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2019 NURSES GUIDE

THE C AR E E R FO R A LI F E T I M E A SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT OF THE ARKANSAS TIMES


Be a Champion Be a Champion Be a Champion for Children! Be a Champion for Children! for Children! for Children! Work with a team that has ® Recognition achieved Magnet Work with a team that has Work with a team that has for excellence in® Recognition patient care. achieved Magnet ®that Work with a team has Recognition achieved Magnet ® Recognition forNurses excellence in in patient care. achieved for excellence patient care. at ArkansasMagnet Children’s Hospital Experience: •for A focus on safety for employees, patients and families excellence in patient Nurses at Arkansas Children’s Hospital Experience:care.

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We champion children by making them better today and healthier tomorrow. We champion children by making them better today and healthier tomorrow. We champion children by making them better today and healthier tomorrow.

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MEET THE SCHOOL & HOSPITAL RECRUITERS

Ken Duncan, Recruiter, Conway Joni Stephenson, Recruiter, Manager April Robinson, Recruiter, Little Rock Hospitals Whitney Brewer, Recruiter, North Little Rock Hospital Kelli Hopkins, Recruiter, Regional Hospitals (not pictured) Baptist Health Medical Center Our belief at Baptist Health is that we are a healing ministry. We provide quality patient care services to all Arkansans with a caring and comforting heart. That is why we are Arkansans’ choice for their health care needs. We have a variety of nursing opportunities, from a Level III NICU to a 90-bed Critical Care area. Baptist Health offers top quality benefits for employees. We look for nurses who think critically and are compassionate and service-oriented. We want to offer a “World Class” environment for everyone. Please apply online at baptist-health.com.

Brenda Trigg, DNP, GNP, RN, CNE Director of Nursing Ouachita Baptist University, Arkadelphia Our innovative dual degree RN-to-BSN program pairs the strengths of Ouachita Baptist University with the strengths of Baptist Health College Little Rock. Ouachita is a nationally-ranked liberal arts college founded in 1886 with a mission of fostering a love of God and a love of learning. And Baptist Health College Little Rock is a recognized leader in health care education since 1920 and an integral part of Baptist Health, the largest health care system in Arkansas. Learn how you can earn two degrees (AAS & BSN) in 4 years at obu. edu/nursing or call (870) 245-5110.

*use same photo Michelle S. Odom, RN, MSN (pictured, third from left) Director of Recruitment and Retention Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Little Rock Children are at the center of everything we do. Arkansas Children’s is the only hospital system in the state solely dedicated to caring for children, which allows our organization to uniquely shape the landscape of pediatric care in Arkansas. As Champions for Children, Arkansas Children’s Hospital has joined the elite 6 percent of hospitals in the world that have Magnet Status. Arkansas Children’s offers a wide range of opportunities for nurses, from direct patient care to staff education, research, administration, nursing informatics and much more! To learn more about a rewarding career serving as a Champion for Children, visit www.archildrens.org or call us at (501) 364-1398

Terri McKown Arkansas Tech University (ATU) Department of Nursing offers many options to acquire nursing licensure. We work with you and for you to achieve the career choice you desire. From Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) or an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) at our sister campus in Ozark, to a pre-licensure Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Registered Nursing (RN) degree in Russellville. Want more? We offer bridge programs for working men and women to achieve a higher level of education: LPN to BSN at our Russellville campus, or our ADN to BSN online. Come tour our Simulation Labs—we have SimMom, SimNewB, SimBaby, SimMan, multiple Nurse Anne’s, and much more! ATU’s nursing faculty are experts in their field adding breadth and depth to both your classroom and clinical education. Come join us at ATU...where “Every Student Counts.” A SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT OF THE ARKANSAS TIMES

Gigi Flory Nursing Recruiter Jefferson Regional Medical Center, Pine Bluff Jefferson Regional Medical Center serves a 10-county area, so our nurses must be prepared for a busy and diverse patient base.  From neurology to cardiology, from surgery to orthopaedics, JRMC has a medical staff that represents 25 different specialties, so our program offers many different nursing opportunities for our staff to experience. We pride ourselves on patient-centered care and a family atmosphere among our employees, and we go the extra mile to help our nurses be the best they can be.  JRMC provides competitive pay and benefits, including additional compensation for nurses with advanced degrees, and a six-month nurse residency program for nurses just out of school. Your success is our success, and it all benefits our patients, who are the reason we are all in the health care profession. If you’re interested in a nursing career at JRMC, contact me at florygi@jrmc.org. ARKANSASTIMES.COM

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MEET THE SCHOOL & HOSPITAL RECRUITERS

Caitlin Castellani, BSN, RN-BC Nurse Recruiter Conway Regional Health System, Conway At Conway Regional Health System, we are accountable to the community to provide high quality, compassionate health care services. We are very proud to have received numerous awards and quality rankings for the care and compassion provided to our patients. In 2018, we recognized over 200 employees as exceptional performers based upon their achievements in the field. We have also been recognized as one of the Best Places to Work in Arkansas as well as a Best Place to Work in the Nation by Modern Healthcare. We are always looking for exceptional performers who are dedicated to providing excellent care. We offer a smaller patient-to-nurse ratio than can be found in most metro hospitals along with a family atmosphere, career growth opportunities and tuition reimbursement. We are also on the Magnet Journey. Positions are available in a variety of areas including Critical Care, Surgery, Oncology, Medical/Surgical and Women’s Services. If you would like to join the Conway Regional Family, please visit our website at www.conwayregional.org. You may also contact Caitlin at Caitlin.castellani@ conwayregional.org or (501) 513-5198.

Jennifer Yarberry Chief Nursing Officer Pinnacle Pointe Behavioral Healthcare System, Little Rock Pinnacle Pointe Behavioral Healthcare System is committed to consistently delivering a system of quality behavioral health care with integrity to children and adolescents in concert with their parents, caregivers, guardians and community professionals. The team at Pinnacle Pointe Hospital is both passionate and highly experienced. Our dedication to the highest standard of quality helped us attain the prestigious Governor’s Quality Achievement Award. This award recognizes Pinnacle Pointe Hospital’s commitment and practice of quality principles through a thorough process of excellence. Visit our website to apply: pinnaclepointehospital.com/career-opportunities/

Ashley Davis, MNSc, RN, PhD(c) Executive Director Arkansas Center for Nursing, Inc. The Arkansas Center for Nursing was started by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2011 in response to the recommendations that were published in the Institute of Medicine’s “Future of Nursing” report. The ACN was established to promote a culture of health for the citizens of Arkansas by advancing nursing education, practice, leadership and workforce development. CAN offers several different leadership training programs in working toward their mission to empower and equip the current and future nursing workforce, including the 40 Nurse Leaders Under 40 award program and the BSN Young Leaders program. Individual membership of ACN is free. You can find membership information, as well as information regarding ACN programs and workforce reports, on their website, www.arcenterfornursing.org.

2019 NURSES GUIDE PUBLISHER Alan Leveritt

NURSES GUIDE EDITOR Dwain Hebda CREATIVE DIRECTOR Mandy Keener DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL STRATEGY Jordan Little ADVERTISING ART DIRECTOR Mike Spain GRAPHIC DESIGNER Katie Hassell DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING Phyllis A. Britton ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Brooke Wallace, Lee Major, and Terrell Jacob ADVERTISING ASSISTANT Hannah Peacock ADVERTISING TRAFFIC MANAGER Roland R. Gladden IT DIRECTOR Robert Curfman CIRCULATION DIRECTOR Anitra Hickman CONTROLLER Weldon Wilson BILLING/COLLECTIONS Linda Phillips PRODUCTION MANAGER Ira Hocut (1954-2009) 4 SEPTEMBER 2019

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Belinda Nix Academic Counselor UA Little Rock For over 50 years, the UA Little Rock Department of Nursing has inspired and guided individuals toward the dynamic profession of nursing. Our faculty and staff are dedicated to improving the health care of all Arkansans by educating professional, thoughtful and compassionate nurses. We offer an Associate of Applied Science (AAS), BSN, LNP/Paramedic to RN and online BSN completion program. Our advice for students is to take ownership and get as much information as possible about the nursing profession and degree options. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Do this early and often! Visit: www.ualr.edu/nursing or email bknix@ualr.edu for additional information.

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Ava Coleman, M.S. Assistant Director of Student Services Assistant Director of Enrollment College of Nursing University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock UAMS is the only health science center in Arkansas and one of the region’s largest. It includes five colleges (Nursing, Medicine, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health) and a graduate school along with a hospital, statewide network of regional centers, affiliations with Arkansas Children’s Hospital and Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System, and seven UAMS institutes where clinical, academic and research resources are focused on specific diseases or conditions. The UAMS College of Nursing provides bachelor’s, master’s (MNSc), Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs to more than 800 students. There are online programs to help existing RNs earn their BSN or MNSc. The college is engaged in activities and interprofessional partnerships across all UAMS colleges that promote scholarly excellence, research and service to the university nursing profession and society. Recruiting for UAMS College of Nursing is more than informing the prospective student about our programs. It is about introducing them to a career field that allows them to be lifelong learners and caregivers. We do more than just educate nursing students, we prepare them to care for the total patient and their families. For more information on our programs, contact us at 501-686-5224, by email at conadmissions@ uams.edu or visit our website at www.nursing. uams.edu.

Libby Stell, RN, BSN Nurse Recruiter Susan Erickson, RN, MNSc, BC-NA, CHCR Senior Nurse Recruiting Manager UAMS Whether just graduated, pursuing a second career or looking for a new work family, nurses have a servant’s heart, providing care and compassion to those who need healing. That’s why nurses are the heart of UAMS, caring for patients and their families each and every day to provide the very best health care with our team of providers. By joining Team UAMS, you will get the unique experience of working in the state’s only academic medical center. You and your immediate family can also enjoy a generous tuition discount of up to 50% throughout the UA System. In addition to competitive salary and benefits, including 11 paid holidays with separate sick and vacation accruals, UAMS provides up to a 10% percent match to retirement savings – five times what many employers offer. To join the more than 11,000 people who have made a career for life, log onto nurses.uams.edu or join our Facebook page @UAMSNurses.

Rose Schlosser, M.Ed., Articulation Programs, MSN, BSN to DNP and Post-Master’s DNP;Susan Wood, M.S., BSN Education Counselor; Jessica Burks, M.A.. BSN Education Counselor University of Central Arkansas The University of Central Arkansas School of nursing is committed to educating students at the undergraduate and graduate levels as leaders in the delivery of quality health care and the advancement of the nursing profession. We offer both online and on-campus programs to accommodate the needs of our diverse student populations: the on-campus BSN, online completion programs RN to BSN, the online MSN, Nurse Educator and Clinical nurse Leader tracks, as well as the Post-Master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice and BSN to DNP (Family Nurse Practitioner). Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) students must come to campus for a few preplanned events. Whether students are looking for the traditional college experience or to advance their current degree, UCA School of Nursing is an affordable, high-quality option with award-winning results. For more information, please visit www.uca.edu/nursing.

Janice Ivers, MSN, RN, CNE Dean of Nursing & Health Sciences National Park College National Park College is in the business of changing lives, one student at a time! Choosing nursing as a career can change the trajectory of an individual’s life as well as their family’s lives. We offer a Practical Nursing program and a Registered Nursing program with a traditional track, as well as LPN to RN options. National Park College nursing programs have offered an Associate of Science in Nursing degree since 1976 and a Practical Nursing Certificate since 1958. Whether you just graduated from high school or are changing careers, National Park College can help you meet your goals. Application period for traditional entry begins in January and runs through the first Monday in March for fall admission. Please go to our website www.np.edu for more detailed admissions information. We would love to meet with you and get you on the path to meeting your education and career goals. For more information on our programs please contact the Division of Nursing at (501) 760-4290 or email at jivers@np.edu. At National Park College, student success is our focus! A SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT OF THE ARKANSAS TIMES

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MAKING THE ROUNDS HOW TO FUND YOUR EDUCATION

Nursing students work through the day’s simulation exercise at Arkansas Tech University in Russellville.

Higher education isn’t cheap, but there are ways to help take some of the sting out of going to college. Here are some strategies: 1. GET GOOD ADVICE ON THE FRONT END Sound advising is imperative when pursuing a nursing education. Not all programs have the same entry requirements, so take your time and make sure you understand the prerequisites or what will be accepted when you transfer credits.

