Nursing CE Requirements in Arkansas – Everything You Should Know

Nursing CE Requirements in Arkansas - Everything You Should Know

Regardless of whether you’re a CNA, an LNP, an RN, or an APRN, there’s something for you here

We’ll be talking about the nursing requirements for all these types of nurses. Whether it’s employment hours, CE requirements, or other prerequisites, you’re sure to find it here.

With this, you’ll know exactly what you need to do before you can renew your nursing license in Arkansas. 

So shall we? 

Arkansas Nursing CE Requirements

If you don’t have time right now to go through all the details, don’t worry. The table below will give you the essentials.

CNA(Certified Nurse Assistant)No CE required 
CNAs need to work for 8 consecutive hours to get their license renewed.
LPN(Licensed Practical Nurse)15 contact hours every 2 years 
Other renewal options:
Carrying an active certification/recertification that’s nationally recognized, OR
Complete a college credit hour course on nursing with a grade of at least 2.0
RN(Registered Nurse)15 contact hours every 2 years 
Other renewal options:
Carrying an active certification/recertification that’s nationally recognized, OR
Complete a college credit hour course on nursing with a grade of at least 2.0
APRN(Advanced Practical Registered Nurse)15 contact hours every 2 years 
If with prescriptive authority:
Additional 5 contact hours in pharmacotherapeutics, 2 of which must be about maintaining professional boundaries and prescribing rules, regulations, and laws 
For first renewal for APRNs with prescribing authority:
1 additional hour on prescription use and abuse

Now let’s discuss the requirements in more detail.

Arkansas CNA Continuing Education Requirements

Although CNAs don’t need to complete Continuing Education when they renew their license every 2 years, it doesn’t mean that there are no other requirements.

You need to work as a CNA for 8 consecutive hours within the renewal period. To ensure the validity of your employment, you’ll need to list where and how long you worked.

You can do this through your TMU record. Remember that the employer you listed down receives a verification link through email. You’ll only be able to extend your license’s validity for another 2 years if they complete this process.

Now let’s say you didn’t meet the required number of employment hours. Unfortunately, that means you’ll have to take steps to have your license reinstated. It means passing the CNA competency exam again.

Arkansas LPN Continuing Education Requirements

In Arkansas, Licensed Practical Nurses can choose between several options.

You can complete 15 CE contact hours. These must be practice-focused and approved by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing or a body that’s nationally recognized.

Most LPNs take this route, but you have other ways to fulfill your renewal requirements.

One other way is to maintain certification (or recertification) from a body the Arkansas State Board of Nursing (ASBN) recognizes. 

Your last option is to complete coursework for an academic course related to nursing. You must finish the program with a grade of 2.0 (equivalent to a C) or higher.

Now, what if you can’t renew it within the allowable time? It means your license expires.

It doesn’t mean you have to start from scratch. However, your requirements will change.

If it’s been less than 5 years since it expired, you’ll have the same options as an LPN with an active license. However, instead of 15 practice-focused contact hours, you’re required to take 20.

The renewal requirements are similar for licenses that expired more than 5 years ago. In addition to needing 20 practice-focused contact hours, you must also undergo an ASBN-approved refresher course.

Arkansas RN Continuing Education Requirements

Nursing CE Requirements in Arkansas Requirements

Like other states, the renewal requirements for Registered Nurses are similar to those of Licensed Practical Nurses. That means RNs can also choose between 3 options.

Completing 15 CE practice-focused contact hours is the most popular route for RNs. All these are elective hours, which means there’s no specific CE course you need to complete.

You can skip the necessary contact hours if you have a certification (or have been recertified) from an ABSN-recognized outfit. Your last option is to graduate from a nursing-related course with a grade of C or higher.

Similarly, expect that you’ll have more requirements if your license has lapsed. You still have the choice of carrying a certification or completing a college credit hour course with a minimum grade of 2.0.

If you want to fulfill your renewal requirements through continuing education, you’ll need 20 practice-focused contact hours. That is, if expiration occurred within the last 5 years. 

If it’s been longer than that, you’ll have to undergo a refresher course from an ASBN-approved body. 

Note: the CE requirements stated here are minimum amounts. It’s not a problem if you take more than what’s necessary. However, you cannot carry these over to the next renewal cycle. It means you’ll still need to have 15 CE hours for the next one, even if you completed 20 hours in this renewal cycle for an active license.

Arkansas APRN Continuing Education Requirements

In Arkansas, you must be a Registered Nurse to be a licensed Advanced Practice Registered Nurse. That said, both licenses expire on the same date, but you must renew them separately.

You’ll have to renew your RN license first, which means you have the same options mentioned above:

  • 15 practice focused contact hours
  • Maintain a certification (or get recertified) by a body approved by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing
  • Attend and graduate from a college course on nursing with a minim grade of 2.0

The difference for APRNs is that you have more requirements before you’re eligible to renew your license.

First and foremost, your RN license needs to be active. Second, you must currently hold a certification related to your area. APRNs in Arkansas include Advanced Nurse Practitioners (APN), Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM), Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA).

If you prescribe medication to patients, you must complete 5 additional continuing education hours on pharmacotherapeutics. Out of these, 2 hours must be on the following topics:

  • Maintaining professional boundaries
  • Rules, regulations, and laws regarding prescribing medication that apply to APRNs practicing in Arkansas

The first time you need to renew your APRN license, you also need to complete 1 continuing education contact hour on prescription use and abuse.

If your license expired more than 2 years ago, you need to go through a refresher course or an in-depth orientation.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Besides the information on what you’ll need to complete within the renewal period, you may still be wondering about other things. Below are the most commonly asked questions and their corresponding answers to provide you with more information.

How often do nursing licenses need to be renewed in Arkansas?

Nurses in Arkansas need to renew their licenses every 2 years, but it follows a staggered biennial birth date system.

Your license remains valid until the last day of your birth month in an even-number year IF you were born in an even-number year. It follows the same process if your birthday is in an odd-number year.

Sounds confusing? Think of it this way:

  • If you were born on March 6, 1981 (an odd-number year), and you first got your license in 2019, it will expire on March 31, 2021.
  • If you were born on April 25, 1991 (an even-number year), and your license was first issued in November 2021, it’ll expire on April 30, 2023.


If my first renewal happens less than 24 months after my license was first issued, how many continuing education contact hours must I complete?

None. If your cycle is less than 2 years, you don’t have to complete any continuing education hours for first-time renewals.

How do you know if the continuing education activity I attended counts towards my license renewal?

The Arkansas State Board of Nursing does random audits, so you should keep documentation for the continuing education activities you’ve completed. To ensure it’s acceptable, make sure your certificate has the following information:

  • Number of contact hours (must total to 15 or 20, depending on your situation)
  • Date of completion
  • The full title of the educational activity
  • Name of Accrediting Organization or the Approved Provider (you can find the list on ASBN’s website)


If I hold both an LPN and an RN license, does it mean I need 30 contact hours to renew my license?

No. Although LPNs and RNs need 15 continuing education contact hours to be eligible for license renewal, the same activities can contribute to both.


There you go — all the information you need to know in preparation for your license renewal. Specifically, what CE Requirements nurses have in Arkansas.

Check the Arkansas State Board of Nursing website if you need more information.

Good luck!

Last updated: March 28, 2023 (Requirements taken from Arkansas BON website

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