University of Alaska Anchorage Nursing School Review

The University of Alaska Anchorage is cradled into the greenbelt, surrounding the campus with wildlife. The city offers a connected trail system throughout for students and their other residents. The university offers over 150 majors from which students can choose. UAA is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and University.

University of Alaska – Anchorage Nursing Program Review

The University of Alaska Anchorage School of Nursing strives to provide students with the training they will need in order to become productive members of the nursing industry in the state of Alaska and across the nation. The state of Alaska has some very different health care settings as well as a culturally diverse people with very different beliefs on how to be treated in medical settings. The University of Alaska Anchorage offers three different types of degrees: Associates of Applied Science, Bachelors of Science, and Masters of Science. Classes are offered at 13 other different locations. These distance sites that are in the UAA School of Nursing network include sites at Bethel, Dillingham, Fairbanks, Homer, Juneau, Kenai, Ketchikan, Kodiak, Kotzebue, Mat-Su, Nome, Sitka and Valdez.

Associate of Applied Science – AAS – RN

The University of Alaska Anchorage offers an Associate of Applied Science in order for students to gain the knowledge and training in order to obtain the title of RN. The main objective of this program is to prepare students to take the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX-RN). Students are required to successfully complete all four semesters of the program to be considered eligible to apply to take this exam. Completion of the coursework and clinical experiences included in this program does not guarantee entrance into the NCLEX-RN. After completion of all these steps, the student can then go out and become employed as an RN in the medical field. UAA also offers an option for Licensed Practical Nurses to obtain their AAS in order to gain the title of RN in the LPN Direct Articulation Track.

Bachelor of Science Nursing – BSN – RN

Students who are interested in gaining a baccalaureate degree in nursing, UAA offers different options under the Bachelor of Science Nursing program. One option for students without a current RN license is to start at the beginning of the four year program and work all the way through in order to be awarded a BSN. Students who have already obtained a RN license, UAA offers a Registered Nurse Option. For traditional students starting at the beginning, they must apply to take the NCLEX-RN. For those students enrolled in the Registered Nurse Option, they must take the certification exam in order to use the title of BSN in their professional title.

Masters of Science Nursing – MSN

UAA offers different academic programs under the MSN study program. For those students who have a BSN and are interested in clinical studies, UAA has a Family Nurse Practitioner option and a Psychiatric – Mental Health Nurse Practitioner option. Another option for students is the Nursing Education Specialty option which focuses on giving students the ability to teach the skills they have learned through work experience to future nurses. This program has several different requirements for each option, so students should check with an advisor before choosing which option to enroll into. UAA also offers a second Master’s degree program for those students who already have a Master’s degree in another field of study.

University of Alaska – Anchorage
3211 Providence Drive
Alaska 99508
(907) 786-6752

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Alaska Vocational Technical Center Nursing School Review

Alaska Vocational Technical Center (AVTEC), is home to the two Alaska Institute of Technology campuses located in Seward and Anchorage. AVTEC is an initiative of the state government of Alaska to offer vocational training to the community in facilitation of quick entry in occupations.

It offers hands-on training on various fields that require skilled man-power. The college accepts interested students over the age of 18 and with high school or GED diplomas to enroll in the various courses. Students at AVTEC enjoy low tuition fees that enables them access satisfactory training required to secure jobs.

Nursing at Alaska Vocational Technology Center

AVTEC has two campuses: the main campus at Seward and the Allied Health center in Anchorage. All nursing/allied health programs are offered only at the Anchorage Area Training site. The allied health department offers three tracks designed for entry-level nursing positions. There is the nursing assistant course for students who wish to become nurse aides and the licensed practical nursing program. The Certified Nurse Aide Reciprocity (CNA) is designed for CNA’S from other states who wish to gain practice eligibility in the state of Alaska.

Certified Nurse Assistant

The CNA program is based in Anchorage and responds to the acute shortage of nurse aides across the state. The program usually has two classes running simultaneously with one class being in the clinical portion while the other is in the classroom instruction portion. The track runs for 8 weeks/ 38 training days and admission is continuous throughout the year.

