Nursing Education and Careers in Phoenix
If you’re looking for a new career path in Phoenix, Arizona, you may wish to consider nursing. No matter what your current education or experience level is, you may be able to find a nursing degree at one of the many nursing schools in Phoenix that suits your career goals. If you are already a nurse and looking to expand your education, Phoenix offers several nursing programs to choose from.
Phoenix has a unique population makeup that may increase the need for high-quality nursing care. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that Phoenix has above-average ethnic minority populations, increasing the need for nurses that can provide culturally-aware and linguistically appropriate care. In addition, a higher-than-average amount of the population lives below the poverty line. As a nurse, you may be able to provide care to people in need at free or low-cost clinics, improving the lives of Phoenix residents.
In general, nursing salaries in Phoenix are above the national average. Registered nurses earn a median salary of $74,930 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2016). The average salary for LPNs is $53,670 per year (BLS, 2016). At the post-graduate level, nurse practitioners earn an average of $107,250 per year and the average annual salary for nurse anesthetists is $105,080 (BLS, 2016).
Curriculum, Costs, and Financial Aid of Nursing School
Nursing schools in Phoenix can be very affordable, especially since there are several community colleges that have nursing programs. Two of the most affordable schools in the area are Maricopa Community College and Gateway Community College. At both schools, tuition is $84 per credit hour. At Maricopa Community College, non-resident tuition is $275 per credit hour. At Gateway Community College, non-resident tuition is $359 per credit hour. Arizona State University is considerably more expensive. Residents pay $3,211 per semester and non-residents pay $4,895 per semester.
These schools tackle a variety of learning outcomes. One of the most important goals of entry level nursing programs is to prepare nursing students for the NCLEX-RN exam. Most schools base their curricula around the NCLEX-RN. Upon graduation, students should be ready to offer evidence-based, compassionate care to patients with different conditions and needs. It’s also crucial for nursing graduates to know how to take orders and work as part of a team.
The courses you take as a nursing student are based on these learning goals. You may take classes like Nursing Theory and Science, Microbiology, and Anatomy & Physiology. These courses build a foundation that is built on by later classes like Professional Nurse Attributes, Pharmacology, Pediatric Nursing, and Nursing for Complex Care. This degree is heavily focused on patient care, so you can plan on spending plenty of time in local nursing facilities completing clinical rotations.
You may wish to apply for scholarships as you get ready to start nursing school. Many schools offer scholarships to students, but there are some community-based organizations that offer scholarships as well. Local organizations include Arizona Community Foundation and Arizona Nurses Association.
Career Options in Phoenix Area
Since many health care employers have a large nursing shortage, quite a few employers offer tuition benefits to employees working towards RN, BSN, or MSN degrees. Banner Health offers tuition assistance to employees, as well as a range of nursing scholarships. The John C. Lincoln Health Network, which owns several Phoenix hospitals, offers tuition reimbursement. Employees of the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix can get help with their tuition payments.
One reason to become a nurse in a large city like Phoenix is the wide range of resources available to you. The Greater Phoenix Area Chapter of the Arizona Nurses Association offers monthly meetings, networking opportunities, and legislative updates to members. Other groups in the Phoenix area include the Phoenix Chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses and the Black Nurses Association of the Greater Phoenix Area.
As you decide which Phoenix nursing programs may best meet your needs, request information from the nursing schools on our site. You can request as much information as you need to choose the nursing program in Phoenix that is right for you.