Arkansas LPN Programs - Information & Rankings

If you're interested in working with others in the medical field but don't want to spend years and a small fortune on becoming a doctor, starting a career as a licensed practical nurse might be a great choice for you. LPN programs in Arkansas can be a good investment and may be completed in as little as a year. There are more than two dozen programs within the state that are approved by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing. We have ranked ten of the best options so that you can choose the one that is right for you.


LPN Program Length in AR

It doesn't really take that long to get a diploma or certificate. You could finish your coursework in as little as a year. For an Associate degree, expect to spend at least two years in classes.

Type Length
Certificate / Diploma 12 to 18 Months
Associate Degree 2 Years
(Source: In-House Research)


LPN Program Cost in AR

Attending an approved practical nursing program is a good investment. This education can cost you under $2,000 for the certificate/diploma option or around $6,000 for a degree.

Type Cost
Certificate / Diploma$1,980 - $31,370
Associate Degree$6,050 - $45,040
(Source: In-House Research)


Why NCLEX-PN Pass Rate is an Important Factor While Selecting an LPN Program in this State?

The NCLEX-PN pass rate for Arkansas is about 91 percent. While this shows that the majority of graduates are well prepared to take this examination to become licensed as a PN, it is important to choose an institution that has a proven record of high pass rates for this examination. When you choose a school that has high pass rates, you can be assured you will receive good quality education to pass your exam. Prospective employers also will often look at educational training to select highly competent candidates.

NCLEX-PN Pass Rates
YearArkansas National
Taken % Passed Taken % Passed
20131,06092.08%58,57584.63%
20141,08890.99%55,49182.16%
201586690.18%50,97981.88%
201693891.15%47,34583.70%
201788491.63%46,94883.85%


The 10 Best LPN Programs out of 27 ASBN Approved Programs in Arkansas for 2020


1) Ozarka College - Melbourne

Ozarka College, Melbourne is focused on providing nursing education on par with the best in the world. The primary objective of the college is to develop students into well-rounded personalities who can successfully take on the challenges of the evolving healthcare field.

This 18-month long LPN program offered by the institute is a full-time course consisting of 52 credits. The college offers this program in both Spring and Fall semesters with classes starting in the months of January and August respectively. The curriculum is designed professionally and features a perfect balance of theoretical instructions and practical exposure. The unique aspect of the program is its emphasis to develop holistic approach towards the healthcare field that, in turn, will help you to stay relevant even amidst changing dynamics of the nursing industry. What’s more, you will get hands-on clinical training in a variety of healthcare settings located in the Four County area and Missouri.

2) Black River Technical College – Pocahontas

Working towards the objective of inculcating wholesome learning spirit among students, Black River Technical College, Pocahontas is one of the preferred destinations for aspiring nursing prospects. The college infrastructure is environment-friendly, and educators are well-qualified to shape your career.

The institute offers flexibility of enrolling into its practical nursing program in either the Spring or the Fall semester. Classes for the Spring semester commence in January, while the Fall semester begins in the month of August. During this training, you will go through a well-rounded curriculum consisting of theoretical instructions, simulation lab experiments, and clinical sessions. In addition, you will learn about broader healthcare issues such as nutrition, well-being, psychology, and moral behavior. The mandatory course requirements include meeting your advisor each semester to assess your course progress.

3) University of Arkansas - Fort Smith

University of Arkansas, Fort Smith follows the principle of empowering individuals by providing quality education. It has been serving the healthcare education needs of the global community for years now. Some of the distinguishing aspects that the university boasts of are exceptionally qualified faculty members, well-equipped infrastructure, and student- focused learning environment.

This LPN Program in Arkansas prepares you for a bright career in the healthcare field. Clinical sessions and simulation labs are an integral part of the course and train you to care for the injured and impaired. In addition to nursing and surgical subjects, the course teaches you concepts of critical thinking, effective communication, and leadership behavior. After successfully earning your certificate, you can either go for higher studies or start working as a practical nurse in the healthcare domain.

4) University of Arkansas - Rich Mountain

If you are looking to build a strong base for your nursing career, University of Arkansas, Rich Mountain is the right place to begin with. Discovery, innovation, and excellence have always remained hallmarks of nursing education at this University. It prepares you for future challenges by enlarging your vision and furthering your understanding.

