work in Alaska

  1. 0
    Hello all,

    My husband is military and we will be stationed in alaska and I was wondering what the demand for RNs were in fairbanks or Anchorage? How are the areas as far as things to do and expenses? what about the cold, the 6 mths of light/6 mths of day. is that hard to adjust to? I have two small dogs a chiuhua (sp) and a pekingese. will they be okay. oh and let's not forget the bonus that residents get every year! How does that work and how long after do you qualify. how is the pay for RN, i looked up online and salary.com says midrange salary was 70k. What would a new grad make? i am interested in cosmetic, OR, and ER. Anyone that lives there please respond

    thanks Niki

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  2. 6 Comments...

  3. 1
    You didn't say if you'd be in Anchorage or Fairbanks - they are quite a bit different and a 12-hour drive apart. There are three hospitals in Anchorage (Providence, Alaska Regional and Alaska Native Medical Center), along with one on the AFB and one about 50 miles north of here (Mat-Su Regional). All five are very short of nurses, but most in specialties. Hospital RNs in Anchorage get around $20-$25/hr, so your info of $70,000/yr is a bit high. I don't think that any of the Anchorage hospitals hire new grads into the OR or ER, but there are some private surgery centers that might. There's one hospital in Fairbanks (Fairbanks Memorial) and one on the army base there. I don't know their pay rates, but I'd guess they are similar to Anchorage. .... As far as living here, Anchorage is like most any small American city (around 300,000). We have plenty of malls, theaters, stores, cultural events and traffic jams. Fairbanks is much more the small town (around 40,000). Anchorage has pretty mild weather, being on the ocean. A hot day is 80 degrees and it seldom gets below 10 below in the winter. Fairbanks is in the middle of the state and gets pretty hot (95 degrees+) and cold (below -40). The light/dark does bother alot of folks (alot of us vacation in January/February), but the thing that gets most people is being far from "home". We're 4 time zones from the east coast and a four hour flight from Seattle. Going to grandma's for the holidays isn't usually an option. I'd go onto the website of the Anchorage Daily News, the state's largest paper, to get a feel for activities and prices up here.
    To get more info on hospitals, go onto the website for the Alaska Emergency Nurses Association. They have an map with all the Alaska hospitals listed along with websites. ...... Anyway, hope you have a great trip. We've been here 30 years and probably will never leave.
    fmrnicumom likes this.
  4. 0
    Quote from JMBM
    You didn't say if you'd be in Anchorage or Fairbanks - they are quite a bit different and a 12-hour drive apart. There are three hospitals in Anchorage (Providence, Alaska Regional and Alaska Native Medical Center), along with one on the AFB and one about 50 miles north of here (Mat-Su Regional). All five are very short of nurses, but most in specialties. ...

    go onto the website for the Alaska Emergency Nurses Association. They have an map with all the Alaska hospitals listed along with websites. ...... Anyway, hope you have a great trip. We've been here 30 years and probably will never leave.
    Hello JMBM,
    Nice to read your advice. Currently I am waiting to see if I am accepted into the Army Nurse Corps as a nurse candidate, (my graduation date is June 2007).

    My application won't be reviewed until the beginning of October and will take another month but, my first base preference was in Fairbanks.
    Gen
  5. 0
    Hello JMBM and Dom's Mom. I live in Anchorage AK and have lived in AK for 16 years. I'll be getting my LPN in December, and looking for a job as well. RN wages around are pretty good. I've been told starting is about $25 in a hospital. If you're moving up here Dom's Mom I recommend Anchorage. I lived in Fairbanks for 2 years and it was really nice in the summer accept for the forest fires that smoke up the town every year. The main problem though is it averages about -35 in the winter or colder. Anchorage can still get cold but not like that and for not as long. As for the light and dark thing, it's really nice in the summer to have so much light and you just pull your shade when you're ready for bed. For the dark I recommend full spectrum lighting in your house and work, it helps a lot. I also had a correction to make on how long it takes to drive to Fairbanks. It's only 360 something miles away, so it takes about 6 hours in the winter 5 in the summer. It's a beautiful drive all year and there's a lot of pit stops along the way which is nice. I hope you get a chance to enjoy the beauty here.
    M Olsen
  6. 0
    Hey i was reading your question and im am having the same issue. i am currently in MD and i will be moving to fairbanks,ak in May 2007. i graduate from a BSN program May 19th, 2007 and i am concerned about finding a job also. so far i havent gotten any response from those only TWO hospitals in fairbanks. So i guess i have to wait until i get there. I am interested in mother/baby but im afriad i will have to end up in med-surg. My husband is in the miitary also he is a 2nd LT and we will be stationed at Fort Wainwright so i understand all your concerns and hopefully i could get as much information. But i guess no matter what people tell you, you wont really find out until you get there. GOod luck.
  7. 0
    Hi there, I am significantly south of both of those locations, but still in beautiful Alaska. I, too, am a military spouse. As a military family, you will not qualify for the PFD - the 'free money' every year for living in Alaska. That is specifically for Alaskan residents. Yes, once you change your vehicle registration, drivers license and register to vote here you are a resident. However, the application for the PFD includes a section that explains that you need to be willing to sign the waiver that states your intentions to remain in Alaska. Military orders that have an 'end date' for the tour disqualify the family from obtaining the PFD.

    Some members have gotten around it by purchasing a home and saying it is their retirement home to come back to. Or by putting in chits to request to remain in Alaska in effort to CYA in cause of audit. Some have worked, others haven't. I know of two families that have already moved out of the state (transfered on orders) that have had to pay back ALL PFD monies for everyone in the family that has collected - with interest. OUCH!! You may want to ask you legal department for advise before jumping on that bandwagon. I'm sure you'll hear of a lot of folks doing it, but it doesn't make it right, or safe.

    Sorry, I can't help answer any questions about working in those areas. However, if you plan to drive up, make sure you get a copy of the Milepost book - it is very helpful.

    Sorry to sound like such a downer - we did a double tour here, bought a house, I work and volunteer in the community, our kids go to school here, I vote actively in every election and attend assembly borough meetings - I am as 'resident' as it gets, but because of the legalities, I prefer to not put my family's future financial stability at risk or my husband's military career for falisifing a statement.
  8. 0
    Hey, I was a military brat, and we did two tours for a total of 7 years at Ft. Greely (100miles south of Fairbanks). The Free money aka Dividend has special restrictions as the one poster mentioned. One of them being you have to return to Alaska for a minimum of two weeks and stay there for that period of time every year. We remained AK residents for some 18 years, but never took the Dividend. I think you'll really like it. Having moved to Alabama from Alaska, I miss it quite often. Its unlike any place you'll ever live. Fairbanks is nice, lots of rivers and lakes. Nothing like going over to Chenna or Circle Hot Springs, its great. Denali is approx 100 miles to the south from Fairbanks, and its beautiful. I don't know about those driving times that the one poster posted. With her calculations you would be doing around 65-70 the entire time. It typically took us around 7-8 hours to get to Anchorage, and that was being 50 miles closer than Fairbanks is to Anchorage. The Speed limits are 55 in AK (unless they have changed) and what we think of as an interstate does not exist, they are all back country roads so to speak (one way up/one way down). Now granted things could have changed since I was there, so if they have I appologize. If they have changed some, that just makes me wanna go back even more. Hope you love it up there, I know I did. Great place to grow up in.


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