I am applying to UAMS BSN program this year. I can agree somewhat to what was stated prior about hospitals hiring BSN applicants vs. Associates degree nurses.
I have worked at children's hospital and UAMS...both are aspiring to be Magnet Hospitals like St. Vincent's and the VA Hospital...it is the huge certification that takes years to complete. One of the requirements is to have a certain number of BSN nursing and a lot of these hospitals are requiring their current Associates nurses to get their BSN by a certain date. With that being said, you will be interviewing for jobs alongside BSN nurses (who will be more sought out) and it will be harder to get hired due to that reason.
Also, I applied to UALR last year and was accepted. I had made an 85.4 on my Hesi exam and hadn't completed many pre reqs and had about 70something quality points without the hesi exam. I decided to take the extra year to finish the required pre reqs for UAMS and applied here this year. As a backup I applied to the UALR accelerated program, but don't plan on going there (unless UAMS doesn't become an option).
When you think about it...the pre reqs for UAMS are not that difficult, and many bachelors programs all require about the same things. Nutrition, logic, developmental psych, statistics....these are all important classes that will help more than anything in nursing school
. Also, think about the name that is associated with the education. When you think of UAMS nursing school, you think of a prestigious medical school and one of the best hospitals in Arkansas, the only level 1 trauma ER and some of the best world class doctors and nurses.
That was a big decision for me to take (to take the extra year to finish) but I'm sure it will be well worth it!