The Arkansas State Board of Nursing has granted “full approval” to the Arkansas Tech University-Ozark Campus Registered Nursing (RN) program.
The program, which began offering classes at the start of the fall 2012 semester and awards an associate of applied science in nursing, had been granted “initial approval” status after being approved by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education.
The elevated status – the highest endorsement by the board – comes after a yearlong program review.
RN Chair Theresa Fontaine said ATU-Ozark faculty and staff “are committed to working with the Arkansas State Board of Nursing to ensure that our students are receiving a quality education that meets its requirements, as well as the needs of students in the program and employers in our region.”
ATU-Ozark also offers a Practical Nursing program, which prepares students to become a licensed practical nurse, or LPN. To be accepted into the RN program, students must first be an LPN.
ATU-Ozark Chancellor Bruce Sikes said the RN program is unique in that it allows current LPNs to obtain an RN degree, which allows them to transition into the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at the Arkansas Tech campus in Russellville, and then its Master of Science in Nursing if they so choose.
Because Arkansas Tech offers both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in nursing, students who start at ATU-Ozark will be able to take all of the required instruction to obtain their bachelor’s or master’s within the Arkansas Tech system.
Fontaine said, “Both Arkansas Tech campuses value nursing at every level, from the associate’s degrees on the Ozark Campus to the bachelor’s and master’s on the Russellville campus.
“We will continue to work hard to make sure that LPNs who wish to become registered nurses have an option to seamlessly continue their education within the Arkansas Tech system, and we appreciate the community support we continue to receive.”