Baptist Health Schools Little Rock Graduates From School To College


LITTLE ROCK, AR (June 6, 2015) – In 1921 Baptist Health graduated its first class of five nurses. Now more than 800 students are enrolled at the school, which offers multiple fields of study. Along with the expansion of its student body and academic offerings, the school has been transitioning from a diploma-granting institute to a degree-conferring college over the last few years. On July 1 that transition was complete when Baptist Health Schools Little Rock officially became Baptist Health College Little Rock.

In honor of the schools advancement and new name, a celebration was held today, July 6, at 10 a.m. at the newly named Baptist Health College Little Rock, located at 11900 Colonel Glenn Road in Little Rock. The community, Baptist Health employees, current students and alumni attended. Troy Wells, Baptist Health president and CEO, Russ Harrington, president emeritus, and Judy Pile, the college’s chancellor and assistant vice president of education at Baptist Health, were speakers at the event.

Initially, degrees will be offered in the school of nursing to about 600 students. Those graduating will now receive an associate degree instead of a diploma.

“Our associate degree graduate should exit as prepared for the profession as the diploma graduate but now much further along in his or her pursuit of a bachelor’s degree,” said Pile.

Many registered nursing students continue their education to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. The national trend for nursing schools is to move away from diploma credentialing to awarding associate and/or bachelor’s degrees.

“Compared to 20 or 30 years ago, more nursing jobs are requiring bachelor’s degrees and more nursing leadership positions are requiring master’s degrees, so advanced education is important to the program and the students,” Pile said.

Students can choose from nine programs of study including practical nursing and registered nursing and the allied health fields of histotechnology, medical laboratory science, nuclear medicine technology, radiography, occupational therapy assistant, sleep technology and surgical technology.

With more than 175 points of access, including eight hospitals, Baptist Health is committed to delivering “All Our Best” in healthcare to the people of Arkansas. For more information about Baptist Health College Little Rock, call 501-202-6200 or 1-800-345-3046 or visit the college’s website at The website address will become after July 1.