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Nebraska-based university to expand one-year nursing program in Phoenix

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LISTEN: Accelerated nursing program coming to Phoenix

PHOENIX — If you’ve been thinking about a nursing career, now you won’t have to spend four years getting into it.

The Nebraska-based Creighton University will expand its one-year nursing B.S. program at its regional campus in Phoenix, starting in January 2018.

Nursing dean Dr. Catherine Todero said the school planned to conduct two accelerated-nursing classes per year.

“The individual has to have a bachelor’s degree in something, as well as the prerequisites for nursing,” she said.

Class and clinicals for the program will take place at Dignity’s Phoenix-based hospitals, including Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center.

A Creighton spokesperson said local faculty will be hired to teach the program in conjunction with some online and virtual instruction based out of the university’s main campus in Omaha, Nebraska.

The clinical rotations and classes will be intense, Todero said.

“We actually tell students you probably shouldn’t plan on working while you’re trying to go through this program,” she said. “The number of contact hours – either in class or clinical experiences – is roughly 45 hours a week. That’s essentially a full-time job.”

But for students who complete the program, they are expected to have a lot of job security, especially here in Arizona.

“Every state west of the Mississippi, the No. 1 or No. 2 job for the future is a registered nurse,” Todero said. “The shortages are worse in Arizona than they are in some of the other states.

“We are excited about the opportunity to expand our proven programs into the Valley and help address this important need, while providing opportunity for a bright future for the students who will receive their degrees from Creighton University.”

A nationwide shortage of nurses was expected to set in over the coming years, as a combination of an aging population and more people with health insurance was increasing the demand for nursing.

Nursing shortages directly increase health care costs and reduce the overall quality of health care provided, so the university was emphasizing the need to take steps to increase the number of nurses in the marketplace.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ employment projections in 2013, registered nursing was one of the occupations with the highest projected job growth rate over the next 10 years. The same report found there are more than one million new job openings projected for nurses nationwide by 2022.

In 2014, the Arizona State Board of Nursing’s survey results indicated that registered nursing graduates have significantly less difficulty finding employment than graduates in other fields.

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