2023 8th Annual
Best Ranked Nursing Colleges in Arizona

Best Ranked RN Programs in Arizona
Best Ranked Nursing Colleges in Arizona

Given its current nursing shortage, aging population, high salary ranges, and quality educational opportunities, Arizona nurses have a great future for job opportunities, competitive salary and career advancement.

Don't settle for less in your nursing education. Dive into our annual ranking report and uncover the top nursing programs based on NCLEX first-time passing rates, accreditation, and affordability. Make an informed decision before considering a nursing school.

The Grand Canyon State is home to a 39 nursing schools, with 11 accredited by the CCNE and 23 accredited by the ACEN.

Nursing students in Arizona can opt for either an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), which takes about 18 to 24 months to finish, or a Bachelor Degree in Nursing (BSN), requiring around 4 years. The state's nursing institutions are notable for their strong NCLEX passing rates. The average passing rate for ADN students lies between 74.20% and 97.00%, while for BSN students, it ranges from 80.14% to 96.43%.

Arizona's job market for Registered Nurses (RN) is very promising, with an anticipated growth rate of 39.3% between 2020 and 2030. This increase will necessitate the addition of 81,460 new RNs by 2030, or around 5,930 new nurses each year.

Nurses in Arizona can also expect competitive compensation, as the state is ranked #15 in the U.S. for Registered Nurses' salaries and #20 when adjusted for the cost of living. On average, Arizona's RNs earn an annual salary of $81,600 or an hourly wage of $39.23.

Arizona's natural beauty, including the Grand Canyon, Sedona's red rocks, and the Sonoran Desert, offers nurses an attractive work-life balance. The state's climate with mild winters and abundant sunshine, is an additional draw for those seeking an active outdoor lifestyle.

For aspiring nurses, Arizona offers a very bright future.

Best BSN Nursing Colleges in Arizona

University of Arizona

College of Nursing

95.93% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 1401 E University, Tucson, AZ - 85721-0066
  • (520) 621-2211
Nurse Admin: Ida Moore, PhD, RN, FAAN
Title: Interim Dean
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 95.93%
  • Programs: Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Accelerated MSN, Bachelor, BSN to DNP, BSN to PhD, MSN, MSN to DNP, Post Master's NP Certificate

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 2902
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $12,736
  • Book and Supplies: $900
  • Percent Received Aid: 95%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $12,861
  • Percent Admitted: 85%
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: 20%
  • Graduation Rate: 65%

The College of Nursing of the University of Arizona ranks among the best in the state because of its exceptional NCLEX pass rates, variety of degrees offered, and alumni employment status. 

The University of Arizona College of Nursing has a plethora of programs and approaches to prepare competent nurse leaders who can provide quality healthcare in every kind of setting. They have a 12-month Integrative Nursing Fellowship to prepare students for the future of healthcare care, partnerships with different community healthcare centers, including senior residential communities, and a rural health professions program. In addition to that, they also have a community cancer connections project, a joint collaboration with the National Hartford Center of Gerontological Nursing Excellence, and a chance to work with the Stroke Resource Center of Southern Arizona. Needless to say, studying at the University of Arizona, College of Nursing opens up a wide variety of opportunities and allows students to take part in numerous projects that help them learn in different kinds of environments.

Undergraduate Programs: There are two types of BSN degrees available for nursing students at the University of Arizona. The Conventional BSN degree at Tucson is nationally renowned and highly ranked. It prepares students to lead a life as a professional nurse by giving them access to simulations, clinical practice and prepares them to pass their NCLEX-RN exam. 

The BSN Integrative Health Program at Gilbert, however, is one of its kind. The degree teaches students to clinically treat patients through various methods that include lifestyle enhancement, nutrition, biomedical therapies, and more. This program blends conventional health care with complementary approaches to mind-body-spirit wellbeing.

Graduate Programs: The Master of Science in Nursing degree at the University of Arizona is one of the leading online nursing masters in the entire state. This 15-month program allows nurses to expand their careers as nurse leaders and change-makers through various pathways such as Clinical Systems Leadership, Nursing Education, and Global Nursing Leadership.

The College of Nursing also offers a variety of very rigorous and practical DNP Programs that utilizes a mixture of online didactic coursework, on-campus intensives, and on-ground practicum and clinical placements.

In addition to these, students can also choose to expand their skills and knowledge to develop advanced clinical practice skills and research competencies by taking on the DNP/Ph.D. Dual Degree. Similarly, they can prepare themselves to provide advanced clinical care to rural and medically underserved patients through the Rural Health Professions Program and Rural Telehealth Certification Program. 

