Nursing Home Administrators (NHA) are required to be licensed by the State of Arkansas. Minimum qualifications for licensure are:
- An Associate’s Degree or higher from a college or university
- Experience in a nursing home (3 months to 1 year depending on degree)
- Pass a criminal record check
- Work experience or education in the five basic core areas of accounting, management, personnel, writing, and resident care (one three-hour college course per area or eighteen weeks work experience per area)
Individuals who do not meet the above qualifications for a NHA license may be eligible to enroll in the Arkansas Administrator-in-Training Program (AIT) offered by the Arkansas Health Care Foundation (AHCF). The program is designed for individuals who have at least six to seven years work experience in a nursing home but lack a degree; or have a degree but lack the work experience. The AIT curriculum is a 640-hour program consisting of facility-based training under the supervision of a preceptor and classroom courses. Information about qualifications, application forms, and fees may be obtained by contacting AHCF at 501-374-4422.
Applicants can apply for a review of the qualifications by submitting the Application for Nursing Home Administrators (DMS-7790) to DHS along with the required licensing fee. This form does require a notary authentication. Applications and fee shall be sent by Certified Mail to DPSQA Nursing Home Administrator Licensing, P.O. Box 8059, Slot S-402, Little Rock, Arkansas 72203. The application form and any additional forms can be located below in the Forms section.
Once an application has been approved, the applicant must pass both a state and federal licensure exam. The applicant has 18 months from the date of the approval in which to complete exams and become licensed. See below for information on required exams.
One-half of the application fee may be refunded to the applicant if a license is denied because (a) the application is not approved, (b) the applicant does not pass the exams, or (c) any other reason deemed appropriate by DHS. This refund must be requested in writing.
If you have questions concerning the NHA Licensing application or forms, please email at NHA.Licensure@dhs.arkansas.gov.
Federal and State Licensing Exams
After the NHA application has been approved by DHS, the applicant can register for the NAB test via the internet. The National Administrator Board (NAB) Exam, often referred to as the federal exam, is a two-part exam consisting of the Core Exam and either the NHA LOS or the RCAL/HCBS Exam. These exams are currently being provided through a computer-based testing system. NOTE: The NAB Exam does require a separate registration fee. Please see the National Administrator Board website for more detail. Completion of the NAB exam component must be complete prior to registering and testing for the State Licensure Exam.
The Arkansas Nursing Home Administrator State Licensure Exam is currently being held in-person at the Arkansas Department of Human Services building in Little Rock, Arkansas.
- Testing capacity will be 25 people maximum in order to provide spacing 6ft or more apart.
- Testers will be required to enter through the first-floor lobby, and are required to bring a photo ID.
- No special materials are needed or required for the exam. Pencils are provided. Testers are not allowed to have anything at their test seat during the test except test and pencil provided.
- Exam Proctors are available to answer any questions.
- Hand sanitizer will be available for use.
- Testers will leave their exam (face down) on the table once they are finished and exit the building. Exams will be collected by the proctor after the exams are finished.
Study materials for the State Exam will be available online soon and are free. The State Exam is based off of information provided within the Nursing Facility Regulations and the Rules for Conducting Criminal Record Checks for Employees of LTC Facilities. The applicant, however, must purchase study materials for the NAB federal exams.
For questions regarding the Arkansas Nursing Home State Licensure Exam, please email at NHA.Testing@dhs.arkansas.gov.
Veterans, Military Members and Spouses
The state of Arkansas recognizes the contributions of our military service members and their spouses and veterans. Military service members or veterans may have met some licensing requirements as a result of their military service or other training, knowledge and experience. Military spouses of current, active duty military service members also may have met some license requirements related to this status. Modifications to renewal requirements may also be available for some military service members on active duty.
r more information regarding special licensure provisions that military service members, military veterans or military spouses may qualify for, please see Arkansas Act 135 (previously SB564) enacted in the 93rd General Assembly.
Military personnel and their spouses and veterans who are interested in the Nursing Home Administrator occupation and would like additional information regarding requirements may email NHA.Licensure@dhs.arkansas.gov.
We extend our heartfelt thanks to military service members, veterans, and their families for their dedicated service to the United States of American and to the state of Arkansas.
Request for Approval of Nursing Home Administrator Continuing Education Hours (this form is for any individual, facility or organization who is looking to provide CEs to Administrators. This is not for Administrators to request approval of the CEs they may have taken.)
Request for Approval of Nursing Home Administrator Continuing Education Hours Addendum page (please attach this page to your original request form to identify any additional dates/times you would like CE hours to be reviewed for)