2021 - 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 9% increase in LPN employment through 2029, 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 24 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.
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 just over $11,000. Most schools have financial aid departments and programs that can help students with these expenses.
For those interested in advancing their nursing career, see our Arkansas LPN to RN/BSN programs page.
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 official 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. 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.
- Total Number of State Approved LPN Schools: 24
- Total Number of Test Takers in 2020: 816
- 2020 Average Statewide Arkansas NCLEX-PN Pass Rate: 81.2%
University of Arkansas at Monticello
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
Black River Technical College offers an outstanding practical nursing program at its campus in Pocahontas, Arkansas. By blending tradition, technology, and innovation, BRTC emphasizes quality in its practical nursing program and workforce training. They also believe that nurturing relationships increases access, leading to seamless education.
Arkansas Tech University
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.
Arkansas State University - Beebe
Arkansas State University-Beebe is a two-year school that operates separately from the Arkansas State University (ASU) System. ASU-Beebe's Searcy campus is home to an 11-month practical nursing program. With high-quality courses and reasonable pricing, students can work today on becoming practical nurses, with the option to move forward to an associate's or bachelor's in nursing later on.
Arkansas Northeastern College
Arkansas Northeastern College has several quality campus locations, but the main ANC campus in Blytheville is where students will find the practical nursing program. 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.
Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas
De Queen's Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas offers students several convenient pathways to a practical nursing certificate: the 11-month daytime program or the 18-month evening program. With these flexible scheduling options, students are able to complete the classroom coursework and clinical experiences on a timetable that works for them. Enrollment is limited, so students are encouraged to apply before within the designated application window.
University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton
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.
University of Arkansas - Fort Smith
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 that results in a technical certificate. Their goal is to add caring practical nurses to the western Arkansas workforce through rigorous academic instruction and valuable clinical experiences.
Southern Arkansas University Tech
In less than one year, students can earn a practical nursing certificate from Southern Arkansas University Tech. This program is offered once per year, and includes classroom learning, labs, simulations, and a clinical practicum experience to give students a solid educational foundation for practice.
At Ozarka College, Practical Nursing instructors create a learning environment that allows individual input, growth, and evaluation, with a learning process proceeding from the simple to the complex. The clinical and academic experiences in the professional curriculum are interdependent and reinforce each other.
Continued List of All Programs in Arkansas
South Arkansas Community College
300 S West Ave, El Dorado, AR 71730
Southeast Arkansas College
1900 S Hazel St, Pine Bluff, AR 71603
Arkansas State University Three Rivers
One College Circle, Malvern, AR 72104
East Arkansas Community College
1700 Newcastle Rd, Forrest City, AR 72335
University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville
2005 White Dr, Batesville, AR 72501
Arkansas State University - Mountain Home
1600 S College St, Mountain Home, AR 72653
University of Arkansas Community College at Hope
2500 S Main St, Hope, AR 71801
Arkansas State University - Newport
7648 Victory Blvd, Newport, AR 72112
University of Arkansas Pulaski Technical College
3000 W Scenic Dr, North Little Rock, AR 72118
Baptist Health College Little Rock
11900 Colonel Glenn Rd, Little Rock, AR 72210
National Park College
101 College Dr, Hot Springs, AR 71913
Northwest Technical Institute
709 S Old Missouri Rd, Springdale, AR 72764
North Arkansas College
1515 Pioneer Dr, Harrison, AR 72601
University of Arkansas Rich Mountain
1100 College Dr, Mena, AR 71953
Are we missing your school's program or need to make changes to the information listed? Please contact us.
Additional AR Nursing Resources
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|