UALR Nursing

Department of Nursing

The UALR Department of Nursing is a vital member of the Little Rock community. For nearly 50 years the UALR Department of Nursing has educated nurses and is responsible for the placement of nurses statewide, regionally, and across the country.

UALR-educated nurses are highly regarded by employers as being well prepared and as having outstanding critical thinking and communication skills.

The Nursing Department is UALR’s largest department on campus with more than 600 current students, 20-plus full-time faculty members and six dedicated staff members.

The UALR Department of Nursing is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

The UALR Department of Nursing embraces the mission and scope of the University.  The department offers a traditional and accelerated associate of applied science degree program; a LPN or paramedic to associate of applied science degree transition program for students seeking entry into a registered nursing career; and a RN-BSN completion program for associate degree and diploma RNs who are seeking an advanced degree.  The RN-BSN completion program builds on the foundation provided by the associate of applied science degree program and provides a degree completion option that is structured to meet the continuing education and career enhancement needs of RNs.

The faculty embraces the mission of the University by providing quality instruction in clinical, classroom and online settings, and providing students with knowledge needed to contribute to the profession and health care needs of the community.  The Department further embraces the University’s commitment to public service, and has incorporated service learning components into nursing courses across the curriculum which have provided quality health teaching, preventative care, and chronic care to the community.

The faculty of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Department of Nursing has a common belief about nursing, the nursing curriculum, and the nursing practice of the associate of applied science degree and baccalaureate nurse.  These beliefs form the foundation of the curriculum model.

Individuals and Groups of Individuals

The faculty believes the primary focus of nursing is the individual or groups of individuals. Groups of individuals may be as small as two individuals or may be expansive enough to include large communities or populations.

Each individual has biophysical and psychosocial human needs that can be identified by nurses as being met or unmet.  Communities can also have unmet community health needs.  The associate of applied science degree program focuses on human needs (identified as oxygenation, fluid and electrolyte balance, nutrition, elimination, rest and activity, sensory function, comfort, safety, human interaction, sexuality, learning, and spirituality) while the RN-BSN completion program expands needs to include community needs and diverse health care needs. Community health needs are associated with the needs of an identified group of individuals. Diversity of health care needs is a recognized component of health care delivery.  Needs can be met or unmet in a variety of ways.  An individual can meet some needs independently, but may require interactions with health team members in order to meet needs that affect risk reduction, disease prevention, health promotion, and require health teaching and advocacy.

Nursing care focuses on unmet needs of individuals and groups with the prioritization of needs based on a logical decision-making model. Individuals grow and develop at varying rates and yet in predictable sequence.  Although a variety of developmental theories exist, Erikson’s theory is used as a basis for describing growth and development throughout the associate of applied science degree curriculum.  In the RN-BSN completion program curriculum, human growth and development theories guide learning and practicing comprehensive health assessment.

Individuals are also members of various cultures.  An individual’s culture affects all aspects of how nurses intervene to address human needs. Respect for culture and diversity are fundamental to patient centered care.


Health is a dynamic state which relates to the biophysical and psychosocial needs of individuals and groups of individuals.  Health is defined by met and/or unmet human needs.  Health promotion includes risk reduction, disease prevention, and patient/family teaching.  The focus on health within the associate of applied science degree curriculum is on commonly recurring health problems and health promotion.  Commonly recurring health problems are disorders or diseases frequently evident in individuals receiving nursing care.  Health teaching needs are based on identified risk factors and prevention.

The RN-BSN completion program expands the concepts of health and health education to incorporate more complex research utilization and evidence based practice as a participative member of the interdisciplinary team. The baccalaureate nurse serves as a community and professional advocate while designing educational programs that are based on comprehensive assessments of community needs.


Nursing is a specialized discipline that integrates knowledge, skills, and attitudes in the provision of care to individuals, groups of individuals, communities, and populations.  The synthesis of knowledge, skills and attitudes enables the student to achieve student learning outcomes and enables the nurse to obtain the competency needed for professional practice. The Quality and Safety Education for Nursing (QSEN) Competencies (http// serve as both programs’ graduate specific competencies. Program student learning outcomes are based on the QSEN competencies and are specific to the associate of applied science degree and the RN-BSN degree.

The faculty believe that nursing practice centers on the following competencies: Informatics, Teamwork and Collaboration, Quality Improvement, Patient-Centered Care, Safety, and Evidence-Based Practice.  These competencies form the foundation of the student learning outcomes at both the associate of applied science degree and baccalaureate levels.   The curricular and practice differentiation between the two programs is reflected in the content focus, clinical/practicum focus and student learning outcomes.

