The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Degree in Nursing is a LPN/LVN-to-RN Transition program.
Note: There is a special application and deadline for this program.
This program is a 12-month program that combines classroom instruction with clinical experiences and is part of ARNEC (Arkansas Rural Nursing Education Consortium). ARNEC is a consortium of eight community and technical colleges in rural areas around the state of Arkansas that teamed together to provide a way for LPN's to further their education and become Registered Nurses without having to leave their communities in which they live and work.
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-Newport, Black River Technical College in Pocahontas, Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas in DeQueen, Ozarka College in Melbourne, South Arkansas Community College, the University of Arkansas Community College-Morrilton, Rich Mountain Community College in Mena and the University of Arkansas Community College-Hope.
The program will serve from 10 to 48 students at each of the eight distance learning sites. The number of students selected is dependent upon availability of clinical facilities. Nursing lectures will be scheduled on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 3:30 to 8:30 p.m. Clinical rotations will be completed every other weekend.
This program is designed to meet the needs of working LPNs/LVNs. This program meets the requirements of the Arkansas State Board of Nursing. Graduates of the program receive an Associate of Applied Science Degree and are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN (the Registered Nurse licensing examination).
As the curriculum is rigorous, faculty will admit students based on the students' 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.
Accreditation / Approval
The Arkansas Rural Nursing Education Consortium (ARNEC) located on South Arkansas Community College campus 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 this professional program MUST:
- complete an ARNEC program application packet. The application must be obtained from the website www.arnec.org and submitted online.
- provide proof of graduation from a State Board approved technical/practical nursing program.
- provide proof of a valid, unencumbered LPN/LVN license.
- complete the required general education courses from an accredited college or university with a grade of "C" or better (furnish official transcripts). Applicants may lack one of the required general education courses by August 31. 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.
- exhibit a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale) or above. GPA is calculated on the required general-education courses.
- provide an official copy of high school transcript (or GED completion transcript)
- provide official transcripts from all colleges attended
- exhibit proficiency in reading, writing, speaking, and understanding the English language. International students from a non-English speaking country must take the test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
- complete the NACE I test, a standardized pre-entrance exam designed for LPNs.
Students will be ranked and selected based on the required general education course cumulative GPA and the score on the NACE I test. In the case of a tie for the last slot, the student who submitted his/her application packet first will receive the admission invitation. Applications will be date and time stamped at submission.
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:
- submit an unencumbered drug screen upon request.
- submit an unencumbered criminal background check.
- provide proof of completion of current American Heart Association: Healthcare Provider CPR course (AHA/BLS-HCP).
- provide proof of PPD skin test, or evidence of negative chest x-ray if skin testing not allowed.
- provide proof of Hepatitis B immunization series upon entry 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 flu vaccination.
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.
Students selected for admission will receive a letter of acceptance into the program by mid-October and will need to return the acceptance 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.
In order to progress in the nursing curriculum, the student must maintain a 2.0-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.
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.
Transfers Due to differences in the 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 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.
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.
The Arkansas State Board of Nursing requires a criminal background check for all graduates who are applying for licensure. 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. You will be required to sign a statement before beginning the nursing program that states that you have read and understood 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.
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.