Note: There is a special application and application deadline for this program. See program application deadlines' webpage under Academics/health sciences.
The Practical Nursing (PN) Program at South Arkansas Community College is designed to prepare the successful graduates who pass the NCLEX-PN licensure exam to provide diverse types of nursing care in a variety of health care environments for patients across the lifespan. Successful graduates will earn a TC (Technical Certificate) in Practical Nursing from the college and will be eligible to apply to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). The awarding of the certificate in practical nursing is not contingent upon the successful completion of the NCLEX examination. Successful completion of the program doesn't guarantee that the graduate will be allowed by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing (ASBN) to take or successfully pass the NCLEX exam. Successfully passing the NCLEX_PN allows the individual to practice as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN).
SouthArk offers three PN programs: 1) A three-semester (12-month) day program on the main campus in El Dorado, which starts in the summer semester each year and concludes in May; 2) A three-semester day (12-month) program on our satellite campus in Warren, Arkansas, which starts in January each year and concludes in December; and 3) A four-semester (18-month) evening program on the main campus in El Dorado, which begins on an alternating January and August schedule.
What do nurses do? Nurses evaluate patients and record their findings, keep records of their symptoms and progress, administer medications and help instruct the family in proper health care. Career opportunities are wide and varied and include, but are not limited to, employment in hospitals, clinics, schools, industry, and many other areas providing direct or indirect care to diverse patients as well as various other fields that do not include patient care. With experience and additional education, you can advance to an administrative position as a head nurse, advanced practice nurse, nurse educator or supervisor.
Accreditation / Approval
The South Arkansas Community College nursing program is approved by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing. Website: https://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/arkansas-board-of-nursing
Arkansas State Board of Nursing
University Tower Bldg.
1123 South University
Little Rock, AR 72204-1619
Admission and Acceptance
Applicants to any of the PN programs MUST:
- Complete all general admissions procedures to the college and provide all required admission documents to be accepted.
- Complete all necessary basic studies requirements according to placement tests.
- Possess a college cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or higher on a 4.0 grading scale (“C” or better).
- Successfully complete all prerequisite nursing courses with a 2.0 or greater GPA on a 4.0 grading scale.
- Be enrolled in no more than two (2) nursing prerequisite courses during the semester immediately prior to the semester in which the student desires admission to the LPN program (example, during the summer for fall admission or during the fall for spring admission).
- All remaining prerequisite nursing courses must be successfully completed by the end of the semester prior to the beginning of the professional program. Students who have not successfully passed all pre-requisite courses are not eligible to be in the program.
- Students admitted to the program are not allowed to take any non-program courses concurrently while in the program.
In order to be considered for selection into the program, potential candidates must complete the following:
- 1) Meet with a nursing academic advisor or health-science career advisor. PRIOR to the application deadline (can be obtained from the nursing department or on the health science program application deadline webpage: https://www.southark.edu/academics/health-science/program-application-deadlines
- 2) Submit official college transcripts, including SouthArk transcripts as these are not accessible by program faculty.
- 3) APPLY HERE: Complete and submit the Practical Nursing application
- 4) Successfully complete the TEAS entrance exam. TEAS scores that are older than one year prior to the program application deadline date are not accepted. Current TEAS requirements are listed under Academics / Health Science.
- IMPORTANT NOTES:
- It is the student's responsibility to hand deliver their TEAS test results to the nursing department, the same day that he/she tests. The TEAS test results must be stamped and signed by the Testing and Learning Center or it will not be accepted.
- Students will be allowed to take the TEAS four (4) times, and the highest TEAS score on file at the application deadline will be the score that is accepted and utilized to calculate the student's total points.
- The TEAS test must have been taken by the student within one year prior to the application deadline. TEAS scores older than that are not accepted.
- Applicants will be selected based on a point system derived from a combination of cumulative GPA, prerequisite GPA, and TEAS scores.
Upon acceptance into the program the student will be required to:
- Provide proof of a criminal background check upon request per instructions by the program faculty. (Students with certain offenses on the background check may not be allowed to remain in the program and/or may not be allowed by the Ark. State Board of Nursing to take the NCLEX-PN exam. More information can be gained from the Director of Nursing Programs at SouthArk)
- Provide proof of an unencumbered drug screen upon request per instructions by the program faculty.
- Provide proof of current AHA (American Heart Association) Healthcare Provider level of CPR certification.
- Provide proof of negative PPD skin test or evidence of negative chest x-ray if skin testing not allowed.
- Provide proof of Hepatitis B immunization series or sign Declination Statement.
- Provide proof of immunity to varicella. Proof may consist of 1) proof of vaccination, or 2) varicella antibody titer indicating immunity.
- Provide proof of current influenza vaccination.
Advanced Placement: Due to differences in nursing curricula in other nursing programs, South Arkansas Community College Nursing Program will not accept transfer credit for previously taken practical nursing courses from other colleges. Students who are or have previously been enrolled in a nursing program at another college will need to follow the same requirements and admission procedures as students who have never attended another nursing program.
Concurrent Courses Policy: The nursing curriculum at South Arkansas Community College is designed to meet the requirements as set forth by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing. The nature of the nursing curriculum is rigorous and fast-paced. Therefore, no nursing student will be allowed to take non-nursing courses, including pre-requisite courses, concurrently while in the nursing program. Although there are some semesters with fewer than 15 credit hours, the nursing program and health science administration believe that it is in the best interest of the student and their ultimate success to be limited to nursing courses only for the duration of the nursing program, therefore no concurrent enrollment of prerequisite or other courses will be allowed.
