Best Arizona Nursing Schools – ADN, BSN, MSN

Best Arizona Nursing Schools

Open the door to a fulfilling nursing career at the best Arizona nursing schools. From state-of-the-art facilities to experienced faculty, Arizona sets the standard for nursing programs.

Earning a BSN or MSN degree opens doors to registered nurses (RNs) in Arizona’s thriving healthcare industry. With its diverse nursing schools, 

Arizona is an ideal state to start and maintain a rewarding nursing career. These institutions prioritize excellence in education, preparing students for impactful roles in patient care. In particular, nurses and nurse practitioners who specialize in behavioral health are in high demand, making Arizona an attractive destination for those looking for a long and fulfilling nursing career.

Discover the best Arizona nursing schools whose high-quality nursing training will help you become an RN for the dynamic healthcare industry. You can also check our detailed article on Fast-Track RN to BSN Online Programs.

List of 11 Best Arizona Nursing Schools 

1. Arizona College of Nursing 

Location: Phoenix, Arizona, US

The Arizona College of Nursing is a prestigious institution specializing in nursing education. Renowned for its dedication to preparing skilled healthcare professionals, this best Arizona nursing school offers a 3-year BSN program. This course also leads to the Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) which facilitates rapid entry into the healthcare industry. You’ll gain the practical experience you need at every stage of your career in the school’s nursing program.

This Arizona nursing schools places a priority on fostering a nurturing learning environment, fostering critical thinking skills, and preparing graduates for successful nursing careers. CCNE accredited, the Arizona College of Nursing plays a vital role in enhancing the healthcare workforce, providing comprehensive and rigorous programs.

2. Northern Arizona University 

Location: Flagstaff, Arizona, US

It is important to understand that this nursing program requires nine semesters of study to earn a BSN, and it is a four-and-a-half-year program if you decide to enroll in this Arizona nursing schools. Nevertheless, NAU allows nursing students to enroll in one of its four programs, all of which are located in the northern regions of Arizona. Several additional BSN options specific to NAU’s nursing program are also available. 

Offering a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs, Northern Arizona University School of Nursing prioritizes preparing students for the dynamic healthcare field. The faculty, composed of experienced professionals, seamlessly integrates theoretical knowledge with practical skills. 

Through a curriculum that emphasizes practical clinical experiences, graduates emerge well-equipped for the challenges of the nursing profession.  

3. Arizona State University 

Arizona State University
Arizona State University

Location: Tempe, Arizona, US

The Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation at Arizona State University is a leader in healthcare education. The college, renowned for its creative approach, offers BSN programs with three start dates a year – spring, summer, and fall. It can be completed in either a 24-month academic year timetable or a 16-month year-round schedule. Graduates who want to become RNs can take the National Council Licensure Examination. 

The BSN program at this Arizona nursing school prepares graduates to provide superior professional nursing care in a range of US healthcare settings. The modern facilities and collaborative learning environment of this school are beneficial for the students. The college prioritizes addressing social health challenges, fostering leadership, and promoting community well-being.  

4. Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University
Grand Canyon University

Location: Phoenix, Arizona, US

Grand Canyon University, committed to guiding individuals toward their career goals, excels in online education and boasts a picturesque campus near Downtown Phoenix. 

Renowned for its nursing programs, GCU offers traditional BSN to BSN and online RN to BSN, leading to remarkable success on the 2021 NCLEX exam, exceeding both Arizona and national averages. GCU’s nursing program includes state-of-the-art technology and simulation labs that promote practical skills.

With a rich 70-year history in Phoenix, this Arizona nursing school competes strongly with popular state schools. The institute’s rapid growth, both online and on-campus, underlines its dedication to building community and exceeding educational standards.

5. Brookline College

Location: Phoenix, Arizona, US

Brookline College’s nursing program offers a comprehensive curriculum that blends theoretical knowledge with practical clinical experience. The emphasis on critical thinking and practical skills prepares students for successful healthcare careers. This Arizona nursing school offers a dynamic 32-month BSN program that integrates cutting-edge technology with modern VR and simulation laboratories to enhance practical learning.  

With a commitment to student success, the program includes comprehensive NCLEX passing assistance. Notably, there are no waiting lists or deferred acceptance, providing aspiring nurses a streamlined path to their education. This ensures a focused and efficient journey toward obtaining a BSN at this Arizona nursing school.

6. University of Arizona 

Location: Tucson, Arizona, US

The University of Arizona School of Nursing offers a diverse range of nursing programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. For graduate students, there is an opportunity to earn a BSN degree, which provides a comprehensive understanding of basic nursing principles. 

At the graduate level, this Arizona nursing school offers MSN programs with various specializations, enabling students to focus on areas, such as family nurse practitioner, adult-gerontology acute care, or psychiatric mental health.

Additionally, the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program is available for those seeking leadership roles in the healthcare field. These programs collectively demonstrate the School’s dedication to preparing well-rounded and highly skilled nursing professionals ready to make significant contributions to the dynamic healthcare landscape.

7. University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix

Location: Phoenix, Arizona, US

The University of Phoenix offers nursing programs designed to prepare students for healthcare roles. These programs blend theoretical education with practical clinical experience covering critical nursing skills, patient care, and health care management. This Arizona nursing school prioritizes flexibility, offering online courses to working professionals.  

Prospective students should thoroughly research the program’s specifics, accreditations, and outcomes in line with their career aspirations. To prepare for a rewarding career as an RN, you can enroll in Arizona’s online BSN program.

