The Top Nursing Schools in Arizona

February 21, 2022 , Modified on June 2, 2022 · 6 Min Read

Considering nursing school in Arizona? This guide identifies the best nursing programs in Arizona and helps you find the right school for your goals.

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NurseJournal.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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The Top Nursing Schools in Arizona
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Arizona's rapid population growth and popularity as a retirement location make the state a great place to begin a nursing career. This guide explores the best nursing programs in Arizona for prospective registered nurses (RNs) and nurse practitioners (NPs), how to earn an Arizona nursing license, and average salaries for nurses in the state.

Keep reading to learn more, or go straight to our list of the best nursing schools in Arizona or our list of the best nurse practitioner programs in Arizona.

Arizona and Nursing School Programs 2022

Accreditation is important. This guide lists only accredited schools and nursing programs in Arizona.

Our Methodology: We use a data-driven methodology to rank the best nursing schools in Arizona, making it easier for you to find a program that works for you. Our methodology is based on metrics that we believe matter most to students, including academic quality, affordability, reputation, and program offerings.

Featured Online MSN Programs

How to Choose a Nursing Program in Arizona

The appropriate program should fit your professional background and career goals. You should also consider factors like tuition, the program's National Council Licensure Examination-RN (NCLEX-RN) pass rate, and the program's acceptance rate. The program's format should suit your learning style and schedule.

Why Become a Nurse in Arizona

A popular destination for retirees, Arizona's population is rapidly growing. The state is known for access to outdoor recreation and national parks, a strong arts and dining scene, and vibrant culture. Arizona is also a Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) state, and nurses who are licensed in another NLC state may apply for Arizona licensure by endorsement.

The number of nursing jobs in Arizona is projected to grow 35% from 2018-28 — the fastest rate in the country. However, Arizona is projected to experience a surplus of nurses by 2030, so attending nursing school in the state can help you develop a professional network and find a job.

The median annual salary for nurses in Arizona is $79,010, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which falls above the national median. The median annual salary for NPs is $115,950.

Salary and Job Outlook for Nurses in Arizona

While Arizona RNs and NPs out-earn their counterparts in many other states, Arizona's cost of living index is 107, compared to the national index of 100.

Due to a job growth rate far above the 7% national average, Arizona may experience a surplus of about 1,200 nurses by 2030. However, candidates who attend nursing schools in Arizona enjoy a variety of employment options elsewhere because they can seek NLC licensure.

Unlike nurses in many other states, Arizona RNs in nonmetropolitan areas earn the highest average salaries due to higher demand in these locations. However, their counterparts in urban areas like Phoenix, earn nearly as much.

Highest Paying Cities for Nurses in Arizona
Top Paying Metropolitan Areas Average Salary for RNs
Yuma, AZ $82,160
Prescott, AZ $82,040
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ $81,390
Tucson, AZ $76,660
Sierra Vista-Douglas, AZ $72,530
Source: BLS

Steps to Becoming a Nurse in Arizona

Arizona's licensing requirements are similar to those in many states. Candidates must hold an associate degree in nursing (ADN) or a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) to become an RN. Prospective advanced practice RNs (APRNs) need a master's degree or doctoral degree in nursing, with limited exceptions.

If you hold an out-of-state multistate license, you do not need to apply for Arizona licensure. If you are licensed in another NLC state, you can apply for a license by endorsement.

RN Requirements

Prospective RNs must earn an ADN or a BSN and pass the NCLEX-RN before applying for Arizona nursing licensure. Graduates who did not attend nursing school in Arizona should send their official transcripts to the state's Board of Nursing for verification. All applicants must pass a background check with fingerprinting and prove that they are eligible to work in the United States.

The Arizona Board of Nursing provides a complete list of requirements and fees on their website.

APRN Requirements

To become an APRN in Arizona, applicants must pass board certification exams. Their MSN advisor or DNP program should provide the Arizona Board of Nursing with the candidate's transcripts and a letter confirming their population area. Applicants also undergo a background check. Professionals who plan to prescribe controlled substances must apply for a DEA number from the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The state board's website lists all requirements, fees, and relevant information for prospective APRNs.

The Best Nurse Practitioner Programs in Arizona

Prospective NPs can choose from a variety of master's- and doctoral-level advanced practice nursing programs in Arizona.

Other Top Nursing Programs in Arizona

Frequently Asked Questions About Nursing in Arizona


Is Arizona a good state for nurses?

At 35%, Arizona's job growth rate for nursing positions is faster than any other state. According to BLS data, the median annual salary for nurses in Arizona is $79,010.

How do I become an RN in Arizona?

To become an RN in Arizona, you must complete a two-year ADN or a four-year BSN, pass the NCLEX-RN, submit your fingerprints for a background check, and submit your transcripts to the state board. You can also work as an RN in Arizona if you already hold a multi-state license.

How much does it cost to become a nurse in Arizona?

Most nursing schools in Arizona charge $40,000-$150,000 for a BSN. For an ADN, nursing programs in Arizona cost $6,000-$65,000. Candidates can find many financial aid sources, including loans, grants, and scholarships.

How much money does an RN make in Arizona?

The answer varies by experience and location. In Arizona, rural nurses make more than nurses in cities. The median annual salary for nurses in Arizona is $79,010, just above the national median of $75,330.

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NurseJournal.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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