Arkansas nurses looking to further their careers are increasingly opting to continue their nursing education via a Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. With higher salaries and specialized nursing careers available to those who hold an MSN, it's no wonder why both in-person and online RN to MSN programs are growing in popularity. With options for RNs who currently hold an ADN or a BSN, there's an RN to MSN program in Arkansas to suit most needs.

RN to MSN Admissions Requirements in Arkansas

Admission to MSN programs in Arkansas can be selective and competitive. It's important to ensure that all entrance requirements are met before applying. Typical admissions requirements include:

  • Proof of current RN licensure
  • Graduate of an accredited ADN or BSN program
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Completion of prerequisite courses
  • Resume of work experience

RN to MSN Courses

Many MSN programs have specialized tracks that students can opt into, thus determining the type of specialized nursing courses they will take along with core nursing courses. Additionally, there may be clinical hours required to complete the degree.

To provide an example, the University of Central Arkansas offers the following courses as part of its RN to MSN Family Nurse Practitioner program:

  • Advanced Health Assessment
  • Epidemiology for Advanced Nursing Practice
  • Advanced Pharmacology
  • Primary Care of Women and Children
  • Health Policy and Economics

Online RN to MSN Programs in Arkansas

Busy nurses who wish to continue working as they pursue a graduate degree and others who need flexibility can opt for an online MSN program. These online options allow for part-time or full-time study and generally let students learn at their own pace. They are offered through accredited universities and have the same rigorous academic standards as their classroom counterparts.

Featured Online School

The University of Arkansas offers a 100% online BSN to MSN program that is CCNE accredited. Students can choose between the Nurse Educator and Nurse Executive Leader concentrations to segue into their ideal nursing career. The program includes locally arranged clinical practicum hours with qualified preceptors. Full-time and part-time options are available, as are scholarships and financial aid.

Admissions and Program Length

MSN program length depends, in part, on whether a student opts for full-time or part-time study. The type of nursing specialty chosen can also impact the length of the program. Students starting with an ADN degree can expect to take roughly 30 credit hours for the BSN and an additional 30 credit hours to complete the MSN. Those starting with a BSN can sometimes complete the MSN in as little as 4 semesters with full-time study.

Tuition and Cost of Attendance

MSN program costs can vary from school to school, and are often dependent on how many credits a student needs in order to graduate. For example, tuition for the online MSN program at the University of Arkansas is roughly $409.94 per credit hour, in addition to a $2.70 library fee, a $10.48 network and data systems fee, and a $30 off-campus fee per credit hour. Students are also responsible for any course materials or equipment necessary to complete the program.

RN to MSN Career Pathways in Arkansas

One of the main reasons why many RNs choose to complete a graduate level nursing degree is the career specialties it can lead to. The following nursing careers are just a few of the options that typically require an MSN degree:

  • Nurse Anesthetist
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse Educator
  • Pain Management Nurse
  • Clinical Nurse Leader

RN to MSN Salary Comparison

Aside from rewarding career options, nurses with graduate degrees also tend to make a significantly higher salary than their colleagues with lower degrees. For example, a nurse anesthetist (a career that requires a specialized MSN) in Little Rock, Arkansas, earns an average annual salary of $159,602. By comparison, a general registered nurse in Little Rock makes an average annual salary of $51,923.

Helpful Links

RN to MSN Listings

Moving from RN to MSN degree could find nurses working in areas of patient education, mental health, and an array of other specialties. Several colleges throughout the Arkansas offer the option of online, campus courses or a blend of both methods to help the RN to MSN transition. Arkansas encourages individuals to make the decision to move forward in your career by obtaining your MSN degree.

ProgramWebsite
Arkansas Tech University
Campus
Department of Nursing
215 West O Street
Russellville, AR 72801
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Online
College of Nursing
4301 West Markham Street
Little Rock, AR 72205
(501) 686-5376
University of Central Arkansas
Online
School of Nursing
201 Donaghey Avenue
Conway, AR 72035
(501) 450-3119