If you’re an Arizona resident looking for a fast and affordable path to launching your career in nursing, consider becoming a licensed practical nurse (LPN) by earning a degree or certificate through an accredited LPN program in AZ. There are lots of great programs available through community colleges and vocational schools in Arizona, and some even include distance learning components.
This guide can help you find the LPN program in Arizona that best meets your needs. Keep reading to find a list of top programs as well as details on what you’ll learn during your studies, how to obtain your Arizona LPN license, what the job market for LPNs in Arizona looks like, and more.
College Spotlights: Best LPN Programs in Arizona
Spotlighted below are three of the best fully-accredited and state-approved LPN programs in AZ. Our choices are based on several elements, including affordability, study flexibility, program options, access to quality student support services, and more. They also set a standard of comparison when considering any of the LPN programs in Arizona.
Study convenience and flexibility are key features of the Fast Track Practical Nursing Program at Gateway Community College in Phoenix. The two-semester curriculum combines foundational nursing theory and skills classes and labs with hands-on clinical practice experiences at hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities in the Phoenix area. The Day Option offers classes and labs in person on Gateway’s Washington Campus. The Evening Option combines in-person and online synchronous classes attended mostly on weekday evenings with some labs on Friday, Saturday, and/or Sunday. Clinical experiences are scheduled during the day, in the evenings, or on weekends.
Gateway also offers a 12-credit Veterans/LPN Bridge Program for vets with previous healthcare training obtained during their military service. Completion of any of the LPN programs at Gateway provides eligibility to take the NCLEX-PN.
Northland Pioneer College offers an LPN Certificate of Applied Science (CAS) option as part of its RN degree program. Students interested in earning the LPN Certificate are admitted to NPC’s Registered Nurse AAS degree program, which requires a current Licensed Nursing Assistant (LNA) license and completion of prerequisite biology, chemistry, English, and math courses. After completing the first year, students are awarded a CAS in Practical Nursing with the option to exit the program as LPNs or continue toward the AAS in Registered Nursing degree.
General education courses may be taken at any of NPC’s four campus and five center locations throughout Navajo and Apache Counties. Nursing courses, however, are available only at the Winslow and Show Low campuses. Students attend clinical rotations at healthcare facilities and agencies in the Northeastern Arizona area.
Pima Community College in Tucson offers a Practical Nurse Career Training Certificate program that qualifies earners to sit for the NCLEX-PN. Students complete 38.5 credits of nursing didactic and lab courses along with clinical practice experiences in 13 months or less. Classes and labs are available only on PCC’s Desert Vista Campus in southwest Tucson, and practice experiences are at program-approved local clinical facilities.
Prospective students must submit a special application to PCC’s Center for Training and Development to be considered for the program. Admission requirements include a high school diploma or equivalent and completion of the Accuplacer exam with stated minimum scores. The program is available year-round with five start dates annually. Graduates can become registered nurses through PCC’s LPN Transition to AAS degree program.
FAQs About LPN Programs in Arizona
What skills do you learn in LPN programs in Arizona?
The goal of all the LPN programs in AZ is to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and training needed to qualify for the NCLEX-PN and LPN licensure leading to professional competency as working LPNs. Skills learned and abilities gained include:
- The ability to work effectively under the direction of doctors, registered nurses, and other supervising personnel.
- The ability to provide safe nursing care in all areas of LPN practice, including administration of medication, safe use of medical equipment, and accident/fall/injury prevention.
- Skills allowing for accurate and effective oral and written communication with patients and their families as well as with fellow medical staff members.
- Supervisory skills allowing for proper and effective delegation and oversight of work by orderlies, nursing assistants, and others.
- Critical thinking and decision-making skills resulting in the effective application of proper standards of care in a variety of care settings and circumstances.
How much do LPN programs cost in Arizona?
Below are the current tuition rates for three LPN programs in AZ to give you an idea of what to expect. Keep in mind that your total program cost will be higher once you include program fees, books, supplies, uniform costs, etc. You’ll likely be pleasantly surprised by the affordability of these programs made possible through traditionally low-cost public community colleges.
