PRN Nursing Jobs in Arizona: Ultimate Guide [2024]

Are you looking for high-paying CNA, LPN, or RN jobs in Arizona? Apply for per diem nursing jobs from the palm of your hand with our PRN nurse staffing app.

Breathtaking landscapes in Sedona. Meteor craters. Beautiful jewelry. Mules delivering mail? No matter what you like, Arizona’s got it all. Keep reading to find out more about PRN nursing jobs, average salaries, cheapest cities, and nursing schools in this state.

Imagine waking up to Arizona’s radiant sunshine, where each day is an opportunity to explore the desert’s natural wonders or enjoy the vibrant culture of its cities. For nurses seeking per diem nursing jobs, working in Arizona offers a unique blend of career advancement opportunities and a lifestyle like no other. With a high demand for healthcare professionals and a wide array of healthcare facilities, the Grand Canyon State beckons nurses with a promise of fulfilling careers and a captivating environment to call home.

Table of Contents

Top Hospitals & Other Medical Centers in Arizona

Suppose you’re searching for healthcare work opportunities, whether those be nursing jobs in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), Emergency Room (ER), or Operating Room (OR). In that case, it’s crucial to consider the state’s leading healthcare centers in Arizona. 

Here are some of the prominent clinics and medical centers in AZ that offer a wide range of positions and career growth opportunities:

  1. Mayo Clinic - Phoenix: A nonprofit internationally renowned for its patient care and research excellence
  2. Banner Health: A leading healthcare system with numerous hospitals and clinics across the state
  3. Dignity Health: Known for its commitment to compassionate care and community health
  4. Arizona State Hospital: Specializing in psychiatric and behavioral health services
  5. Phoenix Children’s Hospital: Dedicated to pediatric care and research
  6. Cancer Treatment Centers of America - Phoenix: Specializing in cancer care and research
  7. Valleywise Health: A public teaching health system offering diverse healthcare services
  8. Barrow Neurological Institute: A global leader in neurological care and research
  9. Abrazo Healthcare: Specializes in complex acute-care services, including emergency, cardiovascular, neuroscience, orthopedics, surgery, and women and infant care
  10. Carondelet Health Network: Provides a diverse range of services encompassing neurological, cardiac, orthopedic, women’s health, bariatrics, and rehabilitation care

Arizona’s healthcare facilities offer many job opportunities, excellent patient care, and a supportive work environment. Whether you’re a nurse, a patient care technician, or a healthcare professional in another capacity, these institutions are worth exploring for potential career advancement and fulfillment.

Obtaining a Nursing License in Arizona

If you are looking up how to get a nursing license in Arizona, the initial step involves enrolling in one of the following nursing programs:

  • Practical Nursing Programs: Aspiring nurses can complete these programs in approximately one year. Upon graduation, they become eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN), a prerequisite for obtaining a nursing license and becoming Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs).
  • Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) Programs: ADNs typically take around two years to complete, making them the quickest route to becoming a Registered Nurse (RN). Successful completion of an ADN program equips graduates to take the NCLEX-RN and earn licensure as RNs.
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Programs: BSN programs generally span four years. Graduates of these programs also qualify to take the NCLEX-RN and become licensed Registered Nurses. It’s important to note that RNs with BSNs often enjoy a competitive advantage over those with ADNs and tend to earn higher salaries.

Best BSN Nursing Programs in Arizona

When considering your path to becoming a nurse, it’s important to note that investing the time and resources in a BSN program can yield significant advantages. Nurses holding a Bachelor of Science in Nursing benefit from increased job opportunities and enjoy higher earning potential. 

Additionally, a BSN provides a strong foundation for those looking to advance their nursing education with a master’s or doctorate. 

To assist you in your journey, we’ve compiled a list of Arizona's top 10 BSN nursing schools, ranked by their first-time NCLEX pass rates, as recognized by the Arizona State Board of Nursing.

BSN nursing schools NCLEX-RN pass rates
Grand Canyon University - Tucson 98%
Grand Canyon University - Sun City 96%
Northern Arizona University 94%
Arizona State University (Accelerated) 94%
Arizona College - Tucson 93%
Arizona College - Tempe 92%
Chamberlain University 89%
Creighton University, College of Nursing - Phoenix Campus 89%
Grand Canyon University 88%
University of Arizona 87%

Source: National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) Report

Alternative Paths to the Nursing Field

Only some people who aspire to work in healthcare pursue a nursing license first. Suppose you’re interested in healthcare but have yet to become a licensed nurse. In that case, there are alternative roles that can provide valuable experience and serve as stepping stones toward your career goals. 

Becoming Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) and Patient Care Technicians (PCTs) are standard options.

What Is a Certified Nursing Assistant? 

CNAs play an integral role in patient care, offering essential support under the supervision of licensed nurses. Their responsibilities include monitoring vital signs and assisting with activities of daily living like bathing, dressing, and feeding. 

