Below, I’m listing some of the best nursing schools in Arizona and some tips on finding the fitting nursing school for you.
How I Picked
There are a number of factors that I looked at when compiling this list to determine the best nursing schools in Arizona. At the end of the day, the “right” nursing school will vary from person to person, so it is important to take certain factors into consideration to find the nursing school that works best for you.
Some factors that I considered when putting this list together (that you should consider as well) include:
- NCLEX® pass rate
- Type of programs offered
NCLEX® pass rate
Although it is technically up to you to show up for your classes and make an effort to study to pass the NCLEX®, your school has a big influence on how prepared you are for test day. So, it is important to attend a school with a reasonable NCLEX® pass rate or to at least look into what the pass rate is for a given school before applying (that way, you know what you’re getting yourself into).
I personally attended a school with a high NCLEX® pass rate and I’m glad I did. Almost everyone in my graduating class passed the NCLEX® on their first try, which is huge. I had a great experience throughout nursing school, being taught by many highly experienced and knowledgeable professors.
The cost is a major factor to consider when applying to nursing schools. Luckily, there are a lot of affordable options out there and even scholarships to ease the financial burden. Even affordable nursing programs have a lot of additional expenses. Some extra expenses you can expect while in nursing school include the cost of scrubs and clinical equipment, textbooks, paying for background checks for clinicals, and the cost to take the NCLEX® exam–that’s just to name a few!
Some students may be willing or able to move to a new location for nursing school while others will want to seek out local options. As I mentioned before, I wanted to stay close to home so I wasn’t even looking at schools outside of my area. If you are willing to travel a bit for nursing school or move to a new town, this will increase your options, so it could be worth considering.
Type of programs offered
There are many different routes that can be taken to become a registered nurse. Traditional four-year nursing programs are a popular choice, but they are far from the only choice. There are associate nursing degrees, Registered Nurse (RN) to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) programs, and accelerated nursing programs for you to consider. Research the various program types to determine what would be the best fit for you.
Disclaimer: the tuition rates listed below are based on estimates found on the school’s official websites and will vary depending on the type of program you attend, the semester in which you start, and other factors.
1. Northern Arizona University
- In-state tuition estimate: $11,024
- Out-of-state tuition estimate: $27,536
- NCLEX pass rate: Over 90%
- Location: Flagstaff
Northern Arizona University (NAU) is one of Arizona’s top nursing schools, offering a BSN program that is 9 semesters long, rather than 8. This sets them apart because the program is a bit longer than a standard one so it will actually take four and a half years to complete, rather than the typical four. The way I see it, if that extra semester is going to make you a better nurse and give you a better shot at passing the NCLEX®, it is absolutely worth it.
NAU offers a traditional BSN program, an RN to BSN program, and a variety of graduate programs, including Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). Located in the charming town of Flagstaff, NAU boasts a desirable location as well.
2. Arizona State University
- In-state tuition estimate: $11,618
- Out-of-state tuition estimate: $30,592
- NCLEX pass rate: 89%
- Location: Phoenix
Arizona State University (ASU) offers a variety of options for completing a nursing degree, including online programs and in-person. They also have an online RN to BSN program for nurses who already hold an active license and want to go from associate’s degree to bachelor’s. ASU has a traditional BSN program that lasts four years, and they have an accelerated option as well.
The accelerated program is only 12 months long and is designed for students who have already completed the required prerequisites. This is a good option if you can handle a rigorous curriculum and can focus solely on your coursework for 12 months. The tuition for ASU is reasonable for in-state students but if you’re not already an Arizona resident, it would be pretty expensive. Arizona State University has multiple campuses located throughout the city of Phoenix. Phoenix is considered one of the best large cities in the United States, given its mild winters and outdoor recreation.
3. University of Arizona
- In-state tuition estimate: $12,736
- Out-of-state tuition estimate: $37,258
- NCLEX pass rate: 93%
- Location: Tucson
The University of Arizona has a 93% NCLEX® pass rate and a variety of helpful student resources, such as child care subsidies and mental health support. They have two campuses, in Tucson and Gilbert. The nursing program uses simulation to help prepare students for real-world scenarios. The University of Arizona is commonly thought of as having one of the top nursing programs in the area.