Nurses provide competent care based on a clinical and ethical decision-making model that is guided by the American Nurses Association (ANA) Code of Ethics for Nurses, the ANA Social Policy Statement, the Arkansas Nurse Practice Act, and other state and federal regulatory guidelines such as standards of care, best practices, and national board recommendations.

The curricular framework of the UALR nursing programs includes theory and clinical practice content in each of the three domains, knowledge, skills and attitudes.  The domains are interrelated and enable the student and the practicing nurse to achieve student learning outcomes and practice competency.


The knowledge base of associate of applied science degree nurses includes an understanding of the use of the nursing process, best practices, human needs and culture, growth and development, commonly recurring health problems, pathophysiology, pharmacology, legal guidelines, and standards of practice.

The baccalaureate nurse’s knowledge base expands to include interdisciplinary team roles and functions, research utilization, community health needs, organizational process, policy development, health education, resource management, and legalities and advocacy.


The skill focus of the associate of applied science degree nurse is on clinical decision-making in a structured practice or community setting.  The nurse uses technology in knowledge attainment, delivery of care, documentation of nursing care, and communication.  Delegation, organization and prioritization skills are required in nursing practice.  Associate of applied science degree nurses function as a member of a health care team and are responsible for accurate and professional communication with all members of the health care team.  Safety and competency in medication administration, psychomotor, and clinical decision-making skills are required components of practice.  The associate of applied science degree nurse must also incorporate accurate and ongoing personal and professional self-reflection.

The skill focus of the baccalaureate degree nurse expands to include the incorporation of evidence based practice into all aspects of professional practice.  Baccalaureate nurses use effective professional communication in a collaborative leadership role as a member of an interdisciplinary health care team.  The baccalaureate nurse has the ability to design and deliver educational programs to meet identified community health needs.  Competency in comprehensive health assessments of individuals and communities is attained.  The baccalaureate nurse expands self-reflection to include a professional reflection of career strengths, weaknesses and future goals.


The associate of applied science degree nurse demonstrates integrity, professionalism, responsibility, accountability, ethics and professional values in the provision of care.  These attitudes are also demonstrated in collaboration and communication with members of the health care team.  The nurse serves as a patient advocate in care decisions and incorporates lifelong learning into nursing practice.

The baccalaureate degree nurse incorporates ethical decision-making and professionalism into all aspects of practice.  Valuing of lifelong learning and professional growth is evident in practice and in future career plans.  Advocacy is expanded to include the profession of nursing as well as communities.  The nurse is expected to play an active role in promoting positive change in organizations, policy making and practice.  The nurse embraces and incorporates technology to promote quality improvement in all aspects of professional practice.

Improving lives through outstanding nursing education

  • Teaching
    • Enrollment of 732 students for the fall 2015 semester
      • Increase in both AAS and RN-BSN enrollments
    • 750+ applications received during the spring 2016
    • The following courses were Quality Matters Certified:
      • NURS 3310 Professional Role
      • NURS 3420 Wellness Promotion
      • NURS 3350 Ethics and Legalities
      • NURS 3440 Research and EBP
      • NURS 4430 Integration of Concepts
    • The following courses are in the final phase of certification process:
      • NURS 4420 Leadership and Management
    • The following courses are ready to be submitted for certification:
      • NURS 3430 Economics
      • NURS 4415 Community Nursing
    • Departmental faculty participated in over 150 hours of continuing education courses. This number of hours does not include INACSL Fellowship (2 faculty members) or graduate courses (2 faculty members)
  • Research/Scholarly
    • There were 3 publications completed from faculty within the DON
    • There are 13 different ongoing research projects within the DON
    • Received a Blue & You grant totaling ~$98,000 for the simulation center
  • Service
    • 11 faculty members certified as CPR instructors and have begun offering CPR to our students. Plans are in the works to have the entire faculty certified to teach these courses, which offers a lower price for the course
    • Faculty represented the Department of Nursing by participating in 19 different national and state nursing organizations
    • The Department of Nursing was represented by faculty members on 13 different University and College level committees, which included several leadership positions
    • Faculty from the Department of Nursing participated in multiple flu shot clinics and other community service projects. There were a total of 25+ different community service projects participated in
  • Student Success
    • Student Success Workshop- this year the workshop was a full 8-hour day and test taking, study skills, stress management, and time management were all covered for entering nursing students
    • All courses have a faculty/student mentor program. Students are required to meet with the faculty member following failure of an examination; if the student is struggling with content; or if life issues are getting in the way of the student being successful
    • The nursing department has acquired various study tools, which students can check out through our lending library. These resources assist students with study and test taking skills
    • The department has created a reentry committee in order to offer a more student-friendly readmission process. This committee tracks these students to ensure they are progressing and getting the assistance that is needed
    • Additional study sessions and workshops are offered outside of scheduled class times based on student needs. Examples include documentation, pharmacology, and math calculations
  • Outcomes
NCLEX-RN Pass Rates (3-year mean) Retention
National 81.93% Spring 2012 74%
Arkansas 85.17% Summer 2012 100%
UALR 87.3% Fall 2012 78%
    Spring 2013 78%
Entry 2013 Retention Rates Summer 2013 78%
Traditional 72% Fall 2013 86%
LPN/Paramedics 58% Fall 2014 100%
Total Cohort 70% Spring 2015 100%
Summer 2015 100%
Entry 2014 Retention Rates  
Traditional 66.4%
LPN/Paramedics 56.4%
Total Cohort 64.3%