To become a CNA in Arizona, you must complete a state-approved training program and pass a competency exam, as mandated by the Arizona Board of Nursing. This role provides a valuable opportunity to gain hands-on experience in patient care across diverse healthcare settings.

What Is a Patient Care Tech? 

PCTs take on a broader range of responsibilities compared to CNAs. They assist with patient care, including drawing blood, performing EKGs, and administering wound care. PCTs collaborate closely with nurses and other healthcare professionals to ensure patients receive comprehensive care. 

While formal education requirements for PCTs may vary by institution, many employers in Arizona offer on-the-job training programs for individuals interested in this role. Becoming a PCT can be an excellent way to gain exposure to various clinical skills.

How Much Do Nurses in Arizona Make?

Understanding Arizona's compensation landscape and cost of living is crucial for nurses considering a career in the state. 

While Arizona’s minimum wage is $13.85 per hour, nurses enjoy substantially higher income potential. RNs in AZ typically earn an impressive average hourly wage of $39.58, making nursing an appealing and financially rewarding profession. This pay exceeds the state’s minimum wage, underlining the high regard for nursing expertise.

The living wage in Arizona is approximately $17.78 per hour for a single adult. The living wage is the hourly amount individuals must make working full-time to cover basic living expenses in the state. Nurses, especially RNs, comfortably exceed this benchmark, ensuring a stable and comfortable standard of living for themselves and their families, as reflected in the following average annual salaries:

  • RN Salary: $86,740
  • LPN Salary: $61,920
  • CNA Salary: $37,620 

It’s important to note that these income figures in AZ may vary depending on factors like experience, geographic location within the state, and the specific hospitals or other healthcare facilities in Arizona where nurses work. Here’s a table displaying the average annual earnings in different cities within the state:

Metropolitan Area Average CNA Salary Average LPN Salary Average RN Salary
Prescott $38,310 $64,500 $89,660
$35,350 $62,550 $87,410
Flagstaff $37,480 $66,600 Data not available
Tucson $35,870 $60,330 $83,590
Sierra Vista-Douglas $35,510 $58,260 $77,720
Lake Havasu City-Kingman $35,190 $57,710 $80,670
Yuma $34,130 $61,790 $85,670

Table created based on data from the MIT living wage calculator and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

As shown in the table above, the highest-paying cities for nurse jobs in Arizona are Prescott, Phoenix, Scottdale, Mesa, and Flagstaff.

How Many Nurses Work in Arizona? 

Arizona’s healthcare system relies on dedicated nursing professionals, vital to the state’s healthcare landscape. Let’s explore the current statistics showcasing nurses’ significant presence in the Grand Canyon State.

  • RN Jobs in Arizona: 56,040
  • LPN Jobs in Arizona: 6,280
  • CNA Jobs in Arizona: 16,690

Cheapest Cities in Arizona

Similar to the differences in earnings based on location, Arizona also encounters discrepancies in the living wage required to sustain a comfortable life in various regions. 

Cost of living in Arizona
Living wage may vary a lot in Arizona

Below, we outline the hourly income needed to cover basic living expenses in different cities, beginning with the most economically affordable cities:

Also, click here for a detailed cost-of-living calculator for different cities in Arizona.

Navigating Healthcare Insurance in Arizona

Securing healthcare insurance is crucial for healthcare professionals, whether you’re a remote RN or a per diem nurse, PCT, or CNA in Arizona. 

Here’s a guide on how to apply for insurance in Arizona:

  • Health Insurance Marketplace: If you’re a freelancer, consider exploring the Health Insurance Marketplace (also known as the Exchange). You can visit the federal website,, to enroll during open enrollment periods, or you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). This option is ideal for remote RN jobs and other healthcare roles without employer coverage.
  • Medicaid Expansion: Arizona has expanded its Medicaid program, Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), which may provide coverage for eligible individuals and families with limited income. PCTs, CNAs, LPNs, and others in lower-income positions may qualify for this option.
  • Private Insurance Providers: Other avenues to explore are private insurance providers. Many companies offer a variety of health insurance plans tailored to different needs and budgets. Research and compare programs from various providers to find the best fit for your needs.

Remember that having healthcare coverage is ideal for maintaining your health and financial security, especially in the healthcare industry. Whether you work RN, LPN, CNA, or PCT jobs, exploring these insurance options will help you make the right choice for your healthcare needs in Arizona.