Their high NCLEX® pass rates and affordable in-state tuition make them a great option for any nursing students who are local to Arizona. University of Arizona is located in Tucson, which is a nice city that offers plenty of work opportunities and things to do. The downside is that the desirable nature of the program makes it more competitive, so this may be a program that you have to apply to multiple times before getting accepted.
4. Grand Canyon University
- Tuition estimate: $17,800
- NCLEX pass rate: 98%
- Location: Phoenix
Grand Canyon University is an ideal nursing school option for a number of reasons. First of all, they offer affordable tuition for in-state and out-of-state students. They don’t have in-state and out of state tuition, rather they offer one rate for all students. They also boast a very high NCLEX® pass rate of 98%. Grand Canyon University has online and in-person options for degrees. This school will definitely be highly competitive for acceptance, but you shouldn’t let that stop you!
5. University of Phoenix
- Tuition estimate: $9,552
- NCLEX pass rate: 89.47%
- Location: Phoenix
The University of Phoenix is fully online, so they don’t offer a traditional BSN program. They offer RN to BSN programs for nurses who have an associates’ degree and want to acquire their bachelors online. They offer affordable tuition for all students (Arizona residents and non-residents).
6. Brookline College Phoenix
- Tuition estimate: $85,000
- NCLEX pass rate: 73.4%
- Location: Phoenix
Brookline College offers an accelerated BSN program that can be completed in just 36 months. This is an accessible option, since they accept applications year round. To offer some perspective, the nursing program I applied to only accepted applications for the summer and fall; so, if you didn’t get accepted in the fall, you had to wait for almost an entire year to apply again, delaying your time to become a nurse. For me, it was worth it to wait, but if you want to get into nursing school quickly, a program like that offered by Brookline might be ideal. Their tuition rates are significantly higher than some of the other options though, so that is important to consider as well.
Why Is Nursing School So Competitive?
In my personal experience, I only applied to one nursing school program, but I had to apply multiple times before getting an acceptance letter. A lot of people want to be nurses, so nursing school is naturally competitive. Nursing is not an easy job and it takes a special kind of person; so the educational leaders who are in charge of sorting through applications have to weed out the people who don’t have what it takes or who don’t want to work hard for it.
If you don’t get into your dream school on the first try, I’d encourage you to try again. It’s worth it to be persistent if there’s a school that you have your heart set on. I chose my specific program because they had high NCLEX® pass rates and reasonable tuition, and I didn’t want to relocate (it was one of the best options in my area).
How Important Are the Stats?
Nursing school is what you make of it. You are the one showing up for class every day, you are the one studying and taking boards, but it is important that you’re set up for success with a strong nursing program and competent professors on your side. You should look into certain statistics–such as NCLEX® pass rate, graduation rates, and transfer rates–before choosing a nursing school. However, just because a nursing program doesn’t have the best statistics, you shouldn’t write them off entirely. Weigh all the options before deciding on a school.
There are many different nursing schools to choose from in Arizona. It may feel overwhelming to choose from so many great options, but I’d say that having plenty of choices for nursing school is actually a good thing. Given that nursing school is so competitive, you’ll want to have as many options as possible to choose from to increase your odds of acceptance.
Our goal is always for 100% pass rates with our students taking the NCLEX-RN exam. In 2022, we had a 84.89% NCLEX Exam Pass Rate across our campuses, higher than the national NCLEX pass rate of 82.32%*. Our BSN program includes a variety of resources and training to help prepare you for the NCLEX-RN.Which state has the highest NCLEX pass rate? ›
- New Hampshire. NCLEX Pass Rate Average (2017-2021): 94.58% ...
- Louisiana. NCLEX Pass Rate Average (2017-2021): 92.74% ...
- North Dakota. NCLEX Pass Rate Average (2017-2021): 92.36% ...
- Nevada. NCLEX Pass Rate Average (2017-2021): 91.36% ...
- North Carolina.
