3 Best Arkansas Nurse Practitioner Programs + Requirements

It is understood that there is a significant requirement for Nurse Practitioners (NPs) in Arkansas. Indeed, at the last count by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2012, there were just 800 licensed NPs in the state. Additionally, there are currently seven counties in Arkansas that are designated as Primary Healthcare Professional Shortage Area, which points to areas where there is less than one physician for every 5,000 residents. This shortage is felt most strongly in the more rural areas of Arkansas, where demand is also highest.

The Nurse Practice Act of Arkansas has determined that an NP must enter into a collaboration agreement with a licensed physician, and they must work under their direction. They may also work directed by protocols that were developed by licensed physicians. The annual salary for an NP in Arkansas is, on average, $85,890. NPs are regulated by the Advanced Practice Council of the Arkansas Nurses Association.

If you are considering becoming a Nurse Practitioner in Arkansas, you have three schools to choose from at present. It is recommended that you contact each of these schools in order to determine which one is best suited to you personal needs and requirements. Below are some preliminary information on each of these schools to help you get started in your search.

1. Arkansas State University

The programs offered at Arkansas State University are designed to help create experts in the field of nursing. They have a variety of programs for you to choose from depending on your previous experience and education. The school expects its students to be fully committed to their continuous professional education and therefore encourage them to continue on to their doctoral degree, which the school also offers.

• Campus: Jonesboro, Arkansas
• Type: Public
• Accreditation: ACEN
• Tuition: $3,719 for 12 hours for in-state students or $6,647 for out of state students
• Minimum time commitment: 45 credit hours for FNP, 41 credit hours for DNP
• Online availability: Some
• Degree requirements: BSN degree, RN license, GPA of 2.75 minimum, statistics course, CPR certification, health assessment course
• Programs: MSN Family Nurse Practitioner and DNP, Post Master’s Certification
• School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid

2. University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences offers a huge variety of specialization options for the aspiring nurse practitioner. Additionally, students are encouraged to be committed to their continuous professional education, and faculty will prepare them for a DNP degree. The degree itself is also offered at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Graduates of this university are in incredibly high demand. Additionally, students often try to seek employment within the university itself, which is the largest public health employer in the state.

• Campus: Little Rock, Arkansas
• Type: Public
• Accreditation: CCNE
• Tuition: Varies depending on length of program and student’s personal situation
• Minimum time commitment: Varies depending on chosen pathway
• Online availability: Yes
• Degree requirements: Varies depending on chosen pathway
• Programs: MSNc Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (Acute Care and Primary Care), Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (Primary Care and Acute Care), Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner. DNP
• School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid

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3. University of Central Arkansas

The University of Central Arkansas offers a huge range of degree programs for those who want to become a nurse practitioner. This includes degrees at doctoral level and at master’s level. The courses are designed to ensure that nurses are able to specialize regardless of the area of nursing they are most interested in themselves. Additionally, the university offers pathways for students who currently hold a master’s degree in a non-nursing related field, or to those who have an MSN but want to branch out into a different specialization.

• Campus: Conway, Arkansas
• Type: Public
• Accreditation: CCNE
• Tuition: Varies depending on chosen pathway and personal circumstances
• Minimum time commitment: Varies depending on chosen pathway
• Online availability: No
• Degree requirements: Accredited BSN, RN license, GPA of 2.7 minimum, statistics course, GRE, TOEFL if applicable. For DNP and Post-Masters’s, students must also hold a master’s degree.
• Programs: MSN Nurse Practitioner – Primary Care Adult Gerontology, Primary Care Family. Post Master’s Certificates or 2nd Degree Options. DNP
• School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid