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Be a Champion for Children! Work with a team that has achieved Magnet® Recognition for excellence in patient care. Nurses at Arkansas Children’s Hospital Experience: • A focus on safety for employees, patients and families • Coordinated and collaborative teamwork that provides the highest level of family-centered care • Compassionate care for a wide range of patients, ages, diagnoses and severity of illness • A team that strives for excellence in a kid-savvy environment

To view current job openings, visit We champion children by making them better today and healthier tomorrow.




The benefits of choosing a career in nursing are limitless!




Walk, jog, or sprint down the path that’s right for you.

Benefits of getting a nursing degree at BHCLR: • Only 3 semesters to become an RN with prerequisites • Hands-on instruction - highest number of clinical hours in the state, multiple hospital instruction • Large pool of nursing instructors, mentors & advisors within the program with Masters & Doctorate education • Christian compassion & loving environment


• • • •


Senior Assistance Bonus 12 month Vizient AACN Residency Program Tuition Reimbursement Comprehensive Benefits and 401K

PROMOTE TO RN II • Continuing Education • Tuition Reimbursement • Loan Repayment (after two years)



• Clinical RN III Educator for Unit Preceptor • Administrative RN III Charge Nurse Assistant Nurse Manager

• Specialty Nurse Case Coordination Home Health MedFlight Nurse Quality Assurance Risk Management Utilization Review Wound Care Nurse

• Educator/Faculty Staff Educator Staff Specialist Faculty at BHCLR DNP/PhD

• Nurse Management Shift Supervisor Nurse Manager Assistant Director Director

• Master’s Prepared APRN CRNA Clinical Nurse Specialist Surgical First Assist


Op Lim tio itle ns ss La ne


CAREER AHEAD Baptist Health Medical Center-Arkadelphia Baptist Health Medical Center-Conway Baptist Health Medical Center-Heber Springs Baptist Health Medical Center-Hot Spring County Baptist Health Medical Center-Little Rock

EOE M/F/Disability/Veteran Employer

Baptist Health Medical Center-North Little Rock Baptist Health Medical Center-Stuttgart Parkway Health Baptist Health Home Health Network Baptist Health Rehabilitation Institute Baptist Health Extended Care Hospital

T O B E G I N Y O U R J O U R N E Y, V I S I T :





MEET THE SCHOOL AND HOSPITAL RECRUITERS 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 or call us at (501) 364-1398.

BRENDA TRIGG, DNP, GNP, RN, CNE Director of Nursing Ouachita Baptist University, Arkadelphia

This new, innovative dual degree RNto-BSN program pairs the strengths of Ouachita Baptist University with the strengths of Baptist Health College Little Rock. Ouachita is a nationallyranked 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 or call (870) 245-5110.



Health care professionals in today’s world must be well-rounded individuals with a commitment to personal and professional excellence. The ideal health care professional has strong critical thinking skills and enjoys continued learning and growth. The individual has a personal belief in citizenship and makes healthy, responsible decisions about their lifestyle. Ultimately, being a health care professional is about caring for people, sometimes on their worst day. The ideal health care professional finds self-worth and joy in caring for others and making a positive impact in a patient’s life. Contact 11900 Colonel Glenn Road, Little Rock, AR 72210-2820. 501.202.6200. Fax 501.202.6220

As the HR Manager, I help prospective employees understand that Arkansas Surgical Hospital is a great place to put their hard-earned skills to work. It is a fast-paced, cutting edge environment where coworkers and physicians are invested in your success. Our physician owners were meticulous in their design of the facility and truly care about the employees at Arkansas Surgical Hospital. That is why eligible employees receive quarterly bonuses through the profit sharing program. I am able to help them understand that Arkansas Surgical Hospital is my hospital and we are different by design. Contact Jtalley@arksurgicalhospital. com or call (501) 748-8078.

Enrollment Coordinator Baptist Health College Little Rock

Human Resources Manager Arkansas Surgical Hospital, Little Rock


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 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: career-opportunities/


HR Coordinator Rivendell Behavioral Health, Little Rock

Since 1985, Rivendell Behavioral Health Services of Arkansas has been committed to providing the best psychiatric and behavioral healthcare with the goal of saving lives and supporting individuals through times of crisis. Located on 17 acres in Benton, Ark., just a 20 minute drive southwest of Little Rock, Rivendell offers services for adults, teens and children. The 80-bed psychiatric hospital and its outpatient programs are accredited by The Joint Commission which speaks to the facility meeting the highest standards of care in the healthcare industry. Learn more at or call (501) 316-1255.

KELLI HOPKINS, Recruiter, Regional Hospitals KEN DUNCAN, Recruiter, Conway Hospital JONI STEPHENSON, Manager APRIL ROBINSON, Recruiter, Little Rock Hospitals WHITNEY BREWER, Recruiter, North Little Rock Hospital 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





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 by Arkansas Business 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.


Recruitment Specialist for the College of Nursing University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Nursing, 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 Health care 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. For more information on our programs, contact us at 501-686-5224, by email at or visit our website at




A Cincinnati native, Tracy Berry graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, with a bachelor’s degree in organizational communication with a concentration in business. She moved to Northwest Arkansas in January due to her husband’s move with Tyson.  She has a variety of industry experience and is looking forward to bringing best practices to Northwest Health. “Just as Northwest Arkansas has individual small towns, each with its own unique flair and culture, each of our hospitals has its own culture. But together – as Northwest Health – we are part of something bigger. We have the resources of a system and can leverage that size to achieve bigger things, such as being part of the Mayo Clinic Care Network. “While technical skills are highly valued in a candidate, we value attitude just as much, if not more. We can teach people skills but not attitude, so assessing for attitude is a key part of our hiring process. We seek to hire people who are both positive and empathetic: key traits for health care providers. We also value people who have strong, hands-on experience which is why we invest in our Nurse Internship Program. “The best candidates see nursing as a calling. If there’s nothing you like more than helping others, nursing is the right profession and Northwest Health is the right organization for you.”

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 has 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 at for more detailed admissions information. We would love to meet with you and get you on the path to meeting your educational and career goals. For more information on our programs please contact the Division of Nursing at (501) 760-4290 or email at jivers@ At National Park College, student success is our focus!

CHI St. Vincent, founded in 1888, is the largest integrated and community-based physician organization in Arkansas — a system with over one million patient visits per year, serving patients from all 75 counties in Arkansas. CHI St. Vincent Infirmary, an acute-care facility, licensed for 615 beds, is located in Little Rock and is ranked the “best regional hospital” in Central Arkansas by U. S. News and World Report and is the first and only hospital to earn Magnet© recognition from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. CHI St. Vincent Hot Springs is an acute-care facility licensed for 282 beds. Other CHI St. Vincent hospitals include CHI St. Vincent North, licensed for 69 beds, in Sherwood; CHI St. Vincent Morrilton, a critical access hospital in Morrilton, licensed for 25 beds; and CHI St. Vincent West, an outpatient campus in west Little Rock. The system includes a network of 300 primary care and specialty physicians, a home health agency, a joint venture inpatient rehabilitation facility, and affiliations with more than 1,000 physicians. To learn more about CHI St. Vincent or explore career opportunities, visit www.chistvincent. com/careers.

Director of Talent Acquisition Northwest Health

Dean of Nursing & Health Sciences National Park College

Market Manager - Talent Acquisitions CHI St. Vincent

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 ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT TO ARKANSAS TIMES





As a leading health care provider in north central Arkansas, White River Health System offers a wide array of services. We look for compassionate nursing professionals to assist with the delivery of quality patient care. White River Health System offers competitive pay and extensive employee benefits.  Visit our website,, to learn more about us and to see the various opportunities.  We strongly encourage applicants to contact us directly with any questions: or (877) 779-7774.

The University of Arkansas offers three online nursing programs; the RN to BSN, the MSN with nurse educator and executive leader concentrations, and the DNP with concentrations in adult/geriatric acute care nurse practitioner and family practice nurse practitioner. DNP course work is online, and on-campus sessions are required periodically during the program. All fully online students receive in-state tuition. Our programs were designed for the working professional. An online program adviser will work with you from start to finish, assisting you through the program. For more information about UA Online Nursing Programs, please visit or email me at

Employment Coordinator White River Health System, Batesville

Director of Recruitment and Outreach for Online Programs University of Arkansas, Fayetteville


Enrollment Coordinator

BELINDA WHITE 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: or email for additional information.

LIBBY STELL, RNP, BSN, OCN Nurse Recruiter University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock SUSAN ERICKSON, RN, MNSc, BC-NA, CHCR Senior Nurse Recruiter University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock

At the heart of patient and familycentered care at UAMS is the belief that nurses and families are partners, working together to best meet the needs of each patient. Excellence in health care happens when we work side by side and honor the expertise each individual brings to each health encounter. Partnerships are strengthened and knowledge shared to provide the highest quality of care. It is what we expect from those who choose a career at Arkansas’s only academic medical center. We also offer unique opportunities combined with salary and benefits, including our 10 percent retirement match and tuition discount for you/your children/spouse plus the personal satisfaction you receive while working at UAMS – it’s hard to beat. That is why more than 11,000 employees enjoy a career for life. To join our team, log onto: or join our Facebook page @ UAMS Nurses.




Recruiting Manager Sparks Health System, Fort Smith and Van Buren.

As the first hospital in the state of Arkansas, Sparks Health System has a strong and proud history of providing quality care to the River Valley and Eastern Oklahoma. We offer a wide range of inpatient and outpatient medical, diagnostic and surgical services, including heart care and orthopedics. Sparks Fort Smith is a Primary Stroke Center, Accredited Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI and has a Heart Failure Program. We are a growing health system with two hospitals and more than 40 clinics. Working with us, you’ll have professional teammates, competitive compensation, a comprehensive benefits package and tuition reimbursement. There are also opportunities for sign-on bonuses and loan repayment. We welcome seasoned nurses as well as nursing graduates who wish to make a difference in the lives of our patients, their families and our community. If you are one of these individuals please visit www.sparkshealth. com and apply today.




As a Baptist Health Affiliate, we at Practice Plus are constantly recruiting for quality nursing candidates who embody our five core values of service, honesty, respect, stewardship and performance. With over 100 clinic locations and 419 providers, we strive daily to achieve our mission of providing quality patient service, while responding to the changing health needs of Arkansans with Christian compassion.  We offer career growth opportunities, competitive salaries and generous benefit packages.  If you are a nursing professional with a caring heart, we encourage you to apply online at

Jefferson Regional Medical Center serves a ten-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 healthcare profession. If you’re interested in a nursing career at JRMC, contact me at

HR Recruiters Practice Plus, Little Rock

Nursing Recruiter Jefferson Regional Medical Center, Pine Bluff

TERRI MCKOWN, DNP, APRN, FNPBC Professor of Nursing Dean Arkansas Tech University, Russellville

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 to which you aspire, from Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) or an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) at our sister campus in Ozark, to a pre-licensure Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or 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. ATU’s nursing faculty are experts in their fields, adding breadth and depth to both your classroom and clinical education. Come join us at ATU...where “Every Student Counts.” Contact 479-964-0583 x 4665.

A Career – and Employer – for a LIFETIME Northwest Arkansas is one of the fastest growing and most dynamic regions in America—a perfect blend of urban sophistication and small town charm. And Northwest Health, one of the largest health systems in Arkansas, is also among the most dynamic. Northwest’s recent collaboration with Mayo Clinic as a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, unique in the region, provides access to an array of clinical resources to enhance locally provided care. The Mayo Clinic Care Network consists of a select group of independent health systems that work closely with Mayo Northwest Health’s RN residents Clinic to improve the delivery of are supported by a team of health care and better serve their leaders who are generous with patients and communities. their knowledge and experience. With five hospitals and numerous affiliated clinics, nurses have a variety of options for service and growth. And, with both Nurse Internship and Nurse Residency programs, it’s a great place for new and aspiring nurses to get their start. Want to join a great team who cares well for patients and for each other? Learn more today by calling us at 479757-4435 or visiting career-opportunities

The Nurse Residency program helps ensure new graduate nurses transition to independent practice with competence, confidence and commitment. The 12-month program includes knowledge and competency assessments, confidence surveys, virtual simulation, married-state preceptorship and monthly live sessions with other residents. The Nurse Internship program gives students in nursing school the opportunity to gain more hands-on experience in addition to their clinical rotations. This helps to set them apart from other future graduates.








here truly has never been a better time to be a nurse in the United States than right now. Demand for nurses is at an all-time high, with job opportunities only expected to increase. As the U.S. population continues to age in record numbers (10,000 people a day reach retirement age, according to some estimates) the demands on America’s health care institutions are also increasing. According to the American Nurses Association, annual job growth is projected at 11 percent or more, in every state in the country, through 2022. In fact, by 2022, there will be far more registered nurse jobs available than any other profession, at more than 100,000 per year. Another reason for this rosy job outlook is that among the millions of aging Baby Boomers are thousands upon thousands of existing nurses who will enter retirement, more than half a million of them by 2022 to be exact. Their exit from the workplace puts even more pressure on hospitals, clinics, doctor’s offices and care centers of all kinds. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the need for 1.1 million new RNs for expansion and replacement of these retirees. To help meet these challenges, Arkansas’s nursing schools have been very successful at recruiting and training new nurses of very high quality across all specialties. These efforts have

put the state in a good position when it comes to the number of nurses in the workplace. According to the 2017 State of the Nursing Workforce in Arkansas report from the Arkansas Center for Nursing, Inc., Arkansas averaged 12.6 registered nurses (RNs) per 1,000 people, including about 10 RNs per 1,000 people in rural counties and 13 RNs per 1,000 people in urban areas. This is ahead of the national average of about 9 RNs per 1,000 people, but there are still challenges to be met. In all, 23 counties in Arkansas are under the national average for nurses, with the least representations coming in Johnson County at just 5.4 RNs per 1,000 Arkansans.


Nurses come from all walks of life, all backgrounds and all ethnic groups. The industry has traditionally been dominated by women, but even this is changing. Nurses work in the state’s largest hospitals, small clinics in rural Arkansas and doctor’s offices of all sizes. They work in mobile health care units like bloodmobiles and they help the elderly in assisted living facilities and nursing homes. In every type of medicine you can name — from cancer treatment to physical rehabilitation to addiction to mental health services, nurses are right in the thick of things. Nurses tend the wounded on the battlefield and scraped knees in the schoolyard. They teach in colleges and universities, cradle the newborn and hold the hands of the dying. To succeed in nursing, you need to complete several years of school to learn the necessary skills. But to truly excel, you have to have certain elements in your personality that seek to serve others and help improve their health and well-being. “Nursing is both an art and a science. The ability to have compassion for others and to communicate with all types of people is necessary,” said Georgia Seward a member of the faculty at Baptist Health College Little Rock School of Nursing. “However, so is the science in nursing, which requires the Medical technology, such as that offered at UA Little Rock, is everywhere in the ability to understand anatomy, nursing profession today. physiology, pathophysiology,




pharmacology. Nurses must realize what is going on with the patient and critically think to decide what to do next.” “Some skills required in nursing must be learned handson, things learned in a skills lab. For instance, starting an IV. Some subjects can be learned as well online as they can be in a classroom. Not all individuals are suited to focusing and learning from online information, though. Many need the discipline of being in a classroom for a specific number of hours and they need the opportunity to ask questions at any point as the information is being presented.” One reason for nurses to have to balance both the “art” and “science” elements of the job is that nurses are expected to be able to make sound decisions, even when under stressful conditions or while multitasking. Keeping a calm head and applying problem solving skills is a critical, even life-saving, skill. “Nursing is physically, mentally and emotionally demanding. It requires intelligent, critical thinkers who can identify needs, problems or issues and take action to resolve them,” said C.J. Newton, director of education and Magnet Program director, Conway Regional Health System. “Nurses have much more autonomy today than in previous eras, yet still have an interdependent relationship with the physician and other health care professionals.” “Leadership is required for every nurse, regardless of the role. Nurses lead the patients and families that they serve, as well as other health care team members.” Nurses must also practice a number of “soft skills” which are strategies for relating to various types of people, working in teams, demonstrating care and empathy and generally providing the highest level of customer service possible. “The expertise of all members of the health care team is necessary to meet the demands of the patient,” Newton said. “High-performing organizations often have a shared governance model in which clinical bedside nurses are expected to be actively engaged in improving the quality and efficiency of the work that is done, as well as improving the work environment.” Soft skills can be taught to one degree or another, but most veteran nurses and nurse educators agree that the best nurses are those who have a natural instinct for such skills. And, they say, a job as diverse as nursing will test your skill set in every imaginable way. “An attribute that is beyond price is flexibility. Don’t be so set in your own ideas that you don’t allow others to ‘pour’ into you and your nursing career,” said Veneine Cuningkin, clinical assistant professor with UAMS College of Nursing in Little Rock. “All jobs come with negative aspects but the ability to remain positive, see the glass half-full and make the best out of difficult situations is also vital.”