Academic Progression: Students must complete all components of nursing courses with a grade of "C" (80) or higher to progress to the following semester. Each preceding semester is a prerequisite to the following semester. Courses are sequenced so that material covered in subsequent courses is based on that covered in previous courses. A numerical average of less than 80 ("C") in any course in the program, will result in dismissal and the program will have to be repeated in its entirety.
Students must have successfully completed all components of the program with a minimum numerical average of 80 ("C") in order to graduate from the program with a Technical Certificate in Practical Nursing. Students must complete and submit a graduation application prior to the deadline. The Registrar's office and/or program faculty will inform the students when this application is due.
NCLEX-PN (Licensure exam):
Successful graduates of the PN program are eligible to apply to take the NCLEX-PN licensure exam (application will be performed near the end of the program with guidance from program faculty). Graduating from a nursing program does not assure ASBN's approval to take the licensure examination. Eligibility to take the examination is dependent upon meeting standards in the ASBN Nurse Practice Act and Rules. Graduating from a nursing program does not assure that the student will pass the NCLEX-PN licensure exam.
The Arkansas State Board of Nursing requires a criminal background check, which is completely separate/different from the one performed for program admission, for all graduates who are applying for licensure. Each student admitted into the program will be required to sign a statement before beginning the nursing program that states that he/she has read and understands ACA 17-87-312 and the specific offenses which, if pled guilty to, pled nolo contendere to, or found guilty of, will make an individual ineligible to receive or hold a license in Arkansas. You can access this information at the Arkansas State Board website at www.arsbn.arkansas.gov. Each student will also have to answer a question concerning their criminal background while completing the NCLEX-PN exam application near the end of the program. Students who are dishonest on this application may not be allowed to take the NCLEX-PN exam by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing.
Readmission of Former Students Procedure:
Readmission is not automatic or assumed. If a student was accepted for admission into a program one time and did not complete the program for academic or personal reasons, he/she is eligible for readmission into the program for a second time ONLY as only two attempts are allowed in the program. Students wishing to be readmitted must have left the program in good standing. Some students may not be eligible for readmission if he/she was dismissed for certain infractions, examples of which are stated in the nursing student handbook. These reasons include, but are not limited to, those involving disciplinary issues, unsafe practice, neglect/abuse, insubordination, poor or uncooperative attitude, behavioral problems, violation of key policies (ex: drug/alcohol, HIPAA,...), and/or other severe reasons.
Students wishing to be considered for readmission to the program must reapply. The program director will review the application of each student who is eligible for a second admission. In the event of readmission, the program will have to be repeated in its entirety.
If the TEAS is less than 12 months old, it will be accepted; if it is older than 12 months, the TEAS scores will not be accepted and the test must be repeated.
Disclosure Statement for Vaccinations, Immunizations, and/or Testing/Screening Required by Clinical, Practicum, Fieldwork and/or Internship/Externship Sites
Students currently in, entering into, or applying for entry into any health science program at South Arkansas Community College must understand that:
- Successful completion of the clinical, practicum, fieldwork, and/or internship/externship program component is a requirement for graduation from these programs;
- Clinical, practicum, fieldwork, and/or internship/externship sites require students to have received certain vaccinations, immunizations, possibly including the Covid-19 vaccination, and to have successfully passed testing/screenings such as a drug screen and a criminal background check, in order to be allowed to attend clinical, etc., in their facility.
- Some facilities do not allow students to attend clinical, etc., in their facility until after the student has fully completed the Covid-19 vaccination doses recommended by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
- Therefore, if the student has not received or completed the vaccinations and immunizations, including a complete Covid-19 vaccination (if applicable), and successfully passed testing/screenings that are required by the clinical, practicum, fieldwork, and/or internship/externship site(s) and has not yet successfully completed these required program components, the student will not graduate from the program.
- Successful graduation from the applicable health science program is required in order to sit for the profession’s licensure, certification, registration, etc., examination.
- The program graduate will not be able to work in the applicable health science profession if he/she is not licensed, certified, registered, etc., in the profession.
|Alison Alderson||Admissions RN
Courtyard Health and Rehabilitation
|Stephanie Schmittou, BSN, RN||Director Nursing
Magnolia Regional Medical Center
|Amy Triplet||Chief Nursing Officer
Medical Center of South Arkansas
|Kim Breshears, RN||Director of Nursing
Oak Ridge Nursing Home
|Karen McCullar||Director of Nursing
Courtyard Health and Rehabilitation
|Diane Isaacs||Director of Nursing
Ouachita County Medical Center
|Sherri Arrington, DNP, RN||Director of Nursing
South Arkansas Community College
|Kara Yutzy||Director of Nursing
Hudson Memorial Nursing Home
Director of Nursing
Courtyard Health and Rehab
Drew Memorial Hospital
Bradley County Medical Center
|Peggy Hargett||Consumer Representative|
Director of Nursing
Timberlane Health & Rehab
Director of Nursing
Grace Point Health Care
|Julia Ellerbe||Student Representative
South Arkansas Community College
|Caroline Hammond||Dean of Health Sciences
South Arkansas Community College