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.

Admission and Acceptance

Admission and Acceptance

PRIOR to the application deadline, applicants to this professional program MUST:

  1. Complete an ARNEC program application packet. The application must be obtained from the website and submitted online.
  2. Provide proof of graduation from a State Board approved practical/vocational/technical nursing program.
  3. Provide proof of a current, valid, unencumbered LPN/LVN license.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Provide an official copy of high school transcript (or GED completion transcript)
  7. Provide official transcripts from all colleges attended
  8. 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).
  9. Complete the NACE I test, a standardized pre-entrance exam designed for LPNs.

Students will be ranked and selected based upon 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 invitiation so it is highly recommended to complete all of the above mentioned tasks as early as possible. Applications will be date and time-stamped at the time of submission.


Students selected for admission will receive a letter of acceptance into the program by mid-October, and must 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.

Upon acceptance into the program, the student must:

  1. Submit an unencumbered drug screen upon request.
  2. Submit an unencumbered criminal background check.
  3. Provide proof of completion of current American Heart Association:  Healthcare Provider CPR course (AHA/BLS-HCP).
  4. Provide proof of negative PPD skin test, or evidence of negative chest x-ray if skin testing not allowed.
  5. Provide proof of Hepatitis B immunization series upon entry or sign Declination Statement.
  6. Provide proof of immunity to varicella. Proof may consist of 1) proof of vaccination or 2) varicella antibody titer indicating immunity.
  7. 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.

Academic Progression

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 courses, to progress to the next semester. Nursing courses require students to achieve at least a 78% (lowest "C" grade) to progress.

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.
Transfers 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 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.

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 understand 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

Registered Nursing - General Education Curriculum

Registered Nursing - General Education Curriculum

Registered Nursing 
General Education Curriculum
LPNs are required to complete the following general education requirements prior to entering the RN program.
BIOL 2064/L Anatomy and Physiology I/Lab 4
BIOL 2074/L Anatomy and Physiology II/Lab 4
MBIO 1124/L Microbiology with lab 4
ENGL 1113 Composition I 3
ENGL 1123 Composition II 3
MATH 2123 Math for Health Professionals
BIOL 2003 Nutrition and Diet 3
PSYC 2003 General Psychology 3
PSYC 2223 Developmental Psychology 3
CSCI 1003 Computers and Information Processing, 3
Total 33

Nursing Core Requirements

Nursing Core Requirements

Nursing Course Requirements:
Spring Semester (16 weeks): Sem. Hrs SEM. HR. Lecture/Wk Lab/Wk
RNSG 2119 Nursing Process I 9 9 0
RNSG 2123 Nursing Practicum I 3 0 9
Total Credit Hours for Spring Semester:     12
Total Theory Hours: 144      
Total Practicum Hours: 144      
Summer Semester (8-12 weeks): Sem. Hrs Lecture/Wk Lab/Wk
RNSG 2216 Nursing Process II 6 8 0
RNSG 2223 Nursing Practicum II 3 0 9
Total Credit Hours for Summer Semester:     9
Total Theory Hours: 96      
Total Practicum Hours: 108      
Fall Semester (16 weeks): Sem. Hrs Lecture/Wk Lab/Wk
RNSG 2318 Nursing Process III 8 8 0
RNSG 2311 NCLEX-RN Preparation 1 0 9
RNSG 2323 Nursing Practicum III 3 0 9
Total Credit Hours for Fall Semester:     12
Total Theory Hours: 144      
Total Practicum Hours: 144      
Total Program Nursing Theory Hours: 384
Total Program Nursing Practicum Hours (1:3 Ratio): 396
Total General Education Requirement Hours: 33 Hours
Total Nursing Course Requirement Hours: 33 Hours
Total Completion Hours for AAS in Nursing: 66 Hours
If you are interested in further information regarding this program, contact:
Keitha Davidson, Program Director
South Arkansas Community College
300 South West Avenue, El Dorado AR 71730
Phone (870) 862-8131 extension 136 Fax (870) 864-7104