University of Alaska Anchorage Expands School of Nursing to Meet Increasing Demand

University of Alaska Anchorage Expands School of Nursing to Meet Increasing Demand

The University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) School of Nursing is looking to expand to meet the increasing demand for nurses in the state. Nursing is one of the most in-demand professions in the country and Alaska is no exception. The Alaska Department of Labor estimates that the state will need to hire an additional 1,141 registered nurses by 2026. 

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, “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

University of Alaska Anchorage Takes Steps to Address Nursing Shortage

University of Alaska Anchorage Takes Steps to Address Nursing Shortage

The University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) School of Nursing has begun taking steps to address a statewide and nationwide nursing shortage. According to, health care is one of the fastest growing job sectors in the country. The US Department of Labor Statistics reports that in 2014, there were 11.8 million workers employed in the health care industry, with 2.7 million of that workforce represented by registered nurses.

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.

University of Alaska Anchorage Hosts Nursing Camp to Boost Number of Alaska Native Nurses

University of Alaska Anchorage Hosts Nursing Camp to Boost Number of Alaska Native Nurses

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.

Recruiting and Retention of Alaska Natives into Nursing (RRANN), a part of UAA’s School of Nursing, is hosting the program. Students are expected to learn hands-on skills like giving injections, dressing wounds, checking vital signs, and other simulated treatments learned on dummies.

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.

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