8. Arizona Western College 

Location: Yuma, Arizona, US

Arizona Western College’s nursing program offers students a 2-year Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing. The course offers an exit option for Practical Nurse Certification after the third semester. Admission for transfer students and Licensed Practical Nurses is determined by published Advanced Placement requirements. 

Nursing practice offers a range of exciting and diverse opportunities for graduates with a range of career paths and professional options. This Arizona nursing school’s program develops academic partnerships, providing graduates with multiple pathways to pursue advanced degrees in nursing.

9. Pima Medical Institute

Pima Medical Institute – Tucson
Pima Medical Institute – Tucson

Location: Tucson, Arizona, US

The Pima Medical Institute Nursing program is designed to equip students with the skills and knowledge necessary for successful careers in nursing. This Arizona nursing school offers a variety of nursing programs, such as Practical Nursing (PN), Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), and Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) completion programs. These offerings serve individuals at various points in their nursing education and career path.  

Practical nursing programs emphasize foundational skills, while ADN and BSN programs provide more comprehensive training for those wishing to become registered nurses. It is important for prospective students to explore the specifics of each program, including admission requirements and accreditation, in order to select the option that best suits their career goals and educational preferences.

10. Cochise College

Location: Sierra Vista & Douglas, Arizona, US 

Cochise College boasts a diverse selection of nursing programs designed to meet various educational and career goals within the healthcare field. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program is designed to equip students with the skills needed for entry-level nursing roles. Practical Nursing (PN) programs serve people wishing to become Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs). 

In addition, this Arizona nursing school offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) completion program, which enables registered nurses (RNs) to further their education with an ADN or diploma. 

For individuals seeking basic training, certified nursing assistant (CNA) programs are available. Cochise College is committed to supporting the professional development of practicing nurses through continuing education initiatives, ensuring they remain at the forefront of healthcare advancements.

11. Glendale Community College – Arizona 

Location: Glendale, Arizona, US

Glendale Community College offers nursing programs designed to prepare aspiring healthcare professionals for a variety of roles within the area. The school offers the Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) program, providing a comprehensive curriculum that combines theoretical knowledge with the practical clinical skills needed for entry-level nursing positions. 

Emphasizing evidence-based practice, ethical considerations, and patient-centered care, these programs follow accreditation standards set by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). With a dedicated and experienced faculty, students are guided through a rigorous educational journey at this Arizona nursing school, ensuring that they emerge well-prepared to meet the challenges of the dynamic healthcare landscape upon completion of their studies.  

Importance of Nursing Program’s Accreditation

Understanding the importance of accreditation in a nursing program is paramount. Accreditation verifies that the program meets specific standards, ensuring that students receive a strong education. This is important for your career, as employers often give preference to candidates from accredited institutions, increasing their job prospects.

Additionally, accreditation guarantees that the nursing curriculum is aligned with industry standards, ensuring that you receive a comprehensive education that prepares you for the complexities of the healthcare field. It serves as a quality assurance mechanism, confirms faculty competencies, and enhances the overall learning environment. Accredited programs often boast superior resources, including top-notch clinical facilities that are vital for practical skill development.

Beyond personal benefit, recognition contributes to the integrity of the nursing profession. Graduates from accredited programs demonstrate higher success rates on licensure examinations, enhancing the program’s reputation. In the rapidly evolving healthcare landscape, accreditation ensures that nursing education remains dynamic and responsive to emerging trends.


1. Which Arizona school has the best nursing program?

The University of Arizona is renowned for its top-tier nursing program, with impressive NCLEX pass rates. With affordable in-state tuition, this is an excellent option for local nursing students. The institution’s commitment to excellence in education and accessible costs make it an attractive choice within the Arizona community.

2. Does Arizona State have a good nursing program?

Yes, Arizona State University (ASU) is known for its prestigious nursing program.  

Apart from the exceptional academic support, ASU has one of the top-rated nursing schools in the country. The Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation at ASU offers a range of nursing degrees and is recognized for its commitment to innovation and excellence in healthcare education. Prospective students often find it to be a strong option for nursing study.

3. Are nurses in demand in Arizona?

As of January 2022, Arizona was among the top 5 states facing critical healthcare workforce shortages. The demand for specialist nurses in the state is expected to increase by 23% by 2025, highlighting the urgent need to address workforce challenges in the healthcare sector.

4. What is the acceptance rate for Arizona nursing?

Acceptance rates for Arizona nursing programs vary by location. At Arizona College of Nursing – Tempe, it is 95%, at Arizona College of Nursing – Phoenix, it is 97%, and at Arizona College of Nursing – Las Vegas, it is 99%. These rates reflect the competitiveness of admission to each respective campus within the University of Arizona College of Nursing.

5. How long is the waiting list for nursing school in Arizona?

The Nursing program operates with a placement waiting list lasting approximately 7 to 8 semesters. Given the nature of the placement process, it is not possible to provide applicants with exact admission timelines. The admissions schedule is dependent on a variety of factors, making it challenging to determine an exact time frame when applicants can expect admission.


Arizona’s nursing education landscape is rich and diverse, offering a variety of programs to meet individual career aspirations. Even though Arizona doesn’t have as many nursing schools as there are in other US states, those that do have more than enough graduates are appropriately equipped for a fulfilling career. 

Arizona’s high salary and stable job market make it an excellent place to pursue a nursing career. 

Arizona nursing schools offer high-quality nursing programs where you can gain practical knowledge. Whether through renowned universities or specialized nursing colleges, the state offers intensive training with an emphasis on practical experience and cutting-edge research.

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