Each cycle of the 8 weeks has 230 hours of learning with the first 4 weeks of study being in the lab skills, classroom instruction and basic life support skills. In the last four weeks, students become immersed in direct patient care. The format used is 1, 2 and 3 patients per student during the 1st, 2nd &3rd and 4th week in assisted living homes in Anchorage area. The actual breakdown of the 230 hours CNA course is 114 hours of classroom and lab, 108 hours of Clinical practice and 8 hours of Basic Life Support for Health Care Providers. Students who successfully complete the CNA program become eligible to take the Certified Nurse Aide Exam as required for certification by the state of Alaska.

CNA Reciprocity Course

The reciprocity course is meant to help CNA’s from other states to become eligible to work as CNA’s in the state of Alaska. The process of taking the reciprocity course is individualized for each student according to the screening results obtained by the Division of Occupational Licensing and sent to AVTEC. Prior to starting on the course, the CNA must obtain a letter from the Occupational Licensing division indicating the areas the student needs training on. Upon completing the required training hours, students apply for “Verification of Training for Alaska Nurse Assistant Registry and certification exam for licensure to work in Alaska

Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN)

The program prepares students to take the NCLEX-PN exam to become licensed practical nurses in nursing homes and long term care facilities. Applicants must be in possession of a current CNA certificate which must be maintained until completion of the program. Current certification in Basic Life Support for Health Care Providers is also required. Students without a high diploma must submit ACCUPLACER test scores. The program is designed to take 176 training days with 1212 hours of both classroom instructions and clinical practice. New students are admitted twice annually in January and mid August.


The LPN program graduates may earn college credits that can be transferred to the 1st year of the 2-year Associate of Applied Science for registered nurse Programs at all University of Alaska system campuses.


AVTEC-Alaska’s Institute of Technology
1251 Muldoon Road, Anchorage
AK 99504

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Kenai Peninsula College Nursing Program Review

Kenai Peninsula College (KPC) is a community campus that forms part of the larger Alaska University Anchorage (UAA). The college was commissioned in 1965 to offer adult basic education for the military base in the Kenai Peninsula.  The college operated in temporal and rented space before putting-up its own building in what is currently the Kenai River Campus.

The college has expanded and offers over 35 certificate, bachelor, associate and occupational endorsement programs. The college has also acquired three other sites including a campus at Kachemak Bay and 2 extension sites at Anchorage and Resurrection bay. The College is also a center of distance and online education for the University of Alaska Anchorage

Nursing At Kenai Peninsula College

As a community campus of University of Alaska Anchorage, KPC offers qualified students the occupation-oriented Associate of applied science in nursing program. The program through UAA is fully accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) and is approved by the Alaska board of nursing. This is the only nursing program offered at KPU.

Associate of Applied Science Degree

The school of nursing at UAA recently established an extension program to offer the AAS program at two campuses of KPU; at the main campus in Kenai River and the Kachemak Bay Campus. The first cohort of 8 students started the program at the Kenai River campus in the fall of 2012 while the Kachemak Bay campus admitted is first cohort of 8 students in spring 2012.

Interested students should note that with the next admission cycle after pioneer class of 2012, KPC will be offering alternating admission at the two campuses with 14 students being admitted in each campus. This precisely means that if one campus admits students this year, it will not admit new students the next year. Instead, the other campus will have its admission period. This arrangement has been put in place owing to the limited resources for clinical rotation sites.

Both campuses have competitive admission and eligible candidates are required to have completed all general education courses.  All applications must be sent via the school of nursing at University of Alaska Anchorage with students indicating the campus of interest.  A high school GPA of 2.0 and 3 letters of recommendation are required to be admitted to take the general education courses. Students are also required to take a Nurse Entrance Test. Ranking for competitive and selective admission is based on all factors above.

Upon admission, students take all theory coursework in online formats or via interactive video sessions coordinated from UAA of other UAA sites. However, students must avail themselves at their respective campus to take the clinical courses. Sometimes, due to limited availability of certain clinical rotations and learning resources around KPC, students may be required to travel to anchorage for clinical classes.

In total, students take four consecutive semesters to complete the 70-credit curriculum and earn the Associate of Applied Science in nursing degree. They also gain eligibility to take the NLCEX-RN exam to become registered nurses.


