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Featured | Health Education and Human Sciences | NewsMay 20, 2024

2-year Nursing Track Announced

Written By: Rachel Rodemann Putman

This week the AV announced the return of its Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Nursing degree in the Carolyn McKelvey Moore School of Nursing. The Arkansas State Board of Nursing approved the new degree plan on Thursday, May 16, 2024, following earlier approvals from the Arkansas Department of Higher Education and the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees.

The newly approved program offers a two-year Registered Nurse (RN) pathway, providing an affordable and accelerated route for students aspiring to enter the nursing profession. The program, also known as an associate degree in nursing (ADN), is unique in its tailored curriculum developed in collaboration with healthcare providers and regional hospitals, ensuring students receive relevant and practical training. 

Tuition reimbursement programs from Mercy and Baptist Hospitals, alongside extensive private scholarships through the AV Foundation, should empower nearly all students to enroll with no out-of-pocket tuition cost.

Request more information on the ADN

“It’s the perfect time for the ADN program to return to AV,” said Brooke Gray, MSN, RN, C-EFM, Program Director. “Covid impacted every community and demonstrated the need for nurses at all levels, especially those bedside acute care professionals. This program breaks down potential barriers for students by allowing them to earn a degree in just two years and quickly enter the workforce.” 

Gray earned her two-year nursing degree from AV in 2004 and credits the program with setting her up for career success. “I came into the program directly out of high school as a first-gen student,” said Gray. “I was able to earn a good salary with benefits and enjoy the flexibility that comes with a career in nursing. Though I would go on to earn a BSN and graduate degree, it all started with my ADN.”  

Program Highlights:

  • Duration: The program spans four semesters, allowing students to graduate in two years.
  • LPN-RN Pathway: A dedicated pathway for Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) with an active, unencumbered LPN license.
  • Experienced Faculty and Advanced Facilities: Students will learn from seasoned professionals in some of the region's most sophisticated healthcare facilities, with high-fidelity laboratories that offer comprehensive experience in safe environments.
  • Hands-On Experience: Extensive clinical experience in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare settings across the River Valley in a variety of concentration areas.

Upon completing the program, graduates will be well-prepared to take the NCLEX-RN exam, a crucial step for becoming a Registered Nurse. AV boasts one of Arkansas's highest NCLEX-RN pass rates, underscoring the program's effectiveness.

The national nursing shortage disproportionally impacts the River Valley region. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this shortage will grow to 1.4 million by 2029, due to growing need coupled with nearly 50 percent of current RNs approaching retirement age and more RNs choosing to leave healthcare altogether. Clinical agencies within the River Valley region currently need well over two-hundred nurses, a need that is expected to grow substantially in the coming years, exacerbated by the projected 20 percent growth in the population aged 65 and older in the region.

The AAS in Nursing also serves as a direct foundation for those looking to enter the workforce as RNs while working toward a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or higher degree.

  • Tags:
  • Associate of Applied Science in Nursing
  • College of Health Education and Human Sciences
  • Associate of Applied Science in Nursing (LPN-RN Transition)
  • AAS Nursing