Updated: November 25, 2021

Overview of Nursing Schools in Arizona

  • There are 32 nursing schools in Arizona. The CCNE accredits 11 nursing schools and the ACEN accredits 23 schools in Arizona.
  • Typically, an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) will take between 18 to 24 months to complete, and a Bachelor Degree in Nursing (BSN) will take about 4 years to complete.
  • The average NCLEX passing rate range for ADN students in Arizona is between 85.50% and 96.69%.
  • The average NCLEX passing rate range for BSN students in Arizona is between 87.06% and 93.49%.
  • The average annual salary for registered nurses is between $52,080 to $111,220 a year.
  • Registered Nurses (RN) throughout the country and in Arizona can expect a favorable job growth of 15 percent from 2016 to 2026 which much faster than the average for all occupations.

About Nursing Schools in Arizona

Like most of the nation, Arizona is also looking forward to a rise in the demand for nurses; the number of RNs working in the state is predicted to rise from 21,620 to 29,190 from the year 2018 to 2028. The RNs are paid $80,625 annually on average, where those with 1-4 years of experience gain $57,530, and those with more than 20 years of experience earn $104,290 annually. 

The state is also an ideal destination for Nurse Practitioners as those with even minimal experience can earn up to $100,000 annually, and those with more than 20 years of experience are paid more than $150,000 per year. There are currently 4,790 NPs working in the state, and the number is expected to rise by a whopping 50.9% from 2018 to 2028. The state calls for 200 NPs and 2,110 RNs annually to work in various healthcare settings such as hospitals, community care centers, clinics, home care, and more.

On top of that, Arizona's state practice and licensure laws have granted Nurse Practitioners permission for Full Practice. The Full Practice permits NPS to evaluate patients, diagnose, order, and interpret diagnostic tests; and initiate and manage treatments, including prescribing medications and controlled substances. 

Arizona is also one of the 33 states implementing the eNLC (Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact). The eNLC, also known as a multistate license, allows nurses (LPNs and RNs) who hold the nurse compact license to work in multiple states without obtaining the nursing license in each individual state. However, the eNLC is not available for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, so they are required to hold an individual state license should they wish to practice in different states.

Arizona's multiple nursing schools provide quality nursing education at undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels. The best of those institutes are mentioned below.

Online Nursing Programs Liked by Arizona Nurses

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities beloww.

About Nursing Schools in Arizona

In our Arizona RN program guide, find rankings for both ADN and BSN Degree programs, tuition costs, NCLEX passing rates, and more. Research key Arizona RN Program information to help you compare program metrics and to apply to best RN program for your career in nursing.

In the State of Arizona, nurses are helping to change the face of healthcare. To ensure that they have the best education and preparation for future health care challenges, registered nurses need to graduate from a state-approved associate's degree in nursing program or a BSN degree program.

Nurses who graduate from an RN program can obtain certification in over 100 nursing specialties, go on to earn an RN to BSN or RN to MSN degree.

BSN degree holders have options to earn an Advance Practice Register Nursing (APRN) degree and become a Nurse Practitioner (NP), or earn an advanced degree for a career in any number of nursing leadership roles such Nurse Educator or Clinical Nurse Specialist.

Nursing Programs Offered by Arizona Nursing Schools

  • Registered Nursing: 32
  • Family Nurse Practitioner: 7
  • Practical Nursing: 3
  • Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner: 3
  • Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner: 2
  • Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner: 2
  • Adult Acute Care Nurse Practitioner: 1
  • Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner: 1
  • Adult Psychiatric - Mental Health Nurse Practitioner: 1
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner: 1
  • Nurse Educator: 1
  • Nursing Administration: 1
  • Women's Health Nurse Practitioner: 1

Arizona Nursing Schools with the Most Degree Types

Arizona RN Program Comparisons: ADN vs BSN

Compare RN Programs ADN BSN
Number of Nursing Programs 19 11
Average NCLEX Passing Rate 90.36% 90.08%
NCLEX Passing Rate Range 85.50% to 96.69% 87.06% to 93.49%

Best Ranked Nursing Schools in Arizona

Best Ranked RN Programs in Arizona

To help nursing students in their search for a top RN program, the education experts at RNCareers.org publish their annual findings of the best nursing schools for both Arizona and the country. Schools ranked on our list have proven their ability to educate highly competent nurses.

