If you want to study nursing in Alaska, you’ll have few opportunities to study in an on-campus setting. The University of Alaska in Anchorage is the only facility that maintains a school of nursing, where students can earn anything from an AAS to MS in nursing, including opportunities to upgrade from LPN to AAS and from RN to BS. Despite this lack of teaching institutions, Alaska’s population has a strong need for nurses, especially for experts in nutrition, counseling, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, pre-natal care and other fields that serve a rural population.
Statewide, the average salaries for LPN, RN and specialty nurses range between $13,000 and $73,000 annually, depending upon degree earned, years in the field, expertise and size of the health facility. Not surprisingly, the largest hospital in this state is the Providence Alaska Medical Center, also located in Anchorage. This facility serves Anchorage plus Kodiak, the Matanuska-Susitna Valley, Seward, and Valdez. Fairbanks Memorial Hospital serves Alaska’s interior population, and Bartlett Regional Hospital, located in Juneau, serves Alaska’s southeastern population. Rural areas usually are served by regional facilities as well, such as the Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation, which provides medical care to 34 rural communities in southwest Alaska. Kanakanak Hospital and its associated facilities, which are part of the Bristoal Bay Area, are located in Dillingham, 327 air miles southwest of Anchorage. BBAHC was the first tribal organization in the nation to assume management of an Indian Health Service facility.