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: Aviation Maintenance Technologies

On this workforce Wednesday, we take a look at the field of aviation maintenance technologies. A technician in this field is responsible for replacing and repairing plane parts, and diagnosing maintenance problems as they arise. We were joined by Paul Herrick with UAA’s aviation technology department.

He described the local program at UAA that prepares students to take the certification exam necessary to become a certified mechanic or a maintenance technician. The program is FAA approved, and Paul considers the program within the top ten percent as far as quality in the nation.

The best type of person suited for the job, according to Paul, is a person with attention to detail, who can remain focused and exact. Someone with a strong sense of responsibility is also preferred, as they are protecting the public’s safety.

Positions in aviation maintenance technologies typically pay between $22 and $45 an hour, but that scale is largely based on experience and time within a certain company.

Watch the Workforce Wednesday segment here.

Source: Workforce Wednesday: Aviation maintenance technologies – 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

ANSEP Summer Bridge

Incoming UAA Freshman Augustine Hamner and ANSEP COO Mike Bourdukofsky visit with Morning Line host Danny Preston. Credit Koahnic Broadcast Corporation

Recent East High School graduate Augustine Hamner spent her summer in an extraordinarily productive way – taking an advanced math course and working for a major corporation.

This was all part of Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program’s Summer Bridge component, which is the most recent step she’s taken with ANSEP to prepare her for college.

Augustine has been actively involved with ANSEP since the 8th grade. The confident & well-spoken incoming college freshman reminisced about building her own computer so many years ago, and plans to major in Mechanical Engineering when she starts courses in a couple of weeks at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

This summer, she got hands-on experience interning for BP. Augustine says she worked within an Integrity Management team of six chemical engineers, helping analyze corrosion data from pipeline inspection and maintenance devices called a Pigging Barrel and a Smart Pig. She also managed to squeeze in Calculus II, completing the course in just five weeks.

ANSEP Chief Operating Officer Mike Bourdukofsky says that through ANSEP, 26 high school graduates like Augustine had the opportunity to take a college math or science course while gaining career experience through paid STEM field internships.

Listen to the interview here.

Source: As Heard on Morning Line: ANSEP Summer Bridge | knba

At Alaska Middle College School Students an Earn a High School Diploma and Associate’s Degree at the Same Time

Zavier Alers, standing near center in a blue T-shirt, leads an icebreaker exercise for students of Alaska Middle College School on Aug. 21, 2017. (Marc Lester / Alaska Dispatch News)

Monday marked the first day of school for tens of thousands of Anchorage students and the first day of the school district’s latest program: the Alaska Middle College School, where students can earn an associate’s degree and high school diploma at the same time, at no cost to them.

About 140 Anchorage high school juniors and seniors have enrolled in the middle college and on Monday morning, they split into five classrooms at the University of Alaska Anchorage Chugiak-Eagle River Campus to meet one another and attend lessons on how college works.

“There’s a lot more independence in your future,” Teacher David Maker told one group of teenagers. “You’re not going to have the amount of babysitting you’ve had the past two years.”

For the remainder of the week, the high school students will attend “boot camp” classes before they’re thrust into UAA lectures with university students.

“They’re university students, they have a university ID badge,” said Anchorage School District Superintendent Deena Bishop. “We’re not turning the university into high school, high school is stepping up the game.”

While the middle college students will attend regular university-level classes, they will also have access to two high school teachers who will hold “support seminars” in the building to review material, said Kathy Moffitt, ASD’s administrative projects director.

Read the full article here.

Source: At Alaska Middle College School, students can earn a high school diploma and associate’s degree at the same time – Alaska Dispatch News