Arizona has a little something for everyone—from big names like UA and ASU to convenient post-master’s programs. To learn what’s in store, check out our advice section. Here you’ll find rankings of the best and most affordable DNP programs in Arizona, details on online & hybrid AZ doctorates, and notes on BSN to DNP options. Ready to make your choice? Skip ahead to our detailed program listings.
Top Arizona DNP Programs
For this list of the best DNPs in Arizona, we evaluated independent rankings for nursing graduate programs and prioritized any AZ school with a high DNP placement in U.S. News & World Report (e.g. ASU). We also considered factors such as research resources, deliverables, and reputation.
1. University of Arizona
UA’s DNP program is hard to beat. It’s offered by a College of Nursing with a great reputation, top-notch rankings, and a commitment to clinical time. UA Health Sciences is affiliated with three academic medical centers and the statewide UA Cancer Center. DNP students have access to state-of-the-art simulation labs. And reviews of UA’s graduate nursing programs on independent sites are outstanding. Reviewers note that instructors are incredibly helpful (and tough), courses are intense & rigorous, faculty research is super-pertinent, and critical thinking is emphasized.
The College is particularly strong on support. As a DNP student, you’ll have access to the Office of Student Support & Community Engagement and your own academic advisor. If you’re coming from an underrepresented group, be sure to check out the Arizona Nursing Inclusive Excellence (ANIE) initiative (DNP students can participate in the Pinnacle program). Aspiring NPs can also ask about the UA College of Nursing Rural Health Professions Program (UA CON RHPP), which helps students build experience in rural and medically underserved sites across Arizona.
2. Arizona State University
ASU runs a close second to UA! The Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation often earns a superb ranking for its DNP program (e.g. top 25 in the country) and excellent reviews from graduate nursing students. In particular, DNP reviewers have high praise for ASU’s clinical placements. The College has partnerships with the Mayo Clinic, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, and Dignity Health, and it encourages work in rural health. Folks have also commented on the flexible, hybrid format and the interactive, hands-on instruction from experienced faculty.
Noodling on your capstone project? Take a look at what’s going on in the realm of research. The College runs a number of research centers, including one affiliated with the World Health Organization. (Global health aficionados should find plenty of inspiration.) You could also consider applying for one of the College’s many nursing scholarships. DNP students at ASU are eligible for specific awards such as the Innovation Leadership Fund.
3. Northern Arizona University
NAU’s affordable DNP program for post-master’s candidates is administered by the School of Nursing. UA can’t compete with UA and ASU in terms of size & reputation, but it achieves a respectable ranking for its online graduate nursing programs. Exam pass rates (e.g. NCLEX and FNP) are high and faculty are involved in a number of adult-focused research projects (e.g. caregiving & end-of-life).
One of the School’s key goals is to better serve American Indians, through recruitment, program support, and financial assistance. If you’d like more information about opportunities, you can get in touch with NAU’s DNP program advisor. NAU also offers some nursing scholarships to graduate students.
Most Affordable DNP Programs in Arizona
To create this ranking of the cheapest Arizona DNP programs, we used the school’s lowest per credit DNP tuition rate. Keep in mind that UA and ASU’s programs are hybrid—that means you’ll need to consider extra expenses such as travel and accommodation.
1. Northern Arizona University
For the doctorate, you’ll be charged the graduate tuition rate for the Online Campus; this is the same for AZ residents and non-residents. You’ll also have to pay mandatory university fees and a per credit hour DNP program fee. See the DNP: Details section for specifics.
2. Grand Canyon University
GCU is a private university with one standard online rate for doctoral programs. However, there’s a slightly reduced per credit hour for Active Duty and Active Reserve students (Online and Professional Studies).
3. University of Arizona
UA is not cheap, but it still ranks third in our list. The online campus rate is the same for in-state and out-of-state residents. In addition, there are various mandatory fees.
Note: ASU has a lower per credit tuition rate than UA for in-state residents, but the per credit DNP program fee puts the total per credit hour rate above UA.
Online DNP Programs in Arizona
First off, it’s important to know that online programs at Arizona State University and the University of Arizona in the listings are technically hybrid. You will be expected to front-up at various points during the course of the program.
- ASU’s DNP is delivered in a blended iCourse and in-person format. Students visit the Downtown Campus for an orientation at the beginning of the program (up to a week) and face-to-face experiences 2-3 times per semester.
- UA’s DNP is a judicious mix of online coursework, on-campus intensives, and on-the-ground practicums and clinical placements. Even students in the MSN to DNP tracks are required to attend the Resident Intensive Summer Experience (RISE) in Tucson.
If you’re interested in other schools, check with the program coordinator to learn whether you need to visit the campus. Midwestern simply says that the DNAP Completion program is online. NAU states there may be some online/blended coursework during the DNP, but it doesn’t give specifics. And GCU appears to offer its DNP in a 100% online or evening format (night classes meet once per week).
Note: Thinking about options in neighboring areas? Check out the listings of Online DNP Programs. They are organized by state.
BSN to DNP Programs in Arizona
You have two major choices for Arizona BSN to DNP programs: ASU or UA. Both universities are highly regarded, both offer multiple specialties, and both are expensive! They’re also competitive, so you’ll want to ensure your CV, GPA, and test scores are as good as you can make them.
If you’re interested in Nurse Anesthesia, you can also add Midwestern University to your shortlist. It’s a COA-accredited program.
Check the listings to see what’s available. For example, UA has a Nurse Anesthesia track and ASU has a WHNP track. Out-of-state residents will also need to ask about availability. For instance, UA’s College of Nursing is still not authorized to offer the BSN to DNP in a number of states.
Arizona Nursing Organizations
- Arizona State Board of Nursing
- Arizona Nurse Practitioner Council (ANPC)
- Arizona League for Nursing (AZLN)
- Arizona Organization of Nurse Executives (AzONE)
Below you'll find a list of all of the Doctor of Nursing Practice programs available in Arizona.