UAMS College of Nursing Adds New Programs

By Spencer Watson

In September, applications will open for a new accelerated bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program based at the UAMS Northwest Regional Campus. This full-time, 15-month program is open to applicants with a bachelor’s or higher degree in any field and requires prerequisite grounding in health sciences such as anatomy, physiology and biochemistry.

“Many of our very best students are second-career nurses, those who graduated without a nursing degree but were otherwise drawn to health sciences professionally,” said Patricia Cowan, Ph.D., RN, dean and professor of the UAMS College of Nursing. “This program is designed to create an accessible, efficient education that is also very thorough to facilitate that transition quickly for degreed individuals in early or mid-career.”

The college has enjoyed success with its accelerated RN to BSN program, training those who are already registered nurses to obtain a bachelor’s degree, which increases career options and establishes a foundation for graduate education.

The new program, however, is built to quickly transition those outside the profession into nursing. It includes both classroom and practical clinical experiences and will make extensive use of the latest in simulation technology to provide a safe and effective learning space for students as they explore the science of nursing. Though it may use remote learning technology as part of the coursework, residency in the Northwest Arkansas region will be required for enrollment.

The initial class size is expected to be 24 students, who will begin the program in May 2022 with a graduation date in August 2023.

The college’s traditional BSN program will continue to be offered on the Little Rock campus.

Meanwhile, the college is also adding a new case management focus for students pursuing a master’s degree in nursing. It includes 38 credits and can be pursued on a full- or part-time basis.

“The case-management track in our master’s program will address workforce needs in Arkansas and neighboring states,” said Cowan. “The increasing number of older adults with chronic conditions, along with legislation focused on reimbursement based on patient outcomes, has created an additional need for case managers in health care organizations.”

Case managers are employed by hospitals, clinics, health care systems, insurance companies and community organizations. Recent surveys of registered nurses and Arkansas employers of case managers support the need for the program.

The new focus track will begin with classes this fall and, through distance learning, is open to students anywhere in Arkansas.

For more details on either program, contact the College of Nursing’s Office of Student Services at (501) 686-5224 or