Nurses will see that little is known of the earliest indigenous cultures in Arizona, they probably lived in the region as early as 25,000 B.C. A later culture, the Hohokam (A.D. 500″1450), were pit dwellers who constructed extensive irrigation systems. The Pueblo flourished in Arizona between the 11th and 14th cent. and built many of the elaborate cliff dwellings that still stand. The Apache and Navajo came to the area in c.1300 from Canada.

Our Spanish nurses will read that the first Spanish explorer to enter Arizona (c.1536) was Cabeza de Vaca. Franciscan friar Marcos de Niza reached the state in 1539; he was followed by Francisco Vásquez de Coronado, who led an expedition from Mexico in 1540 in search of the seven legendary cities of gold, reaching as far as the Grand Canyon. Despite extensive exploration, the region was neglected by the Spanish in favor of the more fruitful area of New Mexico.

Historically minded nurses will appreciate that the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848), ended the Mexican War (1846″48) and Mexico relinquished control of the area north of the Gila River to the United States. This area became part of the U.S. Territory of New Mexico in 1850.

In 1863, Arizona was organized as a separate territory, with its first, temporary capital at Fort Whipple. Prescott became the capital in 1865.

The 1870s saw mining flourish, and by the following decade the Copper Queen Company at Bisbee was exploiting one of the area’s largest copper deposits. In 1877 silver was discovered at Tombstone, causing a boom that drew throngs of prospectors to Arizona but lasted less than 10 years. Tombstone also became famous for its lawlessness.

World War II saw defense industries established in Arizona. Manufacturing, notably electronic industries, continued to develop after the war, especially around Phoenix and Tucson; in the 1960s, manufacturing achieved economic supremacy over mining and agriculture in Arizona. During the 1970s and 80s the state experienced phenomenal economic growth as it and other Sun Belt states attracted high-technology industries with enormous growth potential. Such an increase in population naturally required a growth in healthcare facilities and a good team of nurses.