The 11-month LPN program offered by the University is an optimal blend of theory and practical sessions. In addition to classroom instructions, you will receive hands on training during the clinical phase to help you develop professionally. The training will also prepare you to provide effective patient care in a variety of healthcare settings using evidence-based approach. Moreover, you will learn to seamlessly combine analytical and management skills while providing services to patients. In order to graduate, you must complete 560 hours of theory and 768 hours of practical training (lab & clinical). You need to score a minimum “C” grade in all nursing courses.

5) University of Arkansas Community College - Batesville

Founded on the principles of honesty, integrity and social justice, University of Arkansas Community College - Batesville helps you to achieve new academic heights in your career. The responsible stewardship of the university coupled with student-focused faculty members make sure that you cherish every moment of your stay at the college.

The 11-month practical nursing program of the university integrates classroom instructions with clinical sessions in a seamless manner. Classes begin in the month of August and the course curriculum is well thought out to cater ever evolving needs of the healthcare sector. You will learn about human anatomy, nursing and surgical skills, health and nutrition, comprehensive care, and communication skills. In order to successfully earn the certificate, you must score a minimum of "C" grade in all the courses.

6) University of Arkansas Community College - Hope

With a strong focus on research and experiential learning, University of Arkansas Community College, Hope has established itself as a leading name in healthcare education. The university has strong industry interface, continuously evolves its curriculum, and always strives to remain ahead of the learning curve; factors which are sure to give a fillip to your career.

The 11-month, full-time program offered by the University prepares you to become an LPN in Arkansas. It will train you to work as an entry-level nurse under the supervision of registered practitioners. The professionally designed curriculum will help you excel in patient care, assessing their health, taking vital signs, noting down responses, and administering the medication. Clinical sessions are an integral part of the course work and will help you to master your professional skills. The course is offered in the Spring term and requires completing a cognitive ability test as a prerequisite for admission. Upon successfully earning the certificate, you can start working immediately or can enroll for higher degree programs in nursing.

7) University of Arkansas Community College - Morrilton

University of Arkansas Community College, Morrilton has carved out a special place for itself among nursing aspirants. The university is dedicated to the cause of knowledge, and its student-centric approach makes it cut above the rest. State of the art infrastructure, well-equipped classrooms, simulations labs, and more importantly, illustrious faculty members make this place ideal for pursuing your career dreams.

The highlight of this 12-month long practical nursing program is its focus on experiential learning. Classes for Spring term begins in January while Summer term starts in May, with both semesters restricting the maximum enrollment to 24 students. This low student-to-faculty ratio will help you receive personalized attention and support. In addition, you will get extensive training in simulation labs and clinical sessions that will help you provide holistic care to patients.

8) Baptist Health College - Little Rock

Baptist Health College, Little Rock is known for rich legacy that goes beyond its academic culture. The college is equally focused on empowering individuals and communities, a fact that strengthen its credentials as a global hub for nursing education. Impressively built infrastructure and exceptionally qualified academic and administrative staff can be safely considered as success pillars of the Institute.

The practical nursing program offered by the college begins in the month of January and July every year and is a two-semester long program. Classes for the course will be scheduled four days a week and you will learn a range of subjects including fundamentals of nursing, surgery, health, nutrition, and comprehensive care among others. Lab practical and clinical sessions are an integral part of the curriculum and prepare you well for meeting your professional requirements in future. To take admission in this course, you must be a high school graduate and must complete a course in anatomy and physiology.

9) Northwest Technical Institute - Springdale

Serving educational needs of the community is the prime focus of Northwest Technical Institute, Springdale. The institute is committed to the betterment of the world through imparting quality education and preparing future nursing professionals to meet growing challenges of the healthcare field. NWTI is a vibrant place brimming with new ideas and encourages the philosophy of shared-culture and learning.

NWTI is one of the best known LPN schools in Arkansas and prepares you to take up the challenging nursing career with aplomb. Classes for this 18-month nursing program begin in January and the course has a maximum intake of 48 students. The Curriculum features a balanced combination of classroom instructions, simulation lab, and clinical sessions. The training helps you to imbibe the crucial aspects of flexibility, medication administration, and patient care management. After successfully earning your certificate, you can start working as an entry level nurse in a variety of healthcare settings. Alternatively, you can apply for higher degree programs in the nursing field.

10) Arkansas State University, Beebe – Searcy

Arkansas State University, Beebe, Searcy is well known for its scientific discoveries and innovations. The impressive infrastructure and helpful human resources of the university provide a conducive learning environment for students. It is indeed a place to explore your potential and is sure to have a lasting impression on your personal as well as professional life.

The 11-month long, full-time practical nursing program of the university is one of the most sought-after courses in Arkansas. The program starts in Spring and Summer every year and requires you to commit six to eight hours for the theory classes. Timings for the clinical sessions, on the other hand, may vary between eight and twelve hours. This 46-credit course curriculum comprises of nursing and surgical education, health and well-being, human development and anatomy, and medication administration. Experiential learning through clinical sessions is one of the main features of the training and helps you to handle real-world emergency situations with confidence. After successfully completing the program, you can enroll in a higher nursing program such as a registered nurse (RN) degree.

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How Much Will I Earn?

LPN salary in Arkansas can run from about $13.00 to $23.00 an hour. If you are able to get a position that is full time, you could make a salary that ranges from $28,000 to $49,000 per year. The Arkansas average yearly salary is around $38,000. Although the national average is about 16 percent higher, the cost of living in Arkansas is lower as is the cost of the programs themselves when compared to the national average.

Type Salary Range Average Salary
Hourly$13.72 - $23.57$18.35
Monthly$2,380 - $4,090$3,180
Annual$28,540 - $49,030$38,180
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


LPN Earnings in this State vs National Average

Arkansas National Difference
Number %
$38,180$45,710 -$7,530 -16.47%
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Job Outlook for LPN Graduates in Arkansas

The population in the state is aging, creating a need for more long-term care or retirement facilities. This means there will also be a greater need for a workforce that is capable of handling this impact. In fact, LPNs are expected to be in high demand in nursing facilities over hospitals in the next few years. LPNs typically work in settings that are based more on groups or under the supervision of a doctor or a registered nurse, making plenty of opportunities possible for someone who is interested in practical nursing in this state.

Employment 10 Year New Job Growth Projection (2016-2026)
2016 2026 Number %
12,65014,3701,72013.60%
(Source: careeronestop)


Projected LPN Annual Job Openings in Arkansas (2019-2023)

Year New Jobs Replacement Jobs Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement)
20191641,1001,264
20201691,1901,359
20211731,2801,453
20221791,3801,559
20231761,4901,666
Total Job Openings in the Next 5 Years6,037
(Source: Compiled using data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


6 Best Metro Areas in Arkansas to Work as an LPN

By far, the most LPN jobs are available in the metro region that includes Little Rock, North Little Rock, and Conway. Some employers of interest in this area include Good Shepherd Community living for retirees, Visiting Angels living assistance services, and Pleasant Valley nursing and rehabilitation.

The next two regions with lots of job opportunities include Fort Smith and the metro area that includes Fayetteville, Springdale, and Rogers. In Fort Smith, you might want to consider working with Methodist Village Senior Living or Butterfield Place. If you live in the Fayetteville metro region, there are options at places like Fayetteville Health and Rehabilitation Center and Morningside of Fayetteville.

The final three metro areas that offer large numbers of LPN jobs are Jonesboro, Hot Springs, and Pine Bluff. If you are in these regions, you could consider St. Bernards Senior Housing in Jonesboro, Lake Hamilton Nursing & Rehabilitation in Hot Springs, or Superior Senior Care in Pine Bluff.

Rank Metro Area Current Employment Average Salary
Hourly Monthly Annual
1Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway3,540$19.59$3,400$40,750
2Fort Smith1,180$19.16$3,320$39,850
3Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers1,100$20.61$3,570$42,870
4Jonesboro740$16.94$2,940$35,220
5Hot Springs450$18.51$3,210$38,510
6Pine Bluff360$17.04$2,950$35,430
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


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