In Arizona, nursing programs are available at several 2 and 4-year colleges and universities. Programs are offered at the undergraduate and graduate level, through associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs. Practical nursing and nursing assistant certificate programs are also available. At the bachelor's degree level, programs are offered for existing RNs; there are also bachelor's level programs for students with no nursing experience.
Arizona State University
Arizona State University (ASU) is located in Tempe and is one of the largest public universities in Arizona offering RN programs. This 4-year school offers a Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) and a BSN degree program within its College of Nursing and Health Innovation.
The RN to BSN program is designed for nursing students who hold an associate's degree or diploma in nursing, as well as local community college students who plan to transfer to ASU's BSN program. The RN to BSN track includes humanities electives and a variety of courses, such as community health, leadership and management practices and nursing research. Students can complete this program online.
The traditional pre-licensure clinical nursing degree program (BSN) is intended for students who have no prior nursing experience and are interested in becoming professional registered nurses. Students in this program gain the clinical competence and theoretical knowledge necessary to pass state and national board exams or graduate study. In addition to general education courses, students complete clinical work and take nursing courses, such as anatomy, pathophysiology, ethics, and human development.
The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) teaches students to incorporate evidence-based knowledge into their clinical nursing practice. Participants of this program are taught to approach nursing from a holistic perspective while completing the required 1170 post-baccalaureate hours. Completion of an Evidence-Base Mentoring Applied Project is required to earn this terminal degree.
ASU's College of Healthcare and Innovation also offers a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Nursing and Healthcare Innovation, which is designed to prepare graduates for careers in teaching, research, and policy development. The program is available both on-campus and online for nursing students who are in the bachelor's degree program or pursuing their master's degree in nursing. Courses include health promotion theories, research in nursing and healthcare, health policies, and designing and analyzing experiments.
Central Arizona College
This college in Coolidge offers an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Nursing that requires roughly 66 credit hours. Students can expect to learn effective therapeutic practices, critical thinking, caring behaviors, team work, ethics and patient care. Required courses include nursing transitions, health illness transitions, pharmacology, human nutrition, and drug dosages.
Glendale Community College
Glendale Community College offers a few certificate options, as well as an associate's degree for students wanting to begin a career in nursing. The nurse assisting certificate program requires a single course worth six credit hours. Participants can expect to learn skilled care techniques through clinical laboratory and hands-on care experiences. In order to become a Certified Nursing Assistant, students must pass required certification examinations. In addition, licensure can be obtained through the Arizona State Board of Nursing.
The practical nursing certificate program requires between 31 and 41 credit hours. Students can expect to study nursing theory and science, as well as practical nursing transitions. This program is available at eight campuses in the Maricopa Community College network, and graduates are able to obtain practical nurse licensure.
The associate's degree program requires 35 credit hours of major courses that focus on nursing theory and science. In addition, students must complete a nursing clinical capstone course. Graduates are eligible to sit for the registered nurse national licensing examination offered by the State Board of Nursing.
Mesa Community College
Mesa Community College (MCC) offers an RN program on eight campuses. This program requires four semesters of intensive study, including classroom, laboratory, and clinical experiences. Students can expect four levels of nursing theory and sciences courses. In addition, courses in human anatomy, physiology, microbiology and humanities are required. In order to earn the associate's degree, students must also complete a nursing clinical capstone project. This program includes between 61 and 74 credit hours.
Northern Arizona University
Located in Flagstaff, Northern Arizona University offers a variety of undergraduate nursing programs, as well as a Master of Science (MS) in Nursing. Students can complete the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program on several campuses, including locations in Yuma, Tucson and in the Navajo Nation. Students can also choose an accelerated or RN to BSN program. Courses cover nutrition, pharmacology, statistics, public health nursing, and family case management. Only 60 students are accepted annually, and graduates are eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).
The MS in Nursing degree program provides two tracks of study, including family nurse practitioner and nurse generalist. Candidates for the program must have a bachelor's degree, preferably in nursing; however, graduates of an associate's degree program in nursing with a bachelor's degree in another field are also eligible. In addition, three to five years of professional nursing experience is required.
A Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program is also available. Candidates for this terminal degree program must hold a master's degree in nursing and certification in an APRN specialty. Clinical practice is the focus of this program, and students must complete at least 30 credit hours to earn the degree.
Paradise Valley Community College
Students can earn an associate's degree in nursing at this community college located in Phoenix. The curriculum requires between 64 and 74 credit hours, and graduates are eligible to sit for the national registered nurse licensing examination. Required courses include four levels of nursing theory and science, as well as a nursing clinical capstone project. Courses in human anatomy, biology, psychology, and microbiology are also necessary.
Pima Community College
Located in Tucson, Pima Community College offers an associate's degree in nursing that requires between 72 and 88 credit hours. This program is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission. Required core courses include nursing process and trends and issues in nursing. Support courses include the study of microbiology, human development, nutrition, drug calculations, and pharmacology. Graduates are able to sit for the NCLEX-RN examination to obtain the required licensure to work as an RN.
Scottsdale Community College
Students can earn an associate's degree in nursing at Scottsdale Community College, although this program is also available at nine other Maricopa Community Colleges. Students must complete 35 credit hours of required courses focused on nursing theory and science. A clinical capstone project is also mandatory. Graduates are eligible to become registered nurses.
University of Arizona
The University of Arizona (UA) in Tucson offers a traditional 4-year bachelor's degree designed for high school graduates, as well as an accelerated program for nursing students who hold a bachelor's degree in another field. The program prepares graduates to assess patients, evaluate care outcomes and understand legal and ethical duties. Courses include pathophysiology, foundations in nursing, managing acute and chronic illness, mental health, and community nursing. Students enrolled in the university's College of Nursing who choose either the traditional or accelerated program are prepared for national RN licensure examination upon graduation.
Students can complete the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) terminal degree program either full-time or part-time. Roughly 71 credit hours are required to complete the program. Participants earn the skills necessary to improve clinical outcomes, lead collaborative teams, and transform clinical practices. Dual degrees are available in adult acute care, family medicine and pediatrics.
A doctorate program is also available. The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing program requires between 64 and 79 credits, and students can choose to complete the curriculum on a part-time or full-time basis. A DNP/PhD is also offered, and can lead to advanced clinical and research skills.
All practical nurses and registered nurses (RN) must become licensed by successfully completing an approved nursing program offered at an accredited institution and by passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). Certification is available for specialties in this field and can be obtained through various professional associations. All RNs performing advanced roles must be certified and/or licensed as well.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||RN Training Programs||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)|
|Arizona State University||Four-year; public; midsize city|| Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN),
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN),
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP),
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Nursing and Healthcare Innovation
|$10,822 in-state; $28,336 out-of-state*|
|Central Arizona College||Two-year; public; rural fringe||Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Nursing||$2,580 in-state; $11,100 out-of-state*|
|Glendale Community College||Two-year; public; large suburb|| Certificate of Completion (CCL) in Nurse Assisting,
Certificate of Completion (CCL) in Practical Nursing,
Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Nursing
|$2,070 in-state; $7,854 out-of-state*|
|Mesa Community College||Two-year; public; large city||Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Nursing||$2,070 in-state; $7,854 out-of-state*|
|Northern Arizona University||Four-year; public; small city|| Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN),
Online RN - BSN Program,
Master of Science (MS) in Nursing,
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
|$11,564 in-state; $25,828 out-of-state*|
|Paradise Valley Community College||Two-year; public; large city||Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Nursing||$2,070 in-state; $7,854 out-of-state*|
|Pima Community College||Two-year; public; large city||Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Nursing||$2,142 in-state; $7,458 out-of-state*|
|Scottsdale Community College||Two-year; public; rural fringe||Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Nursing||$2,070 in-state; $7,854 out-of-state*|
|University of Arizona||Four-year; public; large city|| Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN),
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP),
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Nursing
|$12,467 in-state; $36,366 out-of-state*|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).