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Registered nurses (RNs) play a critical role within the healthcare system. An RN must possess knowledge across a wide range of subjects in order to plan, implement, and assess patient care. As an RN, you aren’t only responsible for caring for individual patients, but also for managing a team of other nurses, nursing assistants, and support staff in hospitals, schools, and patient residences. As an RN you’re often on your feet, so you must be able to withstand a considerable amount of standing and walking.

In Arkansas, there are three types of RN programs available. The least common way to get into an RN program today is by first becoming a diploma nurse. Diploma nurses were common from World War II until the mid-1970s. This program requires students attend classes and receive hands-on training, working full time for approximately three years in medical facilities associated with nursing schools. The second, more common option is to pursue an associate of applied science degree in nursing, which is a two-year program that trains students for careers as RNs and prepares them to pass the national certification exam. The third educational option is to pursue a bachelor of science degree in nursing, which is a four-year, hands-on program that prepares you well for your RN career.

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In Arkansas, the statewide average salary for RNs is between $45,690 and $65,590, with a slightly higher range of $48,190 to $70,020 in the Little Rock area. There are approximately 23,480 RNs employed in the state of Arkansas, with around 9,550 working in Little Rock alone. There are some major employers within the state, including Tenet Health and the Department of Veterans Affairs. If that doesn’t convince you of the opportunities available, maybe this will: according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nursing is among the top ten occupations with the largest job growth.

Registered nursing is a rewarding and lucrative profession with plenty of demand, and it’s in a field that continues to grow. If you’re an aspiring RN, below you’ll find a list of accredited registered nursing programs in Arkansas.

Featured Schools

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Fayetteville / Springdale / Rogers area

NorthWest Arkansas Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 94.2% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
University of Arkansas
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 90.1% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2018)
School Program NCLEX score Time period
NorthWest Arkansas Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 94.2% 2008 to 2012
University of Arkansas
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 90.1% 2008 to 2018

Little Rock

University of Central Arkansas
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 91.3% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
  • Direct Entry MSN
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 90.8% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2018)
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 90.0% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
Baptist Health College Little Rock
  • Diploma in Nursing: 86.0% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
School Program NCLEX score Time period
University of Central Arkansas
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 91.3% 2008 to 2012
Direct Entry MSN
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 90.8% 2008 to 2018
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Associate's Degree in Nursing 90.0% 2008 to 2012
Baptist Health College Little Rock
Diploma in Nursing 86.0% 2008 to 2012

Other Arkansas cities

National Park College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 92.7% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
Harding University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 90.7% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2018)
  • Direct Entry MSN
Southeast Arkansas College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 90.4% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
Arkansas Rural Nursing Education Consortium
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 89.9% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
Jefferson Regional Medical Center School of Nursing
  • Diploma in Nursing: 89.5% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
University of Arkansas at Monticello
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 88.9% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 82.0% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
University of Arkansas Community College - Batesville
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 88.5% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
University of Arkansas at Fort Smith
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 88.1% NCLEX pass rate (2011 through 2012)
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 81.4% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
Arkansas Tech University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 87.7% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
North Arkansas College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 87.2% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 86.5% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
Arkansas State University
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 86.3% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 82.3% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
College of the Ouachitas
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 84.7% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
Southern Arkansas University
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 83.7% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
East Arkansas Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 81.3% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
Arkansas Northeastern College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 77.7% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
Henderson State University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 74.7% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 47.1% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2012)
Arkansas State University - Newport
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
Arkansas Tech University - Ozark
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
Black River Technical College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
Ozarka College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
Rich Mountain Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
South Arkansas Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
University of Arkansas Community College - Hope
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
University of Arkansas Community College - Morrilton
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
School Program NCLEX score Time period
National Park College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 92.7% 2008 to 2012
Harding University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 90.7% 2008 to 2018
Direct Entry MSN
Southeast Arkansas College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 90.4% 2008 to 2012
Arkansas Rural Nursing Education Consortium
Associate's Degree in Nursing 89.9% 2008 to 2012
Jefferson Regional Medical Center School of Nursing
Diploma in Nursing 89.5% 2008 to 2012
University of Arkansas at Monticello
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 88.9% 2008 to 2012
Associate's Degree in Nursing 82.0% 2008 to 2012
University of Arkansas Community College - Batesville
Associate's Degree in Nursing 88.5% 2008 to 2012
University of Arkansas at Fort Smith
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 88.1% 2011 to 2012
Associate's Degree in Nursing 81.4% 2008 to 2012
Arkansas Tech University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 87.7% 2008 to 2012
North Arkansas College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 87.2% 2008 to 2012
Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas
Associate's Degree in Nursing 86.5% 2008 to 2012
Arkansas State University
Associate's Degree in Nursing 86.3% 2008 to 2012
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 82.3% 2008 to 2012
College of the Ouachitas
Associate's Degree in Nursing 84.7% 2008 to 2012
Southern Arkansas University
Associate's Degree in Nursing 83.7% 2008 to 2012
East Arkansas Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 81.3% 2008 to 2012
Arkansas Northeastern College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 77.7% 2008 to 2012
Henderson State University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 74.7% 2008 to 2012
University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 47.1% 2008 to 2012
Arkansas State University - Newport
Associate's Degree in Nursing
Arkansas Tech University - Ozark
Associate's Degree in Nursing
Black River Technical College
Associate's Degree in Nursing
Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas
Associate's Degree in Nursing
Ozarka College
Associate's Degree in Nursing
Rich Mountain Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing
South Arkansas Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing
University of Arkansas Community College - Hope
Associate's Degree in Nursing
University of Arkansas Community College - Morrilton
Associate's Degree in Nursing