Main Urban Centres


Phoenix, or Greater Phoenix as US nurses popularly know it – is often hailed as America’s sunniest metropolis. The city, and nurses should note that it is one of the largest in the USA, it is located in the northeastern reaches of the Sonoran Desert and has a subtropical desert climate.

Phoenix has a partner city in Scottsdale to the north of the Sonoran Desert. The hot weather here is tempered by a total lack of humidity and pleasant evening breezes.

A US nurse will notice certain features such as the rugged desert, the heartiness of the local population and its modern bohemian culture. Art galleries, museums, botanical gardens along with its many other attractions offer diverse opportunities for kids and adults of all ages to make Phoenix a great choice for a nurse and family.

Scottsdale is home to numerous golf resorts, health spas and dude ranches. The greater Phoenix area, including Mesa and Tempe, has become a haven for retirees seeking an active lifestyle in beautiful surroundings.



Nurses will read that Tucson in Southern Arizona is one of the oldest continually inhabited areas in North America. Indians lived and farmed here for 4,000 years before Spanish missionaries and soldiers arrived in the late 1600s. Then a hundred years later the Presidio San Agustín del Tucson and the Mission San Xavier del Bac — the two most iconic and historic structures in the region, were established. Nurses should be aware that though once part of Mexico, Tucson officially became part of the United States in 1854. Kater, cattle ranchers, settlers, miners, and Apache Indians began to clash, thus beginning the Wild West era of 1860-1880. With the Southern Pacific Railroad’s arrival in 1880, Tucson’s multicultural roots grew as new residents adopted customs of the Tohono O’odham Indians and Mexicans living here.

Tucson is now the second-largest city in Arizona after the state capital Phoenix; it is also the county seat of Pima County, which includes the towns of Marana, Oro Valley, Catalina, South Tucson, Sahuarita, Vail, and Green Valley. Metropolitan Tucson’s population is more than 1 million; this includes roughly 50,000 students and employees at the University of Arizona, the first university in Arizona, founded in 1885.

Nurses not preferring the cold will find that there are 350 sunny days a year. Understandably Tucson’s climate is ideal for year-round outdoor recreation. Winter temperatures average highs of 64-75 °F, perfect for major events including Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossils Showcase, WGC-Accenture Match Play Golf Championship, La Fiesta de los Vaqueros-Tucson Rodeo, and the Festival of Books. Other prominent annual events are El Tour de Tucson,

Tucson International Mariachi Conference
, Southwest Wings Birding Festival, and New Year’s Competition Powwow. Summer days can get quite warm and are great for exploring Tucson’s excellent spas, shopping, museums, and art galleries. Summer’s cooler early mornings and late evenings invite outdoor dining and activities like hiking, and horseback riding; early and later tee times are available at seasonally reduced prices. Geographically minded nurses will learn that the city is set in a Sonoran Desert valley surrounded by five mountain ranges. A trip from the 2,389-foot valley floor to the 9,157-foot Mt. Lemmon summit along the Catalina Highway-Sky Island National Scenic Byway traverses seven of the world’s nine life zones — it’s like driving from Mexico to Canada. Tucson is bordered on all sides by natural areas, including Coronado National Forest, Catalina State Park, Ironwood Forest National Monument, and Saguaro National Park (land of the rare, giant saguaro cactus).

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