting in touch with forensic nursing schools.
Master’s Degree Programs in Forensic Nursing in Arkansas
To earn a forensic nurse degree, you’ll need to graduate from an accredited forensic nursing graduate program. These programs generally include 30 to 40 credits, which you may be able to earn over a period of two years. While learning about the theories behind forensic nursing, you should get lots of experience working with victims of different crimes. This experience allows you to develop the sensitivity and caution needed to work with those who have been through a traumatic experience. In your coursework, you should also learn how to obtain evidence from a variety of sources and preserve it for use in court cases.
As you work toward certification as a forensic nurse, you may enroll in courses like:
- Pathophysiology for Advanced Practice Nursing
- Physical Assessment for Advanced Practice Nursing
- Forensic Science and Legal System
- Criminal Law and the Courts
- Program Development in Forensic Nursing
- Theory and Practice of Forensic Nursing
Certification is the end goal of almost any nursing degree, and the same is true for a forensic nurse degree. The International Association of Forensic Nurses oversees the Commission for Forensic Nursing Certification, presenting opportunities available to Arkansas nurses. You may become a sexual assault nurse examiner with 40 hours of dedicated SANE training and at least 300 hours of experience in this specialty. If you want a broader scope of practice, consider becoming an Advanced Forensic Nurse, an option that requires a Master’s degree and 2000 hours of forensic nursing in the past three years.
The Role of Forensic Nurses in Arkansas
Forensic nursing has been covered in many Arkansas training events, giving nurses the chance to get involved with this field and make a difference. A recent seminar in Arkansas invited professors and forensic nurses to speak about the future of this specialty and demonstrate how it has been used in Arkansas. Speakers discussed DNA evidence and explained how it has been used to exonerate those who have been falsely imprisoned (UArk, 2016).
It should be clear that forensic nursing is a field with the potential to improve lives all over Arkansas. Your forensic nurse salary may be determined by which work setting you choose and which certifications you hold, so you may want to consider different employment types before graduating.
Whether you want to work with victims of crime or scour crime scenes and bodies for evidence, a forensic nurse degree is the first step.
Clinical Nurse Leader Degrees in Arkansas
In the health care industry, change and growth are directed by experienced leaders. This is very important in the field of nursing, where annual job growth and changes in practice rights cause the industry to constantly remain in a state of change. After getting your registered nursing license and working in Arkansas hospitals and clinics, you may be ready to take on the challenges of a nursing leadership role.
Graduate-level study in the field of nursing gives you experience in different aspects of health care and its role in patients’ lives.
Each year, nursing leaders from all over Arkansas attend the Annual Northeast Arkansas Nursing Conference (KSLA, 2015). This conference places a big emphasis on nursing leadership, as it is a growing belief in the nursing industry that leadership training should be a part of ongoing nursing education.
If you’re looking for a way to use your work experience and education to improve health outcomes in Arkansas, a Master’s degree in nurse leadership may be your next step.
How Can I Become a Clinical Nurse Leader in Arkansas?
Taking on a leadership role in nursing is a significant responsibility—you are expected to represent the field of nursing, serve as a mentor to nurses at different educational levels, comment on controversial health care issues, and constantly further your education through research and reading.
To give you the background you need to succeed in these areas, clinical nurse leadership programs often require you to complete at least 36 credits at the graduate level.
In your CNL curriculum, you may discover courses like these commonly required classes:
- Health Policy and Economics
- Research for Evidence Based Practice
- Healthcare Quality and Leadership
- Healthcare Informatics
- Evaluation in Nursing
These classes are chosen because they can help you meet the learning goals and outcomes of a nurse leadership program.
Get familiar with these learning outcomes to ensure that you make progress toward them during each semester:
- Integrate nursing science, humanities, research and evidence, and health care ethics
- Use leadership to improve care quality, safety, and patient experience
- Properly utilize health information systems and technology
- Understand the policies and regulation of the nursing industry
- Strengthen systems of care for better patient outcomes
Licensing is a crucial component in any nursing career. The Arkansas State Board of Nursing requires you to renew your nursing license every other year. You renew during odd or even-numbered years, depending on the year in which you receive your original license. Each renewal cycle requires 15 hours of continuing education.
