Top Arizona Nursing Schools, Colleges & Degree Programs
Arizona is experiencing one of the worst nursing shortages in our country. There are currently only 681 registered nurses for every 100,000 residents. This is way below the national average of 825, and even that indicates an average.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics some 10,000 registered nurses will be needed by 2017 in order to meet the healthcare demand in Arizona. This is due to a number of different reasons.
First of all, the aging population means that people are living longer and have more complex health needs. Secondly, the obesity epidemic and its associated illnesses are as present in Arizona as they are anywhere else. Also, the Affordable Care Act means that more and more people are able to access healthcare. Finally, the current workforce is made up of many “baby boomers,” who are all approaching retirement age, with many actually having put off retirement altogether.
Statistics show that Arizona has 47 Medically Underserved Areas. As a result, some 53.42% of the population is not able to access high quality healthcare. In order to resolve this, some 415 primary care practitioners are needed to augment the current workforce.
In Arizona, there is a significant shortage of nurse educators. A total of 562 students had to be refused entry into the nursing programs because there was not sufficient staff available to teach them. The majority of state-led interventions are now focusing on this problem, in the effort to encourage more students to become nurses. At present, only 7.4% of the workforce is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse.
As in all states, those who have the highest levels of education also have the best job prospects. The average salary for a registered nurse in the state is $67,449, which is below the national average. However, the salaries vary greatly depending on specialization and geographical area. Phoenix is one of the best cities nationwide in terms of registered nurse salaries.
Besides nurse educators, there is a high demand for nurses in the field of occupational health, burns, oncology, adult/geriatric, obstetrics, hospices, home care, psychiatry and recovery. The biggest demand is for those registered nurses who have achieved their master’s degree, although those with a bachelor’s should also be able to find employment relatively easily. Furthermore, there is a good chance that the employer will then subsidize their further education, encouraging them to achieve their master’s degree. The higher the degree, the more nurses can earn as well.