Arkansas student wanting to move to Alaska

  1. I am a junior in a BSN program and I will be graduating in May 2011. I have long dreamed of living in Alaska and I believe getting my RN will allow me to explore living there. I've heard it is easy for new grads in the lower 48 to get hire at Providence in Anchorage. Is this generally true? I believe Anchorage is where I want to move to. Are there other good employment options for RN's from the lower 48?

    I am planning to visit there this coming summer. Are 4-5 days sufficient to see a lot and get a feel for the place? Any advice on what to do while I'm there?

    Also, I will be moving as a single parent. I have a three yearold and am a little nervous about moving away from my family support structure. Is childcare adequate in the Anchorage area? How would one arrange childcare before moving? Are there normal activities for kids to do up there like there are in the lower 48? sports, school activities, etc. Are kids shut in all winter when it gets too cold? How are the schools? I am sorry if I am asking a lot of questions. Moving as a single parent is my biggest concern with regards to moving to Alaska. I can't wait though!

    If I move, I will be moving with a 4X4 truck towing a small trailer. I think that should be sufficient for the Alaskan highway.

    Any advice is welcome...

    Thanks in advance.


    Edit: Is one able to secure an apartment lease before the move if a job is secured? What is the best way to find an apartment there when you aren't able to physically view them in person? Basically I want to make sure I have a place to stay before I get there.
  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   Polybear
    Hi Ryan,
    I'm sorry I have no answers for you, but I am in a similar situation myself. Will be graduating this may and want to head up to Alaska (from Michigan) by myself. I have tons of questions, so i'm hopping on this thread in the hopes that someone will answer yours. I did read on here that the job market for new RN's in Anchorage is not that great right now. Perhaps there are other areas of the state to be considered.
    Best of luck to you in your program!
  4. by   may1787
    It is difficult to find a new grad job in Anchorage (and honestly, everywhere in AK) right now. Believe me, I am looking. Its not impossible, but very difficult. Besides that, Alaskan graduates seems to generally be given priority for new grad positions over new grads that had their schooling in other states, as it is difficult for Alaskans to simply move out of state as easily as it is for people in the lower 48 to move out of state.

    If you are really determined to get a job here though, I would recommend securing a job before you move up instead of moving up hoping to secure a job.
  5. by   meg816
    Hey my fellow new grads! I just graduated from the RN program in Fairbanks, AK and will start working at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital in about a month. New grads around the country are finding it difficult to obtain employment (contrary to what my high school guidance counselor told me), not just Alaska. From what I can tell new grads from Alaska do have priority from out-of-staters. I know from the past two years anyway, FMH found positions for all of its Fairbanks new grads. This is most likely because we do our clinicals at FMH and our they are huge supporter of our program in many ways including financially. They take pride in Fairbanks students and can't wait for us to come work there. They also have a mass interview process for the new grads that only include Fairbanks graduates interested in applying. With that said, right before my class interviewed, FMH hired 9 new graduates from out-of-state and are still finding positions for our class. I can't speak for anywhere else in the state, but there are always positions open at FMH. It is not nearly as big as the Anchorage hospitals, however, it is a teaching hospital and the majority of the nurses are patient with students and new grads can't ask too many questions. Fairbanks is a great little city. I was born and raised here and love the place. It has a small town community feel without feeling like you are in the woods (although if you live in the woods, you can drive 5 miles and be in town).
    Housing is a different story..and I can only speak for Fairbanks. I am also a single parent and have lived in a small apartment while obtaining my dream job. Now that I am looking at making a decent living as a nurse, I am looking for a house with a yard. Right now housing is slim pickings for sure. And the housing for a 3 bedroom house or duplex is about $1600 or $1700 plus some utilities, and of course a 2 bedroom is cheaper. In the spring there will be a ton of places for rent, but also a ton of applicants. There are apartments that are even cheaper, a 2 bedroom apt is about $1000 or $1100 depending on the area. I would recommend Willow Wood (google JL properties) apartments as they are nice and there is a great school across the street (Joy Elementary). Craigslist(beware of scams) and Fairbanks Daily News Minor are pretty much the only place to find housing. I know I didn't have a whole lot to add to the conversation, but please feel free to contact me with any further questions about Fairbanks.
    FYI.....New grads at FMH start at $28.00/hr. Fairbanks can get very cold in the winter, but is very unpredictable. Last winter we had -40 for 2 months straight, but this winter has seen no -40 days. But the summers are amazing and Alaska is a truly unique place to live....and I feel so safe after taking trip the the lower 48. Good luck to you all!

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