Become Nurse In Arkansas + Requirements & Licensing
| NurseJournal Staff
ENTRY LEVEL PRACTICE NURSESBecoming an entry level nurse is a 3-stage process. STAGE 1. CHOOSE YOUR PROGRAM. You can become a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or a registered nurse (RN). LPNs complete a diploma program, whereas registered nurses complete an associate’s degree (ADN) or bachelor’s degree (BSN). An LPN program takes around one year to finish, whereas an ADN will take two years and a BSN four years. STAGE 2. COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS. The LPN program usually have no requirements other than high school or GED. However, ADN and BSN programs will usually ask that you have completed some undergraduate courses. STAGE 3. PASS THE NCLEX EXAM. You need to take the NCLEX examination (PN or RN) after you have completed your educational program.
ADVANCED PRACTICE NURSESTo become an Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) in Arkansas, you must be authorized by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing by meeting a number of requirements. This is a four stage process. STAGE 1. EARN A GRADUATE DEGREE. This must be a post-baccalaureate program at graduate level or above. The program must be approved by the Board and must be registered with the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and/or the U.S. Department of Education. Additionally, the programs must meet the requirements as set by the Board in their Arkansas State Board of Nursing Rules, Chapter 6. Programs must prepare you to take on a specific advanced practice role. The curriculum must include advanced health assessment, advanced physiology/pathophysioloy and advanced pharmacology. You may pursue a Certificate of Prescriptive Authority as an APN in Arkansas. To be eligible, you must have completed at least three credits at graduate level in pharmacology and/or 45 contact hours in pharmacology for continuing education (CE). You must also have completed at least 300 hours in a preceptorship that included prescribing therapeutic devices, drugs and medicine while being supervised. APNs in Arkansas specialize in a population focus. There are different specialty areas of APNs and CNSs (clinical nurse specialists). APNs can focus on acute care, adult, adult psychiatric & mental health, family, family psychiatric & mental health, gerontological, pediatric, neonatal and women’s health care. A CNS can specialize in acute/critical care – adult, acute/critical care – neonatal, adult health setting, adult/psychiatric & mental health nursing, gerontological nursing and pediatric nursing. STAGE 2. BECOME NATIONALLY CERTIFIED IN ONE OF FOUR AREAS OF SUB-SPECIALIZATIONS. You can be certified in multiple areas. The four options are:
- NP – Nurse Practitioner
- CNM – Certified Nurse Midwife
- CRNA – Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
- CNS – Clinical Nurse Specialist
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