Recruitment and Retention of Alaska Natives into Nursing (RRANN) began in 1998 with federal grant funds to recruit and mentor Alaska Native/American Indian students to pursue nursing degrees. RRANN helps students in all major regions of Alaska: Aleutian Islands, Far North, Interior, Southcentral, Southeast, and Southwest. This includes rural communities with populations below 100 to urban communities in large cities

“Providing culturally relevant health care is not a matter of political correctness; it is often a matter of life and death. When cultural competency is missing from health care, important information is not communicated, symptoms of illness are overlooked or misinterpreted and patient outcome suffers.” —RRANN Founder, Tina DeLapp, EdD, R.N.


The RRANN Program supports Alaska Natives and American Indians through their nursing education in order to increase the number of highly skilled and culturally competent nurses and promote positive change to improve the quality of healthcare within Alaskan communities. 


The mission of RRANN (Recruitment and Retention of Alaska Natives into Nursing) is to recruit Alaska Natives and American Indians into a nursing career and to facilitate their success in the nursing programs. See full mission statement.

Current Objectives 

  • To implement the 4-Pillar structure and strengthen RRANN support for students.
  • To increase recruiting and retention efforts with proactive outreach strategies. 
  • To assist students across Alaska, especially in rural areas, to overcome challenges faced during their academic careers.
  • To establish long-lasting relationships with community resources and Tribal Organizations that will assist RRANN with supporting Alaska Native and American Indian students. 
  • To increase workforce diversity in nursing to meet the increasing need for culturally sensitive quality healthcare.
  • To answer the call for supplying the state with more highly skilled and culturally diverse nurses that will serve and represent our diverse state. 


  • RRANN has proudly seen hundreds of Alaska Native and American Indian students graduate from the School of Nursing.
  • 100% of RRANN students are Alaska Native and/or American Indian. 
  • RRANN serves Alaska Native and/or American Indian students from communities across Alaska.
  • We serve traditional foods at our gatherings. Traditional foods served at RRANN student gatherings are donated by Alaska Native hunters, fishers, and gatherers.
  • Private donations fund our scholarship program. We distribute scholarships to RRANN students each term. 

"RRANN helped me a lot when I was going through the nursing program. Now I have the income to give back, and I feel that’s important because I believe in RRANN with all my heart." —RRANN Graduate and Donor, Flora Sapp