Programs to Become an RN in Arkansas
Nursing is an incredibly rewarding career choice for anyone who has the passion and compassion to take care of people and thrive on challenge. Nursing schools are very competitive and it will take dedication and effort to complete the required education and licensing exam.
RNs take on a variety of tasks and responsibilities including dispensing medication, performing diagnostic tests, establishing, implementing and maintaining patient care plans, taking vital signs, tracking patient progress, performing emergency tasks, coordinating information between doctor, patient and family and dressing wounds and changing those dressings. RNs find employment in nursing homes and hospitals, clinics, occupational healthcare facilities, assisted living facilities, visiting nurse and hospice organizations and insurance companies evaluating medical claims.
RNs are required to complete a nursing program approved by the Arkansas Board of Nursing (ABON) and receive an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree. An Associate’s degree can be completed in two years and a Bachelor’s degree can be completed in four years. Most nursing programs require students to take substantial courses in science and math during high school. If a science and math background is not sufficient, nursing schools may require the student to take the necessary pre-requisite programs prior to applying to nursing school. There are nursing programs design to allow a licensed practical nurse (LPN) transition to a Bachelors degree program and receive credit for their LPN education.
RNs in Arkansas are required by law to be licensed before taking up the practice of nursing. Before the National Council for Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) can be taken, applicants must complete the educational component. Upon graduation, graduates must submit an application and the appropriate fee to take the NCLEX-RN to the ABON. The application includes information to conduct a criminal background check and the inclusion of a fingerprint card. The graduate then has to register, and pay the appropriate fee to Pearson VUE, with the exam administrator, Pearson VUE. Once the ABON approves the graduate’s application, the graduate will be issued an authorization to test (ATT). The ATT is needed to schedule an examination with Pearson VUE. The graduate will have 60 days to schedule and take the exam and the clock starts ticking the day the ATT is issued. Exam results are available 72 hours after the exam is taken. Graduates may apply for a temporary nursing license in order to work during the NCLEX-RN process.
RNs are required to renew their license every two years. All licenses expire on the last day of their birth month and either the odd or even year of the license holder’s birth. Licenses must be renewed within 60 days prior to the expiration. Licenses can be renewed online. Keep in mind it may take up to two weeks to process a license renewal. RNs are required to complete continuing education hours for license renewal and may complete those hours in one of three ways. The RN may complete a minimum of one college credit hour in nursing with a grade of C or better; hold a nationally recognized and current certificate or recertification or 15 hours of accredited and appropriately focused nursing activities.
The average RN salary in Arkansas is $67,930 and the average starting salary for an entry level RN is $42,000. Nurses In a supervisory position and with many years of experience will earn $95,000 to $110,000.
RN Training Schools in Arkansas
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Arkansas State Board of Nursing
University Tower Building
1123 South University, Suite 800
Little Rock, AR 72204
Phone: (501) 686-2700
Fax: (501) 686-2714