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About Registered Nursing

The Associate of Applied Science Degree in Nursing (AAS-RN) prepares a graduate to function as an entry level registered nurse, providing direct care to persons as individuals and as members of a family or group. The curriculum is designed to prepare the person for registered nursing practice, to be competent, self-directed, and capable of demonstrating leadership in the application of the nursing process in a variety of healthcare settings.

This program is designed for persons who are already licensed practical nurses (LPN) and wish to pursue their AAS-RN degree. Because they are already licensed, many of them are also already employed. This program of study is designed to provide greater flexibility by offering half of the nursing theory courses online, and half of the nursing theory courses in classroom lectures, giving the students an option to continue working while pursuing this degree.

This program provides a pathway for Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) who wish to achieve an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Nursing - which allows them to sit for the Registered Nursing examination, the NCLEX-RN. The program is also designed to provide a transition from LPN to AAS-RN, thereby allowing students to transfer seamlessly to the online BSN-RN program currently in place at Arkansas Tech University Russellville campus.

In Spring 2020, we began offering a Paramedic transition to Registered Nursing opportunity. In order to transition from the role of paramedic to registered nurse, the student must have an understanding of nursing concepts and theories related to meeting the basic needs of humans and the scope of practice for the RN.  To provide this opportunity, we created a six credit hour transition course in which the nursing process is introduced.  Building on the knowledge of the paramedic, this course transitions paramedics to the professional scope and practice of the nurse. For more information on this opportunity, please contact the Registered Nursing Department.  The Clinical Coordinator, Lisa Pittman, can be reached by emailing:

The Arkansas State Board of Nursing (ASBN) requires a criminal background check for all graduates applying for licensure. Graduating from a nursing program does not assure ASBN’s approval to take the licensure examination. Eligibility to take the licensure examination is dependent on meeting standards in the ASBN Nurse Practice Act and Rules. You will be required to sign a statement, before beginning the nursing program, that states you have read and understood ACA §17-87-312 and the specific offenses which, if pleaded guilty, nolo contender, or found guilty of will make an individual ineligible to receive or hold a license in Arkansas. You can access the information at

Prior to admission to the technical phase of the Registered Nursing program, students must complete a platform of 37 hours which includes general education and medical courses. Students must submit an application to the program and meet entrance requirements for acceptance into the technical phase of the Registered Nursing program.

Students who speak English as a second language shall meet the same admission requirements.

In order to be considered for admission to the Registered Nursing program, each student must meet the following criteria:

  • Eligibility for admission to Arkansas Tech University - Ozark Campus
    Completion of Registered Nursing Program Application for Admission
    Completion of specified platform of 37 hours coursework with a minimum 2.75 GPA. (Conditional acceptance may be granted to those students who are in the process of completing remaining platform coursework. Failure to maintain a 2.75 GPA may lead to forfeiture of Registered Nursing program admission offer.)
  • Current unencumbered Arkansas Licensed Practical Nursing licensure. Unencumbered licensure must be maintained throughout the technical phase of the Registered Nursing program.
  • Completion of appropriate testing
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Must have either:graduated from an Arkansas State Board of Nursing approved Practical Nursing school in the past 12 months or
    worked a minimum of 1000 hours as a Licensed Practical Nurse in the past 12 months. Work experience must be in acute or long-term care settings.

The mission of the registered nursing program is to provide an intellectual climate that fosters the development of critical thinking to prepare a graduate who is professional, caring, competent, and self-directed in providing therapeutic nursing intervention and demonstrates an interest in life-long learning, as well as to assist the student to achieve personal and professional goals regardless of cultural, racial, or ethnic background.

Students who are pursuing a program of study where admission is limited (Cardiac Sonography, Cosmetology, Medical Assistant, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Paramedic/Emergency Medical Services, Physical Therapist Assistant, Practical Nursing and Registered Nursing), will be assigned a major of Associate of General Studies until admitted into their selected program.

Students are advised that the Registered Nursing Program (RN) is strenuous in nature.  Students are therefore not allowed to take additional course work that is not directly related to their degree plan while in the RN Program.  If a student has completed all general education course requirements prior to entering the program, the student may not have a full load of twelve credit hours or more (which could affect financial aid eligibility).  The RN Program is very intense and requires approximately 30-36 hours per week of theory /lab/fieldwork.  This does not include prep or study time.  The hours ascribed to each semester while in the RN Program are considered by the program to be full time. 

The A.A.S. in Registered Nursing is intended to be a "feeder program" to the BSN program at the Russellville campus. This degree prepares the graduate to sit for licensure in Registered Nursing which results in an RN credential.

This Nursing education program is accreditated by the Accrediatation Commission for Education in Nursing. Accrediatation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) 3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suit 850 Atlanta, GA 3032 6 404-975-5000. It also has continued full approval from the Arkansas State Board on Nursing.

Associate Degree

Registered Nursing