Travel Nursing in Alaska: Northern Destination
By Christine Whitmarsh RN, BSN
Before I had ever even contemplated Alaska as a leisure, work and relocation destination, I steadily started receiving rave reviews from friends and family members about our nation’s largest state. I will admit that prior to this, when I thought of Alaska I envisioned lots of snow and darkness and most recently a certain vice presidential candidate. In reality, Alaska is one of America’s hottest tourist destinations and travel nurses have taken note of this, placing the state near the top of the list of most popular travel nursing job internet searches.
Cruise ships constantly float a steady stream of visitors around the spectacularly scenic bays that surround the over 6,000 miles of Alaskan shoreline. For travel nurses with a natural curiosity for climate extremes (weather can fluctuate between the negative 60’s F to the positive 90’s F), innovative methods of transportation for getting from here to there in lieu of an extensive highway system, a state famous for its independent thinking and a passion for exploring natural wilderness, a travel nursing job in Alaska may be ideal.
Fast Facts and Resources:
- Alcohol abuse and subsequently fetal alcohol syndrome, suicide risk and teen pregnancy, are significant public health issues, potentially increasing opportunities for travel nurses specializing in addiction medicine, community and mental health areas.
- Public health nurses are particularly in demand in Alaska (http://www.hss.state.ak.us/dph/nursing/)
- Average salary for travel nurses in Alaska is $62,000
- Alaska Nurses Association: www.aknurse.org
- Alaska Board of Nursing: www.dced.state.ak.us/occ/pnur.htm
To combat the nursing shortage in Alaska, recent programs have been implemented that have state leaders and universities teaming up to aggressively recruit and graduate new nursing students. While these program goals come to fruition, one of the state’s best hopes for filling in nursing position vacancies lies in the recruiting of travel nurses.
Christine Whitmarsh is a Registered Nurse with a BSN from the University of Rhode Island. She is a freelance health journalist and medical writer and a contributor to Travel Nurse Source and Allied Travel Careers.