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Best Online LPN Programs in Arizona (AZ)

Choosing an LPN program that meets your needs and prepares you for a career is essential. Explore two online LPN programs in Arizona, resources, and more that can help you succeed.

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Author: Genevieve Kane
Editor: Kimberly Zaski
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Deciding to become a licensed practical nurse (LPN) is a big step, and choosing which school to attend can feel overwhelming. Fortunately, there are several LPN program options available in Arizona. These in-person and online LPN programs provide you with the abstract knowledge and practical clinical experiences necessary to dive into work straight after graduation.

Online and hybrid programs save on commute time and allow you to choose how to fit your studies around your work and life instead of the other way around.

For a closer look at examples of top LPN programs offered online in Arizona, the licensure requirements you’ll have to meet after graduating from them, and your earning potential across the span of your career, keep reading.

When considering online LPN programs in Arizona, it is crucial to select a quality program. Features to consider include accreditation, admission requirements, tuition costs, financial aid, and how the program fits into your current lifestyle.

Arizona has several nursing schools with online LPN programs, including Maricopa Community Colleges and Pima Community College, which we’ve profiled below.

Maricopa Community Colleges

Maricopa Community Colleges offers a hybrid, fast-track program for aspiring LPNs. Students can complete the fast-track LPN program in as few as three semesters.

If you want to obtain your degree quickly, can put in the time necessary to complete the accelerated coursework, and are looking for a program with online flexibility, Maricopa Community Colleges may be a great fit.

The program consists of three semesters totaling 22-27.5 credits, depending on your entry point. The first course, one of two nursing assistant courses, is offered in person. The program director may waive this course if you are already a licensed or certified nurse assistant or have a military background in healthcare.

The subsequent Practical Nursing Theory and Science I and II courses offer in-person or online live options. While you can complete the coursework online, an in-person lab meets weekly.

There are several admissions requirements for the program, including:

  • Completed application to the fast-track LPN program
  • Passing score on a nursing program admission test
  • High school diploma or GED
  • Fingerprint clearance card
  • Completion of the health and safety requirements outlined by the college

Students receive academic advising throughout the program and can apply for financial aid to fund their education. Maricopa Community Colleges accepts the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The Arizona State Board of Nursing approves this fast-track online LPN program in Arizona. Students who complete the program are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN®).

Pima Community College

Pima Community College offers a 38.5-credit, three-semester LPN program. Instead of three all-encompassing courses, Pima Community College offers several smaller classes. Like Maricopa Community Colleges, the first is a CNA course.

Pima Community College offers courses in various formats, including in-person, online, hybrid, and synchronous online. The course format varies by course and semester. Note that regardless of format, skills labs and clinicals are in person.

Admissions requirements include:

  • Attendance at a program information session
  • Placement into required courses or completion of the listed prerequisites with a grade of a “C” or better
  • Negative tuberculosis test
  • Physical exam

Unique to Pima Community College is the option to continue in the school’s associate degree in nursing (ADN) program. So, if you hope to pursue an ADN after your LPN, this program might be a great fit.

Depending on your program, you can take the NCLEX-PN® after completing the first three semesters of the ADN or LPN certificate program.

The ADN program is accredited through the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. The Arizona Board of Nursing approves the nursing programs and approves the LPN program at Pima Community College.

Pima Community College offers several financial aid options, accepts the FAFSA, and allows a payment plan for most students.

A Closer Look at LPN Licensing Requirements in Arizona

The Arizona State Board of Nursing outlines several requirements to obtain a license and start practicing as an LPN in Arizona. While you will be responsible for completing your own fingerprint checks and renewal requirements (described in greater detail below), top, accredited online LPN programs in Arizona meet the educational requirements set by the Arizona State Board of Nursing and thus make you eligible to take the NCLEX-PN® and obtain an LPN license.

Background Check

To work as a nurse in Arizona, you must submit a complete set of fingerprints. Your fingerprints are used for state and federal criminal record checks.

The Arizona State Board of Nursing notes that a clearance card through DPS is not considered a substitute for fingerprints and that a permanent license will only be issued once fingerprint results are received through an approved agency. If you are unsure where to go for fingerprints, the State Board recommends calling your local police or sheriff’s department for recommendations.

Education and Training

Additionally, nurses who wish to work as LPNs must complete the appropriate education and training requirements. For United States educated nurses in Arizona, this means completing a board-approved education program.

Both Maricopa and Pima Community Colleges are approved by the Arizona Board of Nursing, which also maintains up-to-date lists of approved nursing programs.

