Selecting the best nursing school in Arizona can be difficult. To make the process easier first look for a school that supports students towards licensure and beyond. A great way to measure this is through NCLEX-RN "pass rates." We have ranked the top 10 nursing schools in Arizona by analyzing current and historical NCLEX-RN "pass rates", meaning the percentage of graduates who pass the exam, out of the 33 RN programs in the state. Programs reviewed include schools that offer an Associate in Nursing (ADN/ASN), BSN, or Direct-Entry MSN Degree.

For more information on our top nursing school rankings, see our Methodology Page (


See our 2021 List of the Best Nursing Schools in Arizona

Arizona prides itself on having some of the most renowned hospitals with high quality nursing staff. The state research shows that by having a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing (BSN) there is a parallel to increased salaries, career advancement opportunities and a greater drive for furthering education. The trend for furthering education is on the rise, which in turn has a predicted employment rate increase of approximately 25% by 2022 in the state of Arizona. Arizona is committed to providing the best quality nursing care and encourages maximizing your potential for career advancement by furthering your education.

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ADN Programs in Arizona

Students beginning their career as a nurse with an Associate's Degree in Nursing (ADN) diploma will learn core nursing skills that are expanded upon by clinical placement throughout the duration of the program. Usually lasting 2 years or so, successful nursing graduates will be eligible to test for the NCLEX exam upon graduation. Throughout the state, more than 20 community colleges and private colleges offer an ADN program with the intent to help students qualify as a registered nurse.

What to Look For in an ADN Program in Arizona

ADN programs - also called AAS programs throughout the state - adhere to rigorous standards to keep their accreditation in good standing. Students should carefully consider some of the look-fors in a great program to ensure that they can achieve their job aspirations once they graduate. The following factors are important for consideration:


The Arizona State Board of Nursing makes evidence-based regulatory decisions about nursing programs that operate throughout the state, as well as about individuals' fitness to practice registered nursing, both as service to the public. Unlike some other states, all colleges and universities that offer nursing programs throughout the state are accredited - no 'nursing program' is allowed to operate without accreditation. Accreditation takes place under board review.


The state's Board of Nursing provides an online verification of nursing licensure that is free of charge to the public. Patients are able to check nurse licensure or privately file a complaint about an individual or nursing program. The licensure database is also accessible to healthcare employers and works closely with post-secondary institutions to ensure the integrity of the nursing profession.

Program Outcomes

ADN program outcomes are an important measurement tool for student choice, and excellence in the profession. The higher and more rigorous the programs are, the better the quality of applicants and graduates. Consider the following data:

Graduation and employment rates

  • NCLEX pass-rates
  • Parent, student, and campus satisfaction metrics
  • Loan repayment data (where not in conflict with student confidentiality)

Mohave Community College is but one example of an accredited program. With campuses in Bullhead City, Kingman Lake, Havasu City, and North Mohave, Arizona's medical policy-makers seek to ensure that AAS programs are accessible to students throughout the state.

ADN Program Admission Requirements in Arizona

Throughout the state, each school has slightly different admission requirements that students must provide in order to be admitted and be in 'good standing'. While each one is unique, some common admission elements are:

  • Complete all application documents in line with college timelines
  • Ensure residency and citizenship requirements are met with appropriate supporting documentation
  • Complete new student orientation package
  • Complete nursing statement of intent, pre-training/orientation, and health screening
  • Submit evidence of negative drug testing and negative at-risk health screening factors
  • Submit official transcripts
  • Submit documentation supporting a minimum ACT composite of 16, or a total SAT score greater than 790

Tuition and Costs of ADN Programs in Arizona

There are a variety of factors that determine tuition costs for nursing students. Some schools offer a yearly cost, some offer tuition information per credit hour. In specialized programs like the ADN, costs may or may not be included along with tuition. To complicate matters even more, there is often a different pricing structure for in-state students; financial aid is also available. For example, Glendale Community College gives in-county students a tuition-credit-hour cost of under $100 plus applicable fees for the college and the nursing program, as well as supplies, equipment, and uniforms.

Advantages of ADN Programs

Offered in a variety of disciplines, students that graduate with an diploma may go on to explore further education options at the bachelor's degree level (BSN for nurses) or take advantage of immediate career options. With lower tuition costs, it is often the case that AAS diploma graduates often have a lower debt-load when they are done school and enter the workforce. Often ideally suited for students who enjoy more hands-on workforce activities with only the minimum of theoretical 'book learning', the ADN nursing degree offers lots of flexibility on a short timeframe.

