Practical Nursing Schools and Licensing Requirements in Arkansas

Updated August 19, 2022 • 6 Min Read

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Because of the Affordable Care Act, more Arkansas residents have access to health insurance, which means the demand for qualified licensed practical nurses is steadily increasing. In addition, federal legislation has shifted the way health institutions deliver patient care, putting greater emphasis on prevention and chronic disease management, which also bumps up the need for highly skilled LPNs. The following guide explores the practical nursing field specifically in Arkansas. Those considering this career path will find information on state licensing requirements, earning potential, and employment opportunities in specific locations of the state.

Browse Arkansas LPN Programs

Nursing is a great career for anyone who wants to work with others and provide care to those in need, and a practical nursing program can offer a fast track to this type of work. State-approved programs can be found at community colleges and technical schools across Arkansas. Although there are several programs from which to choose, not all will be the best fit for every nursing student. The search tool below helps users filter through and compare options to find the LPN program that's right for them. 

Applying for an LPN License in Arkansas

In order to legally work as an LPN, all professionals must obtain a license in their state of employment. Requirements for licensing differ from state to state. This section reviews what is required to obtain an LPN license specifically in Arkansas, as well as how to keep that license active.

Basic Eligibility

  • Complete and submit an online application two months before graduating from nursing school
  • Have a valid social security number
  • Have a physical, mailing, and valid email address for communication from the Board

Education & Training Requirements

In order to work as a practical nurse, the Nurse Practice Act mandates that prospective LPNs be licensed by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing. To be eligible for licensure by examination, applicants must complete a Board-approved accredited practical nursing program. Certain exceptions may be made such as if an individual completed part of an RN program, graduated from an approved RN program and failed the NCLEX-RN exam, or graduated from a Board-approved LPTN program after March 18, 1980.

Additional Requirements

  • Pay non-refundable application fee to the Board of Nursing
  • Submit fingerprint card to undergo criminal background check
  • Arrange to have official transcripts from nursing school sent directly to the Board
  • Arrange for the director of your nursing program to verify graduation by submitting a secure electronic verification form (applicable to out of state programs only) is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Top LPN Programs in Arkansas

Methodology +

Lpn Programs The top LPN programs listed in this state's ranking were determined by comparison of three primary, equally-weighted criteria including Student-to-faculty ratio In-state tuition Graduation rate Additional details for each school were included: Count of programs available Public and not-for-profit schools Normalized on a 100 percent curve The methodology used for tie-break is as follows... Ties are broken based on lowest average net price for full-time, first-time undergraduates paying in-state tuition (average cost of tuition and expenses after grants and scholarships). If necessary, the lowest in-state tuition rate is used as a second tie-break
  1. Northwest Technical Institute

    Springdale, AR

  2. University of Arkansas

    Fayetteville, AR

  3. Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas

    Helena, AR

  4. Arkansas Northeastern College

    Blytheville, AR

  5. Arkansas State University-Newport

    Newport, AR

  6. North Arkansas College

    Harrison, AR

  7. Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas

    De Queen, AR

  8. University of Arkansas Community College

    Texarkana, AR

  9. Baptist Health Schools

    Little Rock, AR

  10. Ozarka College

    Melbourne, AR

How to Renew a License

In Arkansas, nurses are required to renew their licenses every two years. Renewal dates are based on the applicant's year of birth. For example, those born in even-numbered years will have an even year expiration date and those born in odd-numbered years will have an odd-numbered year expiration date. In addition, the expiration date of licenses is always the last day of the applicant's birth month and licenses must be renewed within the 60-day period before the expiration date.

To renew an active license, LPNs must complete 15 contact hours of Continuing Education (CE) from a Board-approved provider. Individuals will be required to list all CE that has been fulfilled and also submit verification, such as copies of certificates, transcripts, or certification information. Licenses must be renewed by midnight. Licenses considered expired can be renewed online (provided it has been expired for less than five years); however, an additional five hours of CE will be required, as well as a $100 late fee (in addition to the regular renewal fee of $65).

LPN Salary in Arkansas

The job outlook and salaries of licensed practical nurses depend on where in the state they work. This section explores LPN job opportunities and salaries in Arkansas, as well as how these numbers measure up against national averages.

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Employment Trends for LPNs in Arkansas

According to a 2014 Health Professions Manpower report from the Arkansas Department of Health, the state's 13,963 active LPNs accounted for 28 percent of Arkansas's nursing population. LPNs could be found in all regions across the state, with the largest concentrations in Northwest and Central Arkansas. Take a look at the data below for a closer look at the state's practical nursing field.

Top Locations for Employment

AreaTotal Employment (2014)
Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway3,060
South Arkansas nonmetropolitan area1,620
East Arkansas nonmetropolitan area1,280
Fort Smith AR-OK1,240
Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers AR-MO1,110
AreaTotal Employment (2014)
West Arkansas nonmetropolitan area940
Central Arkansas nonmetropolitan area890
Pine Bluff480
Hot Springs410

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014

Employment of LPNs in Arkansas

2012 12,280

2022 14,800

Average Annual Openings 550

Source: Projections Central

Resources for Arkansas LPNs

Arkansas – American Psychiatric Nurses Association

The local chapter of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association provides support for professionals who specialize in this area of the field. Psychiatric nurses in Arkansas can participate in forums and networking events, contribute to industry research, and affect policy that helps them perform their jobs.

Arkansas Association of Nurse Anesthetists

Nurse anesthetists in Arkansas can attend meetings and get news about the profession through this organization. In addition, the association provides scholarships and lobbies on behalf of nurses.

Arkansas Licensed Practical Nurses' Association

This organization educates the state's LPNs on the news that affects their work, such as Arkansas nursing legislation. In addition, the Arkansas Licensed Practical Nurses' Association organizes events to help educate the workforce.

Arkansas Nurses Association

The Arkansas Nurses Association is the voice for nursing professionals in the state. The organization promotes professional development through continuing education and events that allow nurses to learn and connect with each other. In addition, the association provides advocacy support to ensure that the needs of nurses are being met.

Arkansas Nurse Practitioner Association

The Arkansas Nurse Practitioner Association promotes excellence among nurse practitioners. The organization provides a career center, professional events, and news about the field.

Arkansas Nursing Students' Association

This is the Arkansas chapter of the National Student Nurses Association. The organization supports the needs of nursing students by providing resources to help them succeed in school, as well as thrive in their future careers.

Arkansas School Nurses Association

The Arkansas chapter of the National Association of School Nurses helps to promote the wellness of schoolchildren by advocating for quality nurse training. Members can receive news about the industry, participate in events, and get job leads.

Arkansas State Board of Nursing

Nurses in Arkansas receive their licenses through the Arkansas State Board of Nursing. In addition to issuing licenses, this agency is responsible for approving education programs and enforcing state rules that nursing professionals must adhere to.

Nursing Programs – NCLEX Pass Rates

This data, which was compiled by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing, includes the NCLEX pass rates for LPN programs around Arkansas from 2011 to 2015.

PN Approved Programs

This site lists practical nursing programs that are approved by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing.

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