Arizona Nursing Programs and Degrees Guide

    Choosing a nursing school can be an intimidating process, especially with so many programs offered in the state of Arizona. Arizona’s colleges and universities feature undergraduate and graduate program in a wide range of nursing specializations, ranging from nursing educator and clinical leader to pediatric nurse practitioner and family health. The following guide provides you with an overview of the programs offered throughout the state of Arizona. If you require flexibility and convenience, consider earning a nursing degree from an online nursing program.

    Quick Facts

    • 26 schools with nursing programs in Arizona are in our database (see below).
    • 20 colleges and universities offer associate’s degrees or certificates in nursing.1
    • 5 colleges and universities offer bachelor’s degrees in nursing.1
    • 4 colleges and universities offer master’s or advanced degrees in nursing.1
    • No schools ranked in Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges in 2018.2
    • No schools ranked in the Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Nursing Majors in 2018.3
    • 3 schools ranked in US News Best Nursing Schools: Master’s programs.4
    • 2 schools ranked in US News Best Nursing Schools: Doctor of Nursing Practice programs.4

    Top-Ranked Schools with Nursing Programs in Arizona

    US News Best Nursing Schools: Master’s

    • Arizona State University-Downtown Phoenix (#32 tie)
    • University of Arizona (#39 tie)
    • Northern Arizona University (#164 tie)

    US News Best Nursing Schools: Doctor of Nursing Practice

    • Arizona State University-Downtown Phoenix (#24)
    • University of Arizona (#28 tie)

    Continue reading below to learn more about the undergraduate and graduate nursing programs at Arizona’s colleges and universities.

    NCLEX Pass Rate and Accreditation Information for Nursing Schools in Arizona

    The following table allows you to easily compare not-for-profit Arizona nursing schools on a variety of factors. Click on the arrows in the top row to sort the table. In addition to seeking a program that leads to licensure in your desired area of nursing, it’s advisable to consider accreditation as a factor in your decision. If you are considering education beyond the associate’s level, know that a degree from a school that holds accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is a common requirement for admission to master’s degree, ADN/LVN and RN to BSN, and specialized certificate programs. You should also check to ensure that the school you are considering is approved or accepted by the Arizona State Board of Nursing (https://www.azbn.gov/).

    SchoolADN or LVN ProgramBSN ProgramGraduate Nursing ProgramACEN/CCNE Accred.*NCLEX-PN First Time Pass Rate**# TakingNCLEX-RN First Time Pass Rate^# TakingNet Price^^
    Arizona State UniversityNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A86.99%269$13,175
    Arizona Western CollegeYesNoNoACEN100%584.21%57$9,006
    Central Arizona CollegeYesNoNoACEN100%2183.02%53$4,423
    Chandler-Gilbert Community CollegeYesNoNoACENN/AN/A92.42%66$8,128
    Cochise CollegeYesNoNoACEN96.43%5686.25%80$4,728
    Coconino Community CollegeYesNoNoNoN/AN/A84.21%38$10,034
    Eastern Arizona CollegeYesNoNoACEN100%990.91%66$7,149
    East Valley Institute of TechnologyYesNoNoNo100%15N/AN/A$5,462
    Estrella Mountain Community College-AvondaleYesNoNoACEN33.33%382.46%57$7,214
    Estrella Mountain Community College-PhoenixYesNoNoNo100%5N/AN/A$7,214
    Gateway Community College (Fast Track PN)YesNoNoACEN91%112N/AN/A$7,566
    Gateway Community College (ADN)YesNoNoACENN/AN/A93.58%218$7,566
    Glendale Community CollegeYesNoNoACEN87.50%890.64%171$7,034
    Mesa Community CollegeYesNoNoACEN100%393.38%151$8,079
    Mohave Community College (PN Certificate)YesNoNoACEN67%21N/AN/A$7,424
    Mohave Community College (PN Step Out Program)YesNoNoACEN95%20N/AN/A$7,424
    Mohave Community College (ADN)YesNoNoNoN/AN/A96.51%86$7,424
    Northern Arizona UniversityNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A82.99%147$14,615
    Northland Pioneer CollegeYesNoNoACEN96.77%3174.36%39$8,254
    Paradise Valley Community CollegeYesNoNoACENN/AN/A93.62%47$7,772
    Pima Community College (Skill Center)YesNoNoACEN91.04%67N/AN/A$2,662
    Pima Community College (West Campus)YesNoNoACEN100%193.40%106$2,662
    Scottsdale Community CollegeYesNoNoACEN100%496.46%113$8,410
    University of Arizona (BSN)NoYesN/ACCNEN/AN/A91.18%102$15,591
    University of Arizona (MSN)NoN/AYesCCNEN/AN/A83.91%87N/A
    Yavapai CollegeYesNoNoACENN/AN/A91.23%57$6,204

    *The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) accredits ADN/ASN/BSN programs. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredits BSN/MSN/DNP programs.5,6
    **NCLEX-PN pass rates reported are for first-time undergraduates testing between January 1, 2016 to September 30, 2016.7 You can compare these pass rates to the national average through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.
    ^NCLEX-RN pass rates reported are for first-time undergraduates testing between January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016.7 You can compare these pass rates to the national average through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.
    ^^The National Center for Education Statistics calculates net price from the total estimated cost of attendance, including includes tuition, books, room and board, and other expenses, for in-state students minus the average financial aid award (such as grants and scholarships).