ARKANSAS TECH OPENS NEW EDUCATIONAL UNIT Arkansas Tech University in Russellville recently opened a new Dedicated Education Unit at Saint Mary’s Medical Center there. The DEU, a medical surgical unit on the fourth floor of the hospital, provides a unique educational opportunity. Hospital staff nurses have been trained on course objectives and help lead students’ training. “Nursing programs are continually looking for methods to enhance student learning and clinical experiences, while health care organizations are seeking opportunities to retain experienced nurses,” said Dr. Terri McKown, professor of nursing at ATU. “The DEU teaching model has existed nearly 20 years and is

currently utilized by other nursing programs in different states, but hasn’t been implemented in Arkansas to date.” Each clinical teacher from Saint Mary’s nursing staff is paired with two ATU nursing students, and each nursing student in the program is assigned two patients. The clinical teachers are granted a reduced patient load by Saint Mary’s so they can provide training while maintaining high-quality care. The initiative has gone over so well, ATU will roll out additional DEUs at Chambers Memorial Hospital in Danville and Johnson County Regional Medical Center in Clarksville this academic year.

CARELINK SERVES A GROWING SENIOR POPULATION IN CENTRAL ARKANSAS One of the fastest-growing areas of nursing is in elder care, as a large percentage of the population continues to age in record numbers. At the forefront of providing services to this population in Central Arkansas is CareLink, a nonprofit agency observing its 40th anniversary in 2019. CareLink is one of eight Area Agencies on Aging in Arkansas, which makes it a busy touchpoint for seniors in the community and their families, connecting them to various services. Among these services is helping homebound seniors meet the challenges of aging to stay independent as long as possible. “Many times, people will look to assisted living facilities and nursing homes for help, because they don’t know of other options,” said Meredith Hale, marketing and outreach manager. “Day after day, we encounter people who don’t even know where to begin with this stage of life. We want to be there at all stages of life, if possible.” CareLink’s HomeCare team includes health care professionals ranging from personal care attendants to registered nurses. These individuals work together to assess pa6 SEPTEMBER 2019

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tients and provide the care a person needs. CareLink provides training to caregivers who do not hold certified nursing assistant or RN credentials. And, the organization provides respite care, giving family members a break from their caregiving responsibilities. Among its many other services, CareLink partners with senior centers to help seniors maintain contact with others, a critical factor in overall wellness and quality of life. “Maybe a man recently lost his wife and she handled all the cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, as well as provided companionship,” Hale said. “Thanks to our services, his family doesn’t have to worry about him eating TV dinners for every meal and the house being a wreck and he’s all alone. In reality, he just needs a little help and a means to connect. And we can be the help he needs.” To start a meaningful nursing career or to inquire about services for yourself or a loved one, contact CareLink today! CareLink, 501-372-5300, 800-482-6359 TYY 71, carelink.org A SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT OF THE ARKANSAS TIMES

2. FINANCIAL AID IS OUT THERE Just like any other college or university, financial aid is available for nursing students. Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is imperative. NerdWallet reported 2017 high school graduates left $2.3 billion in financial aid on the table simply because 40 percent of them didn’t complete this form. https://studentaid. ed.gov/ga/fafsa 3. CHECK OUT TWO-YEAR SCHOOLS Arkansas’s excellent two-year schools typically offer lower tuition and may be closer to home than the nearest four-year institution. Several two-year schools have accelerated LPN-to-RN agreements with other Arkansas colleges and universities for those who want to finish their bachelor’s degree. 4. HIGH SCHOOLERS, START EARLY If your high school has a concurrent credit arrangement with a local college or university, take advantage of it. In a nutshell, these programs provide an opportunity to get a jump on college coursework before graduating high school, at little to no cost to the student. Some Arkansas kids are even graduating high school having already earned their associate’s degree. 5. SERVE YOUR COUNTRY The military offers free nursing career training for men and women on active duty, in the reserves and National Guard. Plus, the armed forces offer generous tuition assistance for pursuing advanced degrees. All of this plus the leadership opportunities and hands-on experience that comes with life in the military.


CENTENNIAL BANK’S CENTS TO WIN PROMOTION PROVES IT PAYS TO SAVE Centennial Bank is offering a new service exclusively for Arkansas customers: CENTS to Win, a Prize Linked Savings Promotion Raffle. Designed to promote wider saving among its customers, the program provides incentives in the way of prizes to all eligible account holders. When it comes to financial health, studies show few Americans have adequate savings. Centennial Bank’s program reinforces the idea that it’s never too early or too late to start learning the benefits of saving. Customers who open a CENTS to Win account and meet program requirements are automatically entered to win weekly and monthly prizes ranging from $25 to $100. And one fortunate raffle winner will be rewarded with the annual prize of $10,000. Arkansas residents need only open a Centennial Bank CENTS to Win Personal Savings Account with $100 minimum to start saving. New customers are encouraged to visit any Centennial Bank branch in Arkansas and ask to enroll in the CENTS to Win program. Centennial Bank savings accounts can be opened online or in-branch. Member FDIC. Please see my100bank. com/centstowin for official rules and more details.

UCA SCHOOL OF NURSING SOON TO GET A NEW HOME In response to growing interest in the health care fields, the University of Central Arkansas will begin construction of a new Integrated Health Sciences Building, to be opened in the fall of 2021. The building will be the new home of the School of Nursing, the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and an Interprofessional Teaching Center. “This new building will allow us to grow the size of our nursing program immediately,” said Dr. Susan Gatto, director and associate professor in the UCA School of Nursing. The Integrated Health Sciences Building will better facilitate interprofessional teaching experiences, research and health care services, meaning students will be provided with clinical and simulation experiences that require collaboration with all majors in the college. “The first floor will be an interprofessional

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teaching center where all of these students can be educated in an environment where they’re working alongside each other instead of independently,” said Jimmy Ishee, the college’s dean. “We’re trying to create that environment here at UCA where those health care professionals are educated in an environment that they’ll be working in when they actually go out into the health care arena.” The third floor of the building will house the Nabholz Center for Healthcare Simulation. This lab will feature state-of-the-art equipment to provide a lifelike experience for students. The other two floors will have office space for faculty and staff and classrooms. The 80,000-square-foot, four-story structure will be located at Western and Bruce streets, and completed at a cost of almost $43 million. The project is paid for through a combination of bonds and donations made through a fundraising campaign.

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Heather Bound talks to her grandmother before her special pinning ceremony, presented by UAMS College of Nursing staff.

MAKENZIE EVANS

KATIE COX SEES PATIENTS THROUGH A MOTHER’S EYES

TWO UNCONVENTIONAL PINNINGS BY SPENCER WATSON For many new nurses, the unique pin traditionally given out just before graduation by colleges of nursing represents their true, symbolic entry into the profession. So it was with some dismay that two of this year’s UAMS College of Nursing graduates had to miss the official pinning ceremony May 15. Sarah Guarnieri missed because she was having a baby, and Heather Bound missed because a special relative was in the hospital. “I’d just had my baby two days before the pinning ceremony,” said Guarnieri, whose original due date had been May 20, two days after commencement. She knew ahead of time that things could get complicated, but she’d intended to make the pinning for her bachelor’s degree in nursing. “Pinning was the big deal to me,” she said. When the baby came early, Guarnieri posted pictures on social media with a graduation cap and smiley face emojis, wishing her classmates well and telling them she’d be there in spirit. Shortly after, she got a message from Dr. Leah Richardson, RN, who’d been one of her teachers at the college. “She sent a message asking if we could get together sometime to do the pinning,” Guarnieri said. “She offered to come out to my house, but I said we’d already be out and about on May 20 with a pediatric checkup, so I came to the college.” There, with most of the faculty, administration and her husband and new daughter in attendance, Guarnieri was pinned on what had originally been her due date. For Bound, the complications were more unexpected. “I live with and care for my grandparents, who are more like parents to me than anything. Starting in March, my grandmother be8 SEPTEMBER 2019

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gan having multiple strokes. On May 9, she had one that put her out pretty bad,” Bound explained. After that incident, Bound’s grandmother was in the hospital and unresponsive, unable to talk or eat. Bound called Leslie McCormack, clinical instructor, and explained the situation She asked to be excused from the pinning ceremony. About half an hour later, McCormack called back and asked if it would be OK to come pin Bound at the hospital with her grandmother. Emotionally, Bound said yes. “On the day we’d picked out, I went to the hospital with a few invited friends and family. I got a photographer to take pictures, because I wanted my grandmother to have those pictures if she should awake again,” Bound said. “I was in the hallway when the elevators opened, and pretty much the entire faculty of the College of Nursing was there. I can’t explain what that meant to me. It was pretty special to see all of them there.” “I think [her grandmother] knew it was happening. We’d been telling her for a few days what was going to happen, but we weren’t sure if it was registering, because she had been unresponsive. Then the day before, she kind of opened her eyes and spoke a little.” Bound said even her stoic grandfather shed a few tears, and still does today when he proudly tells the story. Most importantly, her grandmother—who has since woken up and started her recovery—got to be there for the ceremony. “On the day they came, I don’t know if she opened her eyes, but when I told her my teachers were there and were about to pin me, she started crying,” Bound said. “So, I think she knew what was happening.” A SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT OF THE ARKANSAS TIMES

When Katie Cox welcomed her fraternal twins into the world in 2015, the babies were born with Long QT Syndrome, a heart rhythm condition that can potentially cause fast, chaotic heartbeats resulting in fainting spells, seizure or, in severe cases, even death. “[The condition] didn’t show up on any prenatal assessments, but the nursery nurse at Conway Regional noticed a drop in Carter’s heart rate and requested an EKG,” Cox said. “After identifying it as Long QT Syndrome, she was flown to ACH (Arkansas Children’s Hospital). Shortly after, (the other twin) John received an EKG and was diagnosed with Long QT as well. Genetics testing confirmed it.” The expertise of the nurse likely saved the infants’ lives and allowed the Cox family to take measures to bring the condition under control. “When they were released, they were given a 50 percent chance of survival to their first birthday,” Cox said. “They currently take medications three times a day to help control their QT interval and are doing well. We must carry two AEDs with us everywhere we go in case of a fatal arrhythmia, but they are getting ready to celebrate their fourth birthday.” Cox, who has been a nurse for 11 years and works for Conway Regional, knew from a young age that she wanted a career in health care. But the experience with her twins helped refine her nursing skills in ways no classroom ever could. “I feel it has been a help,” she said. “Instead of just seeing things through a nursing perspective, I can now also empathize with patients through a parent perspective as well. I understand their feelings and can better help meet their needs as they go through so many emotions.” “I have also learned patience and communication are key. It is important for me to understand that when faced with adversity, patients will have a wide variety of emotions and responses. It is important for me to listen and understand and guide them through these emotions. Being patient and having open communication helps tremendously.”


