Nursing Schools in Arizona – AZ
Arizona is committed to supporting high-quality nursing care, as evidenced by Arizona Nurses Association (AzNA), which says that the state has given advanced practice nurses (APRNs) full prescribing authority since April 2017. Arizona is also a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact, an interstate agreement that permits nurses to practice in any of the 31 compact states with one license. These are just some of the reasons why this can be an exciting and rewarding time for aspiring nurses to enter the healthcare sector in Arizona.
A nursing career in Arizona requires you to complete an accredited education program to learn high-quality diverse nursing skills that can help patients in improving their health, along with providing routine healthcare services. Take a look at Nursing Education, Schools and Career Overview to know what you can expect to learn, see the typical coursework involved and understand what you can do after completing a nursing degree program.
If you’re considering enrolling in a nursing degree program in Arizona, you probably have plenty of questions. What nursing schools and degree programs are in the state? And what options are available to online students? Read on to find the answers to these and more frequently asked questions about nursing careers in Arizona.
What nursing schools are there in Arizona?
Depending on your choice of nursing careers in Arizona, you may be pursuing a two-year associate program, a four-year bachelor’s degree program, or even a two-year master’s degree program in nursing. Arizona provides you with a host of colleges such as the ones noted below, to help you prepare for a lucrative nursing career.
- Arizona State University
- GateWay Community College
- Glendale Community College
- Grand Canyon University
- Mohave Community College
- Northern Arizona University
- University of Arizona
Here’s a quick look at the different types of nursing degree programs in Arizona. Knowing the differences can help you select the degree program that’s right for you.
- The Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in nursing program, available at eight Maricopa Community Colleges, prepares high school graduates to learn core skills as well as the theoretical and practical knowledge to become a licensed practical nurse (LPN). Earning this degree may serve as a stepping stone to earning further nursing degrees in the future.
- Perhaps you have your associate degree and are working as an LPN, and now you want to become a registered nurse (RN). Mohave Community College, among others, offers the AAS LPN-to-RN bridge track program that is designed for this transition and can be completed in two semesters.
- Arizona State University is but one example that offers a bachelor’s of science in nursing (BSN) program. It is designed to give you a solid foundation in nursing theory, practical experience, and clinical ethics, while building your skills in critical thinking, leadership, and technology. The university offers an online BSN option as well. This gives nursing professionals the opportunity to further their education while maintaining a full-time career and family responsibilities.
- Accelerated programs in Arizona are available for various levels of nursing, including the accelerated RN-to-BSN degree program at Creighton University, which you can complete in just 12 months.
- With a doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree, you can take your nursing career to the highest level. Arizona State University offers hybrid-online DNP programs that can prepare you to lead in a variety of specialized healthcare settings. The University of Arizona also offers online DNP programs in adult-gerontology, family, pediatric, and psychiatric health.
What financial aid can I get for nursing programs in Arizona?
You can find financial aid in Arizona through federal, institutional and private funds. Conditions do apply so look for financial aid programs you can qualify for. Additionally, state-specific financial scholarships are also available in Arizona. Here are just a few:
- Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership — a need-based scholarship for undergraduate Arizona residents. Candidates tend to draw approximately $1,000 worth of aid each school year.
- Early Graduation Scholarship Grant — for high school students who graduate early, and then promptly enroll in Arizona higher education programs. Candidates may earn up to $2,000, which is usually distributed over the course of two academic years.
- Arizona Private Post-Secondary Education Student Financial Assistance Program — a need-based grant for graduates of two-year Arizona Community College programs. The awards are typically valued at $750-$1,500.
What do I need to know about certifications in nursing in Arizona?
The Arizona State Board of Nursing grants certification to qualified APRNs who wish to practice in the state. To apply for APRN certification, you need to first complete a graduate-level nursing program in your chosen area of specialty. The Board typically accepts APRN candidates who are nationally certified by one of the following agencies:
- American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP)
- American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACCN)
- American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB)
- American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
- National Certification Corporation for the Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing Specialties (NCC)
- Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation (ONCC)
- Pediatric Nurse Certification Board (PNCB)
The Arizona APRN certificate typically expires every four years, on or before April 1, at the same time your RN license expires. For certificate renewal, you need to provide proof of your current national certification.
Do I need a license to be a nurse in Arizona? How do I apply for it?
In Arizona, licensure is regulated and monitored by Arizona State Board of Nursing. Regardless of the nursing profession you are considering, you may be required to provide the following information to the Board:
- Name of school and program attended, with graduation date and complete transcripts
- Proof of passing or scheduling the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX)
- Fingerprints for verification of identity
If you want to continue to work as a nursing intern in Arizona prior to official licensure, you may also need to apply for a temporary permit, which expires typically after six months or upon passage of the NCLEX exam.
Nurses from other states may apply for endorsement to practice in Arizona. They should be prepared to submit the following information:
- Current license from the former state of practice
- Passing score on either the NCLEX-RN or State Board Test Pool Exam (SBTPE)
license for RN/LPNs lasts four years. Nurses may renew their license beginning on February 1 through April 1 of the year their license expires.
What can I do with a degree in nursing in Arizona?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 15 percent overall job growth for the nursing profession in Arizona between 2016 and 2026. This is particularly true as nursing jobs in Arizona are needed in every facet of medical care, whether it is as a nursing assistant in Phoenix, family nurse practitioner in Mesa, registered nurse in Glendale or nurse midwife in Tucson. Nurses of various specialties are the backbone of patient care in Arizona.
Nursing salaries in Arizona vary as per the city, job position and years of experience. Here’s an idea of what projected job growth and pay could look like for various nursing careers in Arizona:
|Career||Total Employment||Statewide Projected Job Growth Rate|
|Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses||7,600||32.2%|
|Career||Annual Mean Wage||Bottom 10% Annual Wage||Top 10% Annual Wage|
|Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses||$54,290||$42,520||$65,240|
- Arizona State Board of Nursing, License Renewal, accessed June 2019, https://www.azbn.gov/licensure-certification/registered-nurse-practical-nurse/license-renewal/
- Arizona State Board of Nursing, Nursing programs List, accessed June 2019, https://www.azbn.gov/education/nursing-programs-lists/
- Financial Aid for Arizona College Students, College Scholarships, accessed June 2019, http://www.collegescholarships.org/states/arizona.htm
- Graduate degrees, Nursing, Arizona State University, accessed June 2019, https://nursingandhealth.asu.edu/programs/graduate/dnp
- Licensure Compact, Arizona Board of Nursing, accessed June 2019, https://www.azbn.gov/resources/licensure-compact/
- Nursing, Creighton University, accessed June 2019, https://nursing.creighton.edu/program/nursing-accelerated-bsn
- Nursing, GateWay Community College, accessed June 2019, https://www.gatewaycc.edu/registered-nursing
- Nursing, LPN-to-RN Track program, Mohave Community College, accessed June 2019, http://catalog.mohave.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=4&poid=316&returnto=159
- Top Nursing Issues in Arizona, AzNA, accessed June 2019, https://www.aznurse.org/page/topissues