2020 - Best LPN Programs in Arkansas
Looking for a rewarding career pathway in the healthcare industry? Look no further than becoming a licensed practical nurse (LPN) in Arkansas. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts an 11% increase in LPN employment through 2028, so there’s never been a better time to enroll in an LPN program. LPNs in Arkansas earn approximately $19.02 per hour, which equates to an average annual salary of $39,570. This is roughly $7,480 per year less than the national average.
Are you looking to become a licensed practical nurse in Arkansas? The school you choose is important when it comes to getting your license. Approved programs in Arkansas are offered at community colleges, technical centers, and private career schools - we list 26 schools across the state. After careful review of NCLEX-PN exam first-time pass rates over the past several years, we have ranked the top 10 programs. For more information on our LPN program rankings, see our Methodology page.
To see all the top ranked LPN programs in Arkansas click here.
- Total Number of State Approved LPN Schools: 26
- Total Number of Test Takers in 2019: 898
- 2019 Average Statewide Arkansas NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 90.2%
Details on Arkansas LPN Schools & Classes
To earn an LPN diploma in Arkansas, you’ll need to enroll in one of the many schools in the state that offer an LPN program. These programs are readily found in colleges and technical/vocational schools throughout Arkansas. Upon graduating from an LPN program, you’ll need to pass the NCLEX-PN exam in order to become licensed as a practical nurse. Some of the classes you may take in LPN school might consist of the following, which are actual course titles offered in the LPN program at University of Arkansas – Pulaski Technical College
- Medical Terminology
- Clinical Nursing
- Mental Health Nursing
- Nursing Care of Adults
Choosing the right school and LPN program can be daunting. To ensure that you are choosing wisely, you should check to see if your school of choice is properly accredited. The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing is a national accrediting organization to look out for, but there are other regional accrediting bodies as well. It’s also a good idea to ensure that the school and program are endorsed by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing.
Students in Arkansas will typically need to meet the following requirements in order to be eligible to enroll in an LPN program:
- Must be a high school graduate or have a GED
- Must submit official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended
- Hold a current CPR for Health Care Providers certification
- Satisfactory TEAS exam score
Tuition and Costs
Arkansas LPN program costs can vary due to type of school, location, and other factors. Students should plan to cover the cost of tuition, mandatory fees, course materials such as textbooks, and room/board if applicable. As an example, the LPN program at Northwest Technical Institute in Springdale has a total cost of under $11,000. Most schools have financial aid departments and programs that can help students with these expenses.
Arkansas LPN Licensing Requirements
Arkansas’ educational requirements for an LPN license include attending a Board-certified nursing school and passing the state-required test. In order to receive state licensure, the applicant must submit an application to the state prior to graduation, including:
- Proof of valid social security number
- Official transcript from state-approved nursing program with degree received (must come directly from school).
- Verification of graduation date (done by the director of graduated nursing program via secure electronic process).
- Submit to a criminal background check.
Foreign nurses can apply for a license from the state of Arkansas, but must also provide office transcripts, including a full course-by-course review by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools, proof of English proficiency, as well as submit proof of the following:
- Graduated from an approved nursing school equivalent to Arkansas.
- Licensed or eligible to be licensed as an LPN in another country.
- Submit to a criminal background check.
- Passed all required licensure examinations.
Arkansas LPN licenses expire every 2 years on the licensee’s birthday.
NCLEX Exam Information
The NCLEX-PN exam must be passed by LPN program graduates in order to become licensed. The exam consists of between 85 and 205 questions covering different aspects of nursing knowledge. You can learn more about the NCLEX-PN exam here, and even take our NCLEX-PN practice exam to hone your skills before you take the real thing.
LPN Reciprocity and NLC
As a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact, Arkansas allows nurses from other NLC states to work within its boundaries without additional licensing requirements. As of January 2018, the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) will be implemented, which adds extra protections to the original compact. Nurses from other non-compact states are required to apply for a license by endorsement to practice in the state. They must also submit the following:
- Proof of having passed the NCLEX.
- Proof of state licensure in another state.
- Proof of employment as an LPN in another state.
- Submit to a criminal background check.
For detailed information about LPN endorsement by application in Arkansas, check out Arkansas State Board of Nursing's Endorsement page.
