UACCH added to Arkansas Rural Nursing Education Consortium

The University of Arkansas Community College at Hope is pleased to announce that it is one of two institutions approved by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing(ASBN) to be added to the Arkansas Rural Nursing Education Consortium(ARNEC). Rich Mountain Community College (RMCC) in Mena, and the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope (UACCH) will join ARNEC for the January 2011 class. Jill Hasley, Program Director of the Arkansas Rural Nursing Education Consortium (ARNEC), announced today that the Consortium has also received approval from the Arkansas State Board of Nursing (ASBN) to increase the number of seats it offers to Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurses (LPNs/LVNs) who wish to become Registered Nurses.

The six colleges presently in the Consortium are: Arkansas State University-Newport, Black River Technical College-Pocahontas, Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas-Nashville, Ozarka College-Melbourne, South Arkansas Community College-El Dorado, and University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton.

Laura Massey, R.N., Dean of Health Professions at UACCH said, “I am very excited about this partnership and what it will do to increase the educational opportunities for working LPNs in our area. By providing a second pathway to becoming an RN, UACCH is again showing its commitment to the area residents of southwest Arkansas.”

ARNEC was created in 2004 to address the chronic shortage of Registered Nurses in the state’s rural areas. Late last year, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing estimated that nationally, there will be over 250,000 unfilled jobs for Registered Nurses by 2025.

Currently, ARNEC offers 120 seats at six of the state’s rural two-year colleges. Hasley stated that, in 2011, ARNEC will offer up to forty seats at the six current member colleges, and ten seats each at the two new member colleges. Each college will determine how many more students they can enroll, depending on the availability of clinical instruction space.

ARNEC is currently accepting applications for the January 2011 class. The annual deadline is August 31st. For interested LPNs/LVNs, more information and an admission application are available at www.arnec.org. Students may apply to more than one of the eight ARNEC member colleges, but should only submit an application to their first choice. All applicants will receive a letter regarding their admission status by early October. For more information contact Laura Massey, Dean of Health Professions at UACCH at 870-777-5722.