Becoming an LPN or Licensed Practical Nurse in Arizona is a great idea!
But there are several things you should know about how to become one.
The work of LPNs is crucial because you are dealing with the health of people. That is a huge and meaningful responsibility!
For this reason, you will be required by the state to train for the job and to submit documents that prove you are capable of fulfilling this role.
Submitting requirements and meeting credentials can be overwhelming, especially when so many sources tell you what to do.
So we’re here to help you figure out the steps on how to become an LPN in Arizona. We’ll walk you through 4 easy steps!
We’ll also answer frequently asked questions so everything is clear before you enroll in a program, apply, or commit to anything.
Here are the questions we’ll tackle:
- How different are the tasks of a CNA and an LPN?
- How much do LPNs make in Arizona?
- Is Arizona part of the Nursing Licensure Compact?
Ready to see all the requirements and steps?
How to Become an LPN in Arizona – 4 Easy Steps
- Step #1: Enroll in a State-Approved LPN Training Program
- Step #2: Apply for Your License from Arizona’s State Board of Nursing
- Step #3: Find Your First Job as an LPN in Arizona
- Step #4: Keep Your LPN License Active
Step #1: Enroll in a State-Approved LPN Training Program
To become an LPN you must first enroll in an LPN training program approved by the Arizona State Board of Nursing (ASBN).
These training programs usually take 12-18 months to complete.
If you want to see the list of ASBN-approved schools, you can click this link.
Before you can enroll in a program, there are requirements you should meet and prepare for.
Although the requirements may differ per school, this is the usual checklist of most schools:
- Must be a high school graduate
- Must be proficient in Math and Biology
- Documentation from Certified Nursing Assistant practice may be asked (if applicable)
Topics You’ll Encounter in the Program
You can expect to have a lot of science and health-related classes, aside from clinical training experiences.
Here’s an overview of some courses you can expect to take:
- Growth and Development
- Nursing Fundamentals
- Communication and Patient Education
- Communicable Diseases
- Rehabilitation Nursing
- Maternity Nursing
- Pediatric Nursing
- End of Life Care
- Ethics and Conduct
You can also expect to gain supervised clinical experience in different healthcare settings. This will help you apply the theories you learn in the classroom to real-life practice.
Tuition Fee Costs
The tuition fee depends on the school you will be attending. But it can cost you anywhere from $2,300 up to $36,780. If you want to obtain a degree, it’ll be more expensive – it can cost you from $7,090 up to $52,810.
Take note that your books, uniforms, and other learning equipment aren’t part of the tuition fee yet.
Step #2: Apply for Your License from Arizona’s State Board of Nursing
In Arizona, there are 2 ways you can get your LPN license:
- Licensure by Examination
- Licensure by Endorsement
Let’s go through each one.
Licensure by Examination
After you finish your LPN program, you need to take a test that will evaluate if you have the knowledge and skills to become an LPN.
You need to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN).
Before this can happen, you should get permission from the Arizona State Board of Nursing (ASBN) to take the NCLEX-PN.
How do you do this?
You need to submit several documents that will show proof of completion of academic requirements and your background.
Here’s a list of what you need to do:
- Complete the NCLEX Registration by going to pearsonvue.com/nclex or by calling 866-496-2539. You will need to pay $200 for the examination fee.
- Request for the official transcripts from your state-approved LPN program to be sent directly to the ASBN
- Submit proof of your citizenship, nationality, or alien status. You may check this list for the documents allowed by the board.
- Submit a Fingerprint Card ($50.00)
- Pay $150 for the application fee
Once these are submitted to the board, you will receive an email that authorizes you to take the exam.
You can then set the final schedule for your exam.
What can you expect in the NCLEX-PN?
The NCLEX is a national examination that evaluates if you have what it takes to be a safe and effective LPN.
Unlike other tests, NCLEX test questions are tricky and need a lot of reading comprehension.
The test mostly uses analysis and application questions. The questions are usually multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, hot-spot, multiple responses, and ordered response questions.
You can expect to see questions regarding the following:
- Management of Care
- Safety and Infection Control
- Basic Care and Comfort
- Reduction of Risk Control
- Psychosocial Integrity
Though these are not all of the topics included, they comprise most of the exam questions.
The NCLEX-PN exam has a minimum of 85 questions and a maximum of 205 questions, all administered through a Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT) method.
If you pass the examination and the application, you will get an email from the board with the results and the next steps to secure your certification.
What happens if I fail on my first try?
