The Arkansas Department of Higher Education gave final approval Friday, Jan. 27, to Arkansas Tech University-Ozark Campus for its proposed Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Nursing.
The endorsement, which follows an initial approval from the State Board of Nursing in September, allows the campus to launch its new Registered Nurse (RN) program – an extension of its current Practical Nursing program.
Chancellor Jo Alice Blondin said, “Health-care providers and students alike approached the Ozark Campus to offer this program, and we responded by creating a path for practical nurses to pursue the next step in their educational journey, an RN credential.”
Theresa Fontaine of Alma (pictured) will serve as chair of the RN program, which will begin offering courses in August. Arkansas Tech-Ozark currently offers a Technical Certificate in Practical Nursing that qualifies students to test to become a licensed practical nurse, or LPN. The associate degree will allow Ozark Campus students to become an RN.
Arkansas Tech-Ozark’s nursing 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 main Russellville campus.
Because Arkansas Tech’s main campus in Russellville offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, nursing students who start on the Ozark Campus will be able to take all of the required instruction to obtain a bachelor’s degree within the Arkansas Tech system.
Fontaine said, “The new LPN-to-RN transition program is the perfect program for our campus.
“This new Ozark program will be a good fit for the student who wishes to become an RN, but needs to do it in stages because of family and financial responsibilities.”]]>