I am an ED nurse working in Alaska, where we've lived for 35 years. I can't tell you much about traveling companies, but I do agree that working as a traveler right out of school would be a real challenge. We use alot of travelers and they are expected to be up and running full bore after a couple hours orientation. I'm not saying it can't be done, just that it would be really hard. .... As to traveling, the flight from western parts of the lower 48 is only 4-5 hours. Our pooch did absolutely fine in a hutch in cargo. Alaskan carriers are very used to handling dogs (lots of dogs up here) and it likely would be less a problem for the dog than for the owner. ....The drive to Alaska is beautiful, but long. Lots of people do it as a vacation. If you budget a week or so and are prepared to camp along the way, its a very nice trip - in the summer or fall. March is very much still winter up here. The bible of driving is a book called "The Alaska Milepost". It gives micro-descriptions of every road north and every stop, gas station, pullout, campground, etc along the way. If its still published, I'd strongly recommend it. ...... Describing Alaska is like trying to describe the United States west of the Mississippi. Its kind of a big place. Anchorage is very similar to any small city in the lower 48 with all the shopping, entertainment, etc that you'd expect in a city of 300,000. It is on the ocean, so the climate is cool and wet, alot of summer rain. Temperatures in the winter get down to zero alot, and occasionally drop to -20. Fairbanks is a nice town with a Midwestern feel to it. However, it gets quite warm (90+) and quite cold (-40), so be ready for that. The "bush" is any town off the road system. These towns range from small towns like Dillingham, Kotzebue, Nome and Barrow to tiny villages. A bush assignment is a real adventure - the hospitals are small and nurses have to do it all. If the weather is bad, no one is flying in to help. I'd really, really encourage a nurse to get a few years of solid experience before going that route. .... The "native" hospitals are IHS facilities at which native Americans can receive medical care at no cost. Most are run by tribal entities under contract to the government. They do not pay more - or less - than other facilities. .... Major challenges for new Alaskans, particularly with small kids, include the distance from "home" and other family. Lots of people just get homesick. The grandparents can't just drop in when it involves all day of flying and an $800 airfare. This is a really big issue for lots of folks and shouldn't be taken lightly. However, the thing that probably sends most folks south is the daylight issue. During June in Anchorage, the sun does go down, but only for a couple hours and it stays light enough to read a book all night long. During December, its only light for a few hours in mid-day. As you go north, it gets more extreme. In Barrow, the sun goes down for several months in winter. This throws alot of folks out of whack and accounts for the popularity of February as a vacation month for Alaskans. ... For more info on hospitals, go onto the website for the Alaska chapter of the Emergency Nurse Association - they have a listing with links to all Alaskan hospitals with sites. Also, look at the website of the Anchorage Daily News. Its the biggest paper in the state and you can get a feel for life up here. If you come, look at it as an adventure and be prepared to move on if it doesn't suit you. You might be like lots of us who came for one winter and wound up staying. Lots of luck.