Deadline Approaches for RN Program at UACCM

The deadline to submit applications for an innovative nursing program is fast approaching, according to Jill Hasley, program director for the Arkansas Rural Nursing Education Consortium (ARNEC). The Consortium is a program based at six Arkansas community colleges, including the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton. The program enables Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) to become Registered Nurses (RNs).
“The deadline for applying for our next class is August 31st,” Hasley said. “LPNs who are interested in getting a seat in our January ’07 class need to get an application packet and submit it before the deadline, or they will have to wait until the next class begins in January 2008,” she added.
Hasley went on to describe the program and the need that led to its development. “There is a great shortage of nurses of all kinds in the US, and that shortage is being most keenly felt in rural areas. ARNEC addresses that need by enabling LPNs to become an RN without requiring them to travel long distances or give up their jobs or families to pursue additional education. Students graduate from ARNEC with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing, which enables them to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam.” The Department of Labor estimates that by the year 2020, there will be about 800,000 vacant nursing positions in the U.S. “Nursing is one of the most in-demand occupations in the country for the foreseeable future,” Hasley said.
She went on to describe how the program works. “Lectures are delivered by interactive television, and notes and exams are presented over the Internet. This has enabled these six relatively small colleges to serve the needs of the medical communities in their service areas, providing them with a stream of qualified applicants, many of whom they may already know, for RN positions.”
In addition to UACCM, the five Arkansas community colleges that make up ARNEC include Arkansas State University-Newport, Black River Technical College (Pocahontas), Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas (De Queen), Ozarka College (Melbourne), and South Arkansas Community College (El Dorado). Interested applicants are urged to contact Patti Carson in the UACCM Admissions Office at (501) 977-2174 or visit the ARNEC website, www.arnec.org, to download the application forms and to determine if they have taken the courses that are prerequisites for admission.

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