Cuningkin said a strong sense of empathy is among the most important personality traits for nurses, not only in relation to patients, but to help improve working relationships with other nurses. “Empathy is being able to understand and share the feelings of another, particularly when the person is having a difficult time,” she said. “Empathy will play a vital role in being a successful nurse because very often, people have created the difficult situation they are experiencing. Rather than judge, nurses must be empathic. Exercising empathy helps you see the person and not necessarily the situation they have created, thus leading to better patient outcomes.” Nurses also have to be excellent communicators. In many work settings, nurses work in teams and interact with a variety of doctors, surgeons, specialists, lab technicians and, of course, the patient and their families. In all of these interactions, excellent verbal and written communication skills are a must. “Communication is vitally important in nursing,” said Emilee Barton, cardiology specialty nurse with Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock. “From communicating with patients and their families to communicating with co-workers, so much of what a nurse does revolves around communication.” Barton said the right candidate for nursing is someone who instinctively knows when to watch and listen and when to speak up, even if they’re the most junior member of the team. “I think a good guideline for knowing when to speak up is to listen to your gut – if something doesn’t look right or sound right, there’s a good chance it might not be,” she said. “New nurses should never hesitate to bring a concern forward to the team and if they feel their concerns haven’t been properly addressed, they can use the chain of command in place within their department to discuss concerns.” The best candidates for nurses are also proactive, that

Choose a nursing school that offers plenty of hands-on experience and access to qualified teachers, as shown here at National Park College in Hot Springs. is, they take the lead in situations or go “above and beyond” (within regulations and protocols) without being asked to do so. They understand the line between work and personal life and conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times. “Successful nurses avoid gossip in all circumstances, or taking sides in an argument or a conversation,” said Souraya Irani, RN with the myeloma center at UAMS in Little Rock. “Nurses should be respectful at all times, willing to help others no matter what and step up when needed. They do not wait until they are asked for help, but are considerate of others.” Most of all, Irani said, nurses must hold their profession in the highest respect and demonstrate that by how they do their jobs every day. The best nurses, first and foremost, really want to be a nurse and view their career as a calling, not a job. “You really have to remember that as a nurse, your role is to care for others no matter what,” Irani said. “This is our oath and our duty as nurses. Most of all, you have to love others unconditionally.”


Choosing a nursing school is like choosing any other college or institution of higher learning, which means there are a variety of things to consider. You should plan to tour schools you are considering and come prepared with lots of questions.

CHECKLIST OF QUESTIONS FOR NURSING SCHOOL TOURS The following is a list of questions to ask of any nursing program you consider. This list is not exhaustive, so feel free to ask several questions of your own. 1. What is the licensure board exam pass rate for this college? (That information is also available through the state board of nursing website.) 2. What is the attrition rate for this college? How many students who begin the program do not finish? If a student is not successful in a program, what are the options to re-enter?

3. What kinds of nursing degrees does the school offer? (Associate’s degree, Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), Doctoral degree (PhD)) 4. Is the college accredited? What is the name of the accrediting organization? 5. Does the college offer interprofessional education? (In your career, you will be working with doctors, pharmacists, physician assistants, respiratory therapists, etc., and it is valuable to have an opportunity to work with students from these various programs.)

“Consider what your short-term and long-term goals are,” said Elizabeth Sloan Davidson, interim department chairperson and associate professor at UA Little Rock. “Is a traditional four-year degree what you want, or do you want to get an associate degree in nursing, begin work as a registered nurse, then complete the bachelor’s degree online?” Sloan Davidson said good things to ask admissions personnel or departmental faculty include questions about graduation rates, available clinical sites, program options and pass rates of the NCLEX, a licensure exam all nurses must pass in order to work in the profession. “You want to attend a nationally accredited nursing program,” she added. “Current respected accreditation agencies include the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the National League for Nursing Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (CNEA). “Accreditation varies among both online and brick-andmortar schools. Either can be accredited. The main limitation for online nursing schools is the need for the student to be very diligent and self-motivated to stay on track. Face-to-face is my preference for pre-licensure students.” “When choosing a nursing program, one of the first things I would recommend you assess is how available are the folks

6. Does the college have state-of-the-art simulation education? What other technology will you be training on? 7. Does the college have scholarships or loan sources to help you pay for school? What are the deadlines and application procedures, and what is required to maintain a financial award? — Sherri Ward, DNP, RN Clinical Assistant Professor University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Nursing




NURSING 2018 in the nursing division to advise?” said Janice Ivers, Dean of Nursing & Health Sciences for National Park College in Hot Springs. “Were they helpful? Did the dean or program director return your email or call? Are program administrators and faculty willing to help you meet your goals?” Ivers also noted that, while most credible schools will offer an online component as part of the curriculum, stand-alone schools that are 100 percent online need to be approached with caution. “You need to be very careful when selecting an online school. Many are for-profit which could foster poor performance. Sometimes communication with the faculty of online programs is difficult,” she said. “In Arkansas, most of the universities now have online RN to BSN programs that are seamless entry. I highly recommend that students check-out our excellent state programs first for quality as well as cost. The biggest positive of selecting an in-state school for obtaining a BSN or higher is if you have a question you can actually set up an appointment and meet with an instructor face to face.” One major plus for nursing schools is how easily they allow students to move through the various educational levels. Shortening the route from first-year student through upper-level nursing degrees means quicker completion and therefore lower overall cost. “A major trend of nursing education programs today is to allow students a seamless matriculation through the various levels of nursing to get nursing students to their nursing career goals in the least amount of time,” said Dr. Brinda McKinney, BSN chair at Arkansas State University School of Nursing in Jonesboro. “One way Arkansas State University does this is to allow student to apply to the next program in their final semester of the current program. Students may insert upper level courses into their current schedule as space permits so they are satisfying requirements of their next program while completing the requirements of their current program.” McKinney said it’s also important to find out what sorts of of hands-on training (known as “clinicals”) are available through the school. Students should choose a college that provides a range of clinical opportunities and learning experiences that most closely match what they envision themselves doing once they graduate. Students should also find a program that stretches them in ways that build their instincts, leadership skills and ability to understand the whole picture. “Several decades ago, nursing schools focused primarily on skills and carrying out a physician’s orders,”McKinney said. “Today, nurses are expected to take a leadership role in the well-being of the patient. Nurses are an integral part of the interdisciplinary team that significantly impacts the patients’ health care outcomes. Students most successful in nursing programs are those with a solid academic foundation and who love working with people and on teams.”

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View the following list of expectations and guiding principles carefully. The more of these items that apply to you the better you may be suited for a career in nursing. o I am generally on time and have a good attendance record at work or school. o I pay attention to my environment and what’s going on around me. o I have a positive, open attitude towards others. o I conduct myself in a professional manner and am supportive of people and situations in my life. o I make good use of feedback and evaluations. o I function as a responsible, ethical, law-abiding adult. o I work effectively in large and small groups. o I feel comfortable giving and accepting freely in the interchange of information. o I have demonstrated individual initiative to further my knowledge on a subject beyond minimum requirements. o I have the ability to prioritize, be reliable, trustworthy and organized. o I show appropriate respect for those placed in authority. o I maintain good personal hygiene and professional dress that reflects the standards expected of a professional. o I communicate professionally, appropriately and effectively in verbal, nonverbal and written formats with others. o I exhibit respect for people’s privacy and I demonstrate restraint when utilizing social media, especially when it could compromise another’s personal information or identity. o I consider myself a role model and agree to conduct myself in compliance with various nurse governing and accreditation bodies, professional associations, licensure boards and my employer. o I have the ability to think critically regarding situational options and have demonstrated the ability to make intelligent, rational decisions. o I respect others and willingly invest the time, attention and open communication to seek agreement. o I respect the rights and privacy of other individuals and do not violate the laws of our society. o I agree to conduct myself in compliance with the ANA Code of Ethics. o I welcome the challenge of demonstrating the personal, intellectual and motivational qualifications of a professional nurse. — Sherri Ward, DNP, RN Clinical Assistant Professor University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Nursing


Nursing is one of the very oldest and most respected professions, especially for women. But today’s nursing workplace bears little resemblance to those of eras gone by. Today, a nurse has to have as much know-how in using technology as they do in any other area. “Technology plays a key role in the field of nursing education, for both the educators and the learners,” said Allison Divine, AD program director at National Park College in Hot Springs. “This has been driven by the technological advances in the health care system itself. In order to work in a health care facility today, it requires a working knowledge and comfort level with a variety of technology, from electronic health records to patient monitoring equipment.” Whether in the classroom, the learning lab or in day-to-day operations, everywhere you look today in health care you see new computerized equipment and technical wizardry. “Technology has taken a huge role in nursing today, encompassing areas from charting and medication administration to patient monitoring and treatment modalities,” said Kathy McCon, another member of


National Park College faculty. “Teachers and students have to have a working knowledge of computer systems, IV pumps, monitoring devices, vein finders and other treatment devices. In the education setting, technology has grown in the use of high- and mid-fidelity simulation manikins to enhance learning without live patient contact.” Such tools are vital to providing a well-rounded, quality education to nursing students, said Jennifer Gernat, clinical instructor with UAMS College of Nursing in Little Rock. “At UAMS College of Nursing, we use technology in a variety of ways to enhance classroom and clinical experiences for our students,” she said“The undergraduates utilize iPads in the classroom and clinical settings, providing an interactive environment that enhances learning through interaction with technology.” “The ability of the students and instructors to interact in real-time really allows for good communication and learning to take place in the classroom. Students retain more from lectures and the clinical experience as a result of this interaction.”


: I have wanted to be a nurse my whole life, and I always pictured myself in the ER or the OR--you know, how you think of nursing from TV when you’re young. But a close friend of mine has been struggling with anorexia for years, and she’s doing a lot better now because she’s been in treatment. She talks all the time about how important her nurses have been to her recovery, and I don’t know ... I just think I could see myself working with people in a mental health and/or behavioral health treatment center. But what is that like, and does it require different skills than other kinds of nursing? What are the challenges?


: First of all, I’m so glad to hear that your friend is doing well in recovery. As a nurse, some of our most rewarding moments are when our patients tell us that we’ve had an impact. I can remember very clearly the first time a person ever told me, “Thank you for giving me my life back!” And I’ll say there are definitely some very specific differences in this type of nursing. We’re working with families at what may be the most difficult time in their lives, and it’s so powerful to see the patient sort of revive, both emotionally and mentally. Our patients come to us in distress. Most of them are suicidal or are so depressed that they are not functioning well physically or mentally. Their relationships are suffering. Many of our patients, whether children or adults, need support for how to handle their own mood fluctuations. This requires a nurse who is emotionally stable, very mentally strong themselves, and fully able to adapt to others’ behavior quickly and confidently. We have to trust our instincts and develop the skills to help predict and alleviate any triggers to the patient, such as a difficult phone call or family session. As a nurse of psychiatric treatment, you need to possess integrity, character, patience and sensitivity. And, of course, no matter what field of nursing you go into, a sense of humor helps! In this environment, a nurse must be empathetic, but at the same time stern and not wavering due to the crisis state we see most of our patients in. One of the biggest challenges is seeing that a patient needs help because they are a

A psychiatric and behavioral health professional from Rivendell answers your questions

risk of danger to themselves or others and the patient themselves not realizing it. The flip side of that is seeing that, within just a few days of being here, the patient who was admitted tearful, sad or angry is now smiling and actively participating in treatment. Rivendell, of course, provides for

nurses financially through salaries, benefits, bonus plans, etc., but the most rewarding part of my job as a psychiatric nurse at this facility is watching excellent quality care change a person’s life. We certainly aren’t the largest behavioral health hospital, but we are definitely one of the best! Our clinical outcomes

are outstanding! According to the Basis 32, a national survey on clinical quality indicators, our adult patients typically come to us sicker than they do to other hospitals and they leave more healed than those at other hospitals. That’s my goal! Healing those who are hurting emotionally. n

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The Joint Commissio on Key Quality Meas





o onto any ward in any hospital and the superstar nurses immediately stand

acute or urgent care setting, showing caring and kindness to all people including other patients expect quality care staff and being able to take charge when necessary without out. They aren’t always the most experienced; they might not work in the bigthat is safe, easily accessible, being aggressive. These traits benefit everyone, particularly gest health system, and they may not even be at the top of their class. But every affordable and works to make patients. Treating everyone with respect always serves the one of them brings to the workplace an intangible “it” factor that separates them from them better,”said Dr. Sharon new nurse well.” the crowd. Here are five tools to master that can help you crush your career in nursing. Stevenson, clinical assistant “Patients expect top-notch care and they expect it now. professor with UAMS College Sometimes this can be frustrating for nurses. In the end, of Nursing in Little Rock. however, if you are kind and compassionate to people, most “They want to trust the health care providers and expect to will appreciate your efforts.” It is sometimes hard for nurses to see themselves in the be treated with respect. They want to be included in decisions customer service business. After all, they have been about the care and management that they, or their family Soft skills represent the “art” of nursing; the undertrained to do a job by following protocols and carrying members, receive. Nurses and nurse practitioners work colstanding of what people need and want at a given out best practices. Doing that well — consistently and laboratively to include patients and other health care providers time, regardless of what treatment they’re on or what efficiently — allows them to meet many responsibilities to which is a model of patient-centered care.” prognosis they are facing. multiple patients every day. So what does good customer service look like in the nursing “Soft skills are an important part of a nurse’s ability to do However, with the numerous changes in federal health profession? In short, it’s going the extra mile, being proactive a job that is unlike any profession,” said Terri Imus, director of care regulations that have occured over the past decade, and aware and taking the time to interact in a manner that operations for the Center for Distance Health Trauma Telehospitals and health systems are judged by how well they demonstrates compassion and respect at all times. medicine at UAMS in Little Rock. “The nurse must be able to deliver excellent care, especially from the patient’s point of “Patients come to health care with a lot more information listen and communicate with both the patient and the other view. And that has brought with it a new focus on customer than in the past, with the internet and social media,” said Elizahealth care providers in order to assist in the care of others.” service during treatment. beth Sloan Davidson, interim department chairperson at UA “Delivering care requires an interdisciplinary team from “It’s not a new revelation that in the last several years Little Rock. “Skills include being an excellent communicator, many different professions and the abilpatient satisfaction and a focus on valueity to work together is very important in based care is a must-have for hospitals every aspect of patient care.” and health care organizations across The list of soft skills is long and inthe country,” said Terri Bunch MSN, RN cludes active listening, a caring attitude, CNO with White River Medical Center critical thinking, problem-solving skills in Batesville. “Patient satisfaction has and communication, to name just a few. gained extensive recognition as a gauge One of the most important soft skills of quality.” is empathy, which is the ability to put “Nurses today are expected to provide oneself in the place of another and apexcellent customer service, in addition preciate how they are feeling, then react to patient-centered care. Today’s nursing accordingly. For many nurses, empathy students need training in communication, represents the foundation upon which listening and service skills, which were all other nursing job skills are built. not as common in the past.” “An empathic nurse can see from the Hospitals are required to gather papatient’s perspective and respond in a tient input as to their satisfaction with way that their feelings are understood the care they received. These scores help all the while responding in an appropridetermine the funding hospitals get from ate and therapeutic way to the patient’s the government to help reimburse the needs,” Imus said. health system for the care it provides Most of all, nurses should respect people who cannot pay. The higher the their profession and the people they score, and therefore the higher patient serve 24/7. You may come off of a shift satisfaction, the more the health system but you’re never really off duty in this line receives. Not to mention that, just like in of work. Practicing soft skills effectively any business, hospitals are in competiin daily life helps make such skills a habit tion with each other. Satisfied patients and much more easily applied on the job. are more likely to use or recommend a “A positive and caring attitude is esparticular health system over another. Soft skills such as compassion and communication are a huge part of UAMS nurses’ skill set. sential in nursing,” said Angie McJunkins, “Whether in an inpatient, outpatient,






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faculty member with National Park College in Hot Springs. “This attitude tells the world about you. Nurses who possess a positive, caring attitude are essential to the health care arena, as this makes collaboration and patient advocacy easier for everyone.”