You can then become licensed as a Clinical Nurse Leader through the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Once you’ve provided proof of your education and your valid nursing license, you can sit for the licensing exam. After receiving your first license, you are required to renew every five years and complete 50 hours of continuing education.
What Does a Clinical Nurse Leader Do?
The experience you have as a registered nurse should well prepare you for the work you’ll take on as a nurse leader. Your graduate degree may prepare you for several different job titles, including clinical nurse leader, nurse executive, nurse manager, or nurse consultant.
The Arkansas Organization of Nurse Executives, based in Little Rock, serves as a place for nurse leaders to exchange ideas, learn about nursing trends, and explore employment opportunities. Joining this group may help you find out about continuing education programs, uncover management ideas for your facility, and strengthen the public image of nurse administrators.
The AACN, which licenses Clinical Nurse Leaders, notes that certain topics are prioritized in nurse leadership. Their conferences look at subjects like the integration of nurse leaders into microsystems, patient outcomes in different settings and specialties, and quality of care with Clinical Nurse Leaders. The priorities of your organization may be determined by how well they integrate nurse leaders into daily care and the role of research in the facility as a whole.
With nurses working at different levels of education and under various titles and certifications, it is extremely important for nursing staff to have strong leaders to follow.
With a Master’s degree in nursing leadership, you may help change the face of nursing in Arkansas. Contact graduate programs in Arkansas to start the application process.
Arkansas Research Nursing Graduate Programs
The health care industry relies on its nursing professionals, from CNAs to instructors and program directors, to ensure that patients receive high-quality care that is in line with statewide and federal standards. After working as a registered nurse, you likely have great respect for these standards. With your nursing experience, you may be ready to take on more responsibility in your career. Contact the schools with nursing research programs in Arkansas to learn more about your options.
The growing demand for high level nursing professionals indicates how important it is for registered nurses to further their education and dedicate themselves to this field. The 40 Under 40 List in Arkansas recently commemorated two nursing professionals who contribute to leadership and research efforts in the state.
By learning how to properly and ethically conduct nursing research, you may be able to work with teams all around Arkansas to discover new findings in this field. It all begins with the education you get, so find out more about becoming a nurse researcher and then request information from research nursing programs in Arkansas.
Arkansas Graduate Degree Programs in Nursing Research
Throughout Arkansas, and a variety of universities and colleges, you can find graduate programs in clinical nursing research. These programs tend to take between two and seven years to complete, depending on whether you want to earn a Master’s degree or a PhD. A PhD can be significantly longer, due to the requirement for a dissertation. In a graduate program, on the other hand, you typically only need to earn between 30 and 45 credits.
Nursing research is an interdisciplinary field that combines techniques and information from many different fields to make you an excellent researcher. Throughout your program, you should learn about clinical research operations, regulatory aspects of clinical research, ethics in nursing research, and procedures used in medical research.
The classes that are required in your curriculum should explore all of these subjects and more. Some of the classes you may be required to pass include Fundamentals of Regulatory Affairs, IRB in Human Research, Responsible Conduct of Research, Clinical Research Operations, and Health Care Project Management.
Some type of clinical experience is often required in these programs. Almost all schools require you to complete a research rotation or practicum, but many also require you to get some teaching experience in an undergraduate nursing classroom.
The state government of Arkansas supports advanced nursing students through scholarships, grants, and loan forgiveness programs. The Arkansas State Board of Nursing offers several scholarships and loan repayment plans for those who work in Arkansas after graduation.
The Role of Clinical Nurse Researchers in Arkansas
Arkansas is a state where nursing research efforts are thriving. O*Net reports an anticipated 12% increase in clinical nurse research jobs between 2012 and 2022 in Arkansas. Completing a degree in this field may increase your earning potential. Per O*Net, the average salary for an Arkansas clinical nurse researcher is $94,000 per year.