The Arizona College of Nursing - Tempe acceptance rate is 95%. The only major offered is Nursing.Is a 3.8 good enough for nursing school? ›
GPA requirements vary from school to school, and some early admission nursing programs require an even higher GPA of at least 3.8 or higher (weighted or unweighted). In general, you can expect that any highly competitive nursing program will have a high GPA requirement for applicants.How many times can you fail the NCLEX in Arizona? ›
In Arizona, you may take NCLEX® as many times as necessary to successfully pass. However, if at the time of licensure, has been more than 2 years since you completed the clinical portion of your nursing program, you will be required to take and pass a nurse refresher course.How many nurses pass NCLEX on first try? ›
What Are Your Chances Of Failing NCLEX-RN On The First Attempt? The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) reports 13.43% of NCLEX-RN candidates fail the exam on their first attempt. The number of unsuccessful test-takers is low compared to the more than 86% who pass the exam on their first try.Which state is easiest to get RN license? ›
- Maine: 1-2 weeks.
- Maryland: 2-3 days.
- Missouri: 2 weeks.
- Nevada: 1-2 weeks.
- North Carolina: 1-2 weeks.
- North Dakota: 1-2 weeks.
- Texas: 2 weeks.
- Vermont: 3-5 business days.
None. There is no “easy” state to take the NCLEX. The NCLEX is a national exam administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). Because it's national, the NCLEX will be the same regardless of what state you choose to take it in.Is 90% chance of passing NCLEX good? ›
Depending on the time of year tested and the year, the NCLEX pass rates for first- time, US-educated test takers are usually between 80-90% +/1. So ATI says they predict that 59.9% of students will pass the NCLEX (with a 90-100% probability) when usually around 90% pass.Does Arizona pay nurses well? ›
At a $81,600 average annual salary, RNs in Arizona tend to earn less than nurse anesthetists ($173,460), nurse midwives ($121,530), nurse practitioners ($119,910), physical therapists ($94,700), and dental hygienists ($83,860).
Waiting times for nursing school admissions in Arizona can vary greatly depending on the specific institution and program. On average, applicants may face a waiting list of approximately 7-8 semesters or around 3-4 years.Is a 3.7 GPA good enough for nursing school? ›
GPA requirements depend on the type of nursing program you want to apply for, but most programs require at least a 3.0 GPA or higher. However, due to the competitive nature of nursing programs, most schools prefer a 3.7 to 4.0 GPA.What is a bad GPA in nursing school? ›
While most nursing schools set their minimum GPA requirements at 3.0, there are accelerated nursing programs out there that accept students with 2.7 and 2.8 GPAs. Keep in mind that this doesn't mean you'd receive a lesser nursing education with these programs.What level of nursing school is the hardest? ›
- Pathophysiology. In this course, students learn how different anatomical systems work and how diseases or injuries affect these systems. ...
- Pharmacology. ...
- Medical Surgical 1 (also known as Adult Health 1) ...
- Evidence-Based Practice.
Yes, getting into nursing school with a low GPA is possible. Many colleges put preference on the SAT or the ACT over GPAs. If you have a low GPA, you may want to focus on doing well on these exams. Some colleges have an open admission process, meaning they take anyone with a high school diploma or GED.Has anyone failed NCLEX at 75 questions? ›
Can I Fail the NCLEX at 75 Questions? To pass the NCLEX RN or PN, test takers must correctly answer at least 75 questions (the minimum amount). Unfortunately, that means you can also fail the exam within those 75 questions or items.Did I fail NCLEX in 75 questions? ›
For the NCLEX- RN to shut off at 75 means you either did very well or very bad. It only fails an tester at 75 if they are unable to correctly answer more than a few questions in a row.Is NCLEX shutting off at 75 good? ›
You answered the least number of questions possible, which is 75. As mentioned in #2, the NCLEX progresses variably, depending on whether you answer a question correctly or incorrectly. If your questions continually got more complex and the test shut off at 75, this is another good sign you passed the NCLEX.What happens if you fail NCLEX 3 times? ›
If they fail, they'll need to wait 45 days before retesting. After failing three times, though, they'll need to complete a board-approved remediation program before the next retake. test-takers have six attempts to pass in total.What state has the lowest NCLEX pass rate? ›
9, 2022. Last year, 63.88 percent of registered nursing students passed the NCLEX, down from 64.79 percent in 2021 and 68.92 percent in 2020. Florida has had the lowest NCLEX pass rates in the country since 2017, according to The Tampa Bay Times.