Nursing students at National Park College get a primer in inserting an IV in state of the art classrooms.


Technology is everywhere in nursing and a student who can master it holds the key to nearly unlimited options for career advancement. But the most valuable skill of all is knowing how to use technology appropriately in the workplace. “Nurses are now using technology at the bedside and sometimes this interferes with person-to-person interaction,” said Dr. Paige Wimberley, associate professor of nursing with Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. “When nurses are careful to use the technology as a tool rather than as a replacement for some of the skills they possess, it works out beautifully. When misuse of technology occurs, the consequences can be severe.” In short, technology is there to assist you, not think for you. Even the most sophisticated piece of machinery has the capacity to fail or give a false reading. Knowing this, the best nurses use technology but keep it in its place. If something doesn’t sound right or feel right, it’s worth another look or asking someone for a second opinion. “Like all new advances, there are always pros, cons and unintended consequences. Technology at the bedside is no different,” said Terri Bunch with White River Medical Center. “Technology has the potential to improve health care and positively impact quality and safety. It also has the potential to introduce errors and adverse events with poor design, lack of interfaces, inadequate training and just the sheer volume of the number of new devices.” “As health care providers, we can forget that technology can fail. We can’t focus so much on the data from the system that we fail to note the subtle changes in the clinical picture of the patient.” Another brand of technology, one’s personal device, such as a smartphone or tablet, presents another potential hazard. Paying attention to an Instagram feed or sending messages to one’s friends may seem like a harmless way to pass the time during a slow night shift, when in reality it can cause you to miss something important or not be as alert to patient needs as you should be. And most employers take the view that they aren’t paying you to shop online on their time. “Nurses need to be very aware of the use of technology in the workplace and outside the workplace as well,” said Kathy McCon, a member of the nursing faculty at National

Park College in Hot Springs. “Unfortunately many nurses do not always use technology in a safe, ethical or responsible manner. Workplaces need to train all employees on the use of technology and implement strict policies to protect patients and employees and prevent misuse.” Without this training, good nurses can get into big trouble when their use of personal technology unintentionally violates rules that are in place to protect patient privacy. Suppose you worked in labor and delivery and want to take and share a photo of your patient and her baby. No big deal, right? Unless, of course, there was a monitor in the background of the photo with patient information displayed or you didn’t get proper permission to post the photo from the patient. What started as a harmless celebration of a new birth has just turned into a major privacy breach. “People forget or take for granted that their intentions may be misrepresented or misinterpreted,” Wimberly said. “The distractions that are inherent in the workplace often lead people to forget they should monitor what is being said or that permission for pictures needs to be obtained. This carries


Hard skills equal process and soft skills equal behaviors; patient experience is driven by both. Health systems count on employees who bring elevated degrees of hard skills and soft skills to drive and surpass the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Health Care Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) goals. Essential soft skill sets and traits include the following: 1) Emotional Intelligence (self-awareness) 2) Compassionate nature 3) Empathy 4) Detail-oriented 5) Organizational skills 6) Emotionally stable 7) Adaptable 8) Endurance 9) Decisive judgement 10) Good communicator — Terri Bunch MSN, RN CNO White River Medical Center


serious consequences including the loss of your current job and difficulty finding another, violation of state regulations which can affect licensure status and in some cases there are legal ramifications.”


Whether we like it or not, people make snap judgements based on first impressions. It’s pretty much how humans are wired and, try though we might, it’s something we’ve never quite been able to overcome. One of the oldest workplace adages says, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression,” and it’s as true today as it ever was. Simple things like being on time and having a positive attitude toward one’s job go a long way to establishing a nurse’s reputation and can have a lasting impact on a career. And we’re not even talking about a first day on the job; a nurse’s reputation begins to form with the all-important job interview. Make no mistake, just because there’s a shortage of nurses doesn’t mean there’s not competition for jobs. Employers are looking to hire the best and they’re evaluating you from the very first handshake on everything from what you wear to how you speak to the spelling on your resume. Everything makes an impression in one way or another. “Applicants should dress professionally no matter where they are meeting recruiters,” said Sandra Lubin, project administrator in the Geriatric Advanced Practice Program at UAMS College of Nursing in Little Rock. “If you’re going to a job fair, still dress appropriately and pay attention to grooming. First impressions matter.” Having a resume and game plan equally well-groomed is as important as personal appearance, Lubin said. A resume is more than just a list of classes and work experience, important though those things are. It’s also representative of your education, thinking skills and attention to detail. In many cases, it gives people who haven’t even met you a sample of who you are. Therefore, even “little” errors such as punctuation and grammar tend to jump off the page at a recruiter. “Have a well-prepared resume, and have someone else read over it to ensure it is clear and concise,” Lubin said. “Never slam a previous employer no matter how you left the job. Be objective in telling why you left — hours, philosophy — not, ‘I didn’t like my supervisor.’” Applicants should also take the time to research the organization and tailor their resume and answers accordingly. It makes a much better impression to answer interview questions using examples relevant to the potential employer than to give vague answers. Plus, it will make you more confident and relaxed in the interview as well.



• 13


THE DO’S AND DON’TS OF SUCCESSFUL INTERVIEWING We asked veterans of employment interviewing for the things that make or break a nurse’s job interview. Here’s what they told us.

DO’S ✔ Have a resume prepared, even if this is your first job. Make sure your resume is pristine; complete a spell check and/or use a software program that detects grammar, spelling and punctuation errors. ✔ Be honest on your resume/CV and include relevant work experiences as well as community service. ✔ Include a cover letter, whenever possible. Have another colleague, professional or mentor review your resume and cover letter before submitting it to a prospective employer. The ranks of nurses, like this group from Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, feature more gender, age and ethnic diversity than ever.

✔ Dress appropriately; business dress is expected when presenting for an interview. ✔ Be on time; arrive 10 minutes early.

“Learn as much as possible about the organization so that you can ask the interviewer questions and anticipate what he or she might ask,” said Dr. Paige Wimberley with Arkansas State. “Practice with someone so that you can respond to questions in a relaxed, informed manner.”



Nursing is serious business and it’s often a stressful line of work. Team members work long hours which often makes it difficult on family members or to create and maintain a social circle. Patients who are in pain or on medications can be tough to deal with, especially if the nurse is going through issues in his or her personal life. Finding a way to rise above these challenges and conduct one’s job with a positive attitude demonstrates the very best in nursing skill. In a word, it’s demonstrating professionalism at all times. “Nurses must be open-minded and show selfrespect as well as respect for others in their care,” said Marva LaGrant, nurse leader with Jefferson Regional Medical Center in Pine Bluff. “A nurse must be kindhearted, provide compassionate care and love what they do. They must own and love the profession. A can-do attitude and positive personality are necessary.” No matter how long you’ve been in the nursing profession or in what setting, professionalism applies to everything you do and everyone with whom you come in contact. It’s what defines a person on the job and away from the job. “(Professionalism) is showing up on time and doing what the job requires with a positive attitude,” LaGrant said. “This is in short supply, especially when it is not consistently role modeled. A good work ethic is a part of professionalism and shows loyalty to the organization with which you are employed. It is very important; it defines the basic character of the nurse to show dependability and responsibility.” Professionalism means understanding your actions at work affect the people around you. Coming in on time for your shift, or in returning

14 •


from lunch or breaks, is not only respectful to the patients under your care, but shows consideration for your co-workers. In a team environment, these positive working relationships are critical for success. “Receiving personal calls on the unit or office phone or use of a personal cell phone to conduct business when not on break, is disrupting and distracting to those around you,” said Dr. Paige Wimberley with Arkansas State.“Speaking loudly and gossiping should be avoided at all times. Becoming involved intimately with someone from work can result in gossip and cause major disruption to the overall morale if there is a breakup.” Work relationships are challenging enough, but in the case of the nursing profession it doesn’t end with your shift. A nurse with a high sense of professionalism understands that there are boundaries that must be respected outside of working hours, too. Observing these boundaries can minimize much of the drama that would otherwise creep into the work place. “One of the most common pitfalls in health care settings in regards to policies is the fall of professional boundaries,” said Megan Lindsey, a member of the faculty at National Park College in Hot Springs. “When a professional relationship moves into personal time such as ‘drinks out with the guys’ or ‘interoffice dating’ there is no longer that professional understanding.” “When those boundaries are broken, the consequences that enter into the workplace can begin to landslide. Expectations of favoritism, hurt feelings, squabbling and a complete breakdown of the professional atmosphere can occur.” One reason why professionalism is stressed so heavily is that the actions of one nurse reflects on the actions of all. Your professionalism, in turn, defines your team, your employer and your profession to others. As Terri Imus with UAMS put it, “A nurse is a nurse 24 hours a day. The nurse represents the facility they work for as well as the profession as a whole and they must conduct themselves in a way that is a positive reflection of the nursing profession.”


✔ Show that you are prepared for the interview by researching the organization’s mission, values, services and reputation, including quality scores and financial viability. ✔ Understand the role you are applying for and why you believe this is the right position for you. ✔ Maintain a positive and confident attitude, make good eye contact and speak in a positive, professional manner that conveys enthusiasm. ✔ Have a well thought out explanation if there are gaps in your work history. ✔ Be prepared with questions for the interviewer. This is your chance to interview your potential new employer. ✔ At the end of the interview, ask about next steps and if you need to clarify anything. Inquire when you might be hearing anything and most importantly, send a unique thank you letter as a follow up within 24 hours.

DON’TS Don’t come to an interview with zero knowledge of the company. Don’t be anything but respectful in your demeanor; wait to be asked to be seated. Don’t go into the interview with your Starbucks or Red Bull in your hand. Don’t answer your cell phone; keep it turned off and out of sight. Don’t use negative body language (zero eye contact, slumping in chair) or play with things on the desk. Don’t answer questions with a yes/no only answer, give work or school examples that demonstrate your skills. On the other hand, don’t ramble on and on, but keep answers concise and to the point. Don’t ask personal questions which are not part of the job description or reveal negative personal life issues. Don’t be pushy about salary or bring it up in the first interview. Don’t act like a deer in the headlights when it is your turn to ask questions. Don’t forget to follow up an interview with an email or card thanking the interviewer for their time.

L E A D I NG &

INSPIRING A-STATE SCHOOL OF NURSING Doctor of Nursing Practice Master of Science in Nursing Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Nurse Anesthesia Graduate Certificates in Nursing Administrator and Nurse Educator Post-Master’s Certificates in Family Nurse Practitioner and Adult-Gerontology CNS 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, Beebe, West Memphis, Mt. Home)

College of Nursing & Health Professions



• 15



t’s hard to capture the breadth and depth of work environments that nursing covers. From military and travel nurses who crisscross the globe to small Main Street doctor’s offices where one nurse does everything, the profession offers a little something for

every taste and career goal. Here’s a few of those settings, both the expected and the unexpected, as described by people who have worked there.


grow and succeed in accomplishing their goals,” she said. “The smiles and hugs received from these children are so uplifting. I have been blessed to have the opportunity to work at this clinic and hope to be here for many years to come. ”

said small-town nurses are typically cross-trained to be able to perform floating tasks upon hiring. She added the additional training typically doesn’t apply to nurses in metro areas, as the patient volume and size of the facility allow them to remain more specialized. Nurses are certified in advanced cardiovascular life support (ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) and Basic Life Support (BLS) where in larger hospitals, only BLS would be required. “We also encourage all nurses to obtain TNCC which is Trauma Nurse Competency Training. This is only required of ER nurses in other facilities,” Estell said. Many smaller hospitals are owned by larger health system, such as Baptist Health, and having access to a health system’s resources provides a number of advantages in training and support. That, and the quality of life many people seek in smaller communities, makes rural nurse jobs sometimes hard to find. All in all, Estell said, it makes for a diverse and fulfilling career. “A nurse has to be diverse and open to learning several areas,” Estell said. “Nurses perform audits that are required by CMS and state health and have roles on several committees, due to the small amount of staff in a rural hospital. This is beneficial in that it gives extra experience should the nurse wish to move to another department or role.”

As the clinic nurse for UAMS Kids First in Pocahontas, Clinical Coordinator Laura McGinnis is responsible for the health Being a predominantly rural state, Arkansas supports a large and safety of the children and staff at the facility. The earlynumber of small hospitals and clinics outside of major metintervention clinic provides day habilitation, occupational, ropolitan areas. These facilities rely heavily on their ability to physical and speech therapy and daily nursing services to attract and retain medical expertise in order to stay open. And children ages birth to five years old. while some people may think small-town hospitals require a As the only full-time nurse on staff, she has to be confident narrower skill set, the opposite is actually true. working independently and be good at multitasking to meet “Being a nurse in the rural hospital allows for growth in many the diverse needs of the patients. different aspects of nursing,” said Charmaine Estell, associate “Many of the children who attend Kids First see multiple director of nursing for Baptist Health of Hot Spring County. health care providers and one of my roles is to help coordinate “Since the facility is smaller than the metro hospital, nurses the child’s care,” she said. “I train staff and families regarding are floated to different departments to work, depending on diagnosis and health care needs of the children in their care the census. If Med-Surg has a low census, the nurse may be such as seizure precaution or asthma plans as developed by asked to work ICU, Mental Health or the Emergency Departtheir primary care physician or specialist. ment. As a nurse, this opens up opportunities for growth in “I also follow up with the child’s primary care providers each of those departments.” and specialists on developmental, medical and nutritional Across the state of Arkansas, four-year and two-year colleges To prepare nurses for this broad range of expertise, Estell progress, immunization records and other issues that may arise.” have an ongoing need for medical professionals on To work in a setting like this requires an RN campus. As parents increasingly rank safety and designation and successfully passing criminal wellness as the primary consideration for choosing a background checks and adult and child maltreatschool, the campus wellness center, and the profesment checks. Nurses teaching CPR courses, as sionals who staff it, are taking on added importance. McGinnis does, must pass additional instructor “The advantages of working on a college campus certification. including a flexible schedule for children during “For my clinical responsibilities, I must be school and the ability to be off work during school knowledgeable in pediatrics, communicable breaks,” said Reagan Mitchell, RN, Sim Lab Tech with illnesses, and care,” she said. “I’m responsible National Park College in Hot Springs and a former for daily health assessments, medication adcampus nurse.“You also get the opportunity to have an ministration, and procedures such as oxygen inside perspective of the younger generation’s health monitoring, gastrostomy tube feeding, and needs and challenges. You have the opportunity to urinary catheterization.” get creative and research health-related activities “I also provide training such as CPR, First Aid, and host events for students that may help them and health and safety to staff and sometimes in their daily lives.” even members of the community.” Among the college nurse’s responsibilities are McGinnis said since there aren’t that many managing student immunization records, attending facilities like UAMS Kids First, it can be hard to to injuries or emergencies on campus and communibreak into this line of work. She’s grateful she cating with instructors and administration regarding has the opportunity, saying there’s nothing an emergency or illness a student may have. Nurses quite like working in a center like hers. Many health systems offer nurses the latest technology, shown here at UAMS. also run public health initiatives on campus such as “It is rewarding to see the children we serve




16 •




educating students on unplanned pregnancy prevention, hosting campus wellness and community resource fairs, flu shot clinics and health insurance assistance clinics for staff and students. “(Campus nurses) are always working to improve student and staff awareness on health-related issues throughout the year,” Mitchell said. “This includes working closely with campus security on emergency preparedness and disaster readiness plans as well as managing and maintaining all campus first aid kits and AEDs” Even though these jobs are hard to come by due to long tenures, there are certain downsides to working on campus, said Mitchell. The pay is generally less competitive than in a large hospital setting and some nurses might also not like the hours — four to five days a week versus a typical hospital rotation

all work as a team, not just doctors, nurses and certified nursing assistants, but correctional staff as well,” said Nicole Reynolds, a member of the National Park College faculty in Hot Springs. “Inmates that I have come in contact with are generally grateful for what you do for them.” Admittedly, working in a lockup for 12 hours a day takes some getting used to. There are also safety protocols that must be met that nurses in hospitals don’t have to think about. “There are primitive nursing skill requirements,” Reynolds said. “I have to manually calculate my IV drips and calibrate the drug administration. Most everything is under lock and key, basic things such as a pair of scissors. All sharps are to be counted every 12 hours, too.” Janna Lock, simulation coordinator with National Park College, said despite the rough clientele she never feared for her safety working in the prison infirmary. “You are surrounded by My first experience with a negative outcome was security at all times, so safety, as a patient death. I was responsible for preparing long as you abide by the rules, the body for the family to say their goodbyes. A is normally not a concern. I felt nurse who had worked on the unit for much lonsafer inside the prison walls ger than I came in to help and he could see that I than I did going to the mall was struggling. He very quietly showed me how or Kroger at night,” she said. to respect the patient and the death. He dimmed “Nurses must maintain a very the lights, spoke softly when he asked me to assist strict professional demeanor, with disconnecting the many tubes and he showed normal gestures of caring such me how to wrap the body in a clean sheet to show as touching the patient on the respect for the patient and the family. I will never shoulder without an assessment forget that experience. He taught me to slow down purpose can be misconstrued and to consider the situation and respond to it by both the prisoner and the appropriately. security officers.” — Renee Joiner, tele-stroke director of operations As you might expect, backUAMS, Little Rock ground checks and routine drug screenings are par for the course in this job and all activities are strictly regimented. of three 12-hour shifts per week. The pay is higher, given the environment, but Colleges and universities can sometimes as Reynolds said, when it comes to respect, have excessive channels and red tape the you basically get what you give in this role. nurse must navigate for programs, as well. “If you have an attitude which is controlling “Getting health and wellness-related inand domineering and think that prisoners are formation out to the campus effectively can animals and not human beings, the prisoners be a challenge,” Mitchell said. “Often approval won’t respect you,” she said. “People respond for certain events or programs may take more better to positive reinforcement and empowtime than expected due to the busy campus erment. If you treat them with respect, they schedule. Planning ahead is key.” will respect you.”

“ ”



While not for everybody, working in a prison health care unit can provide a rewarding career in nursing. Medical professionals are in high demand in the correctional system and veterans of this work environment say it’s not as intimidating as it first sounds. “The prison system has great staffing. We

why should I care that CHI St. Vincent Infirmary is a Magnet hospital? because I can be more confident in my treatment outcomes they exceed standards in nursing excellence my family can receive the best care because together we’re better


Again! 2013


CHI St. Vincent Infirmary in Little Rock, the first hospital in Arkansas to achieve Magnet status, earned its first re-designation as a Magnet hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Our commitment: Being a great place to work, practice medicine and receive excellent and compassionate care. To learn more about Magnet designations or a career, visit


One of the fastest-growing areas of medicine, mental health hospitals and outpatient clinics present nurses with a lot of career options. Psychiatric nurses may provide care on a dayby-day basis or supervise individuals around the clock. Mental health nurses may work with adults, children or in a group setting.



• 17

NURSING 2018 “In the mental health setting the nurse’s primary duty includes establishing a therapeutic environment that facilitates the patient’s ability to establish therapeutic relationships,” said Pam Branch, a member of the mental health faculty at National Park College in Hot Springs. “In addition, the RN is involved in the day-to-day activities, meeting with the Interdisciplinary Treatment Team, meeting the patient’s physiological needs, ongoing assessments, the milieu’s activity schedule and unit and hospital orientation. “ Demand in the field is substantial; according to Nurse Journal, the field is expected to grow more than 30 percent, which is much faster than other positions nationwide. Working in a mental health facility has its own unique set of challenges, said Megan Lindsey, another member of NPC’s faculty. The job can be particularly strenuous on a mental and emotional level, given some patients’ severe mental illness, although others may only have minor concerns. Despite more awareness of the prevalence of mental health issues, patients still carry a stigma which scares some nurses away from the field. But as those who have worked there can tell you, it’s a specialty like any any other, rooted in caring and compassion. “As a mental health nurse you have the opportunity to care for clients in a way that doesn’t always include their physical health,” Lindsay said. “Mental illness is a field that continues to carry a stigma in American culture and due to this stigma it can pose difficulties for clients to receive the care they need.” “Working in the mental health setting can provide nurses with the opportunity to be a change-maker in the lives of these clients.”


Nurses who work in a large, urban setting have access to the most advanced medical technology and usually care for the sickest patients. This gives them unique experience that nurses practicing in rural areas may not encounter. They are fast-paced, multifaceted institutions that often pay more for the same positions than smaller, rural hospitals. “Urban hospitals typically have a larger workforce of administrative nurses allowing greater capacity to develop new models of care and implement research- and evidenced-based protocols,” said Nicole Ward, clinical assistant professor with UAMS College of Nursing in Little Rock. “Many urban hospitals

Instinct and expertise are vital in nursing no matter the size or technology in a given environment.

also have formal training programs called residencies for new nurses. Evidence shows that nurses who complete a formal residency are more confident in their skills as a new nurse.” Larger urban hospitals offer additional benefits, such as more upward mobility or the opportunity to transition from the ward into the classroom, administration or lab. There may also be more flexibility in scheduling, considering that urban hospitals have higher labor demands and operate around the clock. Large, urban hospitals also tend to get the latest technology first, as they treat enough patients to help recoup the cost of such equipment. This requires additional, ongoing training in order to keep up with the latest tools of the trade, some of which empower partner hospitals from afar. “With the advancement of telemedicine, sick patients who once had to travel to large urban centers are now able to receive care in rural locations,” Ward said. “This is also changing the environment of rural hospitals because they may care for patients that at one time would have been transferred to a larger facility.” Finally, being located in a larger, urban community provides more job opportunities for nurses outside the hospital setting. The many doctor’s offices, specialty clinics and even corporate wellness departments that exist in urban areas are fewer in rural locations. However, it should be noted that there’s more competition for those jobs too, given the higher local population base.



18 •






orthwest Arkansas is one of the fastest growing and most dynamic regions in America—a perfect blend of urban sophistication and small town charm. And Northwest Health, one of the largest health systems in Arkansas, is also among the most dynamic. Northwest’s recent collaboration with Mayo Clinic Care Network, unique in the region, provides both patients and staff with access to an array of clinical resources to enhance locally provided care. Additionally, local physicians are collaborating with Mayo Clinic doctors to improve the delivery of health care for their patients through highquality, data-driven medical care and treatment. Patients can gain the benefits of Mayo Clinic expertise within their own communities, without having to travel, by seeing a Northwest physician who is able to request an eConsult. The Mayo Clinic Care Network consists of a select group of independent health systems that work closely with Mayo Clinic to improve the delivery of health care and better serve their patients and communities. Through a formalized relationship with Mayo Clinic, Northwest Health care providers have access to:

ASK MAYO EXPERT Review Mayo Clinic-vetted information on care guidelines, treatment recommendations and medical reference information at the point of care. eCONSULTS Consult electronically with Mayo Clinic specialists on patient care questions. eBOARDS Interact with a multidisciplinary panel of Mayo Clinic specialists and other members via live video conferences to review and discuss the management of complex cases. HEALTH CARE CONSULTING Learn from Mayo Clinic’s experience and gain access to its subject matter experts to meet an organization’s clinical, operational and business objectives. Additionally, with both Nurse Internship and Nurse Residency programs, Northwest Health is a great place

for new nurses to get their start. “The RN residency program exists to ensure new graduate nurses transition to independent practice with competence, confidence and commitment,” said Tracy Berry, Director of Talent Acquisition. “We are dedicated to providing an excellent learning and development experience. RN residents are supported by a team of leaders who are generous with their knowledge and experience. The 12-month program includes knowledge and competency assessments, confidence surveys, virtual simulation, married-state preceptorship and monthly live sessions with other residents, in addition to other learning opportunities.” The Internship program is open to students currently enrolled in a nursing program. “Northwest invests in its current leaders but also in growing future leaders,”Berry said. “We do this through the Nurse Residency program as well as the Internship program. The Internship program gives students in nursing school the opportunity to gain more hands-on experience in addition to their clinical rotations. This helps set them apart from other future graduates.”

Save One Life You’re A HERO Save 100 Lives You’re A NURSE. Arkansas hospitals employ everyday health care heroes, but our nurses are even more. Be more than a hero. Arkansas Hospitals. Important for Life.



• 19







BACCALAUREATE Arkansas State University - Jonesboro • 870-972-3074 (nursing) • 870-972-3024 (admissions)

4 yr public

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


July 1st; Online students pay apply year arou

Arkansas Tech University, Russellville • 479-968-0383 Harding University, Searcy • 1-800-477-4407, 501-279-4682 Henderson State University, Arkadelphia • 870-230-5015

4 yr public 4 yr private 4 yr public

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

Ouachita Baptist Univeristy, Arkadelphia • 870-245-5000

4 yr private, faithbased

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

BSN-4yrs, RN to BSN-1yr, MSN-2yrs BSN 4 yrs; MSN FN - 2yrs, PG - 2yrs Only 2 semesters for the Online RN to BSN degree and 4 yrs for the Traditional BSN and LPN to BSN on Campus BSN-4 yrs

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

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

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville • 479-575-3904

4 yr public

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

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

4 yr public

BSN, RN-BSN Completion

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)

University of Arkansas - Fort Smith • 479-788-7841, 1-888-512-LION University of Arkansas at Monticello • 870-460-1069 University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, College of Nursing, Little Rock • 501-686-5224

4 yr public 4 yr public 4 yr public

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

ASSOCIATE DEGREE Arkansas Northeastern College, Blytheville • 870-824-6253 • Paragould • 870-239-3200 • Burdette • 870-563-5110 Arkansas State University - Jonesboro • 870-972-3074 (nursing) • 870-972-3024 (admissions)

2 yr public 4 yr public

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

2 yr public

Arkansas Tech University - Ozark Campus, Ozark • 479-667-2117 College of the Ouachitas, Malvern • 800-337-0266 ext 1200

public 2 yr public

East Arkansas Community College, Forrest City • 870-633-4480 Mississippi County Community College, Blytheville • 870-762-1020 National Park College, Hot Springs • 501-760-4290

2 yr public 2 yr public 2 yr public

North Arkansas College, Harrison • 870-743-3000

2 yr public

AAS in Allied Health-Practical Nursing and AAS in Registered Nursing Technical Certificate in Practical Nursing (PN), Associate of Applied Science in Nursing (RN), Certified Nursing Assistant, Medication Administration Program AASN AAS in Nursing Associate of Science in Nursing (RN) traditional & LPN to RN, Technical Certificate in Practical Nursing (PN) AAS in Nursing-traditional. LPN, LPN-RN

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

2 yr public

Ozarka College, Melbourne • 870-368-7371

varies February 1st June

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

Priority Dec. 1

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-MSN-DNP 7 semester BSN, 3 semester RN to BSN Completion

on campus housing for BSN students

March 15th

on/off campus housing

April 1st

BSN 4 yrs, RN to BSN 12 mos 100% online, MSN varies, PMC varies, DNP 2yrs, BSN to DNP (FNP) 4 yrs part-time 4 yrs for BSN/Varies for RN-BSN 2 to 4 yrs 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 available

July 1st

on campus housing on campus housing on campus housing

Priority Oct. 1st contact financial aid (870) 460-1050 varies, visit Click on Finan Assistance under Future Students

AAS Nursing

2 year

commuter campus

Priority April 15

D.N.P., M.S.N., B.S.N., AASN (LPN to AASN and (new) Online LPN to AASN offered at A-State Jonesboro, Traditional and LPN to AASN offered at ASU-Beebe, ASU Mid-South, and ASU-Mountain Home) AAS in RN- LPN/Paramedic to RN


on campus housing for Jonesboro

July 1st

30 hrs pre-req courses, plus 1 yr LPN/Paramedic, Plus 1 yr RN 3 semesters-PN; 2 semesters - RN 1-3 semesters

commuter campus

Nov. 1

commuter campus commuter campus

Priority April 15 open

2 yrs 2 yrs 2 yrs RN, 1 yr PN

commuter campus commuter campus commuter campus

April 15th Priority April 15 - Rolling open

RN-2 yr; LPN-RN-1yr; PN-1yr

commuter campus

Pell Grant June 30


68 credit hours

commuter campus

June 1st and November 1st

2 yr public

Associate of Applied Science in Registered Nursing

12 mos


Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas, Helena, Dewitt, Stuttgart • Helena 870-338-6474 x1254; DeWitt 1-870-946-3506 x1611; Stuttgart 1-870-673-4201 x1809 Southeast Arkansas College, Pine Bluff • 870-543-5917 University of Arkansas, Little Rock, Department of Nursing, Little Rock • 501-569-8081

2 yr public

AAS, technical certificate/PN

AAS 63 credit hrs, PN 42 credit hrs

commuter campus; limited housing units available on campus commuter campus

2 yr public 4 yr public

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

PN-1 yr, Generic RN-5 Semesters 4 semesters

commuter campus on/off campus housing

open 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


2 yr public Associate/RN; LPN (Hope); LPN (Texarkana) private, faith-based diploma/PN, Associate of Applied Science in Nursing/RN

commuter campus commuter campus

July 15th March 1st priority

Jefferson Reg. Med. Center School of Nursing, Pine Bluff • 870-541-7858 PRACTICAL NURSING Arkansas Northeastern College, Blytheville • 870-824-6253 • Paragould • 870-239-3200 • Burdette • 870-563-5110 Arkansas State University - Beebe • 501-882-8822 Arkansas State University - Mountain Home • 870-508-6266 Arkansas State University - Newport • 870-680-8710 Arkansas Tech University - Ozark Campus, Ozark • 479-667-2117 ASU Technical Center, Jonesboro • 870-932-2176 Baptist Health College Little Rock • 501-202-6200, 800-345-3046 Black River Technical College, Pocahontas • 870-248-4000 ext. 4150


Associate of Applied Science in Nursing

AAS-Generic RN 16mos, ASS-LPN-to-RN 12 mos, TC-Practical Nursing 11mos 12 months (excludes prerequisites) RN traditonal track 3 semesters + general education courses PN 1yr. RN Accelerated 1yr (LPNs or Paramedics). 79 weeks

commuter campus

University of Arkansas at Hope-Texarkana • 870-777-5722 Baptist Health College Little Rock • 501-202-6200, 800-345-3046

off campus only



Technical Certificate of Practical Nursing

13 months

commuter campus

Priority April 15th

public public public public public private 2 yr public

Certificate LPN Technical certificate in PN Technical Certificate in Practical Nursing AAS in Allied Health-Practical Nursing LPN diploma/PN, Associate of Applied Science in Nursing/RN AAS/RN, Certificate/PN, Certificate of Proficiency/Nursing Assistant

commuter campus commuter campus commuter campus commuter campus commuter campus commuter campus commuter campus

varies varies contact financial aid Priority April 15 none Priority March 1st contact financial aid office

College of the Ouachitas, Malvern • 800-337-0266 ext 1200

2 yr public

commuter campus


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

2 yr public

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

11 mos 11 mos 11 mos 3 semesters 11 mos 2 semester PN AAS/RN 3 semesters, Certificate/PN 3semesters, Certificate of Proficiency/Nursing Assistant 5 weeks. 1-3 semesters

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


National Park College, Hot Springs • 501-760-4160 Northwest Technical Institute, Springdale • 479-751-8824 Ozarka College, Melbourne • 870-368-7371

July 1st

Federal and state deadlnes observed.