“I LEARNED TO ALLOW MYSELF TO FEEL THE EMOTIONS, BUT TO ALSO SHIELD MYSELF WITH HEALTHY STRESS-REDUCING ACTIVITIES AND TO SEEK GUIDANCE FROM A MENTOR.” —DR. SLOAN DAVIDSON, CHAIRPERSON, DEPARTMENT OF NURSING, UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS AT LITTLE ROCK UAMS PROFESSOR EXPLORES LINK BETWEEN POVERTY AND HEALTH

CODY HOBBY INSPIRES OTHERS TO GET INTO NURSING Cody Hobby didn’t start out from a long line of nurses in his family, but since he’s been on this path, he’s making up for lost time. It all started while he was attending the University of Central Arkansas in Conway. “I was going to UCA where I was pre-med with biology and chemistry,” he said. “One of my brother’s girlfriends talked to me about [nursing]. I never really knew what they did, so I was like, ‘Oh, I might be interested in that.’” “I talked to one of my good friends at the time, and he said, ‘One of my friends is doing her nursing degree right now, I’ll give you her number and you can call her.’ So I talked to her and then I was like, yup, I think that’s what I want to do.” Hobby didn’t just find a new career path; he found a new life partner as the nursing student who talked to him about the profession later became his wife. After finishing one year at UCA, Hobby enrolled in National Park College’s nursing program, where he earned an associate’s degree, then headed to Arkansas State University in Jonesboro where he finished his bachelor’s degree and is now studying for a master’s degree as a certified registered nurse anesthetist. As he’s worked to complete his own education, he’s inspired many of his family members to get into nursing as well. Two of his younger brothers have followed in his footsteps. In addition, his wife, Aubrie, completed her RN training, as did her sister. He said having so many nurses in his immediate family is welcome support after a tough day, especially Aubrie. “I can tell her about my day and she is able to completely understand what I’m going through because she goes through the same every day,” he said. “A lot of times, patients and families don’t think how taking care of their family impacts your life and how you take it home. We carry the emotional burden of that as well. It’s a stressful position.” “I’ve seen a lot of death, more than I ever expected. I know that patients and their families, it’s a really stressful time for them, but it’s stressful for us as well.” Despite this, Hobby derives a lot of satisfaction from his chosen profession. “Knowing that you can be there for a patient when they’re at their absolute low and being able to comfort them and their family makes it all worth it,” he said. 10 SEPTEMBER 2019

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Just five years into what is today a 37-year nursing career, Leanne Lefler, Ph.D., associate professor with the UAMS College of Nursing, tried to go to graduate school for the first time. She failed due to the demands of her young family, but the questions she sought to answer through higher education never faded away. Years later, after working in cardiovascular, cardiac and intensive critical care units, she took another run at her master’s degree, earned it, and went on to complete her Ph.D. in Nursing Sciences. At last, she could tackle some of the questions about community health that had laid dormant for so long. “I wanted to do research that could help people,” she said. “I was very interested in wellness and promoting cardiovascular wellness in older adults. I also wanted to reduce disparities in populations of color and try to reach people where they are.” “I am especially interested in those that need the most help—the poor, the marginalized and rural older adults struggling with chronic illness.” Selected by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as a Culture of Health Breakthrough Nurse Leader, she landed two grants to help teach about poverty, equity and the social determinates of health. With the support of the UAMS Offices of Educational Development and Interprofessional Education, she purchased a Poverty Simulation Kit as a teaching tool. “The simulation experience is an immersion into a life of poverty,” she said. “It teaches students and community members what it is like living in poverty and trying to take care of your health and that of your families.” In a recent pilot, about 70 interprofessional UAMS students took on the identities of families who are struggling with poverty and health. Students were subjected to situations where they could not feed their families or were evicted from their homes. She said the impact on them was profound, even though they knew it wasn’t real. “Our team hopes that we can help health care students internalize and integrate this information into their practices going forward,” Lefler said. “In this way, they can better care for all of their patients, especially the poor and marginalized.”

“ALLOWING A PATIENT TO DIE WITH DIGNITY WHILE GIVING THE FAMILY COMFORT IS ONE OF THE GREATEST THINGS WE AS NURSES CAN DO. WE HAVE THE POWER TO MAKE AN EMOTIONAL EVENT SO MUCH MORE BEARABLE FOR THE FAMILY WITH EVEN THE SIMPLEST OF GESTURES.” —KAREN BLUE, CHAIRPERSON, AASN PROGRAM AND ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF NURSING, ARKANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF NURSING

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National Park College offers students a high-quality education and great value in Hot Springs.

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Ask anyone who’s done it and they will tell you: Nursing is at once the toughest and most rewarding field anyone can enter. And many of them also say there’s nothing else they’d rather do. “I love my job and enjoy working with my co-workers and putting a smile on a client’s face,” said Kim Martin, RN, with Conway Human Development Center. “The most difficult challenge is that the population I work with does not always present with textbook symptoms. I feel I am good at assessing clients who can’t always tell you where they hurt or if they hurt.” The first step in reaching your goal is to make one. Weigh the different levels of nursing education, understanding that the higher you go, the longer the overall process will take and cost. But in the end, you will also be able to command more in salary and benefits for having the additional education. “Most challenges in nursing, I have noticed, are within yourself,” Martin said. “Nontraditional students should keep in mind they deserve to be there just as much as the traditional student. And for anybody, if you feel like you’re neglecting your family to get this education, just know it will be worth it in the end.” CERTIFIED NURSING ASSISTANT (CNA) CNAs do not require a degree; candidates are required to earn a certificate and pass a competency exam, a process that can take as little as four to 12 weeks. Candidates are trained in basic infection control, taking vital signs and delivering personal care. In addition to working in hospitals, many CNAs work in nursing and residential care facilities. The range of actual health care jobs a CNA can perform is limited to wound dress12 SEPTEMBER 2019

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ing and taking vital signs, but the chance to interact with patients occurs daily. CNAs are not eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam.

the NCLEX-RN exam. While there are fewer of these programs than before, they can be found and are a popular option.

LICENSED PRACTICE NURSE (LPN) Students who want a fast route to the nursing field, may consider an LPN certificate. Generally attainable in one year and at minimal cost, LPNs get their foot in the door of the health care field quickly. LPNs are not eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN or for many of the entry level positions in hospitals, clinics and doctors’ offices. This means their career options and earning potential are limited. Some schools offer accelerated “bridge” education programs allowing LPNs to advance to higher degrees.

ASSOCIATE DEGREE IN NURSING (ADN) Associate programs are a step between a high school diploma and bachelor’s degree. They provide a quick, relatively inexpensive path to qualifying for the NCLEX-RN exam and entering the nursing workforce. A high school diploma or equivalent certificate such as a GED is usually all that’s required to enter an ADN program. ADN coursework is not necessarily any easier than that in other programs, but as it focuses on medical fundamentals, students can complete the degree in less time, on average in two to three years. ADNs can be at a disadvantage in hiring compared to a nurse with higher-level credentials, which is why some ADN nurses enroll in RN-to-BSN programs.

NURSING CERTIFICATE Registered nurse certificate programs are shortened nursing education curriculum for students who already understand core nursing competencies and have completed other nursing training such as licensed practical nurses. Certificate programs for registered nursing students feature classroom work mixed with clinical experiences and generally do not result in an associate’s degree, but may provide college credit. They can be completed in as little as one year. NURSING DIPLOMA Nursing diplomas are another accelerated path. Programs generally require a high school diploma or equivalent, and can be completed in one to three years. Coursework covers the core of the nursing profession as well as more advanced courses that broaden students’ knowledge. A nursing diploma may be earned for less money than other training options and entitles the students to sit for A SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT OF THE ARKANSAS TIMES

BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN NURSING (BSN) DEGREE It generally takes four years to earn a BSN, although summer classes can shorten that somewhat. Students pursuing BSN degrees are required to pass one or more prerequisite courses in their first and second year, such as pharmacology and health care ethics. Some schools offer an accelerated program that helps earn a degree faster. The curriculum focuses on a comprehensive introduction to the profession. Upon successful completion of the NCLEX-RN exam and licensure, BSN holders have a vast array of entry level jobs at their disposal, and during their career qualify for more advanced positions than ADNs or nursing diploma holders. From here, a nurse may enter the workforce or choose to pursue a Master of Science in Nursing or other grad-


uate-level credential, which further increases earning power and job options. MASTER OF SCIENCE NURSING DEGREE (MSN) A Master of Science in Nursing is a graduate degree that follows bachelor of nursing. Most MSN programs require a BSN for admission, though it is possible to find bridge programs that allow a jump from RN to MSN. The time commitment is generally two to three years to complete a master’s degree. Although it is an advanced degree that comes after several other steps in the education process, it is the entry level for the credentialing process for specialized professional practice positions, like advanced practice nurse or nurse practitioner. Nurses should approach master’s degree programs strategically, as the credential is not required for many roles in nursing, can be expensive to attain and is highly competitive. But if your goals include becoming a college educator, a nurse administrator or attaining your doctorate, a master’s degree is a must-have. DOCTORAL DEGREES The doctoral level is the highest level of education available in the field. Though some schools will accept students with a bachelor’s degree in nursing, most require applicants to

hold a master’s degree in nursing to enter a doctoral program. There are several doctoral degree paths a nurse can follow: Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) delivers practice-based training on the clinical applications of higher-level nursing knowledge. These degrees emphasize areas that support nursing leadership, such as systems management, quality improvement and data-driven decision-making. DNP requires three to six years to complete with course content focused on statistics and data analysis, leadership skills, advanced clinical skills and nursing philosophy. A DNP degree allows one to become a nurse practitioner. Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (Ph.D.) is similar to a DNP except where the DNP is a clinical degree, the Ph.D. is a research-focused degree. Ph.D. programs most often focus on original research and research methodology, with a final research project and defense of a dissertation. Unlike DNP graduates, Ph.D. graduates generally must pursue a post-graduate certificate to become a nurse practitioner. Doctor of Nursing Science (DNS) is another research-focused doctoral degree. Its similarity to the Ph.D. program has led many colleges to discontinue DNS-track curriculum. This means the DNS is less common than it once was.

WHAT’S A NURSE PRACTITIONER? Nurse practitioners are advanced practice nursing professionals who operate at a very high level of medical competence. Nurse practitioners rank below physicians but higher than staff nurses when it comes to their level of training and the range of medical tasks they are authorized to perform. NPCs hold at least a Master of Science in Nursing degree, have passed the NCLEXRN exam and have an active license. Day-to-day duties that NPs are qualified to perform are many. A sample includes taking verbal patient histories; ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests, including labs and imaging; prescribing medication; developing and managing treatment plans; diagnosing acute and chronic illnesses; and developing policies. Becoming an NP is desirable because of the higher rate of pay and increased job security. An NP is as close as a nurse can get to being a doctor without actually graduating from medical school. As such, health care systems look to hire NPs to help stretch medical services into more remote areas and will often pay a nurse’s education costs to increase the number of NPs on staff. What’s more, many nurses are able to complete NP training while still being employed full time.

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ALL PROGRAMS

The School of Nursing at the University of Central Arkansas is committed to educating undergraduate and graduate students to become leaders in delivering quality health care and advancing the profession of nursing.

DEGREE PROGRAMS

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The rigorous nursing program at Ouachita Baptist University has its students in high demand in Arkadelphia.

TOP 10 NURSING SPECIALTIES, 2019

It’s All New! ARKTIMES.COM

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts nursing overall will see a 15 percent increase in demand by 2026, even higher in certain specialties. Nurse Journal released its annual list of the best nursing specialties, based on salary, work setting and demand. The following are the top 10 choices from that list. All salary data sourced from Indeed.com.

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1. CERTIFIED DIALYSIS NURSE What is it? A certified dialysis nurse assists patients suffering from severe problems with their kidneys. Anticipated Growth: Up 26% by 2022 Average Salary: $63,500/year

6. NURSE EDUCATOR What is it? Nurse educators combine clinical expertise with a desire to teach student nurses at schools, universities and colleges. Anticipated Growth: Up 19% by 2022 Average Salary: $65,000/year

2. LEGAL NURSE CONSULTANT What is it? A certified legal nurse consultant consults law firms on medical lawsuits. Anticipated Growth: Up 26% by 2022 Average Salary: $62,100/year

7. NURSE PRACTITIONER What is it? Nurse practitioners provide primary and specialty care, often working collaboratively with a doctor, although some states allow NPs to operate their own clinics. Anticipated Growth: Up 25% by 2022 Average Salary: $94,000/year

3. NURSE MIDWIFE What is it? A nurse midwife delivers babies and provides health care before, during and after the birth for both mother and child. Anticipated Growth: Up 31% by 2022 Average Salary: $79,000/year 4. NURSE ANESTHETIST What is it? A nurse anesthetist provides surgical patients with anesthesia and assists in other ways in the operating room. Anticipated Growth: Up 22% by 2022 Average Salary: $154,300/year 5. NURSE CASE MANAGER What is it? A nurse care manager monitors the progress of patients, suggests alternative treatments and evaluates their care. Anticipated Growth: Up 26% by 2022 Average Salary: $68,032/year

8. NURSE RESEARCHER What is it? Nurse researchers create reports based on analysis and research gathered within the nursing field. Anticipated Growth: Up 26% by 2022 Average Salary: $90,000/year 9. INFORMATICS NURSE What is it? Informatics nurses provide data on health care to doctors, nurses, patients and other health care providers. They also train others on updated IT applications. Anticipated Growth: Up 26% by 2022 Average Salary: $83,000/year 10. ENDOCRINOLOGY PEDIATRIC NURSE What is it? These nurses help children suffering from diseases and disorders affecting the endocrine system. Anticipated Growth: Up 26% by 2022 Average Salary: $81,000/year