What's more, is that the University of Arizona also offers several postgraduate DNP-FNP Certifications for a number of specialties and skill sets

Northern Arizona University

School of Nursing

95.10% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 1900 S Knoles Dr, Babbitt Administrative Center, Room 200, Flagstaff, AZ - 86011-4092
  • (928) 523-9011
Nurse Admin: Dawn Rivas, DNP, RN
Title: Interim Director and Associate Clinical Professor
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 95.10%
  • Programs: Family Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Accelerated BSN, Bachelor, MSN, MSN to DNP, Post Master's NP Certificate

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 998
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $11,896
  • Book and Supplies: $900
  • Percent Received Aid: 95%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $10,239
  • Percent Admitted: 82%
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: 17%
  • Graduation Rate: 57%

School of Nursing in North Arizona University offers a challenging and rewarding program that allows students to learn in multiple learning environments so that they can practice in a variety of care settings. 

The nursing degrees are available in several of the campuses, online classrooms, and Personalized Learning. The students learn from highly-skilled instructors who recognize and develop students' talents. They also practice their clinical skills in high-fidelity simulation labs, and they get clinical experiences in multiple healthcare facilities in the area. The nursing curriculum of North Arizona University is based upon professionalism and professional values, clinical practice and prevention, critical reasoning, communication, global health, and leadership. 

In addition to being one of the nation's leading schools for American Indians, the School of Nursing in North Arizona University also has an outstanding alumni association.

Undergraduate Programs: The school of nursing offers both a traditional BSN program and an Accelerated BSN program to prepare students to pass their NCLEX-RN and become professional nurses. There is also a one-of-a-kind American Indian Program designed to give quality education to Native American students of federally recognized tribes. 

For nurses seeking to simultaneously earn their BSN along with an ADN degree, the Concurrent Enrollment Program is a great option to save both time and money. Similarly, North Arizona University also has an RN-BSN program offered through traditional online pathways and personalized learning online pathways to allow nurses to refine their nursing knowledge and abilities.

Graduate Programs: The various MSN, FNP, and DNP degrees at North Arizona University promote excellence in nursing education and practice by integrating emerging healthcare trends and quality skill development training into the curriculum. The programs have online or personalized learning pathways.

Grand Canyon University

College of Nursing and Health Care Professions

94.40% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 3300 W Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ - 85017
  • (800) 800-9776
Nurse Admin: Lisa G. Smith, PhD, RN, CNE
Title: Dean and Professor
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 94.40%
  • Programs: Adult Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Accelerated BSN, APRN Certificate, Bachelor, MSN, MSN to DNP, Post Master's NP Certificate

University Information

  • Total Faculty: 464
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $800
  • Book and Supplies: N/A
  • Percent Received Aid: 100%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $7,683
  • Percent Admitted: 81%
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: 20%
  • Graduation Rate: 47%

Although it is a Christian University, the Healthcare and Nursing Degree Programs at Grand Canyon University welcome students of all backgrounds and denominations without any discrimination. 

The variety of nursing degrees and pathways at Grand Canyon University are taught by exceptionally knowledgeable and experienced faculty at small classes. The classes are available online, or offline with clinical postings in between. The students also receive instructions from practicing nurses and experts on clinical patient care, healthcare management, professional development in nursing practice, and leadership.

GCU also has ample opportunities for financial aid and scholarship to facilitate quality education for those who are unable to fund their tuition. Similarly, the city of Phoenix, where the university is located, is among the best to reside in as students because of its job growth, housing affordability, wage growth, and more. 

Undergraduate Programs: The RN to BSN degree allows practicing RNs to complete their bachelor's degree in 12 months via online or evening classes. The program is designed to meet the needs of RNs and to maximize the strengths that they already possess. There are also various scholarship opportunities for this program. 

Graduate Programs: College of Nursing and Health Care Professions offers a Bridge (Master of Science in Nursing: Family Nurse Practitioner) for RNs who are ready to advance their career to the role of primary care provider. This degree is online with two on-campus experiences designed to provide hands-on skill development in key areas.

There is also a fast-track option for RNs enrolled in the BSN program to get both BSN and MSN degrees in 30 months. 

Chamberlain University

93.16% 3-Year
Pass Rate
  • 2149 W. Dunlap Avenue, Phoenix, AZ - 85021
  • (602) 331-2720
Nurse Admin: ,
  • NCLEX Passing Rate: (A) 93.16%
  • Programs: Family Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Educator, Nursing Administration, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor, MSN

University Information

  • Total Faculty:
  • In-State Undergraduate Tuition: $600
  • Book and Supplies: N/A
  • Percent Received Aid: 80%
  • Average Grant or Scholarship: $3,249
  • Percent Admitted: 63%
  • Percent Admitted who Enrolled: 80%
  • Graduation Rate: 50%

Chamberlain University is dedicated to graduating extraordinary healthcare professionals who will significantly impact the global healthcare scenario. As an institution that purely educates quality healthcare professionals, Chamberlain University has implemented a Chamberlain Care Student Success Model, a customized program of tools, resources, and support to prepare the students to succeed as healthcare professionals.

