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Best Family Nurse Practitioner Programs in Arizona

NurseJournal Staff
Updated November 28, 2022
Arizona offers many opportunities for degree-seekers interested in pursuing nurse practitioner programs. Use this page to learn how to become a nurse practitioner in the state.
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If you are looking for more professional autonomy and a higher salary, a family nurse practitioner (FNP) program can help you achieve your goals. This guide explores the best FNP programs in Arizona, how to apply and typical admission requirements, and financial aid.

We use a data-driven methodology to rank the best FNP programs, 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.

Keep reading to learn more about FNP programs, or go straight to our list of the best FNP programs in Arizona.

What Can You Do as a Family Nurse Practitioner?

Family nurse practitioners act as primary care providers for the whole family throughout the lifecycle. Licensure allows FNPs to assess patients, diagnose conditions, and prescribe treatments.

Because Arizona is a full-practice authority state, FNPs in Arizona can practice independently. FNPs typically work in hospitals and healthcare systems, independent practices, urgent care, clinics, and other settings, such as military bases, jails, or corporate onsite healthcare facilities.

What To Look For in an Arizona FNP Program

When comparing the different FNP schools in Arizona, consider program quality and reputation, the cost and financial aid options, and the logistics of managing other responsibilities.

  1. 1

    Admission Requirements

    Admission requirements tell you how likely you are to be admitted. They also indicate what the school sees as the most important criteria to succeed in the program.

  2. 2

    Program Curriculum

    FNP programs are standardized, but you can choose some elective courses. The descriptions can indicate program and school culture.

  3. 3

    Clinical Experience

    Especially if you attend an online master of science in nursing (MSN) program in Arizona, make sure you can find clinical placement in your community. Some schools provide full or extensive placement services, while others require you to find your own.

  4. 4


    Accreditation is the most important indicator of program quality. This guide lists only accredited nurse practitioner schools in Arizona.

  5. 5

    Program Length

    The length and pace of FNP programs can vary, as can the number of classes you will attend at a time. Some nurse practitioner programs in Arizona are optimized for working students.

  6. 6

    School NCLEX Pass Rate

    The NCLEX-RN pass rate indicates the school’s overall quality and reputation.

  7. 7

    School Graduation Rate

    The graduation rate, combined with the board certification pass rate, demonstrates program success. This rate is more meaningful for medium-sized and larger programs.

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Applying to a Family Nurse Practitioner Program in Arizona

The more time you give yourself to prepare, the better your chances of admission. Discuss your plans with a mentor, and ask for their advice on how to best present yourself and your qualifications. If you can, talk with a recent graduate.

Give your references time to prepare, and mention anything you’d like them to emphasize. Ask someone you trust to review your application to ensure you have successfully demonstrated your potential.

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    Admission Materials

    Current and unencumbered NCLEX-RN license; resume/CV; two or three references; all college transcripts; an application with a personal statement or essay

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    GPA Requirement

    Most MSN programs in Arizona require at least a 3.0 GPA. However, if your GPA is borderline, talk with an admissions counselor to see if other qualifications may offset this.

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    Other Requirements

    Most nurse practitioner schools in Arizona require or strongly prefer at least one year of experience as a registered nurse.

Why Is FNP Program Accreditation Important?

During accreditation, independent examiners review a program against rigorous criteria to measure if it successfully prepares nurses to practice safely. This review examines every aspect of a program that affects its quality.

  • States only license graduates of accredited programs.
  • Boards require a diploma from an accredited school for certification.
  • Almost all employers require a degree from a certified program.
  • Almost no accredited schools accept transfer credits from non-accredited programs.
  • You may not be eligible for financial aid if you attend a non-accredited program.

Paying for a Family Nurse Practitioner Program in Arizona

Your degree is a major financial investment. When planning, consider the direct costs like tuition, fees, and books; any travel costs for on-campus requirements; whether you qualify for in-state tuition; and whether you can work while studying and how many hours.

Fortunately, your dream program is within reach if you are strategic about financial aid. Nonprofits, associations, and corporations all offer grants and scholarships.

If you can be flexible about where you work, you may be eligible for full forgiveness or a full scholarship if you work in an underserved area or for the military or other government providers, such as the Indian Health Service.

Learn More About the Top FNP Programs in Arizona

Northern Arizona University
LocationFlagstaff, AZ

At Northern Arizona University, distance learners can enroll in the school's online master of science in nursing with a concentration in family nurse practice. The program consists of 48 credits and focuses on family primary care in rural settings. Courses cover topics like advanced pathophysiology, advanced pharmacology, and rural theory and health policy.

Although students do not need to attend campus for courses, they must complete a number of supervised clinical practicum hours at a healthcare facility. The final clinical course also counts as a capstone. In addition, students can choose to complete a thesis or individualized research.

Campus: Flagstaff, Arizona

Type: Public

Accreditations: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

Tuition: $3,750 per six months

Admission Requirements: Bachelor's degree in nursing with a minimum 3.0 GPA; current RN license; three recommendation letters

Minimum Time Commitment: Varies, but students must complete within six years

On-Campus Requirements: No

Program: MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner

School Site: Tuition | Financial aid

Common Questions About FNP Programs

question-mark-circleHow much do family nurse practitioners make in Arizona?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary for all nurse practitioners in Arizona is $119,910. The BLS reports the average salary for all occupations in Arizona at $55,170, less than half of the average nurse practitioner salary. Registered nurses earn an average $81,600.

question-mark-circleAre family nurse practitioners in high demand in Arizona?

FNPs are in demand in Arizona, especially in rural areas. Many FNPs are nearing retirement age, and COVID-19 has increased the nursing shortage.

question-mark-circleHow long does it take to become a family nurse practitioner in Arizona?

It typically takes students with a BSN two years to complete nurse practitioner school in Arizona. If you have an associate degree in nursing and enroll in an RN-to-MSN program in Arizona, or study part time, it can take three years or longer to finish a family nurse practitioner education.

question-mark-circleCan family nurse practitioners practice independently in Arizona?

Yes, Arizona is a full practice authority state for FNPs. This means they can practice independently, without a physician’s supervision or involvement. They can even start their own independent practice.

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