“AS A NURSE, I HAVE LEARNED PATIENTS OFTEN APPEAR TO BE DIFFICULT WHEN REALLY THEY ARE JUST EXPRESSING EMOTIONS THEY DON’T KNOW HOW TO DEAL WITH AND ARE TRYING TO REASSERT CONTROL IN THEIR LIFE. IF YOU GIVE THEM THE OPPORTUNITY TO VENT AND ACKNOWLEDGE THEIR INSECURITY, YOU ARE OFTEN ABLE TO ESTABLISH A BETTER RAPPORT AND A MORE THERAPEUTIC RELATIONSHIP.” —KAREN REYNOLDS, APRN , HOMETOWN HEALTHCARE A SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT OF THE ARKANSAS TIMES


WHY I’M A NURSE MOM KNOWS BEST Fermin Renteria, clinical assistant professor with UAMS College of Nursing, was nearing his discharge from the U.S. Army Airborne infantry and plotting his next move. He’d become certified as an Emergency Medical Technician-Basic and was planning to attend paramedic school after his hitch was up. While home on leave, Renteria visited the home of his best friend from high school. While there, he got into a discussion about his future with his friend’s mother. The discussion was short, sweet and changed the course of Renteria’s life. “While discussing my post-discharge plans, my friend’s mother said ‘Yes, Fermin, you could go to paramedic school and when it’s hot or cold or raining or snowing you’ll be outside in it sweating, freezing, getting rained or snowed on. Or, you could go to nursing school and have a roof over your head, heating and air conditioning,’” Renteria said. “After spending most of the previous four years in the field getting rained on, snowed on, or hot or cold, that statement really struck a chord with me and I made the decision to go to nursing school. I have been a nurse for 20 years.”

“DON’T EVER HIDE A MISTAKE EVEN IF IT SEEMS SMALL TO YOU. IT COULD HAVE A LIFE OR DEATH IMPACT ON A PATIENT.” —SARAH FRANCE, RN, CLINICAL EDUCATOR, UAMS COLLEGE OF NURSING

“YOU WERE NOT TAUGHT EVERYTHING YOU NEEDED TO KNOW BY A TEXTBOOK AND A YEAR OF CLINICALS. IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO, ASK YOUR COWORKERS. WE ALL HAVE THE SAME GOAL AT THE END OF THE DAY: TO PROVIDE CARE TO OUR PATIENTS.” —KELLY CASTLEMAN, RN, EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT, UAMS

MORE CALLING THAN CAREER Pam LaBorde, DNP, APRN, CCNS, clinical assistant professor with UAMS College of Nursing, describes her choice to enter the nursing profession as answering a calling, something that goes beyond a job. “I feel everyone is called to a certain profession and I am humbled to be called to the profession of nursing,” she said. “The joy of being a nurse stems from the many opportunities one has to make a difference in someone’s life, even if it is for a brief moment in time.” LaBorde described her vocation as rewarding and diverse, a role that has brought her into the lives of many people that she would have never met if she was not a nurse. During her career, she’s served as a nursing assistant, bedside nurse, clinical nurse specialist, nurse manager, staff educator and, her present role, clinical assistant professor. Each step, she said, was a deeply personal experience. “On a daily basis, you touch so many people,” she said. “Whether you are holding the hand of a critical patient, coordinating home care with family members or supporting new graduate nurses on their first day, you, as a nurse, are amazing and make a difference and shape the future of nursing.”

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ROOM FOR EVERYONE

WHATEVER YOUR BACKGROUND OR SKILLSET, NURSING HAS A PLACE FOR YOU BY DWAIN HEBDA

From left to right: Justin Owens monitors a patient at Jefferson Regional Medical Center in Pine Bluff; a UA Little Rock student studies with a baby manikin; Jefferson Caraig of UAMS in Little Rock suits up for work.

DIVERSITY OF BACKGROUND

NURSES BRING A MOSAIC OF EXPERIENCE

Not every nurse takes a straight line into their career field. Many in the nursing ranks have taken the “scenic route,” and come with different educational and experiential backgrounds. For some, it’s just a question of trying several things before finding a home in nursing; for others, life got in the way of a degree and nursing was put to the side in favor of family or other obligations. Here are a few examples of people who found their calling in unlikely ways.

NEVER GIVE UP

Few individuals have had to overcome a scope of challenges like Maeghan Arnold, a doctoral student at the UAMS College of Nursing. Yet through all the bumps in the road, she remains steadfast in her goals. “I am doing well and am determined to obtain a terminal degree in nursing, serve graduate students in my current role as Adult/ Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner faculty and return to clinical practice when I finish,” she says. Her story begins at the University of Central Arkansas where, as an undergrad, her daughter was found to have fetal heart block while in utero. After a series of tests, imaging and one scary overnight in the hospital, the baby was born with a clean bill of health. To16 SEPTEMBER 2019

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day, Arnold is proud to say, she is an active, bright little girl. As for her nursing journey, however, Arnold’s path had just started turning uphill. “In graduate school, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and a brain tumor the semester before I was to enter my specialty courses,” she said. “I had to withdraw for a year to complete chemotherapy and surgery for my breast cancer.” Despite this ordeal, Arnold returned to school with newfound determination to complete her studies to become a nurse practitioner. So strong was her resolve that when her brain tumor showed signs of change halfway through her specialty courses, she willed herself to finish before undergoing surgery. “I had a craniotomy with tumor resection five days after I finished my degree,” she said. During her doctoral studies, Arnold again faced disheartening news as last December doctors discovered her brain tumor had recurred. True to form, the sobering diagnosis only steeled her determination to reach her goal. While she admits there were times she had doubts about finishing her quest, persistence and hard work overcame all. “If you are determined to put the time in to studying and seeking help when you are unA SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT OF THE ARKANSAS TIMES

sure, you can achieve your goals,” she said. “We need hard-working, compassionate problem-solvers, at all levels of nursing. This is the most rewarding career I could have chosen, and I will forever be proud to say that I am a nurse.”

INTERNATIONAL INFLUENCE

Even though he’s been a nurse for a short time, Jefferson Caraig stands out from many of his peer nurses. Besides his Spanish and Filipino heritage, he also holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and an associate’s degree in general studies. Despite being accomplished academically, he said his education in nursing has been a major challenge. “Most of the time we are taught in nursing school to be sensitive and understanding of a person’s culture,” he said. “Since I was not born and raised here in the United States, I needed to make sure that I am aware of the culture and traditions of people living here in the United States, which comprises the majority of the people we provide treatment to.” “Also, health care is somewhat different here from where I was born. Here in the U.S. we have access to almost all of the apparatuses we need to provide care, and our technology is advanced compared to my home country. I spend extra time learning all of the


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Bachelor of Science in Nursing RN to BSN (12 months online) BSN Traditional, 2nd Degree BSN Accelerated, LPN to BSN Associate of Applied Science in Nursing New Online LPN to AASN AASN Traditional, LPN to AASN (Jonesboro, West Memphis, Mt. Home)

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SINDEE MORSE, MSN, RN; ACUTE APPLICATION MANAGER Conway Regional Health System I work in the field of nursing informatics, which promotes the health of people, families and communities worldwide through technology while disseminating information and knowledge. What’s your job? We are pulled in for expert advice on data entry for day-to-day operations and rules and regulatory changes. Our telephones constantly ring from all areas of the organization for help and advice. We are not just documentation for the nursing team, we are the documentation team for our organization. We are the glue that creates the workflow for all staff members to provide high-quality care. What’s the work environment? The atmosphere and personalities are great; stress levels come and go just like emergencies come and go to the front-line nurse. We have project deadlines and are looked at as saviors for all concerns. If an error or near-miss is identified, the informatics nurse is always at the table to review and identify opportunities for improving or suggesting ways to eliminate potential reoccurrences. What’s it like? We all love our job and it is extremely rewarding; however, at times we are looked at as someone in a closet working a desk job, 9-5. Our desk jobs come after working side-by-side with a new nurse helping her document her patient information. We have spent hours doing med passes with front-line nurses to help them adjust better to electronic health records. I could write a book of the unknowns that we do day-to-day, but the bottom line is, to be an informatics nurse doesn’t mean you walk away from patient care; you just deliver it in a different way.

“I FELT CALLED TO BE A NURSE. AFTER MANY YEARS AT THE BEDSIDE, I REALIZED I WANTED TO TEACH OTHERS TO BE NURSES. I LOVE TEACHING STUDENTS, WATCHING THEM LEARN, HELPING THEM CONNECT THE DOTS FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE AND WATCHING THEM SUCCEED.” —BRENDA TRIGG, DEPARTMENT OF NURSING DIRECTOR, OUACHITA BAPTIST UNIVERSITY 18 SEPTEMBER 2019

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UALR nursing students train on the latest medical manikin technology in medical simulation lab.

additional things we have here in the U.S. that were not present in my home country.” At the same time, Caraig does not consider his differences to be a drawback in his job. Far from it, in fact. “Being different from most of my co-workers makes me stand out and get noticed very quickly,” he said. “It is a good area of opportunity to establish rapport between me and the patients. It seems like that is mostly how a conversation gets started, ‘Where are you from, because I can tell from the way you talk that you are not from here.’” “Whenever I encounter patients or their family who are intolerant of diversity, I always make sure to show them that I am there to provide the best care possible. I have encountered patients who treated me differently from other nurses in my unit because of my upbringing, but that didn’t change the way I treated and cared for them.” Now in his first year as an RN at UAMS, his advice to other nurses is simple: Hang in there. “Do not get discouraged. There were times when I felt like my distinctiveness and being different from the majority were working against me. I start doubting myself whether I made the right decision to venture into this field,” he said. “Keep an open mind. Stay humble. Respect others and remain nonjudgmental. Sometimes all you need to do is to give people the compassion and sincerity they expect, and you’ll gradually open their minds to the idea that diversity is beneficial to everyone.”

HEAD OF THE CLASS

Unless you knew her story, Kelsi Pomeroy looks like any other nursing student in the closing months of her education. But look a little deeper and you’ll discover nursing is just one facet of her pursuit of a career in health care. A SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT OF THE ARKANSAS TIMES

“Nursing will be my second career; my first career is in biology research and I hold a master’s of science in biological science,” she said. “I chose nursing as a second career because I love medicine and science, but I also love interacting with people. Nursing is the best of both worlds.” Pomeroy said while the academic side of her nurses training has been aided greatly by her biological science coursework, other areas have been harder to accommodate. “At times, a second career student can be challenged emotionally. It can sometimes feel like you’re starting over at the bottom,” she said. “Differences in age between my fellow classmates and I can also make bonding more difficult because of the different stages in life. And, as nursing isn’t my first career, I have more financial responsibilities than the first time I attended college.” Pomeroy has overcome these challenges by seeking out a peer group with backgrounds similar to hers. She’s also continued working while attending nursing school. She praised UA Little Rock’s attention to diversity in their nursing program and the school’s accelerated curriculum that has hastened her progression. And, she adds, the experience has forced her to become an expert in time management. “My advice for someone wanting to pursue nursing as a second career is to go for it,” she said. “The hardest part about going back to school is making the decision to do it. It can be scary to make that leap of faith and make a career change, but it is completely worth it. Nursing is such a rewarding field and my experience as a student thus far has been amazing. “I’m not saying that it will be easy, but with hard work and dedication, it can be accomplished.”


