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WORKFORCE

Workforce challenges are multifaceted and represent one of the greatest pressure points in healthcare for Alaska and nationally. Following prolonged stress from the COVID-19 pandemic, workforce challenges are especially intense and are anticipated to worsen over time. 

This page contains data on Alaska's healthcare workforce, AHHA's strategies for working collaboratively to find solutions and support facilities in recruiting and retention efforts, and links to resources and readings.

Funding for Facility-Led Initiatives

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AHHA members may apply for start-up or pilot funding for workforce initiatives to try out new ideas, gather data on outcomes, and secure longer-term funding for successful strategies.

Workforce Report

AHHA commissioned Juneau-based Rain Coast Data to conduct a healthcare workforce statistical analysis which was published in December 2022. This report includes data and analysis of Alaska healthcare jobs, earnings, wages, growth projections, and workforce demographics.

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Our Approach

Learn more about AHHA's strategy to support members and work with community partners to grow the healthcare workforce.

contact a member of our workforce team to learn more about ways to get engaged:

Elizabeth King, MPH
Senior Director of Behavioral Health & Workforce

Nikki Holmes, RN, MBA

Director of Healthcare Workforce

Marjie Hamburger
Workforce Initiatives Manager

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PIPELINE

Forge strong partnerships between the healthcare industry, schools, and students (K-12+) to recruit, train, and graduate healthcare professionals to build a sustainable workforce pipeline in Alaska.

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PATHWAYS

Develop healthcare career pathways and professional development opportunities to provide training and advance skills that will improve patient care and employee retention.

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PROTECTION

Develop and implement practices that support wellness, increase resiliency, and address burnout, violence, and other threats to retention. Remove barriers that overburden the industry and workers.
 

Pipeline

Current initiatives include the following programs, partnerships and resources:
 

Pathways

Current initiatives include the following programs, partnerships and resources:
 

  • Nursing Professional Development and Specialty Training: The Alaska Perioperative Nursing Consortium was formed in 2011 and was later followed by a perinatal training. AHHA is currently exploring options to revive the perinatal training, provide psychiatric specialty training, and continue to broaden our training programs to encompass other needed sub-specialties.
     

  • Gero Nurse Prep is an online training course to prepare RNs who care for elders to attain board certification in Gerontological Nursing by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). This course equips RNs with essential clinical knowledge, skills, and competencies for gerontological nursing practice and leadership of elder care teams. Click here for more information about course reimbursement and registration for AHHA members.
     

  • Nurse Technician regulation changes: AHHA recommends changes to the State of Alaska nursing regulations to allow for a new role, Nurse Technician (NT), so that student nurses hired by healthcare facilities would be able to perform nursing duties beyond the CNA-level. AHHA formed a working group to draft proposed changes that will be presented to the Board of Nursing on February 1, 2023. Click here to view the Nurse Technician concept paper.
     

  • Providence Nurse Residency Pilot Project: AHHA is joining forces with Providence to offer a nurse residency pilot program for small and rural facilities around Alaska that would work to reduce turnover among new nurse graduates. Please contact AHHA’s workforce team for more information. You can access the informational webinar (password: 5T@BW8xT) and the slide presentation to learn more.

Protection
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Current initiatives include the following programs, partnerships and resources:
 

  • Engage Facilities in Efforts to Address Burnout: AHHA has partnered with DES Health Consulting on a burnout and wellness initiative pilot project led by Dr. Dan Shapiro. Five facilities are part of an initial cohort that began working together in December, 2021. 
     

  • Wellness Resources: In response to increased burnout, depression and other forms of distress among healthcare workers, AHHA created a resource page for professionals and facilities to provide a collection of tools for finding and providing support, and strategies for creating work environments that prioritize the well-being of healthcare workers.
     

  • Workplace Violence Prevention: AHHA's Workplace Violence Prevention Toolkit includes resources to support hospital leaders in communicating with staff, working with law enforcement, and developing comprehensive workplace violence prevention plans.

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