Arizona has a much higher proportion of Hispanic or Latino citizens and lower proportion of Black or African Americans than other states. Arizona has the largest American Indian population among the United States. Over the next decade, the average age of Arizona’s population will rise. By 2020, one-fourth of all Arizonans will be over the age of 60. Approximately one-sixth of the population of Arizona qualifies for Medicaid.
Approximately 84% of nurses in Arizona are Caucasian with the next highest ethnic category being Hispanic at approximately 5-6 %.(CHIR, 2009). The ratio of RNs employed in nursing to 100,000 residents increased from 748 in 2000’s to 934 in 2011 (CHIR, 2012). The percent of currently licensed RNs educated at the baccalaureate in nursing or above is below the national average at 45%. Approximately 32% of working nurses are age 55 and older.
ADVANCED PRACTICE NURSES
Nurse practitioners and certified nurse midwives enjoy numerous privileges in Arizona including independent practice and full prescribing. Certified registered nurse anesthetists lack full prescribing privileges and must administer anesthesia in the presence of a physician. Clinical nurse specialists lack prescriptive privileges.
AZ hosts seven practical nursing programs, 24 associate-degree RN nursing programs and eight baccalaureate entry nursing programs and one master’s entry nursing program. Registered nursing program graduates have increased 165% since 2002 from 1074 to 2852 in 2012. (Randolph, 2012a). Baccalaureate degrees were earned by 33% of Arizona RN graduates in 2013 (AZBN, 2013). AZ has embraced a concurrent AD/BSN enrollment model to increase the proportion of BSN prepared nurses. RN to BSN, Master’s and Doctorate programs have all more than doubled graduates in the last 5 years.
Less than half (46%) of a sample of employed newly licensed nurses reported that their employer offered a residency program in 2012. Ninety-three percent of those whose employer offered a residency program worked in acute care settings; 3% worked in long-term care. The most common length of the hospital residency programs was 2-3 months (31%). (Randolph, 2012b)
Nurse practitioners and certified nurse midwives enjoy numerous privileges in Arizona including independent practice and full prescribing.
PRIMARY CARE IN AZ
According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, Arizona needs 700 more primary care physicians just to come up to the national average. It ranked the state 43rd in 2010, with 68 primary care physicians for every 100,000 people. The national average is 79 per 100,000. At the root of this shortage is a lack of residency programs that can attract and retain primary care physicians in the state.
Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) is Arizona’s Medicaid agency that offers health care programs to serve Arizona residents. Individuals must meet certain income and other requirements.
HELP IMPROVE HEALTH IN ARIZONA
We are all affected by health care (whether you are the patient or you know someone else receiving care) and all have a stake in how care is delivered. The AZAC is an opportunity to be a voice that is striving to increase access to care and advance the nursing profession and the health of all Arizonans.
WE NEED STAKEHOLDERS TO:
- Choose a committee of interest to you (Finance, Practice, Education, Leadership, Communication and Outreach and Workforce) that is working on the eight recommendations from the IOM report
- Provide the AZAC with connections and resources that can help increase advocacy efforts and sustain longevity of the coalition
- Provide funding
- Increase networking possibilities by recruiting other entities to join the coalition and solicit their support/create a Arizona Action Coalition presence at business events
CO-LEAD ORGANIZATIONS & CONTACTS