How to Become a Registered Nurse in Arkansas

Arkansas map

Do you want to become a registered nurse in the state of Arkansas?

If so, we have a resource for you.

Check out this guide for how to become a registered nurse in Arkansas.

We have provided information about schools and programs that you can attend in order to become certified as a registered nurse.

This guide also features information about salary and frequently asked questions concerning registered nurses in AR.

5 Registered Nurse Schools in Arkansas

Henderson State University

Henderson State University Logo

At Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, AR, the Ellis College of Arts and Sciences has a variety of pathways for nursing students.

You can earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) on campus or through a 100 percent online program.

The school features a four-year degree program for registered nurses, along with a BSN degree which is a dual enrollment program.

There is also a pre-licensure program for registered nurses that leads to the BSN degree.

The course is $510 per credit hour and the total cost for tuition is approximately $8,900.

University of Central Arkansas

University of Central Arkansas Logo

The University of Central Arkansas program for nursing students is well suited for individuals who prefer a small class size.

Students receive training from teachers with a 15 to one-ratio.

As a result, there is more interaction for independent attention at this school.

The school for nursing includes a two-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing, which is an accelerated program.

Tuition is $9,100 for the two-year degree as a registered nurse.

Keep in mind, the UCA nursing program is one of the most productive and busiest–and hardest to get into as a result–in the state.

University of Arkansas

University of Arkansas Logo

In AR, students can attend the University of Arkansas and enroll in the Eleanor Mann School of Nursing.

This school department offers nursing students three pathways to a nursing career.

Consider the online registered nursing program that is 100 percent online.

There is also the four-year traditional route for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

The nursing department accommodates licensed practical nursing (LPN) students as well, with a transitional program from LPN to RN.

The total cost for tuition is $9,384 for the four-year program per year.

Harding University

Harding University Logo

At the Carr College of Nursing at Harding University in Searcy, AR just outside of Little Rock, students can speed up the training process.

This college has an accelerated BSN program that nursing students can enroll in.

The program for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing can be completed in two years rather than four years.

While the school is a private, Christian college, students do not have to worship any religion to attend.

The school offers an education for the annual tuition price of $21,000, which is at the upper end of the cost for Arkansas colleges.

John Brown University

John Brown University Logo

John Brown University in Siloam Springs, AR is another private Christian college.

A bit more expensive than the last school, at JBU students pay $27,688 a year for tuition.

There are smaller class sizes with only 2,500 students on campus.

Nursing is one of the most sought-after programs at this school.

As a result, the school offers a traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree for four-year students.

Registered Nurse Schools in Arkansas – Summary Table

Top 5 Schools in Arkansas

School NameAddress
Henderson State University1100 Henderson St, Arkadelphia, AR 71999
University of Central Arkansas201 Donaghey Ave, Conway, AR 72035
University of ArkansasFayetteville, AR 72701
Harding University915 E Market Ave, Searcy, AR 72149
John Brown University2000 W University St, Siloam Springs, AR 72761

Registered Nurse Salary in Arkansas

One of the most important factors regarding whether you will decide to pursue a degree as a registered nurse in Arkansas is pay.

Fortunately, in this state, registered nurses get paid a substantial salary.

According to, the annual pay for an RN in the US is $66,300.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Registered Nurse (RN)s in Arkansas

City NameSalary
Little Rock$61,460
Fort Smith$58,010
North Little Rock$61,460
Pine Bluff$59,440
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in Arkansas

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO4,820$65,370$31.43$93,860$37,630
Fort Smith, AR-OK2,360$62,120$29.87$81,200$34,930
Hot Springs, AR930$66,060$31.76$75,430$50,650
Jonesboro, AR1,800$67,960$32.67$96,930$50,920
Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR10,260$71,720$34.48$91,000$52,070
Pine Bluff, AR750$68,180$32.78$83,700$51,360
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Registered Nurses, OCC Code 29-1141, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is RN school in Arkansas?

The Arkansas State Board of Nursing has approved a one-year or 12-month program.

This program provides all the training students need to become certified and licensed registered nurses in Arkansas.

Not all colleges require you to take this 12-month program and some are longer, including a Bachelor of Science and nursing program, which is a four-year training course for a degree.

Most schools do offer the BSN training route.

What are the minimum state requirements for being a certified registered nurse in Arkansas?

To become a registered nurse in AR, students must graduate from a program that is accredited in nursing.

Then, graduated nursing students have to pass a board exam.

The state of Arkansas recognizes the NCLEX-RN board exam to be the go-to solution for testing for nursing students.

This is the national board exam that is applicable to nurses in all states.

The cost is $200 to sit for this board exam.

How much does it cost to go through training as a registered nurse in Arkansas?

Ultimately, the overall price of tuition and living expenses will depend on several factors, including what school and program you enroll in.

Schools range in tuition in AR from $2,000 a year to $27,000.

What is the quickest nursing program for RN training in Arkansas?

The 12-month programs for online training as a registered nurse in Arkansas are the quickest nursing programs.

How many nursing schools are there in Arkansas?

There are at least 38 colleges in Arkansas that offer the registered nurse program.

In addition, there are other programs that are completely online for students who are in Arkansas wanting to train to be registered nurses.

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