Arkansas has a growing number of opportunities in the nursing field. Within the state, Licensed Practical Nurses make up 33% of the total nurses and the LPN comfort score is 75. This takes into account the average LPN salary, average state salary and cost of living. The Arkansas RN comfort score is much higher at 125. The large difference between the two illustrates that obtaining an RN degree will make a considerable difference in comfort and is worth the investment. Arkansas nursing schools and universities can provide more information that can help you pursue either the LPN or RN degree. In Arkansas, the city of Little Rock will have the highest number of potential educational institutions and job opportunities for an LPN.
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Checklist to become an Arkansas LPN:
- Earn your LPN Degree, 1 year of courses and hands-on practice.
- Apply for licensure with the Arkansas Board of Nursing ($85 fee) – Have your school send your transcript to them as well
- Obtain a CPR card and pass the NCLEX-PN exam
LPN Salaries in Arkansas
Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) in Arkansas earn an average of $16.23/hr and a yearly income of $33,280. Nurses working in metropolitan areas tend to earn higher salaries than in non-metropolitan parts of the state, although there is likely to be a relatively higher cost of living. Industry also plays a key role in nursing salaries. An LPN can work in a variety of areas within the nursing field including nursing care facilities, hospitals or a physicians’ office. When choosing a career path within the industry, salary is only one piece to consider. Many LPNs find a more rewarding career in a family office rather than a hospital, despite a lower salary. It is advisable for LPNs to look towards home health care agencies and long-term care facilities are the fastest growing potential employers. The LPN with several years of experience and those with certifications in geriatric health are going to be in higher demand. It is crucial to begin trying to figure out which area is the best fit for you as early as possible. Take advantage of all the offered LPN programs in Arkansas and educate yourself by researching all the available options before deciding.
LPN Degree and Education in Arkansas
In the state of Arkansas, the practical nursing program is the quickest route to becoming a nurse. To earn a degree requires one year of courses as well as hands-on practice. You are required to obtain a CPR card, and pass the NCLEX-PN exam upon completion of the course.
In Arkansas, there are a greater number of prospective students than positions available in the nursing program. Nursing schools are not exempt from the nursing shortage and are also in high demand for nurse educators. As a result, many students are wait listed. Attending schools like The University of Phoenix, Walden School of Nursing, or Kaplan School of Nursing allow students to bypass the wait lists. They are accredited on-line and accelerated programs for residents in Arkansas.With any questions about LPN schools in Arkansas and specific requirements, contact the admissions office of your chosen college or school.
License renewal for both RNs and LPNs is required every two years on the last day of the month you are born. There are two options in Arkansas to fulfill renewal requirements. The first is to complete fifteen hours of continuing education every two years, these classes are available through the Arkansas Board of Nursing or an approved provider. The other option is to complete a minimum of one college course with a grade of C or better.
Arkansas LPN Job Outlook
The nursing shortage in The United States is steadily increasing. There is a rising demand for new and more effective health procedures and life expectancy averages are continuing to climb. These issues will be reflected in the Arkansas health industry and help to create an extremely strong job outlook for LPNs.
Arkansas hospitals, home health companies and doctor offices are now offering flexible schedules, educational benefits, higher pay and other incentives to retain their staff and to recruit new nurses. Some hospitals are even offering sign on bonuses or student loan reimbursement up to certain maximums. There are a number of hospitals and facilities that are located in the state’s urban communities such as the Little Rock area, that are in great need. However, in the more rural parts of Arkansas there are also clinics in dire need of nurses and the pay has become competitive in the last few years.
In overall comfort scores, an Arkansas LPN places in the middle of the pack. A great boost in the score comes with the addition of an RN degree. As a result, it is highly recommended to pursue an RN degree in this state. A career as a nurse in Arkansas can provide opportunities and security.
The Arkansas State Board of Nursing Website can be found here.