Alaska is a large rural state that is becoming more diverse, and they have unique healthcare needs. Due to a shortage of both nurses and nursing instructors, the Alaska Campaign for Action organization is coordinating their efforts with other organizations to improve the quality of healthcare in the state. They are encouraging nurses to get a higher level of education, and creating strategies to train a larger number of Nurse Educators where necessary.
If you are interesting in helping to shape future generations of nurses by becoming a nursing educator, we recommend contacting both the online MSN programs in Alaska as well as ground based nursing schools to learn more about your options. You can find a full list below to begin with.
Alaska universities offer a Master of Science in Nursing degree as well as Graduate Certificates in nursing education. Most programs in Alaska are online due to the large rural areas that make up the state. Distance learning is a necessity for nurses to get the education they need, which still allows you to engage in critical thinking and in the application of evidence-based research to advance the practice of nursing.
The accredited graduate nursing programs in AK have similar admission requirements, which typically include:
- Completed application submitted to School of Nursing
- Submit resume following the university's guidelines
- GPA minimum of 3.0
- Bachelor's degree in nursing from accredited University or college
- Minimum grade of 2.0 in an undergraduate research methods course and a statistics course that covers descriptive and inferential statistics
- Copy of active unencumbered Alaska RN license
- Three letters of professional recommendation submitted directly to the School of Nursing
- Minimum of one year of half-time clinical experience as an RN
- Specialty track admissions also include a complete interview and proctored writing
Core nursing courses are required and usually equal around 18 credits of a Master’s Degree in Nursing. Some the common courses include:
- Roles for Advance Practice Nursing
- Health Policy for Advanced Practice Nursing
- Nursing Research Methods
- Knowledge Development for Advance Nursing Practice
- Biostatistics for Healthcare Professionals
A Master’s in Nursing Education in Alaska requires 27 credits, so when you graduate you will have a total of 45 to 50 credits total, depending upon your degree selection, in addition to the required clinical hours.
Nursing Education required courses may include:
- Role of Nurse Educator
- Teaching and Learning Strategies
- Curriculum Theory, Frameworks and Design
- Information Systems for Nurse Educators
- Assessment and Evaluation in Health Education
- Advanced Pathophysiology
- Advance Health Assessment in Primary Care
Many Alaska MSN programs have a Capstone Project as their final course. After graduation you will be able to take the Certified Nurse Educator Examination (CNE) offered by the National League of Nursing. This mark of professionalism is an important certification as it communicates to employers and your peers the competency you have achieved as a leader or role model. If you are an NLN member the cost is $375 and it is $475 for nonmembers. In 2013.
According to O'Net Online the median annual wage for nurse educators in Alaska was $65,940. Of course, salaries also depend upon your employment history, your education, credentials and the employer. Nurse Educators may teach in colleges, universities or may be responsible for nursing education in hospitals.
Some students prefer to get their doctorate degree, which is also available online. Doctorate programs are DNP programs that focus on clinical practice or PhD programs that focus more on research. These programs typically take 30 months to complete. You can be involved in clinical research or possibly publish articles that influence the path of a changing nursing environment.
If you need help paying for your educational expenses, carefully look at the accredited universities of interest and complete a FAFSA application, which is a federal grant program based on income. Alaska also has a Health Care Workforce Development Plan that is offering more postgraduate experiences within the state also. There are state and federal supported loan repayment plans and other financial incentives.
The Health Resources and Services Administration offers low interest loans and loan repayment programs. Nurse Corps is one of those programs where you work in one of their facilities for two years at a competitive salary, and you also receive 60 percent payment of your loans for tuition and eligible fees.
If you enjoy teaching, then a nurse educator degree may be the perfect route to an advanced nursing career for you as there are several benefits to be had, both personally and for the profession as a whole. It is important to choose a university that is accredited, and many universities offer scholarships or grants. This is a position that will allow you to help shape the nurses of the future while improving your own education. Select the schools you’re interested in and request more information today to get on your way.
Listed below are all of the nationally accredited Nurse Educator programs with campus locations in Alaska.