RN to BSN Programs in Arizona: Explore Online & Campus Options

Explore online and campus RN to BSN programs in Arizona, as RNs with a BSN degree can earn up $26,000 more annually. Learn about the options available, discover answers to common questions, and see the state’s salary and employment trends for BSNs.

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Written By

Kaley Lefevre

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last updated

01/23/2023

Going from an RN to a BSN in Arizona shows a notable increase in earning potential. In fact, Arizona RNs with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree can see up to more than $26,000 in their salary than those with only an RN license, according to data from ZipRecruiter. A BSN also sets you apart from RNs without bachelor’s degrees, even if you have similar career experiences. It deepens your understanding of patient care and increases your knowledge of hospital technologies.

This guide profiles Arizona’s best RN to BSN programs, including online options, and provides recommendations and tips to help you start your career upgrade. You’ll learn what to expect in terms of learning outcomes, completion time, cost, and more.

Nursing School Spotlights: Best RN to BSN Programs in Arizona

A BSN can significantly change the career trajectory of an RN both in terms of earnings and opportunities. Finding the right school is crucial, though, since only the best programs have the right combination of affordability, academic excellence, and student support you need to expand your RN career. Three high-quality RN to BSN programs in Arizona are spotlighted below to help you start your school search. See who stands out in 2023.

Arizona State University

Heralded as one of the best online options, Arizona State University’s online RN to BSN program offers expert faculty members who guide you through courses in nursing innovations, community public health, and professional nursing theory. ASU’s entirely online RN to BSN program expands an RN’s medical knowledge and experience while helping balance professional and personal life through flexible class scheduling. In this program, you can pursue a specialized role (e.g., pediatric care, public health, etc.).

This online RN to BSN program includes 10 classes lasting 7.5 weeks each and totaling 39 credit hours. Financial aid assistance is used by nearly 80% of ASU nursing students annually. This bridge program is geared toward practicing RNs with associate degrees or nursing diplomas. ASU also offers a Concurrent Enrollment Program for those pursuing ASN degrees who have not yet passed the NCLEX. The Arizona State Board of Nursing and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredited the program. BSN graduates have an NCLEX first-time pass rate of 95%, which is very high compared to the national average of 89.5%.

Northern Arizona University

The RN to BSN program at Northern Arizona University offers personalized online learning options. Personalization is one of the biggest draws of NAU, recognized for its flexible degree programs. The school is also considered one of the country’s top research universities by the National Science Foundation.

NAU’s RN to BSN requires a current RN license and a GPA of 2.0 or higher throughout the program. The program comprises 120 credits, but you can transfer up to 90 of those when earned from a regionally accredited community college. Additionally, some courses may be used to be more than one requirement. The program covers palliative care and biology specifics to research practices, developmental psychology, and nursing leadership. Online classes are self-paced, and clinical projects are completed in your local state community.

Grand Canyon University

The Grand Canyon University RN to BSN degree is one of the quickest options for advancing your nursing education. In just one year, you can broaden your understanding of inpatient and outpatient nursing skills and prepare for leadership positions with career advancement opportunities. Classes are five weeks long and self-paced so that you can accelerate your degree completion.

GCU’s online RN to BSN program is geared toward maximizing the strengths that a working RN already possesses. All theory courses are online and cover health promotion, cultural diversity, statistical analysis for health care, critical appraisal of research literature, and nursing leadership and management tactics. The overall NCLEX first-time pass rate at GCU for 2020 was 96.17%, well above the 86.58% national average. Practicum hours occur in a clinical setting of your choice within your local community. With tuition recently reduced by 30%, making the per credit rate an affordable $340, the program is also much more affordable for nurses seeking their BSNs.

FAQs About RN to BSN Programs in Arizona

What Additional Nursing Skills and Knowledge Will I Gain in an RN to BSN Program in Arizona?

The foundation you built as an RN only strengthens when you earn your BSN since top Arizona RN to BSN programs align with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education standards. Like the BSN degrees at Northern Arizona University and Arizona State University, these programs expand upon your foundation of knowledge regarding clinical practice and prevention to encompass holistic patient-centered care that integrates theory, evidence and professional perspectives.

Most notably, RN to BSN programs also focus on leadership tactics and professional values to help nurses advance into leadership positions. This knowledge qualifies you for work in a variety of settings and also sets you up for pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree.

How Long Does It Take to Complete an RN to BSN Program in Arizona?

Obtaining your BSN degree in Arizona takes as little as one year and up to four years, depending on the program requirements and whether you attend full-time or part-time. For example, Arizona State University’s RN to BSN program requires 39 total credit hours that can be completed in as few as 14 months. Another example is Grand Canyon University, which takes 12 months if you attend the five-week classes full-time. With self-paced programs like those offered at Northern Arizona University, you can also complete courses at your own pace.

