UAMS, Other National Leaders in Online Nursing Education

By todd

Its leadership in online education for nurses has given UAMS an advantage in addressing the nurse shortage in Arkansas – the state’s current nursing vacancy rate is 5 percent, compared to the national average of 11 percent.

UAMS and five other nursing schools received major grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) in 1999 to develop online education. The other five nursing schools are at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland; California State University – Chico; the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha; the University of South Alabama in Mobile; and the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

The UAMS R.N.-to-B.S.N. Online Program enables registered nurses with associate’s degrees or diplomas to earn the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) by taking online courses. During the first four years of the UAMS program, 256 registered nurses from around the state enrolled in the online program and 129 earned B.S.N. degrees. More information about the UAMS College of Nursing’s R.N.-to-B.S.N. Online Program is available at

“All of our R.N.-to-B.S.N. courses are available online, which allows students to study and participate in class discussions anytime, day or night,” Dean Linda C. Hodges, Ed.D., R.N., said. “Our online courses are based on adult education principles, with the goal of making all adult students independent learners. Students delve into the course content with guidance from our faculty, but our faculty members do not direct every step the students take. Each student is free to explore the content and find additional resources on the Web during the one semester time period for each course. Our faculty members give feedback at important points during the student learning process and help the students put the content in perspective.”

In addition to the online coursework, R.N.-to-B.S.N. students must complete practicums under the guidance of preceptors. Continuing its commitment to distance learning, the UAMS program allows the students to earn these hours in clinical settings near their homes and gives them choices regarding the days and hours they work.