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ASBN - Adv Practice Registered Nurse Initial by Exam

Initial Licensure by Exam

Information & Application Process

If you are applying for an Arkansas APRN license and you DO NOT already hold APRN licensure in another state(s).

The Arkansas Nurse Portal will enable you to create a user profile account which is a prerequisite to the application process. A valid personal email address rather than a work email is preferable.

In order to expedite your license application process, there are specific documents and data which should be readily on hand. First, proceed to Select the Quick confirm tab. Scroll down and select “I agree”. Enter the requested information and download your report. Print the information. This will supply your complete licensing history.

All applicants for initial licensure must provide a notarized statement (on company letterhead) attesting the applicant has practiced as a registered nurse for a minimum of two-thousand (2,000) hours. Click here for the form. 

You will also need to access your educational history to include the date of graduation for each degree completed. The month and year will suffice for the date of completion.

Complete and submit the licensure application along with associated fees. There is a nominal fee for online processing that will be included in the final total. Payment of associated fees may be made by credit card and are paid within the online process prior to submission of the application. Print the final payment screen as this will have a number that is necessary for applying for your criminal background check.


State and federal background checks are required in order to complete your application. These results are only valid for 12 months. If already on file with ASBN and current (less than one year) you may forego this step. Otherwise you must utilize the criminal background check (CBC) instructions on the ASBN website. Background checks from other agencies will not be accepted.

The federal CBC requires either:

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

You will need to print a copy of the payment page (Payment Summary) for your records. IMPORTANT: You will need the INA Search number that is located on the Payment Summary to include on your fingerprint card. It is also used in the Live Scan process.  The CBC information is found here.


Contact the university/college where you completed your APRN program and have them send an official transcript to the Arkansas State Board of Nursing (ASBN), ATTN: APRN Department, 1123 S. University Ave., Suite #800, Little Rock, AR 72204.


Have your certifying agency submit verification that you passed the certification exam. Verification information should be mailed directly to the ASBN address above or emailed to Ellen Harwell, Licensing Coordinator, at


RN Licensure Verification

To be licensed as an APRN in Arkansas, you must hold an RN (Arkansas or compact state) and APRN license.

If you hold current RN licensure in Arkansas, skip this section.
If you hold RN licensure in a state that is NOT a compact state, you must also apply for an Arkansas RN license.
If you hold a multistate RN licensure in a compact state (other than Arkansas), you must submit verification of your RN licensure by logging on to Choose Nurse License Verification for Endorsement. Submit a verification request.


If you would like a temporary permit, select this during the application process. There is an additional, nonrefundable fee.

In order to be eligible for a temporary permit, you must:

  1. Submit an official transcript showing your degree and APRN role/specialty directly from your school
  2. Arkansas state criminal background check result (no violations of ACA 17-87-312)
  3. Submit verification of your eligibility to sit for your national certification exam

The temporary permit is valid for up to six months, is nonrenewable, and does NOT apply to prescriptive authority.

The temporary permit becomes invalid if the applicant fails their respective certification exam. Upon receipt of the verification of certification, the temporary permit will be voided and the full APRN license will be issued.

To verify confirmation of a temporary permit or full license being issues, log onto and follow the instructions for the Quick Confirm access.


You do not automatically receive Prescriptive Authority with the issuance of your APRN license. The application for Prescriptive Authority must be completed in the Arkansas Nurse Portal.

You must submit an application for prescriptive authority in your nurse portal account. You may request prescriptive authority at a later time ( if you are not employed, therefore do not have a CPA or QA plan). Prescriptive Authority includes an additional fee.

IN ADDITION TO THE ONLINE APPLICATION, you are required to submit two items:

Collaborative Practice Agreement (CPA), and
Quality Assurance (QA) Plan.

These documents should be uploaded in your application.

Prescribing protocols

APRNs with Prescriptive Authority must have prescriptive protocols (indications for and classifications of legend and controlled substances). You must modify the example provided to meet your specialty as this is a generic form.

To prescribe a legend drug, medicine or therapeutic device not included in the written protocols the APRN shall obtain a specific written or verbal order obtained from the collaborating physician or podiatrist before the prescription or order is issued.  The APRN shall document the consultation in the client’s medical record.

Do not submit prescriptive protocols to the ASBN unless requested. They must be reviewed and approved yearly by you and your collaborating physician.


Do not apply for a DEA certificate until you receive full APRN licensure and a Prescriptive Authority Certificate number.

If you plan to prescribe Schedules II - V controlled substances, you must apply for a DEA number #. Submit a copy of your DEA # card to the ASBN once received.


Public Health Accrediation Board
Arkansas Department of Health
© 2017 Arkansas Department of Health. All Rights Reserved.
4815 W. Markham, Little Rock, AR 72205-3867