Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program

BSN students

Program Details

Persons who already have a bachelor degree are eligible to apply for admission into the University of Arkansas Fort Smith Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Program! This program allows students to obtain a BSN in 15 months after completion of the prerequisite courses, many of which students already have as a result of having a bachelor degree.


It is projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) that there will be 1.2 million vacancies for registered nurses between now and 2022. According to the BLS website, the median annual base wage for registered nurses in 2019 was $77,460 nationally, and $61,330 in Arkansas. The Accelerated BSN Program will provide you with job security and an earning potential that will last you the remainder of your employment years!


Graduates of the Accelerated BSN Program are prepared to provide nursing care for individuals, families, population, and communities within a variety of healthcare settings and to use evidence-based practice to guide nursing interventions which promote, maintain, and restore health. Theory, laboratory and clinical practice may be scheduled in the morning, afternoon, evening, and weekend hours to provide optimal learning experiences.



The Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Program in the Carolyn McKelvey Moore School of Nursing is a part of the College of Health Sciences (CHS) at the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith (UAFS). The Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and approved by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing (ASBN).

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BSN Handbook

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For More Information, Contact:

  • Advising Coordinator, College of Health Sciences, at 479-788-7841 or by email to UAFS Health Sciences.







Mission StatementNursing students with instructor

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.

PhilosophyNursing student graduation image

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 a 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.

Student imageNursing 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 evidence-based practice, communication, leadership and management, health promotion, 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, 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. 


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.



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Arkansas State Board of Nursing


For More Information Contact

  • Advising Coordinator, College of Health Sciences, at 479-788-7841 or by email to UAFS Health Sciences.