The Nursing School in Phoenix allows students hands-on experience with their SIMCARE CENTER, which is a simulation center that features various aspects of simulation care. The center gives students the chance to practice fundamental nursing skills on high-tech patient manikins before moving on to real-life patients in various healthcare settings. The nursing school has one of the highest NCLEX pass rates in the country and has no waitlists when it comes to admissions.

Undergraduate Programs: The three-year-long BSN program at Chamberlain University College of Nursing is available at 23 locations across the country. In addition to that, the School of Nursing in Phoenix has a BSN Evening/Weekend option that allows students to work around their schedule while obtaining the degree in three years' time. 

Graduate Programs: The flexible MSN degree at Chamberlain College of Nursing offers students the option to attain their degree while continuing to work. The completely online course offers two pathways; an Accelerated MSN option and an Accelerated MSN with Clinical Nursing Leadership option. There are nine Online MSN Program Specialty Tracks for students to choose from, including Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, as well as Healthcare policy, Nurse Educator, and more.

Arizona  RN Licensing Requirements

Our report on nursing licensing in Arizona provides a comprehensive overview of the process and requirements for obtaining and maintaining a nursing license in the state.

We cover topics such as licensing requirements, application procedures, costs, timelines, and the NCLEX exam. Additionally, the report delves into licensure by endorsement, license transfers, renewal processes, reactivation, and continuing education requirements for nurses in Arizona .

This resource aims to easily guide aspiring nurses and current professionals through the complexities of Arizona's nursing licensure system, offering support and resources for success in the field.

These 2023 nursing salary reports provide a detailed analysis of salary ranges based on experience, education, and job title, highlighting the differences in pay across various nursing professions. The reports also examine projections for nursing demand through 2030, considering the cost of living (COL) variations between cities and states, and presenting average salaries for nurses nationwide.

TitleAnnual Salary
Nurse Anesthetists$142,250
Nurse Practitioners$119,910
Nurse Midwives$97,490
Registered Nurses$81,600
Nursing Instructors$74,240
Nursing Assistants$34,610
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Department of Commerce – 2022*

City Salary Reports for Nurses in Arizona: Analyzing Salary Ranges, Job Growth, and Cost of Living

Comprehensive nursing salary reports within Arizona cities examine various factors influencing salary ranges, including experience, education, and job title. These reports also discuss projections for nursing demand through 2030, taking into account cost of living (COL) differences across cities, and presenting average salaries to provide healthcare professionals with valuable insights to inform their career decisions.

Nursing salaries in Arizona can vary significantly based on factors such as role, education, and experience. Comprehensive city salary reports offer a detailed analysis of these variations, enabling nurses to make informed decisions about their career path and negotiate better compensation packages.

AreaAverage SalaryCOL AdjustedDifference
Arizona Nonmetropolitan Area$76,560$95,592$19,032
Lake Havasu City-Kingman$75,590$85,917$10,327
Sierra Vista-Douglas$73,670$82,971$9,301
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Department of Commerce – 2022*

Additional Listings of the Top Nursing Colleges in Arizona

Arizona Rank
80.14 Brookline College-Phoenix 7 BSN

Arizona BSN Resources: Enhancing Nursing Education and Professional Growth

Uncover a variety of Arizona BSN state and organizational resources that foster nursing education, career advancement, and professional support. Find opportunities to connect with peers, learn from experts, and contribute to the nursing profession in Arizona.

Arizona State Board of Nursing (AZBN) - The Arizona State Board of Nursing is the regulatory body responsible for licensing, regulating, and monitoring nursing professionals in Arizona. AZBN ensures public safety by setting and enforcing standards for nursing education, licensure, and practice.

Arizona Nurses Association (AzNA) - The Arizona Nurses Association is a professional organization representing registered nurses in Arizona. AzNA advocates for nursing professionals, provides continuing education opportunities, and offers resources to support nurses and promote quality patient care.

Arizona Association of Nursing Academic Leaders (AANAL) - AANAL is an organization that represents deans, directors, and chairs of nursing programs in Arizona. The association focuses on promoting excellence in nursing education, fostering collaboration among academic leaders, and advancing the nursing profession.

Arizona Nursing Students' Association (ANSA) - The Arizona Nursing Students' Association is a student-run organization that supports nursing students across the state. ANSA offers resources, networking opportunities, and mentorship to students pursuing nursing careers.

Arizona Organization of Nurse Executives (AzONE) - AzONE is a professional organization for nurse leaders in Arizona. They work to advance the nursing profession through leadership development, research promotion, and health policy advocacy.

Arizona Nurses Foundation (ANF) - The Arizona Nurses Foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports nursing professionals through scholarships, grants, and awards. ANF promotes nursing education, research, and professional development in Arizona.

Arizona Action Coalition (AZAC) - The Arizona Action Coalition is a statewide initiative that aims to transform healthcare through nursing. AZAC collaborates with educators, policymakers, and healthcare leaders to improve nursing education, workforce development, and healthcare outcomes.

Nursing Schools in Your State



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