University of Arizona Nursing School Review

Founded in 1885, the University of Arizona (UA) is a leading public research university that is noted for its high-quality education and excellent research facilities. The College of Nursing is one of the 14 notable colleges that is part of the University.

The College offers a wealth of resources to hone nursing skills in the health care sector. Some of these resources include, Patient Care Learning Center, Behavioral Studies Laboratory, nurse-managed centers and health departments. The College has a list of programs for those that are just entering the nursing field and those that are interested in advanced studies. The options to choose from include:

Bachelor in Science in Nursing (BSN) or BSN Pathway

This course is open to students with a high school diploma with/some college credit can apply provided they complete the required pre-nursing courses. The College also requires successful completion of freshman/sophomore education courses.  The course can be completed in 4 semesters and are also open to students that already have a non-nursing degree. Those that apply to its pre-nursing course can later apply to the BSN program in their sophomore year. After completion, students can take the national licensure examination (NCLEX-RN).

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or MEPN Pathway

The program is known as the Master’s Entry to the Profession of Nursing (MEPN) Pathway. This course is open to students that already have a bachelor’s or higher degree in a non-related course. Students that are a part of this group must complete prerequisite courses before they are allowed to enter the program. It is a 15-month accelerated course and successful completion prepares students to take the licensure exam to become a registered nurse. Graduates are considered advanced nursing generalist and can undertake nursing roles in a wide range of health care settings.

Advanced Studies

Bachelor of Science in Nursing to Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) (BSN to DNP)

If you are already a nurse and wish to do advanced courses, then the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) may be an ideal option to be a nurse practitioner. This is particularly an interesting course for students that want to be engaged in broader skills in research and clinical practice. There are in essence three specialties areas that students can consider and all are offered as online courses:

1)     BSN-DNP with Adult Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Specialty (ACNP):  The core content of this course prepares students to adequately provide the necessary care for adults with acute illnesses and complexities. Students are exposed to both clinical and classroom setting. They are prepared to make accurate assessments, provide health care maintenance solutions, clinical decision making and illness management are just some of the areas covered in the course. They will also need to complete 1000 practice immersion hours to successfully complete the course.

2)     BSN-DNP with Family Nurse Practitioner Specialty (FNP): Both advanced nursing and beginning level of practice are elaborated in this course. Students are required to be adequately prepared to complete the extensive clinical time that is part of the course. They are also required to complete 1000 practice immersion hours as part of the completion requirements of the program.

3)     BSN-DNP with Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Specialty (PNP):  Students that are interested in acquiring more knowledge than that offered for registered nurse preparation can consider this course. It is specially designed to provide registered nurses with advanced education in pediatric nursing. The course is built on elaborating health maintenance and education, disease prevention and disease management of various diseases in children. Both acute and common health conditions are elaborated.

MS-DNP with Nurse Practitioner Specialty

This DNP entryway is designed for nurses that wish to add to their credentials and those that are not eligible to gain licensure to be recognized as nurse anesthetist or clinical nurse specialist, nurse practitioner and nurse midwife. There are three types of specialties:

1)     MS-DNP with Adult Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Specialty (ACNP): The course prepares students with the necessary knowledge and skills to adequately care for adults with different types of illnesses. Subject areas cover advanced nursing practices.

2)     MS-DNP with Family Nurse Practitioner Specialty (FNP): Students are prepared for beginning level of practice and beginning researchers. They are also trained and given the necessary content courses to know how to use research information that’s providedUpon successful completion of the course they will be prepared to provide health care maintenance, engage in critical clinical thinking and illness management. All students are required to complete 1000 practice immersion hours.  

3)     MS-DNP with Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Specialty (PNP): The content of this course provides the necessary foundation for registered nurses to provide pediatric care. The core subjects covered throughout the course enables students to engage in more advanced roles than what the initial registered nurse preparation provides. All students are required to complete 1000 practice immersion hours


This course is open to students that either have the necessary certification or are eligible to attain to work as a nurse specialist, nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetic and nurse midwife. Students are required to complete 500 practice immersion hours. Only registered nurses that have an unencumbered license can enroll in the program.

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD)

The Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD) is the preferred option for students that want to be a nurse scientist. To enter the course you must have a BSN, MS in nursing and or DNP (practice doctorate) in Nursing. The course is focused around clinical, academic and scientific studies that can be done either full-time or part-time.

BSN – PHD in Nursing

Students that want to become a nurse researcher and have an inert zeal for research will find this course of interest. It is a fast track program and applicants can enter as post-BSN students. Extensive research is conducted throughout the course. Students are supervised by a faculty researcher. The program includes a nursing major and a minor. If you opt for a major, then it will be possible to do coursework in:

1)     Substantive Area of Research;

2)     Scientist/Academic Role;

3)     Philosophy and Theory;

4)     Research Methods;

5)     Dissertation.

Those that opt for nursing minor in the program can opt for a selecting coursework from within the nursing curriculum or in another area. Prior approval is necessary for this option.

MS-PhD in Nursing

Entrance into the MS-PhD in Nursing is possible as a post-MS in nursing student. Students can choose a Nursing minor or major in the same courses studied at BSN–PhD in Nursing. The course is designed for students that are prepared at the master’s level. Extensive research is the cornerstone of the course.

Graduate NP Certificate

If you are a working registered nurse (RN) not looking to do your doctorate, but want to get more training and knowledge on specific specialties, then this course is the ideal option. The three areas that the College offers port-master’s nurse practitioner specialty certificates include: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner and Adult Acute Care Nurse Practitioner.  Registered nurses that are currently working can complete the course on a part-time basis. The entire program lasts 4 semesters. You must have a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Nursing.


University of Arizona
College of Nursing,
PO Box 210203
Tucson, AZ 85721-0203

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