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RNtoBSNProgram.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured programs and school search results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other information published on this site.

Best Nursing Schools in Arkansas in 2020 (On-Campus & Online)

Best Nursing Schools in Arkansas in 2020 (On-Campus & Online)

Best Nursing Schools in Arkansas in 2020 (On-Campus & Online)Whether you’re still in high school and considering a career in nursing or a veteran nurse looking to improve your skillset and opportunities for advancement, one of these nursing schools in Arkansas is bound to offer a program that’s right for your budget and lifestyle. Arkansas institutions offer a myriad of flexible and unique programs, ranging from traditional, on-campus tracks to non-traditional tracks designed to allow you to keep working while you further your education.

Comparing schools can be a challenge, but this comprehensive list provides everything you need to know in just one “stop” so you can focus on making the right decision.

Top Nursing Schools in Arkansas

1. Arkansas State University – Beebe

As one of the best LPN nursing schools in Arkansas, ASU’s Beebe campus offers a practical nursing program, preparing nurses to enter the field in an LPN role or continue their education through an LPN to RN program at another university. Because there are no college course prerequisites, prospective nurses can easily apply for entry. Ease of application, low cost of tuition, and high pass rates put this at the top of our list.

  • NCLEX-PN Pass Rates: 100%
  • Program length or credit hours: 46
  • Admission requirements: TB skin test, immunization record with current tetanus, and HeartCode BLS training
  • Tuition: $117 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: HLC; no nursing accreditation

2. Black River Technical College

Offering nursing programs on both the Main Campus in Pocahontas and their Paragould campus, Black River Technical College (BRTC) is a great choice for prospective nurses. Options include Practical Nursing – with a remarkably high pass rate – and an LPN to RN bridge program through ARNEC. Below, we’ll share details for the LPN program. Aside from the high NCLEX-PN pass rate, tuition rates are affordable at BRTC, making it accessible for most students.

  • NCLEX-PN Pass Rates: 100%
  • Program length or credit hours: 3 semesters, 46 credit hours with 23 prerequisite credit hours
  • Admission requirements: application, GPA of 2.0 or higher, drug screen, nursing entrance exam with a minimum score of 58.7, prerequisite courses
  • Tuition: $96 per credit hour for in-state residents and $106 per credit hour for out-of-state residents
  • Accreditation: HLC, no nursing accreditation

3. NorthWest Arkansas Community College

Accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing and on the 2018 Top Ranked Nursing Schools list on RegisteredNursing.org, NorthWest Arkansas Community College’s nursing programs check a few boxes for prospective students. NorthWest is one of the best accredited nursing schools in Arkansas. Almost every student who graduates from their RN program passes their NCLEX, a clear indication of quality instruction and commitment to student success.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: 98.6%
  • Program length or credit hours: A traditional two-year program or an expedited 18-month program are offered; both result in ASN
  • Admission requirements: Prerequisite courses that vary depending on the program
  • Tuition: $75 per credit hour for in-district students, $135 per credit hour for out-of-district students, and $150 per credit hour for out-of-state students
  • Accreditation: ACEN

4. Henderson State University

Nestled in Arkadelphia, Henderson State University offers on-campus, BSN, RN to BSN or Master’s in Science of Nursing online. 100% of nursing students who graduate from Henderson are employed as nurses within just three months of graduation, and tuition, while higher than community colleges, is still affordable for many students.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: 92.6%
  • Program length or credit hours: 4 years for traditional BSN
  • Admission requirements: Must be accepted to HSU, have official transcripts from previous institutions, have completed prerequisite courses, and must have obtained minimum acceptable score on Nursing Entrance Exam
  • Tuition: $231 per credit hour for in-state residents and $288 per credit hour for out-of-state residents

5. Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas

Cossatot Community College provides everything you need to earn your LPN and then transition from LPN to RN through Tuesday and Thursday evening classes while you continue to work. A member of the Arkansas Rural Nursing Education Consortium, Cossatot Community College joins 7 other campuses to deliver the nursing curriculum in rural Arkansas communities.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates
  • NCLEX-PN Pass Rates: 96.1%
  • Program length or credit hours: 48 credits for PN, 33 credits for RN
  • Admission requirements: 12-17 prerequisite credits and entrance exam for PN, 33 prerequisite credits for LPN to RN program
  • Tuition: $74 per credit hour for in-district students, $87 per credit hour for in-state students, and $102 per credit hour for out-of-state students
  • Accreditation: HLC, no nursing accreditation

6. North Arkansas College

North Arkansas College or “Northark” is one of the top nursing schools in Arkansas. It offers both LPN and ASN degree tracks in Harrison, Arkansas. Students begin the Associate’s of General Studies program, where they complete the courses required to apply to the ASN program and then move forward with the application process. The ability to get all prereqs in-house, pass rates over 90% and low tuition earned this program a place on our list.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: 92.5%
  • NCLEX-PN Pass Rates: 96.8%
  • Program length or credit hours: 2 years and 66 credits for ASN
  • Admission requirements: Some prerequisite courses offered by Northark
  • Tuition: $74 per credit hour for in-county students, $99 per credit hour for in-state students, and $169 per credit hour for out-of-state students
  • Accreditation: ACEN

7. John Brown University

This Siloam Springs school offers a traditional Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Nursing, preparing students for the NCLEX-RN with a pass rate of 90.5%. Students in the program have the opportunity to take a summer course providing care to students and residents in Guatemala, which gave this program a few extra points and moved it up our list.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: 90.5%
  • Program length or credit hours: 4 years and 115 credits
  • Admission requirements: General education credits and GPA of 2.5 or better in core gen ed courses
  • Tuition: Varies per program, contact school
  • Accreditation: CCNE

8. Arkansas State University – Main Campus

Providing perhaps the most varied offerings for students, Arkansas State University’s Main Campus in Jonesboro offers an LPN program, an ADN program, a BSN program, graduate programs, and is one of the nurse anesthesia schools in Arkansas.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: 94%
  • NCLEX-PN Pass Rates: 91.4%
  • Program length or credit hours: Varies based on program
  • Admission requirements: Varies based on program
  • Tuition: $296 per credit hour for in-state students and $528 per credit hour for out-of-state students
  • Accreditation: ACEN for Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and Master’s in Nursing Programs

9. Arkansas Tech University

Located in Russellville, Arkansas Tech University offers a myriad of programs to ensure options for every student including a BSN Pre-Licensure Program, LPN to BSN program, RN to BSN Program, and MS in Nursing Administration program. Higher tuition and fees may put the programs at ATU out of reach for some students, but a $1,000 Future Nurse scholarship is available.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: 93%
  • NCLEX-PN Pass Rates: 97.3%
  • Program length or credit hours: For BSN, 121 credit hours are required over a course of 8 semesters
  • Admission requirements: Required prerequisite courses include ENGL 0303, ENGL 0404, READ 0103, MATH 0803, MATH 1003, MATH 0903, MATH 0900, and MATH 1110
  • Tuition: $232 per credit hour for in-state residents and $464 per credit hour for out-of-state residents
  • Accreditation: ACEN accreditation for Bachelor’s and Master’s Nursing programs

10. College of the Ouachitas

Students seeking a nursing degree from College of Ouachitas in Malvern, Arkansas, can choose between the LPN program and the associate degree RN program.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates
  • NCLEX-PN Pass Rates: 90.9%
  • Program length or credit hours: 3 semesters and 40 credit hours for PN, 27 pre-req credit hours, 25 program hours, and 8 clinical hours for ADN
  • Admission requirements: Vary depending on program; contact the school
  • Tuition: $102 per credit hour for in-state residents and $203 per credit hour for out-of-state residents
  • Accreditation: HLC, no nursing accreditation

11. Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas

With campuses in DeWitt, Helena, and Suttgart, Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas offers a PN degree program and an Associate of Applied Science RN program. Affordability and success rate contributed to the program’s ranking on this list of the best nursing schools in Arkansas.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: 95.6%
  • Program length or credit hours: 42 credit hours for PN, 63 credit hours for ADN
  • Admission requirements: Completion of prerequisites with a “C” or better for PN and ADN
  • Tuition: $73 per credit hour for in-county residents, $86 per credit hour for out-of-district residents, and $136 for out-of-state residents
  • Accreditation: ACEN

12. Southern Arkansas University Main Campus

Southern Arkansas University Main Campus offers both BSN and RN to BSN programs on campus in Magnolia. Accreditation and high NCLEX pass rates are bright spots for Southern Arkansas University while affordability may leave it just a little out of reach for

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: 96.9%
  • Program length or credit hours: Both programs require 120 credit hours, but those entering the LPN to RN program may have a number of those requirements completed prior to admission
  • Admission requirements: Not readily available; contact school
  • Tuition: $214 per credit hour for in-state residents and $364 per credit hour for out-of-state residents; tuition is higher for graduate programs
  • Accreditation: ACEN

13. Harding University

Carr’s College of Nursing at Harding University offers a Christian-focused Bachelor’s in Nursing in Searcy, Arkansas. The program landed on the 2018 and 2019 lists of Top Ranked Nursing Schools by RegisteredNursing.org. Both traditional BSN and second-degree BSN tracks are offered to accommodate students who are new to school and students who have been working as an LPN. 100% of students graduating from the nursing programs at Harding are employed as a BSN within 9 months of graduation. Nurses can also go on to pursue their graduate degree as an FNP following completion of their bachelor’s. The cost of the program prevented it from placing higher on our list.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: 97.8%
  • Program length or credit hours: 4 years for traditional BSN program
  • Admission requirements: Varies depending on program, contact school
  • Tuition: $700 per credit hour for undergraduate programs
  • Accreditation: ACEN

14. National Park College

Located in beautiful Hot Springs National Park, National Park College provides a practical nursing program and an ASN program. Students can also work with National Park College to bridge from ASN to BSN through arrangements with a consortium of Arkansas universities. Both of their programs are accredited, tuition is on the low end, and pass rates are over 85%.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: 90.3%
  • NCLEX-PN Pass Rates: 85.7%
  • Program length or credit hours: 41 credit hours for PN, 66 credit hours for ASN
  • Tuition: $90 per credit hour for in-county residents, $100 per credit hour for in-state residents, and $137 per credit hour for out-of-state residents
  • Accreditation: CCEN

15. Arkansas Northeastern College

Located in Blytheville, Arkansas, Arkansas Northeastern College (ANC) offers three nursing programs: an LPN degree program, an ADN program, and an LPN-to-ADN RN program. Their nursing programs are recipients of the 2019 Top Ranked Program title by PracticalNursing.org and RegisteredNursing.org. Extensive pre-requisite requirements may make it difficult for some prospective nursing students to apply without completing a number of generals and pre-admission tests first.

16. Northwest Technical Institute

Northwest Technical Institute offers a Practical Nursing program that qualifies students to take the NCLEX-PN upon graduation and move on to enroll in an LPN to RN program at another university if they choose. Strengths of the program include the lowest tuition in the state and high pass rates, while limitations include lack of dormitory housing and accreditation.

  • NCLEX-PN Pass Rates: 97.1%
  • Program length or credit hours: 82 credit hours over less than 18 months
  • Admission requirements: CNA certification, high school transcripts or GED scores, Accuplacer test completion, immunization records, and two job references.
  • Tuition: $57.77 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: Not accredited

17. University of Arkansas at Monticello

A 2019 Top Ranked Nursing School on RegisteredNursing.org, the UAM School of Nursing offers LPN to RN, ADN, and BSN programs. Students may find it challenging to get into the program due to tight competition that not uncommonly follow the best nursing schools in Arkansas, but high NCLEX pass rates and program accreditation make it worth the wait.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: 94.4%
  • NCLEX-PN Pass Rates: 90%
  • Program length or credit hours
  • Admission requirements: ACT composite score of 19, pre-admission exam score at or above the national average, 2.5 cumulative GPA, and completion of prerequisite courses with a C or higher
  • Tuition: $263 per credit hour for in-state residents and $458 for out-of-state residents
  • Accreditation: ACEN

