How to become a nurse in Arizona

Photo By Patty Brito

With Arizona’s beautiful natural attractions, desirable weather, and housing affordability, it’s little wonder that many individuals, couples, and families choose to call this southwestern state home. 

However, being new to the state can sometimes mean you don’t know the processes involved in furthering your education and securing employment. If you’re thinking about becoming a nurse in Arizona, taking the following steps might put you on the path to a lucrative healthcare career. 

Step 1: Choose your nursing career path

Many people decide to be a nurse because they want to help people. However, there’s more than one type of nurse. Choosing your nursing career path can be the first step toward a new career. 

For example, if you’re already a registered nurse in Arizona, you might explore the RN to MSN online program open to Arizonans to become nurse practitioners. Depending on your passion, you might also explore other specialties like nurse educator, pediatric nurse, or nurse anesthetist. When you choose your nursing career path, you can set goals and implement plans to achieve them. 

Step 2: Talk to nurses

If you’ve only recently started thinking about training to become a nurse, you might not be sure whether it’s the right career choice for you. Don’t be afraid to talk to other nurses about their jobs to learn what they do on a daily basis. 

Contact a hospital in Arizona to find out if they have spokespeople you can talk to, or ask friends and family members whether they know of any nurses you can meet with to learn more about their profession. 

Step 3: Research nursing programs

You might be familiar with the nursing programs and their intricacies in other states, but that doesn’t mean you’ll know them in Arizona. Nursing education programs can differ from state to state, so it can be important to familiarize yourself with the details before you apply. 

For example, the Nurse Practice Act in Arizona means that student nurses in registered nursing programs must receive education on caring for geriatric, adult, and infant patients, as well as people with mental conditions and people seeking wellness care. They also receive clinical education. There is a list of approved nursing programs provided by the Arizona State Board of Nursing, so ensure any program you choose appears on that list. 

Step 4: Check your eligibility

Enthusiasm is not enough for you to be accepted into a nursing program. You also have to be eligible by meeting each program’s criteria. These criteria can differ from program to program.  For example, if you’re entering an RN to MSN program, you must be a registered nurse with an associate degree. You must also have a current unencumbered RN license, a current resume, and one year of RN clinical experience, at a minimum. Some other soft or hard skills might also be required. 

Step 5: Apply to nursing school

When you meet all the criteria for a nursing program, you can apply to a nursing school and be one step closer to becoming a qualified nurse. When you graduate, you can become qualified by taking and passing an exam. 

Becoming a nurse in Arizona can be exciting, especially as many people find it a desirable place to live and work. Take these steps above, and you might put yourself on the path to becoming a qualified nurse with a bright future ahead of you.