RN Admission Requirements

Registered Nursing Entrance Requirements

Applicants must show proof of:

  • Completion of an ARNEC program application packet
  • Graduation from a State Board approved technical/practical nursing program
  • Possess a valid, unencumbered LPN/LPTN/LVN license
  • Completion of the required general education courses from an accredited college or university with a grade of “C” or better - 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.
  • A cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale) or above. GPA is composed of the overall required general education courses.
  • An official high school transcript (or GED completion transcript)
  • Official transcripts from all colleges attended
  • All classes are taught in the English language, making it necessary that students are able to read, speak, write, and comprehend the English language proficiently. All international students and students who speak English as a second language must pass a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
  • Taken the assigned pre-entrance exam
  • Drug screen (per admitting institution protocol)

Students will be ranked and selected based on required general education course GPA and pre-entrance exam scores. Students must comply with the admission requirements set forth by the admitting institution in addition to the ARNEC requirements.


Applicants who 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 provide the following:

  • Current American Heart Association: Healthcare Provider CPR course (AHA/BLS-HCP)
  • Current PPD Skin Test or Chest X-Ray
  • Verification that the Hepatitis B series has been completed or started, or that a Waiver Claim Form is signed.
  • 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.
  • Selected applicants must take and pass a medical math competency exam with a 90% pass rate. Applicants will have three chances to successfully pass the exam. A sample test will be provided to the applicant prior to testing.
  • After the math competency exam has been successfully passed, the selected applicant must complete and pass the background check. An instruction sheet will be provided to the applicant (~$39.00 cost). Students selected for admission will receive a letter of acceptance into the program by mid-October, and will need to provide the admitting institution a written 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.

Note: All students admitted to the Arkansas Rural Nursing Education Consortium LPN/LVN to RN program must read the Arkansas Nurse Practice Act, ACA §17-87-312, (provided in course syllabi each semester) and submit a signed statement indicating that they understand that graduating from a nursing program in Arkansas does not assure the Arkansas State Board of Nursing's approval to take the licensure examination.

Academic Progression

In order to progress in the nursing curriculum, the student must meet the following criteria: The student must maintain a 2.0 “C” (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. See Graduation Policy below to review the final comprehensive exit exam that must be passed for program completion.

Grading Scale for ARNEC LPN to RN Program*

90-100 = A
84-89 = B
78-83 = C
70-77 = D (failing)
69 or below = F

*This program is a consortium of six two-year colleges and therefore has a common grading scale approved by the ARNEC board.

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.


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 the 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. Students MUST achieve a score at or above the current national passing average on the final comprehensive exit exam to complete the requirements for the NCLEX-RN Preparation course. The student will be allowed to take the final comprehensive exit exam a total of three times. Students cannot sit for each exam attempt more than once per day.

Should the student not achieve the required score after the third attempt, then it will be recommended for the student to attend an NCLEX-RN Review course. If the student fails the final comprehensive exit exam after three attempts, then the student will not have completed the requirements for the course, and will not graduate or be recommended to sit for the NCLEX-RN. An “I” (incomplete) grade will be temporarily given. The student must also comply with their attending college’s grading policies (see college catalog). Prior to the end of the spring semester, the student must contact their Program Chair to schedule up to three additional attempts on the exit exam. If the student passes (achieves a score at or above the national average), then the student will have completed the requirement for completion of the NCLEX-RN Preparation course, and be awarded the AAS in Nursing degree, which allows them to apply to sit for the NCLEX-RN licensing examination. If the student is unsuccessful (does not achieve a grade at or above the national passing average) on their three additional attempts on the final comprehensive exit exam, then their “I” (incomplete) grade will be converted to a failing grade.

After the student passes the final comprehensive exit exam, they will complete the remaining 50% of the NCLEXRN Preparation course. The other 50% of this course is completed via the online review course that students complete toward the end of the fall semester.

Due to unforeseen circumstances (i.e., unacceptable criminal background check), graduation from the ARNEC LPN/LPTN to RN Transition program does NOT automatically enable the student to sit for the NCLEX-RN. This is determined by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing.


UA Cossatot Textbook Program
Learn how our new textbook program can save you hundreds of dollars! learn more >

connect with us online

Like us on Facebook and follow us on
Twitter for the latest news and info.
©2016 Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas
183 College Drive  •  De Queen, AR 71832  •  phone: 870-584-4471  •  toll free: 800-844-4471
En Español  |   Accessibility  |   Policies  |   Consumer Information |   Open Checkbook |    Financial Info

designed, developed & marketed byFLEX360 - Little Rock, Arkansas Web Development Firm