Duties, Knowledge, Skills and Abilities of Nurse PractitionersCareer News September 21, 2013
Nurse practitioners in Alaska fulfill an essential role in the delivery of healthcare. Your job duties may include conducting medical exams, ordering laboratory tests, prescribing medication, interpreting test results, ordering imaging tests, diagnosing and treating acute or chronic medical conditions. They also provide education and counseling to patients as part of ongoing care. As a nurse practitioner, you’ll be nationally certified, but will also need to be licensed to practice in the state of Alaska. You might work in a health clinic, school, doctor’s office, hospital, outpatient center or a nursing home. You may have to work nights and weekends to accommodate the needs of your patients.
Benefits of a Nursing Career
As a nurse practitioner, you’ll need to have earned a master’s degree plus licensure to practice. Since your licensure requires ongoing nursing education, you’ll be able to maintain a current skill set and adapt to the fast pace of change in medical technology and treatments. You’ll also have the opportunity to educate others about living a healthy lifestyle. Part of your job duties might include educating other nurses about a particular specialty, technique or treatment.
Rewards of Working in Nursing
You’ll have the flexibility to work when you desire, such as working during the day while your children are at school. If you prefer working weekends and spending weekdays at home with your young children, you can do that. You may be able to treat your patients for many years, building a strong practice and relationship with them. The salary earned by a nurse practitioner in Alaska is higher than the average for all occupations. You’ll also enjoy the wide variety of work environments and areas of practice.
Alaska Nursing Job Opportunities
The state of Alaska has many opportunities in the healthcare industry, especially in advanced practice nursing. The rate of growth for this profession is expected to be 31 percent between 2012 and 2022 (3). This is due to the aging of the American population, population growth, increased demand for medical care and retirement of many of those currently employed in nursing. The health services industry is the third largest sector of employment in Alaska, after utilities and government (4). Most opportunities as a nurse practitioner will be in larger cities, with Fairbanks experiencing the most growth in the past 12 months. Nurses who are willing to travel and serve remote areas may have additional opportunities to work in the state of Alaska. Caring for under-served populations, such as native Alaskans, is another option to consider when seeking a position.