The table below lists career information obtained from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for licensed practical nurses in Arkansas. The table is sorted by total employment, with the largest metropolitan areas listed first.
|Area||Total Employment||Average Hourly Wage||Average Annual Salary|
|Little Rock, North Little Rock, Conway||3,410||$20.23||$42,080|
|Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers||1,300||$21.25||$44,200|
For those interested in advancing their nursing career, see our Arkansas LPN to RN/BSN programs page.
Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas (PCCUA) is located in DeWitt, Arkansas, with additional campuses in Helena and Stuttgart. PCCUA-DeWitt campus offers associate's degrees, technical certificates, transfer programs, community education programs, business training, and computer workshops. With the inclusion of the technology and training center, students can acquire hands-on training for their field of choice.
University of Arkansas at Monticello - College of Technology - McGehee's Practical Nursing program is one of the best ways to begin a fulfilling career in the field. After a year of study, students will be qualified to sit for the NCLEX-PN. Once students have passed this exam, they can go right to work as an LPN in a hospital, nursing home, doctor’s office, or other facility.
Black River Technical College is located in Pocahontas, Arkansas, with an additional campus located in Paragould. By blending tradition, technology, and innovation, Black River Technical College emphasizes quality in their practical nursing program and workforce training. They also believe that nurturing relationships increases access, leading to seamless education.
Arkansas Northeastern College is located in Blytheville, Arkansas, with centers also located in Burdette, Leachville, Osceola, and Paragould. Arkansas Northeastern College is not only committed to providing accessible, quality practical nursing education programs and services for lifelong learning opportunities for it students, but it's also committed to the idea of worth and dignity in individuals.
Arkansas State University-Beebe is a two-year school that operates separately from the Arkansas State University (ASU) System. ASU-Beebe located in Beebe, Arkansas, with additional campuses in Heber Springs, Searcy, and Little Rock Air Force Base. With high-quality programs and reasonable pricing, students can work today on becoming a practical nurse, with the option to move forward to an associate's or bachelor's in nursing later on.
The University of Arkansas-Fort Smith College of Health Science and Western Arkansas Technical Center (UAFS CHS/WATC) have teamed up to offer students in the state a quality PN program. Their goal is to add caring practical nurses to the western Arkansas workforce through rigorous academic instruction and valuable clinical experiences.
Northwest Technical Institute (NTI) is located in Springdale, Arkansas, providing quality education and preparing students for practical nursing jobs currently in demand in northwest Arkansas. NTI assists students in developing technical skills that are in high demand, helping them advance in the workplace.
North Arkansas College (Northark) is a public, two-year school located in Harrison, Arkansas. Northark offers a variety of educational opportunities including transfer and technical degree programs, one-year technical certificates, customized business training, GED classes, and community education courses. With a commitment to learning, Northark's practical nursing program seeks to offer affordable, quality nursing education to enrich the community.
University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton (UACCM) is approximately 50 miles west of Little Rock, Arkansas, in the town of Morrilton. By offering affordable tuition, small class sizes, dedicated faculty and staff, hands-on training, and career transfer services, UACCM helps to ensure collegiate and professional success in the practical nursing realm.
Arkansas Tech University's Ozark campus accepts students to their practical nursing program in August and January each year. ATU Ozark's curriculum theory centers on holistic patient care, taking physical, emotional, spiritual, and social well-being into account. They also offer an Associate of Applied Science in Allied Health with a PN exit option.
Continued List of All Programs in Arkansas
1900 S Hazel St, Pine Bluff, AR 71603
183 College Dr, De Queen, AR 71832
3000 W Scenic Dr, North Little Rock, AR 72118
6415 Spellman Road, Camden, AR 71701
1326 HWY 52 West, Crossett, AR 71635
300 S West Ave, El Dorado, AR 71730
1700 Newcastle Rd, Forrest City, AR 72335
2005 White Dr, Batesville, AR 72501
218 College Dr, Melbourne, AR 72556
1100 College Dr, Mena, AR 71953
One College Circle, Malvern, AR 72104
101 College Dr, Hot Springs, AR 71913
1600 S College St, Mountain Home, AR 72653
2500 S Main St, Hope, AR 71801
7648 Victory Blvd, Newport, AR 72112
11900 Colonel Glenn Rd, Little Rock, AR 72210
Are we missing your school's program or need to make changes to the information listed? Please contact us.
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