Skip to main content
Rural Health Information Hub

Alaska Subspecialty Nursing Consortium

  • Year Network was Established: 2011
  • Grant Period: 2012-2015
  • Program Representative Interviewed: Shannon Updike, Dennis Murray, Karen Wolfred
  • Service Area: Statewide
  • Program Overview: Alaska has historically faced challenges recruiting and retaining specialty nurses, and relied on traveling nurses to fill gaps and vacancies in specialty areas. This solution was expensive and staffing was inconsistent. To address the specialty nursing shortages, the Alaska Hospital and Healthcare Association created the Alaska Perioperative Nursing Consortium (APNC) in 2011.

    The APNC developed a 17-week perioperative training program for nurses across the state, particularly targeting rural areas. This training was delivered by rural- and urban-based nurses who volunteered to co-conduct trainings with other nurses in exchange for membership in the network. Under the training program, urban and rural nurse interns from member hospitals are provided subspecialty training twice a year in Anchorage. Typically, 12-15 nurses attend three to four one-week didactic sessions in Anchorage and are precepted by their sponsoring facilities in the weeks between sessions.

    APNC added a 13-week perinatal training program that included a distance learning portion in addition to the in-person portion. This hybrid model provides a more affordable and accessible option for providers in remote locations.

    The Alaska Perioperative Nursing Consortium (APNC) changed its name to the Alaska Subspecialty Nursing Consortium (AkSNC) to better reflect its goal to expand to other subspecialty areas of nursing. There are currently 14 hospitals and medical centers member partners in APNC.