Arizona Western College
AAS in Nursing
Total Credits: 67
$90/credit (Arizona and California residents); $135/credit (WUE state residents); $100/credit (non-residents)
Mohave Community College
Practical Nurse Certificate
Total Credits: 42
$81/credit (Arizona and California residents); $121.50/credit (WUE state residents); $283.50/credit (non-residents)
Can I get financial aid to help pay for my LPN program in Arizona?
LPN programs in AZ are among the most affordable college programs. You may still need help paying for yours, though. Fortunately, there are several financial aid resources to assist in funding your LPN education. These include scholarships and grants, employer reimbursement programs, and student loans.
Find out about specific funding opportunities for your LPN program in AZ by contacting the financial aid offices at the schools you’re considering. For more great information and advice, check out EduMed’s guides on financial aid and scholarships for LPN students.
How long do LPN programs in Arizona take to finish?
Completion times for LPN programs in AZ vary depending on the specific type of credential offered. Most certificate programs, like the three-semester LPN Certificate program at Cochise College, can be completed in one year or less. Associate degree programs like Arizona Western College’s AAS in Nursing program, however, typically require two years of full-time study. Also, remember that many LPN programs in AZ require prerequisite college-level courses before admission.
Inside Look at Online LPN Programs in Arizona
LPN programs in AZ with online options are extremely limited. In fact, most LPN curriculums require on-campus attendance for all their classes and labs. There are a few exceptions, including Gateway Community College’s Fast-Track LPN Program that features online case studies as part of the curriculum and whose Evening Option includes some synchronous virtual lectures and asynchronous coursework modules. Some programs may offer general education or other non-nursing and prerequisite courses online.
LPN Licensing Information and Requirements in Arizona
Employment as an LPN in Arizona requires a current, unencumbered LPN license. If you hold an LPN license from a participating state member of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), you need not apply for Arizona licensure and may use your current license to work as an LPN in AZ. If you have an LPN license from a non-compact state, you’ll need to obtain an Arizona LPN license from the Arizona State Board of Nursing (AZBN) through the Licensure by Endorsement process.
If you’re a first-time LPN license applicant, you’ll use the Licensure by Examination process. Below is a look at the major requirements for obtaining your Arizona LPN license via examination.
Education and Training
Arizona LPN license applicants must possess a diploma or certificate from an AZBN-approved LPN program. The LPN program you choose should also ideally be offered by a school with institutional accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Check the ACEN’s Accredited Nursing Programs search engine for current accreditation status.
Arizona LPN License Application
As part of the Arizona LPN licensure process, applicants must submit acceptable documentation of lawful presence in the state and a completed fingerprint card for state and federal criminal background checks. Once submitted to the AZBN, students typically wait six to eight weeks for fingerprint results.
Applicants must also report any prior felony charges or convictions. Additionally, any felony charges made against the applicant during the application process must be reported to the AZBN within 10 days of the charges being brought.
License Renewal & Continuing Education
You must renew your Arizona LPN license with the AZBN every four years. Renewal applicants must meet at least one of the following four requirements within the last five years:
- Completed a minimum of 960 hours of nurse practice
- Graduated from a nursing program and obtained a degree
- Completed an approved nursing refresher course
- Obtained an advanced nursing degree (LPN to RN, RN to BSN, MSN, or nursing doctorate)
You must also pay the license renewal fee ($160).
Earnings and Job Outlook for LPNs in Arizona
As the outlook and income figures in the charts below indicate, the news is good for Arizona LPNs. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the number of LPN jobs in the state is expected to grow 29% from 2018 to 2028. This is nearly three times the rate of growth predicted for LPNs in the nation overall and more than three times the predicted job growth rate for all occupations between 2020 and 2030. Salaries for LPNs in Arizona are also estimated to be substantially higher across the board when compared to LPNs in the nation as a whole.
Strong jobs figures for Arizona LPNs are also reported by the Arizona Commerce Authority, which estimates a median income of $56,399 in 2020 and job growth of 33% between 2020 and 2030.
Job Outlook for Licensed Practical Nurses in Arizona (2018-2028)
Source: Projections Central
Annual Earnings for Licensed Practical Nurses in Arizona
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2020