RN to BSN students

Degree plans

RN-BSN Online Completion

The changing healthcare environment necessitates various levels of nursing educational preparation. This RN-BSN Online Completion Track prepares highly competent practitioners of nursing for professional careers in a dynamic healthcare environment. It provides educational mobility for associate degree and diploma prepared nurses and the foundation for graduate education in nursing. This flexible track makes possible the opportunity for registered nurses to receive credit for previous nursing education and experience.

Professional nursing education integrates liberal and nursing education to foster critical thinking skills required for professional nursing. Professional nursing education prepares nurses to practice effectively in a healthcare environment in diverse settings. Nursing education at the baccalaureate level is an active learning process.


The RN-BSN Online Completion Track in the Carolyn McKelvey Moore School of Nursing is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). The ACEN may be contacted at 3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, GA 30326, telephone 404-975-5000.

The Carolyn McKelvey Moore School of Nursing is approved by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing.

Arkansas State Board of Nursing NCLEX Pass Rates


BSN Handbook

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The mission of the UAFS Carolyn McKelvey Moore School of Nursing is consistent with the mission of UAFS (UAFS Academic Catalog) by its design and program outcomes. The nursing education program challenges students to think critically in an environment that facilitates educational mobility, personal growth, and a pattern of life-long learning. The nursing education programs also challenge students to use evidence-based practice guidelines in the environment in which nursing is being provided.

Program Learning Outcomes

The University of Arkansas - Fort Smith BSN Program graduate will:

  1. Use the nursing process and critical thinking to promote, maintain and restore the health of individuals and families throughout the lifespan.
  2. Evaluate the application of research findings to support evidence-based practice.
  3. Communicate effectively using interpersonal, written, and technological strategies.
  4. Integrate leadership and management skills in the provision of cost-effective quality health care.
  5. Individualize culturally and ethnically sensitive health promotion strategies with individuals, families, populations and communities in a variety of settings.
  6. Model professional role development through nursing behaviors consistent with professional standards.



The faculty of the Carolyn McKelvey Moore School of Nursing hold certain values about nursing and the educational process. These values form the framework in which learning activities move in a logical progression throughout the curriculum and are based on the following concepts:

A client is a unique holistic individual with worth, rights, and responsibilities. All clients have needs. Fulfillment of these needs occurs within the context of their culture and responses to life experiences.

Health is a dynamic state that encompasses the holistic client. Health results from the client's response to changes in the internal and external environments. Health occurs along the wellness/illness continuum and is influenced by personal and cultural values.

Environment is the conditions or influences within which the client exists. Stimuli within the internal and external environment are constantly interacting and affecting the individual, family and community’s position on the wellness/illness continuum.

Nursing, as an art and science, is dynamic profession with an evolving body of knowledge that is supported by research within the profession as well as from principles and theories from other disciplines. Nursing focuses on assisting clients to meet needs along the wellness/illness continuum. Nurses use the nursing process in the promotion, maintenance, and restoration of health in culturally diverse clients throughout the lifespan. Changes in the current healthcare environment reflect an increased complexity in client needs and in delivery systems and, thus, necessitate various levels of nursing educational preparation.

Nursing education is the means by which students learn to practice nursing and is best provided in an institution of higher learning. Learning is a lifelong activity that is purposeful and motivated by individual need. An environment of learning is provided for students and conveys the complex components of the nursing profession: the caring, the art, and the science of the profession. The various levels of nursing education include, but are not limited to, practical nursing, associate degree nursing and baccalaureate degree nursing. Each type of nursing educational program provides a unique and valuable contribution to health care.

Baccalaureate nursing education is based upon a liberal arts and science foundation and forms the basis for the practice of professional nursing. Baccalaureate nursing education occurs in a facilitated learner-centered environment which considers the unique needs of the student. The baccalaureate curriculum emphasizes critical thinking, research and evidenced-based practice, communication, leadership and management, health promotion, and professional role development and provides the student with a foundation for graduate study.

Baccalaureate nursing utilizes evidence-based practice to provide care to culturally diverse individuals, families, populations, and communities across a variety of settings. Baccalaureate nursing practice integrates knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes essential for performing the interrelated roles of provider of care, designer, manager, and coordinator of care, and member of a profession. The baccalaureate prepared nurse possesses the professional values, core competencies and core knowledge identified by the Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2008).

Organizing Framework

The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice (2008) was used to structure and organize the nursing curriculum.  The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education is implemented throughout the curriculum using the concepts of critical thinking, research (Scholarship of Evidence Based Practice), communication (Interprofessional Communication and Collaboration; Information Management), leadership and management (Basic Organizational and Systems Leadership; Health Policy), health promotion (Clinical Prevention and Population Health) and professional development (Professionalism and Professional Values).

Critical thinking “includes questioning, analysis, synthesis, interpretation, inferences, inductive and deductive reasoning, intuition, application, and creativity” (AACN, White Paper on the Education and Role of the Clinical Nurse Leader, 2007).

Research is the scholarly inquiry, which culminates in evidence-based practice.

Communication is a “complex, ongoing, and interactive process which forms the basis for interpersonal relationships” (AACN, 2007).

Leadership and management are overlapping concepts. Leadership is a process of influencing people to accomplish goals whereas management relates to resource coordination and integration to achieve goals.

Health promotion is the science and art of supporting positive health practices to maximize quality of life.

Professional development is a process of life-long learning that enables the nurse to function in the roles of provider of care designer/manager/coordinator of care and member of a profession.

Core competencies, derived from the Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice and the SON Program philosophy, are operationalized to determine student learning, course, and program outcomes and are used by faculty to facilitate student achievement of these outcomes. The Competency Outcomes and Performance Assessment Model (COPA) is used to assess student achievement of outcomes. The COPA Model emphasizes practice-based outcomes, practice-focus learning, and structured, objective assessment of performance competencies. 


University of Arkansas-Fort Smith Ranked No. 3 Best Affordable RN to BSN Online Program

University of Arkansas-Fort Smith was recently ranked the third best affordable school for the RN to BSN online degree program by Great Value Colleges. The organization published the ranking to their Web site in June.

This ranking was created using a number of sources including National Center for Education Statistics' College Navigator, Best College Reviews, Best Value Schools and Wikipedia.

"We're committed to opening doors of the university to talented students," said University Chancellor Dr. Paul Beran. "Being named in this ranking reflects our progress in making the institution as financially accessible as possible."

UAFS was ranked the No. 3 school out of the top 30 in the nation.

The RN-BSN Online Completion Track at UAFS prepares highly competent practitioners of nursing for professional careers in a dynamic healthcare environment. It provides educational mobility for associate degree and diploma prepared nurses and the foundation for graduate education in nursing. This flexible track makes possible the opportunity for registered nurses to receive credit for previous nursing education and experience.

Great Value Colleges offers premier resources to help students find the best degree offerings, the best place to get that degree, career options for graduates, and more. The organization's mission is to help students get the best possible education for their money through "high-quality, researched-based articles and rankings covering a broad number of angles to help the most students possible."

The full article is available at the following link: http://www.greatvaluecolleges.net/affordable/rn-to-bsn-online-degree-programs/


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