History, Mission, & Philosophy

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The College of Nursing of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences was established as an independent professional school of the University in March, 1953, in response to the interest and support of professional and community groups throughout the state. Establishment of the school was designed to help meet the pressing demands for larger numbers of skilled nurses and to make available to people of Arkansas the best possible educational preparation for the profession of nursing.

The first program established within the College in 1953 was the baccalaureate program. Its purpose is implemented through a unified curriculum combining general education and professional instruction within a university setting. Further details are provided on other pages of this website describing the program leading to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.

The graduate program leading to the degree of Master of Nursing Science was initiated in the fall semester, 1971. This program builds upon baccalaureate education and provides a program for advanced preparation in nursing. Further information is provided on other pages of this website.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice program was granted approval in October 2012 by the Arkansas Board of Higher Education and in May 2012 by the University Of Arkansas Board Of Trustees. The inaugural class began fall semester 2013 with the first cohort graduating May, 2015. The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program blends clinical, organizational, economic and leadership skills to prepare nurses at the highest level of practice to lead health care innovation and influence policy. Graduates of the DNP program are prepared to lead interprofessional teams to identify, implement, and evaluate innovative health care models to improve quality outcomes for individuals, families, and populations. Further information is provided on other pages of this web site.

The Doctorate of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD) was implemented in 1997, with the first class graduating in May, 2000. Graduates of the doctoral program are prepared to advance the art and science of nursing through research and scholarship. They are expected to assume leadership positions in academic and health care settings and to influence nursing practice, health care delivery, and the social awareness of nursing’s contributions to the health care arena. Further information is provided on other pages of this web site.

Mission Statement

The UAMS College of Nursing is committed to scholarly excellence in (1) undergraduate and graduate nursing education, (2) research, and (3) service to the University, profession, and society.


The UAMS College of Nursing provides exemplary and comprehensive educational programs, based on scholarship in education and practice. The College of Nursing offers educational programs to prepare professional nurses as generalists and for advanced practice, teaching, research, and administrative roles, thereby enhancing health care for the people of Arkansas. As a leader in the preparation of nurses for advanced health care, the College of Nursing collaborates with Area Health Education Centers (AHECs), other colleges of nursing, and the health care community to provide degree and continuing education programs. The College enhances access to education in this rural, agrarian state by offering degree programs and courses for nurses through distance education.


The UAMS College of Nursing advances the body of nursing knowledge through scholarship in research. This community of scholars contributes to nursing science through research activities that are theory testing, theory generating, and of an applied or basic research nature. Scholarship includes the dissemination of research findings and the translation of research into practice.


The service mission of the UAMS College of Nursing provides service through scholarly participation of faculty and students in academic, professional, and community organizations. Faculty practice as skilled clinicians, consultants, and professional experts in health care organizations and in the community. Faculty serve as role models for students and other nurses at the local, state, national, and international levels.

Approved by Faculty Assembly January 2013


The CON embraces and practices the philosophies of cultural humility and cultural proficiency. Cultural humility and proficiency is an expected standard in healthcare, and the combination of these philosophies advocates the practice of acceptance and affirmation. Cultural humility incorporates a lifelong commitment to self-evaluation and critique, to redressing the power imbalances in the healthcare provider-patient dynamic, and to developing mutually beneficial and non-paternalistic partnerships with communities on behalf of individuals and defined populations. Cultural proficiency is recognized as the knowledge, skills, attitudes and beliefs that enable people to work well with, respond effectively to, and be supportive of people in cross-cultural settings.


Nursing education prepares graduates to practice within the established professional guidelines and standards and to engage in continuous role development and revision of knowledge. The teaching/learning process fosters intellectual and personal growth; stimulates inquiry, critical thinking, and synthesis of knowledge; and helps the individual value and pursue life-long learning. Additionally, preparing and supporting a culturally humble, proficient, and responsive workforce that demonstrates the attitudes, knowledge and skills necessary to work effectively with diverse populations is an important strategy to reduce disparities in the areas of health care, academics, and research.

College of Nursing Core Values

In alignment with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences core values, the College of Nursing is committed to promoting excellence in nursing education, research, and service through:

Caring: promoting health through protection, enhancement, and preservation of dignity in response to the human condition.

Integrity: adherence to the principles of the nursing profession while respecting the moral wholeness, dignity, and diversity of every person.

Diversity and Respect: fostering a climate of mutual respect and equity through affirmation of the uniqueness and differences among persons, beliefs, values, ideas, practices, and ethnicities.

Excellence: continually striving for nursing excellence through innovative, evidence-based approaches that facilitate learning and the advancement of the nursing practice.

Safety: commitment to the protection, safety, and high-quality health outcomes of all persons we serve through education, research, and service.

Teamwork and Creativity: interprofessional collaboration characterized by flexibility, imagination, resourcefulness, and vision for the advancement of nursing education and practice.

Approved by Faculty Assembly May 2021