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Top 10 Best Nursing Schools in Arizona

If you are a prospective student who is looking for a good Nursing School to study, Arizona is a place to enjoy your Nursing School study.

Two factors have increased the demand for trained professional nurses in Arizona rapidly aging population plus a rise in the number of Lone Star State residents who are grappling with chronic medical conditions like diabetes, obesity, and dementia.

Despite the fact, that approximately 200,000 Arizona are presently enrolled as nurses, the Arizona center for Nursing Workforce Studies projects there will be a need for 60,000 additional nurses in Arizona by the year 2030.

Whether you are interested in becoming a leader in the nursing profession, helping underserved populations achieve healthcare equity, or being a great bedside RN, attending one of the accredited nursing schools in Arizona listed on this page will prepare you for a rewarding career.

And you also need to know that if you are already an Arizona resident, you can anticipate tuition savings if you enroll at a community college or university that’s partially subsidized by Arizona funds.

To increase your opportunity of getting a job in Arizona, it’s best to study in the state to gain valuable connections and complete state-specific requirements. See Best Texas Colleges with No Application Fee For International Students.

Based on our Ranking Methodology, after thoroughly analyzing all Nursing Schools in the state of Arizona we were able to come up with a list of the best schools for pursuing Baccalaureate and Graduate degree programs in nursing.

Top Nursing Schools in Arizona

Each school has its own benefits and drawbacks. So, depending on what your short and long-term nursing goals are, one school can easily seem better than the rest. So, it’s best to compare each school to determine the best fit for your needs.

With that in mind, we consider these to be the best schools in Arizona, ranked in no particular order:

1. Northern Arizona University

Before applying to Northern Arizona University’s BSN program, it is necessary to know that this is a four and a half year program, meaning nine semesters of study.

However, NAU allows nursing students to study via one of their four programs located across the northern part of Arizona.

Even with such versatility, NAU still boasts an impressive NCLEX pass rate for graduates of the program. Maybe that extra semester is a good thing!

Annual In-State Tuition: $10,390| NCLEX Pass Rate: 91.03%

Traditional: Yes

Online: Yes

Accelerated: Yes

Bridge: Yes

2. Arizona College

Arizona College has multiple locations across multiple states, but nursing students will likely study at their Tempe location.

The highlight of Arizona College’s BSN program is that it’s accelerated and should be finished in just three years.

After finishing, Arizona College says students will be more than prepared for the NCLEX (and they have a good pass rate for recent grads).

Considering the abbreviated program, the price for this school can be much lower than expected, and you can start your nursing career even sooner.

Annual Tuition: $18,880 | NCLEX Pass Rate: 80%

Traditional: Yes

Online: No

Accelerated: No

Bridge: Yes

Arizona College’s tuition rates are not affected by student residency.

3. Arizona State University

Arizona State University has a national reputation as a party school, but the sizable public school also has a local reputation for being an excellent place to earn an education.

Nursing students will have four different options to earn their BSN, although most will probably choose the traditional four-year program.

In terms of cost and success, this could easily be the best school for current Arizona residents. Also, students will get to enjoy Tempe in their free time. Not bad!

Annual In-State Tuition: $10,104 | NCLEX Pass Rate: 92.83%

Traditional: Yes

Online: Yes

Accelerated: No

Bridge: Yes

4. Grand Canyon University

Currently, in the news for once again becoming non-profit, Grand Canyon University’s quality is often overshadowed by other media attention. A great school to earn an online degree, GCU also has a beautiful campus near Downtown Phoenix.

Their two most popular nursing programs are the traditional BSN and the online RN to BSN, both of which have no waiting line for acceptance into the program.

While GCU doesn’t have the history of other schools in the area, they’re still growing at a quick pace, and the quality of a GCU education should rise as the school increases its prominence.

Annual Tuition: $16,500 | NCLEX Pass Rate: 98.2%

Traditional: Yes

Online: Yes

Accelerated: No

Bridge: Yes

Grand Canyon University (GCU) tuition rates are not affected by student residency.

5. University of Phoenix

If you know anything about the University of Phoenix, then you’re aware that this Arizona-based school offers pretty much all of its courses online.

However, it’s regionally accredited and, while not the most glamorous school to attend, is completely legitimate (and affordable).

Because they only offer courses online, a traditional BSN isn’t possible. However, the University of Phoenix does offer an online RN to BSN program for current registered nurses.

Annual Tuition: $9,464 | NCLEX Pass Rate: N/A

Traditional: No

Online: Yes

Accelerated: No

Bridge: Yes

University of Phoenix’s tuition rates are not affected by student residency.

6. Pima Medical Institute

Pima Medical Institute is an excellent choice when it comes to Affordability Courses in their BSN program have a flat rate, so it’s easy to budget for an exact tuition cost. But it is worth knowing that Prima Medical Institute does not offer a traditional BSN.

Instead, students will need to have already become RNs to enroll in their RN to BSN program. This is clearly not for nursing students with no experience, but presently RNs can easily benefit from this flexible program.

Annual Tuition: $13,377 | NCLEX Pass Rate: N/A

Traditional: Yes

Online: Yes

Accelerated: No

Bridge: Yes

Pima Medical Institute tuition rates are not affected by student residency.

7. The University of Arizona

Easily among the top nursing programs in the region, the University of Arizona’s BSN program should be on every nursing student’s radar. With a high NCELX pass rate and low in-state tuition, this program has it all.

