Examination 

Welcome to the Arkansas State Board of Nursing (ASBN) online application system. The information contained herein is designed to assist you with information you need to begin the application process. Read the instructions and provide all required documentation.  Applicants must complete the application process for both ASBN and Pearson VUE to take the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX®).  Additional instructions are located within the online system as you progress through the application process. Please read examination information and scroll to the bottom of the page to access the application link.   ALL FEES ARE NON-REFUNDABLE.

General Information

The National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) is a computer adaptive exam designed to test the knowledge, skills and abilities of the entry-level practitioner.  Passage of the exam is a part of the process used by Boards of Nursing when determining eligibility for licensure as a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse. 

Who is Qualified to Take The NCLEX-RN® Examination For Arkansas Licensure?

  • Arkansas law requires applicants for licensure by examination to submit to criminal background checks.   If an applicant has pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to any offense listed in ACA §17-87-312, he/she is not eligible for Arkansas licensure.  (ACA §17-87-312 provides opportunity to request a waiver of eligibility criteria related to a criminal background in certain circumstances.)  The criminal background check shall be completed no earlier than twelve (12) months prior to the application for licensure by examination.
  • Persons who have graduated from an approved registered nursing education program.
  • Persons who have graduated from the Excelsior College School of Nursing.
  • Internationally educated nurses who have graduated from a nursing program in which the curriculum is "substantially similar" to Arkansas nursing programs, have licensure or proof of eligibility for licensure in the country of graduation, and can write, speak, and understand English as evidenced by Certification from The Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS), -(exception for English speaking countries, e.g., Canada, Australia, England).

Who is Qualified to Take The NCLEX-PN® Examination For Arkansas Licensure?

  • Arkansas law requires applicants for licensure by examination to submit to criminal background checks.   If an applicant has pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to any offense listed in ACA §17-87-312, he/she is not eligible for Arkansas licensure.  (ACA §17-87-312 provides opportunity to request a waiver of eligibility criteria related to a criminal background in certain circumstances.)  The criminal background check shall be completed no earlier than twelve (12) months prior to the application for licensure by examination.
  • Persons who have graduated from an approved practical nursing education program.
  • Internationally educated nurses as above.

Equivalencies:

    • Persons who have completed a portion of an RN education program, according to specified criteria.
    • Persons who graduated from an approved registered nursing education program and have failed the NCLEX-RN® examination.
    • Persons who have graduated from Arkansas Board approved LPTN programs after March 18, 1980.

Disclaimer:

The ASBN may deny licensure to candidates who have had a license revoked, suspended, or placed on probation and not reinstated in other jurisdictions. The ASBN may also deny licensure to candidates who have been convicted of a crime.

EXAMINATION RESULTS ARE NOT RELEASED TO CANDIDATES UNTIL AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT IS RECEIVED.

Where is the Examination Given?

  • Licensure examinations are given at Pearson Professional Centers around the country. Arkansas has three testing sites – Little Rock, Fort Smith, and Texarkana. The examination may be taken at any Pearson testing location in the country for licensure in Arkansas.

How Often is the Examination Given?

  • The testing centers offers the NCLEX® examination up to six days a week, 15 hours per day if the need arises.

How Often Can a Candidate Take the Examination?

  • A candidate who has failed the examination can retake the test every 45 days.

How Many Times May a Candidate Take The Examination?

  • Candidates for Arkansas licensure may take the examination an unlimited number of times. Certain other states have restrictions on the number of times a candidate may take the examination.

For additional information about the NCLEX® Examination visit the Pearson VUE website at http://www.pearsonvue.com/nclex/ 

For detailed information about licensure fees click here to view the Rules, Chapter 8, Fees.

Articles of Interest 

  • Assisting New Graduates Who Have Failed the NCLEX - February 2011
  • Licensee Applicants and Criminal Background Checks - April 2011
  • We're Off to See the Wizard:  Breaking Down Barriers to Returning to school - April 2011

 State Application for Licensure Information

1.      You may complete the online application two months prior to graduation.  Instructions for completion of the 
         application are displayed as you progress through the online system.  Carefully enter information and review the 
         information page for accuracy prior to submission. 

