Sisters of Mercy – Phoenix, AZ
In 1985, the religious order of the Sisters of Mercy set up their first hospital in Phoenix. The hospital had twelve rooms and was mainly established for patients suffering from tuberculosis. With the passage of time, the hospital was expanded to accommodate more people. Today, St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, founded by the Sisters of Mercy, stands as one of the leading healthcare institutions in the state.
Growing healthcare industry of Arizona
The healthcare sector of Arizona is a leading economic force of the state. Over the years, the healthcare sector has become one of the largest employers in the state, employing thousands. There are a number of major cities in Arizona, which are home to numerous hospitals, nursing homes, medical centers and medical research facilities.
The demand for healthcare services is outpacing the supply of nurses and physicians. According to the Arizona State Board of Nursing, approximately 2,600 nurses will be needed every year to replace retiring nurses.
Nursing schools in Arizona
The Coalition for Arizona RN Education has stressed upon the need for more nurses in the state. The shortage of nurses can only be resolved by expanding the accessibility of nursing education programs.
There are a number of schools offering nursing programs at associate, bachelor and master’s level. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), in 2014, approximately 28,258 students enrolled in baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs in Arizona. As the demand for nurses continues to grow, more students are enrolling in nursing programs to prepare for nursing careers ahead.
Benefits of becoming a nurse
Becoming a nurse in Arizona can come with many benefits. Apart from a positive employment outlook, you can help individuals and families on a daily basis. Here are some other advantages of being a nurse:
Flexible work schedules – As a nurse, you could work part-time or full-time
Meaningful work – Working as a nurse can bring a sense of achievement and fulfillment
Career advancement – Nursing offers plenty of opportunities for advancement
Fringe benefits – Alongside salary, as a nurse, you may qualify for health insurance, bonuses, retirement plans and paid leaves
A Bachelor of Science in Nursing is an undergraduate program that is designed to prepare students for nursing roles. The program will cover different aspects of the nursing field. Students would acquire a thorough understanding of nursing practices, biological sciences and humanities.
Throughout the program, students would develop a solid foundation of nursing knowledge along with skills. The theory-based coursework will emphasize on nursing in today's advanced society and how it is affected by different social factors. On the other hand, students will be required to undergo practical training in lab settings.
The curriculum may vary from college to college. Here are a few courses and their descriptions:
In this course, students would learn how to conduct a comprehensive health assessment. The course will include topics such as communication, patient health history and physical exam skills.
Health promotion and disease prevention
Students would learn about the strategies used for disease prevention and health promotion. Some of the topics covered in the course are: health promotion resources, risk appraisal and health throughout the life cycle.
Introduction to nursing research
In this course, students would learn how to develop research proposals and implement research methodologies. Research has become an important part of nursing, requiring nurses to be well equipped with research and analytical skills.
Public health nursing
This course will focus on basic public health functions and nursing practices in communities. Some of the topics that are highlighted in this course are: public health sciences, disease prevention and health promotion.
Advanced human physiology
Students enrolled in this course would learn about different physiological processes. Some of the main topics covered in this course are: molecular systems, tissue and organ systems, biochemistry and human anatomy.
Clinical experience is an important part of most BSN programs. In this, students are exposed to variety healthcare settings such as outpatient and community clinics. Under the supervision of an experienced nurse, students would learn how to conduct different clinical tasks and acquire hands-on experience.
How long does it take to complete a BSN degree?
Typically, it takes four years to complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. To successfully earn the degree, all the components of the program must be passed. Students must earn a minimum number of credit hours, which usually range between 120-130.
The admission requirements will vary; usually, applicants are required to meet the following criteria:
A high school transcript
SAT or ACT scores
Nursing prerequisite courses
Letters of recommendation
Now you can get your BSN degree online. Thanks to the growing demand of distance education, many colleges are offering online BSN programs. The coursework is covered with the help of videos, online lectures, classroom conferencing and tutorials. Distance education has proved to be flexible, cost-friendly and convenient for working individuals.
Nursing license in Arizona
To apply for a nursing license in Arizona, you will have to pass the NCLEX examination conducted by the Arizona State Board of Nursing. Applicants must meet the following requirements:
Must have a diploma, associate, or bachelor’s degree in nursing
Must have a certificate of completion from an approved nursing program
Board approval for applicants under investigation
Must acquire a passing score on NCLEX exam
After getting your nursing license, you can start applying for jobs in different healthcare institutions. Your job duties will depend on the exact job position you qualify for and the employer organization. Some of the places where you may work are:
Medical research labs
Your income level will depend on factors such as location and organization. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses in Arizona made a mean annual income of $71,300 in 2014.