How Much Do RN to BSN Programs in Arizona Cost?

Attending an online or hybrid RN to BSN program is likely more affordable than you think. Not only are tuition rates often relatively reasonable but having most courses online results in additional savings in travel and housing. Additionally, some programs allow you to complete at least part of your clinical requirements in the medical facility where you already work. Below are a few examples of costs to expect when obtaining your RN to BSN degree in Arizona.

Can I Get Financial Aid to Help Pay for My RN to BSN Program in Arizona?

There are numerous financial aid options for RN to BSN students in Arizona. Scholarships and grants can help alleviate the financial strain of trying to work while obtaining an additional degree in nursing. The Foundation of the National Student Nurses Association is one example of where to find funding for your degree. Most nursing schools, like the University of Arizona through its College of Nursing, also offer scholarships. To be eligible for financial aid, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and apply directly for scholarships through your schooling. Learn more about funding your nursing education through EduMed’s nursing scholarship guide and main financial aid guide.

What are the Admission Requirements for RN to BSN Programs in Arizona?

Though admission requirements for RN to BSN programs in Arizona vary by school, most require applicants to be registered nurses in Arizona. In addition, most have a minimum GPA requirement. For example, an applicant’s transfer GPA should be 2.5 or higher for Arizona State University and 2.75 or higher for Northern Arizona University.

Most programs are like Grand Canyon University’s RN to BSN program with its prerequisite course requirements like biology, chemistry, psychology, English, and mathematics. You must also submit unofficial transcripts from all prior colleges or schools with your application and provide proof of graduation from a nationally accredited nursing program.

What Should I Look for in a Quality RN to BSN Program in Arizona?

Before committing to an RN to BSN program, make sure it is approved by the Arizona State Board of Nursing and accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (CCNE). You can also look for certifications in healthcare compliance, ethics, privacy and research. Though these certifications are not required, they show that the school takes the nursing program seriously and that faculty members create the best experience possible for students.

Inside Look at Online RN to BSN Programs in Arizona

There are several online options for RN to BSN programs in Arizona. Online schooling allows you to continue working as an RN by choosing classes that fit into your schedule. You can also take as many or as few classes as you want to set your own pace and determine when you’ll graduate. Online coursework requires your undivided attention and regular communication with your professor. While on-campus visits may not be required, they can be helpful when you find yourself struggling with the material. Also, though most RN to BSN Arizona programs are online, many require in-person attendance for clinical experience. For more information on what to expect in an online RN to BSN program in Arizona, check out EduMed’s listing of RN to BSN programs.

How Do I Go from Being an RN to a BSN Nurse in Arizona?

As an RN, you already took and passed the NCLEX. In fact, most RN to BSN programs require that you have done so before they’ll accept you. Now, you need to move into advanced courses that will deepen and extend your nursing skills. That involves the following general process regardless of the program.

  1. Make sure your RN license is current and in good standing with the Arizona State Board of Nursing.
  2. Get accepted into an accredited RN to BSN program that meets Arizona’s State Board of Nursing requirements. You’ll need to complete prerequisite courses before you’re accepted.
  3. Complete the credits required by your RN to BSN program along with any hands-on learning experiences such as inpatient or outpatient services or work in clinical settings and labs.
  4. Meet the minimum GPA requirements set by your school and/or program to graduate.

Like most other states, Arizona needs more nurses. Because of their additional schooling, BSN-prepared nurses have an advantage over RNs for both inpatient and outpatient positions. Nurses with a BSN should expect more responsibility, higher salaries, better benefits, and consideration for leadership positions.

How much more can I make going from an RN to BSN in Arizona?

RNs in Arizona without bachelor’s degrees make an average of $67,732, which is below the national average of $77,600. RNs with BSNs, however, command average salaries of $94,136 annually as of August 2022. The lowest earnings in the state for RNs are about $60,000 per year, while the highest salaries for registered nurses are above $100,000. The country’s highest-paid RNs make $120,000 or more.

Arizona cities like Prescott and Phoenix pay their nurses more than those in Tucson and Lake Havasu City, which both average slightly lower wages than nurses throughout the state. Regardless of where you work as an RN in Arizona, your salary is likely to increase after you complete your RN to BSN degree.

Location 10th Percentile Median 90th Percentile

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2021

What’s the job market like for BSN nurses in Arizona?

There are currently about 58,400 RNs working in Arizona, and that number is expected to increase by almost 40% by 2030. Nursing and residential care facilities can expect to see over 5,500 new openings in just the next two years, while 10-year projections indicate nearly five and a half times that.