If you don't answer enough questions correctly, you will not pass the NCLEX. The minimum passing score for the NCLEX is set by each individual state board of nursing. Typically, the passing score is between 85-95%. If you answer less than 75 questions correctly, you will likely fail the NCLEX.What state pays more for RN? ›
In the United States overall, the average registered nurse salary is $82,750 and the median (50th percentile) is $77,600. California, with RN salaries averaging $124,000, is the highest-paying state for nurses as of May 2021 (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics).Is Arizona a walkthrough state? ›
There are five walk through states: Arizona, Idaho, Louisiana, Missouri and South Carolina.What is the failure rate for the nursing exam? ›
According to data from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, there has been a steady pass rate gap of about 7% between students with a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) and an associate degree in nursing (ADN).Is NCLEX easier than nursing school? ›
Unlike nursing school exams, which test for knowledge, the NCLEX tests your ability to apply and analyze situations using the nursing knowledge you gained in school. Logic and critical thinking, rather than rote memorization, are emphasized in this test—making it much more difficult and comprehensive.How many times can you take the NCLEX? ›
Frequently Asked Questions About the NCLEX
According to NCSBN rules, you can take the NCLEX eight times a year with 45 days in between attempts.
Though the vast majority of candidates pass the exam the first time, those who fail are permitted to retake it after 45 days from their original test date. Candidates may retest as many as 8 times in a year.Do you need 50% on NCLEX to pass? ›
The NCLEX is scored using dichotomous scoring, so you can either pass or fail the exam. Currently, to pass the NCLEX-RN, the standard is 0.00 logits–or answer questions correctly at least 50% of the time. The NCLEX-PN standard is -0.18 logits.How long should I study for NCLEX? ›
HOW LONG SHOULD YOU STUDY FOR THE NCLEX? To pass the NCLEX, students should plan to spend a minimum of 1-2 months studying.What is the highest paid nurse in AZ? ›
A certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) is one of the highest-paid nursing specialties.
|Level of Experience||Hourly||Annual|
|1-4 Years of Experience||$35.50||$73,830|
|5-9 Years of Experience||$37.63||$78,260|
|10-19 Years of Experience||$45.58||$94,800|
"The nursing shortage in Arizona is a public health crisis," Sanborn said. "When we don't have nurses where they need to be to deliver the care and to care for our communities, that's something that we all need to stand up and pay attention to."How many years is AZ RN license good for? ›
RN/LPN Renewal of licensure is when you hold an Arizona license and apply to renew the license every 4 years.What nursing school has no waiting list in Arizona? ›
Chamberlain's Phoenix nursing school offers an accredited university with no waitlist or prerequisites.How long does it take to get a AZ RN license? ›
If you qualify for a temporary license, allow 30 business days for processing. The temporary license will be mailed to the address on your application. A temporary license can be held at the Board for pick up if you submit a written request with your application.Can you still become a nurse with bad grades? ›
Absolutely. You may need to get creative. You'll definitely need an open mind about which schools you're willing to attend (including possibly relocating to make it happen). Finally, you'll need to work hard—not just to get into nursing school, but once you've been accepted.How do I make my nursing school application stand out? ›
Your application needs to reflect why you'll be an excellent fit, which means a mix of professional, personal, and academic accomplishments. While it's important to meet the minimum nursing school requirements, it's also important to illustrate who you are and why you dream of becoming a nurse.Is a 3.2 nursing GPA good? ›
Overall, nursing schools are very competitive and can be difficult to get into. As a general rule of thumb, you should have at least a 3.0 to apply to a bachelor program, whereas an associates program may let you slide with a minimum GPA of 2.5.Why is nursing school so hard? ›
The main reason why nursing school is challenging is because it involves learning about complicated nursing concepts and practical skills, then applying that information into diverse patient care scenarios — going well beyond memorizing facts. While it is challenging, nursing school is not impossible.Who has the easiest BSN program? ›
- RN-to-BSN Capella University. ...
- BBA - Human Resource Management Strayer University. ...
- BS - Business Administration: Human Resource Management Southern New Hampshire University. ...
- Bachelors: Social Work Simmons University.
