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2023 Best Online Nursing Programs in Arizona

By OnlineU Staff Writers | Updated 7/21/2023

Looking to pursue a nursing career in Arizona? We've compiled a list of the best online nursing programs in Arizona for 2023 to help you achieve your higher education goals. In today's fast-paced world, the demand for distance learning has increased due to its flexibility and convenience. Online nursing programs have emerged as the preferred choice for many individuals aiming for careers in the healthcare sector. Since tuition cost is another crucial factor in the college selection process, we've taken care to identify the most affordable nursing degrees in 2023 as well.

Our list below focuses on Arizona-based colleges with online nursing programs that have available NCLEX data so that you can choose a program that produces graduates with the best pass rates.

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2023 Best Online Nursing Programs in Arizona

School NCLEX Pass Rate Online Enrollment
Northern Arizona University 93.59% 6,208
University of Arizona 92.73% 8,727
GateWay Community College - AZ 91.24% 1,463
Chamberlain College of Nursing 88.89% 25,484
Chamberlain University 88.89% 25,484
Grand Canyon University 88.4% 79,865
Arizona State University 86.27% 62,301
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Becoming a Nurse in Arizona

There are several ways to become a nurse in Arizona. In general, you need to earn a nursing degree and then pass the appropriate National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to earn a license. The type of nurse you can become depends on your education and experience. 

Arizona is part of a nursing compact that includes many other states. The compact licensure allows for nurses to practice in their home state and other compact states with the same nursing license. 

Experts expect demand for nurses in Arizona to grow in coming years as more people leave the profession in the wake of COVID-19 burnout. Arizona also has nursing education waitlists because of a lack of qualified instructors. This nursing shortage might lead to opportunities for qualified nurses.

Read on for details on how to become different types of nurses in the Grand Canyon State. Each of them involves applying for a license or certification from the Arizona State Board of Nursing. 

To learn about online nursing programs and requirements in other states, explore our list of accredited nursing degrees by state below:

Nursing Degrees by State

How To Get a CNA Certificate or LNA license in Arizona

Arizona has two levels of nursing assistant: certified nursing assistant (CNA) and licensed nursing assistant (LNA). CNA applicants must complete an approved nursing program and pass the nursing assistant state exam to receive their certifications and be registered on the CNA registry maintained by the Arizona State Board of Nursing. Certification is free of charge, and CNAs must practice eight hours every two years to maintain their registration on the registry.

LNA license requirements are the same as the CNA requirements, but with the addition of a $50 licensing fee and a background check costing $50. The Arizona Board of Nursing has more oversight over LNAs. The LNA license must be renewed every two years and costs $50 to renew. To renew a license, LNAs must have practiced a minimum of 160 hours within the previous two years.

How To Get an LPN License in Arizona

Licensed practical nurse (LPN) applicants must pass the NCLEX-PN that the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) maintains. LPNs have a more limited scope of practice than registered nurses (RNs), but the requirements for an Arizona LPN license are the same as those for an RN applicant. LPNs benefit from being able to practice in other compact states without having to apply for a new license.

LPNs earn mean yearly wages of $61,920 in Arizona, which is much higher than the national median salary of $48,070 for LPNs. LPN certificate programs are more commonly found at community colleges than universities, which tend to offer Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) programs.

How To Get a Registered Nurse (RN) License in Arizona

There are two primary ways to get registered as a nurse in Arizona. U.S. nurses need a diploma, an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), or a BSN from an accredited program. After completing an approved program, students become eligible to schedule their NCLEX-RN examination. Applicants must pass this exam to obtain their Arizona nursing license. 

Graduates from out of state must submit their transcripts to the Arizona State Board of Nursing to receive a license by endorsement. If they're already licensed as RNs in another compact state, applicants need not apply for an Arizona RN license unless they are making Arizona their primary state of residence. RNs from a state outside the compact will need to prove that they passed the NCLEX or State Board Test Pool Exam, they have a previous license in another state, and they hold an accredited degree in nursing. 

Additionally, applicants will have to have met one of the following criteria within the past five years:

  • Practiced for 960 hours or more

  • Graduated from a nursing program

  • Completed an Arizona Board-approved nursing refresher

  • Obtained an advanced nursing degree

In order to complete licensure, applications must submit an online application with fees, provide proof of citizenship, nationality, or immigrant status documentation, and submit a fingerprint card.

Once you have an RN credential, you might be interested in how to become a neonatal nurse, a pediatric nurse, or a travel nurse who takes temporary assignments around the country.

How To Get an Advanced Practice Nurse (APRN) License in Arizona

The Arizona State Board of Nursing recognizes the following roles as advanced practice nurses (APRNs): registered nurse practitioner (RNP), certified nurse midwife (CNM), clinical nurse specialist (CNS), and certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA). Arizona APRN license applicants must have their school fill out a letter outlining their completed courses, the type of degree, and the length of their program. 

Temporary certificates are available when applying for an APRN license and are good for six months from the issue date. Temporary certificates expire if the applicant fails the national certifying exam.

Arizona applicants who want prescription power must complete question 20 on the application and submit proof of at least 45 contact hours in pharmacology or clinical management of drug therapy in the previous three years. They also need to apply for a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration number.

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