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Navigating the Nursing Profession in Arizona

Updated: Sep 2, 2022

Let us help you land on your dream job here in Arizona! Read on this article to know more about the licensing process in Arizona, and more!


Through this article, you will be able to know the following:

  • Fees for the licensing

  • Licensing renewal process (step-by-step)

  • Requirements for Continuing Education in Nursing

  • Licensing and certification

  • Job and Salary Expectations of Nurses in Arizona

  • Popular hospitals in Arizona

  • Nursing associations in Arizona

  • Contact details


Fees for the Licensing

The table below shows the required payments for the licensing, whether you are a first-time nurse, applying by endorsement, or renewing your license. For more details, visit the Arizona licensing page.

As a nursing compact state, Arizona lets nurses hold multi-state licenses.

*Fees may change without any notice.


Licensing Renewal Process

  1. Check when your license expires by visiting the Arizona Board of Nursing website. Arizona has a Verification page for you to verify your license. Renewal of License of RN/LPN in Arizona is done every 4 years.

  2. Complete all your continuing education requirements BEFORE your license expires.

  3. Apply for your renewal process by going to the Arizona Board of Nursing. You may check on the Renewal Information page for more specific information. Be reminded that Arizona is a nursing compact state which means you can only apply for licensure in Arizona if you declare this as your Primary State of Residence.


Requirements for Continuing Education in Nursing

There are no CEUs for RN/LPN and APRN in Arizona, but the requirements listed below must be met before you can renew your license.

  • For RN/LPN:

  1. Practiced as a nurse for 960 hours or more in the past 5 years; OR

  2. Graduated from a nursing program and obtained a degree within past 5 years; OR

  3. Completed an Arizona Board approved refresher course in the past 5 years; OR

  4. Obtained an advanced nursing degree in the past 5 years (i.e. LPN to RN, RN to BSN, masters, or doctorate).

  • For APRN:

  1. Practiced as an advanced practice registered nurse for 960 hours or more in the past 5 years

  2. Hold an active Arizona RN OR current RN license with multistate privileges in another compact state.

  3. Hold active national certification. (Your certification will expire when your RN license expires)

  4. APRNs who hold an active DEA license, MUST have completed a minimum of three hours of opioid-related, substance use disorder-related or addiction-related continuing education

In order to renew your APRN certificate, you must submit a separate APRN application from your RN application. You must renew the RN first, then a link will appear to renew your Arizona APRN certificate. This happens If you have an Arizona RN license.

The Arizona State Board of Nursing accepts courses that are ANCC accredited.


Licensing and Certification

Step 1: Education

To earn an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), you must attend an accredited institution that offers ADN for 18-24 months. You can also take a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Degree in an accredited institution. These programs typically take 4 to 5 years to complete If you have an ADN but you wanna pursue your bachelor’s, there are certain programs that let you earn your BSN in 12 to 18 months. There is also an RN to BSN program that will take one year for you to earn the degree. Said programs let you save on time and money as you work towards advancing your career

Step 2: Licensing

Six weeks before your graduation, you can start the process of your application for the NCLEX-RN exam. This exam is composed of 75-265 items and you will be given a limit of 5 hours to finish all of it. Failing the exam does not necessarily mean that you do not have the chance anymore. After your first try, you just have to wait for 45 days and you can apply again.

The scope of NCLEX includes questions about: (1) health promotion and maintenance;

(2) safe and effective care environment; (3) physiology and integrity; and (4) psychology and integrity.

Step 3: Experience

This time, you must learn how to take the opportunities in gaining first-hand experiences in dealing with patients, with colleagues and superiors, and with the different situations that you might face. These invaluable experiences will make you more attractive to bigger employers in the future.

Step 4: Certification

Your last step is to obtain certifications for your chosen career. There are different requirements for earning a certification, depending on your preferences so it is important to check with the governing provider for information. You can attend several trainings, seminars or workshops in varied institutions for this purpose.


