UAMS College of Nursing Ranks 43rd in Nation in U.S. News & World Report’s List of Best BSN Programs

By Kalee Sexton

The UAMS Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program tied for 43rd out of 694 schools. UAMS was the only school in Arkansas in the Top 100. This is the first year the report has added the BSN category to its rankings.

Patricia A. Cowan, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, dean of the College of Nursing, said she is proud of the school’s faculty and students.

“This recognition is a testament to the quality of the BSN program,” she said.

“Our faculty are known for their innovative teaching approaches and commitment to student success. Faculty have been publishing and presenting on their successful teaching approaches, which increases awareness of our program outside of Arkansas,” she said. “Our National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) pass rate has been high, and our graduates are prepared to practice.”

The rankings were determined by top nursing school academics and officials who rated the overall quality of undergraduate BSN programs on a scale of 1-5. To be considered, schools needed to have bachelor’s-level accreditation by either the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, and have recently awarded at least 35 BSN degrees.

UAMS graduated 108 BSN students in May 2020, with 5,311 total students having earned an undergraduate nursing degree. The College of Nursing, which was established in 1953, also offers a Master of Nursing Science degree, a Doctor of Nursing Practice program and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Nursing.

Moving forward, Cowan said the program faculty will continue to find innovative approaches in teaching, research and service.

“Faculty are working on a more holistic admission process to promote diversity and inclusion in our program,” she said.

The College of Nursing will also implement NexGen NCLEX prep, new American Association of Colleges of Nursing essentials, and competency-based assessments to prepare students to meet the challenges of evolving health care, she said.

UAMS is the state's only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS' clinical enterprise. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,275 students, 890 medical residents and fellows, and five dental residents. It is the state's largest public employer with more than 12,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children's, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit or Find us on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), YouTube or Instagram.