The fastest growing industry in Alaska is health care, surpassing the job growth seen in other large industries even when the national economy has been sluggish, according to Alaska Economic Trends, a 2011 report by the state's department of labor. The report additionally projected that there would be 6400 registered nurses in the work force by 2018 – an increase of more than 27 percent.
As the profession continues to grow in the state, now is a good time to position yourself at the forefront of the nursing workforce, by earning your Bachelor's degree. A large percentage of Alaska's nurses already hold advanced degrees, with a state nurse licensing survey (2008) reporting that 43.6 percent of Alaska's registered nurses hold bachelor's degrees, and more than 15 percent of Alaska nurses have earned graduate degrees. Joining the ranks of many well educated nurses in the state is a great idea, and we at BestNursingDegree.com would like to help.
To find the RN to BSN program that will best meet your needs, simply request information from the schools listed below. We have compiled the information, so you can focus on applying to the schools you're interested in, and furthering your nursing education, instead of searching for schools. We invite you to take advantage of the work we've done, and encourage you to obtain information from as many schools as you need.
Curriculum for RN-to-BSN Programs in Alaska
An RN-to-BSN program is an ideal choice for registered nurses who want to use their professional experience as a foundation for earning a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. The University of Alaska offers that opportunity to nurses who are currently licensed in the state.
College credits already earned by applicants are reviewed to determine if all BSN prerequisite requirements have been met. Some nurses may earn academic credits by taking entrance examinations in particular subjects. As part of the RN to BSN program, students must have taken classes in written and oral communication and quantitative skills like math. Students also must take core classes in subjects such as natural science, humanities, social science, and fine arts.
Students may be granted credit for some nursing requirements already met, and more expansive nursing courses will be a part of the program. Upper level nursing courses include:
- Advanced health assessment
- Nursing research
- Community health issues
- Nursing management and leadership
Many classes are available online, whether you choose a distance edcuation program or can attend campus. Due to the large geographic nature of the state, coupled with the presence of rural healthcare needs and supply, it may be the case that an online program is your best option. You will be required to complete clinical rotations for some of your courses, but you may be able to do so in your own chosen location. The majority of the clinical time in your RN to BSN program will involve working in the community, and developing the ability to direct care across the lifespan in a variety of care settings.
Careers for RN-to-BSN graduates in Alaska
Hospitals are not only the largest employers in Alaska's health care industry, they also are one of the largest employers of any kind in the state. There are currently 26 licensed hospitals located in 20 Alaskan communities, according to the labor department's report. About half of the RNs surveyed in the most recent Alaska licensing study reported that they worked in a hospital setting. As your education progresses, you will find that you are eligible for higher level nursing positions, including those in management and administrative areas.
Nurses looking for an expanded career within a hospital system might consider the state's largest hospital, Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage. A 2013 survey by U.S. News and World Report found that the hospital met standards for strong performance, and that the institution had high-performing specialty departments in gynecology, nephrology, orthopedics, and urology.
Several other hospitals and health care networks also are among the top employers in the state. Alaska Tribal Native Health Consortium, Banner Health (which includes Fairbanks Memorial Hospital), Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation, Alaska Regional Hospital, and Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium all employ at least 750 workers, while Norton Sound Health Corporation has more than 250 employees.
Although only 4 percent of Alaska's RNs describe themselves as nursing educators, the demand for nursing instructors with advanced degrees is very high. Nursing faculty shortages at the University of Alaska have forced some prospective students to have to wait to enter that nursing program. Annual average salaries for post-secondary nursing teachers in the state were $76,990 in 2012. (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ak.htm)
According to O*net (2013) Alaska has 4,860 Registered Nurses within the state. Yet according to the most recent , more than 21 percent of Alaska RNs work outside of the state; 43 percent work in the Anchorage area, and 14 percent work in the south central region outside of Anchorage. Among nurses who responded to the survey, about half worked in hospitals, with 11 percent in ambulatory care. Public/community health organizations and schools ranked as the next most frequent employment sites.
Alaskan nurses are among the best educated in the nation, according to a nursing workforce survey conducted by the Alaska Board of Nursing. Over 85 percent of Alaska nurses are certified in their specialty or plan to become certified. And while only 37 percent of new RNs graduate have Bachelor's degrees nationwide, 42 percent of new RNs in Alaska graduate with a Bachelor of Nuring degree.
As a part of such a well educated nurse population in Alaska, you may be ready to expand your own education to meet that of your peers. Take some time to submit your information to any of the schools you are interested in, keeping in mind that online and distance learning options may be quite helpful in meeting your nursing education needs. We applaud you for taking the first steps to furthering your degree prospects, your career, and your profession in general.
We believe that a well educated nurse is a powerful thing, and we are here to help you become just that.
Alaska RN to BSN Schools to Consider
- University of Alaska (Anchorage): Courses are available online and on campus. Nurses may take one course at a time or may complete their BSN in four semesters by attending full-time. Some clinical study is required. Two semesters of community health can be completed locally, and one semester of complex care can be completed in a practice area of your choice (with faculty approval).