Nursing Schools and Licensing Requirements in Arizona

There are plenty of employment opportunities for aspiring nurses in the state of Arizona. More than 80,000 nurses currently work in the state, according to the Arizona State Board of Nursing (ASBN). In addition, those interested in higher level nursing positions can continue their education at one of many nursing schools in Arizona. Read on to explore academic options, learn more about the state’s nursing field, and understand the requirements for earning an Arizona nursing license.

Top Nursing Schools in Arizona

Rank School Location
1 Cochise County Community College Douglas, AZ
2 GateWay Community College Phoenix, AZ
3 Yavapai College Prescott, AZ
4 Eastern Arizona College Thatcher, AZ
5 Paradise Valley Community College Phoenix, AZ
6 Scottsdale Community College Scottsdale, AZ
7 Northland Pioneer College Holbrook, AZ
8 Central Arizona College Coolidge, AZ
9 Phoenix College Phoenix, AZ
10 Mesa Community College Mesa, AZ

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Top Nursing Schools in Arizona

Methodology +


  • Methodology +

    BEST 2-YEAR NURSING SCHOOLS

    The top nursing programs listed in this state’s ranking were determined by comparison of three primary, equally-weighted criteria including

    • Student-to-faculty ration
    • In-state tuition
    • Graduation rate

    Additional details for each school were included:

    • Count of programs available
    • Public and not-for-profit schools
    • Normalized on a 100 percent curve

    The methodology used for tie-break is as follows…

    • Ties are broken based on lowest average net price for full-time, first-time undergraduates paying in-state tuition (average cost of tuition and expenses after grants and scholarships).
    • If necessary, the lowest in-state tuition rate is used as a second tie-break


2-Year Schools

  1. Cochise County Community College
    Location

    Douglas, AZ

  2. GateWay Community College
    Location

    Phoenix, AZ

  3. Yavapai College
    Location

    Prescott, AZ

  4. Eastern Arizona College
    Location

    Thatcher, AZ

  5. Paradise Valley Community College
    Location

    Phoenix, AZ

  6. Scottsdale Community College
    Location

    Scottsdale, AZ

  7. Northland Pioneer College
    Location

    Holbrook, AZ

  8. Central Arizona College
    Location

    Coolidge, AZ

  9. Phoenix College
    Location

    Phoenix, AZ

  10. Mesa Community College
    Location

    Mesa, AZ

Browse Nursing Schools in Arizona

Aspiring nurses have many choices when it comes to their education. Whether interested in a community college or four-year university, Arizona nursing schools offer accredited programs to meet just about every career goal. Use the search tool below to explore and filter through high quality schools based on your specific needs, preferences, and goals.

Nurse Licensure in Arizona

Nurses must be licensed in order to practice in every state in the country. However, each state sets its own standards and requirements for licensing and renewal. ASBN is the government agency that regulates nursing education and practice for registered nurses, certified midwives, nurse anesthetists, and certified nurse practitioners in Arizona. ASBN also oversees all licensing requirements for these professions, from application to renewal and reinstatement. Below is an overview of first-time licensure requirements for registered nurses in Arizona.

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Eligibility Requirements

  • Diploma, Associate Degree or Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing from an approved program. (Arizona graduates must submit a Certificate of Completion from an approved program.)
  • Register for NCLEX exam and include a $200 registration fee
  • Earn a passing score on NCLEX exam
  • Submit a paper application with $300 fee to Arizona State Board of Nursing by mail only
  • Provide citizenship documentation
  • Submit a fingerprint card with a full set of fingerprints to the Arizona State Board of Nursing for the purpose of obtaining State and Federal criminal record checks along with $50 fee

RN License Renewal in Arizona

Registered nurses in Arizona are required to renew their license every four years at a fee of $160 fee. Renewals are accepted up to six months before the official renewal date or within 30 days following the due date. After 30 days, ASBN enforces a late fee.

To qualify for renewal, applicants must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Practiced as a nurse for a minimum of 960 hours in the past five years
  • Graduated from a nursing program and obtained a degree within the past five years
  • Completed an Arizona Board-approved refresher course in the past five years
  • Obtained an advanced nursing degree in the past five years

Reactivating an inactive license requires a paper renewal application. To have a paper copy mailed to you, send a self-addressed stamped envelope with $.90 postage to ASBN along with a written request. There is no fee to reactivate an inactive license. However, reinstating a license to active status requires an application and $150 fee.

Getting a License as an Advanced Practice Nurse in Arizona

Although most nurses in Arizona are RNs and LPNs, there are also advanced and specialty positions available. Registered Nurse Practitioners (RNP), Certified Nurse Midwives (CNW), and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) all play important roles in the field of nursing. Like RNs and LPNs, these nurses must meet specific licensing requirements to ensure they have the proper training and experience. In addition to the licensure requirement discussed in the previous section, advanced practice nurses must complete the following steps:

  • Hold a current Arizona registered nursing license in good standing
  • Show proof of National Certification as an APRN
  • Meet all requirements for clinical experience in their specialty area beyond preparation as an RN
  • Hold at least a master’s degree in advanced practice nursing from an accredited program or have at least 960 practice hours within the past five years as an APN

Arizona Nursing Numbers: RNs and Beyond

With a projected growth of 16 percent from 2014 to 2024, nurses are in high demand across the US. The numbers of registered nurses, certified midwives, nurse anesthetists, and nurse practitioners are growing steadily in Arizona as of January 2016 and are expected to continue. Take a look at the salary and employment numbers below:

Top-Paying Areas for RNs in Arizona

AreaHourly Median WageAnnual Median Wage
Prescott$35.30$73,420
Yuma$35.23$73,280
Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale$34.88$72,550
North Arizona nonmetropolitan area$32.97$68,570
Tucson$32.04$66,650
Southeast Arizona nonmetropolitan area$29.65$61,660
Lake Havasu City – Kingman$28.85$60,020

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014

Arizona vs. National Numbers

[statistics graphs]

Resources for Arizona Nurses

Arizona Association of Midwives

This organization offers professional educational programs for midwives and educates the general public about these health care professionals. In addition, AAM facilitates the peer review process required by the state of Arizona and the National Association of Registered Midwives (NARM).

Arizona Emergency Nurses Association

The Arizona Emergency Nurses Association (AENA) provides member access to the Journal of Emergency Nurses. AENA also provides educational and networking opportunities for emergency nurses.

Arizona National League for Nursing

Formed in 2010, the Arizona National League for Nursing (ANLN) is a member organization that provides a quarterly newsletter and annual conferences with nationally-known speakers.

Arizona Nurses Association

Arizona Nurses Association (ANA) is a member organization that advocates for nursing policies in the state. ANA includes the Arizona Nurses Foundation, a charitable arm that provides scholarships.

Arizona Nurse Practitioner Association

As a local chapter of the Arizona Nurses Association and an affiliate of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, ANPA works to advance the practice and professional stature of nurse practitioners through legislative impact, education, and community outreach.

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