Alaska holds the rank of the largest state in the United States by area and hosts a population of 722,718 people. In the health care field, more than 11,000 jobs have been created over the past 10 years, but they’re still short on nurses. These shortages are not in entry-level nursing positions; rather, the most need for qualified workers is in advanced and specialized positions, with nurses who have advanced degrees and at least two years of experience in the field. In Anchorage, they are even trying out a cross-training program where they pair a nurse with at least two years of experience up with a preceptor who takes them through the program one-on-one. After completion of this program, nurses are trained to be perioperative nurses.
The job market for entry-level nurses remains tight in Alaska, as they have more graduates than available positions; however, advanced nurses such as nurse practitioners or other specialties are in such high demand, hospital officials stated that they often find jobs before they have even completed their programs. In Alaska, the Alaska Board of Nursing (ABN) currently offers professional nursing licenses for the following levels:
- Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
- Registered Nurse (RN)
- Advanced Practice Nurse (APN)
- Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP)
- Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
- Advanced Practice Nurse Authorizations
- Prescribe Controlled Substances
Nursing Licensure in Alaska
Nursing licensing and certification requirements are regulated by each state, and the state nursing board issues licenses once all necessary steps are completed. In order to be licensed by the ABN, you must fulfill the following requirements:
- Successfully complete a registered or practical nursing education program that has either been accredited by the board, meets the minimum requirements of the board, or has been accredited by the National League for Nursing
- Pass a written exam prescribed by the board (NCLEX)
- Complete two of the following methods for maintaining continuing competency:
- 30 contact hours of continuing education
- 30 hours of participation in professional activities
- 320 hours of employment
- Renew license every two years on or before the expiration date
States have varying requirements when it comes to licensing advanced practice nurses, and your specialty usually dictates the necessary requirements to maintain your eligibility.
Average Nurse Practitioner Salaries in Alaska
All salary data is as of May 2013.
According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for nurse practitioners in the state of Alaska is $111,800, noticeably higher than the national average of $95,070. Average salaries for Alaska’s metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas are all above the national average; reported salaries by area are listed below.
|Area||Registered Nurses||Average Salary|
|Railbelt / Southwest Alaska nonmetropolitan area||750||$81,510|
|Southeast Alaska nonmetropolitan area||530||$72,710|
Wages for registered nurses reported in Alaska were $12,000 to $15,000 higher than the national average, with the exception of the Southeast nonmetropolitan area, with the average salary stated as $3,600 over the national average.