Program evaluation demonstrates that students and graduates have achieved the student learning outcomes, program outcomes, and role-specific graduate competencies of the nursing education unit.

PLAN Report Dec, 2015

FREQUENCY OF ASSESSMENT:   December SPE or as needed with change.




6.1 The systematic plan for evaluation of the nursing education unit emphasizes the ongoing assessment and evaluation of each of the following:

Student learning outcomes;

Program outcomes;

Role specific graduate competencies; and

The ACEN Standards (AAS/BSN)

Parts I. and II. Of the SPE contain all required ACEN components. (AAS/BSN)


LOA Met. The current Systematic Plan of Evaluation (SPE) utilizes the current ACEN standards and criteria and is maintained through committees that are responsible for certain aspects of the overall standards. Committees then review their LOA’s and revise as indicated based on aggregated, trended data. The DON meets bi-annually to review the standards and to make revisions as needed. Maintain
6.2 Evaluation findings are aggregated and trended by program option, location, and date of completion and are sufficient to inform program decision-making for the maintenance and improvement of the student learning outcomes and program outcomes. (AAS/BSN) 1. Program decisions related to revision, maintenance and development are based on program data, student learning outcome data, program outcome data, and program needs. (AAS/BSN)



2. End of course HESI aggregate and sub-scores less than 850 are evaluated by faculty to guide curricular decision making. (AAS)


3.  N4430 comprehensive e-portfolio scores are evaluated to guide program decision making.  (BSN)

LOA 1 Met Program surveys, SLO data from HESI, and NCLEX pass rates are utilized to guide decision making.







LOA 2 Met.  Exit HESI sub-scores in appendix.




LOA 3 Met.  N4430 SLO evaluation in appendix.

































6.3 Evaluation findings are shared with communities of interest. (AAS/BSN)






1. Annual reports are submitted to the college Assessment committee, ASBN, and ACEN. (AAS/BSN)


2. Evaluation findings are shared with the DON Advisory Committee. (AAS/BSN)

LOA 1 Met. CHEP assessment report was submitted in May 2015. ASBN and ACEN reports were submitted at the end of the Fall 2015 semester.



LOA 2 Met. The DON Advisory Board met November 18th at the UALR campus. Details and attendees are noted in the meeting minutes (see appendix).






6.4 The program demonstrates evidence of achievement in meeting program outcomes. (AAS/BSN) Overall criterion, LOAs below
6.4.1 Performance on licensure exam: The program’s 3 year mean for the licensure exam pass rate will be at or above the national mean for the same 3-year period. (AAS) UALR graduate NCLEX-RN first time pass rates will be at or above national associate degree three year mean (Traditional/ Accelerated and transition groups reported separately) (AAS) LOA Met.  NCLEX first take data for the December 2014 graduating class is 90.9%. NCLEX first take data for the May 2015 traditional class is 86.4%. NCLEX first take data for the May 2015 LPN/Para option class is 94.7%.

National three year average for ADN programs 2013-2015 is 81.9%













6.4.2 Program completion: Expected levels of achievement for program completion are determined by the faculty and reflect student demographics and program options. (AAS/BSN) 1. The current (2014) AAS Completion rates will increase by 5-10% each consecutive year as a result of program retention initiatives.


2. 75% or more BSN students enrolled in the 12- or 18-month tracks will graduate the program within three years. (BSN)

LOA 1 Met  Overall retention for the 2013 entering class was 70%.  Retention of regular students (Trad and Accel) was 72%.  LPN retention was 58%. See appendix.







