September 21, 2017
Guide To Arizona Nursing Resources

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There are many reasons to pursue a nursing career in Arizona. In addition to being a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact, the Grand Canyon state also gave advanced practice nurses full prescribing authority in April 2017.

As of 2017, there are 134,708 licensed nursing professionals in Arizona. These include RNs, LPNs, CNAs, LNAs, NPs, CNSs, CNMs, and CRNAs. Here’s a breakdown:

Description Active
Registered Nurses 85,947
Licensed Practical Nurses 10,189
Certified Nursing Assistants 25,114
Licensed Nursing Assistants 5,288
Nurse Practitioners 6,883
Clinical Nurse Specialists 178
Certified Nurse Midwives 260
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists 849

Read on to learn everything you need to know about being a nurse in Arizona!

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Part One Arizona Board Of Nursing

Logo for the Arizona Board of NursingThe Arizona State Board of Nursing issues and regulates all licenses and educational programs for nurses. It is the responsibility of the board to ensure that anyone holding a license is competent to practice safely.



Arizona State Board Of Nursing

4747 N. 7th Street, Suite 200

Phoenix, AZ 85014-3655


Phone:  602-771-7800 | Fax:  602-771-7888 

Contact Hours: 8AM-5PM Mon-Fri | Contact Online

For information on Arizona nurse licensing including forms and application instructions, see Part Four.

Part Two Nursing Salaries In Arizona

When adjusted for the cost of living, nursing salaries in Arizona rank 9th highest in the nation. Find out how much you could or should be making.


According to the BLS, the average hourly wage for registered nurses in Arizona is $37.66 per hour.  

Licensed Practical and Vocational Nurses in Arizona average $26.10 per hour.


According to the BLS, the average annual wage for registered nurses in Arizona is $78,330.  The range for annual salaries is $56,020 to $101,870 per year. 

Licensed Practical and Vocational Nurses in Arizona average $54,290 per year. The range for annual salaries fall between $42,520 and $65,240 annually. 

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Metropolitan areas tend to pay higher salaries to nurses. Some of the highest paying cities include:

Phoenix Prescott Yuma Tucson Lake Havasu
Downtown Phoenix at night time Downtown Prescott AZ with mountain in background White building faced in Yuma AZ Popular urban area in Tuscon AZ Bridge going over Lake Havasu at night time
 $79,200  $79,370  $73,460  $74,570  $69,450

Part Three Demand For Nurses

Despite dire projections just 3 years ago about a severe nursing shortage in the state, some studies now project a surplus. However, qualified nurses will always be in high demand, especially in a state with the 10th highest population of elderly residents. 

The current HRSA projections show Arizona having a demand for 98,700 registered nurses by 2030. Despite the projected surplus, there are thousands of open nursing positions in Arizona. Search 2,000 Arizona nursing jobs now.

Read on for more information on obtaining your nursing license in Arizona. 

Part Four AZ Nursing Licenses

As a Nursing Compact state, Arizona recognizes licenses from 24 other states. These include:

  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin

Nurses applying for their first Arizona nursing license must submit paper applications by mail. The specific application forms will vary based on your nursing status and type of license.

Renewal applications should be submitted online, except for the following circumstances:

  • Nurses on Probation
  • Nurses Who Are Suspended
  • Inactive or Retired Status Nurses
  • Nurses submitting volunteer / private duty hours for 960-hour requirement
  • Nurses without a social security number
  • Nurses who have, since their last renewal:

    Ever been charged, convicted, entered a plea of guilty, nolo contendere or no contest, been sentenced or served time in jail for any felony or undesignated offense    OR

    Ever had prosecution deferred or suspended, entered into a diversion program, or made any other agreement by which a felony or undesignated offense would be dismissed upon completion of certain terms    OR

    Ever had a felony or undesignated offense pardoned, expunged, dismissed, deferred, reclassified or redesignated    OR

    Had more than one misdemeanor charge or conviction in the past four years

If you meet the above criteria, you must submit a request to the Arizona State Board of Nursing and an application will be emailed to you. To request a paper application, use the Contact Form and select “Applications & Forms” from the Inquiry Reason drop down menu.