LPN DeQueen Day Program 11 mos, LPN Nashville commuter campus Evening Program 18 mos, RN (transition from LPN) Nashville Evening Program 11 mos. LPN: 40 wks commuter campus

Public public 2 yr public

Certificate in Practical Nursing diploma/PN Technical Certificate in LPN, LPN-RN track offered

11 mos FT 3 sem. & 1 Summer session (includes Pre-Reqs) 11 mos. track or 18 mos. track

none July 1/Fall, December 1/Spring none

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

2 yr public

Technical Certificate in Practical Nursing/PN

11-month traditional track/22-month nontraditional track

commuter campus commuter campus commuter campus with limited housing units available on campus commuter campus

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

2 yr public

certificate/CNA, LPN, RN

11-12 mos

commuter campus

varies, contact financial aid office

SAU Tech, Camden • 870-574-4500 South Arkansas Community College, El Dorado • 870-864-7142, 870-864-7137 University of Arkansas at Monticello College of Technology, McGeHee • 870-222-5360

2 yr public 2 yr public 2 yr public

Technical Certificate ADN,LPN Technical Certificate in Practical Nursing

11 mos 11 mos January to December

commuter campus and on-campus N/A commuter campus June 1, November 1, April 1 commuter campus varies

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

2 yr public

prior to semester

2 yr public

PN is 12 months; RN is 12 months after prerequisites are met 10.5 or 12 months (excludes prerequisites)

commuter campus

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

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

commuter campus

July 15th

20 •



Please call 870.633.5411 for more informatio

April 15 for upcoming fall semester

To compile this, forms were sent to every qualified college and university with instructions to return by a specified deadline. Those schools not meeting the deadline were repeated from








February 15th

ACT, SAT, COMPASS, or ASSET; HESI A2 Nursing Admission Exam


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

varies Rolling varies


BSN: Mar 1, Oct 1; RN to BSN: Mar 1, Aug 1, Oct 1; MSN: Ongoing Rolling no deadline for the Online RN to BSN and Feb 1 for the Traditional BSN and LPN to BSN

RN to BSN can be completed in as little as 1 year. Excellent Faculty. Quality nursing education with a focus on Christian service and professionalism. The school with a heart. Small classes. CCNE Accredited.

Priority Dec 1


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%

November 15th

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

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

February 1st

ACT/SAT for students with less than 12 credits.


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

February 15 - University Scholarships | March No entrance exam required for nursing major. 9 - Foundation Scholarships

varies by program, see website for dates

June 1st ACT/Accuplacer March 1st Entrance varies, visit click on Finan- TOEFL for int’l students, ATI TEAS V for BSN applicants. cial Assistance under Future Students.

Oct 1st for Spring/ March 1st for Fall March 1st 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

RN-BSN is an Online Completion Program. Http://; Achieve your nursing goals with us. •

Priority April 15


RN- March 31

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

February 15th

ACT or SAT or COMPASS or ASSET; HESI A2 Nursing Admission 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.



Oct. 15

Application packet and program requirements online.

varies Fall-May1, Spring-Dec 1

PN: TEAS, RN: HESI COMPASS/ACCUPLACER for the PN Program & HESI for RN Program

Clinical experience in hospitals of varying size, physicians’ offices and geriatric facilities. for additional information.

varies Priority April 15 open

ACT, ACCUPLACER / Nursing Pre-entrance exams PAX-RN ACT, SAT or College Entry Exam & TEAS

March 15th, October 1st-PN; March 15-RN 2nd Friday in Sept. for Jan. addmittance; 2nd Friday in Feb. For May admittance into RN Program. 2nd Friday in Oct. for Jan. admittance & 2nd Friday in Mar. for PN Program varies March 31st First Monday in March

June 15th


varies with program

April 1st


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

April 1st

NACE test

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

Northark’s students receive excellent healthcare education leading to rewarding careers in nursing. areas-of-study/health-and-medical/index The college of the NWA community, member of Northwest Arkansas Nursing Education Consortium. nursing. The NWACC Nursing program is ARSBN approved and ACEN accredited Providing life-changing experiences through education.


Nelson Denny Reading Test 10th grade level and 55 on the ATI Critical Thinking RN June 1st, PN June 1st or Oct 1st Exam for ADN; None for PN admission. ACT, COMPASS, PAX for PN,KAPLAN Admission Exam Second Friday in March ACT/SAT/Compass for students with less than 12 credits. Priority Application Deadline Feb 28/ Applications accepted until class full.

none February 1st

Allied health program offering RN-Nursing degree (basic students, LPN completion). Options for LPN and new High School seniors.

RN Program, ACEN accredited.

March 1- High school Academic; July 15- Oth- ASSET, ACT, SAT or ACCUPLACER, and KAPLAN Nurse Entrance Test ers; Nursing Scholarship- Dec. 1 April 15 and November 15 ACT or ACCUPLACER or LPN license varies ACT or SAT

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

Changing lives…one student at a time! LPN/Paramedic to RN (1 year). Traditional AAS (2 years). Accelerated AAS (18 months). See above for BSN information. www.ualr. edu/nursing Prerequisite courses and KAPLAN entrance testing must be completed prior to entry into a nursing program.

August 31st RN traditional track/PN program: July 1st & December 1st , RN Accelerated: December 1st,



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

Priority April 15th


PN-March 31st

Variety of clinical experiences.

June 15th varies varies varies none varies April 15th

Call for further information. May 15, Oct 15 August class (Newport/Jonesboro)-June 1, January class (Marked Tree)- Oct 15 March 15th, October 1st June 1 & November 1 Dec 1st & June 1st 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. 2nd Friday in Sept. for Jan. addmittance; 2nd Friday in Feb. For May admittance

Application packet and program requirements are online. Application packet and program requirements online. Application packet and program requirements online. Clinical experience in hospitals of varying size, physicians’ offices and geriatric facilities. Combines classroom instruction with clinical experience. Graduates eligible to take NCLEX. BRTC: A college of vision. BRTC has a 95% plus boards pass rate.


ACCUPLACER and WONDERLIC ACT, ACCUPLACER plus HESI A2 Accuplacer, ATI TEAS TEAS ASSET, NET ACT or SAT ACT or Accuplacer for BRTC Admission and NA Applicants; TEAS for PN Applicants, NACE for RN Applicants. HESI Entrance Exam

April 1st


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

Prerequisites required prior to admission.



none June 1/Fall, December 1/Spring April 1st

College Entry Exam, TEAS NET, COMPASS PAX Test

CRTI is currently in the process of merging with East Arkansas Community College. Call for more information. First Monday in March November 1st April 1/Fall entry, November 1/Spring entry


ACT or ACCUPLACER and Kaplan Admission Test

April 15th

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


LPN-March, RN-August

Call the Allied Health Advisor to discuss eligibility requirements. Allied Health Advisor: 501-812-2745. Allied Health Administrative Specialist: 501-812-2834. INTERNET HOME PAGE ADDRESS -

ASSET. TEAS. Practical Nursing ACT, ASSET, or COMPASS ACT, Accuplacer, ASSET, COMPASS, or SAT - TABE and TEAS

March 31st open Early October

April 1st


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

April 15 and November 15


May 1st and November 1st

m last year. Every attempt is made to gather and verify the information.

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

Do you want to make a difference? Then nursing is for you! Bilingual scholarships available- Providing life-changing experiences through education.

Two Applications required: admissions and nursing. SouthArk: Where students come first. Approved by Arkansas State Board of Nursing, Accredited by the Higher Learning commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Enrollment in PN program on Morrilton campus limited to 24 in spring semester and summer and to 8 in Clinton during spring semester. Enrollment in RN program limited to 48 for classes beginning each January.



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magine it’s the first day of your first job after nursing school. You walk

deal with the not-so-good days. “The job description for a nurse is pretty lengthy,” said Christie Black, diEverything seems so big and moves so fast. Your team members are nice rector of Nurse Anesthesia at Arkansas and helpful and you even manage to speak up in the nurses’ huddle with State University in Jonesboro. “Although a relevant suggestion. Your first day flies by and you wonder on the drive it includes many fulfilling activities and duties, it also involves less desirable home if it will always feel as good and as energizing as it does right now. circumstances that can be very stressful and taxing, especially as a new nurse.” Now imagine that same day and drop an emergency rush “Finding one’s place on the team can be challenging, but right into the middle of it. You try to focus on what you’ve been every new nurse has something — multiple things, actually taught, but there, in the moment, you find the material you — to offer. These attributes can help new graduates transition worked so hard to learn in class has evaporated from your into the work field.” memory. Patients are calling and crying; one doesn’t speak Some of these attributes, like paying attention to detail, English and you can’t communicate with him. All day, it feels problem solving and displaying a readiness to learn, are like it is all you can do to hang on with both hands and keep squarely under the control of the nurse. Other survival skills up. After what seems like a year, you drive home more tired and instincts have to be learned through experience. In these than you’ve ever been and you wonder if you will always feel situations, establishing a working relationship with a veteran as inexperienced and out of place as you do right now nurse can be very helpful, according to Elizabeth Riley, assistant Careers are not made in a day, of course. No matter what professor of nursing at UA Little Rock. your first day as a nurse feels like, it’s just the first of many that, “I would strongly recommend new nurses find mentors, little by little, shape who you are as a person and as a health whether that’s their preceptors, managers or other nurses they care professional. Anyone who has ever done this job will tell work with regularly,” she said. “A new nurse may have only you, the key to a long-term nursing career is to develop the one mentor or multiple mentors during their career. Mentors survival skills that make the most of good days and help you provide new nurses with a framework for professional and onto the floor, full of excitement, anticipation and more than a few nerves.

Dealing with the negative outcomes in nursing often requires a debrief with fellow team members, seen here with a team from UA Little Rock.

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personal development and can guide them as role models.” Having a mentor to talk to not only helps advance the new nurse’s knowledge, it also provides an outlet on stressful days, Riley said. “Stress is common in nursing and can negatively impact the nurse, patient, and families. Meditation, calming breathing and receiving advice from a mentor are strategies in which nurses can work through stressful or negative emotions while at work,” she said. Having a mentor also makes it easier to ask questions, something that new nurses sometimes struggle with. “A nurse should always speak up when it pertains to their patient, their safety or if they feel like someone, including the nurse herself, is being treated unfairly,” said Rebecca Gray, clinical instructor with the University of Central Arkansas School of Nursing in Conway. “Communication skills are very important. Nurses cannot function effectively without communicating with their patient, co-workers, physicians or hospital staff. Therefore, ask questions whenever you have one. No question is stupid. Speak up if you don’t understand something or need help. Never hesitate to ask questions, even if you feel dumb doing so.” Asking questions not only helps the new nurse get better at his or her job, it dramatically increases patient outcomes when team members and departments communicate effectively. “Effective communication is paramount to achieving optimal patient outcomes,” said Ashley York, a member of the faculty at National Park College in Hot Springs. “Recent literature suggests that poor communication may account for up to 60 percent of errors made in health care settings. This correlation demands that all health care professionals, especially nurses, continuously strive to improve communication between disciplines.” “As patient advocates, it is our duty to pursue professional development opportunities specific to interdisciplinary communication, as well as effective communication with both the patients and families we so diligently serve.” Asking questions can also be a sort of coping mechanism. Many nurses say the stress of not knowing what to do is equally, if not more stressful than the situation itself. Learning eases that stress by giving the nurse the information and strategies that help build their skill set and confidence to act. “I think the best way a new nurse can find their place on a team is to have a willingness and desire to learn,” said Rachel Maginn Rosser, neurology specialty nurse with Arkansas Children’s Hospital Northwest in Springdale. “As a new nurse I can remember having many different emotions. I was scared of hurting someone. I was scared of doing a bad job. I wondered if this was the right job for me. I wondered if I could really make a difference.”

“I took all those fears and questions, and channeled them into learning everything I could and being the best nurse I could be that day. And the next day. And the day after that. Eventually I had learned enough ‘on the job’ skills and gained some experience, and I felt more confident in my role. I continued to learn and I continued to grow as a nurse.” Even with all of these strategies, there’s a breaking-in period which is different for every rookie or new team member. Nicole Ward with UAMS College of Nursing in Little Rock said it’s important that new nurses understand that this is part of the process that everyone goes through. “New nurses should give themselves time to figure out where their strengths are,” she said. “Once they acclimate to their job, they will usually fall into a routine with their team. Nursing is a very tight-knit community and people who work together often become lifelong friends. Having a teachable attitude and being a team player will help a new nurse be accepted on a team. I would advise new nurses to avoid falling into a negative thought pattern.” Of course, that’s not to say that every day is going to better than the last or that the road to a rewarding nursing career is always going to be a smooth one. Some days, the only thing that’s positive is the way the nurse chooses to deal with the negative. “New nurses will have to make an active choice to maintain a positive outlook,” Ward said. “There are days that this will be easy and days that it will not. Learning to communicate


Having worked in the Emergency Department for over 10 years, it takes a toll on you when dealing with untimely death and trauma. There are times you need a moment, whether taking a walk or going to the chapel to cry and/or pray. Having a team that you trust helps. Chances are, you are not the only one feeling that way. While we have a job to do, we are human. It is not always easy. It is important that you acknowledge those feelings. Debriefings after traumatic events are extremely valuable to work through some of the aftermath. It is also helpful to go do something you enjoy after your shift. — Robin Terry, Clinical Operations Manager, Arkansas Children’s Hospital Southwest Little Rock Community Clinic

and work as a team will help this. One thing for a new nurse to keep in mind is that nursing is always hard at first. As they learn the job and gain confidence it will become easier to look at all situations positively.” “I have learned that having realistic expectations for myself and other team members is very important in how I view my environment. If I am unrealistic in what I expected myself to be able to accomplish it is very easy to become negative and overwhelmed.”

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What is it? What does it do? A nurse educator is charged with the responsibility of educating nursing students by encompassing a holistic approach that uses social sciences, human sciences, nursing sciences, the arts, and nursing standards and ethics. Nurse educators incorporate the National League of Nursing nurse educator competencies (2012) and evidenced-based active pedagogies to ensure that a learning environment is created that allows students to think deeply and purposely and to assess, plan, develop goals, intervene and ultimately evaluate each patient’s health care needs. Nurse educators are also expected to perform service, participate in scholarly activities, demonstrate leadership qualities, maintain certifications, maintain areas of clinical expertise and be an advocate for the nursing profession. What skills does it require? Nurse educators at the undergraduate level hold credentials appropriate for the level of nursing program and licensure in the state in which the university is located. While not an es-

sential component to be a nurse educator, obtaining nursing education certification is a mark of professional distinction.

data and report their findings in order to improve patient outcomes, systems and services.

What’s the typical work environment? Undergraduate nursing educators are found at public and private universities and colleges, teaching in the classroom, the laboratory and settings such hospitals, clinics, community facilities. Educators network and collaborate with different health care disciplines and community resources to gain an overview of the health care system and nursing practice within those settings. Due to the nature of the work and the lack of clinical sites for nursing practice, nurse educators do not have a set work schedule; therefore, they may teach and evaluate theory, conduct laboratory learning and evaluation, advise students and hold tutoring classes during the work week while taking students on weekends to clinical practice.