LOA 2 Met.  Since changing to the carousel in Fall, 2014, all students have either graduated or are still enrolled.   See Appendix.











6.4.3 Graduate program satisfaction: Qualitative and quantitative measures address graduates six to twelve months post-graduation. (AAS/BSN)



90% or more of graduates who respond to the Graduate Surveys will report satisfaction with the preparation provided by the program linked to achievement of program student learning outcomes. (AAS/BSN) LOA Met.  See appendix. Maintain
6.4.4 Employer program satisfaction: Qualitative and quantitative measures address employer satisfaction with graduate preparation for entry-level positions six to twelve months post-graduation. (AAS/BSN) 90% or more of employers of graduates who respond to the Employer Survey will report satisfaction with the preparation provided by the program linked to graduate achievement of student program learning outcomes. (AAS/BSN) LOA Met.  100% of responding employers satisfied.  Response rates remain low.  One employer responded to AAS survey and four to BSN survey.  Comments on one BSN survey indicate respondent was probably discussing AAS program. Maintain
6.4.5 Job placement rates: Expected levels of achievement are determined by the faculty and are addressed through quantified measures six to twelve months post-graduation (AAS/BSN) 1) 95% or more of AAS licensed graduates who seek employment are employed as a Registered Nurse 6 to 12 months following graduation (AAS)

2. 90% of BSN graduates who respond are employed as RNs or attending a graduate program 6-12 months post-graduation. (BSN)

LOA 1 Met.  All are working.










LOA 2 Met.  All are working, 17% of those responding to graduate survey are enrolled in a graduate program.












  • Continue to work to improve retention and graduations rates, while maintaining a high-quality program with satisfactory NCLEX-RN pass rates
  • Maintain, and if possible increase, SSCH’s through continued elective development for nursing students
  • Develop a plan to allow outside entities to rent the simulation space during class down times
  • Receive approval and begin the development of the MSN program. The proposal has been sent forward to Administration
  • Implemented Electronic Health Record system across the curriculum
  • Continue to develop faculty with professional development opportunities, including CNE certifications
  • Continue to provide support for the RN-BSN team to achieve QM certification for all RN-BSN courses
  • Continue to promote the UALR DON and CHI SVI partnership through various avenues. Currently electives are being developed to help meet the needs of CHI SVI in the areas of neurological intensive care, cardiovascular intensive care, and Pre-Op/PACU.
    1. These electives are being developed in conjunction with CHI SVI and include collaboration with Physicians, Respiratory Therapists, and Pharmacists, as well as nurses.
  • Enrollment
    • Projected Enrollments for Nursing Program in the fall 2016
      • AAS
        • NURS 1205- 200
        • NURS 1505- 210
        • NURS 2410- 123
        • NURS 2420- 123
        • NURS 2550- 49
        • NURS 2350- 50
      • RN-BSN
        • NURS 3220- 120
        • NURS 3230- 120
        • NURS 3310- 120
        • NURS 3305- 15
        • NURS 3350- 65
        • NURS 3420- 70
        • NURS 3430-65
        • NURS 3440- 60
        • NURS 4415-76
        • NURS 4420- 90
        • NURS 4430- 60
  • Retention
    • Retention rates for the AAS program (fall 2015-spring 2016)
Course Retention Rate
Nursing 1205 96%
Nursing 1505 76%
Nursing 2410 94%
Nursing 2420 90%
Nursing 2550 100%
Nursing 2350 89%
Nursing 1410 78%
Nursing 1420 95%
Nursing 2550 100%
Nursing 2350 99%


  • Personnel (number per category, tenure and promotion, etc.)


Associate  Professor


Assistant Professor




  • Grants and Contracts
    • There have been 2 additional Blue & You grants submitted totaling ~$240,000
    • New Clinical Affiliates for the last year
    • 10/2015 - Baptist Health Rehabilitation Institute
    • 4/2016 - Arkansas Heart Hospital
    • 6/2016 - The Surgical Pavilion
    • 7/2016 - Arkansas Pediatric Facility
    • 7/2016 - Southern Trace Rehabilitation
    • 9/2015 - HealthSouth (SVI Rehab Hospital)
  • Fundraising
    • Began offering CPR classes for current nursing students. We have been contact by several other departments across campus and by businesses outside of campus to offer courses.
    • Began an Alumni Outreach Program (Connecting the Future with the Past) with mailings that were developed in conjunction with Communications and Development. The mailings reached over 1700 alumni. These mailings have information for giving back to the nursing department included for those who are interested.

Student Achievement Data