Best Arizona RN to BSN Degree Programs

Recent projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) suggest that the national employment outlook for RNs remains strong, increasing at a rate of 15% from 2016 to 2026. Jobs for RNs in Arizona are projected to grow a whopping 37% during the same time period, according to Projections Central.

Postsecondary education often correlates with greater job opportunities and increased salary. In the Grand Canyon State, nearly 85% of RNs hold an undergraduate degree of some kind, while 50% hold a BSN or bachelor’s degree, according to CareerOneStop.

A typical RN-to-BSN online Arizona program prepares learners for a range of employment opportunities and remains especially suited for those interested in raising their earning potential in an increasingly competitive marketplace. RN-to-BSN Arizona programs also help facilitate the licensure renewal process, allowing RNs to reaffirm their status quickly and easily.


1. Arizona State University

Arizona State University understands how pivotal nurses are to the new and changing health care system. More and more employers require a BSN at the very least in order to ensure their staff is able to take on leadership, educational and management positions. The BSN program ensures that professional nurses will have the theoretical knowledge foundation as well as clinical competencies they need in order to be able to work in the full plethora of health care settings. Graduates understand the particular needs of the communities of Arizona, as well as how these are changing. The curriculum covers all the essential elements of entry level nursing professions, and it prepares students for further education in specializations such as administration, teaching, and nursing research. Students are mentored by highly experienced faculty staff to prepare them to be the best nurses in their field.

  • Campus: Tempe, AZ
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: $9,208 for in state students, $22,461 for out of state students
  • Miminum Time Commitment: 8 semesters for traditional BSN
  • Online Availability: Yes for RN to BSN
  • Degree Requirements: High school or GED, bachelor’s degree for RN to BSN
  • Programs: BSN, RN to BSN
  • School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid

  • 2. Northern Arizona University

    At Northern Arizona University, students take part in affordable program that is high quality and very rigorous. Graduates from the school have made fantastic positive differences in Arizona’s communities. This is because the faculty is committed to ensuring the needs of the student are at the heart of all operations. Professors act as mentors who work hand in hand with their students. Indeed, the hands-on learning facilities, research opportunities and various creative pursuits that the school offers are what sets it apart from other schools.

    • Campus: Flagstaff, AZ
    • Type: Public
    • Accreditation: CCNE
    • Tuition: $8,454
    • Miminum Time Commitment: 4 years for BSN, 12 months for accelerated option
    • Online Availability: No
    • Degree Requirements: High school or GED, GPA, TOEFL if applicable, bachelor’s degree for accelerated BSN
    • Programs: BSN, Accelerated BSN
    • School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid

    3. Brookline College

    Brookline College offers a BSN program that prepares students to become true health care professionals. During the program, they will learn the foundations of liberal arts, as well as the critical elements required in a nursing degree. Graduates are able to plan, assess, evaluate and implement care in a range of health care settings. These include community health agencies, hospitals and clinics. The program takes 10 semesters to complete, making it one of the more extensive programs in the state. The curriculum includes pre-professional education and general education, delivered in classrooms and clinical settings. Students are able to look into and research the various issues faced by nursing professionals in Arizona, thereby developing the competencies and skills they need to be professionals themselves.

    • Campus: Phoenix, Tempe and Tucson, AZ
    • Type: Private
    • Accreditation: ACEN
    • Tuition: $85,000
    • Miminum Time Commitment: 4 years
    • Online Availability: No
    • Degree Requirements: High school or GED
    • Programs: BSN
    • School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid

    4. Grand Canyon University College of Nursing

    Grand Canyon University founded its College of Nursing some 25 years ago. Since then, they have consistently offered their students the opportunity to take part in rigorous clinical and academic preparation to become nurses who follow Christian values in education. The BSN program can be completed in three different ways to ensure that all members of the health care workforce have the opportunity to become the best they can be.

    Students learn how to assess individual patients, while at the same time work with families and entire communities. Additionally, they learn about health patterns and how they can use these in various clinical settings. Furthermore, they will learn how to create nursing diagnoses, evaluate and plan interventions and become some of the most important professionals in health care.

    • Campus: Phoenix, AZ
    • Type: Private
    • Accreditation: CCNE
    • Tuition: $16,500
    • Miminum Time Commitment: 20 months (36 credit hours) for fast track RN to BSN. Five additional semesters for BSN.
    • Online Availability: Some
    • Degree Requirements: High school or GED, GPA, TOEFL if applicable
    • Programs: BSN, Fast track RN to BSN
    • School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid

    5. The University of Arizona College of Nursing

    At the College of Nursing of the University of Arizona, students receive an education that is both supportive and challenging. They become part of a true community, building on the skills of previous and existing students, who all have different viewpoints, experiences and cultural backgrounds. Students must demonstrate their motivation and their integrity in delivering service to other people. Students who are accepted to the program will receive world class education in return, becoming some of the most respected members of the health care workforce upon graduation.

    • Campus: Tucson, AZ
    • Type: Public
    • Accreditation: CCNE, AACN
    • Tuition: $9,114
    • Miminum Time Commitment: 4 semesters
    • Online Availability: No
    • Degree Requirements: Prerequisite courses, GPA of 3.0, interview
    • Programs: BSN
    • School Site: Tuition and Financial Aid

    Requirements for RNs in Arizona

    Learners interested in pursuing an RN-to-BSN in Arizona should familiarize themselves with the state-specific education requirements outlined by the Arizona State Board of Nursing (AZBN). All Arizona RNs and RN candidates must acquire and maintain active licensure from the AZBN. Learners can obtain this licensure by endorsement, examination, or renewal. Each licensure path requires that candidates complete an online application and pay a $150 fee. Licensure by endorsement and examination cater to the state’s first-time RN applicants.

    Learners who desire to obtain licensure by examination must hold a degree from an approved nursing program and pass the NCLEX exam. This standardized, computerized, adaptive-testing examination costs $200 and evaluates candidates’ knowledge and competencies in the field. Licensure by endorsement involves a similar process, specifically for RNs who come to Arizona with a previous or current license from another state. RNs interested in obtaining Arizona licensure by endorsement must have previous RN licensure as well as a passing NCLEX score.

    In addition, candidates must meet the following practice requirement: Within the last five years, they must have worked 960 hours or more as a nurse, graduated from an approved nursing program, or obtained an advanced nursing degree such as an RN-to-BSN degree. Previously licensed RNs in Arizona must renew their status every four years. Renewal candidates can obtain a new license by meeting one of the practice requirements outlined for licensure by endorsement.

    Employment Outlook For RNs in Arizona

    The current job outlook for RNs in all industries continues to improve at a significant rate both in Arizona and nationwide. The BLS projects that national RN employment will grow by 15% from 2016 to 2026, much more than the projected average growth for all occupations.

    In Arizona, the pace of projected growth for RNs remains even more favorable at more than double the national rate. BLS data also projects an attractive average annual wage for RNs in the Grand Canyon State at $73,430, nearly 5% higher than the occupation’s national average. The BLS indicates that an overwhelming number of RNs nationwide work in general medical and surgical hospitals, constituting 30% of total industry employment. Physician offices and home healthcare services also rank among the occupation’s top employment industries.

    According to BLS data, the pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing sectors, along with the accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services sectors, stand out as the most lucrative industries for RNs, offering an annual mean wage well above the national average. The table below outlines the most profitable metropolitan areas for RN employment in Arizona, including both average annual salary and total employment share.

    The Top-Paying Metropolitan Areas for RNs in Arizona

    Location Employment Average Annual Salary
    Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale 38,670 $76,140
    Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale 1,500 $74,980
    Arizona Nonmetropolitan Area 1,810 $74,710
    Tucson 8,380 $72,390
    Lake Havasu City-Kingman 1,190 $70,090
    Yuma 1,150 $69,110
    Sierra Vista-Douglas 400 $63,220
    Flagstaff 1,470 N/A

    Source: BLS

    Nursing Resources in Arizona

    • Arizona Nurses Association: The oldest and largest nursing association in Arizona, the AzNA has supported nursing professionals at all levels since 1919. The group promotes a strong standard of excellence in the field.
    • National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (Arizona Chapter): This society strives to support advanced practice nursing professionals across the state, with a special focus on improving the overall quality of infant, child, and adolescent healthcare.
    • Student Nurses Association of Arizona: This organization aims to expand the horizons of learners in the field and contribute to the larger healthcare community. The association advances this mission by hosting monthly board meetings and sponsoring events.
    • School Nurse Organization of Arizona: This organization exists to support school nurses and promote the general wellness and health of degree seekers in the field. The group promotes these aims by disseminating resources and hosting special events.
    • Arizona Association of Nurse Anesthetists: First established in 1956, this association supports learners in the field who specialize in anesthesia delivery. The association accomplishes this mission by providing peer assistance, facilitating networking, and hosting events.