Is Grand Canyon University School of Nursing Worth It? Nurses Review

7 Min Read Published April 24, 2023
Grand canyon university nursing school review

Ranked among the top 10 nursing schools in Arizona, Grand Canyon University (GCU)* has a lot to offer aspiring students. But does the Grand Canyon University School of Nursing hold up to scrutiny from real nurses?

Before joining the Antelopes family, you should understand the pros and cons of attending GCU. This Grand Canyon University School of Nursing review will explore the school’s nursing programs, highlight relevant statistics, and answer your questions about GCU. Keep reading to learn whether Grand Canyon University School of Nursing is worth it.

About Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University is a private Christian college in Phoenix, Arizona, dedicated to its Christian identity and worldview. GCU offers many specialized undergraduate and graduate nursing programs, including an RN-to-BSN program for associate-degree-trained nurses to earn their BSN quickly.

GCU's courses also emphasize hands-on clinical experience, which can help students meet their program's clinical requirements in various real-world healthcare settings. may be compensated by some of the nursing schools we review. However, this does not affect our review process or the ratings these schools receive. All reviews are created independently by our editorial team. We review products and services from partner schools as well as schools we do not work with.


  • Private or Public: Private

  • General Tuition: $340 to $715 per credit, depending on the degree

  • Acceptance Rate: 85%

  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 90%

  • Application Deadlines: Rolling

  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

  • Diversity

    • White: 48%

    • Hispanic/Latino: 23%

    • Black or African American: 15%

    • Two or more races: 5%

    • Asian: 3%

    • American Indian or Alaskan: 1%

Contact Information

Additional Information

  • Total Number of Students: 103,072 (65,870 undergraduate)

  • Job Placement Rates: N/A

  • Rankings: Unranked

  • Graduation Rate: 45%

  • Student/Faculty Ratio: 20 to 1

Degrees Offered

BSN (Pre-Licensure)*

  • Tuition: $8,250 per semester

  • Program Length: Four years

  • Online Options Available? No

BSN (RN to BSN Program)*

  • Tuition: $340 per credit

  • Program Length: 14 months

  • Online Options Available? Yes

BSN: Pre-Licensure Accelerated (ASBN)*

  • Tuition: $850 per credit (core courses), $425 per credit (prerequisite courses)

  • Program Length: 16 months

  • Online Options Available? No

Master of Science (MSN): Emphasis in Health Care Quality & Safety Bridge*

  • Tuition: $565 per credit (36 credits)

  • Program Length: As quickly as 20 months

  • Online Options Available? Yes

MSN: Emphasis in Health Informatics Bridge*

  • Tuition: $565 per credit (40 credits)

  • Program Length: As quickly as 20 months

  • Online Options Available? Yes

MSN: Emphasis in Nursing Education Bridge*

  • Tuition: $565 per credit (36 credits)

  • Program Length: As quickly as 20 months

  • Online Options Available? Yes

MSN: Emphasis in Nursing Leadership in Health Care Systems Bridge*

  • Tuition: $565 per credit (36 credits)

  • Program Length: As quickly as 20 months

  • Online Options Available? Yes

MSN: Emphasis in Public Health Nursing Bridge*

  • Tuition: $565 (40 credits)

  • Program Length: As quickly as 20 months

  • Online Options Available? Yes

MSN: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP)*

  • Tuition: $715 per credit (53 credits)

  • Program Length: 35 months

  • Online Options Available? Yes

MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)*

  • Tuition: $715 per credit (53 credits)

  • Program Length: 35 months

  • Online Options Available? Yes

MSN and Master in Business Administration (MBA) Bridge*

  • Tuition: $630 per credit 

  • Program Length: Three years

  • Online Options Available? Yes

Specialties Offered

The GCU nursing program offers three pathways for earning a specialized bachelor of science in nursing:

GCU also offers several specialties for you to choose from if you want a non-bedside MSN role:

Grand Canyon University also offers nurse practitioner specialty degrees:

GCU has a double-masters option to expand your nursing career with a business focus:

Does GCU Have a Good Nursing Program?

One of the best indicators of a nursing program's quality is the school's NCLEX pass rate. As of 2022, Grand Canyon University has a 90% NCLEX pass rate. To put that in perspective, the national NCLEX pass rate for 2022 for BSN-trained nurses is 82.32%. So yes, Grand Canyon University is a good nursing program.

Is Grand Canyon University Accredited?

Yes, Grand Canyon University is accredited. GCU maintains accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), a nationally recognized accrediting agency for nursing programs.