You may use your research skills to contribute to many different studies and programs throughout Arkansas. This may involve working with a specific population or medical diagnosis. The nursing research department of Arkansas Children’s Hospital focuses on advances that may improve outcomes for pediatric patients.
Nursing research may give you the freedom to use your skills and knowledge in a very powerful way. If you are ready to find out more, look at Arkansas schools below and request further information.
Arkansas Certified Nurse Midwife Programs
Certified nurse midwives play an important role in women’s health. They may practice autonomously or work in collaboration with the team. A graduate degree and certification is required, and you will learn to safely and competently care for women from puberty to menopause.
Some of the responsibilities of a nurse midwife include; conducting physical examinations, providing prenatal care, delivering babies and ordering and managing diagnostic tests and procedures.
Arkansas has four categories of advanced practice nurses and one of those is a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM). Prior to applying for a CNM License you must hold a current, unencumbered Arkansas RN license or license from a compact state where you permanently reside.
To learn more about your options, contact the schools offering Arkansas nurse midwifery programs listed below.
Certified Nurse Midwife Programs in Arkansas
The Arkansas State Board of Nursing requires a graduate degree from an accredited university to practice nurse midwifery. Certification as a CNM is also required. The Arkansas Board of Nursing defines a CNM as a person who is a certified by the American College of Nurse Midwives and is also currently licensed by the Arkansas Nursing Category on the appropriate licensing authority of a bordering state too practicing nurse midwifery. The CNM must be currently practicing obstetrics.
As a certified advanced practice nurse in Arkansas you may choose to pursue prescriptive authority, which requires a Certification of Prescriptive Authority and three graduate credit hours of pharmacology or 45 contact hours of continuing education in a pharmacology course. In addition, you must have logged at least 300 hours in a preceptorship that involves prescribing drugs, therapeutic devices and medicines under the guidance of a qualified preceptor.
Arkansas has two accredited online programs for CNMs. Frontier Nursing University and Georgetown University are excellent online programs that allow you to take classes at home and complete your clinical hours at a variety of healthcare settings. This is ideal for a working student or someone who is taking care of their family.
Becoming a Certified Nurse Midwife in Arkansas
The admission criteria is similar between the two online programs. You must be a licensed RN, submit a curriculum vitae or resume, a sealed official transcript of al academic institutions you have attended, a 1-2 page personal statement addresses your intellectual interests, relevant clinical experiences and reasons for pursuing the specific nursing specialty to which you are applying and three letters of recommendation.
The Certified Nurse Midwife curriculum typically includes:
- Principles of Health Promotion
- Epidemiology and Biostatistics
- Evidence Based Practice
- Advanced Pathophysiology
- Advance Health Assessment
- Pharmacology for Advanced Practice Across the Lifespan
- Primary Care of Woman
- Role of the Nurse Midwife
- Midwifery Care during Labor and Birth
- Midwifery Care during Pregnancy
- Midwifery Care during Postpartum
- Advanced Midwifery Care of the Childbearing Woman
- Women’s Health
- Principles of Independent Practice
Following graduation you may take the credential exam offered by the American Midwifery Certification Board. This credential sets the standard in all 52 states as it protects and serves the public. It is considered the gold standard for midwifery. The cost of the exam is $500.
If you need tuition assistance, complete the FAFSA application, which can be found in the Financial Aid Office. It is a federal government grant based on your income. Frontier Nursing University has several scholarships available, and there are also several financial aid programs available through the federal government. Nurse Corps is a program where you work for two years in one of their facilities, and they will pay 60 percent of your outstanding student loan at the conclusion of the two years.
Working as a Certified Nurse Midwife in Arkansas
According to O*Net OnLine, Arkansas Nurse Midwives earned an average income of $96,970 in 2014. This career is also rapidly growing and expected to increase 22 percent by 2022. This job allows the nurse a measure of independence, but also a satisfying relationship with their patients.
This may be a career move for you that allows you a chance for advancement, and it surely benefits the nursing profession as a whole. Contact the schools that offer CNM programs in Arkansas to learn more about your options.