LPN to RN Programs in Arizona

Current Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) in Arizona may wish to continue their education by attending an LPN to RN program. Graduates of these accelerated programs are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN to earn licensure as a registered nurse.

LPN to ADN/BSN Programs

Typically, students can choose between the LPN to ADN pathway to earn an associate's degree in nursing, or the LPN to BSN pathway, which culminates in a bachelor's degree. The LPN to ADN is the quickest and most common route. Pima Community College, with multiple locations throughout the greater Tucson area, offers an LPN to ADN program which can be completed in 3 semesters (excluding prerequisite courses). While there are no campus-based LPN to BSN programs in Arizona, national online options do exist. LPN to RN program requirements typically include:

  • Completion of all prerequisite courses
  • Current, active LPN license
  • Graduate of an accredited LPN program
  • Up-to-date immunizations

BSN Programs in Arizona

Nursing is an exciting and rewarding profession and the professional designation carries acclaim and respect throughout the world. With the increasing knowledge and labor challenges in the healthcare industry, job openings and career advancement for RNs with a BSN degree are expanding steadily. BSN graduates who pass the NCLEX for licensure can then choose from a variety of practice areas and related disciplines (like policy and informatics) and begin to shape healthcare over the course of their lifetime. In many ways, a BSN degree is the foundation of your nursing career.

What To Look For in a BSN Program in Arizona

BSN students should be prepared to engage in a scientifically rigorous and culturally diverse learning environment. With experienced teachers and instructors who themselves have professional accreditation and acclaim, nursing students can take advantage of rich learning opportunities both in the classroom and in clinical rotation. Students should ensure that their teachers are members in good standing in the nursing profession and that the program itself is in good standing from an accreditation and licensure perspective.

Northern Arizona University is home to a renowned BSN program. The school offers a traditional program on a four-year timeline, as well as an RN-to-BSN option and an accelerated option for those who already have an undergraduate degree in another field. Demand is high, with as many as 600 applicants for 150 spaces every year.

BSN Program Length in Arizona

The typical length of a BSN program in Arizona is 4 years; however, each institution has the capability to offer programs that capitalize on a student's former experiences. Two methods that are often employed in this regard are the RN-to-BSN track and the Accelerated BSN track. While criteria vary by the individual and the program chair's discretion, either option usually takes about 2 years or half the time of a full BSN undertaken by a freshman student.

BSN Program Admission Requirements in Arizona

Throughout the state's 10 or so BSN programs, requirements for admission do vary. However, most requirements can be generally summed up as below. Students should ensure they contact the Admissions department during enrollment

  • Students have a GPA that exceeds the minimum program standard (could be as high as 3.4 given program demand)
  • Students have no record of academic dishonesty and otherwise meet university admission criteria
  • All transcripts from former institutions have been submitted
  • The student is 'in good standing' in all respects

Tuition and Costs of BSN Programs in Arizona

Tuition costs vary between states and between each institution. While a portion is paid by the taxpayer and from other government subsidies, tuition costs are definitely on the rise. While financial aid is available to most, it is important to consider the cost of tuition for the BSN programs that you're considering applying to. Phoenix's Arizona State University BSN program has in-state tuition costs that average about $977 per credit hour, depending on the program track in question.

Advantages of BSN Programs

The choice to pursue a BSN degree concerns more than the institution you attend. Some nurses find that university provides the knowledge, network, and confidence to improve your world, in addition to the skill sets that an AAS degree provides. For freshmen or those returning to school after time in the workforce, a BSN provides a bevy of experiences and opportunities for nurses.

MSN Programs in Arizona

MSN - or Master's of Science in Nursing - programs for nurses are increasingly common as what we learn about the human body, health and disease is expanding at a rapid rate. Those nurses that choose to complete their BSN and NCLEX may choose to continue their education by undertaking an MSN degree at their alma mater or other schools. At the present time, a few school offerings in Arizona have the MSN course track. Those that do are nationally accredited through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The state's MSN programs are licensed by the Arizona State Board of Nursing; students and their programs are connected to both the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and the Western Institute of Nursing.

MSN Admission Requirements in Arizona

With rigorous training at the undergraduate level, nurses may wish to carry on their studies and pursue a master's degree - known as an MSN. Admission to the University of Arizona's two MSN tracks is highly competitive. Candidates who wish to apply are advised to use the following information as a minimum entry requirement as criteria can change with demand.

