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Nursing Admission Requirements

 

ADN Program

The Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing (ADN) program in the Carolyn McKelvey School of Nursing is a part of the College of Health, Education, and Human Sciences (CHEHS) at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith (UAFS). The ADN program is approved by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing (ASBN). Students desiring admission to the ADN program need to be aware of and understand the following information related to admission, progression, and graduation.

To be considered for admission to the ADN program, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Complete university admission requirements to include submission of official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended. 
  • Have a minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA for all college coursework (including transfer work and excluding developmental courses) and be in good academic standing. 
  • Score a minimum of 60 percent on the ATI TEAS exam.
  • LPNs must provide proof of an active, unencumbered LPN license to practice in Arkansas to be eligible for the LPN-ADN track.

NOTE: Science courses taken more than five (5) years prior to entering the program will be evaluated on an individual basis by the Program Director. See the CHEHS Nursing Advising Coordinator for more information and to request a science course evaluation.

Note: The Arkansas State Board of Nursing requires criminal background checks in accordance with the Nurse Practice Act to be performed for students in nursing programs. The ADN program has a third-party vendor to conduct the background checks. The student will be responsible for all fees associated with any components of the background check process. Each clinical agency will independently determine if an adverse or negative outcome on the criminal background check will prohibit a student’s practice in their agency. Students unable to practice in any of the clinical agencies because of an adverse or negative background check will be unable to complete program objectives, halting continued progression in the student’s program of study. Failure to complete the background check process prior to the deadline noted on the admission letter will result in the student’s inability to complete the program objectives and will therefore, halt progression in the student’s program of study. Click here for frequently asked questions regarding criminal background checks and further information.

Admission to the ADN program is competitive. Students who meet the minimum criteria identified above are eligible to submit an application for admission. Further application information is below. 

  • Application deadline is July 8 for fall entry; October 29 for spring entry.
  • Eligible students must submit an application for admission on the UAFS ADN program webpage prior to the application deadline. 
  • Students must complete the TEAS exam prior to the application deadline. The TEAS deadline is July 5 for fall entry.
  • Students will be required to submit an application essay, recommendation letter, or letter of standing depending on status at time of application. 

Apply to ADN Program

For applications with an unencumbered LPN license:

  • Please provide two (2) sources for Letters of Recommendation
  • Applicants may select sources from any of the options listed or any combination of the following:
    • Your current employer/supervisor
    • Your LPN program director
    • A past LPN program faculty member

Apply to LPN-ADN Program

  • Format for all essays and letters
    • Times New Roman font
    • Size 12 font
    • Double-spaced
    • 500-word limit
    • Use proper grammar and spelling

 

  • Content
    •  
      Must include the following information:
      • What interests you the most about becoming a nurse?
      • Share past medical experiences, volunteer opportunities, or accomplishments that have influenced your decision to become a nurse.
      • What character traits do you exhibit that will contribute to excellent nursing care?
    • Include any additional information you would like the admissions committee to know about you that has not already been considered in the application.
    • The essay must be in your own words.
  • For applicants requesting a transfer from another school of nursing program from any institution, including the University of Arkansas Fort Smith, applying for the traditional AAS in Nursing (to include those withdrawing or being dismissed for academic or personal reasons)
    • Provide a letter of standing from the current, or most previous, program director.
  • Provide a letter written in your own words to include the following information:
    • Reason for leaving the current program.
    • Explain your personal experience with nursing up to this point
    • Describe what changes are being made to facilitate your success in this program.

Selection is based on successful completion of the admission criteria. Due to program size limitations, selection is a highly competitive process. Those with a higher GPA and higher TEAS score may rank higher in selection. Only the strongest candidates will be selected for admission to the program. 

Note: Meeting the minimum criteria for admission or taking courses on the degree plan does not guarantee admission into the program. 
Students not admitted must reapply to be considered for another semester. Students identified as alternates are not guaranteed a position in the next class. 

Students admitted into the ADN program must submit the following additional documentation prior to fall or spring entry:
 

Once admitted into the ADN program, all nursing courses (with NURS prefix) on the program’s degree plan must be completed in residence. 

The ADN program is competency-based in skills and theory. A student must demonstrate satisfactory clinical performance, 100-percent mastery on all Competency Performance Evaluations (CPE), and maintain a minimum average cumulative score of 75 percent on Competency Performance Assessments (CPA) including the final CPA for each course. 

A grade of C or better is required in ALL courses applicable to the ADN degree. 

Students are allowed up to two (2) attempts on all nursing-specific courses on the degree plan (NURS prefix). A course withdrawal or failure will count as an attempt. For example, if a student withdraws from a NURS course and then fails the next attempt, the student will be ineligible to progress in the program. 

