Purse a Nursing Career with an LPN Degree
Those considering a career as an LPN may want to consider working in the state of Arizona. With the proper education and credentials, practical nurses shouldn't have trouble finding a job in this state. According to the state's Board of Nursing, there are currently 10,545 active LPNs in Arizona. However, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services projects that Arizona is expected to be short more than 9,500 LPNs by 2025.
Those who want to be on the leading edge of fighting that shortage can enter the nursing workforce after completing an accredited, state-approved LPN program. These programs, which typically require two years or less of study, prepare students to work in a variety of settings, including offices of physicians, nursing homes, outpatient clinics, and hospitals. Those who are ready to start working towards this rewarding career should read on to explore LPN programs in Arizona, get a better idea of state licensing requirements, and review LPN salary and employment figures.
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How to Become an LPN in Arizona
As in all states, practical nurses in Arizona are required to obtain licensure in order to find employment and work. Each state, however, has different requirements for licensing. Below is a breakdown of what Arizona LPNs can expect during the process:
- Must have graduated from high school or earned an equivalent diploma
- Must have graduated from or be close to graduating from an approved LPN program
Education & Training Requirements
The first step towards licensure for any aspiring LPN is graduating from an approved practical nursing program. This usually requires between one and two years of study, depending upon the school. Those who graduate in Arizona can file a Certificate of Completion with the nursing board, while those who graduated from an out-of-state school will need to have official transcripts sent from the school to the Board of Nursing.
Additional Requirements for Licensure by Examination
- Complete the formal application
- Complete the NCLEX registration and earn a passing score on the NCLEX-PN
- Submit a copy of documentation regarding citizenship status
- Submit a fingerprint card for background checks
- Submit the proper non-refundable fees:
- $300 application fee
- $50 fingerprint processing fee
Keep in mind that Arizona is a Nurse Licensure Compact State. This means that any nurse in good standing in his or her home state can practice in other participating compact states. There are currently 25 states that accept the compact agreement. In order to gain a multistate license, nurses in Arizona must:
- Declare Arizona as their state of residence
- Legally reside in the state
- Hold an active LPN license in good standing
- Meet all licensure requirements in the home state
LPNs who have a license in another state can apply for Arizona licensure by endorsement. In addition to program verification, applicants seeking endorsement will need to submit evidence of a passing score on the NCLEX-PN, provide proof of previous or current licensure in another state, and must complete a nursing program that meets the state's educational standards and has been assigned a nursing program code by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (certain exceptions may be granted by the Board). The fee for licensure by endorsement is $150.
Renewing an Arizona License
In order to renew an Arizona practical nursing license, applicants must meet one of the following requirements within the past five years:
- Practiced as a nurse for 960 hours or more
- Graduated and obtained a degree from a nursing program
- Completed a refresher course approved by the Arizona Board of Nursing
Renewals are expected every four years, on or before July 1. The State Board of Nursing encourages nurses to submit their renewal requests online. There is a $160 renewal fee, and a $50 late fee per month for tardy renewal applications.
LPN Employment Trends in AZ
Similar to salary, employment opportunities and growth can vary across the state. Certain regions of Arizona may experience exceptional outlook for LPNs, while others may see slower job expansion. The data in this section provides a closer look at LPN employment trends in the state.
Top Locations for Employment
|Area||Total Employment (2014)|
|North Arizona nonmetropolitan area||150|
|Southeast Arizona nonmetropolitan area||100|
|Area||Total Employment (2014)|
|Lake Havasu City - Kingman||Estimate not released|
|Yuma||Estimate not released|
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014
Arizona LPN Resources
This large organization for nurses focuses on a wide variety of subjects of interest, including continuing education, ethics, health and safety, public policy and more.
This association caters to nurses through a variety of events, advocacy matters, continuing education and the like.
This comprehensive and easy-to-navigate site offers all nurses need to know about beginning their career in Arizona.
This membership site offers numerous points of interest for LPNs, including information on certifications and training.
This professional association supports nurses with legislation and lobbying, continuing education, and annual convention and much more.