Kenai Peninsula College
156 College Rd, Soldotna.
AK 99669

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Kodiak College Nursing Program Review

Kodiak University received its name in 1987 after it was transformed from a community college to become part of the statewide University of Alaska System. As such, the college is one of the community campuses of the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA). It is a small 2-year public university that serves about 1000 students.

It offers a number of undergraduate certificate programs, transferable associate degrees and occupational endorsements to the community around Kodiak. The college delivers its academic programs through traditional classrooms in addition to alternative formats including web-based, synchronous learning and self-paced formats.

Nursing at Kodiak College

Through University of Alaska Anchorage, Kodiak College offers an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in nursing degree for beginning students. In addition to the 2-year nursing track, there is also a Certified Nursing Assistant program for those wishing to start a nursing career at entry-level as nurse aides. Through UAA, the AAS registered nurse (RN) program is fully accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission and also approved by the Alaska Board on Nursing.

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

The 140 hours program admits new students each fall semester. Candidates must be aged 18 years and above and must have a high school or GED diploma. The curriculum is a one 7-credit course consisting of clinical and lecture classes. In the 140 hours, students take a minimum of 80 hours of supervised clinical practice. This is done during the weekends, weekdays and selected evenings sessions. The remaining 60 hours are reserved for classroom instruction and theory classes. Upon completion of the 140 hours track, students can take the Certified Nurse Aide examination required for certification in the state Alaska.

Associate of Applied Science-Nursing

Through the school of nursing at UAA, Kodiak College brings the AAS curriculum closer to the community in Kodiak. It is a 2-year full time track designed to prepare students for the NCLEX-RN exam. First, students need to apply and get admitted as pre-nursing majors at UAA to complete the program’s pre-requisites courses. First-time applicants must have completed high school algebra, biology and chemistry and earned a high school GPA of 2.0. It is important for applicants to denote Kodiak College as their campus of choice in the application form. It is also good to note that those interested in the Kodiak Program are admitted for classes beginning spring semester unlike the UAA main campus program which starts in fall.

After admission, students take the pre-qualification curriculum and to gain eligibility for the nursing courses. Prior to taking any nursing courses, students must have completed at least 15 of the 33 credit hours in the general education curriculum. In addition, pre-nursing students must also take the Nursing Pre-Entrance Exam, the SAT/ACT tests or the ACCUPLACER test and submit their scores for review.

The entire track has a curriculum of 70 credit hours: 33 general education and 37 credits of nursing and clinical courses. Nursing courses can be taken over a period of four years. Upon completion, students earn an occupation-based Associate of Applied science in nursing degree and become eligible to take the NCLEX-RN exam to become registered nurses.


Kodiak College
117 Benny Benson Dr.
AK 99615

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University of Alaska Fairbanks Nursing School Review

In the early 1900’s, the federal government offered a land grant and funds to establish Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines  which was to become University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). By 1922, the college welcomed the first student body of six students.

The college continued to receive funding and expanded from its initial focus in mining and agriculture.  To reflect this expansion to liberal arts, teaching, sciences and engineering, the college changed its name to UAF in 1931. Today, UAF serves as a land grant public research university and the Flagship campus of the Alaska University System.

Nursing Programs a University of Alaska-Fairbanks

UAF does not directly offer degree programs leading to registered nurse licensure. However, it offers a preparatory/prequalification program for the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in nursing degree that enables students to transfer to its sister institution; University of Alaska Anchorage.  The program for Fairbanks-prepared students and those directly admitted at UAA is offered at the Community and Technical College which is part of the university of Alaska system. In addition to this, UAF also offers a short occupational endorsement program for those willing to become certified nurse aides

Pre-Nursing Qualification

The pre-qualification program is offered by the department of allied health as an early preparation for students willing to take the AAS at University of Alaska Anchorage.  Ideal candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to be eligible to apply to this program. The certificate in Pre-nursing Qualification program consists of a curriculum of pre-requisite and co-requisites courses that form part of the AAS program in addition to a foundation clinical course. Towards completion of this short program, students can place an application for anchorage campus register nurse (RN) track. It should be noted that the certificate program does not grant the students mandate to carry-out any nursing related tasks. However, the curriculum offers more than the basic requirements of general education course needed for the AAS program.

