Top Arizona RN to MSN Programs

If you want to work as a nurse in Arizona, deciding to obtain an MSN degree may be a great idea. There are many people within Arizona that are likely to receive poor health care. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there is an above average number of people of African-American, Hispanic or American Indian descent in the state. Furthermore, there is an above average number of people who live below the poverty line. If you have an MSN degree, you will be able to provide patient-centered and cost-effective care and make a true difference in the lives of people. Let’s take a look first at the salary expectations and job outlook in Arizona.

Salary Expectations and Job Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) noted that the average salary for an RN (registered nurse) per year in Arizona was $70,220 in 2010. This is around $33.76 per hour and is above the national average RN salary, but it should also be observed that the cost of living in Arizona is above the national average. The top 10% of RNs in Arizona earn $93,050 or more while the bottom 10% earn $47,470 or less. This difference is due in part to their location in Arizona and their employer, but mainly due to the level of their education. The top 10% are people who hold at least an MSN or even a doctorate degree.

Some 41,730 RNs worked in Arizona in 2010. The areas with the highest number of nurses were Phoenix, Mesa and Scottsdale. Indeed, more than half of all nurses in the state work in those three areas. The average salary is slightly higher in those areas as well, with the median annual salary at $72,130. The city where salaries are the highest is Flagstaff, where the mean annual is $75,510 and the next highest paying city is Prescott, where the annual median is $73,160.

The job outlook for RNs is high nationally. According to the BLS, the growth rate until 2018 is predicted to be 22%. In Arizona, however, the unemployment rate is quite high, which means that competition for jobs is strong. Thus, those who hold an MSN degree have the advantage of having a far greater chance of finding employment.

Top MSN Degree Programs in Arizona

In Arizona, there are numerous MSN programs available, some of which can be achieved online. Furthermore, there are RN and BSN to MSN programs. Once you hold an MSN, you can become an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, with a specialty in areas such as leadership, education and research. There are many different opportunities out there, particularly because Arizona recognizes the importance of nurse practitioners who have an MSN degree. Indeed, there has been an official call for increased availability so that the supply of nurses would remain adequate. As nurses in Arizona have a far more comprehensive scope of practice, it is even more important to gain an MSN degree in this state. See also Arizona Nursing Schools with Accredited Options.

Let’s take a look at the five best MSN degree programs in Arizona.


1. Grand Canyon University

grand-canyon-university-onlineGrand Canyon University is a private Christian university that has been at the forefront of excellent education since 1949. Their goal is to ensure all students can achieve their full potential and purpose. The university offers a range of different academic programs in eight different colleges. The goal is to make sure graduates can meet the competitive demands of the particular environment they have chosen for. Furthermore, the university offers its degrees online, on campus and during the evening.

• Campus: Phoenix, AZ, Online
• Type: Private
• Accreditation: CCNE
• Tuition: Varies depending on pathway chosen and personal circumstances
• Degree requirements: BSN, RN, GRE, transcripts, personal statement, interview, letters of recommendation
• Minimum time commitment: Varies depending on pathway and type of study (many programs are available fully or partially online)
Programs: BSN to MSN, Nursing leadership in health care systems (bridge and dual degree), adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner, adult-gerontology adult clinical nurse specialist, health care informatics (bridge program), leadership in health care systems (bridge program), nursing education, nursing education (bridge program), nursing leadership in health care systems, public health (bridge program)


2. University of Phoenix

The University of Phoenix was established by John Sperling in 1976. His goal was to ensure the people of Phoenix were able to gain quality education. From the small beginnings, the University of Phoenix quickly became the largest private university in the country. Indeed, it now has some 200 different locations. All MSN degrees are available online and through flexible schedules.

• Campus: Multiple locations
• Type: Private
• Accreditation: CCNE
• Tuition: Varies depending on chosen program
• Degree requirements: BSN, GPA, work experience
• Minimum time commitment: Varies depending on chosen program
• Programs: MSN/MA dual degree, health care management, health care education, health administration


3. Arizona State University

At the Arizona State University, there is a strong focus on nurses who wish to continue on towards achieving higher education, such as master’s and doctorate degrees. As such, the various MSN programs that are offered look at education, innovation and management. They are rigorous programs and require a full commitment from students.

• Campus: Tempe, AZ
• Type: Public
• Accreditation: CCNE
• Tuition: Varies depending on degree and personal circumstances
• Degree requirements: Transcripts, test scores, TOEFL if applicable, BSN, RN
• Minimum time commitment: Varies depending on course and pathway
• Programs: Clinical research management, community health, nurse educator, master of healthcare innovation
• School Site: Tuition | Financial Aid


4. Brookline College

Brookline College currently offers two MSN tracks. The first is the MSN-Ed (education) program, which teaches students to become nurse educators. They learn about health policies and systems, research applications, and organizational leadership. The second track is the MSN-HSA (health systems administration), which prepares students to take a leadership role in administrative systems within health care settings. They will learn about oranizational leadership, health policies and systems, and research applications. Both MSN programs are offered fully online.

• Campus: Phoenix, AZ
• Type: Private
• Accreditation: CCNE
• Tuition: Varies depending on personal circumstances
• Degree requirements: BSN, RN
• Minimum time commitment: 12 months full time or 24 months part time
• Programs: nursing education and health systems administration
• School Site: Tuition | Financial Aid


5. Midwestern University

At Midwestern University, students can enroll in an MSN Nurse Anesthesia program. This teaches about the various aspects and sciences involved in anesthesia management. Much of the degree will be delivered in practicum classes, where they will be able to apply the knowledge they have learned. On completion of the program, they can work in rural and urban hospitals, offices, clinics and so on. Furthermore, there is a strong emphasis on supporting students who intend to go on to their doctorate degrees. The degree is one of the most respected in the country and prepares Registered Nurses to push themselves to whole new limits.

• Campus: Glendale, AZ
• Type: Private
• Accreditation: COA
• Tuition: $38,677
• Degree requirements: BSN, RN, GPA, 2 years critical care RN experience, coursework
• Minimum time commitment: 27 months
• Programs: Nurse anesthesia
• School Site: Tuition | Financial Aid