Last Updated/Verified: October 5, 2021
Arizona has been among the top growing states for years now, with Phoenix being a particularly popular place for people to move.
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In fact, it’s been the fastest-growing city for the last five years, having increased its population by over 18 percent in the last decade. So anyone looking to start a career should consider what the Southwest has to offer, especially when it comes to careers in healthcare. Luckily, it’s possible to get into this industry quickly with training programs that only take a year or two to complete, such as licensed practical nurse (LPN) programs across the Grand Canyon State.
LPNs in Arizona Quick Facts
- There are 11,030 LPNs in Arizona as of 2021
- The LPN job outlook is bright with an 11% increase by 2028
- Arizona LPNs make an average of $49,707 annually or $27.69 per hour
- The average LPN program here takes 12 months to complete
- Experts predict Arizona will be short more than 9,000 LPNs by 2025, so demand is high
Overview of LPN Schools in Arizona
Dozens of schools in Arizona offer licensed practical nurse programs for students to take. They range from community colleges to technical schools. Regardless of the type and size of the school, most programs have a similar curriculum that combines labs, lectures, textbooks, and hands-on learning opportunities.
Arizona LPN programs in this state usually include the following classes:
- Anatomy, physiology, and microbiology
- Pediatric care
- Nursing care fundamentals
- Maternal-neonatal nursing
- Patient care
It’s best to attend a school that has been accredited by a national or local accrediting organization, as completing an unaccredited program may make it difficult or impossible to pursue licensure. So students should consider schools that have been approved by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. The Arizona State Board of Nursing also has a list of accredited programs for students to check before choosing a school.
LPN Admissions Requirements
While admissions requirements may vary depending on the school, most expect applicants to meet the following prerequisites to get in:
- High school diploma or equivalent, such as a GED
- Negative urine drug screen
- Can pass a background check
- Has a Fingerprint Clearance Card
- Can show a passing score on a nursing program admissions test, such as TEAS
- Shows competency in math and biology
- Immunizations are up to date
LPN Tuition & Costs
Tuition for a practical nursing program in Arizona depends on a few factors, such as how long the program takes and what kind of school is offering it. For instance, to get a Practical Nurse Certificate at Pima Community College in Tucson, tuition is about $18,500. At GateWay Community College in Phoenix, tuition is $3,800, not including books. Students who have trouble affording their nursing program tuition should look into scholarships, grants, and loans that will help with both educational and living expenses.
LPN Licensing Requirements in Arizona
Once students complete their licensed practical program, they need to start looking into getting licensed. This involves passing the NCLEX-PN test, at which point they can apply for a nursing license with the Arizona State Board of Nursing. Note that there’s a $300 fee to apply for licensure.
Checklist to become an Arizona LPN:
1. Finish an accredited LPN program
2. Get a passing grade on the NCLEX-PN test
3. Apply for a license with the Arizona State Board of Nursing
LPNs in Arizona need to renew their license every four years. In order to renew, they have to pay a $160 fee and meet one of the following requirements:
- Worked as a nurse for at least 960 hours in the past 5 years
- Obtained a degree from a nursing program in the past 5 years
- Completed an approved nursing refresher course in the past 5 years
- Achieved an advanced nursing degree within the past 5 years
Before applying for an LPN license in Arizona, applicants need a passing grade on the NCLEX-PN exam. Most years, the pass rates for this exam are around 93% for first-time test-takers in this state.
Arizona is part of the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC), which means nurses from other states that are also part of the eNLC can use their current license to practice in this state. More than 30 states are part of this compact.
LPN Salaries in Arizona
The average salary for LPNs in Arizona is $49,707 per year, which equates to $27.69 per hour. This is about $900 higher than the average salary nationwide for LPNs. Keep in mind that the pay rate for this job varies depending on the specialty area and location.
The following are the average salaries for LPN jobs in the biggest cities in Arizona:
- Phoenix: $49,880
- Tucson: $48,807
- Mesa: $50,747
- Chandler: $50,648
- Scottsdale: $49,754
The location of the job has an impact on salary, as does the work setting. For example, hospitals often pay LPNs more than doctor’s offices do. In addition, working in a specialty that’s growing fast—like nursing care for senior citizens—is a good way to increase income.