Professional Nursing Examination

Which professional nursing exam you take depends on the license you are seeking. Many LPN programs, like the programs at Maricopa and Pima Community Colleges, require a certified nursing assistant (CNA) class as part of the program. Candidates can sit for a CNA exam and licensure after completing the CNA course.

In Arizona, there is also a licensed nursing assistant (LNA). Training and exam requirements for an LNA are identical to a CNA, but the difference is that the Arizona Board of Nursing regulates LNAs. Like an LPN or RN, LNAs must submit fingerprint documentation for state and federal background checks.

LPNs and RNs must pass their respective version of the NCLEX® for licensure. For LPNs, it is the NCLEX-PN®, and for RNs, it is the NCLEX-RN®.

Renewal of Licensure & Continuing Education

License renewals for LPNs and RNs occur every four years in Arizona. There are requirements for renewing your license, and one of these four criteria must be met:

  • 960 practice hours as a nurse within the last five years
  • Graduated and obtained a degree from a nursing program within the previous five years
  • Completed an Arizona board-approved nursing refresher course within the last five years
  • Advanced your nursing degree within the previous five years (i.e., LPN to RN or BSN, MSN, or doctoral-level degree)

Keep in mind that you must meet only one of the above criteria to qualify for renewal. If your license lapses in Arizona, you can renew it by meeting the 960 practice hours within the last five years or taking a refresher course approved by the Arizona Board of Nursing.

Career and Earning Potential for Arizona LPNs

State-specific LPN job growth is projected at 38.8% over the course of this decade, according to Projections Central, which compiles data from various government sources. LPN job growth in Arizona may be so due in large part to the growing retirement population. Arizona boasts the first active adult retirement community in the country, and nearly a fifth of the state’s population is 65 or older. As such, Arizona is a great place to pursue a career as an LPN in long-term adult or retirement care. While opportunities exist in other specialties, many open positions involve the healthcare needs of older adults.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that the national average wage for LPNs is $24.26 per hour or $54,620 annually. LPNs in Arizona, however, can expect higher-than-average pay. While earning potential fluctuates across cities, it, like Arizona’s cost of living, is generally quite high — according to one economic research group, Arizona is currently the 36th most expensive state to live in.

AreaEmployment
(2020)
New Jobs
(2020-2030)
Job Growth RateAvg. Annual Openings
(’20-’30)
Arizona7,4802,90038.8%960
US688,100751,9009.3%60,700

Source: Projections Central

Location10th PercentileMedian90th Percentile
Arizona$50,990$61,840$72,920
Flagstaff, AZ$55,760$67,550$74,390
Lake Havasu City-Kingman, AZ$48,320$58,700$74,730
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ$51,210$62,350$72,920
Prescott, AZ$55,440$63,550$72,840
Sierra Vista-Douglas, AZ$48,540$58,810$72,050
Tucson, AZ$49,650$61,550$70,220
Yuma, AZ$54,700$60,860$73,350

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Resources for Arizona LPN Students and Professionals

  • Arizona Nurses Association: The Arizona Nurses Association is the state chapter of the American Nurses Association. It offers in-person and online events, continuing education, scholarship opportunities, job postings, and several other member benefits.
    When you join the Arizona Nurses Association, you also receive a dual membership to the American Nurses Association. Membership is $15/month and offers excellent networking opportunities among fellow nurses in the state and across the nation.
  • Arizona State Board of Nursing: The Arizona State Board of Nursing has a page dedicated to student resources. You’ll find programs and information about the difference between practicing as an RN and an LPN, among others.
    Additionally, there are factors to consider when choosing a nursing program. For example, the board recommends looking into exam pass rates and program attrition.
  • Indian Health Services: This two-year loan repayment program qualifies students for up to $25,000 in loan repayment annually. Participants can renew after two years and obtain additional loan repayment on eligible healthcare degrees.
  • National Association of Hispanic Nurses Phoenix Chapter: Membership in this association is open to both student nurses and practicing nurses. The group has several opportunities for members, including monthly meetings and an annual conference. When you join the chapter, you are also connected to the broader national group.
  • Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program: Offered through the Health Resources and Services Administration, this program seeks nurses to work in rural and underserved areas in exchange for loan repayment. Nurses work for two years at an approved site, then receive payment for 60% of their loans. Additionally, you can apply again for a third year for an additional 25% loan repayment.
  • Student Nurses’ Association of Arizona: This chapter of the National Student Nurses’ Association is open to nursing students in associate, diploma, bridge, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs. Membership fees are $37 for one year in Arizona or $70 for two years.