The number of registered nursing jobs in Alaska is expected to grow by 20% between 2012 and 2022, according to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development. This is driving the demand for nurses with more advanced education to fill gaps in administration, management, and education within Alaska’s nursing industry.
Nursing education, in particular, has a growing need for qualified nurses. Of the more than 5,500 RNs in Alaska in 2008, only 62 were nursing instructors, according to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development. RNs that obtain BSNs will also have the opportunity to move toward obtaining an MSN in order to meet the minimum requirement an ANP licensure.
The level of nursing education is among the top factors that influence base pay. The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development states that nurses with specialized knowledge gained through more advanced education earn the highest annual wages in the state.
Some examples of positions offered to BSN-prepared RNs in Alaska include:
- RN Assistant Clinical Manager – Ambulatory Services Unit – Providence Alaska Medical Center, Anchorage
- RN Manager – Cancer Center Infusion – Providence Alaska Medical Center, Anchorage
- RN Clinical Nurse Educator – Providence Alaska Medical Center, Anchorage
- Home Health RN and Case Manager – South Peninsula Hospital, Homer
Enrolling in RN to BSN Programs in Alaska
The RN to BSN track in many Alaska nursing programs allows current RNs, who hold ADNs to return to school to take advantage of programs designed to be flexible enough to accommodate working nurses. These programs are designed specifically to pick up where the ADN left off, so that a minimal amount overlap will occur.
To enroll in an RN to BSN program in Alaska, current RNs should meet the following minimum requirements:
- Must Hold a Current, Alaska Registered Professional Nurse License
- Hold a Previous Minimum G.P.A of 2.00
- Have a C or Better in All Nursing Courses
- Have Completed Following Nursing Pre-Requisites
Anchorage is home to the Alaska Board of Nurses-approved BSN educational institute.
Components of RN to BSN Programs in Alaska
RN to BSN programs are designed specifically to build upon RNs already-laid foundation of nursing education. By passing the NCLEX examination and holding a current RN license, an RN may be granted 25+ course hours, including the following courses, upon admission:
- Pharmacology in Nursing
- Foundations of Nursing II
- Foundations of Nursing II Lab
- Health Disruptions I
- Health Disruptions I Lab
- Health Disruptions II
- Health Disruptions II Lab
On top of their already-acquired courses, an RN at this point will complete the rest of the courses needed to obtain a BSN degree. These courses will be “RN-only” courses, which eliminate repeat information. RNs will complete the following support and core, nursing courses:
- Human Anatomy and Physiology
- Survey of Chemistry
- Methods of Written Communication
- Writing in Social and Natural Sciences
- Humanities or Fine Arts GER
- Nursing Informatics
- Health Assessment of Individuals
- Health Assessment Lab
- Dimensions of Professional Nursing
- Health I for Registered Nurses
- Nursing Research
- Complex Health Disruptions
- Nursing Therapeutics
- Health II: Nursing Therapeutics
- Management in Nursing
Moving Toward an MSN
Obtaining a BSN is also the foundation step toward pursuing an MSN in Alaska.
MSN students will get to specialize their education by selecting one of the following tracks:
- Family Nurse Practitioner
- Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
- Nursing Education
After specializing as an MSN, RNs will be able to apply to be APNs in Alaska.
Alaska Hospitals that Facilitate RN to BSN Programs
Because Alaska hospitals desire highly educated RNs, who are able to fill in the much-needed gaps in management, administration, supervision, and education, they provide many opportunities to assist and incentivize current ADN RN employees in going back to school. The following is a list of just a few Alaska hospitals that provide financial incentives:
Providence Health & Services – Anchorage
Providence offers a wide-array of benefits for employees, including tuition assistance and nursing fellowships, for employees who are pursuing additional education.
Alaska Regional Hospital – Anchorage
Along with offering new nursing graduates a residency program, Alaska Regional Hospital offers tuition reimbursement as part of their all-inclusive employee benefit package. Finally, this hospital is dedicated to reaching a healthy work and life balance for all employees, providing personal health assessments, health education, and wellness guidance.
Banner Health – Fairbanks
Banner Health also offers education assistance to RN employees, through scholarships offered to any RN employee who works 32+ hours a week with Banner.