2.      Payment of associated fees may be made by credit card or E-check and are paid for within the online process 
         prior to submission of the application.  Print a copy of the Payment Summary page for your records. 
         IMPORTANT:  You will also need the INA Search ID number that is located on the Payment Summary to include 
         on your fingerprint card.  Print the INA Search ID number in the upper right hand corner of the fingerprint card in 
         the box marked "FBI Leave Blank".
 

3.      A valid United States social security number is required for individuals applying for licensure.

4.      If you submit your ASBN Examination application prior to registering with Pearson VUE, it will not be processed 
         until you are registered with Pearson VUE. 

5.      A physical and mailing address must be provided for purposes of communication. Arkansas is a member of the 
         Nurse Licensure Compact. Individuals applying for licensure must live in Arkansas, a non-compact state, or 
         country outside the United States to complete this application process. For a listing of compact states and 
         more information on the Nurse Licensure Compact, go to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing    
         (NCSBN) website at
www.ncsbn.org. Click on the Nurse Licensure Compact(NLC) link. 

6.      A valid email address is required. You will receive an ASBN Automatic Acknowledgement of Online Application 
         email and an Arkansas GovPay Receipt email after submission of your application.

7.      The nursing director of your nursing education program must verify your graduation after you have 
         completed the nursing education program. This is accomplished via a secure electronic verification process 
         for applicants graduating from in state programs and via Verification form (located within the online system) for 
         applicants graduating from out of state programs. 

8.      An official transcript with the degree posted must be submitted to the ASBN office prior to release of your 
         examination results and issuance of a license. This must come directly from your school. 

9.      You may check on the status of your application by accessing the Check Status of Application Link at the 
         bottom of the page.

NCLEX Examination Candidate Bulletin & Application Information

1.     In addition to completing the ASBN Examination Application for Licensure online, all applicants must register     
        with Pearson VUE to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). 

2.      Students should register for NCLEX with the testing vendor, Pearson VUE  before graduation.This registration 
         must be complete before a temporary permit will be issued. 

3.      Please include your social security number when you make application with the testing vendor (Pearson VUE) 
         in order to speed up the ASBN application process. 

4.      The NCLEX Examination Candidate Bulletin explains the process for registering for the licensure examination. 
         The NCLEX candidate bulletin is accessible within the online application process by clicking on the respective 
         link. It may also be accessed at
www.pearsonvue.com/nclex. Read the candidate bulletin carefully and follow 
         the directions precisely. Failure to register with Pearson VUE will delay the issuance of an Authorization To 
         Test (ATT) number. 

5.      The associated fee for registration of the NCLEX is at the applicant’s expense and are payable to the testing 
         vendor. Instructions are located within the Candidate Bulletin. 

6.      To learn more about the NCLEX and computerized testing and view a tutorial, please go to The National 
          Council of State Boards of Nursing’s website at
www.ncsbn.org and click on Testing Services. 

7.       Once ASBN has deemed you eligible to test, the testing vendor (Pearson VUE) will send you your 
          Authorization To Test (ATT) via email if you provided one on your application (via your address if you did not 
          provide them a email address).

Criminal Background Check Information

1.       Arkansas law requires applicants for licensure by examination to submit to criminal background checks. If an 
          applicant has pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to or found guilty of any offense listed in
ACA 17-87-312,
          he/she is not eligible for Arkansas licensure. (ACA 17-87-312 provides the applicant 
an opportunity to request
          a waiver of eligibility criteria related to a criminal background in certain circumstances.)

2.       Fees associated with conduction of the state and federal criminal background checks are at the applicant's 
          expense and are paid with the online application process.

3.       A state and federal criminal background check is required to complete your application if you do not already 
          have 
them on file with ASBN within the last 12 months of this application. Background checks from 
          other 
agencies will not be accepted.

4.       The state criminal background check information is obtained within the online application process; no 
          additional form for conduction of the state criminal background check is completed or submitted.