To create our rankings, we evaluated 17 ADN degree programs and 5 BSN degree programs in Arizona. We obtained each institution’s first-time NCLEX-RN passing rates, the number of students taking the test, the program nursing accreditation and more. We then compared the results against other nursing programs in Arizona to provide our state rankings. View our methodology

Best BSN Nursing Schools in Arizona


University of Arizona

  • 1401 E University, Tucson, AZ - 85721-0066
  • (520) 621-2211
  • Grade: (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
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
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Northern Arizona University

  • 1900 S Knoles Dr, Babbitt Administrative Center, Room 200, Flagstaff, AZ - 86011-4092
  • (928) 523-9011
  • Grade: (A) 95.10%
  • Programs: Family Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Accelerated BSN, Bachelor, MSN, MSN to DNP, Post Master's NP Certificate
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
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Grand Canyon University

  • 3300 W Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ - 85017
  • (800) 800-9776
  • Grade: (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
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
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Chamberlain University

  • 2149 W. Dunlap Avenue, Phoenix, AZ - 85021
  • (602) 331-2720
  • Grade: (A) 93.16%
  • Programs: Family Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Educator, Nursing Administration, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor, MSN
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
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Best ADN Nursing Schools in Arizona


Maricopa Nursing - Scottsdale Community College

  • 9000 E Chaparral Rd, Scottsdale, AZ - 85256
  • (480) 423-6000
  • Grade: (A) 97.00%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate
Scottsdale Community College is located in Scottsdale, Arizona.  This community college is known to offer perks to its students, such as the latest versions of Windows and Microsoft Office suite; this allows their students to have the latest technology with which to do their assignments.  They also offer academic support
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PIMA Medical Institute-Tucson

  • 2121 N Craycroft Road, Bldg 1, Tucson, AZ - 85712
  • (520) 326-1600
  • Grade: (A) 94.60%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate, Bachelor
The nursing at PIMA Medical Institute, Tucson provides the in-demand, hands-on education that employers expect, and which are needed to become the best healthcare professionals. The Tucson campus houses large classrooms, spacious study areas, high-quality labs, and training facilities to teach students all they need to know about nursing. The
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Central Arizona College

  • 8470 N Overfield Rd, Coolidge, AZ - 85128-9030
  • (520) 494-5444
  • Grade: (A) 94.10%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

Yavapai College

  • 1100 E Sheldon St, Prescott, AZ - 86301
  • (928) 445-7300
  • Grade: (A) 92.30%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate
Yavapai College is located in Prescott, Arizona.  It also has a campus in Clarkdale, Arizona (Verde Valley); nursing classes are offered at both campuses.  Yavapai College Nursing believes that "nursing is an art and science and that a sound nursing education curriculum integrates knowledge from the sciences and the humanities.
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Northland Pioneer College

  • 2251 E. Navajo Blvd., Holbrook, AZ - 86025-0610
  • (800) 266-7845
  • Grade: (A) 91.80%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate
One of the best colleges in the state, Northland Pioneer College boasts a high employment success rate and one of the lowest tuition costs in the entire state. The college is committed to providing excellent education at an affordable price and making it accessible to everyone for the development of
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Additional Listings of the Top Arizona Nursing Programs

Arizona Rank
88.30 PIMA Community College - West Campus 6 ADN
87.70 Cochise College 7 ADN
86.70 Coconino Community College 8 ADN
83.30 PIMA Medical Institute-Mesa 9 ADN
74.20 Mohave Community College 10 ADN
80.14 Brookline College-Phoenix 7 BSN

Online RN Programs in Arizona

Today, there are very few disadvantages to earning an online RN degree. With advances in online learning coupled the need to educate more nurses because of the nursing shortage, many nursing schools are offing online nursing programs.

For nurses needing to complete clinicals, nursing programs usually help a nurse to find one.

Be sure to choose an accredited program that meets quality standards set by either the ACEN or CCNE accrediting agencies. An accredited online RN Nursing program will help ensure that your units pass can transfer to another accredited college and help you in gain employment. Learn more about online RN programs.

APRN Programs in Arizona

RNs who wish to become advanced practice registered nurses will want to pursue any number of avenues to earn Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. Earning a Master of Science in Nursing consists of graduate-level coursework and clinical practice for those nurses who wish to direct patient roles such as a nurse practitioner. You can also pursue indirect patient roles such as teaching or leadership roles, or become involved in policy, state-wide health initiatives or community engagement. There are many clinical and non-clinical avenues that an RN with MSN can pursue.Learn how to become a Nurse Practitioner (NP) and research schools in Arizona offering the following high paying nurse practitioner specialties:

Learn about Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degree.

Online NP Programs Liked by Arizona Nurses

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Arizona RN Licensing Requirements

The state of Arkansas has strict requirements candidates must meet in order obtain licensure as an RN.

