Do you want to become an LPN in Arkansas?
You made a great choice!
LPNs are in demand nationwide, especially in Arkansas.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 33% of nurses in Arkansas are LPNs. By 2024, the demand and career opportunities for LPNs in Arkansas will significantly increase.
It’s evident that becoming an LPN is a good career move, but the question is… How do you become one?
You still need to undergo training, pass the national exam, and obtain a license to be able to practice.
The whole process might be confusing to some, that’s why we decided to create a simple guide on how to become an LPN in Arkansas.
We want to help you reach your dreams!
We’ll also answer some FAQs, such as:
- How long does it take to become an LPN in Arkansas?
- How much is the cost for an LPN program in Arkansas?
- How much is the salary of LPNs in Arkansas?
- Is Arkansas a compact state?
Without further ado, let’s start!
How to Become an LPN in Arkansas in 5 Steps
Don’t know where to start? Here are five simple steps to becoming an LPN in Arkansas:
- Step #1: Complete the LPN Nursing Program
- Step #2: Pass the NCLEX Exam
- Step #3: Obtain Your LPN License in Arkansas
- Step #4: Get a Job as an LPN
- Step #5: Renew Your License
Let’s dive in!
Step #1: Complete the LPN Nursing Program
Before you earn an LPN diploma in Arkansas, you need to complete an LPN program.
While there are a bunch of LPN programs in Arkansas, you should keep in mind that the program should be state-approved.
This is very important because a program that is not approved by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing will not qualify you to become an LPN, even if you already spent time and money to complete the program.
To check the approval status of the program you are interested in, you can look at the ASBN website. There are about 26 state-approved programs you can choose from.
Requirements for Enrollment
Just like any other state, there are prerequisites for enrollment.
Some of these requirements include a highschool diploma or GED (usually with a minimum GPA) and a criminal background check to see if you have a history of violence or substance abuse.
They may also require a proficiency score on the ATI TEAS exam and an entrance exam.
The exact requirements depend on the school you are interested in, so it’s best to check their website or contact them directly.
The LPN program takes about 1 year to be completed. It can take longer depending on your pace.
LPN programs usually include classroom studies, laboratory studies, and clinical training under the supervision of a registered nurse.
The subjects covered in the LPN training program include:
- Healthcare basics
- Medical terminology
- Mental health concepts
- Medical nursing
- Pediatric Nursing
- Surgical Nursing
- Obstetric nursing
- Legal aspects of nursing
Students who have completed the LPN program in Arkansas are expected to have the knowledge, training, and skills needed to function as a member of long-term care facilities, patient care delivery teams in hospitals, and other medical settings.
Step #2: Pass the NCLEX Exam
Students who successfully completed a state-approved LPN program are eligible to take the NCLEX-PN exam.
By this time, performance and nursing skills should have been acquired.
The NCLEX-PN (National Council Licensure Examination for LPNs) is a national exam that evaluates if a candidate has what it takes to start working as an entry-level LPN.
You cannot work as an LPN without passing the NCLEX-PN.
Licensure by Examination Process
To take the NCLEX, you first have to apply to the Arkansas State Board of Nursing. They will check if you qualify for the exam.
You will be asked to create an account in the Arkansas Nurse Portal. They have provided instructional videos on how to do this.
After creating your account, you can sign in to your Nurse Portal and submit your application for licensure by examination.
You can also check the status of your application by accessing your Nurse Portal account.
While filling up the application in the Nurse Portal, you will be asked to provide the following information:
- General information
- Primary state of residence
- Education history (from your nursing program)
- Pearson VUE registration details
- Background history
You will also be asked to pay $100 for your initial application fee. This is separate from the $200 that you will pay to Pearson VUE for the examination fee.
Another criminal background check and additional information may be required for candidates for licensure in Arkansas.
If your application is approved by the ASBN, they will give you authorization to test. You can then schedule your exam with Pearson VUE.
Step #3: Obtain Your LPN License in Arkansas
Once you pass the NCLEX-PN exam, the Arkansas State Board of Nursing (ASBN) will give you your LPN license and you can start working as an LPN in Arkansas.
But aside from licensure by examination, there are other ways to obtain your LPN license in Arkansas.
Let’s discuss each one!
Do you want to start working as an LPN right after graduation? Or are you in need of a temporary LPN license in Arkansas?
A temporary permit can be issued within 3 months after completing your LPN training.
You just need to apply, submit your Pearson VUE Registration, and have your criminal background checked. You also need to pay a fee of $30.
The temporary permit is only valid until the examination results are received and not longer than 90 days.
Keep in mind that you are not allowed to reissue or extend the temporary permit.
Licensure by Endorsement
Arkansas is a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC).
This allows LPNs from other NLC states to practice in Arkansas without having to apply for a separate Arkansas license
However, if you’re from a non-NLC member state, you have to apply for a license by endorsement to the ASBN if you want to work in Arkansas.
You need to submit the following documents to get your LPN license in Arkansas:
- US Social Security Number
- Fingerprint cards
- Address, email, and telephone number
- License verification submitted to ASBN
You will also have to pay an application fee of $125.
You can apply by endorsement online.
Candidates from another state who are waiting for licensure by endorsement can get a temporary endorsement permit in Arkansas by submitting an application to the board.
A temporary endorsement cannot be reissued and is valid for only 6 months.
License Verification in Arkansas
Your license status can be verified online using the ASBN Registry Search.
Step #4: Get a Job as an LPN
Finally, you’re more than ready to practice as a licensed LPN in Arkansas!
There are lots of career options for LPNs including traditional healthcare settings, hospice work, nursing homes, and home healthcare.
You have the option to explore a variety of healthcare settings and even continue your education to become specialized in a certain LPN field or to become a registered nurse (RN).
Step #5: Renew Your License
Your Arkansas LPN license expires every 2 years. Your license should be renewed 60 days before its expiration date.
The renewal fee costs $90. It will cost more if you are late in your license renewal.
To renew your license, you only need 15 contact hours.
You can check the ASBN website to see what qualifies as contact hours and if you have further clarifications.
Your license can be renewed online as long as it has not expired for more than 5 years.
Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming an LPN in Arkansas
Now that we’ve completed the five steps to becoming an LPN in Arkansas, let’s answer some questions you may still have.
How long does it take to become an LPN in Arkansas?
The LPN programs in Arkansas typically take 12 to 18 months to complete.
How much is the cost for an LPN program in Arkansas?
The cost depends on the type of school and other factors.
The tuition fees can be anywhere between $2,100 to $33,250, not including the cost of books, uniforms, etc.
Students will cover the tuition fee, mandatory fees, and course materials. But you can also look for schools that have financial assistance programs.
How much is the salary of LPNs in Arkansas?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual LPN salary in Arkansas is $43,040 per year.
However, your salary will depend on where you work and how much experience you have.
Gaining certifications and experience will help increase your salary.
Is Arkansas a Compact State?
Yes! Arkansas is part of the NLC.
This means that you can apply for a multi-state LPN license and practice as an LPN in other NLC states.
LPNs from other states can also practice in Arkansas without having to go through licensure by endorsement.
There you have it—the simple steps to becoming an LPN in Arkansas!
There are lots of accredited schools that offer LPN programs in Arkansas. When choosing a school, look for quality and the one that meets your personal requirements and needs.
Remember also to study and prepare well for the NCLEX-PN exam. You need to pass this to gain a license!
And when you do get a license, explore the different healthcare fields that you are interested in working in.
You can also consider gaining more certifications or advancing your career further.
But don’t forget to renew your license every 2 years!
We hope this guide will help you throughout your LPN journey.
We wish you all the best!