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Population growth throughout the desert states-Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico-is booming, fueled by immigration and retirees looking for a place in the sun. Nevada's population in particular is increasing. It grew more than 20% between April 2000 and July 2005, on top of a 66% increase between 1990 and 2000.


All over the southwestern United States, nurses are in demand, with shortages frequently in double digits. According to the May 2005 Bureau of Labor Statistics figures, the latest available, the average annual salary for RNs in Arizona is $56,280; in Nevada it's $59,660 and in New Mexico $54,380.


Here are some facts from about three communities in the desert states.


Scottsdale, Arizona

Scottsdale, population 217,989, ranks number nine in the country in the percentage of population over age 65. It's in Maricopa County in the Sonoran desert. The median household income is $57,484 (national is $41,994). Nearby hospitals are Scottsdale Healthcare-Osborn and Scottsdale Healthcare-Shea. Nearby colleges are Scottsdale Community College, several campuses of Arizona State University, and many others in the county.


Reno, Nevada

Reno, population 59,660, is a tourist city and notorious as a destination for obtaining a divorce. Located in Washoe County, it's along the Truckee River at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The median household income is $40,530. Nearby hospitals are St. Mary's Regional Medical Center and Washoe Medical Center. Nearby colleges are University of Nevada, Morrison College, and Truckee Meadows Community College.


Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe, population 66,476, was founded in 1609, and is the state capital. Santa Fe means "holy faith." Located in Santa Fe County along the river of the same name, the median household income is $40,392. A nearby hospital is St. Vincent Regional Medical Center, and nearby colleges are the College of Santa Fe, St. John's College, and Santa Fe Community College.


Your Guide to Job Opportunities in the Desert States




Chandler Regional Web site:


Mercy Gilbert Medical Center Web site:


Northwest Medical Center 6180 North Corona Road, Suite 102 Tucson, AZ 85704 (520) 469-8549


Northwest Medical Center/Oro Valley 1551 East Tangerine Oro Valley, AZ 85755Contact: Human Resou, (520) 901-3911, Fax: (520) 469-8050, Web Site: (for both NMC facilities)


Renown Health1155 Mill Street Reno, NV 89502 (775) 982-4100, Web site:


Sun Health 10401 West Thunderbird Boulevard, Sun City, AZ 85351, Contact: HR Recruiter, (800) 486-5576, E-mail: Web site:


Tucson Medical Center 5301 East Grant Road, Tucson, AZ 85712, Contact: Bruce Megenhardt, (800) 526-5353, ext. 41543, Fax: (520) 324-5277, E-mail: Web site:


University of New Mexico Hospitals 1650 University Boulevard NE, Albuquerque, NM 87102, Contact: Sandy DuBrock, Recruitment Manager, or Valerie Grant, Senior Recruiter, Phone: (505) 272-2325 or (866) 837-9040, E-mail:, Web site:; click "Careers"


University Physicians Healthcare 2800 East Ajo Way, Tucson, AZ 85713, Contact: Human Resources, (520) 874-7240, Fax: (520) 874-4280, E-mail:, Web site:


Yuma Regional Medical Center 2400 S. Avenue A, Yuma, AZ 85364, Contact: Professional Recruiter, (800) 726-YUMA (9862), Fax: (928) 336-7677, E-mail:, Web site: