Alaska is known for its rugged natural beauty, harsh weather conditions and remote location. While most people may believe fishing or tourism have the largest economic impact in the state, the health care industry actually accounts for the majority of jobs.
To keep up with the demands for qualified nurses, nurse practitioners, nurse educators, nurse leaders and managers, and other health care workers, Alaska’s colleges and universities offer several master’s degree programs in these fields. With much of the population living in rural communities, many students rely on distance-learning to advance their education. All online and traditional campus degree programs are fully accredited and meet the high standards of the Alaska Department of Education.
University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, AK
School of Nursing
The School of Nursing at the University of Alaska Anchorage educates future health care professionals with Associate of Science, Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees. All programs are fully accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing and are available in either part-time or full-time study. As a public university that has more than 17,000 students in undergraduate and graduate programs, the University of Alaska Anchorage is the largest establishment of higher learning in the state of Alaska.
Master’s level programs are available in three tracks: Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and Nursing Education. To accommodate students who reside in remote locations, alternative academic scheduling is offered. These students can participate in classroom sessions via online and audio-conferencing formats.
Master of Science: Family Nurse Practitioner (MS-FNP)
The Family Nurse Practitioner program is one of three Master of Science tracks. This concentration emphasizes advanced nursing practice in theory, research and deliver of quality health care for all patient ages.
The program requires a minimum of 32 credit hours and is designed for part-time study. Core competencies include: Examination, diagnosis, drug and non-drug intervention, test ordering, collaboration and preventative measures for optimum health. Graduates are eligible to sit for the national certification exam and have a strong foundation for further doctoral study.
Master of Science: Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (MS-PMHP)
The Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner is the second of three Master of Science specializations available through the College of Nursing. As a PMHP, students will be trained to diagnose mental illness, work as a counselor/therapist and prescribe medication as needed.
This fully accredited master’s program requires a minimum of 32 credit hours and prepares students to take the national certification examination. This program is also intended to be taken as a part-time student in six to eight semesters. Graduates will also have the prerequisite skills needed to further advance their knowledge in a doctorate program.
Master of Science: Nursing Education (MS-NE)
The Nursing Education program is the third in the series of Master of Science degree tracks. The curriculum gives students the skills to teach licensed practical nurses and registered nurses in master’s and doctorate-level university programs. Additional positions include continuing education opportunities for licensed nurses at hospitals and clinics.
This full-time course of study requires coursework in pathophysiology, health assessment, pharmacology, curriculum development and teaching, testing and evaluation. A two-year teaching practicum is also required for eligibility to sit for the NLN Certified Nurse Educator Examination.
Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
National League of Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC)
3211 Providence Drive
Anchorage, AK 99508-8030
Western Governors University (Online Programs)
College of Health Professions
The College of Health Professions at Western Governors University offers all programs completely online. Designed for experienced health care professionals, the online master’s degree programs provide the competence and credentials necessary for career advancement.
All degree programs are fully accredited and are evaluated on competency instead of credit hours. Founded by the governors of 19 states, WGU is now a national university with over 40,000 students and serves all 50 states. Master of Science health care degrees can be earned in both education and management in a flexible, independent learning experience.
Designed for 21st century learning, the innovative program delivery methods at Western Governors University have earned the praise of Fast Company 2013 as one of the “Top 50 Most Innovative Companies”.
Master of Science: Nursing Education (MS-NE)
The online Master of Science degree with a concentration in Nursing Education will prepare students to become nurse educators who are ready to teach in universities and health care facilities. The program is designed for registered nurses who hold a current license.
All core education content follows national standards related to effective instruction and role development that will enable highly qualified educators to teach in all health-related environments. All content is consistent with the National League for Nursing – Nurse Educator Competencies.
Areas of study include research interpretation, pathopharmcological foundations, comprehensive health assessment, organizational leadership and management, ethics, team building skills, strategies to facilitate learning and a 40-hour nursing education field experience. A program mentor will determine student competencies for coursework and field experiences. A capstone project is also required prior to graduation.
Master of Science: Nursing Leadership and Management (MS-NLM)
The online Nursing Leadership and Management master’s level program prepares registered nurses for leadership roles in operating health care facilities. The curriculum focuses on the following management skills: Statistical analyses and interpretation, professional influence for productive interactions, relevant pathophysiology practice, comprehensive health assessment, information management, organization leadership and team building, plus the review of economic policies, politics and global health trends.
A 40-hour nursing management practicum is required in addition to the 38 competency units of coursework. Completion of the program qualifies graduates to sit for the Nursing Manager Certification examination.
Career opportunities for Nursing Leadership and Management graduates include:
-Hospital unit manager.
-Supervisor at a long-term care facility or public health agency.
-Institutional patient educator, safety specialist or infection control consultant.
-Nursing instructor at college or university.
Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education
Mailing Address Only (No Physical Campus):
4001 South 700 East, Suite 700
Salt Lake City, UT 84107