GENDER DIVERSITY

LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOYS For as many strides as nursing has made for older and ethnically diverse nurses, gender diversity is still a major issue. The percentage of men in the field of nursing hasn’t moved the needle much over the past 50plus years; according to the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, only 2 percent of nurses were male in 1960 and that percentage is only 13 percent today. A study, commissioned by the American Association for Men in Nursing, found 70 percent of men said gender stereotypes were the top barrier to more men entering the field. This had led many schools to actively recruit men to the nursing profession and these efforts are starting to pay off. As low as it is, the percentage of men in nursing has grown faster in recent years. One state, Nebraska, even boasts more men than women in the profession at a ratio of three to one. Justin Owens, RN with Jefferson Regional Medical Center’s orthopedic/urology unit in Pine Bluff, is drawn to the team-first aspect of the work. Hearing him talk about his day is like hearing a star quarterback at a pep rally. “Our teamwork here is about as good as it

gets,” he said. “I’ve never worked in a place where the teamwork is as top-notch as what we have on our floor. I couldn’t be prouder of the nurses that I have the privilege of working alongside day in and day out. You best believe that when a patient is admitted to our floor, it is all hands on deck and we are ready.” Male nurses are coveted by health care systems because of physical strength required to move and lift patients and stamina to stay on one’s feet for extended periods of time. These are regular elements of a nurse’s day that are notoriously underestimated. “Our typical shifts are 12.5 hours, but of course, this isn’t a job where you can just clock out and go home just because the clock says it’s time to go,” Owens said. “Each time I leave, the patient should be left in better shape than when I got there, and sometimes that means staying over to do a little extra.” Male nurses are also valuable for the same reason bilingual nurses or other minorities are valuable—they appeal to a certain category of patients. Some male patients prefer to discuss certain physical issues with other men or are uncomfortable

with women inserting catheters and other such procedures. In fact, experts suggest more male nurses could help turn the tide on men seeking regular medical checkups and care, something they do in far fewer numbers than women today. As for long-held beliefs about men being less compassionate than women? Pure nonsense, Owen says. “My duty is to provide direct care to patients and their families on the orthopedic/ urology floor. I am responsible for being able to anticipate the needs of my patients in order to better help the physician with the plan of care for each individual patient,” he said. “In order to be successful in this environment, you must be able to communicate not only to the patient, but to family members as well. You must care about people, have compassion and be willing to put in the work to grow in your profession. “As a male nurse, people might not think that we can be very compassionate, but I have had quite a few patients tell me that they love it when they get a male nurse. So maybe the stigma is changing.”

The best way to measure a hospital is by looking at the people who choose to work there. We are proud of our dedicated nurses that work hard every day to fulfill our mission of providing high quality, compassionate health care services. • Market-competitive salary & benefits • Encouraging team atmosphere • High employee satisfaction & retention • Growing comprehensive health system • 10 nurses named to the 100 Great Nurses list • 3 nurses named to the 40 Under 40 list

For more information on joining our family of nurses, visit ConwayRegional.org or contact Caitlin Castellani, MSN, RN-BC at 501-513-5198 or caitlin.castellani@conwayregional.org.

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ETHNIC DIVERSITY IT TAKES ALL KINDS

Rani Simpson, RN, advises new nurses of all backgrounds: “Don’t let people mistreat you. You matter.”

Juan Reyes, RN, considers his heritage an advantage: “I take pride in being different.”

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The face of our state, like that of our nation, is changing. In order to provide the best possible medical care, health care professions must represent the populations they are serving. This has opened up opportunities for diversity across the board, including nursing. According to a scholarly article in the National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, the U.S. is projected to become a majority-minority nation for the first time in 2043. Hispanics and African-Americans are all expected to increase substantially by 2060; in fact, one in three Americans is expected to be of Hispanic descent by that time. The Asian population is expected to double over that same span. America’s melting pot has never been larger or fuller than it is right now. Compare those general population projections to current nursing populations: In 2008, there were about 3 million RNs in the U.S., 85 percent of whom were in nursing positions. Only 17 percent of the RN workforce were people of color. However, that mix is quickly changing. According to a different study by the federal Health Resources and Services Administration, the supply of Hispanic RNs is projected to increase 83 percent between 2014 and 2030. Non-Hispanic black RNs are expected to increase 38 percent and all other non-Hispanic minorities are expected to grow 39 percent over the same period, all of which represents a faster growth rate than whites. Rani Simpson, RN, a graduate of National Park College in Hot Springs, is one of the new generation of nurses in this diversifying industry. Simpson, 31, is a traveling nurse with six years in the profession, having worked for CHI St. Vincent Hot Springs in the ICU and currently for Saint Mary’s Regional Health System ICU in Russellville. “Caring for people has always been important to me. At a young age, I remember watching my grandmother receive care from hospice nurses and knowing I wanted to work in health care,” she said. “My diversity has not presented any real challenges, thankfully. I have heard rude comments from patients and been told many stories regarding my ethnicity, but none of these have deterred me.” “I still get the same amount of comments and stories as I did when I began six years ago, but I just remember their thoughts and feelings are theirs, not mine. Their opinions don’t shape me. I take it all with a grain of salt.”

Simpson said she’s seen very few other African-American nurses in the ICUs she’s worked in, but has seen more men enter the nursing ranks, which she considers as important for diversity’s sake. Her advice to other aspiring nurses? Follow your heart, not the crowd. “Don’t be easily offended,” she said. “People can say what they want to, but you know who you are. If a situation becomes disrespectful and you feel uncomfortable, get a supervisor. Don’t let people mistreat you. You matter.” A 2016 diversitynursing.com article by Erica Bettencourt explained why diversity was so critical to patient outcomes. Bettencourt states diversity improves communication, helps build trust between patient and their health care team and makes the patient feel more comfortable. “A person who has little in common with you cannot adequately advocate for your benefit,” she writes. “If you have nurses who understand their patient’s culture, environment, food, customs, religious views, etc., they can provide their patients with ultimate care.” “I take pride in being different,” said Juan Reyes, a nursing student at UA Little Rock. “Thanks to those differences I have the privilege of speaking a second language and being able to help non-English speaking patients. Spanish and English are two of the top five most spoken languages in the world and I happen to be fluent in both.” Reyes, who is of Mexican descent, said UALR has been very welcoming and supportive of his diversity and he’s only had one negative encounter with a patient over his ethnicity. His advice to others who encounter such attitudes: Be a professional. “On the one occasion where I felt a patient was intolerant to my diversity, I handled it by providing the best care that I could,” he said. “I know some people are set in their ways and have made up their minds about those that are not like them. All I can do is do my job.” “The best advice I could give to someone going into nursing is to let all the negative comments roll off and to not get caught up in trying to change people with words. Rather, change their views with how you care for them because as it has been said before, they will not remember what you said to them but they will remember how you made them feel.”

IT TAKES A SPECIAL PERSON TO WORK AT A HUMAN DEVELOPMENT CENTER. BUT YOU CAN’T PUT A PRICE ON THE FEELING YOU GET WHEN YOU HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE IN A CLIENT’S LIFE. —JULIE WILHELM, NURSE MANAGER ARKADELPHIA HUMAN DEVELOPMENT CENTER

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MICHELLE GONZALEZ, PH.D., CRNA, DIRECTOR, NURSE ANESTHESIA PROGRAM UAMS College of Nursing I’ve been a nurse for over 30 years and a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist for over 20 years. When I was in my undergraduate nursing program, I was the only Hispanic student in the entire college, which was approximately 2000 students. Why nursing? I decided that I wanted to be a nurse when I was in high school. In my senior year, we had a career day and when the nurse presented, I decided right there that’s what I wanted to do. Also, my mother was diabetic and had frequent doctor’s appointments and interactions with health care. This made me more aware of how I could help people. How has diversity shaped your career? Because there was no one else like me in nursing school, I tended to make friends with other minorities. My closest friend was the only Italian in the school, we also had two men in our class, so the four of us became fast friends. Looking back on it, we had a unique microcosm consisting of one black male, one LGBT male, an Italian and a Latina. The benefits of my diversity included the ability to reach out to and connect with other minority students and develop great friendships in the process. What advice do you have for the next generation? Lack of opportunity isn’t the issue now that it was 30 years ago; our society has changed in its views towards others of diverse backgrounds. Today, there are grants and scholarships sponsored by a variety of communities ranging from single parents, LGBTQ, Hispanic females, Hispanic students, minority grants and more. The opportunities are there, one has to do the work to find them. I tend to look at people for who they are, as well as their contributions and insights. I tend to ask a lot of questions, particularly if I’m not familiar with the culture or customs. My frame of thought is, if I can increase my knowledge and awareness of people that are different from me, then I can extend that respect and acknowledgment and be an example for others.

“I LOST A STUDENT VERY EARLY IN MY PRACTICE AS A SCHOOL NURSE. I FOUND IT BETTER TO JUST BE AVAILABLE WHEN THE FAMILY NEEDED COMFORTING AND OFFER SUPPORT. SEEK OTHER HELP FOR THE FAMILY IF AND AS NEEDED.”

—UVITA L. SCOTT, RN, SCHOOL NURSE, BOOKER ARTS MAGNET ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

“HUMBLE YOURSELF AND BE OPEN TO LEARNING.”

—TERESA BROWN, LPN, STUDENT & EMPLOYEE HEALTH, UAMS COLLEGE OF NURSING

“THE FIRST YEAR IS ROUGH. MY ADVICE IS TO FIND A GOOD, SEASONED NURSE AND LEARN FROM THEM. ASK QUESTIONS AND DO AS MANY HANDS-ON SKILLS AS YOU CAN.” —STACY FITZHUGH, LPN, ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES

“IT IS NORMAL TO BE SCARED. THERE ARE GOOD DAYS AND BAD DAYS EVERYWHERE. YOU MUST PUT YOUR ENTIRE HEART INTO IT.” —FAITHE SUMMERS, RN, JEFFERSON REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER

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JANICE IVERS, NURSING & HEALTH SCIENCES National Park College I am Dean of Nursing and Health Sciences. I started out in nursing education after 10 years of bedside nursing. I quickly moved from a skills lab educator to a part-time clinical faculty member to full-time classroom/ clinical faculty and then later as RN Program director before taking my current role. Each step of the way, I learned more and more about nursing education and leadership. I loved every step. What’s your job? My day is spent planning, managing, organizing, prioritizing, reviewing and evaluating compliance of policy and procedures, content review and maintenance. I also keep up with requirements of ADHE, program- and college-specific accrediting body requirements and clinical affiliation requirements. I consider my division my team. There are 26 members, all grouped into smaller teams. We all work mostly daytime hours Monday-Friday. Ours is not a typical nurse schedule, for sure; faculty work 9.5 months out of the year and I work 11 months. What’s it like? You must be willing to work with others, have a high level of communication skills, advocacy, honesty, integrity and love people. At least five years of nursing experience is typically required along with a master’s degree, or higher, in nursing. The additional graduate level education certificate is really important to better understand curriculum development and design, assessment and evaluation. My job is very social and fun; you get to work with all different health care disciplines and see what is new and different in nursing education. There is a shortage of nursing faculty in the state of Arkansas, so consider this very rewarding career choice.

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SEPTEMBER 2019 21


Nursing welcomes people of all ages, as these National Park College students attest.

“IT IS OK TO STAND UP AND BE THE PATIENT’S ADVOCATE. AN ADVOCATE DOES NOT MEAN YOU HAVE TO HAVE YEARS OF EXPERIENCE, IT MEANS YOU HAVE TO HAVE THE PATIENT’S BEST INTEREST IN MIND.” 

DIVERSITY OF AGE

NURSING GENERATIONS LEARN FROM EACH OTHER Nursing is hard work, harder than most people realize. In any given shift, nursing taxes you in every way—physically, emotionally and mentally—only to do it all over again the next day. This why so many nurses describe their vocation not as a job, but as a calling, because it does demand so much of them that it becomes one with who they are. For this reason, it might seem that nursing is only for young people, but nothing could be further from the truth. The best teams include nurses with a diversity of age, expertise and experience. Lynn Braden, RN with the Outpatient Interventional Unit at Conway Regional Health System, has been a nurse for 34 years, in which time she has had a variety of roles in the profession. “Older nurses have many years of experience and are able to pick up small signs of problems before new nurses. We also have more experience starting IVs, especially on patients with difficult, small veins,” she said. “I have been a surgical ICU nurse, ICU nurse, same-day surgery nurse, radiology nurse, cardiology nurse, PACU nurse, GI nurse, charge nurse and outpatient unit nurse. “I am very good at starting IVs,” she added with a laugh. Nancy May, staff nurse at Jefferson Regional Medical Cener in Pine Bluff, came into the profession later than many at age 39 and has been a nurse for 23 years. She said helping less experienced nurses understand the art of nursing is a priority for her, the same as gaining new insights from the next generation. “Older nurses have experience and knowledge; younger nurses are more knowledgeable of computers,” she said. “I have tried to pass on to younger nurses the importance of caring for your patients, to think of them as someone’s family. I tell them to care for them the same way you want your family cared for.” 22 SEPTEMBER 2019

ARKANSAS TIMES

—SARAH OVERBEY, RN PROGRAM FACULTY, NATIONAL PARK COLLEGE/PRN SURGICAL INTENSIVE CARE UNIT, CHI ST. VINCENT HOT SPRINGS

“TRY TO MAKE CHOICES THAT BRING OUT THE JOY AND PASSION IN YOUR LIFE. GIVE TIME AND ATTENTION TO THESE THINGS BECAUSE YOUR PHYSICAL, MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL HEALTH IS WORTH IT.”