Fun Facts about Arizona

Here’s a list of some fun facts that can entertain and captivate both residents and those contemplating working in Arizona:

  • The Grand Canyon’s Mail Service in Supai: Located at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, the Havasupai Tribe receives their mail by mule. These hardworking animals carry letters and packages down the treacherous terrain to reach the tribe, offering a unique postal service experience.
  • Saguaro Cacti in Phoenix: Arizona is home to the Saguaro cactus, which can grow as tall as a five-story building and live for over 150 years. These iconic giants of the desert symbolize the American Southwest and can be spotted throughout the Phoenix area.
  • Tombstone’s Wild West Legacy: The infamous gunfight at the O.K. Corral took place in Tombstone, Arizona, in 1881. The town is often associated with the Wild West and has preserved its historic charm, making it a fascinating place to visit.
  • The London Bridge in Lake Havasu City: Surprisingly, the London Bridge was dismantled in the 1960s and transported to Lake Havasu City, Arizona, where it now spans the Colorado River. It’s an unexpected piece of British history in the Arizona desert and a unique attraction in Lake Havasu City.
  • Stunning Sunsets in Sedona: Arizona is renowned for its breathtaking sunsets, thanks to its clear skies and vivid desert landscapes. Sedona, in particular, is famous for its stunning red rock formations that enhance the beauty of its sunsets.
  • Meteor Crater near Winslow: A crater near Winslow, Arizona, is the remaining proof of a meteor impact around 50,000 years ago. It’s one of the best-preserved impact sites on Earth and offers a unique glimpse into our planet’s geological history, a must-see for science enthusiasts.
  • Apache Trail Scenic Drive from Phoenix: If you’re a fan of road trips, the Apache Trail, starting in Phoenix, is a must-do. This winding mountain road takes you through stunning canyons, historic ghost towns like Goldfield, and pristine desert landscapes.
  • Turquoise State Gem in Bisbee: Arizona’s official state gem is turquoise, and the historic mining town of Bisbee is famous for its turquoise mines and beautiful jewelry made from this blue-green stone.

These fun facts showcase Arizona’s unique and diverse aspects, with each city contributing character to the Grand Canyon State’s rich tapestry.

Women near the edge of the Grand Canyon
Beauty of the nature - Grand Canyon, Arizona

Arizona’s Climate Diversity

Arizona’s climate varies widely across its cities, offering nursing professionals a range of weather experiences as they consider their career opportunities in the state. Here’s a climate breakdown across the state of AZ:

  • Desert Climate (Arid and Hot): Cities like Chandler, Gilbert, Apache Junction, Goodyear, Peoria, and Tempe typically experience hot and arid desert climates characterized by scorching summers with temperatures often exceeding 100°F (38°C). Winters are milder but can still be warm compared to many other regions. Precipitation is limited, and these areas are known for their clear skies and abundant sunshine.
  • Desert Climate (Arid and Warm): Glendale and Sun City West share arid desert climates with hot summers and mild winters. Residents can expect an abundance of sun throughout the year.
  • Desert Climate with Higher Elevation (Semi-Arid): While still considered a desert climate, Youngstown’s slightly higher elevation moderates temperatures compared to lower desert areas. Summers are warm, and winters are mild, with occasional cooler nights.
  • Desert Climate with Mild Winters (Semi-Arid): Marana experiences a desert climate in southern Arizona with hot summers and mild winters. Winters are notably more comfortable than in some of the lower desert cities.
  • High Desert Climate (Continental): Ash Fork is situated at a higher elevation and experiences a high desert climate with cold winters and mild summers. Snowfall is common in winter, and the area has distinct seasons.

Arizona’s diverse climate range caters to various preferences, whether you enjoy the hot desert summers of the Phoenix area, the milder winters of Marana, or the snowy winters of Ash Fork. This variety makes the state appealing to those seeking diverse weather experiences while considering healthcare careers in cities across Arizona.

Exploring Arizona: Solo and Social Activities

Whether you are new to the Grand Canyon State or a longtime resident, there’s always something exciting to discover. Here are some solo and social activities to enjoy in Arizona:

  • Hiking Adventures: Explore the iconic trails of Sedona, Camelback Mountain in Phoenix, or Saguaro National Park in Tucson.
  • Cultural Exploration: Visit the Heard Museum in Phoenix for Native American art and the artsy town of Bisbee for a unique vibe.
  • Outdoor Festivals: Experience local culture at events like the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show or the Scottsdale Culinary Festival.
  • Culinary Delights: Savor diverse cuisine at food festivals and explore local flavors in Phoenix and Tucson’s dining scenes.
  • Starry Nights: Enjoy world-class stargazing at Flagstaff’s Lowell Observatory or Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson.
  • Sports Enthusiasts: Cheer for professional teams like the Phoenix Suns, Arizona Cardinals, or Arizona Diamondbacks.
  • Wildlife Encounters: Explore the Sonoran Desert’s unique fauna at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson.
  • Art and History: Discover local history at the Pueblo Grande Museum in Phoenix and explore art galleries in Jerome.

These activities capture the essence of Arizona’s culture, natural beauty, and social scene, providing newcomers with a taste of what the state has to offer.

Seize the Arizona Adventure Today

From the stunning red rocks of Sedona to the exhilarating urban experiences of Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona is where your professional aspirations and personal passions can align seamlessly.

The cost of living is favorable; the climate caters to diverse preferences, and the state’s commitment to healthcare ensures your skills are valued. Don’t hesitate to take the first step if Arizona resonates with your aspirations. Secure your first nursing shift, embark on this incredible journey, and make Arizona your home.

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