If you are interested in starting a career in healthcare in Arkansas, becoming a registered nurse (RN) or a licensed practical nurse (LPN) are two of the best ways to do it. The Arkansas State Board of Nursing (ASBN) offers numerous opportunities for nurses across various specializations. Because of the impending retirement of many current nurses and an overall shortfall in the industry, the demand for nurses is high. For those interested in becoming an RN or LPN in the state, it is the best time to consider pursuing this career path.
To become a nurse in Arkansas, it is essential to understand the state’s nursing board requirements. Whether you want to become a registered nurse or a licensed practical nurse, you must fulfill the requirements set forth by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing to earn a license to practice nursing in the state.
Fast CE For Less offers nursing continuing education courses to help RNs and LPNs throughout the country access online nursing CEUs to renew their credentials. For prospective nurses, we also offer helpful resources to help people pursue successful careers in the field. We have created this guide to help you understand the Arkansas State Board of Nursing requirements to become a registered nurse or a practical nurse in the state.
How to Become a Registered Nurse in Arkansas
Becoming a registered nurse can be an excellent path to choose in nursing. While the route is slightly tougher than becoming an LPN, becoming an RN can offer more lucrative career opportunities. If you want to become a registered nurse in Arkansas, completing specialized training and education is necessary. To meet the qualification criteria, you must meet pre-licensure educational requirements, pass the national licensure exam for nurses, and apply for the license to practice as a registered nurse in Arkansas.
Obtain A BSN or Associate’s Degree in Arkansas
To take the national exam before applying for your license, you must first complete pre-licensure educational requirements for nurses in Arkansas, as approved by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing.
According to the state’s nursing board, you must earn at least a two-year Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. If you want to get an ADN, you can find a list of ABSN-approved prelicensure ADN programs here. If you decide to go for a BSN, you can find a list of ABSN-approved BSN programs here.
Pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN)
Once you earn your degree, you will qualify to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses, also called NCLEX-RN. The NCLEX-RN is a computer-adaptive exam designed to test the capabilities of professionals applying for a registered nurse license throughout the country. Before applying for state licensure as a registered nurse in Arkansas, you must pass the NCLEX-RN. Learn more about appearing for the NCLEX-RN through ABSN’s website here.
Apply for Licensure as a Registered Nurse in Arkansas
Only after you pass the NCLEX-RN can you apply for state licensure to begin practicing as a registered nurse in Arkansas. To apply for state licensure, you can go to the Arkansas State Board of Nursing’s official website after passing the NCLEX-RN to apply for licensure. You will initially receive a temporary permit while awaiting your permanent license. If you are already qualified as an RN in another state and apply for a nursing license in Arkansas through endorsement, the ABSN may also provide you with a temporary license while you wait for your permanent license.
How to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Arkansas
If you want to choose an even quicker method to enter the healthcare industry as a nurse, you can become a licensed practical nurse in Arkansas. While the requirements for becoming an LPN might not be as extensive as for an RN, you must still follow a complete process to qualify for state licensure as an LPN in Arkansas. From completing a state-approved nursing education program to passing a National Council of Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses, here is what you need to become an LPN in Arkansas.
Complete An Accredited Practical Nursing Program in Arkansas
When you pursue licensure as a registered nurse, you must complete at least an ADN or BSN degree. To become a licensed practical nurse in Arkansas, you need at least a high school diploma. If you already have one, you must complete an ABSN-approved practical nursing education program. To find practical nursing courses you can pursue, the ABSN has provided an approved list of programs on its website here.
Pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN)
Once you complete an ABSN-approved practical nursing program, you must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses, also called the NCLEX-PN. Before you can apply for state licensure as an LPN in Arkansas, you must sit for and pass the national licensure examination. Learn more about appearing for the NCLEX-PN through ABSN’s website here.
Apply for Licensed Practical Nurse Licensure in Arkansas
After completing the educational requirements and passing the NCLEX-PN, you can apply for state licensure to become a licensed practical nurse in Arkansas. For more information about applying for state licensure in Arkansas, you can go to ABSN’s official website here.
Renew Certifications to Progress in Your Career as an RN or LPN in Arkansas
Regardless of the state you practice in, registered nurses and licensed practical nurses must renew their credentials to continue practicing nursing. To recertify as a nurse, you must complete a specified number of contact hours through nursing continuing education courses in intervals determined by the state’s nursing board. The Arkansas State Board of Nursing requires registered nurses and licensed practical nurses in the state to complete 15 hours of nursing continuing education courses every two years to renew their licenses. You can learn more about Arkansas State’s nursing continuing education requirements for RNs and LPNs at www.fastceforless.com/nursing-ce-arkansas/.
When it is time for you to take nursing continuing education courses, Fast CE For Less offers the online nursing CEUs necessary for your recertification. Access the online nursing CEUs at www.fastceforless.com for a convenient and affordable online solution to advance your career.