Arkansas Clinical Nurse Specialist
It’s no secret that nurses are some of the most important health care providers in the entire medical industry. With your dedication to patient satisfaction, your extensive knowledge of health care procedures and conditions, and your ability to work quickly in stressful situations, as a nurse, you can improve health care outcomes without significant financial stress on an institution.
If you’re confident in your nursing skills and ready to explore your career options, learn more about clinical nurse specialist programs in Arkansas by contacting the schools listed below.
Becoming a clinical nurse specialist (CNS) may be a good decision for you if you want to work in a specialty area of nursing. Clinical nurse specialists may work in a diverse array of fields, from gerontology and pediatrics to oncology and acute care. If you have gained good experience as a nurse, you likely know which settings and specialties you thrive in. Use this experience to figure out which nursing specialty is best for you long-term.
Becoming a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Arkansas
As you work toward master’s degree in nursing that permits you to work as a CNS, you may address many complex learning goals set forth by your educational institution. By the time you graduate, your school may want you to know how to develop and implement wellness programs, use your nursing knowledge in complex patient cases, work as part of a multidisciplinary nursing team, serve as a leader to other nursing professionals, and utilize nursing research to understand evidence-based care.
To meet these extensive learning goals, you can plan on completing about 40 credits of coursework in an accredited CNS program. If you are a full-time student, you may graduate in as little as one or two years. Some of the courses you may begin your education with include Pathophysiology for Advanced Practice, Nursing Research and Theory, Health Policy, and Advanced Assessment & Clinical Reasoning. Later courses in your curriculum may include Clinical Skills & Critical Decision Making, Human Responses to Acute and Chronic Pain, and Advanced Practice Clinical.
During clinical courses, you may work with your target population in a variety of settings, keeping in mind that most CNSs are employed in hospitals. Programs in Arkansas tend to include 500 or more hours of clinical experience. Contacting schools directly to obtain program details is a great way to learn more about requirements for becoming a CNS in Arkansas.
Once you have been accepted to a CNS program in your area, you can officially begin applying for financial aid as a graduate-level nursing student. You may qualify for many types of financial aid. Consider applying for scholarships through the Arkansas Nurses Foundation or the Arkansas Community Foundation. Many local employers award scholarships to promising nursing students, including Conway Regional.
Working as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Arkansas
The demand for clinical nurse specialists is growing quickly all over the country, so this may be the perfect time to further your education with a master’s degree. For many nurses, this career path leads to an increase in earning potential. CNN reports that the average salary for a clinical nurse specialist is $86,500 per year. They expect to see CNS jobs increase by 26 percent through 2022.
There is a separate level of licensure for clinical nurse specialists. Though you must keep your registered nursing license valid throughout the duration of your master’s degree program, you must also get an advanced practice license when you graduate with your master’s degree. First, you can obtain your certification through the ANCC Certification Center. You can use this certification to apply for an advanced practice license via the Arkansas State Board of Nursing.
As a clinical nurse specialist, you can influence the field of nursing, serve patients in an expanded role, and use your knowledge to guide other nursing professionals. Learn more about your options by contacting certified nurse specialist programs in Arkansas directly from our site.
Arkansas Public Health Graduate Programs
Public health nursing is evolving, as it is competency-based on new scientific knowledge. It is important to be informed on the Nurse Practice Act of Arkansas, as it is the single most important piece of legislation as it relates to nursing. If you choose to become an advanced public health nurse, your primary focus will be assessing and providing treatment to the community at large, and many who work in health departments are working at healthcare agencies to build this role.
The duties of a public health nurse may include training staff, writing grants, determining policy, screening patients for diseases or seeking to prevent diseases. A public health nurse may gather aggregate information from health science and social science to benefit individual patients, families or populations.
The American Nurses Credentialing Center has an available Advanced Public Health Nurse Exam. A public health nurse that has a Clinical Nurse Specialist degree can take the credential exam to be awarded the PHCNS–BC. Members pay $200 for this exam, and nonmembers pay $350. This credential is proof to employers of your professional development and capabilities.
Consider getting your graduate degree in public health, as it is a growing profession with numerous opportunities.