Those applying for licensure in Arkansas through an endorsement must have completed an approved nursing program in a different state. International students who completed a program similar to a program in Arkansas may also apply for licensure. However, they must have proof of eligibility for licensure in the country they graduated from. They must also prove that they can read, write, and speak English through the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools. This does not include English-speaking countries such as Canada, Australia, and England.

Arkansas State Board of Nursing

Arkansas Nurses Association
University Tower Building
1123 S. University, Suite 800
Little Rock, AR 72204-1619
Phone: (501) 686-2700
Fax: (501) 686-2714

RN License by Exam

The first and most direct path to obtaining licensure is through examination. Candidates need to register for the NCLEX-PN exam through Pearson VUE.  In addition to completing the exam, candidates  must also complete the following steps:

Complete a State-approved nursing program:

In order to become eligible for state licensure through the state of Arkansas, candidates must have completed high school as well as a preparation program approved by the state. Applicants who have completed a program in a different state have the possibility of being eligible for licensure if the Arkansas State Board of Nursing believes they are qualified. Nursing programs must have been approved by the Department of Higher education and hold accreditation from a recognized body.

Complete online application for licensure:

Every candidate must apply for licensure through the Arkansas State Board of Nursing. They must also gain permission to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) before taking the exam. This should be completed about two months before graduation from a nursing program.

Complete a criminal background check:

First-time applicants must complete a background check at both the state and federal levels. When this has been completed, the applicant must also submit a fingerprint that will be forwarded to the Arkansas State Police. Licenses may be denied on the basis of disciplinary history or criminal background.

RN License by Endorsement

One can obtain licensure through endorsement if they already have a license in one of the other 50 states. Out of state candidates have the opportunity to work using a temporary permit while they are working on gaining their endorsement.

Candidates who have had their license for less than five years will need to provide documentation stating they have practiced for 1,000 hours or completed a program in an approved accredited university.

RN License for Nurses Educated Abroad

Candidates who are educated abroad also have an opportunity to obtain licensure as long as they provide transcripts that reflect a similar education.

RN Salaries in Arizona

According to a survey by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the prospects for BSN graduates were better in the southern parts of the country. This does not mean that by attending a school in the south automatically guarantees you a job. It also does not mean that you won’t be able to find a job by not attending school in the south. The participants in the survey were college deans who indicated that 82% of their graduates had job offers right after graduation. Healthcare is a necessity. However, like every other industry, it has been affected to some degree by the broken economy. There are some nurses who will refuse to relay retirement. There is a long-term need for professional nurses that will never cease.

Arizona Registered Nursing Salaries

Below is a table of the hourly mean RN Salary and the annual median wage in all the metropolitan areas in the state of Arizona. By looking at this table, you will notice that the annual median wage in Fayetteville metropolitan area has the highest annual median wage. However, Little Rock has the highest number of employed RNs.

The average salary for a nurse in Arizona is $67,760 with about 5 to 9 years or experience. The top nursing salaries go to Nurse Anesthetists who get paid on average $155,180 with 5 to 9 years of experience.

Registered nurses that have a bachelor's degree typically earn more than registered nurses who only have an associate's degree or higher level diploma as well as those without any college education at all. In addition to salaries being impacted by educational attainment levels, they also vary based upon geographic location within the state of Arkansas with some areas having significantly lower wages than others due to the shortage of jobs available in these regions.

CityEmploymentHourly WageAnnual Salary
Arizona Nonmetropolitan2,050$40$83,240
Lake Havasu City1,220$34$70,410
Sierra Vista550$35$72,530

Arizona Nursing Salaries by Experience

OccupationEmployment1 to 4 Years5 to 9 Years10 to 19 Years20+ Years
Registered Nurses55,520$57,530$67,760$92,920$104,290
Nurse Anesthetists80$134,460$155,180$198,800-
Nurse Midwives90$85,340$95,750$142,250$193,700
Nurse Practitioners4,790$89,770$100,830$131,930$156,240
LPN / LVN7,440$43,020$48,920$62,480$67,040
Nursing Assistants15,830$26,810$29,340$38,000$40,710

Projected Employment Needs for Arizona Nurses

Occupation20182028Change%ChangeAvg. Annual Openings
LPN / LVN3,3504,32097029390
Nurse Anesthetists100150505010
Nurse Practitioners1,6702,52085050.9200
Nursing Assistants1,4401,76032022.2210
Nursing Instructors41052011026.850
Registered Nurses21,62029,1907,570352,110

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