Arkansas Nurse Practitioner Licensure Steps - 2022

AKA: CRNP License, APRN Licensure

Last Reviewed: October 1st, 2022

Nurse Practitioner Licensure Requirements in Arkansas

Follow below to learn how to become a nurse practitioner (NP) in Arkansas.

Initial Registered Nurse (RN) License

Already have your RN License?Skip to the next section

This is a fundamental licensure requirement for all APRNs. You must be licensed to practice as a nurse in Arkansas to qualify for licensure as an NP. Single state RN licenses are given to graduate nurses who satisfy requirements set up by the ASBN. Holders of multi-state licenses from other NLC member states do not need to apply for an RN license in Arkansas unless they want to change their primary state of residence to Arkansas. There are two available routes for applying for an RN license in Arkansas: RN by Examination and RN by Endorsements.

RN by Examination

This route is specifically for fresh graduate nurses who have never been licensed in Arkansas or any other state.

  • The minimum academic qualification for this is an associate’s degree obtained from an accredited nursing program.
  • This route requires that you take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). You must register for this examination at PearsonVUE as part of the examination process. The examination fee is $150 for the first trial. An additional fee of $100 will be charged if you have to retake. Note that you cannot retake an NCLEX test less than 45 days from your last testing date. Also, failing the NCLEX test leads to automatic revocation of a temporary license and there are no temporary licenses for candidates who take the examination more than once.
  • You are required to ask your program director to complete an affidavit of graduation to show that you completed the program. You can download a sample here. In addition to this, the awarding institution must mail a copy of your transcript to the ASBN. The transcript must contain the type of degree obtained and your date of graduation.
  • The application process is to be completed online after opening an account here. Ideally, your applications should be sent in 60 days before graduation. The application fee for this route is $125.
  • You are also expected to provide a declaration of your primary state of residence which will include a submission of a valid driver’s license, a voter’s card, military form no. 2058, or a W2 form from the U.S. government or any agency or bureau.

RN by Endorsement

This is the licensure route for nurses who have been licensed to practice in another state. The application process is also completed online after creating a profile.

  • You are required to provide a declaration of your primary state of residence as is described above for RN by Examination .
  • The ASBN will also need to verify your license with your original state of licensure. If your original state of verification is listed on nursys.com, you can obtain this document by simply submitting a verification request via the platform.
  • The board must also verify your recent employment history to see if you are fit for practice or in need of a refresher course. If you have not practiced actively in the past five years, you are required to submit proof of completion of a board-approved refresher course within one year before your application date, proof of graduation from an approved nursing program within one year before the application date, and any other evidence requested by the board.
  • Note that if you hold a multistate license from an NLC member state, you do not need to apply for an RN license in Arkansas, unless you want to change your primary state of residence. The application process costs $125.

In addition to the above requirements for both routes, you are expected to apply for a criminal background check to be conducted on you at the state and federal levels. If you have applied over the last 12 months, you are exempted from this requirement. Your fingerprints are captured for this process by the Arkansas Live Scan which is the only approved provider of this service by the board. Find locations and contact information for capturing here. The background check is done for a fee of $36.25 in addition to a processing fee of $15. You are never to request the status of your background checks from the police or FBI.

All payments concerning the licensure application are to be done online using a credit/debit card and these fees are non-refundable. All fees must be paid and all required documents sent in before your application is processed. Completed applications are valid for a year from the date of submission. New graduates can apply for a temporary license while they prepare for their NCLEX. The temporary permit costs $30.

Advanced Education Requirements

Prospective NPs must complete a graduate-level preparatory program for nurse practitioners.

Such a program should be approved by the ASBN following the Arkansas State Board of Nursing Rules. The program should equip you to take the certification examination for your chosen population focus and prepare you for practice. Here you can find all schools offering nurse practitioner degree programs in Arkansas.

These programs must award a minimum of a masters to successful participants and must include both clinical and classroom aspects. Core areas that must be covered in the coursework include advanced pathophysiology/physiology, advanced pharmacology, and advanced health assessment. Your program must match national standards as well as those set by the ASBN, as this will affect your performance in certification examinations and ultimately the success of your application and practice.

National Certification

Following the completion of your nurse practitioner preparation program, you will need to apply for national certification through the national certifying body that certifies nurse practitioners in your field.

The process usually involves registration for a certification examination after which successful candidates are presented with licenses. This highlights the importance of a nurse practitioner preparatory program that aligns with national standards and covers what the test will be based on. You can identify the certifying agency that applies to you here.

Getting Licensed to Practice as a Nurse Practitioner Within Arkansas

The ASBN is also responsible for granting practice licenses to NPs in Arkansas after they fulfill all the stated requirements. The application for this license is also to be completed online after creating an account here (if you do not already have one). The process is similar to that for obtaining an RN license.

All applicants must have a copy of their national certification on hand; featuring the date of original certification, the issue date, and expiry date. You are expected to provide a notarized statement, with a company letterhead showing that you have worked as an RN for a minimum of 2000 hours over the last two.

There is also a need to download your licensing history from nursys.com via the “quick confirm tab”. Finally, you need to access your educational history, especially the institutions attended, year of graduation, and the kind of degree obtained.

A criminal background check must be done on all applicants, hence, you will be required to submit a completed fingerprint card obtained through ASBN or undergo fingerprint scanning through the Arkansas Live Scan. You should contact the institutions where you took nursing programs to send a copy of your transcript to the board.

A licensed NP is not authorized to prescribe medications unless they have applied for prescriptive authority and their application has been approved. The application can be sent in with the application for your APRN license or sent in later. In addition to a $160 fee for the application, you would be required to submit a collaborative practice agreement(CPA) and a Quality Assurance (QA) Plan. This application only permits you to prescribe and dispense legal drugs. To prescribe and dispense controlled drugs, a DEA number must be applied for at the Drug Enforcement Agency.