Job and Salary Expectations of Nurses in Arizona

Shortage of healthcare professionals, specifically nurses, has been a perennial issue in the country. This makes nurses highly in demand during this period of time. This profession will increase by about 9% from 2020 to 2030. The average annual salary is currently $81,600.

Let us help you check out average wages of nurses to help determine if Arizona is the right place for you.


Popular Hospitals in Arizona

Still not decided on whether to work as a nurse in Arizona or not? This list of the best hospitals in the state will surely help you make that decision to go in the right direction. U.S. News and World Report made a list of the best and popular hospitals in Arizona. Here are some of them:

  • Mayo Clinic – (Phoenix, AZ):

    • Ranked No. 15 on the Best Hospitals Honor Roll and also ranked No. 1 hospital in Arizona & Phoenix metro area

    • Nationally ranked in 10 adult specialties

    • Rated high performing in 1 adult specialty and 17 procedures and conditions

    • A general medical and surgical facility, and a teaching hospital

    • A member of the Magnet Recognition Program®.

    • Specialties include Gastroenterology, Pulmonology, Otolaryngology, Nephrology, Neurology, and Cancer care

  • Banner Boswell Medical Center – (Sun City, AZ):

    • Ranked #2 in Arizona and in Phoenix

    • Nationally ranked in 1 adult specialty specialty

    • Rated high performing in 1 adult specialty and 11 procedures and conditions

    • A general medical and surgical facility

    • Specialties include Colon and lung cancer, Orthopedics, Kidney failure, and Diabetes

  • St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center – (Phoenix, AZ):

    • Regionally ranked #2 in Arizona and in Phoenix

    • Nationally ranked in 1 adult specialty specialty

    • Rated high performing in 2 adult specialties and 7 procedures and conditions

    • A general medical and surgical facility

    • Some of its specialties include Cardiology and heart surgery, Nephrology, and Procedures related to pulmonology and lung surgery

  • Banner University Medical Center – (Phoenix, AZ):

    • ✔regionally ranked #2 in Arizona and in Phoenix

    • ✔rated high performing in 3 adult specialties and 10 procedure and conditions

    • ✔a general medical and surgical facility and a teaching hospital

    • ✔The facility specializes in Cancer, Cardiology and Heart Surgery, Diabetes and Endocrinology, Gastroenterology and GI Surgery, and Geriatrics.

  • Chandler Regional Medical Center – (Chandler, AZ):

    • ✔regionally ranked #5 in Arizona and in Phoenix

    • ✔rated high performing in 8 adult procedures and conditions

    • ✔a general medical and surgical facility

    • ✔The facility specializes in Cardiology and Heart Surgery, Diabetes and Endocrinology, Nephrology, and Stroke.

*The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) awards Magnet Status to Hospitals that apply and meet certain criteria. This award is also considered as the “gold standard” for excellence in nursing practice and care.


Nursing Associations in Arizona

Becoming a member of a nursing association opens a lot of opportunities to your career growth. It gives you the advantages of varied job offers and networking, and a bunch of information and experiences shared between you and your fellow nurses. Through these organizations, learning and professional growth never stop. Listed below are just a few of the nursing organizations that you can find and join once you are in Arizona.

Arizona Nurses Association (AzNA): “This association is dedicated to encouraging nurses to provide quality care to all Arizonans.”

National Association of Hispanic Nurses – Phoenix: “This institution has been promoting involvement and commitment to providing support to Hispanic nurses in the field.”

American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA): “This organization provides support to psychiatric mental health nurses, promoting patient well-being by preventing, educating, assessing, diagnosis, caring, and treating mental conditions and substance abuse disorders.”

For more information about the nursing associations, you may visit the comprehensive list of national organizations as well.


Contact Details

Arizona State Board of Nursing

Phone: (602) 771-7800

1740 W Adams Street, Suite 2000

Phoenix, AZ 85007

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