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Nursing Assistants in Arkansas

Arkansas, known as “The Natural State,” is a fun mixture of folksy charm and natural beauty. Though it does not have any large metropolitan areas, Arkansas has six national parks, including Hot Springs National Park, as well as 2.5 million acres of national forests and plenty of lakes and rivers for outdoor sports. It has been called home by such notable people as Bill Clinton and Johnny Cash. Today, thousands of CNAs call this state home as well because they love the opportunities provided by this state of nearly 3 million residents. With 15 percent of the population over the age of 65, CNAs have plenty of possibilities for job growth and occupational advancement.

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About AR

– Capital: Little Rock
– Minimum Wage: $8.00
– Number of Hospitals: 84
– Number of Nursing Homes: 24,546


– Total Population: 2,966,369
– Population (ages 45-64): 755,423
– Population (ages 65+): 466,191
– Population (ages 85+): 55,050

Top Universities in Arkansas

– Hendrix College
– University of Arkansas
– Ouachita Baptist University

Being a CNA in Arkansas

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CNA Training Requirements

Taking the Test (Procedure)

Out-of-State Applicants

Renewing & Expired Certification

Applications & Forms

Contacts & Additional Resources

Everyone wishing to become a CNA in Arkansas must complete state-approved training unless the individual is a nursing student who has completed at least one basic nursing class. These students may skip directly to the CNA examination.

CNA training is regulated by the Office of Long Term Care. The Office does not list any requirements for a person’s education or age. However, many employers do not hire people for work in a licensed facility unless they are at least 18 years old. In addition, those applying for a training program will not need a high school diploma although many future employers may make this a requirement. Students will often need to complete a competency examination before training to demonstrate English and reading comprehension as well as basic math skills. They will need to have proof of eligibility to work in the United States, fingerprinting via Live Scan, a photo ID and two additional photographs on file. They will also need to submit to federal and state-level background checks. Finally, students will need to have a negative tuberculosis screening, proof of up-to-date immunizations and a physical examination to show that they can do the hands-on work of a CNA.

The state requires 90 hours of training altogether. The first 16 hours must be completed in the classroom before students can have any direct patient care. The final 74 hours include 58 hours of classroom time and 16 hours of clinical time.

The Arkansas CNA examination is administered by Prometric in coordination with the state’s Office of Long Term Care. Applicants must take and pass the entire test within one year of training completion to avoid having to retrain. The fee for the examination is $75 for both parts along with an initial nonrefundable eligibility screening fee of $10.

The CNA test is taken in two parts, which are initially completed on the same day. The written exam covers general CNA knowledge. Applicants may choose to take this section orally if they have difficulty reading English. Some testing sites use pencil and paper for this part while others use internet-based testing. Those using online testing will receive their scores immediately upon completion while those using pencil and paper will have their scores mailed to them. This section of the test includes 60 multiple-choice questions that must be answered in 90 minutes or less.

The second part of the test is the clinical skills section. Individuals will need to demonstrate five skills, including hand washing and indirect care. Three additional skills will be randomly chosen on the test day. Testers will have 31 to 40 minutes to complete the skills depending on those chosen. The skills will be performed on a resident actor. Once again, individuals testing at a site with internet testing will receive their scores immediately. Others will receive their scores by mail. All testers have up to three attempts to get a passing grade before having to retrain.

CNAs can transfer their certifications to Arkansas from another state should they move. Arkansas often places these CNAs on the state’s registry without requiring them to retest; however, this is not always the case. To become endorsed by Arkansas, CNAs must have an active license in their previous state that is unencumbered with allegations of patient abuse or neglect. Applicants will need to contact the Office of Long Term Care for an application. Arkansas requires a background check and verification that the applicant attended and completed a CNA training program in the former state. They will also need a copy of a certificate from every state where the applicant is currently certified. The process is free as long as applicants are not required to retest.

Arkansas requires CNAs to renew their certifications every two years. The Registry sends out reminders several weeks before renewal along with an application form. To renew, CNAs must have worked for pay for at least eight hours in the past two years. In addition, the license must be unencumbered with allegations of patient abuse, neglect or maltreatment. CNAs who allow their certifications to lapse or who have not worked the required eight hours will be required to retest and will have to pay a retesting fee of $75. The process is free for CNAs who have kept their licenses current. Completed applications should be sent by mail to Prometric.


Arkansas Department of Health

Arkansas State Board of Nursing
Verify your nurses aide license here

Arkansas State Board of Nursing
University Tower Bldg.
1123 South University
Suite 800
Little Rock, AR 72204-1619
Phone: 501-686-2700

Job Outlook for CNAs in AR

Average Salary for CNAs in AR

Arkansas CNAs make a similar salary to many other people in the state. While the income per capita is $22,170, CNAs make an average yearly salary of $21,400 with an average hourly compensation of $10.29. Of course, some CNAs may also receive additional benefits, such as health and dental insurance, which may make their yearly compensation much higher.

Job Outlook in AR

Job openings for CNAs are growing across the county, and Arkansas is no exception. Arkansas currently has 18,060 jobs for CNAs, and new CNAs can often find employment opportunities as experienced CNAs move on to higher educations, such as when becoming a licensed practical nurse. CNAs can work in many of the 84 hospitals or 24,546 nursing homes in the state as well as at home health agencies, Alzheimer’s units, assisted living units and other facilities.

Potential Employment Opportunities

Top Healthcare Facilities in AR
Hospital NameAddressCityStateZipPhoneWebsite
Chi St. Vincent InfirmaryTwo St Vincent CircleLittle RockAR72205501-552-3000Website
Arkansas Surgical Hospital5201 North Shore DriveNorth Little RockAR72118501-748-8000Website
Washington Regional Medical Center3215 North Hills BoulevardFayettevilleAR72703479-463-1000Website
Advance Care Hospital Of Fort Smith7301 Rogers Avenue, 4th FloorFort SmithAR72903479-314-4900Website
Advance Care Hospital Of Hot Springs300 Werner Street, 3rd Floor EastHot Springs National ParkAR71913501-609-4300Website
Advanced Care Hospital Of White County1200 South Main StreetSearcyAR72143501-278-3155Website
Arkansas Heart Hospital1701 South Shackleford RoadLittle RockAR72211501-219-7000Website
Arkansas Methodist Medical Center900 West KingshighwayParagouldAR72450870-239-7000Website
Arkansas State Hospital305 South Palm StreetLittle RockAR72205501-686-9000Website
Ashley County Medical Center1015 Unity RoadCrossettAR71635870-364-4111Website
Baptist Health Extended Care Hospital9601 Interstate 630, Exit 7, 10th FloorLittle RockAR72205501-202-1070Website
Baptist Health Medical Center3333 Springhill DriveNorth Little RockAR72117501-202-3000Website
Baptist Health Medical Center9601 Interstate 630, Exit 7Little RockAR72205501-202-2000Not Available
Baptist Health Medical Center-Arkadelphia3050 Twin Rivers DriveArkadelphiaAR71923870-245-2622Website
Baptist Health Medical Center-Heber Springs1800 Bypass RoadHeber SpringsAR72543501-887-3000Website
Baptist Health Medical Center-Hot Spring County1001 Schneider DriveMalvernAR72104501-332-1000Website
Baptist Health Medical Center-StuttgartNorth Buerkle RoadStuttgartAR72160870-673-3511Not Available
Baxter Regional Medical Center624 Hospital DriveMountain HomeAR72653870-508-1000Website
Booneville Community Hospital880 West Main StreetBoonevilleAR72927479-675-2800Website

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