—SHANNON FINLEY, SENIOR PATIENT SAFETY COORDINATOR/ADJUNCT FACULTY UAMS COLLEGE OF NURSING

“I SOUGHT OUT SEASONED NURSES WHO DID NOT MIND SHARING THEIR EXPERTISE WITH ME IN ORDER TO HELP ME GROW AS A NURSE. AS A NEW NURSE, GIVING RESPECT TO THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN IN THE FIELD FOR A WHILE GOES A LONG WAY.” —ANGELA MCJUNKINS, PRACTICAL NURSING PROGRAM DIRECTOR NATIONAL PARK COLLEGE A SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT OF THE ARKANSAS TIMES

ASHLEIGH WIGGINS, LPN Arkansas Health Center I am 28 years old and I have been a nurse for two years. I work at Arkansas Health Center with a team of four CNAs, an LPN supervisor and an RN. I am also caregiver for my elderly mother. What’s your job? As an LPN, my job is to provide basic nursing care to patients while working under the supervision of a registered nurse or doctor. I maintain records of patient histories, provide dressing or bathing assistance, administer medications, give injections and provide wound care. What’s the work environment? I work 12-hour shifts, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. At my workplace, it can become stressful if you don’t have good time management. Just like any hospital or long-term care facility, you need to be prepared for anything. Some days are harder than others. You also must be a team player, ready and willing to work with a melting pot of amazing nursing staff. If you are a positive person who is ready to learn, you will be successful. You have to have the heart to work in an environment like this. What’s it like? I like the family atmosphere of this job; longterm care can be emotionally exhausting, but it is worth it. When you can walk into a room, laugh with your CNAs and charge nurses and choose to have a good day, there is nothing better. I am pretty good at patient care; bedside manner has always meant a lot to me. To me, nursing is more than pushing pills and paperwork. I want new and seasoned nurses to know, it will never get easier­—it’s not supposed to be easy being a nurse. With this profession, you learn something new every day, no questions are dumb questions. So, no it won’t get easier, but you will grow wiser, move faster and develop skills that you will have for the rest of your life.


SONDRA MCNATT, BSN, RN; SURGICAL STAFF NURSE Arkansas Children’s Hospital Nursing in an operating room is different from nursing in patient care areas. The operating room staff takes teamwork to a new level. You have the opportunity to work with various care providers who bring a level of diversity that surpasses what you could possibly imagine, which opens the door to learning something new and exciting every day. What’s your job? My job requires knowledge in sterile processing, infection control, patient positioning, prepping, instrument types and uses and understanding the surgical procedure, to name a few. Patient and team safety is always first priority. The operating room nurse has to be able to solve issues in a timely manner, coordinate the many care providers involved with the patient, and be able to maintain safety in an extremely fast-paced environment. The operating room nurse has to build a rapport with the patient and family in a short period of time. What’s the key to success in nursing? There are formal and informal mentors in all of our lives. Some people are passionate about the development of others and seek to influence and develop others. I have had many mentors over time. Some mentors helped navigate logistics of the system while others assisted on specific projects. The most influential mentor was the person who asked questions related to my interests and passions. These questions changed my view from accomplishing goals to becoming a leader in my field. What do you like about your job? Surgical nursing is fast-paced and always changing. The challenging but exciting part of surgical nursing is the team approach within the unit and other areas of the hospital to coordinate the care of the patient. Beyond that, I love pediatric nursing. Someone asked me a question years ago that led me to pediatric nursing. They asked, “When you walk into a room, what age group do you want to see?” I knew right then I always wanted to see children. It is an honor to be part of the patient and family’s health journey and story.

NURSING NEEDS YOU. Invest in yourself and begin a rewarding career in nursing. Financial aid is available. CHI St. Vincent may cover tuition and fees for qualified students. You can afford it but you cannot afford to wait any longer. Applications open in January.

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SEPTEMBER 2019 23


“BE WARNED, YOU WILL HAVE YOUR HEART TOUCHED. YOU WILL LAUGH WITH EACH ONE AND HAVE GREAT PRIDE FOR THE SMALLEST ACCOMPLISHMENTS.” —DEBI NOAH, LPN BOONEVILLE HUMAN DEVELOPMENT CENTER

Nursing school, like the profession itself, is a collaborative effort, as these students at the University of Central Arkansas demonstrate.

DIVERSITY OF WORKPLACE OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO Most people typically think of nurses as working in hospitals, however, that doesn’t even scratch the surface of work environments that are open to qualified nurses. Nurses work in a wide variety of settings from clinics to schools to correctional facilities. For some travel nurses, the environment can change every few months! Here are five work environments which you might not have considered where nurses report to work every day.

CORPORATIONS

Nurse coaches are LPNs or RNs who help consult people on choosing healthy lifestyles. Corporations hire these nurses as a resource to help maintain healthier employees, lowering absenteeism and reducing health care claims. Nurse coaches are teachers, leading workshops, seminars and one-on-one talks on various health and wellness topics. They may work for an individual company, or they may work for an insurance company who deploys the nurse coach to various client corporations. Another trend in corporate America is to provide an on-site health clinic as an employee benefit for workers and their families.

COMMUNITY HEALTH

Public health nurses interact with the wider community and may be employed by government offices, schools or community disaster relief organizations. Public health nurses are on the front line of health, often serving special populations such as low-income individuals and families, senior citizens or refugees. They may be deployed to temporary field clinics in the wake of a tornado or other 24 SEPTEMBER 2019

ARKANSAS TIMES

weather event, provide health information via presentations in schools or administer immunizations to individuals and families at a free clinic.

SCHOOLS AND CAMPS

These health care professionals have to be ready for a little bit of everything, from bumps and bruises on the playground to flu shots to a camper’s stomach ache or exposure to poison ivy. Nurses are particularly vital to camps and schools that cater to special populations, who generally have additional physical, mental and medicinal needs, or helping diabetic students monitor their glucose. Schools and camps are appealing because the environment is usually good, medical “emergencies” are generally pretty tame and nurses often get to employ their teaching skills, too.

CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES

Working in a correctional facility is much like working in any other medical clinic, dealing with health issues from acute illness and injury to chronic diseases. People immediately think of working in the prison as inherently dangerous–and there are certain risks–but those who have done it say there are so many safeguards in place, they didn’t feel any more at risk than in other work settings. One distinct different is the many protocols in place to secure sharps and medications to prevent an inmate from taking it out of the infirmary.

MILITARY

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KATHERINE METZ, RN Patient Educator, UAMS The UAMS Patient Education Department provides direct education to assigned patients and/or their caregivers. We have a staff of four patient educators—two of these educators are nurses and two of them are master’s-level health educators. What’s your job? My specialty is medical surgical education and prenatal health. I teach group classes, provide bedside education to patients and family, design curricula and teach educational programs such as the Hip/Knee Academy and the Spine Academy. What’s the work environment? The work environment varies from slow to fast-paced. It’s a moderate stress level, especially in group settings when participants are not respectful of the learning environment. The typical hours of work are Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and one monthly evening class. What’s it like? Just like any nursing role, this role requires patience, compassion and concern for the health and welfare of others. As a nurse patient educator, we play a critical role in health literacy. Once a patient is ready for discharge, educating the patient and his/her caregiver is very important to their healing process and recovery or to just give them the tools to maintain and improve their state of health. You must be flexible, a good communicator and learn to think outside of the box. People who work in this environment have the potential to transition into almost any teaching role in the health profession, such as staff education, clinical education, community health education and education in rural areas.


nurses work on military bases, field hospitals and aboard military ships. They also are often assigned to care for our veterans in VA facilities coast to coast. Military nurses fall into two categories – active duty and reserve. Active duty nurses are full-time in the military while those in the reserves are called upon only when needed, enabling them to have full-time careers. Reserves (Army, Navy, Air Force and Air National Guard) are required to train one weekend a month during their enlistment along with another two weeks of annual training, set in a variety of health care settings.

“LEARN YOUR INTERPERSONAL SKILLS WELL. PERSONALITIES DIFFER AND SOMETIMES CLASH. FIND TIME TO TAKE A PERSONALITY TRAIT COURSE. IT WILL HELP YOU BETTER UNDERSTAND HOW TO GET ALONG WITH PEOPLE.” —GLORIA CURNE, RN, ARKANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY-MIDSOUTH

MICHELE DIEDRICH, DNP, MA, RN, NEA-BC; CHIEF NURSING OFFICER Baptist Health Little Rock One of the benefits of nursing is that you never stop learning, there are opportunities every day to expand clinical knowledge. It is important that education continue outside of clinical knowledge, and pursuit of a master’s degree provides that opportunity. Master’s-prepared nurses are expected to have excellent clinical skills, organizational skills, knowledge of health care policy, implementation of evidence-based practice and ability to lead projects or teams. Why should I consider a master’s degree? As a master’s-prepared nurse, the ability to have more job opportunities increases, including leadership or educator. Master’s-prepared nurses are also in a great position to complete the next level of education, including advance practice registered nurse, certified nurse anesthetist, or doctor of nurse practice. What are the practical benefits of a master’s degree? The demand for master’s-prepared nurses continues to increase, including the need for more nurse leaders. The starting pay depends on the title that is associated with the position held by the master’s-prepared nurse. As a general rule, most organizations have a clinical advancement program, which includes the ability to increase rate of pay with

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education level being a component of the clinical advancement. The same goes for job duties, which depend on the title associated with the position held by the master’s-prepared nurse. For instance, the nurse manager is a challenging position with a lot of demands as it is a 24-hour-perday responsibility, but there are also a lot of rewards. What was your personal educational experience? My journey as a nurse has been incredible from a clinical perspective and my education has truly been a life-long pursuit. I obtained my Associate of Science in Nursing in 1989; Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2004; Master of Arts in Healthcare Administration in 2006; and Doctor of Nurse Practice in 2017. As a nurse you never stop learning.

“BEING CALM, LEARNING THE SKILL OF BEING AN ACTIVE LISTENER AND HAVING MOMENTS OF SILENCE CAN PROVIDE A MOMENT FOR THE PATIENT TO SHARE THEIR TRUE CONCERNS.” —JANET SMITH DNP, RN, ASSOCIATE DEGREE NURSING PROGRAM DIRECTOR, NATIONAL PARK COLLEGE

ARKANSASTIMES.COM

SEPTEMBER 2019 25


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“IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO CHECK IN OFTEN WITH YOUR SUPERVISOR AND DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK QUESTIONS. BE HONEST AND TELL THEM IF YOU NEED MORE TIME IN ORIENTATION.” —­J ENNIFER YARBERRY, CHIEF NURSING OFFICER, PINNACLE POINTE HOSPITAL

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I received my education at College of the Ouachitas and now work at LifeNet Air II in Hot Springs. This job has helped prepare me to take care of a variety of medical or trauma patients because of the critical nature of the patients we care for. What’s your job? I care for critically ill and injured patients on-scene and transport them to the best facility to care for their illness or injury. We also do inter-facility transfers to get patients quickly to a higher level of care.

