Being in the Southwest part of the country, Arizona has a long history of development in large urban locations spread apart by mountains or vast areas of empty desert and wilderness. This geographic set of facts tends to drive placement and availability of higher education institutions to clump up in certain locations where there is sufficient infrastructure and development to support a sizable population and student body. However, with modern conveniences and advances in education technology, potential nursing students will not have any trouble finding BSN programs in Arizona that are close to home.
Please note that achieving a BSN degree doesn’t automatically open the door for starting occupational work as a nurse. A student still needs to have an initial license in nursing from the Arizona State Board of Nursing. Many students achieve this early by passing the NCLEX exam after achieving a practical nursing degree at the associate level.
Generally, there are 16 recognized BSN programs in Arizona. They all require the completion of 120-125 credits in varying coursework and nursing practice that is graded at an academic college level. Below are the most prominent and state-approved bachelor’s degree (BSN) programs in Arizona.
Long known for a strong reputation as one of Arizona’s top educational institutions, the University of Arizona is home to its College of Nursing, which offers a traditional track in both a bachelor’s degree in nursing as well as graduate studies for a master’s degree as well. The college institutes an integrated nurse training approach that combines textbook theory, practical hands-on clinical training, and medical ethics for community support and ideal nursing commitments.
While the bachelor’s degree program generally provides a nursing student a standard level education, it also opens the door for graduate studies at the university. For those wanting to go forward into advanced studies, the University of Arizona provides a doctorate program in nursing that includes five different types of specialization as well.
Situated within the Edson College of Nursing, the Arizona State University nursing program provides multiple pathways to a nursing bachelor’s degree, depending on what the student has already achieved and still needs. There is a standard four-year university bachelor’s program. Additionally, ASU provides an accelerated RN to BSN approach for those who already have practical nursing experience and licensing. The third path is a 12-month program that allows students who already have a bachelor’s degree to add on a nursing BSN focused entirely on nursing classes alone. And finally, ASU provides a concurrent program with local community colleges, allowing students to get a declared associates degree while still working towards a BSN as well.
Designed to be responsive to the modern need for multi-talented nurses, Northern Arizona University teaches students to function as team-oriented nurses with critical thinking skills, digital awareness, the ability to flexibly perform in different environments and ethically focus on community health.
NAU generally provides a standard bachelor’s degree in nursing but it also operates specialized programs for community focus. For example, NAU specifically provides an American Indian program for emphasized nursing recruitment in AI communities. NAU also provides an RN-to-BSN program for transfer and ongoing nursing students advancing their careers. The school also provides an accelerated bachelor’s degree for students seeking to enter the career market as soon as possible. This last choice allows those who already have a bachelor’s degree to add on a nursing degree to their education in another discipline. NAU provides its nursing bachelor’s program with in-person classes located in Yuma, Tucson, in the Navajo Nation, and in Flagstaff.
Offering a dual path to a nursing degree, Chamberlain College of Nursing is specifically a medical-training school geared entirely toward nursing careers. The school does provide other public health degree and certificate paths, but the major emphasis remains on the nursing field. The school in Arizona is part of a 22-campus network across the United States and it provides both in-person and online training options for students. Chamberlain’s accreditation comes from the CCNE as well as the Higher Learning Commission.
Arizona College of Allied Health has been providing nursing education and medical assistant training for at least three decades. The school is primarily a trade school operation, with a heavy emphasis on practical training for fast career placement. Arizona College operates two facilities in Tempe and Tuscon, and the school is networked in four other cities outside of the state as well. Arizona College provides students an accelerated 3-year bachelor’s degree option. The school is accredited by the CCNE as well as the Bureau of Health Education Schools.
Among all the schools available in Arizona, Brookline College offers a bachelor’s in nursing degree in the shortest time frame with a 2.5 year duration. This, of course, assumes students will pass all classes after acceptance, but Brookline combines classroom training with lab work and clinical placement experience as well. Brookline is CCNE accredited and provides in-person training on an 8-to-5 weekday schedule at its Phoenix, AZ facility location. The nursing program is part of a larger trade school operation, and Brookline’s entire school program incorporates online training as well as legal skills, business training, and general healthcare.
With a name based on the main city of Arizona, it should not surprise anyone that the University of Phoenix has a large presence in the state as well. Generally, the university teaches most of its programs online, but it does provide a physical campus presence in a number of states. The nursing program provides an RN-to-BSN path as well as three different masters degree pathways in nursing for graduate studies. Both degree levels are accredited by the CCNE. Students should note, however, that the learning approach at Phoenix is a bit different, taking one class at a time in 5-week windows versus a normal semester approach. Phoenix also offers an entry-level associate degree in nursing as well.
Creighton University provides a standard bachelors in nursing degree program located in Phoenix, AZ and advertises that 100 percent of its graduates are placed in career positions within approximately six months. Creighton’s program has been in operation for at least 60 years, and prior to its recent opening in Phoenix, the university taught in-person nursing from its two campuses in Nebraska as well as online. Creighton expanded its program to an accelerated BSN approach with the opening of the Phoenix campus, generally providing a nursing path for those who already had a prior bachelor’s degree or requisite training that could be transferred in.
Aspen provides two different choices for a nursing bachelor’s degree in a hybrid format. For those with prior experience and schoolwork, the RN-to-BSN is probably the better path, allowing for an expedited path to a bachelor’s degree. The school also offers a standard pre-licensure bachelor’s degree as well. In addition, Aspen has a very heavy graduate program offering 10 different masters degree specializations as well as a doctorate in nursing program.
Aspen University does not have a full program physical presence in Arizona. Instead, its bachelor’s degree programs are offered online. Students missing the practical hands-on requirements will need to make arrangements to attend physical nursing core classes at two Aspen locations/offices in Arizona.
For those seeking an online RN-to-BSN nursing bachelor’s degree program that is highly affordable and entirely online, Western Governors University or WGU is worth looking at. The school charges on a 6-month flat rate, but that doesn’t include additional fees and book costs. However, WGU is probably one of the most competitive schools available for those who already have a practical nursing license, need a flexible school schedule, and want to transfer existing experience to a bachelor’s degree advancement. WGU’s online program is CCNE accredited for its nursing program, and the school also offers six other master’s degree specializations in nursing as well for further graduate studies.
The BYU Online College of Nursing provides Arizona nursing students an online option towards a standard bachelor’s degree in nursing. However, students can expect that they will carry a heavy load of 16 credits per semester in an accelerated program approach. Typical duration lasts about six semesters. Entering students are highly discouraged from working fulltime because of how hard the program is otherwise. Clinical experience does have to be arranged with local recognized clinics as the main BYU campus is located out of state in Utah only.
If you’re thinking about studying nursing for further career advancement, the bachelor’s degree is definitely a necessary step. Fortunately, there are plenty of BSN programs in Arizona to choose from. This is a good thing since a student simply can’t move forward in career opportunities or to the master’s degree level without an accomplished BSN in some form or another. The above list provides the most active and stable schools with BSN programs in Arizona currently, which is in addition to the dozens of junior colleges and trade schools also offering certificates and associate degrees in basic practical nursing for entry into the field.
The above schools have been ranked first by how robust their nursing programs are as well as the quality and reputation of the school. Then they are adjusted and ranked further for tuition cost and expense to the student.
If you have a question about one of the schools listed or where to find out more information about a specific BSN program in Arizona, please contact us. If there is a concern about one of the schools listed and its information, please feel free to update us as well on the details.