Master’s Degree Programs in Public Health Nursing in Arkansas
Most public health graduate degrees in Arkansas include the following criteria for admission:
- Official transcripts from all academic work
- Official GRE scores
- Statement or letter of interest
- Three letters of recommendation
- A current curriculum vitae or resume
The programs in public health typically require anywhere from 36-50 credit hours of graduate level courses. The Masters of Nursing in Public Health curriculum usually includes:
- Techniques of Political and Public Administration Research
- Public Policy Analysis and Evaluation
- Administrative Behavior
- Public Budgeting and Finance
- Seminar in Public Administration
- Grant Writing and Administration
- Administration Leadership
- Administrative Ethics
Students may also choose six credit hours from the following courses:
- Non–Profit Management
- MPA Capstone Experience
- Internship in Public Administration
- Thesis and Public Administration
Arkansas offers numerous institutional scholarships. The HRSA government programs offers the Nurse Corps program where you work for two years in a disenfranchised area, and you will receive 60 percent of your tuition loan balance.
The Role of Public Health Nurses in Arkansas
The job of the public health nurse is very critical work for the communities of Arkansas. These nurses help communities prevent disease, learn about appropriate disease treatments, and the nurses work with people from all age groups.
Arkansas Medical and Health Service Managers earned an annual salary of $92,810 in 2014, according to O*Net Online. These nurses work in schools, state and county public health facilities and even private facilities, such as occupational settings. Some typical job titles for public health nurses include, Community Health Nurse, Public Health Nurse Instructor, Occupational Health Nurse, and Patient Care Manager.
Returning for a graduate degree can open many doors to different types of public health nursing, which may give you a new career with the possibility of advancement. It also helps nursing and the community as a whole.
Contact schools today for more information on how to get started.
Graduate Nursing Programs in Healthcare Policy in Arkansas
Graduate-level nursing study can expand your career options in several different ways. With the right experience and plenty of dedication, you may pursue advanced nursing programs in patient care, clinical leadership, education, or healthcare policy. Healthcare policy has seen quite a bit of growth in recent years with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
In the field of healthcare policy, you can dedicate your research and advocacy efforts to specific parts of medical care. Some researchers invest time in advancing the field of nursing by supporting nurses, ensuring that they are properly trained, and establishing work environment standards that empower nurses (Arkansas Business, 2015).
Others focus on growth in this industry—just look at the recent effort to provide full practice rights to nurse practitioners. Healthcare policy nurses must know how to look at research and properly utilize it to make informed policy decisions.
If you can see yourself creating a stronger healthcare industry through the creation and abolition of relevant policies, a Master’s degree is the first step.
Master’s Degree Programs in Healthcare Policy in Arkansas
When you start delving into graduate programs in healthcare policy, you may start uncovering the long-term goals and objectives of these programs. These objectives determine how you spend your time in graduate school.
Each healthcare policy program sets its own goals, which advisors then use to create curricula requirements. Commonly required learning outcomes include:
- Use systems thinking to address organizational problems
- Develop an understanding of the principles of strategic planning
- Understand the need for quality and performance improvement
- Study theories of the policy process
- Communicate health policy information to a variety of people
- Develop leadership skills
- Establish policies that ensure community health
It can take quite a bit of time and dedicated study to reach competency in all of these areas. That’s why so many health policy programs require you to have some nursing experience prior to admission. Some schools in Arkansas require as much as five years of experience, so you may wish to compare program admission requirements as one of your first steps.
Specific curriculum requirements vary from school to school, but you should find some similarities across the state. Some of the courses you may take as a health policy graduate student include Biology for Public Health: Infectious Disease, Environmental and Occupational Health, Epidemiology, Public Health Law and Ethics, Management of Healthcare Organizations, and Health Systems Strategic Planning.
You must have a valid nursing license in Arkansas to use the title of registered nurse in any career path. The Arkansas State Board of Nursing requires you to renew every other year. Renewal must be completed by the last day of your birth month. Plan on completing 15 hours of continuing education during each renewal cycle.
How Do Nurses Impact Healthcare Policy in Arkansas?