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Arizona Nurse Licensing Forms

Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN)

NP | CNM | Prescribing & Dispensing | CNS Certification Application Packet
Active APRN Renewal (Online Only)

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) Certification Application
CNS National Certification Exam Waiver Application
Controlled Substances Prescription Monitoring Program (CSPMP) Form

Sample School Letter

Registered Nurses (RN) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN)


RN/LPN By Endorsement Packet (for non-compact state licenses) | Instructions
RN/LPN By Exam Application Packet (for graduating nurses) | Instructions

Fingerprint Card Instructions
Verification Form 
Certificate of Completion


RN/LPN Temporary License/Certification
RN/LPN Temporary License for Refresher Course
Volunteer Service Registration Application


Active RN License Renewal (Online Only)
Inactive RN Status Renewal Application Packet
RN / LPN Late & Invalid License Questionnaire
Re-Issuance For Revoked, Denied or Voluntary Surrendered Licenses


Retired Nurse Application

School Nurses

School Nurse Initial and Renewal Packet

CNAs and LNAs

Initial CNA or LNA Application Packet
CNA or LNA Endorsement Application Packet

LNA or CNA Expired License - Certificate Questionnaire

CNA Education Waiver for Military or Foreign Graduate
CNA Education Waiver for Nursing Student

LNA or CNA Practice Hours Requirement Evaluation- Employment Other Than LNA or CNA 

Other Licensing Forms 

Application Fee Waiver Form
Arrest / Citation / Charge Questionnaire 
Citizenship and or Lawful Presence / Alien Status Declaration / Lists A & B 
Credit Debit Card Authorization Form
Declaration of Primary State of Address & Change of Address
Duplicate Request or Name Change

Part Five Continuing Education Requirements

Though there are no continuing education requirements for Arizona nurses. However, there is a practice requirement of 960 hours every 5 years. If this is not an option for you, Arizona nurses may maintain their licenses by doing one of the following:

  • Graduate from a nursing program and obtain a degree within 5 years OR
  • Complete an Arizona Board approved refresher course within 5 years OR
  • Obtain an advanced nursing degree within 5 years (i.e. LPN to RN, RN to BSN, masters, or doctorate).

Click here for a list of Arizona State Board Approved Refresher Courses.

Part Six Magnet Hospitals 

Magnet Hospitals In Arizona

As of September 2017, there are 11 Magnet-recognized hospitals in the state of Arizona. Below is a comprehensive list: 

Organization Name City
Banner - University Medical Center Phoenix Phoenix
Banner - University Medical Center Tucson Tucson
Banner Estrella Medical Center Phoenix
Banner Gateway Medical Center Gilbert
HonorHealth Deer Valley Medical Center Phoenix
HonorHealth John C. Lincoln Medical Center Phoenix
HonorHealth Scottsdale Osborn Medical Center Scottsdale
HonorHealth Scottsdale Shea Medical Center Scottsdale
HonorHealth Scottsdale Thompson Peak Medical Center Scottsdale

Part Seven Best Hospitals For Nurses ranked the best hospitals in Arizona state for nurses to work for based on nurse’s ratings and reviews. 2017 badge for best hospitals to work in for nurses1. Phoenix Children’s Hospital

Average Rating 4.6
Recommended 96%

“Management is awesome in the CVICU/CICU. Always quick to respond and always appropriate with staff.”

“Great work environment! Competitive pay and benefits.”


2. St. Joseph’s Hospital & Medical Center

Average Rating 4.5
Recommended 100%

“Great place to work with advanced medical care.”

“You would love working at St. Joe’s. The team in the Emergency Room is amazing and the quality of patient care is top notch. I love Level I trauma centers.”


3. Mayo Clinic Hospital

Average Rating 4.5
Recommended 100%

“The pay was great, the employees are helpful, and the facility has lots of support for nursing.”

