Arkansas Nursing Certification and Licensing
Nursing Licensing in Arkansas
Arkansas is one of the twenty-four states that participate in the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC or Compact). The state implemented the NLC on July 1, 2000. One of the first states to participate, Arkansas has helped further the use of the NLC. The Compact allows nurses that hold a valid license in other NLC participant states to practice without applying for a new license. All nurses in Arkansas may practice in other Compact states unless their license has 'Valid in Arkansas Only' stamped on it.
Types of Nurses in Arkansas
Arkansas allows students to study to become Licensed Practical (or Vocational) Nurses (LPN/LVN) or Registered Nurses (RN). LPN/LVNs may work in hospitals, home health agencies, and elder care facilities. They provide treatments, supervise nurse aides, and pass medications. The scope of practice for LPN/LVNs may vary among facilities. RNs may provide all of the services that LPN/LVNs are cleared for, along with fulfilling supervisory roles. RNs are often found training other nurses, nurse aides, and over-seeing day to day activities of all nursing levels in facilities.
Online Nursing Courses for Arkansas Residents
There are many online universities that offer nursing programs. While much of the training for nursing can be found on the internet, students will not be able to fullfil clinical requirements for nursing school via online training. This can be solved by enrolling in a program that is given by a local community college. Most of these locally based programs will offer classroom training online and clinical (manual training) on-site.
Arkansas Nursing Schools
Nursing courses are offered by schools given approval by the Arkansas Board of Nursing. The levels are Associates, Bachelor's, and Master's. Associate's courses are for practical nursing- LPN/LVN. The next levels are for bridging from LPN/LVN to RN and beyond. Practical nursing programs are about a year in length, depending on the type of course chosen- full or part time classes. Part time classes are usually chosen by students that need to work, while full time education is perfect for students that do not need to provide all of their income.
Arkansas Licensing Requirements
All students that graduate the nursing programs in Arkansas must sit for the national exam, known as NCLEX. Pearson VUE administers the exam. Fees may vary by location and Arkansas has three testing centers. These are located in Little Rock, Ft. Smith, and Texarkana. The board of nursing allows students to be licensed no matter what Pearson testing site is used, around the entire United States.
Arkansas Certification Fees
Certification fees are $75, as of 2011.