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Today’s Top RN to MSN Programs in Arizona: Online & Campus

The need for advanced and highly trained registered nurses in Arizona is growing at double-digit rates. Enrolling in an RN to MSN program in Arizona can help you be a part of meeting that demand while also opening new opportunities and increasing your salary.

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WRITTEN BY: Kristina Brune
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REVIEWED BY: Edumed Editing Staff

Last Updated: 09/06/2023

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If you’re a nurse, Arizona is a good place to be. According to the WalletHub survey of best and worst states for nurses, Arizona is among the 10 best. And that’s important because Arizona will need a lot of nurses in the years to come. By 2030, Arizona will see a 39% growth in jobs for RNs, from 58,480 to 84,460 RNs in the state.

If you’re a registered nurse ready to advance your career, pursuing an RN to MSN program in Arizona is a great way to enhance your education, salary, and job opportunities. That journey starts by finding the best program and school for you. Choosing an RN to MSN program is an individual decision and should be carefully considered. We’ll cover RN to MSN programs in Arizona and insights on making the right decision for you and your career.

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About the ranking

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Base Methodology for EduMed’s Best Online College Rankings for the ’23-’24 school year.

One: Create list of Eligible Schools and Programs

To be eligible, schools were required to meet the following criteria based on data pulled from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), which was self-reported by the schools themselves.

  • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • At least 1 online component in a program within the ranking-subject area.

Two: Assign Weighting

After creating the list of eligible schools, EduMed data scientists assigned weights and ranked schools based on a mix of metrics, which were all self-reported by the schools themselves to the U.S. Department of Education and IPEDS.

The metrics are listed below in order of most- to least-heavily weighted.

Online Programs – Number of online programs in the relevant subject area.

Online Student % – Number of total students who are enrolled in at least 1 distance-learning course in the relevant subject area.

Tuition – The average in-state tuition for undergraduate students studying full-time, as self-reported by the school.

Academic Counseling – Existence of this service on campus or online.

Career Placement Services – Existence of this service on campus or online.

Student/Faculty Ratio

About Our DataEduMed’s rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Most recent data pull: July 2023

# School Name Type Tuition Online Programs More Details School Information Online Students Academic Counseling Career Placement Students w/Institutional Aid Median Earnings 10yrs After Entry Accreditation
1 Arizona State University-OnlineTempe, AZ Public $ 1

Arizona State University offers a robust RN to MSN degree. The program is designed for registered nurses who don't have a bachelor's degree in nursing. It includes core courses in areas like health promotion and patient care. While there isn't an official specialization, most courses also touch on nursing administration. For added flexibility, courses are offered online. Nurses must have an active license to apply.

Program Highlights:

Master of Science in Nursing, RN to MSN

  • Credits: 36
  • Length: About 2 years
  • Cost: $619/credit
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: CCNE
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
25/1
Online
Student %
100%

School Spotlights: Popular RN to MSN Programs in Arizona

Choosing a program that meets your personal and professional needs is important if you’re a nurse considering an online MSN program. The price tag for the program is one major consideration; other important factors include specialties available, accreditation, location, faculty, clinical placement, and learning format. We’ve researched some of Arizona’s most popular accredited RN to MSN programs, so you can learn what you should look for during your own program search.

The University of Arizona

Graduates of The University of Arizona’s online Master of Science in Nursing will be prepared to enhance their patient care and leadership in healthcare environments. They’ll expand their expertise and understanding of patient interventions and technology and learn how healthcare systems operate in a variety of environments.

The program offers two tracks—the BSN track, which is 30 credit hours in 13 months, and the ADN track, which is 41 credit hours in 24 months. With the BSN track, you’ll obtain your bachelor’s degree in nursing and then your MSN. With the ADN track, you’ll get your Associate Degree in Nursing and then your MSN. Program delivery is 100% online, with a 90-hour clinical practicum. The program is accredited by the CCNE.