A minimum GPA: Between your bachelor's degree and your prerequisite courses, you'll need to meet a minimum GPA. This again ranges depending on your program of choice. Most programs require at least a 2.5 GPA or higher.What is the hardest exam for nurses? ›
Preparing to take the NCLEX is enough to make just about anyone nervous. It's a difficult exam, and a major stepping stone in your career as a registered nurse. Remember that most people pass the NCLEX on the first try. However, preparation and confidence are key to passing.What is the hardest type of nurse? ›
Possibly one of the most difficult nurse practitioner specialties, a critical care nurse practitioner has to learn to deal with life and death situations daily due to treating the most acutely ill or traumatized patients.What is the most difficult thing in nursing? ›
- Long shifts. Nurses often work 10- or 12-hour shifts. ...
- Changing schedules. ...
- Emotional involvement. ...
- Physical demands. ...
- Exposure to illness and chemicals. ...
- Lack of nurses. ...
- Changing technology. ...
- Poor treatment from patients.
- Maine: 1-2 weeks.
- Maryland: 2-3 days.
- Missouri: 2 weeks.
- Nevada: 1-2 weeks.
- North Carolina: 1-2 weeks.
- North Dakota: 1-2 weeks.
- Texas: 2 weeks.
- Vermont: 3-5 business days.
Thousands of nursing school applicants are rejected each year. Persistence and these strategies raise your chances of admission with your next application.Do hospitals care about GPA nursing? ›
A GPA is an accomplishment if it's a high one, just like your nursing degree. You can share this information in a cover letter and/or on your resume. Too, in some nursing schools, a higher GPA gets you a better clinical rotation. For example, the highest GPAs make it into the ICU or operating room.What is the grading scale for nursing at University of Arizona? ›
BSN students are expected to earn grades of A (4.0), B (3.0) or C (2.0) in every NURS course required for degree completion. Grades below a C are viewed as unsatisfactory academic performance. Courses: Students are required to earn a grade of C or higher in each course.What is the pass rate for nursing com NCLEX? ›
What is NURSING.com NCLEX pass rate? 99.86%What is the NCLEX pass rate for ASU Newport? ›
– Arkansas State University-Newport is proud to announce the traditional Registered Nursing students who graduated in December 2022 achieved a 90.4% pass rate on the NCLEX, the National Licensing Examination for Nurses.
Arizona State University (Edson) 2023-2024 Rankings
Arizona State University (Edson) is ranked No. 51 (tie) in Best Nursing Schools: Master's and No. 56 (tie) in Best Nursing Schools: Doctor of Nursing Practice. Schools are ranked according to their performance across a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence.
While most nursing schools set their minimum GPA requirements at 3.0, there are accelerated nursing programs out there that accept students with 2.7 and 2.8 GPAs. Keep in mind that this doesn't mean you'd receive a lesser nursing education with these programs.What is a good nursing score? ›
A score above 92% is considered “exemplary.” For many students, getting into the 80s is the most difficult hurdle. Other students want above a 92 percent so that they can feel confident about admission into some of the most competitive nursing programs in the country.What is a good score on a nursing exam? ›
|> 900||90% to 100%||Excellent|
|850 to 899||80% to 90%||Above Average|
|800 to 849||75% to 80%||Average|
|< 799||< 75%||Failure|
If they fail, they'll need to wait 45 days before retesting. After failing three times, though, they'll need to complete a board-approved remediation program before the next retake. test-takers have six attempts to pass in total.Can you fail NCLEX-RN in 75 questions? ›
Can I Fail the NCLEX at 75 Questions? To pass the NCLEX RN or PN, test takers must correctly answer at least 75 questions (the minimum amount). Unfortunately, that means you can also fail the exam within those 75 questions or items.Is the NCLEX easier in Arizona than California? ›
|U.S. State (or territory)||NCLEX Pass Rate (%)|
|U.S. Virgin Islands||91.2|
Leading our list, Connecticut is one of the six New England states (Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut) with an examination process that is internationally friendly.What is the #1 public college of nursing in the US? ›
Consequently, Duke University School of Medicine, located in the heart of Duke's Medical Campus, is currently ranked by the Nursing Schools Almanac as the #1 Best Nursing School in the United States. Duke University offers nursing students Master's, Ph. D., and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degrees.What state is the highest for nurse? ›
In the United States overall, the average registered nurse salary is $82,750 and the median (50th percentile) is $77,600. California, with RN salaries averaging $124,000, is the highest-paying state for nurses as of May 2021 (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics).