UACCM Academic Information Practical Nursing

Frequently Asked Questions


What are the pre-requisite courses for the nursing program?

There are 12 hours of pre-requisite courses. These include BIOL 2004 Human Anatomy and Physiology I (4 credit hours), BIOL 2014 Human Anatomy and Physiology II (4 credit hours), and NUR 1004 Nursing Assistant (4 credit hours) or a current Arkansas certified nursing assistant license.

Will I be required to take an entrance exam prior to entering the nursing program?

Yes, all students who want to be considered for admission into the nursing program will be required to take the NLN-PAX (Pre-Admission Examination).

How do I apply for admission into the nursing program?

Once you have completed the pre-requisite courses or are currently enrolled in them, you may be eligible to apply for the nursing program. A minimum 2.50 GPA & 102 PAX composite score are also required. All applications must be completed online. You will also need to register to take the PAX exam. You may take the exam prior to applying to the Practical Nursing program. All documents for application must be turned in before the application deadline to be considered. This includes the PAX exam results and proof of nursing assistant certification, if applicable. Late applications and documents will not be accepted.

How long will the nursing program take?

Once a student has completed the pre-requisite courses and been accepted into the program, it is an 18-month program.

When does the nursing program start?

A new class begins each Spring (January) and Fall (August).

How many students are selected for the program?

Up to 24 students are selected each Spring and each Fall semester.

How do I get into the nursing program?

A Practical Nurse Selection Rating Form will be used to assign points to each applicant according to the PAX exam, education points from your transcript, and your cumulative grade point average (GPA). The rating form will be used to tabulate the points for each applicant. The applicants will be ranked from highest to lowest. Students will be selected for admission into the program based upon the number of points received from the selection criteria. A minimum GPA of 2.50 is required for application.

How do I read the PAX exam results and apply them to the application?

Points are given for the Composite Score (must be 102 or higher to be eligible for application) & points are also given for Science & Reading individual scores.

Do you offer evening or online courses for the nursing program?

? The pre-requisite courses may be offered online or during the evening. However, once accepted into the actual nursing track, no evening classes are available. Some nursing courses are online, but class time is definitely required.

Do I have to take any remedial courses?

Once you take the ACT, ACCUPLACER or COMPASS test, please visit with an Admissions Counselor about your scores. They can review your scores and help you with any course placement. UACCM offers different levels of remediation, and a counselor can help you determine if you have to take any of those courses.

Do courses from other colleges transfer in?

When transferring credits from other colleges, there is not a guarantee that the credit will transfer. However, if you have taken any of the prerequisite courses at another institution, please contact the Registrar with you official transcript in order to determine if these credits may transfer. You may also make an appointment to meet with the Dean of Health Professions and Natural Sciences.

Can I work a full time job while going through the nursing program?

Working is not prohibited, but students are strongly advised to limit work hours as much as possible. Most students have found it difficult to manage a job and succeed in the program due to time commitments.

Do I have to have all my prerequisite courses completed before applying to the nursing program?

Practical Nursing prerequisite courses must be completed prior to the program start date for the semester.  Students may be enrolled in their final pre-requisite classes at the time of selection. NOTE: If you are enrolled in the pre-requisite courses, you are eligible to apply; however, you will not receive education points for courses in which you are currently enrolled. You must submit an official transcript to UACCM.

Is this an Associate’s Degree or a Technical Certificate?

The Practical Nursing program is a technical certificate program. It requires 57 semester hours to complete the certificate, not including any remedial courses that may be necessary.

What if I am not selected for the nursing program the first time I apply?

Students who are not selected as a candidate to the Practical Nursing program must submit a new application packet each semester they wish to be considered for admission to the program. There is not a waiting list and there is no guarantee that students that make alternates will be admitted into the program.

Are financial aid and/or scholarships available?

Yes. There are several financial aid/scholarship options. For more information, you can call the financial aid office. One of the first things to do is complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®). UACCM’s school code is 005245.

What is the NCLEX?

The National Council Licensure Examination is the competency examination for licensure. Currently the cost of the test is $200. Those interested in working as a Licensed Practical Nurse in the state of Arkansas are required to both graduate from a state-approved nursing program and pass the NCLEX – PN national licensure examination.

Does graduating from a state-approved nursing program guarantee that I will receive a license?

Admission to or completion of the nursing program does not guarantee licensure in Arkansas or any other state, or eligibility to sit for the NCLEX-PN ® exam. State Boards of Nursing determines whether a graduate may sit for an exam after completion of the program.

When is the deadline to apply for the nursing program?

The deadline for the Spring semester is October 15th. The deadline for the Fall semester is May 15th of each academic year.

Is there a limit on attempts to pass Anatomy and Physiology?

Yes. We have just implemented a limit of two attempts for both Anatomy and Physiology I and II. If a student has a Nursing focus and wishes to enroll in either course for a third attempt to pass the class, they will be counseled by their advisor or the Program Chair for Nursing and require approval from the Dean of Health Professions and Natural Sciences.

Do Anatomy and Physiology I and II have to be from the same institution?

Yes. According to the Arkansas Course Transfer System (ACTS), Anatomy and Physiology I and II must be from the same institution (beginning in the Fall 2007).

How often can a student take the PAX exam?

Students will only be allowed to take the PAX exam one time per application period. The PAX exam will be given in Testing Services prior to the application deadline. Testing dates are available Tuesdays and Wednesdays between March 1 – May 1 and August 1 – October 1. The exam will only be given during these dates.

Can I use PAX exam results from prior application periods?

Yes. PAX exam results from one test application period given at UACCM within the last 2 years will be considered.

What subjects are covered on the PAX exam?

There are 3 subject areas that you will be tested over on the PAX which include Verbal Ability, Mathematics, and Science at a high school level. This is a standardized entrance exam for potential nursing students who seek admittance into nursing schools nationwide.

Is there a study guide available for the PAX exam?

Yes. There are several study guide options available online. You may also purchase a variety of study plans through the NLN website. There are free study materials available online. Some of these include and There are also study apps available for download to your phone. The use of other forms of study guides is strongly urged. You may also visit for more resources and study tips for the PAX exam.

Will I have to have a criminal background check done?

Yes, students will be required to complete a background check upon selection into the Practical Nursing program. Students must have a clean background check to be admitted into the program. For more information or questions about the criminal background check, please contact the Nursing Department or visit the Nursing Admission Process webpage (under Criminal Background Check) of the UACCM website.

How much does the Practical Nursing program cost?

The cost of the program may vary for each student, depending on if you have to take any remedial courses and also depending on where you live. In addition to tuition, there are also other fees and costs incurred.

Where will my clinicals be held?

Mandatory clinicals often require a lot of travel and times vary. Clinicals may be held at nursing homes, hospitals, schools, hospice, and a variety of other health care facilities across multiple counties surrounding Conway County. Clinical hours may begin at the clinical site as early as 6 a.m. and end as late as 6 p.m. depending upon the clinical planned.

I already have a bachelor’s Degree. Will this help me get into the nursing program?

In order to apply for the nursing program, the prerequisite courses must be completed or currently enrolled in them. If you did not complete the prerequisite courses with your Bachelor’s degree, then you will be required to complete the courses. Having a Bachelor’s degree may increase your educational point value if you have completed the prerequisite. If not, then holding a degree will not increase your chance of being accepted into the program.

What are the responsibilities of a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)?

LPNs provide direct patient care under the supervision of a healthcare provider with an advance degree (i.e., RN, APN, Physician). Direct care includes: observation of patient status, taking and monitoring vital signs, providing treatments (i.e., dressing changes and care of wounds), administering medications, collecting/performing laboratory tests, monitoring and recording intake and output. In addition, LPNs supervise Certified Nursing Assistants.

Does UACCM offer a RN program?

Yes, but it is a Licensed Practical Nurse to Registered Nurse bridge program. You must be a LPN first before applying to the Registered Nurse program. The Registered Nurse program also has pre-requisites that are needed before applying. Applications for the Registered Nurse program are due by August 31 and classes begin in January of each year. For more information on this program, visit the Registered Nursing page on the UACCM website.

What other documents will I need to be admitted into the nursing program?

To be admitted, students need to submit the application, PAX results, and if applicable, a copy of their current nursing assistant license. After being accepted into the nursing program, students will be given information on how to obtain the required American Heart Healthcare Provider CPR certification, TB evaluation, and required vaccinations. Students will also be given direction on how to submit for a background and maltreatment checks. Accepted students are also required to pass a drug screening.

I have children at home and I am not sure how I am going to afford my nursing supplies, what do I do?

Arkansas Career Pathways is a grant funded program that is available to students who have minor children living at home. You must meet certain criteria to qualify. There is an income limit due to number of people living in your household. If you qualify for certain government assistance, you may qualify for this program. For more information about the educational and financial help that Career Pathways can provide, please contact the Career Pathways Office at 501-977-2186.

What kind of CPR certification do I need?

You must possess an American Heart Association, Level C Healthcare Provider certification. It must include both cognitive and skills sections. The Workforce Training Center offers CPR courses.