However, a drawback to this is that the program is going to be highly competitive, meaning it will be more difficult to get accepted into this program than into other Arizona BSN programs.

The University of Arizona’s BSN program also has stricter admissions guidelines than other schools, so those are worth looking at prior to applying.

Annual In-State Tuition: $11,077 | NCLEX Pass Rate: 96.30%

Traditional: Yes

Online: Yes

Accelerated: Yes

Bridge: Yes

8. Glendale Community College

Glendale Community College does not have a BSN option, but it’s worth mentioning for a few reasons.

First, Glendale Community College is part of the larger Maricopa Community College which has eight campuses across Arizona, so in-state students can find a campus near them.

Second, the cost of tuition is incredibly low. Students interested in nursing will likely choose the Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in nursing. This more than adequately qualifies and prepares students to take and pass the NCLEX.

Annual In-State Tuition: $2,720 | NCLEX Pass Rate: N/A

Traditional: No

Online: No

Accelerated: No

Bridge: No

9. Carrington College-Phoenix

Carrington College has locations across the nation, including three campuses in Arizona (Mesa, Phoenix, and Tuscon) which offer an RN degree program. This two-year program is meant to give you all the skills you need to become an RN and find work locally.

While a BSN is usually preferred for graduating nurses, nearly half of all Carrington College RN students had secured a position prior to graduation. With multiple AZ locations to choose from, Carrington is a nice, two-year option for nursing students.

Annual Tuition: $23,906 | NCLEX Pass Rate: 78%

Traditional: No

Online: No

Accelerated: No

Bridge: No

10. Cochise College

Another college that doesn’t have a BSN option, Cochise College makes this list for its affordability. On top of the incredibly low in-state tuition, hundreds of thousands of dollars are awarded in scholarships each year.

Future nurses will be most interested in the AAS in nursing, a two-year program. Cochise has perhaps the top AAS program in Arizona, and local employers who need nurses know they can trust this degree.

Annual In-State Tuition: $1,896 | NCLEX Pass Rate: 93.9%

Traditional: No

Online: No

Accelerated: No

Bridge: No

4 Key Factors That Affect Nursing School Tuition

It is necessary to have in mind that colleges and universities reserve the right to change tuition rates at any time. The yearly tuition rates listed here will differ for each individual student depending on different factors including,

  • Transfer credits
  • Completed competency exams
  • Amount of credits taken per year
  • Financial aid awards
  • Check with the specific school for current tuition rates.

Nurse Salary and Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS),

Nurses employed in Arizona make an annual mean wage of $80,380, higher than the national mean annual wage.

Arizona also has more nurses per capita than other states in the area, such as California and Texas.

Next Steps:

After you’ve decided on the best nursing school(s) for your needs, the next step is to begin your application.

Contact the admissions office at each school you’re interested in. Each school has its own standards, and you may be required to take specific courses, engage in extracurricular activities, or volunteer to be eligible to apply for a school.

Inquire about the nursing program requirements for admission – it’s worth noting that nursing programs often have additional requirements for admission.

So, even though you may get accepted into a college, you may not have satisfied the need to apply for the nursing program.

Some or all of these prerequisites can be completed during your college career prior to applying to the nursing program.

Collect all the materials you need to apply. Most colleges require one or two letters of recommendation, along with your high school transcript.

If the nursing program has required paperwork that needs to be completed prior to applying to the college, it’s best to complete that now, too.

If you feel confused at any stage in the application process, worry not. Each school has various processes, and the admissions office will help you through your application.

Important considerations when comparing schools

If choosing the right nursing school came down to one factor, then nobody would care about the rest.

With that in mind, you shouldn’t choose a nursing school just because it has a high NCLEX pass rate or a high acceptance rate. Consider multiple factors prior to choosing your school, including:

  • The school’s accreditation (regional and national)
  • Tuition cost
  • The acceptance rate to the university
  • The acceptance rate to the nursing program
  • NCLEX pass rate
  • You should also check to see that schools are offering exactly what you’re looking for. Remember, the program you choose could alter the trajectory of your future nursing career.

Why should I care about the nursing program’s accreditation?

Nursing students who complete their studies at a non-accredited university will not be able to sit for the NCLEX.

As a result of this, they will face high challenges in securing stable, well-paying jobs. Why? Because students who do not take the NCLEX are not eligible to work as Registered Nurses.

The two nursing program accrediting organizations are,

  • The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
  • The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

These accrediting bodies make sure that all accredited nursing programs stick to the same standard and criteria.

How can a nurse Get a License in Arizona?

The good news is that Arizona has fewer criteria to become a registered nurse than most other states. Notwithstanding, it is mandatory that you still;

  • Take and pass the NCLEX
  • Complete a criminal background check
  • Complete the Arizona nursing application
  • Nursing students should also know that Arizona has one of the nation’s highest NCLEX pass rates. The best way to prepare for the NCLEX is by applying for, then completing, a BSN.


While Arizona has fewer nursing school options than other states, the schools situated in this state have more than adequately prepared nurses for a long, successful profession.

Arizona is an exciting place to study and getting a nursing degree in this state is affordable compared with most of the states in the U.S.

The state is a wonderful place to enjoy a nursing career as a result of high wages and stable employment.

Last Updated on June 4, 2023 by Admin

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