6 Best Accelerated Nursing Programs in Arizona (2024)

Accelerated nursing programs in Arizona are garnering great attention, especially because of the state’s efforts to subsidize tuition costs for nursing students.

And the other good news is, with accelerated nursing programs, you can transition from a different background into nursing in as few as 12 months!

Here’s a list of the 6 best accelerated nursing programs in Arizona today.

5 Best Accelerated BSN Programs in Arizona

1. Arizona State University- Accelerated BSN

ASU’s Accelerated BSN is a full-time program that you can complete in just 12 months. Comprising 50 credit hours, it offers a rigorous, fast-paced pathway toward your nursing degree.

Duration: 12 months

Format: On Campus

Location: Phoenix, AZ or Lake Havasu City, AZ

Depending on your preference, you can kickstart your ABSN journey in either the spring semester at the Downtown Phoenix campus or in the fall at the Lake Havasu City campus.

Simulation Lab

ASU’s simulation lab at the Edson College of Nursing is a state-of-the-art facility with three simulation suites catering to diverse areas like Adult Health, Complex Care, Pediatrics, and Labor & Delivery.

With a 16-bed health assessment lab and six clinical skills labs at your disposal, you’ll have ample opportunities to practice physical exam techniques and perfect your psychomotor skills.

What We Don’t Like

While there’s a lot to love about ASU’s Accelerated BSN program, it’s worth noting that you’ll need to navigate a separate advancement process to be selected for clinical placement.

ASU requires this additional step, unlike most programs that assign you to clinical sites. While not a deal-breaker, it’s an aspect to be aware of as you consider applying.

About ASU Edson College of Nursing & Health Innovation

ASU started its Nursing School back in 1957 with 58 students. Over time, the Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation has grown to serve over 5,300 students.

Their BSN grads have an impressive 95% pass rate on their first try at the NCLEX, beating the national average. Plus, their nursing degree ranks among the top 30 in the country. The college’s HQ is in ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus.

2. Northern Arizona University- Accelerated BSN

NAU’s Accelerated BSN program takes just 12 months of full-time study to complete. The program consists of 52 units, which ensure comprehensive coverage of essential nursing courses.

Duration: 12 months

Format: On Campus

Location: Flagstaff, AZ

This program isn’t a mass-production education factory; it admits only 30 students per batch. This means you can expect a more intimate, focused learning experience, with closer attention from instructors and more collaboration with your peers.

Clinical Placements

The program is offered at NAU’s Flagstaff campus, nestled in the heart of Arizona. However, your clinical coursework could take you to sites throughout the state.

Keep in mind that you’ll be responsible for your own travel and lodging expenses during these clinical rotations.

About NAU School of Nursing

The nursing program at NAU School of Nursing started in 1962 and has been training nurses ever since. It initially offered an associate degree in nursing and now boasts over a 90% pass rate on the NCLEX exam.

3. Grand Canyon University- Accelerated BSN

GCU’s Accelerated BSN offers an efficient and quick path to your degree. In just over a year — 16 months to be precise — you can complete your 83 credit hours, equipping you with a solid foundation in the nursing field.

Duration: 16 months

Format: Online coursework

Location: Phoenix, AZ

Also, with three start dates every year, you can choose a time that aligns perfectly with your schedule.

Learning Sites

As a part of the GCU Accelerated BSN program, you will have access to multiple learning sites: Chandler, Sun City, West Valley, and Tucson.

You’ll complete clinical rotations at some of the top healthcare organizations in Arizona- where you’ll gain invaluable real-world experience and make important career connections in the industry.

About GCU

GCU has come a long way. It was founded in 1949 as Grand Canyon College and later renamed Grand Canyon University in 1984. It has grown its campus student body from fewer than 1,000 students in 2009 to over 25,000 in 2022.

This Christian-based institution, with its main campus in Phoenix, Arizona, and various campuses nationwide, is renowned for its commitment to quality education. Note that it is a private for-profit.

4. Creighton University- Accelerated BSN

Creighton’s Accelerated BSN program is a full-time, rigorous curriculum that you can complete within just 12 months. You’ll earn 58 credit hours.

Duration: 12 months

Format: On Campus

Location: Phoenix, AZ

The program commences every August and January in Phoenix, with an intake capacity of up to 56 students per cohort.

Clinical Experience

During the program, you will complete more than 900 hours of clinical experience. Your clinical rotations will be carried out at top healthcare facilities in Phoenix- preparing you to work in various healthcare scenarios.

This includes Dignity Health Phoenix-based hospitals, Valleywise Health, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, and several other community partners and clinics.

About Creighton Nursing in Phoenix

Creighton University is a private non-profit Jesuit research university. It started its fast-track BSN program in Phoenix in 2018, in partnership with Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital.

With an NCLEX pass rate of over 90%, Creighton has been successfully training nurses for over 50 years.

5. Brookline College- Second Degree BSN

Brookline College offers you the opportunity to earn a BSN in just 16 months of full-time study. This accelerated pace ensures that you can transition into the healthcare sector faster than traditional programs.

