Alumni Spotlight: Megan Piper

by Jordana Newman  |   

Megan Piper holding award
School of Nursing alumna Megan Piper stands with husband to accept the Top 40 Under 40 award. (Photo by Megan Piper/Providence Alaska Medical Center)

School of Nursing alumna Megan Piper discusses her journey after graduating from UAA and being honored as Alaska's 2023 Top 40 Under 40.

Name: Megan Piper

Hometown: Valdez, AK

Educational Background: Bachelor of Science in Nursing, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2012

Place of Employment: Providence Alaska Medical Center

Job Title: Director of Service Operations

How long have you worked at this organization?

I started in the Medical Oncology Unit at Providence in 2012 and then became a charge nurse. After becoming a charge nurse, I became an assistant clinical manager before moving to the Service Operation Center in December of 2020. From there, I helped start the Providence Alaska Transfer Center which I consider a wonderful project because of the impact the transfer center has on coordinating health care for Alaskans when they need it most.

Tell us about your job. 

It's a very busy job, but I love it. I oversee nurses and operations at the hospital. The role has a heavy operational focus on hospital efficiency, patient flow, and patient care progression. It is essentially a two-part job. One part is planning for the future and approving efficiency, while the other part is finding solutions to everyday issues that may arise. Ultimately, I am responsible for managing a team of roughly 275 people with 26 direct reports throughout the Service Operation Center.

What do you love about your job?

I think I have an amazing job because I get to work with everyone in the hospital and I get to see all aspects of the hospital. Our team helps provide solutions for people, and that's really rewarding to be able to provide assistance and support to people who are supporting patients. 

What motivated you to pursue a career in healthcare, and how did your experience at UAA help shape your goals?

I knew I wanted to go into a career of service and go into nursing because I wanted to help people and make a difference in people's lives. The UAA nursing program was really supportive and there's a high level of accountability that it's created. I think the program is very dedicated to turning out nurses and instills a high level of professionalism into its students. I think that I learned a lot from the program that I've put into practice and through the leadership goals that I have.

Why did you choose to attend UAA?

I was born and raised in Alaska and I knew I planned on working here. I did go out of state for a couple of years but UAA has a really good reputation for their nursing program, so that is why I transferred back. Also, one of my best friends from childhood was doing her prerequisite courses at UAA and really enjoyed the program, so I already knew someone in the program.

What advice do you have for current students who want to make the most out of their experience at UAA and are looking to build a successful career in nursing?

I would encourage people to stick with it. A profession as a nurse gives you so many opportunities to grow not only professionally, but personally. You have the ability to make an impact in so many ways. You can make an impact on families. You can make an impact on communities and organizations - there are so many different ways that you can make an impact. I would just highly encourage people to get through it. It's worth it.

How does it feel to be selected as a Top 40 Under 40 recipient? 

It feels really rewarding. I'm very honored to receive the nomination and to know this is a result of hard work and dedication, but it is really the team around me that makes this work happen. As a director, you can set vision and goals, but it is the people who work around you and help you accomplish things professionally. It really is a team effort and I have a great team. 

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