Whether you're a new or experienced nurse in Arizona, a Master's in Nursing degree may be the next best step in your career. Arizona's population has many groups that are at risk for receiving inadequate or no health care. The U.S. Census Bureau notes that Arizona has above-average Hispanic, African-American, and American Indian populations, as well as an above-average amount of people living below the poverty line. As a nurse with a Master's degree, you can provide cost-effective and patient-centered care.
Nurses have a variety of MSN programs to choose from in Arizona, with a number of online options including RN to MSN programs. With an MSN, you can be an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN), or choose from a number of specialties such as education, leadership, or research. The metropolitan areas of Arizona have the highest variety of opportunities and offer many options for study. To find Master's in Nursing programs in Arizona review the schools on this page and submit your request for information to learn more.
Arizona recognizes that NPs and other Master's prepared nurses are crucial to improving access to healthcare services in the state, and has called for more study to ensure an adequate supply. Arizona is one of several states that allows for a comprehensive scope of practice for NPs, drawing nurses from across the country to complete Master's programs in the state.
Arizona Master's in Nursing Program Info
The classes you take and the amount of time you must spend in school will likely depend on which type of MSN program you decide to attend. Since nursing education and nursing leadership are not clinical programs, they may be slightly shorter than nurse practitioner and nurse anesthesia programs. In general, these programs range from 30 to 50 credits. Many students choose to attend part-time while still working as a nurse.
After meeting these requirements, you can get into courses that are specific to your specialty. You'll likely need to complete clinical hours or practicum hours. As a nurse practitioner or nurse anesthesia student, you may complete over 600 hours of clinical work. Non-clinical specialties tend to require fewer practicum hours.
One unique option available in Arizona is the RN to MSN program. In this type of program, you can go directly from an Associate's degree in nursing to a Master's degree in nursing. You can plan on spending about four years to earn this degree.
MSN Arizona students can benefit from a wide range of scholarships. The Arizona Community Foundation offers the Barbara Shay Memorial Nursing Scholarship, which is worth $1,300. You can also apply for scholarships through the Arizona Nurses Association. If you take out loans to cover the cost of your education, you may want to look into the Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program. This program forgives a set amount of your student debt every year in exchange for service at a critical shortage facility.
Check out the Arizona Board of Nursing, Arizona Nurses Association, and the Arizona Nurse Practitioner Council for more information about funding and professional support for nursing in Arizona.
Programs to consider:
Arizona State University (Phoenix, AZ). ASU's College of Nursing and Health Innovation was founded in 1957. MSN candidates can choose from concentrations such as research, community health, and education.
Northern Arizona University (Flagstaff, AZ). NAU's MSN program is geared toward meeting the need for nurses in various roles in rural areas, such as family nurse practitioners.
Working as a Master's prepared Nurse in Arizona
Going into primary care as a nurse practitioner can be a rewarding career choice in this state. Arizona nurse practitioners have full practice rights and the state faces a worsening doctor shortage. Nurse practitioners can offer many of the same services as doctors at a more affordable rate.
However, direct patient care isn't the only way to use an MSN degree. You can also opt to become a nurse educator, administrator or policy expert. The Arizona Office of Employment and Population Statistics expects over 16,000 new nursing jobs throughout the state by 2018. To keep up with this demand, nursing schools in Arizona may hire new nursing faculty, which can, in turn, boost the number of new nurses in the state.
Nursing informatics is another growing field, according to AZ Central. If you can combine your nursing experience and knowledge with the technical knowledge of an informatics degree, there may be open positions in institutions across the state.
In many cases, earning a Master's degree in nursing can significantly increase your earning potential. Those who attend nursing programs in Arizona to become nurse practitioners earn an average salary of $97,400 per year (O*Net, 2013). The average salary for a nurse instructor is $69,600 per year, well over the national average (O*Net, 2013). Nurse anesthetists may be the highest-paid advanced nursing professionals; their average salary is $167,100 per year (O*Net, 2013).
To learn more about how you can advance your career through education, contact the schools you are interested in today.