Nursing Home Administrator Licensing

Nursing Home Administrator Licensing

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.

Application Process

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-427, 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

State and Federal 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.

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. Due to COVID-19, health and safety protocols have been put in place for all testers and exam proctors. These include:

  • Testing capacity will be 10 people maximum in order to provide spacing 6ft or more apart.
    • Seats will be marked off and pre-positioned for testers to choose from.
  • Testers will be required to enter through the first-floor lobby, complete the COVID-19 screening process and check in with security before entering the testing site. Any tester failing the screening procedure will not be allowed to enter. Testers are required to bring a photo ID.
  • Testers will provide basic contact information in order for DHS to utilize for contact tracing purposes, if necessary.
  • Testers will be required to wear a mask while entering the building, walking to/from the testing site, and during the entirety of the exam. Masks must be worn at all times while inside the DHS building.
  • No special materials are needed or required for the exam. Testers are instructed to bring their own pen/pencil. Supplied pens/pencils, if needed, will be wiped down before and after use.
  • Testers and Exam Proctors will be required to use hand sanitizer prior to handling papers or other materials that may be exchanged. 
  • Hand sanitizer will be available on each table during the exam 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.
  • Testing rooms will be sprayed and wiped down at the conclusion of the event. This includes tables, chairs, doorknobs, etc.

Study materials for the State Exam will be available online soon and are free. 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

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.

For more information regarding special licensure provisions that military service members, military veterans or military spouses may qualify for, please see Arkansas Senate Bill 564 (SB564) enacted in the 92nd 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

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.


Rules and Regulations for Licensure of Nursing Home Administrators in Arkansas


Application for Nursing Home Administrators

LTC Administrator Criminal Record Check (DMS-7799) and Information Sheet for Administrator Applicants Regarding Criminal Record Check

Application Letter of Instruction

Administrator License Renewal Form

Reciprocity Licensing Questionnaire

Additional Links

National Administrator Board

DPSQA Address

700 Main Street Slot S-427
Little Rock, AR  72203-1437 

DPSQA Phone Number


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