With an Impending Nursing Shortage, UAA’s School of Nursing Steps up to the Plate


UAA School of Nursing students suit up for operating room (OR) orientation. Courtesy of UAA School of Nursing.

In the United States, health care is one of the fastest growing job sectors in the country. According to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, in 2014, 11.8 million workers were employed in the health care industry, with 2.7 million of that workforce represented by registered nurses. With the average age of nurses being 50 or older, and 30 percent of that workforce preparing to retire, public and private health care organizations across the country, including in Alaska, are bracing for a nationwide nursing shortage.

It’s not the first time this has happened. The health care industry experienced a similar nationwide nursing shortage in the 1970s and ’80s as more women entered the workforce with alternative career options than the traditional nurse, school teacher or secretary that their mothers or grandmothers had.

Alaska has not been immune to these national trends and experienced similar shortages during the ’70s and ’80s along with the rest of the country. Briefly during the ’90s and early 2000s the health care industry in Alaska recovered. But with an aging nursing population heading into retirement over the next decade, Alaska’s health care industry is turning to Alaska’s university to lead the charge in educating the next generation of nurses.

Read the full article here.

Source: With an impending nursing shortage, UAA’s School of Nursing steps up to the plate -The Cordova Times

Workforce Wednesday: Medical Science Academy at Bartlett High School

For the past eight years, Bartlett High School has been getting the next wave of medical professionals interested in the industry. The program is called the Medical Science Academy, and is open to most students in the Anchorage School District.

Sean Prince, Bartlett’s principal, says it has one primary teacher who teaches a wide range of the classes. Her name is Yvette Stone, and she started the program almost a decade ago. Stone has been teaching for nearly 20 years, according to Prince. She teaches anatomy and physiology classes, even some advanced classes students can get college credit for. Students who go through the program will even job shadow over at JBER. While there, they will experience live births, work in the pharmacy and more.

One soon to be graduate, Sunecke “Journey” Prieto said going through the program reinforced her interest in neurosciences. She plans to go to Oklahoma to pursue becoming a neurologist.

More information can be found at the Alaska Process Industry Careers Consortium website. Bartlett is an open enrollment school. If a student is interested they, or a parent, can head to the Anchorage School District’s website and apply for an exemption, and then start in the Medical Science Academy.

Watch the Workforce Wednesday segment here.

Source: Workforce Wednesday: Medical Science Academy at Bartlett High School – KTVA 11 – The Voice of Alaska

New Surgical Technology Program Helps Meet Industry Need

Surgical techs Curtis Phelps, left, and Kristi Brooks pose for a photo in an operating room at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage, Alaska on Wednesday, April 5, 2017. Brooks is the director of UAA’s surgical technology program. (Photo by Phil Hall / University of Alaska Anchorage)

When Jerica Masangcay was a young girl, she would watch as caregivers took care of her grandmother, who suffered from pressure ulcers caused by obesity, thyroid problems and diabetes.

“They made her feel loved, dressed her many wounds with the most delicate touch, made sure she was comfortable and that her dignity was always a priority,” Masangcay recounted. “From then, I always knew it was in my future to be able to provide excellent, compassionate care to those in need.”

Masangcay found work assisting elderly patients and, later, helping patients at Providence Transitional Care Center. She then helped patients who received open-heart surgery, stents and pacemakers before working in Providence’s emergency room.

“I first became interested in surgery, and becoming a surgical tech, after I had numerous patients who were post-coronary artery bypass graft,” she said. “I always wondered how the surgeon was able to take one artery or vein and attach it to another part of the heart, to make that heart pump and work as if it were brand new.”

Masangcay considered going to nursing school, or becoming a radiologist, but what she really wanted was a career that would enable her to see surgeries up close and in person, rather than just seeing them online.

Read the full article here.

Source: New surgical technology program helps meet industry need – Alaska Business Monthly

Workforce Wednesday: Promising Industries

On Workforce Wednesday, KTVA sat down with State Economist Neil Fried who discussed what industries provided the best opportunities for someone in Alaska hoping to join the workforce.

According to Neil, some of the best industries to aim for when looking for work in the state are healthcare, mining, tourism, fishing and air cargo. These Industries are essential for Alaska, and therefore will always need positions filled.

When asked which industry provided what he believed to be the best opportunity for employment, Neil stated that he believed healthcare was the best bet. Due to people always needing care despite changing times, and how the need for healthcare grows as our population grows, that the business of healthcare was a great place to look for employment.

Neil also believes that younger people looking to enter the field are in a great position to find work in today’s world.

Watch the Workforce Wednesday segment here.

Source: Workforce Wednesday: Promising Industries – KTVA 11 – The Voice of Alaska

Workforce Wednesday: Dental Laboratory Technician

A Dental Laboratory Technician is a career in the medical field which directly impacts a person’s day-to-day life and requires attention to detail.

Sean Siegal, owner of Castable Ceramics, says the goal is to take prescriptions from local dental offices and fill them. This would entail creating crowns, molars, and even dentures. These ceramics are not fake teeth, according to Siegel, they are the real deal.

People can expect the pay to range anywhere from $15 an hour. And could go all the way to $100,000 a year. No prior experience is required to get started in some cases.

Head to the Alaska Process Industry Careers Consortium website to learn more about this career.

Watch the Workforce Wednesday Segment here.

Source: Workforce Wednesday: Dental Laboratory Technician – KTVA 11 – The Voice of Alaska