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Become a Registered Nurse in Arizona - AZ

How to Become an RN in Arizona

Four steps are required in order to become a licensed registered nurse in the state of Arizona.

  1. Those Arizona residents wishing to pursue careers as registered nurses must first obtain an associates degree or bachelor’s degree in nursing through Arizona RN programs.  Depending on the program of study, an Associates Degree in Nursing (ADN) can take two to three years to complete.  Many Arizona hospitals offer ADN programs.  A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) most often requires four years of study. Some Arizona based students opt to first obtain an ADN prior to enrolling in a bachelor's degree program.  Many BSN programs have extensive waiting lists and someone with an ADN will have an advantage over students who do not.   If you are considering a BSN from a four-year institution in Arizona, apply early and be prepared to wait. 

  2. Completing clinical experience is part of the training to becoming a registered nurse in Arizona. The prospective registered nurse is supervised in clinical fieldwork that complements classroom instruction.
  3. Acquiring a nursing license from the state of Arizona is required in order to work as a registered nurse in the state.  Two applications are required in order to take the state licensing and NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination) exams. The first application is the RN/LPN Licensure by Examination application which can be obtained from the Arizona State Board of Nursing website (www.azbn.gov).  The completion of your education will be verified by the Arizona State Board of Nursing.  Do not mail your application any sooner than two months prior to graduation as early submission can result in your application expiring before you graduate.  The second application must be sent to the company that directly administers the NCLEX-RN exam, currently Pearson Vue (www.vue.com/nclex).   The fee for a nursing license is $300. 
  4. Considering a specialization is the final step to becoming a registered nurse.  Specializations include, but are not limited to, particular work setting, health condition, and population.  An emergency room nurse is an example of a specific work setting specialization.  Specializations don’t necessarily require any additional certification in Arizona; however, additional courses and on the job training may be required depending on the particular field of specialty.  Four advanced specialties exist.  These include: clinical nursing specialists, nurse anesthetists, nurse practitioners and nurse-midwives. These advanced specialties, do require additional education and possibly even obtaining a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN).  

Arizona State Board of Nursing

The Arizona State Board of Nursing began in 1921 as the result of the House Bill 32 which required the registration of all professional nurses in the state of Arizona.  The organization strives to hold nurses in the state to the highest possible nursing standards.  Under the standards of the board, individuals are approved for licensure, registration and certification. Educational programs for nurses and nursing assistants are approved as well.  The board also investigates matters concerning licensee's compliance with the law and determines what disciplinary actions will be administered in the event of violations proven from the Nurse Practice Act.  

Arizona State Board of Nursing
4747 North 7th Street, Suite 200
Phoenix, AZ 85014-3655
(602)771-7800 - Phone
(602)771-7888 - Fax
arizona@azbn.gov

Arizona Nurses Association

Arizona Nurses Association (AzNA) is the only professional organization of registered nurses in the state, with members from all practices, roles, and settings.  It is also a constituent member of the American Nurses Association (ANA).  Started in 1919, AzNA has been benefiting nurses in the state for 85 years.  Becoming a member of AzNA is an Arizona registered nurse's key to navigating the complex healthcare system and requirements.  

Arizona Nurses Association
1850 E. Southern Avenue, Suite 1
Tempe, AZ 85282
(480)831-0404
info@aznurse.org


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