What skills does it require? An important skill necessary for nursing research is being willing to question how and why things are done. In other words, having a spirit of inquiry. Any nurse, regardless of degree, can initiate research questions and be a part of a productive research team. Nurses who have their doctorate (Ph.D.) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) are more likely to lead research and quality improvement studies, but a terminal degree is not required.

Attributes for success: The National League of Nursing (n.d.) identify four main core values that represent a nurse: caring, integrity, diversity and excellence. Other characteristics such as creativity, compassion, perseverance, faith, commitment and patience are also important for the nurse educator to be successful. Nursing education is rigorous and requires an educator who cares deeply for students and the nursing profession. The nurse educator is a role model to the nursing student and the community. — Brenda Trigg, director of nursing Ouachita Baptist University, Arkadelphia


An in-demand nursing specialty is the NICU, where nurses such as these from Arkansas Children’s Hospital serve the smallest patients.

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What is it? What does it do? A nurse researcher is a nurse scientist who develops and implements scientific studies designed to improve patient outcomes, health care services and health care systems. Nurse researchers identify research questions, design and conduct scientific studies, collect and analyze

What’s the typical work environment? Nurse researchers can work in clinical practice settings, educational settings and even corporations such as pharmaceutical companies, as well as many others. Nurse researchers often partner with scientists in other fields such as pharmacy, nutrition, medicine and information technology to better address complex questions and problems. Attributes for success: The primary attributes for success in this role are a spirit of inquiry and a passion for improving health care across the world. — Pamela F. Ashcraft, research and scholarship coordinator University of Central Arkansas School of Nursing, Conway


What is it? What does it do? CRNAs are advanced practice registered nurses with graduate level education, either a Master’s or doctoral degree, specializing in the administration of anesthesia. CRNAs provide anesthesia to patients in every practice setting and for every type of surgery or procedure. Nurse anesthetists have been providing anesthesia care to patients in the United States since the American Civil War more than 150 years ago. What’s the typical work environment? CRNAs provide anesthesia in collaboration with surgeons, dentists, podiatrists, anesthesiologists and other qualified health care professionals. CRNAs practice in every setting in which anesthesia is delivered, such as traditional hospital surgical suites, obstetrical delivery rooms, critical access hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, the offices of dentists, podiatrists, ophthalmologists, plastic surgeons, pain management specialists, US military, public health services and the VA.

NURSING 2018 Attributes for success: People who succeed in this field generally share certain personality traits or attributes. These include good critical thinking and decision-making abilities, compassion, a strong sense of responsibility and the ability to exercise sound judgment in emergencies and critical or stressful situations. — Jason McDonald, CRNA UAMS, Little Rock


What is it? What does it do? This is an Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit, part of a freestanding rehab hospital. The unit treats patients who have suffered trauma to their head/brain which may be caused by an accident or a medical condition. These patients have medical (wounds, trachs, feeding tubes, IV’s) as well as physical rehabilitation needs. The patient and family often require extensive education regarding dealing with the effects of injuries. What skills does it require? No additional skills or certification are required, initially. The nurse will be trained on the unit and will be qualified and encouraged to test for the Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse (CRRN) at the end of two years in re-


habilitation. There are also opportunities to be trained as a Brain Injury Specialist. What’s the typical work environment? At Baptist Health, the RN would work at the Rehabilitation Institute in the Neuro unit. Various work schedules are available including established patterns of 12-hour shifts, three days per week. Rehab nurses are a vital part of an integrated team caring for patients that include a rehab physician, various therapists including physical, occupational, speech and

Neuro Psych, as well as pharmacy, respiratory and care coordinators. This team works closely together to coordinate patient care. Attributes for success: A nurse must have compassion, good communications skills, be a good team player, like to teach and love seeing their patient’s progress. — Jan Moore, Director, Post Acute Services Baptist Health Rehabilitation Institute, Little Rock


What is it? What does it do? Neonatal Intensive Care Unit provides care for infants requiring specialized medical attention, including those born early (before 36 weeks), infants that need IV antibiotics or infants withdrawing from maternal substance abuse. We also stabilize infants delivered at UAMS that need further treatment options available at Arkansas Children’s Hospital.




At Sparks Health System, we NURSING OPPORTUNITIES dedicated, caring people –


At Sparks Health System, we employ more than 1,600posit more! We have nursing to m

As much as we don’t want negative dedicated, caring people – candidates and we’rewith looking for the desire situations to occur, they do. Take an At Sparks Health System, we more than 1,600 Atemploy Sparks Health System, we employ more than 1,600 more! We have nursing positions available for qualified analytical approach to the situation: dedicated, caring people – and we’re looking for to dedicated, caring – make and awe’re looking for candidates with thepeople desire difference. 1) What could have gone better, what more! We have nursing positions qualified could I have done better, 2) Have emmore! available We havefor nursing positions available for qualified pathy, 3) Maintain positivity, knowing candidates with the desire to candidates make a difference. with the desire to make a difference. lessons have been learned and if the situation arises again, better steps will be taken, 4) Lean on the more experienced nurses and 5) Cry. You’re only human and sometimes we need a moment to give ourselves permission for a good cry. Nursing is a hard profession and a rewarding one. Treat your patients and co-workers with kindness and respect and you will have a very positive career. That’s not to say you won’t have bad days, just go home and put your feet up because it starts over tomorrow. Always remember: You are great and At Sparks At Health Sparks System, Healthwe System, employwe more employ thanmore 1,600than 1,600 you became a nurse to help and care dedicated,dedicated, caring people caring– people and we’re – and looking we’re for looking for for others, so care for yourself as well. more! We more! have nursing We have positions nursing available positionsfor available qualified for qualified — Deb York, clinical nurse manager An Equal Employment Opportunity Employer: Jefferson Regional Medical Center, with to themake desire to make a difference. candidatescandidates with the desire a difference. Females, Minorities, Veterans and Disabled Pine Bluff



For more information, call Theresa Phillips 479-441-5458 or apply online. ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT TO ARKANSAS TIMES


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NURSING 2018 What skills does it require? There is a 12-week orientation that takes place once hired to the NICU. We also require new employees to take a baby boot camp, STABLE course (sugar, temperature, airway, blood pressure, lab work, emotional support) and Neonatal Resuscitation Program. Certification is also available after the nurse gains work experience. What’s the typical work environment? The NICU is a department in a hospital. NICU nurses work closely with attending physicians and residents, respiratory therapists, speech therapists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, lactation consultants and social workers. Attributes for success: When caring for these infants you have to have strong intuition, a strong knowledge base and trust your gut when you feel something isn’t right. These patients can’t tell us what is wrong, so we have to rely on the parents and our knowledge to figure out how to best help the infant patient. — Melanie Mason, RNIII UAMS, Little Rock

excellent starting point for a new graduate as they will gain the knowledge, skills and attitudes to assess and intervene when necessary. What skills does it require? Basic knowledge of post-operative complications and interventions, fluid and electrolyte balance and pain management are needed. Depending upon the facility and training from nursing school, further training on epidurals, chest tube management, wound care and others may be needed. These trainings are often provided by the employer. There are excellent certifications for the med/surg nurse, from ANCC (American Nurses Credentialing Center) and other programs. What’s the typical work environment? These nurses typically work in an acute care setting, working 12-hour shifts. There are some ambulatory care centers who keep patients overnight and these nurses usually work a


What is it? What does it do? Informatics is the science of how to use data, information and knowledge to improve human health and the delivery of health care services. This multidisciplinary and integrative field focuses on health information technologies (HIT), and involves the computer, cognitive and social sciences.

as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression and substance abuse. The end result of this work is to help these individuals become safe and stable and maintain a healthy lifestyle within the community through outpatient providers. What skills does it require? Mental health nurses assist the psychiatrist in maintaining the medication regimen during the patient’s stay. They provide support for those who need it and offer education on medications, treatment modalities, coping skills and other needs of mentally ill patients. Psych nurses require a valid Arkansas RN nursing license plus MOAB (Management of Aggressive Behavior) or CPI (Crisis Prevention Institute) certification. The professional skills mental health nurses learn are applicable in any area of nursing. What’s the typical work environment? Mental health nurses typically work in a hospital, clinic or similar setting. Attributes for success: A mental health nurse must be patient, non-judgmental, work well within a multi-disciplinary team, remain calm in stressful situations, be able to put personal feelings aside, not be easily offended and respond quickly in a changing environment. — Bob Burchfield, system director Baptist Health Medical Center Behavioral Services, Little Rock


What is it? What does it do? Dental assistants greatly increase the efficiency of the dentist in the delivery of quality oral health care and are valuable members of the dental care team. The duties of a dental assistant are among the most comprehensive and varied in the dental office. The dental Hi-tech manikins, like this one at National Park College in Hot Springs, allow nurses to sharpen assistant performs many tasks requirWhat’s the typical work environment? skills before treating live patients. ing both interpersonal and technical Work is done in an office-like setting, coordiskills, including: nated closely with nursing leadership, staff • Assisting the dentist during a variety of treatment procedures. nurses, physicians, hospital administrators, support staff and Monday through Friday job. A nurse in the med/surg area will • Taking and developing dental radiographs (x-rays). a variety of other ancillary caregivers to support their needs work with all members of the interdisciplinary team (provid• Asking about the patient’s medical history and taking blood with electronic medical record systems. This position works ers, all categories of therapists, nutrition, case management, pressure and pulse. with operational areas of the hospital on projects to improve wound care) as well as ancillary staff members (housekeeping, • Providing patients with instructions for oral care following patient care in terms of safety, quality, patient satisfaction maintenance, kitchen). surgery or other dental treatment procedures, such as the and engagement and other projects to ensure compliance placement of a filling. to regulatory standards and improved workflow efficiency. Attributes for success: • Helping to provide direct patient care in all dental specialSkills in multi-tasking, prioritization, delegation, adaptability, ties, including orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, periodontics Attributes for success: being authoritative, keen assessment skills and compassion and oral surgery. Helpful skills include analytical ability, good communication are all needed in this area. The Arkansas Workforce Center lists dental assistants as skills, sound computer skills, attention to detail, strong customer — Janet Smith, faculty one of the Hot 45 Demand Occupations. This not only means a service skills, ability to multi-task and good organizational skills. National Park College, Hot Springs favorable job market for graduates, but dental assisting students — Denise Buercklin, clinical systems manager MENTAL HEALTH NURSING are eligible for the AR Future Grant to help pay for school. Baptist Health System, Little Rock What is it? What does it do? A mental health nurse works with a multidisciplinary team of What skills does it require? MEDICAL/SURGICAL other mental health care professionals (psychiatrists, social The importance of communication skills cannot be overWhat is it? What does it do? workers, therapists, occupational therapists, chaplains). Mental emphasized in the field of dentistry. Excellent communication Med/surg is an area of nursing that focuses on patients health nurses help bring those who struggle with acute onset skills are imperative with patients as well as other team memwith medical or surgical needs.The med/surg unit is an of symptoms from an array of mental health diagnoses such bers, dental lab personnel and fellow dental professionals in What skills does it require? Requirements for the job as a clinical analyst includes a professional background in a health care role, such as RN, pharmacist and others. Informatics nurses must also be trained and/or certified on specific systems.

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NURSING 2018 other practices when communicating about a patient’s treatment. Dental assistants see patients experiencing pain and anxiety at the dental practice and the ability to be empathetic with patients is a characteristic that will be appreciated by patients and the practice owner. Accreditation is an important part of selecting a dental assisting school. There are two accredited dental assisting programs in the state of Arkansas, one of which is UA-Pulaski Technical College in North Little Rock. UA-PTC has a state-of-the-art dental assistant classroom, laboratory and clinical area. The goal is to expose students to the many different technologies that they will find in the dental world. The program uses a computer system that is found in many dental offices and all radiographs are digital, with the opportunity for students to learn on the two major types of digital imaging systems. Students also learn how to take a digital panoramic radiograph. What’s the typical work environment? The majority of dental assistants work in dental offices. In some cases, a dental assistant may travel with a mobile dental lab to bring services to patients.

are required to attend the Trauma Program Manager course hosted by the American Trauma Society and a TOPIC course (trauma outcomes and performance improvement). In addition they must complete the AAAM/ AIS injury severity coding course. TC/TPM’s are immersed in multi-disciplinary collaboration. To run a successful trauma program there must be strong relationships and communication with physicians in all specialties, laboratory service, radiology, respiratory therapy, emergency services, local

EMS, quality, and administration. What’s the typical work environment? TC/TPM’s work mainly in an office setting. On occasion, the TC/TPM can step back into a clinical role and assist with the resuscitation of trauma patients as well. Attributes for success: The successful TC/TPM must possess several key traits. Organization is the most important role, maintaining documents,

follow-ups and records. Attention to detail is also of significant importance including daily abstract and audit of charts requiring substantial attention to the small things. Lastly, being personable is critical to success; relationships are the foundation for building a solid program, and you must be able to communicate confidently, and professionally with the multidisciplinary team. — Michael Henry, Trauma Program Coordinator, Emergency Services Conway Regional Health System

College of Education & Health Professions

Attributes for success: Top attributes for success in the dental assistant field include good listening skills, compassion, people-oriented attitude, perseverance, strong work ethic, dedication, reliability, organization skills and the ability to multitask. — Timothy Jones, director of public relations and marketing University of Arkansas Pulaski Technical College, North Little Rock


What is it? What does it do? Trauma coordinator/trauma program managers are an integral part of designated trauma centers. Generally, TC/TPM are nurses well acquainted with the treatment of the traumatically injured. They are involved in administrative, clinical and educational roles supporting the trauma program and lead programs that traverse all aspects of health care from acute resuscitative, inpatient and rehab measures. They are heavily involved in data abstraction and performance improvement measures within the trauma program as well as community outreach and injury prevention. What skills does it require? TC/TPM must be a registered nurse well-versed in the treatment of trauma patients. They The Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program, the Master of Science in Nursing degree program and the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education Washington, D.C., 202-887-6791. ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT TO ARKANSAS TIMES


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urses are, by definition, caregivers. Which is why it’s so ironic that the very drive they have to care for others often short-circuits their self-awareness when it comes to maintaining their own physical and emotional health. This, says veterans of the trade, is one of the biggest reasons promising nurses struggle in the profession. “A large number of nurses go into the profession to help and care for others,” said Pam LaBorde, clinical assistant professor with the UAMS College of Nursing in Little Rock. “It is in giving such help and care that nurses often neglect caring for themselves. Nurses may find that they are very good at helping others, but have nothing left to give to themselves at the end of the day.” In a line of work as stressful as nursing can be, this failure to take care of oneself can have devastating consequences, LaBorde said. Difficulty in maintaining relationships, increased absenteeism, poor teamwork, conflict with management and administration and loss of productivity can all stem from not paying sufficient attention to one’s own health. “Stress as a nurse can potentially lead to compassion

fatigue, an occupational hazard for nurses working in stressful environments,” LaBorde said. “This stress can be triggered by caring for patients and families, dealing with personal issues and/or navigating through problems with the facility where the nurses practice.” “To combat compassion fatigue, one must be acutely aware of the signs and symptoms and address them head-on. If you find yourself losing the enjoyment of why you became a nurse, step back and reflect on the circumstances leading to your unhappiness.” It should be noted that both nursing students and working nurses can fall victim to stress-related fatigue, illness and other problems. “Poor self-care practices are



A couple of UAMS nurses work off some stress in the hospital’s gym.

prevalent in both nursing students and nurses,” said Dr. Pamela Ashcraft, research and scholarship coordinator for the University of Central Arkansas School of Nursing in Conway. “It is important that nursing students and nurses practice positive selfcare because these individuals are often viewed by their patients as role models. Therefore, nurses and nursing students who are healthy physically, emotionally and spiritually are more likely to be viewed by their patients in a positive manner.” Ashcraft said overloaded schedules have a lot to do with nurses’ failing to take proper care of themselves. “The inability to balance busy schedules and self-care behaviors can be overwhelming to students and nurses entering the field,” she said.

