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How to Become a Nurse in Arizona, AZ

With a large elderly population, becoming a nurse in Arizona can lead to a dynamic and rewarding career. The wages are good, with an average Registered Nurse (RN) earning $64,000* per year and an average Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) making $40,000*, and with growing demands for educated, wages are only expected to increase. There are three steps to becoming an Arizona Nurse: prerequisites, nursing education, and the licensure examination.*(according to

Step 1: Prerequisites

After graduating high school, prospective nursing students must complete nursing education prerequisites. These can vary slightly depending upon the program you wish to enter, but generally take 3-6 months and cover basic arts and sciences classes including psychology, biology, English, math and the like. Performance in prerequisites is a big factor in being accepted into a good nursing education program in Arizona.

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* (USC) University of Southern California - Master of Science in Nursing

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* Georgetown University - M.S. in Nursing, FNP Family Nurse Practitioner program

Certified Nursing Assistant in Arizona

CNAs in Arizona typically earn around the national average of $2,000 per month, with benefits. As Arizona is a hot spot for retirees, home care and clinics figure prominently in employment for Certified Nursing Assistants in the state, while an aging population provides many opportunities for CNAs in Arizona.

Step 2: Arizona Nursing Education

When it comes to Arizona Nursing education, there are three usual routes. RN student must choose between a four year Bachelor’s Degree (BSN) and a two year Associates Degree (ADN), both of which lead to the same Registered Nurse certification. However, BSN students are allotted significantly more time to study specialized, diversified topics like cancer research or community health programming, and receive far more advanced nursing care, theory, and management training than those with an ADN. LPN students, on the other hand, take just one year of classes focusing largely upon patient care. All three nursing training programs include both classroom and clinical components—the big difference is the degree of depth and specialization.

Step 3: Arizona Nurse Licensure Examination

Arizona nursing education program graduates take either the NCLEX-PN for LPN students or the NCLEX-RN for Registered Nurses. They are comprehensive exams, and ensure nurses are ready to enter the workforce and take on the responsibility of caring for patients in high pressure situations. Pass rates are generally high—a little under 90 percent—although they do vary from program to program.

Detailed Arizona Nursing Information

For detailed information about becoming an Arizona nurse, including LPN to RN, ADN to BSN and LPN to BSN programs, and more information on Arizona Nursing training and beyond, visit our Arizona nursing page.