Desperate Please Reply!!!!!

  1. 0
    My husband is graduating with his RN in Nov. We are seriously wanting to move to Alaska by March or April. He has talked to one Travel Nurse Company ( I can't remeber the name American something I think) but I still have questions because lets face it guys don't ask good questions. I am despreate for answers, we need to start to plan..ANY HELP WOULD BE MUCH APPRECIATED

    1. Good family frinedly travel nurse company?? (thought he would try travel nurse out first to make sure Alaska is for us)
    2 Do some pay for his travel? (FLIGHT, etc..)
    3. Going to Alaska with our 3 yr. old and dog? Any advise on the dog? She is to big to go in the cabin of a plane and the thought of putting her in Cargo like luggage is killing me. I think it is a 13 hr flight.
    4. Any thoughts about driving, My crazy ass husband thought about renting an RV just because of his beloved dog I think any thoughts
    5. Good Websites or books, I have looked for relocating info. but can only find vacation websites and books
    6. Any advise on part of Alaska we are thinking Anchorage area
    7. Do native hospitals pay more??
    8. WHAT DOES THE BUSH MEAN??????

    Thanks I am despreate for an info anyone can give me
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  5. 0
    Hi and welcome. I lived in Alaska in the interior at Ft Greely from 1986 to 1988.

    I would not advise doing travel nursing as a new grad. Usually, travel nurses want at least a full year of experience and with good reason. It really takes a year to develop good organizational skills since travel nurses get little to no orientation.

    We drove from IL to Ft Greely - along the Alaska-Canadian highway in Sept -which was almost too late in the year - we encountered several areas of snow and the road isn't paved completely. We had at that time a brand new 4X4 SUV and were very happy we had that. We travelled with a 1 y/o and a 6 y/o.

    The Indian Health Service (IHS) is a branch of the government that deals with some of the "bush" outposts. Bush means just that - it may not be accessible year round with a car - you may have to fly in. The bush is very remote and I definitely wouldn't recommend it for the faint of heart. It is DARK 6 months of the year, alcohol abuse and TB are rampant in the villages and health care is at a premium. You need to be a very experienced ER RN to handle this and in addition, you must be very independent. Supplies don't come often and lots of times you have to make do.

    Anchorage is rainy (much like Washington state) but very much a city. So is Fairbanks but since it is 600 miles north - it is the 24 hour dark thing too.

    I did love it in Alaska. However, the caveat is that you must be very self-sufficient (changing tires on your own, being able to fend for yourself). The folks that seemed to do best were very outdoorsy people that enjoyed a physical and mental challenge.

    This is not to dissuade you because Anchorage is like any city in the lower 48. However, you need to visit before you accept a position. It is also very, very expensive.
  6. 0
    Quote from traumaRUs
    Hi and welcome. I lived in Alaska in the interior at Ft Greely from 1986 to 1988.

    ...We drove from IL to Ft Greely - along the Alaska-Canadian highway in Sept -which was almost too late in the year - we encountered several areas of snow and the road isn't paved completely. We had at that time a brand new 4X4 SUV and were very happy we had that. We travelled with a 1 y/o and a 6 y/o.

    ...
    Hello TraumaRUs,
    Nice to read your reply here, gives me plenty to think about.

    While I am listing FT WW in Fairbanks as my number 1 base preference with the Army I don't know if I will get it or not and the time of year I would go, if I do, would be smack in the middle of winter.

    It would be crazy drive too from Sam Houston TX to FT WW. Then again, that would only be 'if' I got my first choice.

    There is plenty of time before I could even know but, again, it is very good to read your words.

    Going "north" and even arctic has long been a dream of mine, (long stifled).

    Gen
  7. 0
    We really enjoyed our tour in Alaska. Two years was plenty for me though. You really have to be self-sufficient.
  8. 0
    Quote from traumaRUs
    We really enjoyed our tour in Alaska. Two years was plenty for me though. You really have to be self-sufficient.
    TraumaRUs,

    I hope I do get it.