To get a full understanding of the diversity of healthcare policy careers in Arkansas, simply look at the health legislation that has occurred in the state in the last year. It spans many different specialties, goals, and outcomes. The Arkansas Department of Health is one organization that contributes to healthcare policy by focusing on emergency response, the spread of infectious disease, environmental health, and injury and safety.
You can also look into local nursing groups to see the focus of the nursing community. The Arkansas Nursing Association, for example, is currently advocating for the use of telemedicine and the freedom of nurse practitioners to prescribe Schedule II medications.
The type of legislation you support and develop depends on your experience, your interests and passions, and the current culture of the nursing community. No matter where this degree takes you, it’s clear that healthcare policy is a meaningful and important part of the field of nursing.
Request information from graduate programs in healthcare policy to find out how you can get started.
Hospice Nursing in Arkansas
After a long treatment cycle or a discouraging prognosis, patients may choose to stop treatment or they may have no treatment options left. Whether patients choose to stop treatment of the disease or it is their only choice, hospice nursing is built on the premise that they should have care that keeps them pain-free, informed, and supported throughout the process.
In Arkansas, hospice nurses are united and represented by the Hospice & Palliative Care Association of Arkansas. They also advocate for patients and patients’ families. As a member, you may learn about current research in hospice care, palliative treatment options and research, and legislative updates in this field.
Pursuing a Master’s degree in hospice nursing may give you the chance to earn palliative care nursing certification and provide in-demand services to people throughout Arkansas. If you think this is the next step in your career, get in touch with hospice nursing programs in Arkansas below.
Master’s Degree Programs in Hospice/Palliative Care Nursing in Arkansas
To get hospice nurse certification at the Master’s degree level, you have to go through a specific procedure and meet strict qualifications. First, you can earn your nurse practitioner certification through a Master’s program in advanced nursing care. This involves choosing a primary area of care, such as adult care, adult-gerontological care, family care, or pediatric care. Once you have selected a main focus, you may choose a more specialized focus, such as hospice care. On top of your standard nurse practitioner education requirements, you must complete a set of palliative care courses.
Hospice and Palliative Care Certification Courses
- Symptom Management in Palliative Care
- Loss, Grief and Bereavement
- Ethical Aspects of Health and Technology
- Pain Science and Practice
- Home Health Care Concepts
- Advanced Practice Issues in Palliative Care
An essential part of hospice nursing education Arkansas programs is clinical work. You should spend at least 500 hours getting clinical experience with your primary population. To complete a hospice certification, you may spend an additional 100 or more hours in various clinical settings.
Certification requires both education and professional experience. The Hospice & Palliative Care Credentialing Center requires a Master’s degree from an approved school. They expect either 500 hours of palliative care experience in the past year or 1000 hours of experience in the past two years.
You may choose to fund your education with loans, scholarships, and grants. The Hospice & Palliative Nurses Foundation awards scholarships of $2,000 to Master’s degree students.
The Role of Hospice/Palliative Care Nurses in Arkansas
While completing your clinical hours, you should get exposed to a variety of hospice and palliative care settings in Arkansas. Employers in this state include Arkansas Hospice, Hospice Home Care, Northwest Arkansas Circle of Life, and Baptist Health. Depending on the size and structure of your employer, you may work in intake and admission, triage, or visits. Intake and admission nurses assess new hospice patients and make care recommendations. Triage nurse practitioners handle emergencies, infections, and other issues that patients decide to treat. Visiting nurses make regularly scheduled home visits to assess a patient’s health, mental state, psychological health, and pain level.
In any hospice nursing career, you should be ready to work weekends and holidays. Many facilities also require hospice nurses to be on call, as you may be required to handle emergencies and breakthrough pain for patients. 24-hour nursing availability is a huge component of hospice nursing care.
With each patient you see, you are a source of comfort for the patient and their family. You may present information and options in a clear, easily understood manner and help patients weigh their choices. You may help patients process an array of emotions, including grief, helplessness, anger, and regret. These same emotions may be present in family members, for whom you can be an excellent source of strength and support.