Job Outlook for LPNs in Arizona
The healthcare field is growing fast everywhere, but especially in states whose populations are rising fast—like Arizona’s. After all, the more people an area has, the higher the public health demands will be. This is particularly true as people are living longer, but are dealing with more chronic conditions than ever, such as obesity and diabetes. As a result, the job outlook for LPNs is bright.
In addition, once someone gets an LPN, they can improve their salary and job opportunities by continuing their nursing education. For instance, they can get more training to become a registered nurse (RN). They can also look into becoming a vocational nurse or a certified nursing assistant (CNA).
In general, getting a certificate of completion from a nursing program is a great way to secure stable, consistent employment in healthcare. The need for quality public health professionals is only going to keep rising, so becoming an Arizona LPN is recommended for anyone interested in helping others.
Top LPN Schools in Arizona
GateWay Community College
108 N. 40th St.
Phoenix, AZ 85034
The Fast Track Practical Nursing Program at this school in Phoenix works toward giving students the knowledge they need to pass the NCLEX-PN. Graduates should feel confident to work in acute care, extended care, nursing homes, and other medical settings after undergoing this program. Students can choose from day and evening classes here.
Scottsdale Community College
9000 E. Chaparral Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85256-2626
This program is approved by ACEN. It features a combination of classroom coursework and hands-on training to get students ready to not only pass the NCLEX-PN, but also excel in healthcare.
Pima Community College
4905 E. Broadway Blvd.
Tucson, AZ 85709-1010
This school in Tucson provides comprehensive training for aspiring practical nurses. It’s approved by the Arizona State Board of Nursing and takes about 13 months to complete.
1202 W. Thomas Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85013
This LPN program is approved by both ACEN and the Arizona State Board of Nursing. The aim is to train students to succeed in giving long-term care, acute care, and more in various healthcare settings.
East Valley Institute of Technology (EVIT)
1601 W. Main St.
Mesa, AZ 85201
Certified by the Arizona Board of Nursing, this program takes about 1080 hours—or 12 months—to complete. Classes are held during the day Monday through Thursday every week as students gain the knowledge they need to pass the NCLEX-PN.
Northland Pioneer College
1001 W. Deuce of Clubs
Show Low, AZ 85901
Students can choose from two Northern Arizona campuses—Show Low and Winslow—to complete the LPN program at this school. It’s known for having the lowest tuition in the state, as well as the option to spend a second year in the program earning an associate degree to become a registered nurse.
Arizona Western College
2020 S. Ave. 8 E
Yuma, AZ 85365
This is another school that makes it easy to continue on to become an RN with a second year in the program. It’s known for having small class sizes, and it’s approved by both ACEN and the Arizona State Board of Nursing.
2600 E. Wilcox Dr.
Sierra Vista, AZ 85635
This Arizona LPN program lasts for three semesters, during which students have to earn 32 credits. The coursework here involves a mix of labs, classroom instruction, and clinical training.
Eastern Arizona College
615 N. Stadium Ave.
Thatcher, AZ 85552
The nursing program at the oldest community college in the state focuses on teaching students to care for acutely ill patients in various healthcare settings. Once students have completed the program, they should feel prepared to pass the NCLEX-PN and seek licensure in Arizona.
Mohave Community College
1801 Detroit Ave.
Kingman, AZ 86401
The program here was recently approved by the Arizona State Board of Nursing. It features flexibility in scheduling, with evening and weekend classes available at its campuses in Kingman and Lake Havasu City.
Use the resources listed below to learn more about the process of becoming an LPN in Arizona:
Arizona State Board of Nursing: This group is responsible for providing and renewing nursing licenses and certifications in Arizona.
1740 W. Adams St., Suite 2000
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Arizona Nurses Association: Since 1919, this group has been offering support for nurses by hosting events, providing continuing education, and giving scholarships to nurses who need help funding their education.
1850 East Southern Avenue, Suite 1
Tempe, AZ 85282