ASBN - RN Initial by Exam
This License Application is for new graduates that wish to apply for initial licensure by examination. It is NOT an application for renewal or endorsement of a license from another state.
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 Arkansas State Board of Nursing (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.
The following 1- 5 is required:
1. State Application for Licensure Information
- Applications should be submitted approximately 60 days prior to graduation.
- No application is complete until all required documentation and fees are received. Completed applications are valid for one year from date of submission.
- If needed, NCLEX accommodations can be requested when completing the state application for licensure.
- A valid United States social security number is required for individuals applying for licensure.
Declaration of Primary State of Residence
- Declaration of your Primary State of Residence is made within the application.
- Definition of Primary State of Residence: The state (also known as the home state) in which a nurse declares a primary residence for legal purposes. Sources used to verify a nurse’s primary residence may include but is not limited to, a current:
- driver’s license with a home address;
- federal income tax return with a primary state of residence declaration;
- voter registration card with a home address;
- military form no. 2058 (state of legal residence certificate); or
- W2 form from the United States government or any bureau, division, or agency thereof, indicating residence.
- If your primary state of residence is a compact state; you must apply for licensure in your primary state of residence. If your primary state of residence is Arkansas or a non-compact state, you can apply for licensure in Arkansas.
- Click here for a list of compact states.
2. Fee Information
- Click here for current fees.
- The accepted method of payment is with a credit card (Visa, MasterCard, or Discover).
- Verify that the charges are correct before submitting application.
- ALL FEES ARE NON-REFUNDABLE.
- You will receive a payment receipt by email which should be printed as proof of payment.
3. Affidavit of Graduation Information
- Before your application can be processed, your program director must confirm you have completed the nursing education program by completing the Affidavit of Graduation.
- If you graduated from a nursing program located in Arkansas, the Affidavit of Graduation is completed electronically by the program director after completion of all of the nursing education program requirements.
- If you graduated from a nursing program outside of Arkansas, your nursing education program director must complete a paper Affidavit of Graduation form and mail it directly to the Arkansas Board of Nursing.
- Click here for a copy of the paper Affidavit of Graduation form.
4. Pearson VUE Registration/NCLEX Information
- Complete registration for NCLEX with the testing vendor, Pearson VUE, before or at the same time you submit the State Application for Licensure.
- In order to assist in the processing of your application, please provide your social security number on the registration for Pearson VUE.
- Click here for additional information regarding Pearson VUE registration.
5. Criminal Background Check Information
- Arkansas law requires applicants for licensure to submit a State and Federal criminal background check. If an applicant has pleaded guilty, nolo contendere, or been found guilty of any offense listed in ACA §17-3-102, he/she is not eligible for Arkansas licensure. ACA §17-3-102 provides opportunity to request a waiver of eligibility criteria related to a criminal background in certain circumstances.
- All applicants must submit application for conduction of State and Federal Criminal Background Checks by following instructions located on the ASBN website www.arsbn.org and submitting your request by accessing the Criminal Background Checks System
- You must print the Criminal Background Check Instructions and FOLLOW DIRECTIONS CAREFULLY. THIS SYSTEM IS SEPARATE FROM APPLICATION SUBMISSION.
- State and Federal criminal background results must be received by the Board office prior to issuance of a license.
- Click here for Criminal Background Check Instructions.
- Click here for Criminal Background Checks System.
6. Temporary Permit Information
- A temporary permit, which authorizes practice as a nurse in Arkansas while waiting to take the licensure examination, may be requested for an additional fee.
- A temporary permit is only issued within 90 days of program completion.
- A temporary permit is only issued if applicant is registered with Pearson VUE and state and federal background checks are clear.
- The temporary permit is valid for 90 days or upon notification to the applicant or ASBN of the results of the first examination she/he is eligible to take (whichever comes first).
- Once issued, temporary permit status may be verified by accessing the website Nursys.com. Choose the second portal, Quick Confirm.
7. Licensure Information
- An official transcript 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 nursing program. In accordance with the Arkansas State Board of Nursing Rules, a transcript shall reflect:
- Courses taken,
- Dates of admission,
- State of separation or graduation from the program,
- Hours/credits, units earned, degree, diploma, or certificate awarded,
- Signature of the program director, registrar or official electronic signature and
- Seal of the school or be printed on security paper or an official electronic document.
- The initial license is provided free of charge.
- Once a license is issued, licensure status may be verified by accessing www.nursys.com ASBN does not mail out a paper license.
- 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.
- 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.