Born to a physician father and nurse mother, Arne Beltz began her nursing career in Alaska in 1948. She supervised the Fairbanks Health Center and provided round-the-clock nursing services to Unalakleet and the surrounding villages. After a severe earthquake in 1964, Beltz set up and directed diphtheria and typhoid clinics in Anchorage and other areas of the state.

Beltz was also an active member and former president of the Alaska State Nurses Association, where she educated legislators about the role of itinerant public health nurses in Alaska’s villages. In addition, she began the Family Planning and Women’s Health Program in Alaska and implemented an initiative designed to train nurse practitioners to perform certain gynecological procedures.

Today, many nurses of Alaska have followed Beltz’ footsteps and deliver quality nursing at hospitals, doctor’s offices, schools, senior living communities, and other healthcare environments.

Featured Nursing Schools in Alaska

Alaska Badge ImageAs of October 2019, there are 2 schools offering nursing degree programs at different levels in Alaska. To assist prospective nurses in the Last Frontier select the right nursing school for them, we’ve created two separate data listings for these schools. Using data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), we display the tuition and fees, acceptance rates, number of online programs, and other factors of the nursing schools in Alaska.

Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Undergraduate tuition
$5,532
Undergraduate graduation rate
24%
Undergraduate retention rate
69%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
80%
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
0
Graduate Tuition
$17,928
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
0

Nursing Accreditation in Alaska

Students have their own set of preferences when it comes to nursing schools. While some place a great deal of emphasis on location, others focus on tuition or student-teacher ratio. Regardless of what students hope to find in their ideal nursing school, accreditation should always be at the top of their minds.

Nursing schools that are accredited undergo a rigorous approval process that evaluates their quality against U.S. wide standards. Therefore, students should only search for schools that have been accredited by the following official organizations:

  • Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
  • National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission

Alaska Nursing Licensure

To become an LPN in Alaska, a student must complete an LPN certificate or degree program, apply for licensure with the Alaska Board of Nursing, and pass the NCLEX-PN exam. A student who hopes to become an RN in the state is required to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN).

After they’ve earned their degree, they’ll be required to apply for a license with the Alaska Board of Nursing, and then to pass the NCLEX-RN exam a well as a criminal background check. There is a $100 application fee, $200 license fee, and a $75 fingerprint processing fee.

NPs in Alaska must hold an RN license and complete a graduate degree in nursing. They are required to pass the national nurse practitioner exam. Please visit the Alaska: Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development website for up-to-date nursing information on Alaska.

Alaska Nursing organizations

Joining a nursing organization in Alaska can be a great way for students to become active in the nursing community before and after nursing school. These organizations can provide educational programs that help students keep their nursing skills sharp throughout every stage of their careers. Here are a few of the professional nursing organizations available to nurses and nursing students in Alaska as stated by the American Hospital Directory:

  • Alaska Nurses Association (AaNA):

    AaNA strives to advance and support the profession of nursing in the state. Members can gain access to the AaNA Career Center which features several nursing job opportunities. They can also network with other nursing professionals at conferences that discuss various topics such as pediatric mental health issues and communication to reduce healthcare disparities.

  • Alaska Nurse Practitioner Association (ANPA):

    ANPA brings together NPs in the state and offers several benefits to members including a career center with local jobs, a scholarship program for students pursuing an Alaska nursing college, and a yearly conference that gives them various networking opportunities.

  • National Alaska Native American Indian Nurses Association (NANAINA):

    NANAINA is designed for American Indians and Alaska Natives in the nursing profession. The organization puts together a number of events that bring in speakers to discuss interesting nursing-related topics. They also host monthly meetings so that members can get to know other nurses of similar background in the state.

Alaska-Specific Continuing Education

The Alaska Board of Nursing requires nurses to enhance their knowledge and skills in the nursing field even after they’ve graduated from an Alaska nursing program. Every two years, all types of nurses in Alaska (LPNs, RNs and NPs) are required to complete at least two of the following: 30 contact hours, 60 hours of professional nursing activities or 320 hours of document nursing experience.  Download the most up-to-date requirements for Alaska’s RNs, LPNs, and APRNs

Hospitals in Alaska

While hospitals are a major source of employment for students who have graduated from an Alaskan nursing college, they also give them the opportunity to gain experience in nursing specialties such as pediatric or emergency nursing. This can allow them to determine which specialty suits them. Here’s an introduction to three of the largest hospitals in the Alaska:

  • Providence Alaska Medical Center (Anchorage): Providence Alaska Medical Center has been named a Level II Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons and is known for providing quality care to trauma patients. In addition, the hospital treats more cardiovascular patients than any other facility in Alaska through advanced technologies such as TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement) and cardiac rhythm management.
  • Foundation Health Partners Fairbanks Memorial Hospital (Fairbanks): Since its inception in 1972, the Foundation Health Partners Fairbanks Memorial Hospital has offered comprehensive services to those in Fairbanks and interior Alaska. The hospital has a number of unique programs including a diabetes support group, balance screening program, free health lectures for the community, and hospice bereavement support.
  • Alaska Regional Hospital (Anchorage): Alaska Regional Hospital offers a variety of robotic surgeries that lead to less pain and blood loss, shorter overall recovery time, less risk of infection, and less scarring. It has also created a pet therapy program that strives to bring the healing power of pets to patients. Additionally, the hospital’s Orthopedic & Spine Center earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™ for its hip and knee replacement programs.
Sources & Methodology

Methodology

Using the National Center for Education Statistics’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), we gathered data for 6,758 United States institutions. We then filtered that list of schools by state and analyzed the data for each state with two different methodologies, in order to create two different lists: our undergraduate list, based on 11 ranking criteria, and our graduate list, based on 9 ranking criteria.

Final data for the 2016-17 school year was used for these rankings. Schools that did not provide data for all of the required ranking criteria were disqualified from that ranking.

The 11 criteria for the undergraduate school ranking were as follows:

  1. Number of associate- and bachelor’s-level degree programs offered to nursing-related majors
  2. Number of associate- and bachelor’s-level nursing-related degree programs offered via distance education
  3. Variety of associate- and bachelor’s-level nursing-related degree programs offered
  4. Tuition
  5. Retention rate
  6. Graduation rate
  7. Average amount of federal grant aid awarded to full-time first-time undergraduates
  8. Percent of full-time first-time undergraduates awarded any financial aid
  9. Credit offerings (Military, Dual, Life Experience, AP)
  10. Services (Career Counseling, Placement Services)
  11. Availability of tuition plans (Guaranteed, Prepaid, Payment, Other)

The graduate school ranking scored schools based on 9 criteria, different from the undergraduate list. These 9 criteria were as follows:

  1. Number of master’s- and doctoral-level degree programs offered to nursing-related majors
  2. Number of master’s- and doctoral-level nursing-related degree programs offered via distance education
  3. Variety of master’s- and doctoral-level nursing-related degree programs offered
  4. Tuition
  5. Retention rate
  6. Graduation rate
  7. Credit offerings (Military, Dual, Life Experience, AP)
  8. Services (Career Counseling, Placement Services)
  9. Availability of tuition plans (Guaranteed, Prepaid, Payment, Other)

All schools were scored on a 10-point scale for each of the points listed above. Individual data point scores were then multiplied by their respective weights, and the scores were added together, for a maximum possible score of 10 points.

NOTE: Schools’ tuition amounts are based on 2016-17 undergraduate and graduate data reported to the National Center for Education Statistics. The actual cost of tuition may vary.

 

Sources

  1. Alaska Board of Nursing, Alaska.Gov, Accessed September 2019
  2. https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/cbpl/ProfessionalLicensing/BoardofNursing.aspx
  3. Alaska Nurses Association, Accessed September 2019, http://www.aknurse.org
  4. Alaska Nurse Practitioner Association, Accessed September 2019, https://anpa.enpnetwork.com
  5. Alaska Regional Hospital, Accessed September 2019, https://alaskaregional.com/
  6. American Hospital Directory, Accessed September 2019, https://www.ahd.com/
  7. Arne (Buckley) Beltz, Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame, Accessed September 2019
  8. http://alaskawomenshalloffame.org/alumnae/name/arne-beltz/
  9. CE Requirements, Alaska.Gov, Accessed September 2019
  10. https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/Portals/5/pub/NUR_CE-Guidelines_2018.02.pdf
  11. Foundation Health Partners, Accessed September 2019, https://www.foundationhealth.org/
  12. Providence Alaska Medical Center, Providence Health & Services, Accessed September 2019, https://alaska.providence.org/locations/p/pamc
  13. NANAINA, Accessed September 2019, http://www.nanainanurses.com

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