As part of UAA’s response to the growing COVID-19 pandemic, the College of Health (COH) and School of Nursing (SON) are supporting nursing students to help them join Alaska’s health workforce as quickly as possible — potentially sooner than they would otherwise be able to.
Through this initiative, students who are in the final semester of their nursing program are given the option to complete course requirements on an expedited timeline so they can graduate early. This offer is available to up to 72 nursing students in good academic standing who are in their final semester of UAA’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing or A.A.S. in nursing programs.
“Our professors did an amazing job pulling that off,” said Mandi Lyon, one of the early nursing graduates. “They really took their time to make sure students were safe. I feel confident to enter the workforce and I don’t feel that I’m any less prepared than I would be if COVID had not hit.”
“As unfortunate as this situation is, we joined this career field because we want to help people and give back to the community,” added fellow nursing graduate April Brown. “The fact that we are graduating at this time gives us that opportunity.”
Students who are approved for early graduation will be able to apply for temporary licensure from the Alaska Board of Nursing, which qualifies them to practice for six months. These students will still be required to take the national licensing exam within six months to obtain full licensure as a registered nurse, but will be able to begin practicing before taking the exam.
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