Students may not attempt any math or science course on the degree plan more than twice and still be eligible to progress in the ADN nursing program. 

To earn an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing degree (ADN), a student must earn a grade of C or better on all required courses applicable to the ADN program; earn a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA in all coursework required for the major; and earn a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA on all work attempted at the university. 

The CHEHS Nursing advising coordinator will meet with all students to complete the graduation application during the third semester of the program. 

After being granted the ADN, the student is eligible to apply to take the National Council Licensure Exam for a Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN). 

 

NOTE: RN licensure requires a state and federal criminal background check. Students who have been convicted of a crime, including those that are sealed or expunged, must seek permission from the ASBN to take the licensure exam to become a registered nurse. 

 

BSN Program

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program in the Carolyn McKelvey School of Nursing is a part of the College of Health, Education, and Human Sciences (CHEHS) at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith (UAFS). accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Students desiring admission to the B.S.N. program need to be aware of and understand the following information related to admission, progression, and graduation.

To be considered for admission to the BSN program, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Complete university admission requirements to include submission of official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended. 
  • Have a minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA for all college coursework (including transfer work and excluding developmental courses) and be in good academic standing. 
  • Complete required prerequisite courses for the program with a minimum grade of C or higher in each course before fall or spring entry. Prerequisite courses are the first four semesters as listed on the degree plan for a total of 62 hours. 
  • Students may not attempt any course more than twice and be eligible for admission into the nursing program.
NOTE: The application process for the BSN program requires a criminal background check. Many clinical facilities require a criminal background check and/or drug screen on students and have the authority to deny clinical training in their facility secondary to the outcome of either screening. Students unable to practice in any clinical agency because of an adverse or negative background check will be unable to complete the program objectives, thereby revoking admission into a program or halting continued progression in the student's program of study. RN licensure requires a state and federal criminal background check.
Students who have been convicted of a crime, including those that are sealed or expunged, must seek permission from the Arkansas State Board of Nursing to write the licensure exam to become a registered nurse (See Restrictions.) The criminal background check information and frequently asked questions are located on the Licensing tab on the ASBN website.

Students who meet the BSN minimum requirements are eligible to submit an application for admission.

Application deadline is March 1 for Fall entry and October 1 for Spring.

Apply to BSN Program

For application questions, please contact Nicki Gilbert, admission coordinator, at Nicki.Gilbert@uafs.edu or 479-788-7861.

Selection is based on the successful completion of the admission criteria. Selection is a highly competitive process. Those with higher GPAs may rank higher in selection.
 

NOTE: Meeting the minimum criteria for admission or taking courses on the B.S.N. degree plan does not guarantee admission into the program. Students not admitted must reapply to be considered for another semester. Students identified as alternates are not guaranteed a position in the next class.

Students admitted into the B.S.N. program must submit the following additional documentation before fall or spring entry:
 

Note: Many clinical facilities require a criminal background check and/or drug screen on students and have the authority to deny clinical training in their facility, secondary to the outcome of either screening. Students unable to practice in any clinical agency because of an adverse or negative background check will be unable to complete the program objectives, thereby revoking admission into a program or halting continued progression in the student's program of study.

Science courses taken more than five years prior to program application may not be eligible. Those courses can be evaluated on an individual basis by the Advising Coordinator for the College of Health, Education, and Human Sciences. See your advisor for more information.
 
The B.S.N. program is competency-based in skills and theory. A student must demonstrate satisfactory clinical performance, 100 percent mastery on all competency performance evaluations (CPE), and maintain a minimum average cumulative score of 75 percent on competency performance assessments (CPA), including the final CPA for each course.
 
A student dropped for any reason may apply for readmission if in compliance with the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith Student Academic Progress Policy as outlined in the course catalog. A student who discontinues the nursing sequence any reason must petition for readmission to the B.S.N. program. The readmission requirements are found in the BSN Student Handbook (see the Readmission Criteria & Procedure Policy). The student is not guaranteed a position for readmission. A student who is readmitted is accountable for the degree requirements in effect at the time of readmission.

To earn a B.S.N. degree, a student must earn a grade of C or better in all required courses applicable to the B.S.N. program; earn a minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA in all course work required for the major and/or minor areas; and earn a minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA on all work attempted at the university. The student must meet with the advising coordinator to complete the graduation application one year before intended graduation.
 
After being granted the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, the student is eligible to apply to take the National Council Licensure Exam for a registered nurse (NCLEX-RN). 
 

NOTE: RN licensure requires a state and federal criminal background check. Students who have been convicted of a crime, including those that are sealed or expunged, must seek permission from the Arkansas State Board of Nursing to write the licensure exam to become a registered nurse. (See Restrictions.)

This information is subject to change. Please check for current information before applying to the program.