5.       The federal criminal background check requires completion of a fingerprint card and submission of the card to 
          the 
Arkansas State Police.  You must use the fingerprint card provided by ASBN.  You will be able to request a 
          fingerprint card within the online application process, or your school will provide one for you to complete 
          and submit to the Arkansas State Police Department.  You must complete the fingerprint card according to 
          instructions. To access FBI & Arkansas Criminal Background Check instructions for Online Applicants,
click here

6.       IMPORTANT:  Upon payment completion you will receive an INA Search ID located on your payment receipt 
          (Payment Summary).  Write the INA Search ID number in the designated area on the fingerprint card before 
          mailing the card to the Arkansas State Police. If you do not print the INA Search ID number on the fingerpint 
          card, it is likely that your fingerprints will not be processed.  Print the INA Search ID number in the upper right 
          hand corner of the fingerprint card in the box marked "FBI Leave Blank".

7.       The completed fingerprint card, with INA Search ID written on the card, should be mailed to
                Arkansas State Police Criminal Background Check
                1 State Police Plaza Drive
                Little Rock, AR  72209

8.       If you respond "yes" to any of the five questions on the examination application or if you have a positive 
          criminal background check(s), you will not receive a temporary permit or be deemed eligible to take the 
          NCLEX until you have been cleared by ASBN staff or review of your case is complete.  You must submit a letter 
          of explanation and a certified copy (no faxed copies) of all pertinent records (court, military, treatment, etc.) to 
          ASBN.  Print the cover sheet located within the online system.  Attach it to the documents you submit or have 
          submitted on your behalf to ASBN.  The cover sheet with attached documents should be sent to:

                Arkansas State Board of Nursing
                Attn:  Education Department
                1123 S. University Ave., Suite 800
                 Little Rock, AR  72204

9.       For additional information you may access the Criminal Background Information and Frequently Asked 
          Questions that are located on our website at
www.arsbn.org.  Click on the Licensing tab.  This information is in 
          the left hand column.

Temporary Permit Information (Optional)

1.       To request a temporary permit, check the deisgnated box as you complete the application within the online 
          system; an additional fee of $25.00 will be added to the payment due.

2.       Temporary permits are only issued within 90 days of nursing education program completion.  A temporary 
           permit cannot be reissued or extended.

3.        The temporary permit will not be issued until you have registered with the testing vendor, Pearson Vue.

4.        The temporary permit will not be issued until your state and federal criminal background check results are 
           reviewed and are clear.

5.        If you respond "yes" to any of the five questions on the examination application or if you have a positive 
           criminal background check(s), refer to Criminal Background Check Information herein, number 8.

6.        Once issued, temporary permit status may be verified by accessing the ASBN Registry Search on the website 
           at www.arsbn.org  ASBN does not mail out a temporary permit.

7.        The temporary permit is valid for 90 days or until receipt of examination results.

Licensure Information

1.        The initial license is provided free of charge.

2.        Once a license is issued, licensure status may be verified by accessing the ASBN Registry Search on the 
           website at www.arsbn.org  ASBN does not mail out a paper license.

3.        A one-time blue plastic license card will be mailed toyou in approximately two months; this card is not 
           considered primary source verification of licensure.

4.        The ASBN renews licenses on a staggered biennial birth date system.  Your first license may be valid from 91 
           days to 2 years depending upon your birth date.

5.        Continuing education is required for license renewal.  If an initial license is valid for less than two years, you will 
           not be required to meet the continuing education requirements for your first renewal.  For all subsequent     
           renewals you will need to meet the continuing education requirements.  More information can be obtained on 
           the Board's website under the Education tab.

6.        You may access the Checklist for Licensure Examination to help guide you through the process.  
            Licensure Examination Checklist.

APPLICATION LINK BELOW FOR
  • NCLEX® Examination candidates (RN, LPN - U.S. educated only) 
  • NCLEX® Examination Rewrite 
  • LPN Equivalency 
The link below also includes instructions for application completion and instructions for the state and federal criminal background checks.    

Application Link - https://www.ark.org/bon/licensure/index.php  

Check the status of Application - 
https://www.ark.org/bon/licensure/status.php
(check the status of any application submitted via the online application system)