While working as a nurse in Alaska, you've probably realized the great variety of nursing specialties that keep this field running. As a nurse, you may provide direct care to patients, work underneath nurse practitioners, and carry out care plans. Completing an RN-to-MSN bridge program in Alaska may be the next step in your career. As you work toward a master's degree, you can study high-level nursing specialties and develop the skills needed to work in your chosen field. As more and more Alaska nursing facilities receive Magnet certification, this may be a great time to get advanced standing as a nurse. Contact the schools on our site that offer RN-to-MSN programs in Alaska to learn more about your options for graduate nursing study.
Earning a Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree is a major accomplishment that requires quite a bit of hard work. RN-to-MSN bridge programs in Alaska tend to last approximately three years, though you may spend slightly more time in school if you work full-time while attending school. The first third of your degree may cover bachelor's degree material, while the latter two years of your MSN may delve into graduate-level training.
One of the main decisions you have to make as an MSN student is which nursing career you'd like to pursue. If you are interested in leadership or administration, consider a nurse leadership degree. Nursing education is another important specialty that may put you in charge of educating undergraduate nursing students. Patient care is of the utmost importance in specialty routes like nurse practitioner, nurse midwifery, and nurse anesthesia.
As you begin your Master's-level nursing courses, you may take general classes that give you basic training in all areas of advanced nursing. These courses may include classes like Health Policy for Advanced Practice Nursing, Nursing Research Methods, Roles for Advanced Practice Nursing, and Biostatistics for Health Professionals. In a nurse practitioner program, you may take classes like Pharmacology for Primary Care and Advanced Pathophysiology. In a nursing leadership program, you may take classes like Leadership Policy in Nursing and Administration in Health Care.
Alaska has many scholarships available for graduate nursing students, particularly since the state has a growing need for advanced practice nurses. Apply for scholarships early on to maximize the amount of opportunities you have. The Alaska Nurses Association is a popular source for nursing scholarships. The Alaska Community Foundation offers scholarships to students in many different fields, including nursing. Through the National Alaska Native American Indian Nurses Association, you can look into grant opportunities.
Since you already work in registered nursing, you likely have an RN license through the Alaska Board of Nursing. You must keep your registered nursing license valid at all times, and if you work in a clinical specialty, you must also maintain an advanced practice license. This involves passing exams in your chosen specialty and maintaining your license through continuing education hours.
You may earn a wide range of salaries as a nursing professional in Alaska. However, generally speaking, salaries in this state are significantly higher than the national average. Nursing instructors earn an average salary of $81,300 per year, over $15,000 higher than the national average (O*Net, 2013). Nurse Anesthetists claim a median income of $111,900 per year (O*Net, 2013).
The job outlook in this state is promising. O*Net expects job openings for nursing instructors to increase 7 percent through 2022. They also anticipate a 24 percent increase in nurse practitioner jobs over the next decade (O*Net, 2012).
Obviously, nursing is a growing field that may have plenty of opportunities for dedicated graduates. If you're interested in changing your future and improving the state of Alaskan health care at the same time, an RN-to-MSN program may be just what you need.