“Great staff, tons of resources, excellent caring physicians, and a good mix of high acuity and stable patients to keep things interesting.”


4. Banner Thunderbird Medical Center

Average Rating 4.3
Recommended 100%

“Coworkers and management are awesome and it feels like a family. I have been there two years and have enjoyed my experience.”

“You are always supported by the nursing staff. The physicians are very open and willing to support your decisions.”


5. Mercy Gilbert Medical Center

Average Rating 4.3
Recommended 100%

“The staff nurses were professional, friendly, and helpful. The hospital is small enough to learn your way around easily.”

“Great place to work. Great patient ratio and general patient demographics are great as well. The staff are the highlight - always friendly and willing to work.”


6. Banner Gateway Medical Center

Average Rating 4.3
Recommended 100%

“Friendly coworkers who help you get acclimated to the core, challenging cases, and a relaxed environment. We love our travelers that are motivated and can jump right in.”

“Coworkers are great and pay is competitive. Managers are fair and look out for their employees”


7. Flagstaff Medical Center

Average Rating 4.2
Recommended 100%

“Great small community, good employees, and good management to work for.”

“Great staff and people. Competitive pay. Lots of patients from rural areas with multiple co-morbidities.”


8. Banner University Medical Center Pheonix

Average Rating 4.2
Recommended 94%

Magnet Hospital

“I love the variety of patients because of the Level I trauma center designation of this facility.”

“My coworkers are amazingly supportive with a teammate mindset. The nurse management is supportive and encouraging. Scheduling is easy and convenient.”


9. Scottsdale Shea Medical Center

Average Rating 4.2
Recommended 94%

Magnet Hospital

“Great work environment and patient environment. Doctors are supportive as is the management. Medical equipment is up to date. Patients are informed.”

“Great coworkers. Adequate staffing ratios. Pay is comparable to other alike facilities. Updated facilities. Lovely in hospital spa. Friendly staff members. Experienced nurses and doctors.”


10. Maricopa Medical Center

Average Rating 4.2
Recommended 92%

“Co-workers, Arizona state retirement, great learning opportunity, and a diverse patient population. Overall a great environment to work in with a wonderful team approach to nursing.”

“Overall we are not only coworkers but we’re family. The staff in the Emergency Room are phenomenal!” surveyed 665 nurses in Arizona state from 2015-2017 for this report. Hospitals with less than ten nursing reviews were excluded from our list.

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Part Eight Arizona Nursing Organizations

Many nurses join professional nursing organizations as a way to stay current on what’s going on their field or specialty. They offer many opportunities for education and networking. Here is a list of professional nursing organizations in Arizona.

Organization Website
American Psychiatric Nurses Association (Arizona Chapter)
Arizona Association of Nurse Anesthetists
Arizona Cannabis Nurses Association
Arizona Emergency Nurses Association
Arizona Nurses Association
Arizona Organization of Nurse Executives
Arizona Public Health Association
Black Nurses Association of the Greater Phoenix Area
Philippine Nurses Association of Arizona
School Nurses of Organization of Arizona
The National Association of Hispanic Nurses (Phoenix Chapter)

Part Nine Top Nursing Schools in Arizona

Considering furthering your nursing education in Arizona? Our panel of registered nurses reviewed nursing programs across the state based on their reputation, NCLEX pass rate, tuition, and accreditation status. See the top 10 listed below, and get additional details in our Top 10 Best Nursing Schools in Arizona guide. 

  1. Northern Arizona University
  2. Arizona College
  3. Arizona State University
  4. Grand Canyon University
  5. University of Phoenix
  6. Pima Medical Institute
  7. The University of Arizona
  8. Glendale Community College
  9. Carrington College - Phoenix
  10. Cochise College

Part Ten Job Opportunities in AZ

As a skilled nurse, you are in control of your career. Check out thousands of job listings on our job board and get the pay and career path you deserve.

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