    If I do you can bet that I will post here to update! Since I was a kid in the 70's when the pipeline was first being built and the stories of facing hardship up North were popular it has long been a dream.

    Also, my family is mixed cultured and includes Northern Cree, which hail from near the tree line (60th parallel I think) in the Arctic Quebec and going North has been related to connecting to my heritage also.

    Of course I will not know if I am hardy enough, emotionally or physically to handle it and look forward to getting the chance to enjoy it if I can.

    Right off the bat I don't doub't the long night will be any issue, nor the long days too. I must really thank all those crazy schedules of midnights to day shift and so on for acclimating me to sleeping in the day. Can't imagine having to try to convince childnen its bedtime!

    Gen
  9. 0
    The kids did have a hard time - mine were little at the time. Ft Wainwright is very nice and Fairbanks is a bustling city. North Pole, AK (think always XMas) is very nice too. The Extreme Home Makeover show did a feature on North Pole recently.

    Fairbanks was 110 miles from where I lived.
  10. 0
    Quote from traumaRUs
    The kids did have a hard time - mine were little at the time. Ft Wainwright is very nice and Fairbanks is a bustling city. North Pole, AK (think always XMas) is very nice too. The Extreme Home Makeover show did a feature on North Pole recently.

    Fairbanks was 110 miles from where I lived.
    TraumaRUs,

    Sounds like you were ooooout there.

    I am not certain how close Basset Hospital is from Fairbanks but, have already found an initial landlord who will let me bring my three cats. So, that is a potential positive.

    Until I get the news if that will be my base or not I will do my best to cool my jets. I am totally enthused to start my final academic year to my RN degree and really look forward to starting my clinical work experience.

    If I had a smiley for crossed fingers, I would use it -->here<--

    Gen
  11. 0
    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.
    Last edit by JMBM on Sep 2, '06
  12. 0
    Quote from gatorh
    My husband is graduating with his RN in Nov. We are seriously wanting to move to Alaska by March or April. He has talked to one Travel Nurse Company ( I can't remeber the name American something I think) but I still have questions because lets face it guys don't ask good questions. I am despreate for answers, we need to start to plan..ANY HELP WOULD BE MUCH APPRECIATED

    1. Good family frinedly travel nurse company?? (thought he would try travel nurse out first to make sure Alaska is for us)
    2 Do some pay for his travel? (FLIGHT, etc..)
    3. Going to Alaska with our 3 yr. old and dog? Any advise on the dog? She is to big to go in the cabin of a plane and the thought of putting her in Cargo like luggage is killing me. I think it is a 13 hr flight.
    4. Any thoughts about driving, My crazy ass husband thought about renting an RV just because of his beloved dog I think any thoughts
    5. Good Websites or books, I have looked for relocating info. but can only find vacation websites and books
    6. Any advise on part of Alaska we are thinking Anchorage area
    7. Do native hospitals pay more??
    8. WHAT DOES THE BUSH MEAN??????

    Thanks I am despreate for an info anyone can give me
    First of all congratulations to you and your husband on making it through nursing school. Second, as a former traveler and current nurse manager, I would not under any circumstances recomment travel nursing as a first job. Travelers are expected to walk in the door and run a floor, clinic, whatever. They are not given a real chance to acclimate. Do not get me wrong, I loved travel nursing, but you need to be an expert in your field prior to taking a travel assignment.
    Have you considered the Daytona Beach Area? I know that it is nothing like Alaska, but we hire new grads into our dialysis clinics, and I work for DaVita whick has great opportunity for advancement. Hope this help.
  13. 0
    Quote from JMBM
    I am an ED nurse working in Alaska, where we've lived for 35 years.

    ...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.

    ...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.

    ... 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.
    Thanks for this post!

    I'm currently in Chicago and the Fairbanks weather doesn't sound too crazy different than I am used to, (well for the -40 that is only briefly in Feb/Mar with our lake Michigan windchill). I highly, highly suspect that once I get there, whenever that is, that I will feel like I may have found home. Hoping to go even further north or more remote if and when my military service is up.
    Gen


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