  • Graduate with a BSN
  • NCLEX in good standing and without disqualifying incidents
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA at the undergraduate level
  • Record of all official transcripts
  • Prerequisite course load consisting of Chemistry, Anatomy & Physiology, Microbiology, Statistics, Human Lifespan Development, and Human Nutrition
  • 3 professional letters of reference, mailed directly to Admissions

Tuition and Costs of MSN Programs in Arizona

Tuition for MSN students is definitely higher than for the AAS and BSN credentials but job mobility and advancement are attainable. For the online MSN programs at the University of Arizona, tuition is about $680 per credit hour (not including additional fees). Applicants are encouraged to contact the school's Bursar to discuss payment options, and whether financial aid may be available. Students are strongly advised against working while school is in session due to the rigors of the course material.

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Getting an Arizona Nursing License

Arizona requirements for nursing licensure are as follows for candidates by application and those from another state by endorsement:

Along with a completed application, the applicant must have ready:

  • Possess a diploma, associate degree, or Baccalaureate degree in nursing from a state approved institution
  • NCLEX exam with a passing score
  • Certificate of completion - sent directly to Arizona State Board of Nursing
  • Official transcripts - sent directly to the Board of Nursing
  • Proof of citizenship or immigration status
  • Fingerprint documentation

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
  • NURSYS documentation for verification of former state license
  • Passing score on either the NCLEX-RN or State Board Test Pool Exam (SBTPE)
  • Fingerprint documentation
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or equivalent documentation

Accelerated Nursing Programs in Arizona

Accelerating your career from RN to BSN, BSN to MSN or bridging programs from RN to MSN can have great advantages. Arizona offers these types of programs at four different colleges within the state making the option of attaining an accelerated degree more accessible. These programs can be quite an intense commitment as some of them are a full 12-month full-time commitment, whereas some of the bridging or part-time options can run for 30 months. The cost and admission requirements for these programs vary from one program option to another, depending on full-time course loads or individual online course options.

Latest Arizona NCLEX-RN Pass Rates and Statistics

  • Total Number of State Approved Schools: 33
  • Total Number of Test Takers in 2020: 3,344
  • 2020 Average Statewide Arizona NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 92.2%

2021 Best RN Programs in Arizona


615 N Stadium Ave, Thatcher, AZ 85552 (928) 428-8472

Eastern Arizona College, located in Thatcher, offers an associate's degree pathway to registered nursing which focuses on stellar patient care using evidence-based nursing processes. Graduates of this 72-credit program go on to find employment in a number of healthcare arenas.

Score: 97.97| Programs: Associate in Nursing

9000 E Chaparral Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85256 (480) 423-6000

Scottsdale Community College's associate degree in nursing program is approved by the Arizona State Board of Nursing, assuring first-rate evidence-based teaching to eager nursing students. The city of Scottsdale welcomes SCC's nursing graduates with a variety of job and networking opportunities.

Score: 97.39| Programs: Associate in Nursing

1833 W Southern Ave, Mesa, AZ 85202 (480) 461-7000

Whether earning a degree or preparing to transfer, Mesa Community College's Nursing Department is both rigorous and flexible in accommodating nursing students through its ADN and Paramedic to RN programs. They also offer a Concurrent Enrollment Program to allow students to earn a BSN from a partner University alongside their ADN. Located in beautiful Mesa, Arizona, MCC's students are in demand across the nation.

Score: 96.50| Programs: Associate in Nursing, Paramedic to RN

1305 N. Martin, Tucson, AZ 85721 (520) 626-6154

The College of Nursing in the University of Arizona is home to ethical and committed faculty members who work in the College's prestigious BSN and Master's Entry to the Nursing Profession (MENP) programs. An integrative approach to teaching and patient care offers students a first-rate nursing education.

Score: 96.39| Programs: BSN, MSN

18401 N 32nd St, Phoenix, AZ 85032 (602) 787-6500

Paradise Valley Community College is located in the sprawling urban environment of Phoenix, Arizona and thus is home to many professional and academic opportunities for nursing students. Widely renowned as a high-quality nursing program, PVCC's ADN graduates are ready for practice in the healthcare field.

Score: 95.94| Programs: Associate in Nursing, Paramedic to RN

3000 N Dysart Rd, Avondale, AZ 85392 (623) 935-8000

Estrella Mountain Community College, part of the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD), provides students with the quality district-wide associate's degree nursing curriculum that MCCCD is known for. EMCC's program offers small class sizes, affordable tuition, and the ability to earn a BSN degree concurrently (via a University partner) through the Concurrent Enrollment Program (CEP).