18. University of Arkansas

The Eleanor Mann School of Nursing at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville offers three nursing programs so there’s a track for every student: BSN in Nursing, RN to BSN, and LPN to BSN. While tuition is relatively affordable for in-state students, it’s very costly for out-of-state students. A high NCLEX-RN pass rate may make it worth the investment.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: 93.8%
  • Program length or credit hours: 181 credit hours for BSN, 120 for RN to BSN, and 120 for LPN to RN
  • Admission requirements: Requirements are extensive and vary depending on the program; complete details can be found here
  • Tuition: $252 per credit hour for in-state students, $801 per credit hour for out-of-state students
  • Accreditation: ACEN

19. Ozarka College

Ozarka College provides an LPN to RN program on Tuesday and Thursday evening for working nurses as a part of the Arkansas Rural Nursing Education Consortium (ARNEC). The convenient schedule is designed to ensure LPNs can continue to work while advancing their education and skillsets.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: Unavailable
  • NCLEX-PN: Pass Rates: 89.7%
  • Program length or credit hours: 66 credits in 30 months
  • Admission requirements: LPN or LVN licensure
  • Tuition: $90 per credit-hour for in-state students and $188 per credit hour for out-of-state students
  • Accreditation: HLC, no nursing accreditation

20. Southern Arkansas University Tech

Located in Camden, Southern Arkansas University Tech offers a practical nursing certificate program as well as a bridge LPN to RN program.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: Unavailable
  • NCLEX-PN Pass Rates: 88.2%
  • Program length or credit hours: Contact school
  • Admission requirements: Requirements are relatively extensive and found here for the LPN program and here for the bridge program
  • Tuition: $108 per credit hour for in-state residents; $156 per credit hour for out-of-state residents
  • Accreditation: HLC, no nursing accreditation

21. University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Choose between an AND, BSN, online RN to BSN, or LPN/Paramedic to BSN at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. High tuition and an NCLEX pass rate under 90% contributed to this school’s lower placement on the list.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: 88.9%
  • Program length or credit hours: 2 years for AND, 4 years for BSN, 1 – 1.5 years for ADN to BSN,  and 1 year for LPN/Paramedic to RN
  • Admission requirements: Contact school
  • Tuition: $317 per credit hour for in-state residents and $725 for out-of-state residents
  • Accreditation: ACEN

22. University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff

UAPB’s generic BSN and RN to BSN programs are approved by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education and designed to train well-rounded nurses who are prepared to both test well and achieve success in their first nursing roles. Tuition is substantially more affordable for in-state residents, making this school a strong choice for local students.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: 80%
  • NCLEX-PN Pass Rates: 100%
  • Program length or credit hours: 4 years for the generic track, 2 years for the RN to BSN track
  • Admission requirements: Depends on the track chosen
  • Tuition: $171 per credit hour for in-state residents and $388 per credit hour for out-of-state residents
  • Accreditation: ACEN

23. Arkansas State University – Mountain Home

ASU in Mountain Home offers a single LPN/Paramedic to ADN RN program to assist those who are mid-career in advancing their skill-sets and improving their earning potential. With classes just two evenings a week, the program is ideal for non-traditional students balancing work, responsibilities at home, and higher education.

