With many rural areas in need of advanced healthcare, registered nurses in Alaska are finding that continuing their education with a Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN) is a worthwhile endeavor. Nurses looking to enter or advance in administration, education, or certain specialized roles will need to complete a graduate-level RN to MSN degree. Luckily, there are online options to help interested RNs reach their educational goals.

RN to MSN Admissions Requirements in Alaska

Applying to a Master's degree program is a big decision. Alaska offers a Master's program for those who have already completed a BSN program. Applicants should ensure that they fulfill all other entrance requirements, which may include:

  • Graduation from an ACEN or CCNE accredited BSN program
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0
  • Active, unencumbered registered professional nurse license in the state of Alaska
  • Minimum of 1 year of half-time clinical experience as an RN
  • Submission of professional resume and three letters of professional recommendation
  • Evidence of current CPR certification and satisfactory health status, including up to date immunizations

RN to MSN Courses

Students entering an RN to MSN program can expect to take high-level, specialized nursing courses, typically followed by a clinical portion. The main BSN to MSN program in Alaska is through the University of Alaska-Anchorage, which offers the following graduate level nursing courses:

  • Role Development in Advanced Nursing
  • Nursing Health Policy
  • Evidence-Based Advanced Nursing Practice
  • Knowledge Development for Advanced Nursing Practice
  • Biostatistics for Health Professionals

Online RN to MSN Programs in Alaska

The University of Alaska-Anchorage is the main school offering an BSN to MSN program in the state, and it happens to be completely online. Online learning has gained traction in the last few years, and many busy RNs find the flexible nature of these programs ideal for keeping job and/or family commitments intact while earning their graduate degrees. Part-time or full-time study is usually available via online programs.

Featured Online School

The University of Alaska-Anchorage's RN to MSN program offers a specialized track in nursing leadership with a concentration in nursing education or administration, as well as family nurse practitioner and psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner tracks. Students attend classes online, but are expected to provide their own transportation to clinical sites. Academic progress requirements include: maintaining academic and professional standards at all times, earning a minimum 3.0 GPA in all required coursework, and completing a scholarly project no later than 3 semesters after completion of the final clinical course.

Admissions and Program Length

The BSN to MSN program at the University of Alaska-Anchorage is designed to be completed in six to eight semesters of study. There is an admission deadline of December 1 for the specialty tracks, and applicants may request admission to graduate study once their application is completed. This allows them to take more than 9 credits while waiting to hear back about admission to a specialty track. Roughly 50 total credits are needed to complete the program.

Tuition and Cost of Attendance

The cost of earning an MSN degree can include many different components, from tuition to books to mandatory school fees. The University of Alaska-Anchorage charges graduate tuition of $444 per credit hour for in-state residents. This does not include extras like course materials or fees. Financial aid is typically available for students who qualify.

RN to MSN Career Pathways in Alaska

An MSN degree can lead to promising careers in the state of Alaska. In fact, the University of Alaska-Anchorage allows students to complete the clinical components of the MSN program anywhere in the state, from rural to urban settings, so students can get a sense of what kind of setting they prefer to work in upon graduating. Careers that can be obtained with an MSN degree include:

  • Nurse Educator
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse Administrator

RN to MSN Salary Comparison

While salaries can vary depending on experience, location, and what type of specialty a nurse is in, RNs who hold a graduate-level degree can expect to earn more than their colleagues who hold lower nursing degrees. For example, a nurse practitioner in Anchorage, Alaska earns an annual base salary of $114,949, while the average registered nurse in the same city earns roughly $76,169 annually.

Helpful Links

RN to MSN Listings

While the state of Alaska does not have any RN to MSN on-campus offerings, many nursing programs are starting to offer accredited MSN degrees fully online. While the average MSN program is 2 years of study, online courses offer nursing students the flexibility to start at varying times and to complete coursework and clinical placements on a more flexible schedule.

University of Alaska Anchorage
3211 Providence Drive
Anchorage, AK 99508
(907) 786-1800