Duration: 16 months

Format: On Campus

Location: Phoenix, AZ

To successfully complete this program, you’re required to earn 70 credit hours. From hands-on clinical practice to theoretical knowledge, this program is structured to provide comprehensive nursing education.

About Brookline College

Brookline College is a private, for-profit school. So, it will typically have higher tuition than non-profits.

It began as the non-profit Arizona Institute of Business and Technology in 1979 and became a Junior College in 1991 and a Senior College in 2001. It was renamed the International Institute of Americas in 2002, bought by the Hamilton White Group in 2007, and finally became Brookline College in 2009.

It provides associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in nursing and related healthcare fields.

Related: Pros and Cons of Accelerated Nursing Programs

Best Direct-Entry MSN/Entry-Level Masters Programs in Arizona

1. University of Arizona- Master of Science for Entry to the Profession of Nursing (MEPN)

The MS-MEPN program at the University of Arizona is a 15-month accelerated course, specifically catered to those who have non-nursing university degrees. With a comprehensive curriculum that covers 53 units, the program is available at both the Gilbert and Tucson campuses.

Duration: 15 months

Format: On Campus

Location: Gilbert, AZ & Tucson, AZ

What We Like

One standout feature of this program is the unique AiMS4Nursing Scholarship Program. Through this initiative, you could be among 158 students to earn your MEPN degree entirely tuition-free!

This scholarship program is funded by the Arizona Department of Health Services. It aims to address the state’s nursing shortage by facilitating the education of future nurses.

The catch is, you must agree to practice nursing in Arizona for at least four years after graduation- a small price to pay, really.

About AU’s College of Nursing

The University of Arizona College of Nursing was founded in 1957. It is located in Tucson, 65 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border. It is known for its exceptional education and cultural diversity.

It ranks among the top 15% of US graduate nursing programs and boasts a 93% NCLEX pass rate.

General Admission Requirements for Accelerated Nursing Programs in Arizona

  1. Bachelor’s Degree: An undergraduate degree from an accredited institution is required. It must be a non-nursing degree.
  2. Prerequisite Courses: The programs require that certain prerequisite courses be completed prior to enrollment. These include Anatomy and Physiology, Microbiology, Chemistry, Nutrition, Psychology, and Statistics. An English Composition course might be required in some programs (Grand Canyon University requires it).
  3. Minimum GPA: A minimum GPA is usually required, often around a 3.0, though this can vary by program.
  4. Entrance Exam: Some programs require a TEAS or HESI Admission Assessment Exam- Northern Arizona University requires the HESI option.
  5. Letters of Recommendation: Letters of recommendation from professors, employers, or health professionals are required.
  6. Nursing Personal Statement: A personal statement or essay is typically required to outline your interest in nursing, your career goals, and any qualifications or experiences that make you a good fit for the program.
  7. Interview: An interview may be required as part of the admission process.
  8. Clinical Experience: Some programs may require or prefer applicants to have some healthcare or clinical experience.
  9. Background Check: Due to the nature of the work involved in nursing, a background check is typically required.
  10. Health Requirements: Up-to-date immunization records, a physical examination, and proof of health insurance may be necessary.

Wrapping Up on Accelerated Nursing Programs in Arizona

Arizona is ranked among the 5 states that are currently experiencing a critical nurse shortage in the country. To manage this public health crisis, the Arizona State Legislature approved a grant funding of $43.1 million in 2022.

This funding was disbursed to 5 universities to increase their capacity to train 882 nursing students via accelerated nursing programs. The recipient programs and respective amounts are:

  • Grand Canyon University: $16m for 300 scholarships
  • University of Arizona: $9.2m for 158 scholarships
  • Northern Arizona University: $6.4m for 240 scholarships
  • Creighton University (Phoenix): $5.9m for 80 scholarships
  • Arizona State University: $5.6m for 104 scholarships

With the state heavily subsidizing tuition & fees, it makes now the perfect time for you to consider accelerating nursing programs in Arizona. Who knows, you might end up studying for free!

But bear in mind that, to be eligible for the scholarship, you must commit to work in Arizona for at least 4 years after graduation.


  • Information on these programs may change without notice. So, we cannot guarantee their authenticity and accuracy. You’d have to check with the school and do further research. Our review list is simply for guidance and cannot be relied upon exclusively without research on your part.
  • Before enrollment, check with your state regarding licensing rules or whether your desired program meets your home state’s certification requirements and licensure.
  • If you are an administrator/staff for one of the schools listed in this article, and you would like to issue corrections or updates on your program’s information, please contact us here.

Related Nursing Programs:

3 Best Accelerated Nursing Programs in Utah

10 Top ABSN Programs in California

Related Nursing Resources:

Guide to Accelerated Nursing Programs: What are they?

Pros and Cons of Accelerated Nursing Programs

Arizona NCLEX Pass Rates: A Deep Dive into the Statistics

8 Best TEAS Prep Courses Today, According to Nursing Students

How to Write the Nursing School Personal Statement: Steps, Tips, And Samples

13 Best Books for Nursing Students to Read- Reviewed

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