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Note: There is a special application and deadline for this program.

LPN/LPTN-to-RN Transition

This program is a 12-month program that combines classroom instruction with clinical experiences. Six community colleges with PN programs have joined together to form a consortium, the Arkansas Rural Nursing Education Consortium (ARNEC). ARNEC offers a new and innovative approach via a nontraditional delivery format of nursing theory by interactive video. The following institutions are members of the ARNEC program: Arkansas State University (ASU-N) – Newport, Black River Technical College (BRTC) – Pocahontas, Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas (CCCUA) – Nashville/DeQueen, Ozarka College (OC) – Melbourne, South Arkansas Community College (SACC) – El Dorado, and the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton (UACCM).

The program will serve up to twenty students at each of the six colleges. Theory (nursing lectures) will be scheduled on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 3:30 – 8:30 pm and clinical time will take place on weekends. This program was designed to meet the needs of working LPNs/LPTNs/LVNs.

This program meets the requirements of the Arkansas State Board of Nursing. Graduates of the program receive an Associate of Applied Science degree which prepares them to take the NCLEX-RN (the Registered Nurse licensing examination). Due to the strenuous nature of the nursing curriculum, the admitting institution reserves the right to determine eligibility of any student to enroll or continue in the nursing program. Eligibility is determined by the faculty’s evaluation of the student’s ability to perform the tasks and responsibilities of a Registered Nurse and to complete the clinical and course objectives. These abilities are re-evaluated during and after each course.

Entrance Requirements

Applicants must show proof of:

  • Completion of an ARNEC program application packet
  • Graduation from a State Board approved technical/practical nursing program
  • Possess a valid, unencumbered LPN/LPTN/LVN license
  • Completion of the required general education courses from an accredited college or university with a grade of “C” or better. Applicants may lack one of the required general education courses by August 31, but all required general education courses must be completed by the time nursing courses begin the following January. No additional courses may be taken concurrently with nursing courses.
  • A cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale) or above. GPA is composed of the overall required general education courses.
  • An official high school transcript (or GED completion transcript)
  • Official transcripts from all colleges attended
  • All classes are taught in the English language, making it necessary that students are able to read, speak, write, and comprehend the English language proficiently. All international students and students who speak English as a second language must pass a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
  • Taking the assigned pre-entrance exam
  • Drug screen (per admitting institution protocol)

Students will be ranked and selected based on required general education course GPA and LPN STEP (comprehensive exam) scores. Students must comply with the admission requirements set forth by the admitting institution in addition to the ARNEC requirements.


Applicants that are selected for admission must notify the ARNEC institution that they will be attending to verify and accept placement. Upon acceptance into the program, the student must provide the following:

  • Current American Heart Association: Healthcare Provider CPR course (AHA/BLS-HCP)
  • Current PPD Skin Test or Chest X-Ray
  • Verification that the Hepatitis B series has been completed or started, or that a Waiver Claim Form is signed.
  • Applicants may lack one of the required general education courses by August 31st. All required general education courses must be completed by the time nursing courses begin the following January.  No additional classes may be taken concurrently with nursing classes.
  • Selected applicants must take and pass a medical math competency exam with a 90% pass rate. Applicants will have three chances to successfully pass the exam. A sample test will be provided to the applicant prior to testing.
  • After the math competency exam has been successfully passed, the selected applicant must complete and pass the background check. An instruction sheet will be provided to the applicant (approximately a $39.00 cost).

Students selected for admission will receive a letter of acceptance into the program by mid-October, and will need to provide the admitting institution a written letter stating that they are accepting the invitation and will enroll in the program. This letter can be emailed to the program chair, faxed, or brought to the nursing department in person. If the student chooses to email or fax their letter of acceptance, they should follow up by calling the nursing department to make sure it was received. In the event that the student does not plan to enroll, the student needs to notify the institution so that an alternate student may have the slot. Each institution will have an alternate list of students in the case of a selected student declining his/her acceptance letter.

Academic Progression

In order to progress in the nursing curriculum, the student must meet the following criteria:

  • The student must maintain a 2.0 “C” grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) in all general education and nursing classes, including nursing practicum, to progress to the next semester. Nursing courses require students to achieve at least a 78% (lowest “C” grade) to progress.
  • See Graduation Policy below to review the final comprehensive exit exam that must be passed for program completion.

Re-admission Candidates

Re-admission will be decided by the admitting institution. A student who fails or leaves the program for any reason will be permitted one opportunity to re-enroll (regardless of which semester).? The student has the right to appeal to the administration of the admitting institution and should follow that institution’s appeal procedures.


Due to differences in nursing curriculum in other nursing programs, ARNEC will not accept transfer credit for previously taken Registered Nursing courses. Students who were enrolled in another program will follow the same requirements and admission procedures as students who have never attended another nursing program. If an enrolled ARNEC student needs to transfer to another ARNEC member institution, then permission may be granted from the institution that the student wishes to transfer to, based on space availability and the institution’s requirements for transfer students.

Advanced Placement of Students

Refer to the Advanced Placement of Students policy in the admitting college’s catalog.

Note to All Applicants

ARNEC faculty reserves the right to alter the curriculum and admission policies whenever change is deemed necessary.

Graduation Policy

Students must have successfully completed all general education courses and all nursing courses with a grade of “C” or better. Upon completion, the student’s status will be submitted to the state board of nursing declaring that the student wishes to sit for the licensing examination.

Student MUST achieve a score at or above the current national passing average on the final comprehensive exit exam to complete the requirements for the NCLEX-RN Preparation Course. The student will be allowed to take the final comprehensive ERI exam a total of three times.?Students cannot sit for each exam attempt more than once per day. Should the student not achieve the required score after the third attempt, it will be recommended that the student attend an NCLEX-RN Review Course. If the student fails the final comprehensive exit exam after three attempts, then the student will not have completed the requirements for the course and will not graduate or be recommended to sit for the NCLEX-RN. An “I” (incomplete) grade will be temporarily given. The student must also comply with their attending college’s grading policies (see College Catalog). Prior to the end of the spring semester, the student must contact their Program Chair to schedule up to three additional attempts on the exit exam. If the student passes (achieves a score at or above the national average), the student will have completed the requirement for completion of the NCLEX-RN Preparation Course and will be awarded the AAS in Nursing degree. This allows students to apply to sit for the NCLEX-RN licensing examination. If the student is unsuccessful (does not achieve a grade at or above the national average) on their three additional attempts on the final comprehensive exit exam, then their “I” (incomplete) grade will be converted to a failing grade.

After the student passes the final comprehensive exit exam, they will complete the remaining 50 percent of the NCLEX-RN Preparation Course. The remaining 50 percent of this course is completed via an online review course that students complete at the end of the fall semester.

Due to unforeseen circumstances (i.e., unacceptable criminal background check), graduation from the ARNEC LPN/LPTN-to-RN Transition program does NOT automatically enable the student to sit for the NCLEX-RN.? This is determined by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing.