Administrator-In-Training Course

The current application period for the Administrator-In-Training Course is OPEN (scroll to bottom of this page for application).

The AIT Course is offered once per calendar year. Please read prerequisites below. 

Dates for classroom instruction to be announced, tentatively starting in July.

Who should take this course?

People who are currently working in a long-term care facility who plan to take the National Association of Long-Term Care Administrator Boards (NAB) exams and the Arkansas State exam, but do not meet the educational requirements set forth in the Rules and Regulations governing Nursing Home Administrator Licensure. Applicants must meet the eligibility criteria listed on the AIT Application check list.

What will I do in this course?

The AIT course is composed of two components: Classroom instruction and facility-based instruction with a certified preceptor. AITs will be required to complete the facility-based instruction at a local skilled nursing facility which employs a qualified administrator who has agreed to serve as the AIT’s preceptor. The preceptor will determine the AIT’s specific schedule, but each AIT will be expected to complete 568 hours of facility-based instruction over 16 weeks.

How long is this course?

This course is 16 weeks total and is comprised of classroom instruction and facility-based instruction. AITs must complete 72 hours of classroom instruction as scheduled by AHCF. AITs must complete 568 hours of facility-based instruction under the supervision of a certified preceptor at a skilled nursing facility. Classroom instruction and facility-based instruction should be completed in entirety by the end of the 16-week course.

Is this course required if I wish to sit for the NAB or Arkansas State exam?

No, this course is designed for individuals who do not have the education or work experience to be eligible for licensure exams. It is not required for individuals who qualify based on the Rules and Regulations for Nursing Home Administrator Licensure.

How is the class structured? 

The course is offered one time per year. Students will attend four in-person sessions for the classroom portion of the course at AHCF’s training center located in Little Rock. Each classroom session will be two days long for a total of 72 hours of classroom instruction. AIT students will work with their preceptor for their facility-based training to take place over the course of 16 weeks.

Will the AHCF help me find a preceptor?

The AHCF does not provide placement services for the program. You must have a qualified administrator, willing to take a workshop provided each year by the AHCF, prior to the start of the course. Qualifications for a preceptor are as follows:

  • Must have held an Arkansas Nursing Home Administrator License for at least 3 years
  • must be currently employed as a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator or hold a management position while maintaining an active nursing home administrator license in Arkansas
  • No repeat findings of substandard quality of care or immediate jeopardy within the last 3 year
  • At least 21 years of age
  • Attend Preceptor workshop provided by AHCF

What is the attendance policy?

The attendance policy for classroom instruction is extremely rigorous and strict. If a student must leave a classroom session due to unpreventable circumstances, the student will be required to drop the course and re-enroll in the course at a later date. Each AIT must complete both sections of the program, classroom instruction and facility-based instruction, in their entirety without interruptions before a certificate of completion can be issued.

Will this course or AHCF help me find a job? 

After passing this course, you must take and pass both NAB exams (Core and Line of Service) and the Arkansas State exam within 6 months to become a licensed administrator. Completing this course is not a guarantee of a job as an administrator, nor is it a substitution for the NAB exams (Core and Line of Service) and the Arkansas State exam. The AHCF does not provide or assist candidates with employment.

Can I audit this course?

Yes, if you already qualify for the NAB and state licensure examinations you may audit this course. When auditing the course, you will complete 72 hours of classroom instruction only. The facility-based instruction is omitted. The cost to audit the course is $500.

For more information on minimum qualifications for Nursing Home Administrator Licensure in the state of Arkansas, visit

What happens after I complete the course?

Once an AIT has completed 568 hours of facility-based instruction, the AIT and the preceptor will complete an overall performance evaluation that will indicate whether or not the AIT has satisfactorily completed the facility-based instruction component. This evaluation will be placed in the AIT’s file.

Once the AIT has satisfactorily met all requirements for the course, AHCF will issue a certificate of completion to the AIT. The AIT must then apply to take the Arkansas State exam through the Department of Human Services (DHS). AITs will complete a new application through DHS and provide the AIT course certificate of completion in addition to applicable materials and other fees as set by DHS. Completion of the AIT program does not guarantee approval by DHS to sit for nursing home administrator licensure exams. DHS will notify the AIT of approval to take both sections of the NAB exam first. The NAB exam scores will be sent back to DHS. If the AIT achieves passing scores on the NAB exam, DHS will send information regarding a time to take the Arkansas State exam. State testing is currently offered a minimum of four times per year; scheduling is subject to change at DHS’s discretion. Exams must be attempted within 6 months of completion of the AIT course. If an AIT scores below passing, they will be required to complete an additional course of study determined by DHS and AHCF.

AIT Applicant Check List

  • You must meet ALL of the following requirements before applying for admission to the program:
    • Possess a high school diploma or GED
    • Submit to a background check
    • Be at least 21 years old
    • Complete AIT application and include all requested documentation
    • Pay $100 application fee plus $800 course fee totaling $900
    • Have a certified preceptor who has agreed to the mentorship
    • Plan to take the state and NAB exams within 6 months of AIT course completion
  • You must meet at least ONE of the following requirements: 
    • I have an associates degree (or above) from an accredited college
    • I am a registered nurse with 2+ years supervisory experience in a long term care facility
    • I am a licensed practical nurse with 3+ years supervisory experience in a long term care facility
    • I have 6+ years supervisory work experience AND 15 credit hours of college level instruction (only hours for accounting, management, human resources, writing skills, or resident care are applicable)
    • I have 7+ years supervisory/management experience in health care.