- 0Apr 26, '06 by qbingirlhello alaska nurses,
i am a nursing student graduating in dec...(can't wait)! i am really really really looking into moving to alaska, but first i want the opinion, experience, and comments from nurses in this state. i am looking to move to anchorage in january if the local hospitals hire new grads...so here are my questions...
will and what hospital will pay for moving expenses?
what hospital will hire new grads & if so what are the chances of being hired on the nicu?
should i wait and take the boards when i get to alaska or should i take them here in florida?
is it same to move there in january with the weather conditions?
what is the average cost of living? i did look at some rentals and they seem to be the same as here...are they any hidden fees i don't know about?
how many months a year is there no sunlight / moonlight?
how do you get to and from work in the extreme weather conditions?
my husband is a heavy equipment mechanic, how do they work outside with the weather?
these are some of my concerns, i have some others but will see what i get as responses. thank you for taking your time to read my post and hope to hear from many of you..
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- 0May 4, '06 by traumaRUs AdminI can help a little. I lived in the interior at Delta Junction (110 miles south of Fairbanks and 500 miles north of Anchorage) from 86 to 88 and brrr it is cold. -50 to -70 in the winter - the good news being that once its 20 or 30 below zero - you don't notice the difference! In the interior where I lives it was dark (and I mean dark, no street lights, nothing) for about five months of the year. During the summer it was light 24/7 - hard to convince the kids to sleep I'll tell you what! You have to be pretty hardy to survive in the interior. We were military and had a built-in support system. Many folks suffer from seasonal affective disorder due to the darkness and extreme cold and snow and sense of isolation. I worked at the Ft Greely CLinic as a clerk (I wasn't a nurse then) and really enjoyed it. I would take the NCLEX in Florida because then you are coming to Alaska as a new grad and its a little easier to get hired.
Okay - hope that helps.
- 0May 16, '06 by JMBMOkay, let's see. Remember that when you ask about Alaska, you are asking about an area as large as the entire western United States. Trying to describe it in one message is like trying to describe living in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Montana and several other states....... There are two major private hospitals (Providence and Alaska Regional) and one public hospital (Alaska Native Medical Center) in Anchorage. There are smaller hospitals in Palmer, Fairbanks and Kenai and smaller facilities in many villages around the state. I am not familiar with hospitals in southeastern Alaska. I'd go on the websites and query them about hiring. I know that most of them list open positions and give contact info for their recruiters. The nursing shortage is not nearly as acute in Alaska as other places. I'm not aware of them paying moving expenses for new grads but it never hurts to ask. New grad positions are out there, but the hospitals are not recruiting as fiercely as I hear they are in the lower 48. ..As far as living, Anchorage is your average small American city with all the stores, McDonalds, etc that you might expect. The cost of living is comparable to Seattle or San Francisco. Since it is on the coast, Anchorage's climate is fairly moderate, although it may seem pretty cool to someone from Florida. Most of the summer, its around 60 during the day and we get alot of rain, although a hot day in July is in the 80's. We'll have an occasional streak of subzero temperatures in January and February, but the winters are usually in the teens to twenties. We'll have snow on/off from October to April. The trick is the light/darkness. In late December and January, we have around 4-6 hours of daylight, which really gets some folks. ... Now, once you leave the coast, things change. Fairbanks is similar to most medium size towns as far as facilities. Weather-wise, it is not unusual for them to get over 90 in the summer and to hit 30 below for a week or two several times during the winter. ... In my experience, the two things that bother folks the most up here is the darkness in the winter and the distance from family in the lower 48. I'm no expert in the construction industry, but its my impression that most outdoor work is cut way back or stops in the winter. .... If I were you, I'd look on a move to Alaska as an adventure. If it works out, great. If not, there are lots of places in this world. If you like the outdoors and don't mind the cold, there is nowhere else in the world like Alaska. If you enjoy more cities and the closeness of family, Alaska can seem like the end of the world. Best of luck
- 0May 17, '06 by qbingirlJMBM, thank you for this great information. Would it be crazy of me to try and move to Anchorage in January? Also are there furniture rental stores there so i can sell my stuff here and just rent them up there? i figure that it will be cheaper to get new stuff up there then ship everything over. Thanks again for your response. I did email several hospitals 2 weeks ago and have not heard a response...hope i will shortly.
- 0May 22, '06 by JMBMAnchorage is a city of 300,000 with all you'd expect in a city that size. There are several furniture places and rental places. I'd probably check out the website for the Anchorage Daily News. They are the largest paper in the state. You can read up on local news and get some idea of what things cost. As far as contacting recruiters, you might be better off calling them on the phone. Alaskan employers get alot of inquiries from people only casually interested in the state, especially during the summer months. You'd do well to set yourself apart by showing some extra interest. You could move up in January (or any month). Just be ready for it to be cold and dark for several months. Alot of Alaskans vacation during January and February just for that reason. You might be careful about driving up during the deep winter. (you will need a car - Anchorage's bus system is not very good.) There are some very long, lonely stretches on the Alaska-Canada road and it routinely hits -40 in the Yukon and Interior Alaska. Anyway, you have lots of time. Best of luck.
- 0May 23, '06 by Lynn1956University of Alaska Anchorage has a nursing program that has new grads hitting the market in December so you would be competing with them for jobs in January. they don't do double backflips for new grads-maybe it would be better to get a year under your belt at home then consider a move up. Driving up in early to mid-September is beautiful with the leaves turning in Canada and Alaska, plus the tourists have gone home.
- 0May 24, '06 by ChristineAkHi, I agree with the last post. UAA lets loose about 35-40 new grads 3x a year so you will be competing for jobs with them. However, I have not heard of anyone NOT getting a job after graduation. Don't expect relocation benefits unless youre a seasoned nurse in a specialty that is in high demand. All the hospitals hire new grads, as far as NICU....I know that Providence has offered an intership/fellowship program in the past but is very difficult for new grads to get into. The native hospital is always looking for peds nurses and will consider new grads, if you can get in there they will likely train you in NICU after about 6-12+ mos. of peds experience.
January is usually very, very cold. Getting around in extreme weather conditions? Well, my trusty subaru gets me to wherever I need to go! Hope my 2 cents helps out...
- 0Jul 29, '06 by astnmAs to your question about moving up to Anchorage in January. Yes it is safe. In fact I moved up to Alaska in January about 4 years ago now. I am attending UAA and will graduate in December of this year. Providence has a really great intership program for new graduates. I have not heard of any new grads having trouble finding work. In fact, a couple of the nurses that I have worked with during clinicals have been new grads. If you want information on the internship at Providence go to www.providence.org . Also, as far as furniture rentals we have Rent-A-Center and a few others. Anchorage is a big town. Also, for transportation during the winter months just make sure you have studded tires or snow tires and you should be fine. Of course 4 wheel drive is the best but not absolutely necessary. Rent in town ranges from $900/month and up depending on what you are looking for. I hope this helps you in your decision to move to Anchorage.