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 (ASBN) 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 terms of four years, subject to confirmation by the Senate.  Members shall not be appointed to more than two consecutive terms.

  • Five registered nurses - one diploma school graduate, two associate degree graduates, two  baccalaureate or post-baccalaureate degree graduates
  • Two advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) with one being an APRN holding a certificate granting prescriptive authority. 
  • Three licensed practical nurses or licensed psychiatric technician nurses
  • One member shall be an at-large licensed registered nurse or licensed practical nurse
  • One lay person representing consumers of health care services
  • One member shall be sixty years of age or older and shall be the representative of the elderly
  • At least one member who is a licensed registered nurse or APRN also shall be a nursing program educator.
  • All hold Arkansas licenses and are actively practicing in their license category. 

Each registered nurse must be an Arkansas resident with at least five years of successful experience as a registered nurse in nursing practice, administration, or teaching; be licensed in Arkansas as a registered nurse and been employed as a registered  nurse for at least three years immediately preceding appointment, two of which shall have been in Arkansas.

Each advanced practice registered nurse must be an Arkansas resident with at least five years of experience as an advanced practice registered nurse; be licensed in Arkansas as an advanced practice registered nurse and been actively engaged in nursing for at least three years immediately preceding appointment, two of which shall have been in Arkansas.

Each practial nurse or licensed psychiatric technician nurse must be an Arkansas resident with at least five years of successful experience as a practical nurse or psychiatric technician nurse or as a teacher in an educational program to prepare practitioners of nursing; be licensed in Arkansas as a licensed practical nurse or licensed psychiatric technician nurse and been employed as a licensed practical nurse or licensed psychiatric technician nurse for at least three years immediately preceding appointment, two of which shall have been in Arkansas.

 

Back to Top

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.

Back to Top

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.

Back to Top

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

Back to Top