Though I live & work in AZ, I did not go to nursing school here, so I can't speak to the nursing program situation here. However, I can speak to starting from the bottom of the nursing food chain & working my way up. I started out as a CNA in 2004, started pre reqs for nursing at many schools (as we moved a lot for my husband's job), finally getting my LPN in 2014 & my ADN in 2015 from a school in upstate NY. I worked at an assisted living facility in VT as an LPN while I completed my RN program. I moved to Boston after receiving my ADN thinking I would have a ton of opportunities to work in acute care & gain valuable experience since there are SO many hospitals. After several months, probably 10-15 applications a day & no replies for interviews, I realized no hospital was going to hire me, as I didn't have a BSN. Most of the job descriptions said "BSN preferred", but one recruiter actually told me I would be extremely lucky to even get an interview without my BSN. So I took a job in a nursing home (something I swore I'd never do) & immediately started an 18 month online RN-to-BSN program. My plan was to start applying to hospital RN jobs again once I was close to being done with my BSN & this way I'd have some experience as RN, too.
In May of 2016, my husband was offered a job in Yuma, AZ. I was in the middle of my BSN program & dreaded trying to find a nursing job out west, fearing I'd have the same issues I had in Boston. However, the hospital in Yuma was very happy to have me & they liked that I had experience in different aspects of nursing. I think it helped that I was pursuing my BSN, but it didn't seem to be a requirement. My hospital doesn't hire LPNs, but the unit I work on has the only 3 LPNs left in the hospital, as they have been grandfathered in - this sadly seems to be a common theme in most acute care settings. We have a very diverse group of nurses from new grad ADNs, to those working on their BSN, those who have their BSN, & some pursuing their MSN. Most of the people here do the online RN-to-BSN through a school called Chamberlin since the hospital has a contract with them for reduced tuition.
I'm sure small town Yuma is very different from bigger areas out here, like Phoenix or Tucson, but it is possible to get a job as an RN without having your BSN. You may not get your dream job without additional education, but you can start working & gaining experience, which is valuable. Best of luck to you!
*Sorry for my long-winded post*