Surprisingly, Arkansas might have all the best conditions to launch your nursing career. Want to know why? First of all, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a growth of 5% in demand for LPNs in this state until 2020. Arkansas has a thriving nursing community, employed by world-class healthcare institutions, such as the Arkansas State Hospital in Little Rock and the UAMS Medical Center also in Little Rock. Prospective students wanting to train to enter the exciting world of nursing as an LPN will have plenty of employment opportunities in one of the many hospitals, clinics, and medical centers.
Nursing is among the most honorable and rewarding careers available today. As the general population continues to get older, the need for licensed nurses has never been higher. As a student that is interested in pursuing a career in nursing, it is important to understand the process and specific requirements that are needed to become a qualified practicing nurse.
All aspiring nurses must enroll and complete an approved LPN program within the state to earn a Practical Nursing Certificate that will allow them to work. There are several governing bodies that regulate the quality and content of these programs and it is important to know about the value of an accredited program.
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Each state has a set of standards and approved curriculums that are specifically set for nursing education programs. The goal is to make certain that all students are receiving the proper education that satisfies the stringent requirements to become a qualified nurse.
There are programs that are not accredited, and they may have a great program, but the licensing requirements for nurses require a degree from an accredited course to ensure the standards of quality within the field. To be eligible to sit for the NCLEX exam you must be able to prove with your transcripts that you have completed a course that has been accredited by the governing boards in the state of Arkansas.
At the end of an LPN diploma course, you will have to pass the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX-PN) which will allow you to obtain your license as a nurse practitioner as well as be qualifying you to continue your education for a BSN or Master’s Degree. If you have completed studies for an Associates Degree in Nursing or a BSN degree you will qualify to write the NCLEX-RN exam to become a licensed Registered Nurse.
There are several state and national organizations whose primary function is to mandate proper curriculum in the nursing field. The Arkansas Board of Nursing sets out the qualifying guidelines for nurse licensing in the state and ensures that the health and welfare of the state’s citizens are in the most competent and qualified hands. Some of the main accreditation bodies include the ACEN (The Accreditation Commission For Education in Nursing), CCNE (The Commision on Collegiate Nursing Education), COA (The Council On Accreditation of Nursing Anesthesia Program) and the ACNM (The American College of Nurse-Midwives Division of Accreditation).
Some nurses may be licensed in several different states under the Nurse Licensure Compact which the State of Arkansas is a member of. This is an organization that allows multi-state licensed nurses to practice in more than one state.
Becoming a Nurse
Accredited Nursing programs are offered at hospitals, community colleges, and technical training schools and a diploma can be granted after one year of study. Your studies may include courses in medical technology, infection control, pharmacology and real-world experience in professional clinical environments.
Taking care of patients require a certain kind of personality, and there is a lot of hard work that goes with it. There is a procedure that must be followed to obtain your working license, and it is the same for everyone regardless of your background.
- You must be a high school graduate or have a GED
- Have a current CPR Certification
- Satisfactory TEAS scores
- Submit a licensing application after program graduation that includes a current criminal background check, your valid SIN and your full educational transcript with proof of course completion
Advancing Your Studies
LPN to RN and LPN to BSN
Once you have passed your NCLEX exam and have received your Practical Nursing License, it is up to you whether to continue to pursue a higher degree. There are several schools that offer upgraded degrees like an LPN to RN which is a 1 year, 3-semester course and an LPN to BSN which is a 2-year program available at several Arkansas universities.
Educational costs are highly dependant on your area and chosen school. There are many financial assistance options available to students including state loan, educational grants, and bursaries as well as scholarships available to those who qualify. The costs of schooling can be a lengthy hardship for many students, but schools are dedicated to helping those that are struggling to get their education.
The basic costs are approximated but not guaranteed by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) as follows:
2 Year Public Technical College = $3,000
4 Year Public University = $7,000
4 Year Private University = $19,000
Accredited Nursing Schools
With the state and national educational standards being already set for the nursing programs, there is not much difference between the materials that you will learn at different institutions. However, the course material may be equal, but the schools themselves are not. Each one offers a different atmosphere, focus of study and targeted learning experiences to suit anyone.
With their main campus in DeWitt and additional campuses in Helena and Stuttgart, this nursing school boasts the highest possible passing rate for the licensing exams at 100%. Enjoy a liberal campus with the most real-world experienced instructors and state of the art teaching equipment. You can earn your Associate’s Degree in two years.
Contact Info: Phone: (870) 946-3506, Ext. 1616
Providing one of the most prestigious nursing programs by offering the McGehee’s Practical Nursing course. This school allows students to participate in real-world placements and a lower class size to get the best in student ratio teaching. During the required 64 credit hours in this program, the atmosphere is competitive pushing students to perform at their highest levels. To remain in the course, students must maintain a 75% average, ensuring that only the best in the class will move forward. The University of Arkansas offers an Associates degree in Applied Sciences in Nursing as well as an LPN to RN upgrade course.
The Springdale campus of this nursing school is bursting with activity and progressive teaching methods. Students will enjoy being instructed by teaching professionals with years of experience in their fields. The enrollment cap for each year is less than 300, making the small class size a priority for excellent student-teacher interaction and learning. The school pass rate for the licensing exam is 91% and completion of this course takes two years.
Contact: 709 S Old Missouri Rd, Springdale, Arkansas 1 (479) 751-8824.
This is a four year school that offers a BSN, Associates, LPN to BSN, Accelerated BSN and RN to BSN programs. With campuses in Heber Springs, Searcy and Little Rock, there is a school conveniently located near you. The LPN course consists of 122 credit hours with challenging work placements as well as practicums at clinical sites. One of the best-rated schools with a 94% licensing pass rate. Arkansas State has one of the most diverse and technically advanced nursing campuses in the nation.
Contact: Admissions Office – 501.882.8860
This is one of the most affordable 4-year courses that are available in the state. The university is rapidly growing and concentrated on the learning and living experience of all of their students. By teaching with hands-on experiences and tailoring lessons for the individual, this school maintains a 95% licensing exam pass rate. Courses include RN degrees as well as an RN to BSN curriculum for students interested in a higher qualification.
Contact: Office of Admissions | Phone: 870-235-4040
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