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UAMS launches accelerated nursing program to combat shortage

Patricia Cowan, the dean of the UAMS College of Nursing, said the concept-based program would have fewer breaks in the curriculum.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark — The University of Arkansas Medical Sciences is launching an accelerated 15-month Bachelor's of Science in Nursing (BSN) program looking for candidates who are current professionals wanting to answer the call to nursing. 

Students who have a bachelor's or higher in another area are eligible as long as they have completed courses in microbiology, anatomy, and physiology. 

The program starts in May 2022 and would end in August of that next year. 

It would provide them with the same amount of nursing credits that they would get in a regular program while being able to enter the medical workforce faster.

Patricia Cowan, the dean of the UAMS College of Nursing, said the concept-based program would have fewer breaks in the curriculum.

Students will be engaged in simulation and lab on an ongoing basis from the time they start the nursing program. 

Most nursing programs are four years.

"It's for individuals who may have a master's in public health or have degrees in Spanish or psychology that want to go ahead and come into nursing," Cowan said.

"They've been out in the workforce. They're typically very mature and they're making a decision based on where they want their career to go."

The accelerated program would help with nurse shortages across the state.  

Cowan said nursing is the most awarding profession one can have because you're making a difference in people's lives.

Preston Molsbee is the assistant director of nursing for clinical education and the transition practice program director at UAMS. He said being a nurse is a calling, that nurses take care of patients at their weakest moment and are at their bedside 99.9% of the time. 

He brings years of experience with him when he teaches new nurses. 

"The biggest thing I tell them, in the beginning, is they need to know how to take care of themselves. Too many nurses forget to take care of themselves and if they don't take care of themselves they can't take care of their patients." 

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