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ARKANSAS COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY

YRS/PUBLIC PRIVATE

DEGREE OFFERED

LENGTH OF PROGRAM

LIVING ARRANGEMENTS

AID DEADLINE

Arkansas State University - Jonesboro • 870-972- 4 yr public 3074 (nursing) • 870-972-3024 (admissions)

Traditional BSN, LPN-BSN, 2nd Degree Accelerated BSN, Online RN to BSN

varies

on campus housing for Jonesboro; off campus for online RN-BSN

July 1st; Online students pay apply year around

Arkansas Tech University, Russellville • 479968-0383

4 yr public

BSN, LPN to BSN, RN to BSN, MSN, RN to MSN

BSN-4yrs, RN to BSN-1yr, MSN-2yrs

on campus housing

varies

Harding University, Searcy • 1-800-477-4407, 501-279-4682

4 yr private

BSN, MSN FNP, Post Graduate

BSN 4 yrs; MSN FN - 2yrs, PG - 2yrs

on campus housing

February 1st

Henderson State University, Arkadelphia • 870-230-5015

4 yr public

BSN (traditional); RN to BSN online; RN to BSN online enrollment both fall and spring; LPN to BSN on campus; MSN online

4 yrs for the Traditional BSN and LPN to BSN on Campus; RN-BSN Online in 1 year (3 semesters)

on/off campus

June

Ouachita Baptist Univeristy, Arkadelphia • 870-245-5000

4 yr private, faith-based

Dual Enrolled RN to BSN Completer (Ouachita Baptist University and Baptist Health College Little Rock)

BSN-4 yrs

on campus housing at Ouachita first 4 semesters; commuter campus while attending BHCLR; off campus for final semester online.

Priority Dec. 1

Southern Arkansas University, Magnolia • 870-235-4040

4 yr public

BSN, Online RN-BSN Completion

4 yrs BSN, 1-4 yrs online RN-BSN Completion program

on campus housing

July 1st

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville • 479575-3904

4 yr public

BSN, RN-BSN (online program), MSN (online program), DNP (online program)

4 years for BSN, 3-5 semesters RN to BSN, 2 years part-time MSN, 3 years full-time / 4 years part-time post-BSN-DNP, 2 years part-time post-MSNDNP

on campus housing for BSN students

March 15th

Univeristy of Arkansas, Little Rock, Department of Nursing, Little Rock • 501-569-8081

4 yr public

BSN, RN-BSN Completion

7 semester BSN, 3 semester RN to BSN Completion

on/off campus housing

April 1st

University of Central Arkansas, Conway • 501-450-3119

4 yr public

BSN, RN TO BSN, MSN (Clinical Nurse Leader), MSN (Nurse Educatior with Clinical Specialty), Post-Master’s DNP and BSN to DNP (Family Nurse Practitioner)

BSN 4 yrs, RN to BSN 12 mos 100% online, MSN 5 semesters, 100% online, PMC varies, DNP 2yrs, BSN to DNP (FNP) 4 yrs part-time

on campus housing available

July 1st

University of Arkansas - Fort Smith • 479-7887841, 1-888-512-LION

4 yr public

BSN

4 yrs for BSN/Varies for RN-BSN

on campus housing

Priority Oct. 1st

University of Arkansas at Monticello • 870460-1069

4 yr public

AASN (LPN-RN), BSN, RN-BSN, LPN-BSN

2 to 4 yrs

on campus housing

contact financial aid (870) 460-1050

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, College of Nursing, Little Rock • 501-686-5224

4 yr public

RN to BSN, BSN, MSNc (APRN and Admin), BSN to DNP (APRN), DNP (Leadership), and PhD. Post Masters options available.

BSN generic: 2 full calendar years/ RN to BSN: 1 yr full time/ MNSc, DNP & PhD: students have up to 6 yrs to complete degree requirements.

on campus housing

varies, visit nursing.uams.edu. Click on Financial Assistance under Future Students

Arkansas Northeastern College, Blytheville • 870-780-1228

2 yr public

AAS Nursing

2 year

commuter campus

Priority April 15

Arkansas State University - Jonesboro • 870-9723074 (nursing) • 870-972-3024 (admissions)

4 yr public

D.N.P., M.S.N., B.S.N., AASN (LPN to AASN and Online LPN to AASN offered at A-State Jonesboro;Traditional and LPN to AASN offered at ASU Mid-South, and ASU-Mountain Home)

varies

on campus housing for Jonesboro

July 1st

Arkansas State University - Mountain Home • 870-508-6266

2 yr public

AAS in RN- LPN/Paramedic to RN

30 hrs pre-req courses, plus 1 yr LPN/Paramedic, Plus 1 yr RN

commuter campus

Nov. 1

Arkansas Tech University - Ozark Campus, Ozark • 479-667-2117

public

AAS in Allied Health-Practical Nursing and AAS in Registered Nursing

3 semesters-PN; 2 semesters - RN

commuter campus

Priority April 15

College of the Ouachitas, Malvern • 800-3370266 ext 1200

2 yr public

Technical Certificate in Practical Nursing (PN), Associate of Applied Science in Nursing (LPN/Paramedic to RN), Certified Nursing Assistant, Medication Administration Program

12 months

commuter campus

open

East Arkansas Community College, Forrest City • 870-633-4480

2 yr public

AASN

2 yrs

commuter campus

April 15th

Mississippi County Community College, Blytheville • 870-762-1020

2 yr public

AAS in Nursing

2 yrs

commuter campus

Priority April 15 - Rolling

National Park College, Hot Springs • 501760-4290

2 yr public

Associate of Science in Nursing (RN) traditional & LPN to RN, Technical Certificate in Practical Nursing (PN)

2 yrs RN, 1 yr PN

commuter campus

open

North Arkansas College, Harrison • 870743-3000

2 yr public

AAS in Nursing-traditional. LPN, RN Bridge

RN-2 yr; RN Bridge-1yr; PN-1yr

commuter campus

Pell Grant June 30

Northwest Arkansas Community College, Bentonville • 479-636-9222, 800-995-6922

2 yr public

AAS, RN

68 credit hours

commuter campus

June 1st and November 1st

Ozarka College, Melbourne • 870-368-2024 (Admissions) 870-368-2077 (Nursing)

2 yr public

Associate of Applied Science in Registered Nursing

12 mos

commuter campus; limited housing units available on campus

none

Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas, Helena-West Helena, Stuttgart • HWH 870-338-6474 x1254; Stuttgart 1-870673-4201 x1809

2 yr public

AAS

63 credit hrs, 5 semesters

commuter campus

Federal and state deadlines observed.

Southeast Arkansas College, Pine Bluff • 870-543-5917

2 yr public

AAS: RN, Generic RN & LPN/Paramedic to RN. Technical Certificate: PN

PN-1 yr, Generic RN-5 Semesters

commuter campus

open

University of Arkansas, Little Rock, Department of Nursing, Little Rock • 501-569-8081

4 yr public

AAS/LPN to RN/BSN

4 semesters

on/off campus housing

April 1st

University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville • 870-612-2000, 800-508-7878

2 yr public

AAS-Generic RN, AAS-LPN-to-RN Online or Traditional, TC-Practical Nursing

AAS-Generic RN 16mos, ASS-LPN-to-RN 12 mos, TC-Practical Nursing 11mos

commuter campus

varies

University of Arkansas at Hope-Texarkana • 870-777-5722

2 yr public

Associate/RN; LPN (Hope); LPN (Texarkana) 12 months (excludes prerequisites)

commuter campus

July 15th

Baptist Health College Little Rock • 501-2026200, 800-345-3046

private, faithbased

diploma/PN, Associate of Applied Science in Nursing/RN

RN traditonal track 3 semesters + general education courses PN 1yr. RN Accelerated 1yr (LPNs or Paramedics).

commuter campus

March 1st priority

Jefferson Reg. Med. Center School of Nursing, Pine Bluff • 870-541-7858

private

Associate of Applied Science in Nursing

79 weeks

off campus only

none

public

Technical Certificate of Practical Nursing

13 months

commuter campus

Priority April 15th

Certificate LPN

11 mos

commuter campus

varies

BACCALAUREATE

ASSOCIATE DEGREE

PRACTICAL NURSING Arkansas Northeastern College, Blytheville • 870-780-1228

Arkansas State University - Beebe • 501-207-6255 public 28 SEPTEMBER 2019

ARKANSAS TIMES

A SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT OF THE ARKANSAS TIMES


SCHOLARSHIP DEADLINE

REQUIRED EXAMS

APPLICATION DEADLINE

Comments/Home Page Address

February 15th

ACT, SAT, COMPASS, or ASSET; HESI A2 Nursing Admission Exam or HESI LPN to ADN Mobility Exam

varies

Nursing programs are accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. www.astate.edu

varies

BSN-ACT or COMPASS, TEAS, RN to BSN-None, MSN-GRE or MAT

BSN: Mar 1, Oct 1; RN to BSN: Mar 1, Aug 1, Oct 1; MSN: Ongoing

RN to BSN can be completed in as little as 1 year. Excellent Faculty. www.atu.edu/nursing

Rolling

ACT or SAT

Rolling

Quality nursing education with a focus on Christian service and professionalism. www. harding.edu

varies

ACT, SAT, or COMPASS

RN-BSN June 30 for Fall and Nov 30 for Spring

The school with a heart. Small classes. CCNE Accredited. www.hsu.edu

Priority Dec 1

ACT or SAT (OBU & BHCLR); TEAS (BHCLR)

Priority Dec 1 (OBU); April 15 (OBU & BHCLR)

Earn two degress in four years in this innovative, affordable program (AAS from BHCLR, BSN from OBU).

Priority March 15, Final August

ACT, TEAS at least 60%

BSN Spring: Jan. 15-Mar. 1 for Fall Admission, Sep. 10 - Oct. 31 for Spring Admission; RN-BSN Completion Program Aug. (prior to classes beginning for Fall Admission, Jan. (prior to classes beginning for Spring Admission)

www.saumag.edu/nursing

November 15th

SAT, ACT, GRE for the MSN and BSN-DNP

Varies

We offer generalist and advanced nursing degree programs to prepare nurses to meet the health needs of the public in an ever-changing health care environment. The DNP offers two options: family nurse practitioner and acute-geriatric nurse practitioner. nurs. uark.edu

February 1st

ACT/SAT for students with less than 12 credits.

Rolling

BSN completion for current RNs or recent graduates of an accredited nursing program. UA-Little Rock students can Ladder into the online BSN and graduate within 4 years. www.ualr.edu/nursing

February 15 - University Scholarships | March 9 - Foundation Scholarships

No entrance exam required for nursing major.

varies by program, see website for dates

Student-centered, NCLEX-RN 1st time pass rates are consistently above state and national average. All programs are CCNE Accredited. www.uca.edu/nursing

June 1st

ACT/Accuplacer

Oct 1st for Spring/ March 1st for Fall

RN-BSN is an Online Completion Program. Http://health.uafs.edu/programs/rn-to-bsn; health.uafs.edu

March 1st

Entrance

March 1st

Achieve your nursing goals with us. http://www.uamont.edu/pages/school-of-nursing/ degree-programs/

varies, visit nursing.uams.edu. click on Financial Assistance under Future Students.

TOEFL for int’l students, ATI TEAS V for BSN applicants.

RN to BSN: Jan. 1, Mar. 1, Jun. 1, Sept. 1, Nov. 1/ BSN generic: Mar. 1/ MNSc: Sept. 1 & Feb. 1/BSN to DNP: Feb 1/ PhD: Mar.1, Jun. 15, Nov. 15

conadmissions@uams.edu • www.nursing.uams.edu

Priority April 15

ACT, SAT, COMPASS, or ACCUPLACER and PAX-RN

RN- March 31

ANC offers the RN, LPN, and LPN to RN programs of study. www.anc.edu

February 15th

ACT or SAT or COMPASS or ASSET; HESI A2 Nursing Admission varies Exam or HESI LPN to ADN Mobility Exam

The mission of the School of Nursing is to educate, enhance and enrich students for evolving professoinal nursing practice. Nursing programs are accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. www.astate.edu

varies

ACT, ACCUPLACER plus HESI LPN-ADN or HESI EMS-ADN

Oct. 15, March 15 (ASUMH starts a second cohort in Summer 2020)

Application packet and program requirements online. www.asumh.edu

varies

PN: TEAS, RN: HESI

March 15th, October 1st-PN; March 15-RN

Clinical experience in hospitals of varying size, physicians’ offices and geriatric facilities. www.atu.edu/ozark

Fall-May1, Spring-Dec 1

COMPASS/ACCUPLACER for the PN Program & HESI for RN Program

2nd Friday in Sept. for Jan. admitance; 2nd Friday in Feb. for May admittance to RN program

www.coto.edu for additional information.

varies

ACT, ACCUPLACER / Nursing Pre-entrance exams

varies

Allied health program offering RN-Nursing degree (basic students, LPN completion). www.eacc.edu

Priority April 15

PAX-RN

March 31st

www.mccc.cc.ar.us

open

ACT, SAT or College Entry Exam & TEAS

First Monday in March

Options for LPN and new High School seniors. www.np.edu

June 15th

ACT, ACCUPLACER

varies with program

Northark’s students receive excellent healthcare education leading to rewarding careers in nursing. www.northark.edu/academics/areas-of-study/health-and-medical/index

April 1st

HESI A2

Track I: May 1st, Track II: Dec. 1st, LPN to RN: Nov. 1st

The college of the NWA community, member of Northwest Arkansas Nursing Education Consortium. www.nwacc.edu/academics/nursing. The NWACC Nursing program is ARSBN approved and ACEN accredited

April 1st

NACE test

Aug. 31/Spring entry (application window: Jan 1- Aug 31)

Providing life-changing experiences through education. www.ozarka.edu

none

Nelson Denny Reading Test 10th grade level and 55 on the ATI Critical Thinking Exam

June 1st

ACEN accredited. www.pccua.edu

none

ACT, COMPASS, PAX for PN,KAPLAN Admission Exam

Second Friday in March

Changing lives…one student at a time! www.seark.edu

February 1st

ACT/SAT/Compass for students with less than 12 credits.