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Follow Us To Better Health

NURSING 2018 “Any individual who has been in nursing school or who is a practicing nurse has certainly felt the struggle of balancing their work life with their personal life in such a demanding, yet rewarding, profession.” The good news is, students and nurses alike can find balance in their lives with the proper time management and priority-setting skills. Making family time off-limits to work concerns or learning to say no to additional shifts is a good place to start. “After nursing school, making money is awesome,” said Janet Smith, a member of the faculty at National Park College in Hot Springs. “But working too much will cause burnout, nurse fatigue, and poor decisions in patient care. Nursing is already a hard career due to the long hours. Leave work at the door and enjoy your family and friends. Having this break will help you feel refreshed when you return to work.” Nurses can even find moments to center while on the job. During a break or on the way into one’s shift, take a second to calm your mind and refocus. “Remember your ‘why,’” Smith said. “Why are you wanting to be a nurse? Did you have a family member that was touched by a great nurse? Do you want to be that nurse for other families and patients? Is it because you want to provide for your family? Remember them, keep your focus and prioritize.” Maintaining healthy relationships across a number of areas is another key coping mechanism. From connecting with team members to spending meaningful time with family to finding other communities of which to be a part, nurses benefit from connecting in multiple areas of life. “Having a great working relationship with team members

is very important with handling stress on the job,” said Pamala Himon, Case Manager with UAMS in Little Rock. “Being able to communicate effectively allows me to voice my concerns to other members of the team and they are always more than willing to assist me when I am feeling overwhelmed.” “Away from work, I have a great support group of family and friends. Spending time with my family, attending and volunteering at church on a regular basis, participating in sorority events, exercising with friends and supporting my son in all of his school activities has definitely given me a great work-life balance.” Staying physically fit is another effective defense mechanism against the ravages of stress, according to Natalie Cannady, manager of the UAMS Fitness Center in Little Rock. What’s more, it doesn’t take a prolonged trip to the gym to realize some benefit. “Exercise breaks are a good way to cope with stress and get some good endorphins flowing,” she said. “You do not have to dedicate a full hour a day to see this benefit. If you have been studying or on the unit for a long time, try and take a break and take a brisk walk that gets your blood pumping. I know the units can be extremely busy and time can get away from you, but if need be, walk around your own unit.” “For students, see if your professor will allow you to record their lectures and listen while taking a walk or on an elliptical at a gentle pace. One study, cited by the New York Times blog, found that some gentle exercise while listening to new information could be beneficial for retention. That would give you the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone, studying and stress relief.”


I’ve got two guidelines I hold myself to. First, I treat each of my patients as though they are my only patient. That causes a lot of stress on me but it’s what the patient deserves. Our undivided attention is hard to give but it is what’s needed. Second, I treat each patient as if they were my mother. I would never disrespect or neglect my mother so my patients are always very well taken care of. Employing these guidelines ensures my priorities are set appropriately for patient care. And once I leave work, I leave everything behind. Work time is for work and my off time is mine. If I want to be the best nurse I can be, I have to prioritize my off time. This way I can remain healthy so when I get to work I can keep the first two guidelines in effect. — Chris Gardner, Registered Nurse One Day Surgery Top 100 Nurses in Arkansas for 2017. UAMS Little Rock



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Male nurses, such as this group from UAMS, are growing in numbers throughout Arkansas. “Nursing absolutely has lived up to what I thought it would be,” he said. “It is a difficult field to be in and it has its own unique challenges, but working with a patient and making a difference is very satisfying. It provides me the opportunity to impact an individual’s health and life as well as my community.” Highfill’s story is becoming increasingly common as more men are entering the nursing profession. Once almost exclusively populated by women, men are finding nursing a stable and rewarding career. “I fell in love with patient care as a hospital corpsman in the US Navy,” said Glen Lewis, charge nurse, Integrated Medical Specialty Clinics at UAMS in Little Rock. “Nursing has provided me the opportunity to meet and learn from a variety of people, similar to traveling abroad. Sharing cultural differences while expanding social experiences benefits everyone as a whole.” “I truly enjoy seeing the faces of patients and their family when I walk in the room and introduce myself as their nurse for the day. The experience is humbling and rewarding at the same time.”

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hen the time came for Mitchell Highfill to change careers, he didn’t have to look very far for inspiration to make his next move. “My mom was a nurse, as is my wife,” he said. “I observed the satisfaction they had in their jobs, something that was lacking in my own career in business. I loved customer service and was really good at it. When I started to research alternate careers, I determined that nursing was a career where customer service was its core duty. I could identify with this and felt that I would finally be able to achieve the satisfaction I had been seeking.” Men were a rarity in nursing at that time, but Highfill was undeterred. Now serving as Patient Care Manager for Arkansas Children’s Northwest in Springdale, nursing proved to be the best career decision he ever made.

Lewis also uses his job to break down lingering stereotypes about men in the nursing profession, acting as a mentor and role model for other male nurses and students. “Having the opportunity to speak with young men and guiding them is my greatest accomplishment,” he said. “It is easy to say all the correct things a young person should hear, but to actually have someone see that it can be done speaks volumes.” “Teaching prioritization skills, the need to carefully think and plan and utilizing your resources to accomplish goals is a reward in itself. Actually seeing what you have taught come to fruition and receiving a genuine expression of gratitude is confirmation that the future has a great chance of surviving the multitude of challenges in its path.” Some male nurses see other pronounced advantages to their gender when it comes to executing their job responsibilities. “Nursing is a very physically demanding job. Men are generally stronger and therefore able to lift more than women,” said Matthew Mitchell, stroke program director with UAMS in Little Rock. “We, as Arkansans, are dealing with an obesity problem so there is an ongoing issue of moving patients who are unable to move themselves.” Like his comrades, Mitchell said the stigma over male nurses is still there, but it doesn’t bother him, given the things he’s been able to do in his career. He’s also seen the gender mix change dramatically. “Since I have become a nurse I have seen many other men joining the nurse workforce,” he said. “At UAMS we have a great number of male nurses in every specialty. In fact, one of the units that I worked on had three nights of the week where there was an all-male staff.” “I have always felt like nursing was a calling. I couldn’t imagine being anything other than a nurse. I love that in nursing you touch people’s lives and their caregivers’ lives. You see people at their weakest moments and you help them navigate through the tough times.” The occasional surprised look aside, most men are finding widespread acceptance of their career choice of nursing. In addition to the satisfaction of helping patients, many men find the field is rife with opportunities for advancement. “In general, nursing is a career field that has limitless opportunities,” said Brian Burton, a senior nursing student at UA Little Rock. “Just in my short time as a nurse, I have been awarded a scholarship to finish up my undergraduate degree. Also, I am looking forward to the future and currently working on plans to attend graduate school to become an advanced practice nurse once I finish my undergraduate degree this December. Opportunities are everywhere once you become a nurse. It’s just up to you to seek them out.”



“I had had a previous career and retired from it, but felt as though purpose was missing in my life. I looked around at what jobs were in high demand. Since I have always been passionate about learning the medical sciences, nursing was an easy fit. I have never regretted my decision, only regretted waiting so late in life to start. There is a close camaraderie among most nurses. I think this happens in part because of the overwhelming responsibility we take on every day we clock in, one that puts someone’s life in our hands. It is both scary and rewarding at the same time. For me it is the logical approach and progression to troubleshooting a physical problem that I enjoy most. I love putting the pieces together to solve the problem and mitigate an individual’s suffering. Roger Luttrell Sr., RN, Jefferson Regional Medical Center, Pine Bluff

God has given me a caring heart and a desire to make a difference in people’s lives. I enjoy getting to know my patients and always look for the best way to assist them with the challenges they encounter during the course of cancer care. Many aspects in the cancer world have changed in the care of oncology patients over the past 21 years of my career. I am honored to be a small part of this journey in someone’s life. I have been a Clinical Operations Director for the Cancer Institute and was part of the planning team that helped create the building that is today the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute. My greatest opportunity is getting to work with outstanding nurses, techs, physicians and other staff who are all focused on the best care for their patients. My goals in nursing are to continue providing the best care possible to my patients, help my staff grow as health care professionals and grow myself as a person. — Brian Dinsmore, clinical services manager, UAMS, Little Rock

As a teenager, I spent a year at Children’s Hospital with my best friend during his cancer treatment. The nurses there were incredible and they involved us in his care. While in the Army, I saw the work of amazing trauma and surgical nurses and really liked the autonomy that they were able to work with. I helped found the Little Rock Chapter of the American Assembly for Men in Nursing, and having been to many national conferences. The number of men is growing in the field, but we still remain underrepresented. We are always the underdog; most men have to prove their ability to their patients just to gain their trust. But once that is done, in my experience, men are given a high level of respect from their patients. — Norman Swope, manager 10A Oncology, Baptist Health, Little Rock




uachita Baptist University and Baptist Health have entered into a partnership to address the shortage of nurses in the state and region. Ouachita recently received approval from its accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission, to offer a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree; welcoming 23 students into the inaugural class for the 2018 Fall semester. The partnership with Baptist Health College Little Rock, the teaching component of the Baptist Health System and one of the largest nursing programs in Arkansas, creates a distinctive dual enrollment RN-to-BSN completion program. Capitalizing on the strengths of both institutions, the program will allow nursing students to work as RNs a full semester earlier than most traditional BSN programs. “This is an innovative partnership with Baptist Health College Little Rock that expands nursing education and makes it more affordable,” said Dr. Ben Sells, president of Ouachita. “This program allows students to earn two degrees in four years and expedites their entry into the health care workforce.” Students will attend Ouachita during the first four semesters of the program then continue their degree through Ouachita Online while dually enrolled at Baptist Health College Little Rock to earn an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing degree. Midway through their senior year, students will sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses. Once that exam is passed, they will be licensed to work as RNs during the final semester of their senior year while completing Ouachita’s BSN requirements for graduation. “This partnership with Ouachita makes sense for Baptist Health,”said Troy Wells, president and CEO of Baptist Health. “Our respective missions and cultures are very much aligned, and we share a commitment to faith-based education. We strongly complement one another.” Baptist Health is Arkansas’ largest health care system with hospitals in Little Rock, North Little Rock, Arkadelphia, Conway, Heber Springs, Malvern and Stuttgart. Additionally, it recently purchased Sparks Health System, with locations in Fort Smith and Van Buren. “As we grow, so too does our need for nurses, preferably those with BSN degrees,”Wells added. “Health care demands are growing at a rapid pace and we must be diligent and innovative in our efforts to respond to the demand for services.” “BHCLR has a reputation of producing quality graduates,” said Dr. Judy Pile, chancellor of

Baptist Health College Little Rock.“Our students receive extensive clinical experience early in the educational process, giving them the opportunity to distinguish themselves from other professionals in the field.” Ouachita’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree will complement the university’s existing degree programs in natural sciences while answering nationwide calls for innovation in nursing education.

“This partnership is ideal for Ouachita, for Baptist Health and for the benefit of health care in the state and beyond,” said Sells. “Baptist Health can tap into Ouachita’s significant pool of potential students in Arkansas and surrounding states. Our university, on the other hand, can play a leading role in helping find solutions in a time of significant disruption and change in higher education and health care.”


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BY DWAIN HEBDA ill Norris is far from the stereotype many people have of male nurses. A lifetime athlete and fitness buff, the 6’0”, 250-pounder played competitive football until he was 27. At one time, he dreamed of being a coach, but a health scare of his own opened his eyes to another way to have a positive influence on those around him. “I had a heart attack when I was a teenager,” he said. “I remember two or three key things about that event in my life. One is that until that point. I had never been more scared in my life. The second was that I had a great nurse that taught me how to adjust to everything after my surgery and was there to keep Norris: me calm. And last was my family and remembering how scared my mother was and how my nurse was able to relate to her and calm her by simply allowing her to help.” “I was thinking to myself, ‘OK, being a teacher and a football coach, I can touch people’s lives in a positive way, teach them how to be good human beings, how to work through adversity, how to push themselves.’ Well, after all this went on I was like, as a nurse, I could still fulfill all of that, all the stuff that I’ve always wanted to do.” Now 31 and father of four, Norris is planning to return to school for his Master’s and is a familiar sight around UAMS where he’s

BY DWAIN HEBDA here isn’t a time Caitlin Proctor of Conway Regional Health System can remember when she didn’t want to be a nurse, even if she tried to tell herself that. “Both of my parents are RN’s. I’ve grown up with it my whole life,” she said. “In toddlerhood I wanted to take care of my baby dolls. So that’s what I wanted to do.” “When I hit middle school and I got into music and I was like, ‘I want to rebel. I don’t want to be like my parents. I’m going to be a band director.’ I did schooling for that for a year and said, ‘Nope. It’s nursing, all the way. I can’t deny it.’” Proctor works in Conway Regional’s cardiac catheterization laboratory where Proctor: “(Nursing is) incredibly rewarding.” she helps run tests that reveal heart problems in patients. “A lot of patients undergo cath procedures,” muscle as we say, so you have to get in there she said. “A cath procedure is when you go in quickly and you have to fix the problem.” through an artery in the groin or wrist and “Our door to balloon time is 52 minutes you feed that little wire up into the vessels which is under the gold standard, under the in the heart and you look for blockages. If national average. We’re pretty proud of that.” there is a blockage, and if we’re able to, we Proctor said the satisfaction of playing do what we call a cardiac stent. That opens the role of life saver is a perk you don’t find the vessel back up, allows it to flow.” in many jobs. Proctor said for these and other procedures, “It’s incredibly rewarding,” she said. “You Conway Regional’s cardiac center has achieved are in there saving lives at that moment. recognition for speed and quality of care. You are reperfusing that heart that is dying, “Sometimes we have emergency cases opening it back up and letting it live and come in with what we call a STEMI or ST Elevabreathe and beat again. It can be very, very tion Myocardial Infarction,” she said. “When demanding, but more than anything it can that happens, time is of the essence. Time is be very rewarding.”




“People’s lives are in your hands.” an RN III in Surgical Oncology. He knows he’s doing what he was born to do, being equally effective with male and female patients whether its talking guy talk to the fellas, bringing a smile to the womens’ faces or inspiring the next generation of nurses. “Whenever you go into nursing school they say nursing is a calling,” he said. “There’s a reason why – it’s hard. School’s not easy. There’s a lot to learn. People’s lives are in your hands. But if it’s really what you want to do, if you really want to feel like you are meant to be here to help other people, nursing school, it’ll go by.”



HI St. Vincent in Little Rock recognized a milestone recently, welcoming the largest Registered Nurse Residency Program (RNRP) class in the program’s history. In all, 52 new RN graduates of 12 colleges and universities from across the state began the Summer Residency Cohort at CHI St. Vincent’s Infirmary, North, and Morrilton hospitals. Many of the new graduates will be working at the Arkansas Neuroscience Institute at the north campus. One resident will be

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A bumper crop of RNRP made up the Summer Residency Cohort through CHI St. Vincent’s Little Rock, North and Morrilton hospitals.


working at the Morrilton hospital. The remainder of the new graduates have been hired into almost every department of the Little Rock Infirmary hospital, including Labor and Delivery, Behavioral Health, Medical, Surgical, Critical Care, and Cardiac Cath Lab. Since 2009, the CHI St. Vincent RN Residency Program has transitioned over 600 nurses from 26 U.S. States and five foreign countries. To learn more, visit



BY DWAIN HEBDA teven Nail didn’t start out in the nursing field, but philosophically he wasn’t too far away from it, either. “I was a police officer for more than 17 years,” he said. “One of the many reasons for becoming a police officer was my passion for helping those in need. During my career, I became friends with male and female nurses at local hospitals and saw their passion for helping those in need as I did in my career.” When Nail was injured and forced to medically retire from law enforcement he remembered his favorable impressions of his friends in nursing. He decided to give it a go in the profession, which from a gender perspective was the black-and-white opposite of his first career. “Sources say that only about 9 percent of nurses today in the US are male,” he said. “This is mostly due to the traditional female gender-role of personal care dating back to the founder of nursing, Florence Nightingale. The perception that nursing is a female-only career has discouraged males who have the passion and skills suited for caring for ailing patients.” The gender disparity didn’t bother Nail, however, and in the time he’s been in the profession, he’s seen a steady increase in the number of male nurses. “In my graduating class of 37 students, six were male,” he said. “I have seen an increasing number of males in other nursing graduating classes recently. Plus, I do take notice that the male representation in clinics, hospitals and the US military nursing corps is greater today.” Now a nurse with Practice Plus assigned to Baptist Health’s Sherwood Family Medical Clinic, Nail’s still new to the profession but already playing an important role in the lives of the patients in his care. “I enjoy the teamwork atmosphere of working together to help those who are sick and building upon my medical knowledge,” he said. “My long-term goals are to continue my education in the nursing field and one day hold a leadership role in management in a clinic or hospital. I also hope to inspire young men to pursue the rewarding nursing field.”

