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For obvious reasons, four-year university graduates receive a much broader education when compared to students who attend college for two years. Consequently, many enter their professions with a deeper understanding of the day-to-day operations, communal goals, and culture of the workplace. After attending a four-year university, students can demonstrate to potential employers that they not only have the technical knowledge, but also the well-rounded background education that makes them strong candidates for leadership positions in the future.

For students who have a specific career goal in mind, as well as the motivation to complete the required coursework over time, bachelor's, and especially master's, degrees in nursing reward graduates with better pay and more advanced positions.

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Graduates of the four-year bachelor's program in registered nursing at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) can anticipate earning an average annual salary of $84,500 when they join the rest of the 3,600 RNs practicing in Anchorage. Those who have gone on to graduate with a master's degree in registered nursing at UAA can earn as much as $98,880 per year. Compare that with registered nurses who receive a two-year associate's degree elsewhere in Anchorage and earn an average of $70,730 annually, and you can see the present and future rewards of attending a four-year university.

Alaska has some of the highest nurses’ salaries in the nation, and the higher the education, the greater the professional and financial rewards. PeaceHealth, located in Ketchikan, is the top employer of nurses in Alaska, hiring from the wide variety of degrees the state offers.

Below are the top four-year colleges and universities statewide that can help you pursue your career in nursing.

Featured Schools


Charter College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
University of Alaska Anchorage
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Nursing Education
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion

Other Alaska cities

University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
University of Alaska Southeast
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing