About Us 

Structure | Functions | Who Can Practice in Arkansas? | When Does the Board Meet? | More Info

Established by the Arkansas Legislature in 1913 to safeguard the life and health of its citizens, the Arkansas State Board of Nursing achieves its mission by developing standards for safe nursing care, approval of nursing schools and regulating licenses to practice nursing.

In addition to the Nurse Practice Act and Rules, there are position statements and guidelines for nurses to follow.  The ASBN is responsible for enforcing these laws and rules pertaining to the regulation of nurses, nursing education and nursing practice.

Structure

The ASBN is comprised of thirteen Arkansas residents appointed by the Governor for four year terms, subject to confirmation by the Senate.  Of the seven registered nurses, two are diploma school graduates, two are associate degree graduates, two are baccalaureate or post-baccalaureate graduates, and one is an advanced practice registered nurse with prescriptive authority.  There are four licensed practical nurses or licensed psychiatric technician nurses.  All hold Arkansas licenses and are actively practicing in their license category. 
Of the remaining two members, one lay person represents consumers and one represents the elderly population.

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What Are The Board's Functions?

Issuing Licenses

There are over 52,000 licenses issued by the Board in the following categories:

  • RN - Registered Nurse
  • LPN - Licensed Practical Nurse
  • LPTN - Licensed Psychiatric Technician Nurse
  • RNP - Registered Nurse Practitioner
  • APRN - Advanced Practice Registered Nurse
    • CNP - Certified Nurse Practitioner
    • CNM - Certified Nurse Midwife
    • CRNA - Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
    • CNS - Clinical Nurse Specialist

After completing basic nursing programs, RNs and LPNs must pass nationally standardized examinations.  LPTNs must have passed a state licensure exam.

RNPs have completed a nurse practitioner program in addition to their RN program.  Initial RNP licensure is no longer available. To be licensed as an APRN, an RN must complete a graduate-level or post-graduate-level advanced practice nursing program and hold certification from a Board approved nationally recognized certifying body.

The Board also issues certificates of prescriptive authority to eligible APRNs and credentials Diabetes Self-Management Educators.

Acting on Complaints

If a nurse is found to have violated the Nurse Practice Act or Rules that govern nursing practice in Arkansas, the Board may take disciplinary action and/or impose a civil penalty.  The disciplinary action may include a letter of reprimand, probation, suspension or revocation of the license.  A non-disciplinary letter of warning may be issued on certain types of complaints to give notice that continuation of such acts will result in disciplinary action.

The board investigates complaints about nurses for practice or behavior that may be unsafe, incompetent, unethical, related to substance abuse or a violation of other laws or rules.

Nurses practicing in Arkansas on a license from another compact state may be issued an order to cease and desist practicing in this state in response to a complaint.

Anyone may submit a complaint to the board about a nurse’s practice or behavior.  The complaint must be in writing, but it does not have to be signed. 

Approving Nursing Programs

The Board approves programs which prepare individuals to apply for LPN & RN licensure.   There are 29 PN and 28 RN programs in the state.  These schools are surveyed for continued approval.

Diabetes self-management courses, leading to certification as a Diabetes Self-Management Educator, are also approved by the Board.

Only persons licensed by the Board or holding a license from a compact state which is their primary state of residence may practice nursing in Arkansas. 

A twenty-four hour online system is available for verification of a nurse’s current Arkansas licensure status.  The licensure status of RNs and LPNs from compact states can be verified by contacting the Board in the nurse’s primary state of residence.

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Who Can Practice In Arkansas?

Only persons licensed by the Board or holding a license from a compact state which is their primary state of residence may practice nursing in Arkansas. 

A twenty-four hour online system is available for verification of a nurse’s current Arkansas licensure status.  The licensure status of RNs and LPNs from compact states can be verified by contacting the Board in the nurse’s primary state of residence.

Nurse Licensure Compact

The Arkansas State Board of Nursing participates in the Nurse Licensure Compact which allows RNs and LPNs residing and licensed in one compact state the privilege of working in all other compact states.

When Does The Board meet?

Open to the public, Board meetings are held every month except March, August and December.  Meeting dates are available on the board website or from the board office.  For groups of five or more contact the board office for seating availability.

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For More Information

Education
Nursing Education Programs 501.686.2786

Licensure
Examination 501.686.2710
Endorsement 501.686.2708

Practice
Complaints   501.686.2711
Practice Questions  501.686.2788

Advanced Practice
Licensure, Complaints
Prescriptive Authority  501.686.2706

Office Hours  8:00 – 4:30   M - F
Phone: 501.686.2700
Fax: 501.686.2714
Web Site: www.arsbn.org

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