  • NCLEX-PN Pass Rates: 87.5%
  • Program length or credit hours: 1 calendar year and 30 credit hours
  • Admission requirements: Completion of an entrance exam, current LPN license or Paramedic certification number, completion of all pre-requisite courses, criminal background check
  • Tuition: $98 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: HLC; no nursing accreditation

24. Arkansas State University – Newport

Three programs comprise the school of nursing at Newport: Practical Nursing, LPN to RN, and Traditional RN. The nursing program here is fully approved by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing and the campus participates in the Arkansas Rural Nursing Education Consortium, or ARNEC.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: 85.2%
  • NCLEX-PN Pass Rates: 85.5%
  • Program length or credit hours: Varies, contact school
  • Admission requirements: Application
  • Tuition: $96 per credit hour for in-state students and $157 per credit hour for out-of-state students
  • Accreditation: HLC; no nursing accreditation

25. South Arkansas Community College

The nursing department at Southeast Arkansas College, or SouthArk, offers three different LPN programs to provide a feasible track for every student: 1) a 12-month day program that requires attendance to the El Dorado campus; 2) a 12-month day program delivered to the satellite campus in Warren, and 3) an 18-month evening program in El Dorado. As a part of ARNEC, they also serve as a site for the LPN to RN program.

  • NCLEX-PN Pass Rates: 84.7%
  • Program length or credit hours: 12 to 18 months depending on the track chosen
  • Admission requirements: Requirements are listed here
  • Tuition: $84 per credit hour for in-district students, $97 per credit hour for out-of-district students, and $172 per credit hour for out-of-state students
  • Accreditation: No nursing accreditation

26. East Arkansas Community College

East Arkansas Community College located in Forrest City offers a technical certificate in Practical Nursing as well as an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science Nursing (RN) program. Applicants should take into consideration low pass rates for both the NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-PN pass rates for graduates of these programs.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: 69.5%
  • NCLEX-PN Pass Rates: 89.6%
  • Program length or credit hours: 39 credit hours for practical nursing (LPN) and 62 credit hours for Associate in Applied Science Nursing (RN)
  • Admission requirements: Contact school
  • Tuition: $86 per credit hour for in-county students, $96 per credit hour for in-state students, and $115 per credit hour for out-of-state students
  • Accreditation: ANEC

27. Jefferson Regional Medical Center School of Nursing

The Jefferson Regional Medical Center School of Nursing lands near the bottom of our list due to the combination of moderate-to-high price and low NCLEX-RN pass rates. Located in Pine Bluff, the school offers a traditional Associate’s Degree in Nursing, preparing students to become Registered Nurses upon graduation.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: 65.7%
  • Program length or credit hours: 17 months to ADN
  • Admission requirements: Completion of prerequisite courses and ATI TEAS
  • Tuition: $252 – $336 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: ACEN

28. Baptist Health College Little Rock

The first program ever offered at Baptist Health College in Little Rock was their nursing program, graduating five students in 1921. Today, the baptist nursing school in Little Rock, Arkansas offers a Practical Nursing program and a traditional track Associate’s in Nursing to prepare students for transfer to another university.

  • NCLEX-PN Pass Rates: 78%
  • Program length or credit hours: 2 semesters
  • Admission requirements: Online application, high school diploma or GED, official transcripts, and the ATI TEAS Entrance Exam; Anatomy and Physiology I with Lab must be in progress or completed at the time of application
  • Tuition: $387.15 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: ACEN

29. Southeast Arkansas College

Southeast Arkansas College, known as SeArk, offers a wide variety of medical-industry degree programs in Pine Bluff including an ADN and both on-campus and online options for Paramedic or LPN to RN. The low NCLEX-RN pass rates explain the lower placement of this program on our list.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rates: 52.9%
  • Program length or credit hours: 65 credit hours for LPN/Paramedic to RN; 69 for traditional AND program
  • Admission requirements: For LPN/Paramedic to RN, candidates must have an active LPN license or EMT-P certification; complete required general education courses, take the entrance exam and complete various other requirements
  • Tuition: $96 per credit hour for in-state residents and $192 per credit hour for out-of-state residents
  • Accreditation: ACEN

Ranking Methodology

These schools were ranked based on a number of factors: accessibility, affordability, NCLEX pass rates, and accreditation. Please contact us directly with questions – our staff is standing by to assist you as you consider your options.

Degree Finder
RNtoBSNProgram.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured programs and school search results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other information published on this site.

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