Admissions requirements include an RN license, a passing grade in a three-credit college-level statistics course in the last five years, a foundational degree, a GPA of 3.0, and at least one year of work experience.

Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University’s master’s in nursing online program offers a number of great options for students looking for a wide variety of specialties. Graduates develop core skills required for master’s-level nursing practice, with initial courses on nursing theory, research, ethical practice, health policy and the financing of the health care system. Students can then choose their tracks and integrate their knowledge and experience into their individual programs. At the end of this RN to MSN program in Arizona, all students develop an evidence-based project that requires the integration of the knowledge gained from their respective programs.

The program requires 53 credit hours and can be completed in about 35 months. Grand Canyon offers six tracks: acute care nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, health care quality & patient safety, health informatics, nursing education, nursing leadership, and public health nursing.

The program is entirely online, with a flexible format. Faculty are not only experienced nurses but also have strong academic backgrounds. Grand Canyon’s nursing programs are accredited by the CCNE. Admissions requirements include a BSN from an accredited program and a GPA of 3.0.

FAQs About RN to MSN Programs in Arizona

What Can You Do with an MSN in Arizona?

Typically, students who enter an RN to MSN program in Arizona are interested in enhancing their careers and providing excellent patient care. Graduates study evidence-based practice, patient safety, leadership, care technology, and patient population. An MSN degree prepares graduates for a variety of careers, including nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and nurse anesthetists, along with supervisory roles such as nursing managers and supervisors, directors, and administrators. An MSN also can prepare you for further education, such as a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree.

Some schools may also offer different tracks for MSN students. For example, ASU provides a traditional MSN track and an MSN-nursing education track, where graduates will be prepared to teach in nursing programs. Grand Canyon University offers six tracks that you can choose from.

Will I Earn My Bachelor’s Degree During My RN to MSN Program?

Several options are available to nurses interested in pursuing their MSN. You can earn your associate’s or bachelor’s degrees while obtaining your MSN. These tracks will allow you first to earn your Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or BSN and then move on to your MSN. The University of Arizona offers two MSN tracks: the Bachelor of Science in Nursing and the ADN. The BSN takes 13 months, and the ADN takes 24 months. You can also choose an MSN track if you already have your BSN. ASU’s MSN program is for nurses who already have their BSN.

What Will I Learn in an RN to MSN Program in Arizona?

When you complete an RN to MSN program in Arizona, you’re preparing to enhance the patient care you provide and grow your leadership abilities. You’ll learn about emerging interventions and technologies, care systems across a variety of healthcare systems, and more. The University of Arizona lists the following program outcomes for their online RN to MSN program:

  • Design and lead innovative patient-centered care in a variety of practice settings.
  • Collaborate with interprofessional teams to deliver evidence-based quality care.
  • Evaluate and apply integrative, evidence-based healing strategies across the health-illness trajectory.
  • Incorporate innovative healthcare technology to deliver safe and effective patient-centered care.
  • Coordinate care transitions to improve patient outcomes across the healthcare continuum.
  • Apply theory and evidence-based knowledge to design, coordinate, and evaluate patient care systems.

How Long is an RN to MSN Program in Arizona?

Each Arizona RN to MSN program will vary in terms of the program length. On average, it takes 30-36 months to complete a program. However, many online programs are designed to be flexible so students can complete coursework while working around their schedule. For example, the University of Arizona offers two MSN tracks: The BSN takes 13 months, and the ADN takes 24 months.

How Much Do RN to MSN Programs in Arizona Cost?

Online MSN programs are typically cheaper for nursing students, with some offering prices as low as $231 per credit hour. We’ve researched various RN to MSN programs in Arizona and gathered tuition information about three hybrid and online programs.

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

Obtaining an MSN will cost a significant amount of money, as does any advanced degree. However, there are many ways that you can make your RN to MSN program in Arizona more affordable. You can pursue options to help you pay for your tuition or find opportunities for extra earning potential while you’re pursuing your degree. Grants, scholarships, assistantships, payment plans, and paid internships are all great options to offset tuition costs. You can find many options through your school and through state-specific sites such as the Arizona Foundation for the Future of Nursing. Find out more in our nursing scholarship guide and main financial aid guide, where you can begin your financial aid search.

