Alaska RN to BSN Programs
Many nursing students start looking at their educational options and find the difference between RN and BSN titles to be confusing. Before moving on with this article, it is important to make the distinction as to what the real world differences are between the two designations. A RN is simply a registered nurse. A nurse registered to practice their profession due to passing the NCLEX-RN exam and earning their state based required licensure. A BSN is a Bachelors of Science in Nursing. It does not give you the ability to practice nursing. You still need to pass the NCLEX-RN for the ability to work as a nurse. What the BSN does do is put you ahead of your peers in the industry. You can enter the field as an RN with an Associate’s degree, or even a diploma from a vocational training program. A BSN simply prepares you and educates you more completely than these other forms of reaching your goal, and employers will pay top dollar for that education.
So how does one pursue a BSN program in Alaska? It isn’t as easy as some other states, but there are schools, grants, scholarships and plenty of other benefits that are unique to the state, and also cross state lines. You aren’t putting yourself in a difficult position by working in the state, you are probably going to actually be in more demand than you would be in other states.
The national average number of nurses working per 100,000 population in the U.S. is 874, but Alaska is very far below that number at 755 per. This means that your talents are going to be in more demand than they would be elsewhere. On average, RNs will earn $81,000 a year in Alaska, and the higher paid side of that average will generally come from those holding a BSN.
You will find the top employers in Alaska range from Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital in Fairbanks or South Peninsula Hospital in Homer. Each of these employers is ranked in the top 15 employers in the state, regardless of industry. These could be great places to get your foot in the door and they may assist you in paying for your education, so be sure to follow that line of possibilities.
Paying for school is never easy, but you may find that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a wealth of information for nurses about grants, scholarships and loan repayment exemptions or options. In addition, many schools will have specific grants, scholarships and loan options for students, so make sure to take that into consideration as you start to explore possible learning institutions.
The school of nursing at the University of Alaska Anchorage is the largest and most popular school in the state. Located in the heart of Alaska’s biggest city, the campus is in the middle of a greenbelt, with lakes, ponds and wildlife surrounding it. It is also connected to a city-wide trail system which is perfect for active lifestyles. The school also offers master’s degree programs if you decide to continue your education and it is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.