With its huge variety of rural communities that have little or no access to medical care, Alaska can benefit greatly from more nurses that hold Master's degrees. If you currently have an RN or BSN degree, you could expand your scope of practice and explore other areas of nursing with a Master's in Nursing, while improving the health and wellness of Alaska residents.
According to the Health Resources and Services Administration, there are 90 places in Alaska that have primary care health care shortages. This may be because, as TIME reports, fewer and fewer doctors are going into primary care. Since Alaska nurse practitioners have full freedom to practice autonomously, which means that by entering a Nurse Practitioner program, you can become a primary care provider to many who desperately need your services. Regardless of the Master’s program you choose, you will be positioning yourself to provide high quality nursing care to chronically underserved areas in the state.
That is one of the main goals of the Alaska Action Coalition. This organization hopes to encourage nurses at the Master's level to practice to the full extent of their capabilities so that all Alaskans can get the healthcare and treatment they need. You may want to explore their website as you look to enter graduate nursing programs in Alaska, as they are strong proponents of the nursing profession who offer valuable resources for your success.
There are three main educational tracks you can follow to earn a Master's in Nursing in Alaska: family nurse practitioner, mental health nurse practitioner, and nursing education. If you want to work directly with patients, you can follow one of the nurse practitioner paths and work as an independent practitioner in clinics or hospitals all over Alaska. If you would prefer to teach the next generation of registered nurses, you can take the nurse educator track.
The average Alaska Master's in Nursing program requires you to complete about 48 credits. Since these programs are generally intended for working nurses, they are often meant to be completed on a part-time basis. You can plan on spending between three and four years in school.
While high-level courses vary from specialty to specialty, some courses are required for all Master's in Nursing students. These courses include Biostatistics for Health Professionals, Roles for Advanced Practice Nursing, and Nursing Research Methods. If you take the nurse practitioner track, you may take courses like Pharmacology for Primary Care and Advanced Pathophysiology. On the nurse educator track, you can complete courses like Teaching and Learning in Nursing and Curriculum Development. Both of the nurse practitioner tracks require you to complete clinical hours on top of your classroom hours.
There are quite a few scholarship opportunities that you can look into as you begin your Master's-level education. If you belong to the Alaska Native population, the IHS Scholarship program gives funds to students pursuing graduate nursing degrees. The Alaska Nurse Practitioner Association also awards a $2,500 scholarship at their annual conference. You can also check into federal programs for loan repayment and forgiveness through the Health Resources and Services Administration.
Alaska is a unique state that attracts many different people due to its beautiful wildlife and scenery, as well as many other reasons. As a masters prepared RN in this state there are many career options, such as a nurse practitioner and a nurse midwife.
As a nurse practitioner in the state of Alaska you have the opportunity to work in many different settings, including hospitals, clinics, doctor's offices, and urgent care centers. Nurse practitioners can provide routine care to patients, as well as diagnose and treat illnesses and diseases. Based on the 2014 median income level for nurse practitioners in this state, you can potentially make $107,700 working as a nurse practitioner here (O*net, 2015). The demand for nurses in this career is expected to grow by 24 percent between 2012 and 2022 (O*net, 2015).
As a nurse midwife in Alaska you will have the option to work in a hospital, clinic, or birthing center setting. You will follow women of childbearing age to help improve their pregnancies and health outcomes. According to 2014 data for median annual salaries, you can potentially make an annual salary of $97,800 working as a nurse midwife in Alaska (O*net, 2015). Between 2012 and 2022, there is an expected growth rate of 28 percent for nurse midwife jobs in the state of Alaska (O*net, 2015).
Choosing the graduate nursing program that is right for you involves comparing costs, graduation rates, admissions and graduation requirements as well financial aid information. We have taken the time to give you a listing of program specifics to make this process as simple as possible for you. Once you have an idea of which programs interest you, contact the schools to speak with admissions and nursing representatives who can guide you on the next steps of your journey.
To get more information on either of these careers or learn more about earning your MSN degree, contact Alaska nursing schools listed on this page.