Nail: “I enjoy the teamwork atmosphere of working together to help those who are sick.”

Adams: “Medicine is an art and it’s never a dull’s definitely not a boring job.”

MONICA ADAMS: “NURSING IS SO COOL” BY DWAIN HEBDA here’s a spark that comes into Monica Adams’ voice when she talks about her nursing career, especially when she recalls the exact moment she knew she wanted to follow in her mother’s footsteps in the profession. “When I was growing up, I wanted to be a teacher and I went into the ninth grade still wanting to be a teacher,” she said. “My mother was an RN and her best friend was an RN and they worked in the ICU. One day we were in Florida, around Destin, and this guy was running in the street and he was like, ‘Help, help! My friend’s drowning! We need help!’ So we pulled the car over and the three of us ran out to the beach and there was this woman they were bringing out of the water and nobody knew what to do. “My mom and her friends did CPR, then the ambulance came and they all worked together. And I said, ‘This is so cool! This is the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen in my whole life.’ All of a sudden I thought, ‘I think I want to be a nurse.’ I’ve never forgotten that experience. It was life-changing for me, literally.” Now a RNIII and nationally certified in mental health, Adams is the advanced practice partner for the Behavioral Health Service Line at UAMS. She said the mental health field is a growing, vital yet decidedly underserved nursing specialty. “I don’t care who you are; I think everybody at some point is one crisis away from having some type of mental health disorder, whether it’s anxiety, depression, whatever,” she said. “It affects everybody at some point in their life.” Adams will soon start work on her doctorate with the goal of one day indulging that teaching jones from her youth that she never really lost. Until that time, she gets a lot of satisfaction out of her daily work. “Medicine is an art and it’s never a dull moment,” she said. “No second day is the same as the first and everything is always changing. It’s exciting, it’s definitely not a boring job.”





arah Loftin, the Director of Quality Services & Risk Management at Arkansas Surgical Hospital, can’t say enough about how much she enjoys her job. “I feel like a proud parent bragging about my kids when I talk about our staff and the outcomes of our facility,” she says. “They never cease to amaze me!” Loftin, a certified medical surgical nurse, joined the hospital in 2014 as a staff nurse in the pre-operative department. She became the department’s Clinical Coordinator in 2016 and was promoted to her current position in 2017. This year, Loftin was named one of 40 Nurse Leaders Under 40 by the Arkansas Center for Nursing. Like many nurses, Loftin sees her position as far more than just a job. “It is a privilege each day to work alongside the best of the best in our industry,” she says. “I get to see the data that validates what a great job our teams do. I love to be able to take that information back to our teams and the surgeons.” Because Arkansas Surgical Hospital is physicianowned, the surgeons make the decisions that impact every level of patient care—making Loftin’s position integral to patient experience. On her experience nursing at Arkansas Surgical Hospital, Loftin says that she finds it “amazing to watch the transformation.” “Patients who are admitted with life-altering pain leave with a returned hope in their eyes,” she explained. “It’s an honor to be involved in helping people achieve such positive outcomes time and time again.”



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t is important to have a variety of personalities, skill sets, “looks” in any profession, because there are all of those things in your patient base. if you had cookie-cutter nurses then that would not fit the patient base that you have. Gabriel Gartman Conway Regional Health System

ne tip a supervisor once shared with me was, “School only lasts for a little while in the whole scheme of things, you may have a lot of jobs in your lifetime, but you will only have one family.” You can meet all of your career and academic goals and have a family. It may not be “The Brady Bunch” family, but it is possible with a little work on everyone’s part to truly balance work, life, school and family. Devin Terry UAMS


f you take care of yourself you will provide the best possible care for your patients. You will also be a better team member to your co-workers. Do the best you can and maintain proper perspective. Take time off and make time for things you enjoy. Jennie McClain Arkansas Children’s Hospital

o not hesitate to reach out to talk to someone if you are struggling. There is no weakness in self-care. Only the strong seek to make themselves better. Natalie Cannady UAMS Fitness Center think it is important for nurses to always be willing to ask for help when they need it. If a patient has a question that you can’t answer, it often increases their trust in you to let them know you need to consult someone else to make sure you are giving them the best information. Never be afraid to do that. Cynthia Onstott UAMS


o maintain work-life balance, remember, you will have many opportunities. Figure out your professional goals, and only accept the opportunities that help you meet those goals. Learn to say, “No” graciously. Remember that you are seldom the only person that is able to fill the position or do the job. Leonie DeClerk UAMS

our input, even as a new nurse, is invaluable to all our learning. If there are safety issues, speak up! It is hard putting yourself out there but it is critical. Always ask questions and continue to learn. This creates a culture of safety. Angie Longing Conway Regional Health System aintaining a work-life balance for nurses or students can definitely be challenging, however, I’ve learned that eating as healthy as possible and scheduling time for exercise as much as possible has given me more energy to maintain that balance. Find time to rest appropriately, I make it a point to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Pamala Himon UAMS


lways try to see the patient as if they were your family or yourself. How would you expect to be treated if you were experiencing the same illness? In order to display empathy, you must treat every patient with dignity and respect. When you can do this every time, you will leave feeling as if you provided the care that was necessary for every situation. Jennifer Sherberth White River Medical Center, Batesville

UA Little Rock Nursing Make our hospital your hospital. Arkansas Surgical Hospital is hiring Registered Nurses for all shifts. Great team atmosphere with full range of benefits for eligible staff. At ASH, we know the importance of showing our team members how much they are appreciated. That’s why, in the last three years, we gave over a million dollars in profit sharing bonuses to qualified employees. Apply online @

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atients and family members want nurses to be part of their healing process, using skills and knowledge to ensure they get the best care possible. But they also want nurses who are kind and compassionate. Ensure they get the best outcomes by ensuring no harm comes to them while in the hospital. Nurses must ensure they are providing evidencebased practice along with high quality compassionate care. Stephanie Whitaker, Sparks Health System


here are some pitfalls in an interview that are very difficult from which to recover. A big “don’t” is wearing clothing that might make a negative initial impression. Revealing, wrinkled or quirky wardrobe choices can make an interviewer uncomfortable or it might make them dismiss you as a serious candidate. In an interview, your clothing should be one of the least interesting things about you. Brook Scalzo UAMS College of Nursing







t was very difficult for me to deal with negative outcomes during the early years of my career, I would take them home and become very emotional. This was very tiring and stressful. I started forcing myself to leave the problems at work. You aren’t going to solve all of the problems in one shift, but through teamwork and communication the problems become smaller and smaller. Rebecca Gray University of Central Arkansas School of Nursing

sk questions. Volunteer to help with projects or committees. Get out of your comfort zone and try something new. Be available to help others if your own work list is complete. Always be honest and let your team members know that you are there for them. Take initiative if you see something that needs to be addressed,changed, or improved. Avoid the mentality of “That’s not my problem.” Rachel Maginn Rosser Arkansas Children’s Northwest

eveloping a voice can be especially difficult for new nurses. Sometimes your own self doubt may hold your tongue, yet your voice may be the only voice your patient has at any given time. When faced with situations that leave you torn on whether to question or not, always follow your intuition. Even if you are wrong, consider the correction an invaluable learning opportunity. Ashley York National Park College

ursing is a tough job and in a lot of instances, cannot be done alone. If you are willing to help a fellow nurse turn or bathe a patient or offer assistance when they are overwhelmed, then they will be more willing to help you as well. This builds camaraderie which results in a more positive work environment. It also enhances trusting relationships within the team and contributes to better patient outcomes. Laura Gillis University of Central Arkansas School of Nursing


n really bad days (and you’ll have them), I would ask God to remind me why I became a nurse in the first place. The next day at work, I always got my answer. Remember: This job is always exciting, always interesting, always challenging and rewarding — but rarely easy. It is also completely worth it. After all this time, I still think nursing is the best career in the world. Elizabeth Beazley UAMS nter your new position with your eyes open wide, stay in tune with your surroundings, and listen — you can learn so much just by listening. Demonstrate interest in all tasks, ask lots of questions and seek out opportunities for learning and growing. Utilize the experienced nurses for information on tasking yourself and dealing with the patient population. Avoid any negative staff and remember your goal of being a great and caring nurse. Tackle with gusto! Deb York Jefferson Regional Medical Center, Pine Bluff

ersonal time activities that are shared on social media outlets can have consequences at work. If one is sharing inappropriate photos, i.e. dressed indecently, drinking, photos that go against the values of the work establishment, this can cause the nurse harm. This harm can come through loss of the job or a possible promotion. Tina Ennis National Park College

Practice Plus

a great place to build a professional medical career. As a Baptist Health Affiliate, we offer competitive salary and benefit packages. With over 100 clinic locations throughout Arkansas and growing, we have the right opportunity for you! Currently recruiting for the following positions: • • •


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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. Registration opens this spring.




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orty Arkansas nurses have been named to the Arkansas Center for Nursing’s Inaugural “40 Under 40” list, which honors emerging young nurse leaders in the state. The Arkansas Center for Nursing’s mission is to promote a culture of health for the citizens of Arkansas by advancing nursing education, practice, leadership and workforce development. Identifying future nursing leaders and mentoring them was a recommendation behind the creation of the “40

Nurse Leaders Under 40” program. As senior nurses retire, it is crucial the next generation continues our nursing professions mission. Identifying these outstanding young leaders will assist in establishing and guiding that growth and development. The 40 honorees were selected utilizing criteria on how applicants excelled in four distinctive areas: Commitment to Excellence, Service/Outreach, Leadership Qualities, and Contributions to the Advancement of the Nursing Profession.


LINDSEY MILLER Arkansas Children’s Hospital SYDNEY HARRELL Arkansas Children’s Hospital SARAH LOFTIN Arkansas Surgical Hospital JAYME LEMON Baptist Health REBECCA GRAVES Baptist Health TOCCARA GRAY Baptist Health ANTHONY REED Baxter Regional Medical Center RACHEL FARRIS Baxter Regional Medical Center JACKLYN SCHNEIDER Central AR Veterans Healthcare System JOURDAN QUINN Central AR Veterans Healthcare System EBONY MORGAN Central AR Veterans Healthcare System DUSTIN RHODES Central AR Veterans Healthcare System JOETTA POWELL Central AR Veterans Healthcare System JOSHUAH LINGO Central AR Veterans Healthcare System MELISSA BRYANT Central AR Veterans Healthcare System DANIELLE SHELBY Central AR Veterans Healthcare System LATECIA HENCE Central AR Veterans Healthcare System JENA REEKIE Conway Regional Health System BROOKE RICHARD Conway Regional Health System GABRIEL GARTMAN Conway Regional Health System ASHLEY PIERCE Conway Regional Health System BRANDI ALRED Conway Regional Health System KATIE COX Conway Regional Health System STACY HICKS CHI St. Vincent Health System BYRON ROBINSON CHI St. Vincent Health System LAUREN TAYLOR CHI St. Vincent Health System TAYLOR LOGGINS Helena Regional Medical Center STACY DOWDY Howard Memorial Hospital JESSICA LOCK Jefferson Regional Medical Center BRANDON LEQUIEU Kindred Hospice CODI ANTHONY University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences UAMS MICHELLE PEPPERS University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences UAMS LAUREN MCCURRY University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences UAMS DEVIN TERRY University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences UAMS SARAH FRANCE University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences UAMS AMANDA FROST University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences UAMS NICKOLAS HOPKINS University of Arkansas JACLYN JOHNSON University of Arkansas JENNIFER THORNBRUGH Veterans Healthcare Systems of the Ozarks RACHEL EVERETT White River Health System


special ceremony was held in Little Rock at the Pleasant Valley Country Club to acknowledge and honor these recipients. Sindee Morse MSN, RN Program Chair and Informatics Clinical Nurse at Conway Regional Health System stated, “This is my second year as program chair and what an honor it has been. Last year we challenged organizations to beat the 80 nominees and by far have exceeded that request. The selection team received over 140 nominations this year from

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across the state. Scoring again ran extremely tight due to the influx of applicants with such high contributions and leadership qualities. I personally would like to congratulate every applicant for their commitment to advancing our nursing profession.” On behalf of Arkansas Organization of Nurse Executives and the Arkansas Center for Nursing, congratulations to the 2018 40 Nurse Leaders Under 40 recipients across the state of Arkansas.




innacle Pointe Hospital offers acute inpatient and residential treatment for children and adolescents ages 5 to 17. Acute inpatient treatment is advised after an assessment is completed and our psychiatrist concludes that the patient’s condition cannot be safely or effectively treated on an outpatient basis. The program is a comprehensive therapeutic, intensive treatment led by a team of highly experienced mental health professionals including psychiatrists, case managers, clinical therapists, certified teachers, registered nurses and recreational therapists. Residential inpatient treatment may be indicated in our facility for children and adolescents ages 5 to 17 with longstanding emotional and behavioral health issues. Our physician-led residential treatment program addresses children’s entire well being including medical, psychiatric, social and academic needs. The residential treatment program provides a variety of therapies and activities in a safe, comfortable environment. Pinnacle Pointe Behavioral Health also includes statewide services provided by Pinnacle Pointe Outpatient Behavioral Health. The services provided include intensive outpatient, school-based, and traditional clinic- based outpatient services. Outpatient services include individual, family and group therapy, medication management, case management and psychological testing. Outpatient and/or School-Based Services are provided in the following communities: Batesville, Benton/Bryant, Cabot, Conway, Fordyce, Harmony Grove, Greater Hot Springs, Little Rock, Pine Bluff, Searcy, Sheridan and Stuttgart. Families should talk openly about concerns or behavioral changes they observe. No one should be afraid to ask for help for their family when they feel uncertain how to handle an issue that arises. It takes strength and courage to reach out for help. At Pinnacle, we strive to meet families no matter where they are with a promise to provide a compassionate, hopefilled environment, and tools to equip them to handle the problems they are facing. Taking that first step and reaching out is the most vital step of all - we will help you with every one of the steps on your journey.


We care for the people who care for our patients.


There are 1,906 reasons why Conway Regional is a great place to work. That’s the number of people who work together to make our culture exceptional.

As a healthcare professional, you make decisions that affect our patients every day. So of course you deserve to be treated like the valuable team member you are. That’s why, if you choose a career with Conway Regional, you’ll enjoy: • Market-competitive salary & benefits • Encouraging team atmosphere • Low nurse-to-patient ratios • Inter-professional shared governance structure • High employee satisfaction & retention Apply online at 501-513-5311



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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.

Arkansas’ most comprehensive nursing college ■ Baccalaureate Degrees – BSN Little Rock, RN to BSN*, RN to BSN/MSN* ■ Advanced Practice Degrees MNSc*, DNP* ■ Research Degrees - PhD*

Already a nurse and looking for the best place to work? Nurses are the heart of UAMS. Low nurse to patient ratios Market competitive salaries Tuition discounts at U of A System colleges for you and your family

*Offered primarily online or through distance education

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Visit for Nurse Recruitment

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Nurse Guide 2018  

Nurse Guide 2018