Registered Nurse

At a Glance

Years in School (after high school graduation):


Hourly Wage:

$29.81-$56.47 (Mean $41.56)
*based on 2016 Alaska DOL data

One-page Description (PDF):

Registered Nurse

Professional Activities

Registered nurses (RNs) care for patients and promote their physical, mental and social well-being. The duties performed by RNs include: recording medical histories and symptoms, monitoring patient status and progress, assisting in performing diagnostic tests and analyzing the results, administering treatment and medications and helping with patients’ follow-up and rehabilitation. RNs also teach patients and their families how to manage their illnesses or injuries. This includes post-treatment home care needs such as diet and exercise programs and self-administering medication and physical therapy. RNs with bachelor degrees in nursing are able to work within the community/public health specialties with communities and populations.

Registered nurses have some of the most varied career choices and roles within health care, and make up the largest professional segment in terms of numbers. The activities of a registered nurse include patient care in all medical specialties, emergency care, forensic nursing, health maintenance and prevention, mental health, home health care, public health, community health education, school nursing, classroom and clinical teaching, research, planning, and administration.

Registered nurses can achieve positions of leadership and responsibility in profit and non-profit corporations and health care facilities, such as in hospitals, public health agencies, government agencies, and universities. For registered nurses who wish to pursue graduate study, career opportunities expand to include roles as nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, nurse anesthetists, nurse educators, and public health and health services administrators.

Places of employment in Alaska include field offices, community clinics and hospitals of various sizes, public schools, colleges, universities, and many more. In addition, many nurses travel throughout the state, the country, or even the world doing fieldwork or working as temporary staff members in hospitals.

Educational Requirements

  • Graduation from high school with coursework in algebra, biology, and chemistry.
  • Completion of an approved nursing program. Most nurses today earn either an associate degree in nursing or a bachelors degree nursing. Completion of an associate degree nursing program generally requires three years of study while the bachelors degree is usually completed in four to five years.
  • Successful completion of the NCLEX-RN examination for licensure.

Academic Programs

The University of Alaska Anchorage School of Nursing offers several different programs:

  • The AAS program is offered on the main campus in Anchorage as well as thirteen distance sites. Courses are offered through a combination of face-to-face, videoconference, and online instruction.
  • The BS Program is offered on the main Anchorage campus.
  • The RN to BS Nursing, an option within the BS program, is for individuals who became Registered Nurses after completing an associate degree or diploma program that want to complete a baccalaureate degree. Depending on prior college credit, the RN to BS program requires from 3 to 6 semesters of study.
  • RNs who hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing may also want to pursue a Master’s degree in nursing. For more information, visit the Nurse Practitioner page on this website.

For more information, contact:

University of Alaska Anchorage
School of Nursing
3211 Providence Drive
Anchorage, AK 99508
Phone: (907) 786-4550
Fax: (907) 786-4559

The University of Alaska Southeast offers a Certificate in Pre-Nursing Qualifications (CPNQ) which prepares students to enter professional nursing programs. For more information, contact:

UAS Health Sciences
University of Alaska Southeast
11120 Glacier Highway
Juneau, AK 99801
Phone: (907) 796-6128
Email: or

The University of Alaska Fairbanks, CTC offers a Certificate in Allied Health: Pre-Nursing Qualifications. For more information, contact:
Eileen Weatherby, Assistant Professor/Campus Coordinator
UAF Community and Technical College
604 Barnette Street, Room 422
Fairbanks, Alaska 99701
Phone: (907) 455-2914


State Contact:

Alaska Nurses Association
3701 East Tudor Road, Suite 208
Anchorage, AK 99507
Phone: (907) 274-0827
Fax: (907) 272-0292

National Contact:

American Nurses Association
8515 Georgia Avenue, Suite 400
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Toll free: (800) 274-4262

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