While completion of the certificate program enables students to become highly competitive for admission in the AAS program at the sister university, it does not guarantee them a place in the AAS track. Graduates of the pre-nursing qualification certificate must take the Nurse Entrance Test just like other applicants at UAA. If applications are successful, students transfer to Anchorage to take the nursing and clinical courses after which they can take the NCLEX-RN exam to become registered nurses.

Nurse Aide

The nurse aide is a short certificate/ occupational endorsement program offering theory and basic nursing skills for students wishing to kick-start their nursing career as members of a health care team in the very basic/ entry level. Candidates for this track must show prove of high school diploma or a GED and 10th grade reading by exam. Upon completion, students become eligible to apply and take the Alaska Nurse Aide exam after which they become certified nurse aides. Such students are also entered in the states nurse aide registry.


University of Alaska Fairbanks
505 South Chandalar Dr, Fairbanks.
AK 99775

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University of Alaska Southeast Nursing School Review

Nestled in the rural area of Juneau, University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) forms part of the statewide University of Alaska System. It was established in 1987 after consolidation of three community colleges in Juneau. It serves students through its main campus based in Juneau and two satellite campuses in Ketchikan and Sitka. The university offers a number of academic programs at certificate, undergraduate and master level.

Nursing Programs at University of Alaska Southeast

UAS offers three nursing programs one of which is meant to prepare registered nurses (RN). The RN track is an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in nursing program offered through the University of Alaska Anchorage. There is also a short Certified Nurse Assisting program in addition to a pre-nursing qualification certificate program that serves as a preparation to students who want to enter professional nursing programs. The 2-year associate track through the UAA is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission and approved by the Alaska Board of Nursing.

Certified Nurse Aide

The certified nurse aide (CNA) is offered in all three campuses of UAS during fall and spring semesters. Each campus has its own format of offering this short certificate program. Students in the Juneau main campus take a 9-credit course designed to train students in basic nursing skills within a period of 155 hours: 75 lecture hours and 80 hours of lab. The program is offered in partnership with Juneau Pioneers home and Wildflower court. 

At Ketchikan campus, students take 10 weeks to complete the program with classes being held twice a week. The first six weeks are designed for classroom instruction while the last three-four weeks are spent in clinical practice at local care agencies mainly Ketchikan Medical Center. Ketchikan CNA students have access to scholarships for the CNA program.

Those at the Sitka campus take the course in a semester-long format with the theory portion being offered online and in weekly onsite classes for lab and clinical sessions.  All students who complete the curriculum successfully become eligible to take the state’s Certified Nurse Aide Examination to become Certified Nurse Aides.

Pre-Nursing Qualifications

This program has a curriculum of pre and co-requisite courses designed for students who wish to take professional nursing program later i.e. associate or bachelor degrees. The curriculum mainly consists of General Education Requirements (GER) applicable for nursing programs in the University of Alaska System and beyond. The Certificate in Pre-Nursing Qualification (CPNQ) requires students to take at least 52 credits in GER and nursing support courses. This by far exceeds the basic requirement for the nursing associate degree. Students must note that completion of this program does not permit them to undertake any nursing tasks as no certification or licensure is granted. Further completion of an associate of bachelor degree program and licensure is required to gain practice eligibility.

AAS Nursing through UAA

All students interested in the AAS program for registered nurses must apply directly to the Anchorage campus. Cohorts are admitted every fall and spring semesters to undertake the program from UAA but on site at any of the 3 campuses of UAS. Prior to starting any courses, students must have gained enrollment and pre-nursing status from UAA. Candidates also need to take the Pre-Nursing Exam for ranking and selection purposes. The curriculum consists of 70 credit hours: 33 hours in GER and support courses and 37 in nursing and clinical courses.

The format used in delivering the curriculum is both traditional and alternative modes. The 15 credits of GER and 18 non-nursing support credits are completed onsite at the 3 campuses. On the other hand, all clinical courses are offered directly by UAA through internet-based formats, video conferencing or interactive synchronous formats. Being based at any of the 3 campuses means that students take clinical onsite courses coordinated by that campus. However, on rare occasions, students may be required to travel to Anchorage for certain clinical classes especially pediatric and obstetrics lessons. Successful students become eligible to apply and take the NLCEX-RN exam to become registered nurses.


University of Alaska-Southeast
11120 Glacier Highway, Juneau
AK 99801

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