What Do You Need to Get Into Grand Canyon University?

Prospective students must meet the following general requirements to get into the Grand Canyon University College of Nursing:

  • High school diploma or GED equivalent

  • Be at least 16 years of age

  • Provide high school or college transcripts

  • Have at least a 3.0 GPA

  • Submit a completed admissions form

Even if your GPA is below 3.0, you may still be considered for GCU admission with a qualifying HESI exam score.

How Hard is the Nursing Program at Grand Canyon University?

You should expect a rigorous and challenging program from Grand Canyon University School of Nursing. GCU will give you a demanding course load like other nationally accredited schools. Ensure you have the time and determination to face these rewarding academic challenges before enrolling in a Grand Canyon University nursing program.

How challenging the curriculum is for you may depend on several factors. For example, if you’re a full-time student with a job or you’re in an ABSN program, you may encounter more challenges than other students. Full-time students may want to consider not working or working significantly less during their studies.

What Kind of Support Does Grand Canyon University Offer Their Nursing Students?

Students have plenty of support as they navigate their GCU experience, from academic advising resources to tutoring services and student success centers. GCU also has a state-of-the-art campus with a nearly $1.6 billion expansion of new technologies, classrooms, laboratories, and student amenities.

Moreover, GCU offers flexible nursing programs to cater to students' different lifestyle needs by providing online learning, hybrid coursework, and evening class options.

GCU also offers a “by students, for students” coffee shop, the Grand Canyon Beverage Company. This student organization uses its profits to make improvements for the student body.

How Much Is Grand Canyon University's Nursing Program?

Several factors can impact the cost of attendance at GCU. Your tuition and expenses will vary depending on your degree program, whether you attend in-person or online classes, and whether you live on or off campus. Here are some general expenses students should anticipate before attending a Grand Canyon University nursing program:

  • Tuition cost: $340 to $715 per credit, depending on the degree

  • Books and Electronic Resources: $630 to $800

  • Campus fees: $1,300

  • On-campus room (for students living on campus): $5,100

  • On-campus board: $2,700

  • Personal expenses: $5,700 to 6,410

Talk to your admissions advisor to learn more about specific GCU attendance costs.

Enter to Win's $1,500 "No Essay" Nursing Scholarship!

Is Grand Canyon University Worth It?

Grand Canyon University's nursing program is worth your consideration for several reasons. GCU’s diverse and flexible offerings allow you to select a degree that suits your needs and career goals. Whether you’re going for a BSN, RN to BSN, MSN, DNP, or another path, GCU likely has a nursing program for you.

What is Grand Canyon University’s Transfer Policy?

GCU has a progressive transfer process that takes three steps to complete:

  • Complete a transfer credit evaluation

  • Submit your transcripts

  • Talk to a transfer specialist

You can also transfer from Grand Canyon University School of Nursing to other nursing programs quickly because of GCU’s CCNE accreditation. But remember that certification doesn’t determine whether another school will accept your GCU credits. You must speak with your transfer university’s admissions office to ensure your GCU credits will transfer.

Grand Canyon University Nursing Program Reviews

Cassandra, A BSN student at GCU in 2023, gave her experience 4.5 out of five stars and wrote:

"I am currently in my last BSN course at GCU and I have not had one problem with tuition, customer service, grading times, instructor responsiveness, etc. I don't particularly like online group assignments or spreading out response posts throughout the week but that's to be expected with an online learning platform. I've been unclear instructions about assignments and instructors usually get back to me within a few hours, grades are in no longer than a week after the assignment is due and my counsellors have all been super responsive and helpful.”

Another 2020 BSN student reported that she also loved her experience at GCU, giving it 5 out of 5 stars:

“I have just completed my BSN and will begin my classes for my masters in nursing ed next month. I LOVE this school. The professors are outstanding and have all given my classes a way to teach them. In fact, several have their private cell phone numbers so that they could be reached anytime. I love that the classes are taken one at a time and that they are only 5 weeks long. I chose to take breaks in between classes, which was nice. At GCU, you pace yourself. The tuition is high, but if you take the time to look for scholarships, you'll be fine.”

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Sarah Jividen
Sarah Jividen Contributor

Sarah Jividen, RN, BSN, is a trained neuro/trauma and emergency room nurse turned freelance healthcare writer/editor. As a journalism major, she combined her love for writing with her passion for high-level patient care. Sarah is the creator of Health Writing Solutions, LLC, specializing in writing about healthcare topics, including health journalism, education, and evidence-based health and wellness trends. She lives in Northern California with her husband and two children. 

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