Marianne Murray, director of the UAA School of Nursing, reports that the demand for nurses in Alaska is increasing as the state’s population ages. She tells www.ktva.com, “One of the reasons why is because Alaska has what we call a ‘silver tsunami’ which is, our population is aging. And of course, with an aging population, we have an increase in health care needs.”
UAA is working to help fill the gap for nurses by offering a four-year bachelor’s degree and two-year associate’s degree in nursing. However, the university is experiencing a problem with space. There are far more people interested in UAA’s nursing programs than there are room for. The nursing school receives about 280 competitive applicants each year for the baccalaureate program and admits 120 students. The university hopes to expand that number to 180 open slots by 2025.
To learn more about Alaska’s nursing shortage and how the University of Alaska Anchorage School of Nursing is working to expand their nursing programs to meet an increased demand, visit here.
The average age of nurses nationwide is 50 or older, with 30 percent of that population preparing to retire. This statistic has led many health care organizations to brace for a nationwide nursing shortage, UAA included.
In an effort to meet the industry’s needs, the UAA School of Nursing has begun finding practical solutions to lessen the burden of a progressing shortage of nurses. UAA Nursing Director Marianne Murray and Vice Provost of Health Programs and Dean of the College of Health Jeffrey Jessee are focusing on their own state first and how they can be responsive to the community’s needs.
They began by making a statewide tour to meet with UAA satellite campuses, health care organizations, and leaders that can help them with outreach to other education sites where the nursing program can help fill gaps in health care around the state.
UAA is tackling the nursing shortage by creating internal and external goals to implement within the next two years. Their first step is to increase faculty members, expand facilities, and collaborate with health care stakeholders to expand admissions, cohort sizes, and graduate more nurses. They also intend to increase diversity of faculty and students, and place an emphasis on cultural competency as an admissions marker. By expanding their admittance criteria, UAA hopes to open the door to a wider pool of prospective students who might not have previously considered a career in nursing.
To learn more about UAA’s initiatives to tackle the nationwide nursing shortage, visit here.
The University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) is hosting fifteen high school upperclassmen and recent graduates from around the state to participate in Anchorage Nurse Camp as part of an effort to boost the number of Alaska Native nurses.
RRANN coordinator and nursing professor Annette Rearden tells Alaska Dispatch News that the goal of the camp is to introduce students to the profession and encourage them to consider a career in nursing. The state of Alaska is in the midst of a nursing shortage, and culturally competent nurses are essential to providing good care. Currently, rural and urban areas of Alaska rely on traveling nurses who work 13-week rotations, but more Alaska Native nurses are needed state-wide. Rearden feels that Alaska Native and American Indian nurses are widely underrepresented compared to demographics in the state. She hopes the camp will be a way to increase the percentage.
Students participating in the camp have reported that they have a lot of information to learn, but they’ve enjoyed it. The simulations they’ve tackled include hypothetical situations like treating a hypothermic child who has been lost in the woods.
To learn more about UAA’s Anchorage Nurse Camp, visit here.
Listen to the Chapter Podcasts for Jonas and Kovner's Health Care Delivery in the United States
Gain a better understanding of the current state of the US health care system and how it might impact your work and life.