Online nursing program empowers RNs to advance education

For nearly 50 years, UALR’s Department of Nursing has educated and placed nurses across the state, region, and country.

ualr nursing

But for many registered nurses who have earned an associate degree or a diploma, the demands of a full-time career or family obligations may thwart plans to take their education to the next level.

UALR is helping meet that need with its online Bachelor of Science in nursing degree, also known as the RN to BSN Program.

More than 300 students have graduated from the program since its 2008 inception, and 60 more nursing students are preparing to receive their bachelor’s degree this fall.

“Our coursework for the BSN builds on the curriculum foundation of the core RN program,” said Ann Bain, interim dean of the College of Science and chair of the nursing department.

Bain explained the courses may be completed in either 12 or 18 months while allowing for full- or part-time employment as an RN. While faculty, staff, and campus facilities are available to the nursing students, the program is conducted entirely online.

Brook Scalzo is a licensed nurse who chose UALR because she could continue to work full time. But the convenience of online learning is just part of the reason Scalzo chose UALR. The quality of the learning was a top priority, as well.

“The department has a reputation for sending well-rounded, professional, and well-trained nurses into the field. The professors hold you to a high standard and promote evidence-based practices,” she said.

“UALR-trained students become excellent nurses who get plenty of experience by doing clinical rotations through different hospitals. And the program allows you to work with several hospitals throughout central Arkansas to determine which environment is right for you,” Scalzo said.

Three of the nursing courses include an integrated practice experience, which requires the completion of projects and presentations, linked to the focus of particular courses.

“We anticipate that many projects will have originated from a student’s current or previous practice role,” said Bain.

The UALR Department of Nursing selects a specific number of applicants for fall, spring, and summer term. Selection is determined by nursing GPA, number of general education courses completed, and general education course quality points.

Selection is competitive based on the number of applicants and classroom space. Contact the Department of Nursing and schedule an advising session to discuss enrollment.

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