Priority Application Deadline Feb 28/ Applications accepted until class full.

LPN/Paramedic to RN (1 year). Traditional AAS (2 years). Accelerated AAS (18 months). See above for BSN information. www.ualr.edu/nursing

March 1- High school Academic; July 15Others; Nursing Scholarship- Dec. 1

ASSET, ACT, SAT or ACCUPLACER, and KAPLAN Nurse Entrance Test

TC-PN and AAS-Generic RN May 1; AAS-LPN-to-RN July 15

Prerequisite courses and KAPLAN entrance testing must be completed prior to entry into a nursing program. www.uaccb.edu

April 15 and November 15

ACT or ACCUPLACER or LPN license

August 31st

www.arnec.org, www.uacch.edu

varies

ACT or SAT; TEAS

RN traditional track/PN program: July 1st & December 1st , RN Accelerated: December 1st

www.bhclr.edu

none

ACT

Oct. 15 for Jan. class; Apr. 15 for June class. $35 application fee.

www.jrmc.org/schoolofnursing

Priority April 15th

ACT, SAT, COMPASS, or ACCUPLACER and PAX-PN

PN-March 31st

Variety of clinical experiences. www.anc.edu

June 15th

ACCUPLACER and WONDERLIC

April 15 and November 15

Application packet and program requirements are online. www.asub.edu

A SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT OF THE ARKANSAS TIMES

ARKANSASTIMES.COM

SEPTEMBER 2019 29


Arkansas College/University

Yrs/Public Private

Degree Offered

Length Of Program

Living Arrangements

Aid Deadline

Arkansas State University - Mountain Home • 870-508-6266

public

Technical certificate in PN

11 mos

commuter campus

varies

Arkansas State University - Newport • 870680-8710

public

Technical Certificate in Practical Nursing

11 mos

commuter campus

contact financial aid

Arkansas Tech University - Ozark Campus, Ozark • 479-667-2117

public

AAS in Allied Health-Practical Nursing

3 semesters

commuter campus

Priority April 15

ASU Technical Center, Jonesboro • 870-932-2176

public

LPN

11 mos

commuter campus

none

Baptist Health College Little Rock • 501-2026200, 800-345-3046

private

diploma/PN, Associate of Applied Science in Nursing/RN

2 semester PN

commuter campus

Priority March 1st

Black River Technical College, Pocahontas • 870-248-4000 ext. 4150

2 yr public

AAS/RN, Certificate/PN, Certificate of Proficiency/Nursing Assistant

AAS/RN 3 semesters, Certificate/PN 3semesters, Certificate of Proficiency/Nursing Assistant 5 weeks.

commuter campus

contact financial aid office

College of the Ouachitas, Malvern • 800-3370266 ext 1200

2 yr public

Technical Certificate in Practical Nursing

12 months

commuter campus

Spring-November;Summer-April

University of Arkansas - Cossatot, DeQueen and Nashville • 870-584-4471, 800-844-4471

2 yr public

LPN Technical Certificate, RN Associate of Applied Science

LPN DeQueen Day Program 11 mos, LPN Nashville Evening Program 18 mos, RN (transition from LPN) Nashville Evening Program 11 mos.

commuter campus

varies

Crowley’s Ridge Technical Institute • Forrest City • 870-633-5411

public

LPN

LPN: 40 wks

commuter campus

Please call 870.633.5411 f or more information

National Park College, Hot Springs • 501760-4160

Public

Certificate in Practical Nursing

11 mos FT

commuter campus

none

Northwest Technical Institute, Springdale • 479-751-8824

public

diploma/PN

3 sem. & 1 Summer session (includes Pre-Reqs)

commuter campus

July 1/Fall, December 1/Spring

Ozarka College, Melbourne • 870-368-2024 (Admissions) 870-368-2077 (Nursing)

2 yr public

Technical Certificate in LPN, LPN-RN track offered

11 mos. track or 18 mos. track

commuter campus with limited hous- none ing units available on campus

Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas, Helena-West Helena, DeWitt • HWH 870-338-6474 x1254; DeWitt 1-870-9463506 x 1511

2 yr public

Technical Certificate

42 credit hrs; 3 semesters

commuter campus

Federal and state deadlines observed.

University of Arkansas Pulaski Technical College, 2 yr public North Little Rock • 501-812-2200

Technical Certificate in Practical Nursing/PN

11-month traditional track/22-month non-traditional track

commuter campus

April 15 for upcoming fall semester

University of Arkansas Rich Mountain, Mena • 479-394-7622

2 yr public

Associate of Applied Science in Registered Nursing, Technical Certificate in Practical Nursing, CP in Nursing Assistant

11-12 mos

commuter or on-campus housing available in 2020

varies, contact financial aid office

SAU Tech, Camden • 870-574-4500

2 yr public

Technical Certificate

11 mos

commuter campus and on-campus

N/A

South Arkansas Community College, El Dorado • 870-864-7142, 870-864-7137

2 yr public

ADN,LPN

11 mos

commuter campus

June 1, November 1, April 1

University of Arkansas at Monticello College of Technology, McGeHee • 870-222-5360

2 yr public

Technical Certificate in Practical Nursing

January to December

commuter campus

varies

University of Arkansas Comm. College at Morrilton • 501-977-2000

2 yr public

Practical Nursing (PN) Technical Certificate; Registered Nursing (RN) Associate of Applied Science degree

PN is 12 months; RN is 12 months after prerequisites are met

commuter campus

prior to semester

University of Arkansas at Hope-Texarkana • 870-777-5722

2 yr public

certificate/PN

10.5 or 12 months (excludes prerequisites)

commuter campus

July 15th

INNOVATION. AFFORDABILITY. IMPACT. Join one of the most innovative nursing programs in Arkansas – a partnership between Ouachita Baptist University and Baptist Health College Little Rock – and earn 2 degrees in 4 years. As part of the #1 PRIVATE COLLEGE IN THE STATE (Niche.com) and the LARGEST HEALTHCARE SYSTEM IN THE STATE, your preparation for the workforce will be unparalleled.

NOW OFFERING: Dual Degree RN-to-BSN (AAS & BSN in 4 years) 1. 8 0 0 . D I A L . O B U // O B U . E D U / N U R S I N G

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ARKANSAS TIMES

A SPECIAL ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT OF THE ARKANSAS TIMES


Required Exams

Application Deadline

Comments/Home Page Address

varies

ACT, ACCUPLACER plus HESI A2

Oct. 15, March 15

Application packet and program requirements online. www.asumh.edu

varies

Accuplacer, ATI TEAS

August class (Newport/Jonesboro)-June 1, January class (Marked Tree)- Oct 15

Application packet and program requirements online. www.asun.edu

varies

TEAS

March 15th, October 1st

Clinical experience in hospitals of varying size, physicians’ offices and geriatric facilities. www.atu.edu/ozark

none

ASSET, NET

June 1 & November 1

Combines classroom instruction with clinical experience. Graduates eligible to take NCLEX.

varies

ACT or SAT; TEAS

Dec 1st & June 1st

www.bhclr.edu

April 15th

ACT or Accuplacer for BRTC Admission and NA Applicants; TEAS for PN Applicants, NACE for RN Applicants.

NA - Contact Nursing department, PN April 1 for following fall acceptance and October 31 for following spring acceptance, August 31 annually for following Spring RN acceptance.

BRTC: A college of vision. BRTC has a 95% plus boards pass rate. www.blackrivertech. org

Spring-November;Summer-May

HESI Entrance Exam

2nd Friday in Oct. for Jan. admittance; 2nd Friday in March for May admittance to PN program

www.coto.edu

April 1st

ACCUPLACER or ACT; TEAS for LPN; NACE for RN

LPN Day Program-De Queen: March 1st, LPN and RN Evening Program-Nashville: August 31st

Prerequisites required prior to admission. www.cccua.edu/MedEd www.cccua.edu

varies

ACCUPLACER

CRTI is currently in the process of merging with East Arkansas Community College. Call for more information.

www.crti.ar.tec.us

none

College Entry Exam, TEAS

First Monday in March

Do you want to make a difference? Then nursing is for you! www.np.edu

June 1/Fall, December 1/Spring

NET, COMPASS

November 1st

Bilingual scholarships available- www.nwansged.org

April 1st

PAX Test

April 1/Fall entry, November 1/Spring entry

Providing life-changing experiences through education. www.ozarka.edu

none

Nelson-Denny Reading Test 9th grade level and 47 on ATI Critical Thinking Exam

June 1st for fall admission and Oct. 1st for spring admission

www.pccua.edu

varies

ACT or ACCUPLACER and Kaplan Admission Test

April 15th

Call the Allied Health Advisor to discuss eligibility requirements. www.uaptc.edu/programs_of_study/nursing/practical_nursing.asp. Allied Health Advisor: 501-812-2745. Allied Health Administrative Specialist: 501-812-2834. www.uaptc.edu

Nov. 15 - Priority; Apr. 1 - Pending funds available; Foundation Scholarship Deadlines: Fall - Apr. 1 & Jul. 30; Spring - Dec. 1

RN: NACE; LPN: PSB and ACT or Accuplacer

LPN-March, RN-August

www.uarichmountain.edu

March 1st

ASSET. TEAS. Practical Nursing

March 31st

Two Applications required: admissions and nursing. www.sautech.edu

Priority April 1st

ACT, ASSET, or COMPASS

open

SouthArk: Where students come first. www.southark.edu

March 1st

ACT, Accuplacer, ASSET, COMPASS, or SAT - TABE and TEAS

Early October

Approved by Arkansas State Board of Nursing, Accredited by the Higher Learning commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

April 1st

TEAS, NACE

PN deadlines are Oct. 1 & Mar. 1; RN dealine is Aug. 31

Enrollment in PN program on Morrilton campus limited to 24 in spring semester and summer. Enrollment in RN program limited to 48 for classes beginning each January. www.uaccm.edu

April 15 and November 15

ACT or ACCUPLACER

May 1st and November 1st

www.uacch.edu

www.jrmc.org

*** for Basic nursing education; Varies with previous coursework or nursing license; MSN program = 2 yrs

Scholarship Deadline

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Contact Jefferson Regional Nursing Recruiter at 870-541-7774 or by email at florygi@jrmc.org

Find A Career At Jefferson Regional School Of Nursing! You can earn an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing degree in just 17 months at the Jefferson Regional School of Nursing! Simulation manikins and high-fidelity learning are just two of the many technology-based learning opportunities, and the close proximity to the hospital makes clinical training easy and convenient. Tuition assistance is also available. Application deadline for the January class is October 15, 2019! Call 870-541-7858.

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ARKANSASTIMES.COM

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Choose the Best. Choose UAMS. Whether you’re looking for the right place to further your education or the right place to start your nursing career, UAMS is the best choice for you.

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Arkansas Times 2019 Nurses Guide  

Arkansas Times 2019 Nurses Guide