Score: 95.33| Programs: Associate in Nursing

1620 W Fountainhead Pkwy, Suite 110, Tempe, AZ 85282 (855) 706-8382

Arizona College's Tempe campus is dedicated to the art and science of nursing. The school's BSN program can be completed in just 3 years or less with qualified transfer credits, and includes 630 hours of clinical experiences. The curriculum utilizes real-life scenarios and simulations to better prepare students for nursing practice.

Score: 94.86| Programs: BSN

550 N 3rd Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004 (602) 496-2644

Phoenix's Arizona State University is committed to training skilled and professional nurses. Their traditional, prelicensure BSN offering utilizes clinical reasoning and innovation to prepare students for a rewarding career in registered nursing. Simulation experiences are included in the curriculum.

Score: 94.69| Programs: BSN

6000 West Olive Avenue, Glendale, AZ 85302 (623) 845-3000

Glendale Community College’s Associate in Applied Science in Nursing program fully prepares students for a successful and rewarding career caring for individuals across the lifespan. In addition to this, clinical experiences and opportunities are available at a variety of area health care facilities.

Score: 94.66| Programs: Associate in Nursing

108 N 40th St, Phoenix, AZ 85034 (602) 286-8530

Located in busy Phoenix, Arizona, GateWay Community College is proud to provide students with an efficient associate's degree path to an RN career. Highly regarded faculty and facilities mean that GateWay graduates emerge ready to practice patient-based care.

Score: 94.14| Programs: Associate in Nursing

Continued List of All RN Programs in Arizona

202 E Pine Knoll Dr, Flagstaff, AZ 86011
(928) 523-2671
Programs: BSN
8470 N Overfield Rd, Coolidge, AZ 85128
(800) 237-9814
Programs: Associate in Nursing
2411 W 14th St, Tempe, AZ 85281
(480) 731-8000
Programs: Associate in Nursing
3350 E Grant Rd #200, Tucson, AZ 85716
(800) 477-7462
Programs: Associate in Nursing
3300 W Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85017
(602) 639-7500
Programs: BSN
11830 Westline Industrial Dr, Phoenix, AZ 85021
(602) 331-2720
Programs: BSN
1001 W Deuce of Clubs, Show Low, AZ 85901
(928) 532-6111
Programs: Associate in Nursing
2800 S Lone Tree Rd, Flagstaff, AZ 86005
(928) 527-1222
Programs: Associate in Nursing
1100 E Sheldon St, Prescott, AZ 86301
(928) 445-7300
Programs: Associate in Nursing
2202 West Anklam, Tucson, AZ 85709
(520) 206-4500
Programs: Associate in Nursing
4190 West Highway 80, Douglas, AZ 85607
(520) 364-7943
Programs: Associate in Nursing, LPN to RN
2020 S Ave 8 E, Yuma, AZ 85365
(928) 317-6000
Programs: Associate in Nursing
1202 W Thomas Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85013
(602) 285-7800
Programs: Associate in Nursing
1971 Jagerson Ave, Kingman, AZ 86409
(866) 664-2832
Programs: Associate in Nursing, LPN to RN
957 S Dobson Rd, Mesa, AZ 85202
(800) 477-7462
Programs: Associate in Nursing
2701 W. Bethany Home Road, Phoenix, AZ 85017
(602) 427-0660
Programs: Associate in Nursing
3110 North Central Ave, Building D, Suite 200, Phoenix, AZ 85012
(402) 280-2703
Programs: Accelerated BSN
1001 W. Southern Ave. Ste 130, Mesa, AZ 85210
(480) 734-2378
Programs: Associate in Nursing
4615 E Elwood St, Phoenix, AZ 85040
(480) 565-6797
Programs: BSN
201 N Bonita Ave., Ste 101, Tucson, AZ 85745
(520) 368-3028
Programs: Associate in Nursing
2445 W Dunlap Ave STE 100, Phoenix, AZ 85021
(602) 242-6265
Programs: BSN
300 S Craycroft Rd, Suite 300, Tucson, AZ 85711
(855) 706-8382
Programs: BSN
16404 N. Black Canyon Hwy., Phoenix, AZ 85053
(855) 307-2829
Programs: BSN

Are we missing your school's program or need to update information listed? Please contact us so we can make the necessary changes.

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