Becoming an LPN in Arkansas
Looking for a rewarding career pathway in the healthcare industry? Look no further than becoming a licensed practical nurse (LPN) in Arkansas. With the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicting a 12% increase in LPN employment through 2026, there’s never been a better time to enroll in an LPN program. With Arkansas LPNs earning an average of $17.69 per hour, this career pathway has become popular in the state for a reason.
Are you interested in becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) in Arkansas? There are almost 30 LPN programs located in community colleges, technical centers, and private schools from Fayetteville to Little Rock. We've reviewed state test scores and the NCLEX-PN pass-rates for LPN programs across the state of Arkansas and rated the top 10 accordingly. For more information on school 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 Arkansas State University:
- Foundation of Nursing Procedures with Lab
- Med-Surg Nursing Concepts
- Maternity and Pediatrics
- Nursing of Older 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 $10,000. 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 eNLC
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 Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC) will be implemented, which adds extra protections to the original compact. Nurses with an original NLC multi-state license will be grandfathered in to the eNLC. 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.
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||3,220||$18.34||$38,150|
|Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers||1,080||$19.66||$40,900|
For those interested in advancing their nursing career, see our Arkansas LPN to RN/BSN programs page.
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 programs of study and workforce training. They also believe that nurturing relationships increase access, leading to seamless education.
Northwest Technical Institute (NTI) is located in Springdale, Arkansas, providing quality education and preparing students for 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.
Arkansas State University-Beebe is 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 an associate's degree or transfer on for their bachelor's.
University of Arkansas at Monticello (UAM) in Crossett, Arkansas, with additional campuses at McGehee and Monticello. UAM seeks to offer quality educational opportunities through masters, baccalaureate, and associate degrees, as well as certifications in various programs and workforce training. These well-rounded programs are designed to broaden and enrich student awareness.
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 seeks to offer affordable, quality education to enrich the community.
Phillips County Community College (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.
UAM 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.
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.
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 and academically challenging programs within a supportive environment.
Rich Mountain Community College (RMCC) is located in Mena, Arkansas with an off-campus site located in Waldron, providing a broad range of programs, services, and learning opportunities for its students. RMCC program opportunities include transfer degrees, professional workforce programs, professional development, and adult basic education and GED programs.
Continued List of All Programs in Arkansas
101 College Dr, Hot Springs, AR 71913
2501 South Division Street, Blytheville, AR 72315
183 College Dr, De Queen, AR 71832
1700 Helberg Lane, Ozark, AR 72949
3000 W Scenic Dr, North Little Rock, AR 72118
5210 Grand Ave, Fort Smith, AR 72904
1600 S College St, Mountain Home, AR 72653
11900 Colonel Glenn Rd, Little Rock, AR 72210
300 S West Ave, El Dorado, AR 71730
One College Circle, Malvern, AR 72104
1620 Newcastle Rd, Forrest City, AR 72335
5504 Krueger Dr, Jonesboro, AR 72401
1900 S Hazel St, Pine Bluff, AR 71603
2005 White Dr, Batesville, AR 72501
6415 Spellman Road, Camden, AR 71701
2500 S Main St, Hope, AR 71801
7648 Victory Blvd, Newport, AR 72112
Additional AR Nursing Resources
- To gain clarity, let’s explore the history of the LPN/LVN in the United States. Long before there were nursing schools,…
- When choosing a career in the nursing profession, it is important for individuals to know the differences between a Certified…
- When embarking on a career in the nursing field, many students may not be aware of the differences between the…
- So, you are thinking about a practical nursing degree or maybe you are already in a program, I am willing…
- Many people might not know the exact difference between a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and a Registered Nurse (RN). Although…