Arizona RN to BSN Programs

There is some confusion concerning RN and BSN programs for many students. So before getting into the details of the options and reasons you may pursue a BSN in Arizona, it is important to first explain why a RN may want a BSN. A Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing is a four year degree that trains students to work at the highest level of Registered Nursing. The degree does not give you the ability to work in the field without taking the NCLEX-RN (the national exam that gives graduates the ability to work as an RN). Instead, it simply delves deeper into the educational side of the profession and allows students to graduate with a deeper understanding of the field. A student can become an RN without a BSN, by earning a diploma or Associate’s degree, then passing the NCLEX-RN. In short, a BSN is a degree and a RN is a professional registration.

So if you can start working in Arizona without a BSN, why would you want to spend an additional two years in college to earn a higher level degree? That question is complicated to answer, but the biggest reasons include many of the same reasons anyone continues their education. A higher income potential, more employment opportunities and a more favorable view from employers are just a few reasons to consider a RN to BSN program. Arizona only saw 125 medical school graduates in 2011, and only a portion of those were nursing graduates. With the huge need for nursing students, this alone should be an alarming number.

Arizona is in dire need of more nursing students. The state is far below the national average of RNs per 100,000 people. Arizona only has 690 RNs per while the national average is at 874. Even at the national average, there is a constant need for more RNs, so Arizona based employers will be hiring new graduates at a very fast rate. Upon graduation, RNs can expect an average income of $71,000 a year. This average includes registered nurses with and without a BSN, so once you earn your BSN you should expect to be higher on the pay scale.

As you start to consider where you want to work, keep in mind what cities are in the most need, and what cities pay the highest wages on average. The highest percentage of jobs relative to the population are in Prescott, Kingman and Flagstaff while Phoenix, Yuma and Tucson bring up the lowest percentage per population. You will find the highest salaries in Phoenix, Tucson and Prescott, meaning that some of the biggest cities in the state are in the highest need and also highest average income.

Employers will often hire you at an entry level position as you work towards your RN or BSN and most will have some sort of financial assistance towards your education available. Scottsdale healthcare Osborn in Scottsdale, Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, University Medical Center in Tucson, and Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix rank in the top 20 employers in Arizona, regardless of industry. Each of these employers would be a great place to start and many of them are located in some of the highest paying cities in the states.


Many colleges will offer unique loans, scholarships and grants to students attending their institution. You will want to spend time discussing these offerings as you visit campus as it will be a big part of deciding what the right college for you will be. You will also find plenty of assistance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The HRSA offers a wide range of loan repayment and forgiveness options, scholarships and grants for nursing students. Don’t hesitate to apply for all of the options that you qualify for.


The University of Arizona College of Nursing

Located in Tucson, UA College of Nursing offers a diverse and beautiful city to earn your education. US is one of the country’s most respected research institutions and a leader in health sciences teaching and scholarship. Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education it ranks in the top 4 percent of graduate nursing programs in the U.S. You will find countless resources to help you along your education ranging from a wide array of courses that support and extend your education to laboratories and Patient Care Learning centers.

University of Phoenix

UoP is one of the most popular online learning colleges in the country. With this being the home state of the school, your campus based courses will be easily within reach. Locations in Arizona include Mesa, Phoenix, Tucson, Chandler, and Yuma. You will focus on an education that combines the freedom of online educations and the one on one experience of a campus based education. Working while attending college couldn’t be easier when you handle many of your classes on your own schedule online. UoP offers some of the most robust online learning tools available, and they offer online and campus based tours to help you get an idea of what you can expect from the school.