    Schools in Arizona with Nursing Degrees

    Associate’s in Nursing Programs

    Glendale Community College
    Glendale Community College (GCC) offers an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Nursing that prepares students to pass the NCLEX-RN exam required for registered nurse licensure. Graduates are prepared to work as nurse generalists in a variety of healthcare settings, including acute and long-term care as well as community-based settings. In addition to core courses such as Microbiology and Human Anatomy and Physiology, students take four semesters of Nursing Theory and Science courses totaling 36 credit hours. The AAS Nursing program at GCC is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and is approved by the Arizona State Board of Nursing. GCC also offers a concurrent enrollment program in partnership with Northern Arizona University that can allow students to earn their AAS and Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the same time.

    Mohave Community College
    The Associate of Science in Nursing program at Mohave Community College emphasizes effective and safe clinical practice. Students learn the fundamentals of nursing through academic coursework as well as clinical simulations that integrate and build upon classroom learning. The program is designed to be completed in four semesters after any applicable prerequisites are met. Courses are offered at the Kingman, Lake Havasu City, Bullhead City, and Colorado City campuses. An accelerated AAS in nursing is available for those who are currently Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) in good standing. Both the traditional and accelerated AAS Nursing programs at Mohave Community College are approved by the Arizona State Board of Nursing and are accredited by ACEN.

    Bachelor’s in Nursing Programs

    University of Arizona
    The University of Arizona allows undergraduates to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) upon successful completion of the four-year, 120 credit program. Students spend the first two years of the program fulfilling university requirements in math, science, and English before entering into the nursing major for the final two years. Nursing core courses encompass such topics as foundations in nursing care, pharmacology, acute and chronic illness management, mental health nursing, and transition to the professional nursing role. Successful applicants to the program, which is extremely competitive, must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA in the first two years of study with most students having a minimum of a 3.4 GPA throughout the four-year program.

    Northern Arizona University
    Northern Arizona University’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program is offered at its Flagstaff, Tucson, and Yuma campuses with each campus admitting a select number of students each year. The program is typically very competitive, with over 600 applications each year and only 160 open seats in the program. Flagstaff accepts only 60 applicants each year. In addition to general college and liberal studies core coursework, nursing majors must also complete 67 nursing credits, including a senior capstone project, to fulfill degree requirements. Graduates of the nursing program are generally eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

    Master’s in Nursing Programs

    Arizona State University
    Arizona State University’s College of Nursing and Health Innovation features three masters programs: the Master of Science Nurse Educator, the Master of Healthcare Innovation, and the Master of Science in Clinical Research Management. The MS in Nurse Educator program allows graduate students to concentrate in adult and geriatric health, family health, family psych mental health, neonatal, and pediatrics. Students complete 15 credits in nursing education, including committing to a practicum that allows for hands-on educational experience. To fulfill degree requirements, students must take a total of 38 credits with the remaining credits in the area of concentration. Successful applicants to the program must already possess a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

    University of Arizona
    The University of Arizona offers two nursing degrees at the master’s level: a Master of Science for Entry to the Profession of Nursing (MEPN) for pre-licensure students and a Master of Science in Nursing Clinical Systems Leadership (RN-MSN) for RNs with an associate degree in nursing (ADN) and RNs with a BSN. The MEPN degree program is extremely competitive and takes 15 months of full-time study. Due to the demands of this program including 40-hours/week for clinical rotations, MEPN students are discouraged from working while in the program. The MEPN program is offered on the Phoenix and Tucson campuses. Students in the RN-MSN program who have an ADN must complete 44 credits in a two-year program and those with a BSN must complete 31 credits within a 15-month program. Start dates for the RN-MSN program are in January, May, and September, with no campus travel required.

    Student Reviews

    Note: Student Reviews are based on the experiences of a few individuals and it is unlikely that you will have similar results. Please review the “Data, Student Reviews and Other Information” section in our Terms of Use and Disclaimers.

    Arizona College
    4425 W Olive Ave #300
    Glendale, AZ 85302
    (877) 612-9316

    Student Review: Arizona College was a great experience. They’re a great school if you’re looking to get into the medical profession, particularly if you’ve been out school for awhile. The staff is extremely helpful. The class sizes are small, so there’s plenty of opportunity to focus on and improve your weak points. They do everything in their power to help place you once you finish their program. They include services like resume building, mock interviews, and if for any reason you end up leaving a position, they’ll do what they can to help you find a new one. I looked into several nursing programs and talked with the student administration of a variety of colleges in the area and I’m really glad that I chose Arizona College.” – Student at Arizona College

    University of Arizona
    Tucson, AZ 85721
    (520) 621-2211

    Student Review: I had a great experience attending the University of Arizona. I enjoyed that they offered many courses online, which helped with flexibility. They made it easy to continue my education, as well as work as a full-time staff nurse. My professors and advisor were very helpful in coordinating my class to ensure a smooth process to graduation. Each online course was only 8 weeks and I enjoyed moving at a face pace through the materials. The program also served as a great networking opportunity to meet other nurses in my field. I liked that even the online courses incorporated group work. The only thing I would improve is the availability of the professors for extra assistance in difficult courses.” – Student at University of Arizona

    1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
    2. Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges: https://www.kiplinger.com/tool/college/T014-S001-best-college-values-college-finder/index.php#Tile
    3. The Princeton Review. The Best 382 Colleges, 2018 Edition. New York, Penguin Random House, 2018.
    4. US News Top Graduate Nursing Schools: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-nursing-schools
    5. Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN): http://www.acenursing.us/accreditedprograms/programSearch.htm
    6. Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE): https://directory.ccnecommunity.org/reports/accprog.asp
    7. Arizona State Board of Nursing: https://www.azbn.gov/nursing-programs/arizona-nclex-pass-rates