Nursing one of most 'in-demand' careers

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- It's one of the most in-demand jobs around. And in Arizona, it has been one of the most secure job fields.

We're talking about nursing. And while job security is a big draw for many people looking for a job, nurse Marcela Contreras says it has other rewards as well. “It is one of those things I love doing. I love helping people," she says.

Contreras says she can't imagine doing any other job. “It is just a great career, great career to pursue. It is amazing. Nursing is amazing to work in," she says.

And it turns out, it is also the hottest career in one of the hottest career fields, says Professor Lee McPheters with ASU’s W.P. Carey School of Business. “What we know is that health care went through the recession without losing jobs at all," he says. "This is a great market for nurses. Nurses are in high demand.”

There is such a demand that Glendale Union High School District is now offering nursing courses. And Grand Canyon University and other private schools are also providing training.

Contreras went to Phoenix College and then went right to work at Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center's Behavioral Health Unit. “What I do specifically is pretty much assessing patients, giving them their medication, making sure of the effectiveness of the medication, providing that support, that comfort, that encouragement constantly,” says Contreras.

Patient Ed Bailey says nurses make a huge difference. “Here you are actually a patient," he says. "You are an individual and the nursing staff treats you with that dignity.”

Bailey says nurses play a critical role in patient care.“They watch whether or not you are withdrawn, and if you are withdrawn, then they try to bring you out a little bit more.”

Earning a nursing degree takes about four years including general credits. Contreras says students have plenty of time to find a career that fits their interests. “They take you through the med search, psych, labor and delivery," she says. "You see pretty much every field."

And she says even though nursing provides a secure job future, the real payment comes from the patients. 'What you do for the patients, they are so grateful with what you do, what you help them with.
And that alone is nice, a really nice feeling," she says.

Maricopa Workforce Connections is holding a health care career fair this Thursday, and Banner Health will be among the employers there.

Health care Career Fair:

February 19, 2015
Thursday, February 19 
9:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m.
Maricopa County Workforce Connections
735 N. Gilbert Road, Gilbert

• Banner Health
• Gila River Healthcare
• Visiting Angels
• Abrazo Health care
• United Blood Services
• Celerion
• Phoenix V.A. Center
• Express Scripts
• Soreo In-Home Support
• Gilbert Hospital
• Preferred Home care
• Visiting Angels
• Oasis Hospital 
• Terros
• Brightstar Homecare
• Maricopa Correctional Health
• Jewish Family and Children’s Services
• Marc Community Resources
• Mountain Park Healthcare
• Grace Healthcare of Phoenix
• A.T. Still University