How to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Arkansas

Arkansas map

So you have decided that you want to be a licensed practical nurse – you just need to know how to make it happen.

The journey includes taking the NCLEX-PN and getting licensed to practice in Arkansas, but the first and most important step to this rewarding career is completing an LPN program.

This guide can help you get started choosing the best program for your needs.

5 Licensed Practical Nurse Schools in Arkansas

Below are five great LPN programs to choose from.

1. Black River Technical College

Black River Technical College Logo

Black River Technical College offers an LPN program that has made a few headlines as one of the most outstanding nursing programs in Arkansas.

It’s a 35-credit hour program with a mix of classroom learning and clinical experience that can be completed in as little as 24 weeks.

Tuition costs $96 per credit hour, which brings the total cost of tuition to $3,360.

However, with books, supplies, uniforms, licensing exam fees, licensing application fees, and other various expenses, you can expect the total cost of the program to be approximately $7,105.

2. Arkansas Tech University

Arkansas Tech University Logo

Arkansas Tech University provides a 15-month technical certificate to get you to work as an LPN sooner.

It is a total of 48 credit hours that are a combination of in-class learning and various clinical experiences that cover a wide range of medical fields.

In-state tuition runs at $132 per credit hour, resulting in tuition of $6,336.

Out-of-state students pay $264 per credit hour, which adds up to $12,672.

These amounts do not include fees and other expenses.

3. Arkansas State University – Beebe

Arkansas State University – Beebe Logo

If you are looking for a little more flexibility, Arkansas State University offers two LPN programs – part-time and full-time.

You can complete the full-time program at the Searcy Campus in as little as 11 months.

The part-time program is provided at the Heber Springs Campus and can be completed in 18 months.

The tuition and general fees for these programs run approximately $5,649, while the estimated cost of books and supplies comes to about $3,870.

4. Baptist Health College

Baptist Health College Logo

The Baptist Health College in Little Rock is dedicated to helping you serve your community and your patients with the highest quality care.

The school offers a two-semester LPN program through the School of Practical Nursing that you can begin either in the spring or fall semester.

The first semester’s tuition is $6,604 while the second semester’s tuition is $6,704.

They estimate the cost of books to be $1,440, and additional expenses and fees to be about $887.

This brings the total program cost to approximately $15,635.

These additional fees do not include anything associated with general education or science courses.

5. Ozarka College

Ozarka College Logo

Ozarka College prides itself on teaching a humanistic approach to nursing along with the practical knowledge and clinical experience you need to succeed.

You can complete their LPN program in as little as 18 months, completing a total of 52 credits.

In-state tuition and general fees add up to $124 per credit hour, which adds up to $6,448 over the life of the program.

Out-of-state is $224 per credit hour including general fees, resulting in a total cost of $11,648.

This does not include any additional fees or expenses.

Licensed Practical Nurse Schools in Arkansas – Summary Table

Top 5 Schools in Arkansas

School NameAddress
Black River Technical College1410 Highway 304 East, Pocahontas, AR 72455
Arkansas Tech University215 W O St, Russellville, AR 7280
Arkansas State University – Beebe1000 W Iowa St, Beebe, AR 72012
Baptist Health College11900 Colonel Glenn Rd, Little Rock, AR 72210
Ozarka College218 College Dr, Melbourne, AR 7255


Aside from the job of making a difference in people’s lives, being an LPN in Arkansas can be financially rewarding.

The average annual salary is about $46,673, but it can be as low as $42,380 or as much as $51,917.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)s in Arkansas

City NameSalary
Little Rock$46,833
Fort Smith$44,205
North Little Rock$46,833
Pine Bluff$45,293
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in Arkansas

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO1,370$49,640$23.86$59,600$39,480
Fort Smith, AR-OK1,060$46,480$22.35$54,240$38,230
Hot Springs, AR490$44,370$21.33$51,810$36,970
Jonesboro, AR640$43,200$20.77$52,240$32,240
Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR2,780$48,090$23.12$59,190$38,620
Pine Bluff, AR370$48,110$23.13$60,440$37,520
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses, OCC Code 29-2061, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much is the NCLEX-PN in Arkansas?

The registration fee for the NCLEX is $200.

There are additional fees for things like changing your nursing regulatory body, exam language, or exam type after you have registered.

What if I do not pass the NCLEX-PN?

There is no need to worry – you can always retake the exam.

You will simply need to wait 45 days between tests.

Remember that you will have to pay the exam registration fee again, so it is best not to retake it until you feel confident that you can pass.

It is also important to note that the test is computerized and will not give you the exact same questions the second time around.

What is the absolute fastest you can be certified to become an LPN in Arkansas?

If you choose, there are accelerated programs that can be completed 50% to 75% of the time as traditional programs – but these can be very demanding.

If you choose an accelerated program, it is best if you do not have other obligations, such as a job.

Some people with children find it challenging to complete an accelerated program, as it can take more time away from their loved ones.

You can certainly do it, but it is something you will want to consider thoroughly before deciding.

Do I have to go to school to be an LPN in Arkansas?

Yes, completion of a college program is required.

Unlike positions like a medical assistant that allow you to be trained on the job, an LPN has to receive the proper education.

This is because LPNs work much more with patients and provide care that medical assistants do not.

How long is an LPN license valid?

The first issued license will be valid for up to 27 months, and your expiration date will be available on the license.

You will need to start your renewal process about 60 days prior to that date to ensure there is no lapse in licensing.

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