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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