Luckily in Arizona, you can retake the exam many times. But if you do the retakes, you need to pay the $200 examination fee again and again.
There’s also a time limit of 2 years after program graduation wherein you need to pass your licensure application and pass the NCLEX.
Licensure by Endorsement
The alternative method to apply for an Arizona LPN license is by endorsement, also known in other states as reciprocity.
This only applies to those who are already registered and active LPNs from another state but wish to practice in Arizona.
To apply via endorsement, you would need to submit the following:
- Proof that shows you have at least 960 hours of service in the past 5 years
- Certification that shows you have completed a board-approved program
- Proof that shows you passed the NCLEX-PN in your first state
- Valid Security Social number
- Previous or current license from your first state
- $150 for the application fee
Once complete, submit your application to this site.
You may wait for the results and your certification via email.
However, if you are an LPN from another compact state and have a multistate license, you do not need to apply for a license by endorsement, since Arizona is also a compact state.
You can read more about multi-state licenses below.
Step #3: Find Your First Job as an LPN in Arizona
There are many medical and healthcare facilities you can go to as an LPN.
Although nursing care facilities are the most common places that LPNs work in, you don’t need to limit yourself to that.
Here’s a list of other places you can look into:
- General medical and surgical hospitals
- Living facilities for the elderly and retirement communities
- Offices of physicians and local medical clinics
- Memory care facilities
- Government offices
Find a job that you are passionate about and where you can gain good experience.
You can also explore the idea of gaining certifications in specialized fields or advancing your career by becoming an RN.
Step #4: Keep Your LPN License Active
Getting your initial LPN license is a big victory already! But don’t forget that you need to keep renewing it to be able to continue practicing as an LPN!
In Arizona, you need to renew your license every 4 years.
To check the license expiry date, you can head over to Nursys.com and perform a search on your license details.
To avoid license expiry, you can submit a renewal application as early as 6 months before the renewal date. If your license has expired, you have at least 30 days to submit a renewal application.
Arizona does not require continuing education for the renewal of your LPN license, but you must be able to complete at least one of the following requirements:
- At least 960 hours of practice within the last 5 years
- A nursing degree within the past 5 years
- A refresher course approved by the Arizona Board within the last 5 years
- An advanced nursing degree in the last 5 years (i.e. LPN to RN, RN to BSN, master’s, or a doctorate)
Frequently Asked Questions about Becoming an LPN in Arizona
How different are the tasks of a CNA and an LPN?
CNAs (Certified Nurse Aides) are different from LPNs.
CNAs usually administer basic patient care such as bathing, dressing, feeding, and cleaning patients and their quarters. There are a few times when they can dispense medication, but usually under close monitoring and direction of RNs.
On the other hand, LPNs are given more technical tasks than CNAs.
They can still perform the tasks of CNAs, but they can also record and check vital signs, discuss health care treatment plans with patients and their families, report patient information to RNs and doctors, and handle medical tools such as catheters and ventilators.
How much do LPNs make in Arizona?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean wage of LPNs in Arizona is $57,800. This is higher than the national average of $51, 850!
However, the salary in Arizona also depends on the city you are in. You may see the table below on the hourly wages and annual salary you can expect.
Average Hourly Wage
Average Annual Salary
Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale
Lake Havasu City, Kingman
Sierra Vista, Douglas
Table from Practical Nurse.org
Is Arizona Part of the Nursing Licensure Compact?
Yes! Arizona is a compact state!
This means that you can apply for a multistate license from the Arizona State Board of Nursing.
To apply for a license, you must:
Meet the requirements for licensure in the state of Arizona
Graduate from a board-approved education program or an international education program (approved by the authorized accrediting body in the applicable country and verified by an independent credential review agency
Pass an English proficiency examination (applies to graduates of an international education program not taught in English or if English is not the individual's native language
Pass the NCLEX or a predecessor exam
Is eligible for or has an active unencumbered license
Submit fingerprints for state and federal background checks
Have no state or federal felony convictions
Have no misdemeanor convictions related to the practice of nursing
Not currently be a participant in an alternative program
Self-disclose current participation in an alternative program
Have a valid United States social security number
If you meet all these requirements, you will be granted a multistate license which will allow you to practice in other compact states without having to apply for individual licenses in those states.
Now that you know the steps to becoming an LPN in Arizona, your journey will be much easier and faster without spending too much time on research.
It’s important to commit to a board-approved program and secure all documents asked, so there will be no delays and rejections throughout the process.
We hope you found this helpful!
If you have other questions, feel free to drop them below!