Learn About Nurse Practitioner Programs in Arizona
If you’re passionate about working with patients, there are many ways you can advance your nursing career. Consider becoming a nurse practitioner, which allows you to work with a specific population in an independent care role. Keep reading to find out what it takes to become a nurse practitioner, which type of degree you need and how you may use your training. Start comparing schools with our list of featured schools below or search for nurse practitioner programs in Arizona with the quick search feature above.
Healthcare is a growing area of importance in the United States. As millions of residents get health insurance for the first time in their lives, the demand for qualified care practitioners is on the rise. If you have experience as a registered nurse, you may be able to give back to your community by earning a nurse practitioner degree.
How to Become a Nurse Practitioner in Arizona
The National Council of State Boards of Nursing indicates that nurse practitioners work in both acute care and primary care settings.
If you have a Bachelor’s degree in nursing, you may choose to further your education with a Master’s degree in nursing.
Typical Arizona Master’s in Nursing requirements:
- Credit hours required: 50 to 60 credit hours
- Average cost: $800 per credit hour; differences in price for residents and non-residents
- Clinical hours required: At least 500 hours
- Timeframe: 2 to 3 years
A doctoral degree may be a better choice for you if you want to go into research, teaching, or clinic leadership. The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) requirements vary slightly from the Master’s requirements. They typically include:
- Credit hours required: 74-89 credits; students with Master’s degree may significantly lower credit requirements by transferring credits
- Clinical hours required: At least 1000 hours
- Timeframe: 2 to 3 years beyond your Master’s degree
Education may be the key to expanding your options in the world of nursing. Contact Arizona schools to learn more about FNP programs and other nurse practitioner degree options.
Nurse Practitioner Programs Available in Arizona
When you start looking into nurse practitioner programs, there are several decisions you have to make. First, you should decide if you would like to work in acute care or primary care. Acute care practitioners handle immediate, short-term illnesses and injuries. Primary practitioners often see the same patience for years at a time, handling chronic health issues and collaborating with specialists.
Second, you must select the population with whom you want to work. Options in Arizona include pediatric care, adult-gerontological care, psychiatric-mental health care, and women’s health.
While checking out FNP online programs and traditional in-person programs, you may find slight variations in admissions requirements. A select few schools accept Associate’s degree graduates; these are RN-to-MSN programs.
The majority require a Bachelor’s degree in nursing and at least one year of full-time nursing experience. Your nursing experience can be a huge asset during your program.
You should be able to maintain your focus under pressure, communicate effectively with patients, and use medical terminology without significant issues. From there, you can work on establishing your independence as a care practitioner and learning how to become a leader.
Nurse Practitioner Curriculum
Courses are based on theory, research, and clinical care.
Commonly required graduate nursing courses include:
• Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology
• Health Assessment
• Advanced Pharmacotherapeutics
• Pediatrics in Advanced Practice
• Advanced Primary Care
• Issues in Gerontological Health
• Women’s Health in Advanced Practice Nursing
At the doctoral level, you may be required to take nursing courses like:
• Statistical Inference for Evidence-Based Practice
• Clinical Genetics
• Theories of Leadership and Organizational Management
• Philosophy of Nursing Science and Practice
• Methods for Scholarly Inquiry
• Health Policy and Economics
• Evaluation Methodologies for Safety & Quality Improvement
Scholarships and Financial Aid for NPs in Arizona
As the need for healthcare practitioners grows throughout the country, financial aid options for nursing students are becoming more widely available. When you are accepted to a school, you may be offered a financial aid package.
Doctoral programs tend to have more funding than graduate programs, but you may still qualify for school grants and scholarships as a Master’s degree student. If you are currently employed as a nurse, consult the human resources department at your place of employment to find out if they offer tuition assistance or tuition reimbursement benefits.
Other grant, scholarship, and loan repayment programs for Nurse Practitioners include:
- NURSE Corps Scholarship Program: This scholarship program is supported by the federal government. Its aim is to increase the amount of healthcare practitioners in rural and remote areas. Those who are awarded scholarships are required to serve in a Health Professional Shortage Area for at least two years after graduation.
- NHSC Loan Repayment Program: Loans are sometimes unavoidable, and loan repayment programs can lessen the overall impact. This program will also requires two years of service in an approved location. You may have up to $50,000 of loans forgiven in exchange for your service.
- Arizona Nurse Practitioner Council: You may apply for multiple scholarships through this group, including the Audrey Rath Scholarship and the Nurse Practitioner Student Scholarship.
- BestNursingDegree.com: In an effort to support promising nursing students, BestNursingDegree.com awards $2,500 scholarships each year.
Licensing and Practice Requirements for AZ Nurse Practitioners
Upon completing your nurse practitioner degree, you have to become licensed before you can work with patients or use the title of nurse practitioner. This involves maintaining your registered nursing license through the Arizona Board of Nursing.
To be considered, submit proof of your graduate nursing degree and proof of national certification. Some national certification associations include the Certification Corporation of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, and the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board.
At this time, you must pay a $150 application fee and a $50 fingerprinting fee. If you need a temporary NP license while you wait for your regular license, there is a $35 temporary certification fee.
No matter which nursing role you are in, it is crucial to stick to your scope of practice. The American Association of Nurse Practitioners notes that Arizona gives full practice rights to nurse practitioners, allowing graduates to make full use of their education and work independently.
Nurse Practitioner Careers in Arizona
In-person and online nurse practitioner programs should equip you with the skills you need to work in fast care settings, primary care settings, and hospitals.
Some graduates choose to open their own clinics, a process that involves opening a business, getting the proper insurance, possibly hiring staff, and attracting patients. Others choose to become employed at an Arizona healthcare facility, an option that offers income stability and fairly reliable hours.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that Arizona nurse practitioners earn an average income of $104,440 per year (2016). From 2012 through 2022, O*Net, expects job openings for nurse practitioners to increase 40% in this state (2016).
You may have the opportunity to do meaningful work as a nurse practitioner. Whether you work with children, adults, or elderly patients, your competence and knowledge of healthcare can help your patients lead healthier lives.
If you know that this is the right time to further your education and learn how to do more for the people of Arizona, contact nurse practitioner programs. AZ schools are listed below, making it easy to compare options and request information from schools near you.