What Requirements Do I need to Apply for Admission to RN to MSN Programs in Arizona?

While admissions requirements for an RN to MSN program in Arizona will vary from program to program, they are generally very similar. Applicants will be required to provide transcripts and proof that they have a cumulative GPA of 3.0; complete the admissions application; and, for some programs, submit a resume, personal statement, and letters of recommendation. They also will have to provide proof of RN licensure and information about work experience. Generally, test scores such as the GRE are not required.

What Should I Look For in a Quality RN to MSN Program in Arizona?

Choosing an RN to MSN program in Arizona or anywhere else is a very personal and individual experience for each student. Everyone has different needs, and only you will know what’s most important in choosing a program. Some points include the program’s cost, length, online vs. in-person, specialties, admissions requirements, faculty, etc. Compare this list to what potential schools offer and speak with admissions officers. Stick to accredited programs, including programs at Arizona State, the University of Arizona, and Grand Canyon University, which all are accredited by the CCNE. Most importantly, only consider a school that offers the classes, support, and faculty that will prepare you for your career goals and support you throughout your time as a student.

Inside Look at Online RN to MSN Programs in Arizona

Enrolling in an online RN to MSN program in Arizona is a great way to further your education while maintaining your employment and balancing your home life. You’ll complete coursework online on a flexible schedule for most online programs. You’ll have to complete practicum hours in person, but you can typically log these in your chosen location.

Schools across the United States offer MSN programs. With online degrees, you’re not required to choose a program through a university near you. However, there are a number of options for Arizona-based schools as well. Learn more about what you can expect in an online RN to MSN program at the online RN to MSN guide.

Can I Earn my MSN in Arizona Completely Online?

Yes, you’ll find a number of online RN to MSN programs in Arizona, along with hybrid and in-person programs as well. Typically, you’ll complete general coursework online, with a flexible schedule and format that students can access at any time. You’ll complete your practicums in person; faculty will help you choose a location near you.

Do Employers in Arizona Accept Graduates from Online RN to MSN Programs?

Typically, employers don’t restrict hiring employees who have obtained a degree from an online RN to MSN program in Arizona. Many schools don’t even indicate on your diploma or transcripts that your degree was obtained online. As long as you choose a school that’s accredited and provides adequate training opportunities, you’ll be well prepared for the career of your choice.

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

Going from an RN to MSN in Arizona requires not only obtaining your MSN degree but also ensuring you’re set up professionally to begin applying for jobs and entering the job force with an advanced degree. After graduating, you’ll need to take the NCLEX-RN if you haven’t already (typically, this only applies to students who completed a direct MSN program). You’ll also need to apply for licensure through your state. Locate your state’s nursing board. Be sure to update your resume, continue obtaining experience in the field, and secure any additional licensure you’ll need.

Nursing is an in-demand career across the United States, with significant growth expected in Arizona. Nurses with great experience, particularly those with higher education, are sought after by employers. Below, we’ve answered some of the most common questions about the career outlook for nurses who obtain their MSN.

How Much More Can I Make Going from an RN to MSN in Arizona?

Obtaining your MSN degree will not only increase the types of jobs available to you as a nurse, but it will also increase your earning potential. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that nurses with advanced degrees (nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, etc.) earn an average of $123,780 per year. In contrast, registered nurses earn about $77,600 per year. In Arizona, RNs make about $68,004 per year. However, nurses in Arizona with MSN degrees make about $110,399 per year.

What’s the Job Market Like for MSN Nurses in Arizona?

Nursing at all levels is in high demand across the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that jobs requiring an MSN degree will grow 40 percent from 2021 to 2031, which is much faster than the average. In Arizona, the demand for nurse anesthetists and nurse midwives is projected to grow by more than 20 percent.