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State Spotlight: Alaska

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The Last Frontier State offers memorable experiences and beautiful views, like this one near the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska.

This month’s State Spotlight takes us to amazing Alaska! The largest U.S. state by area happily embraces its outdoorsy vibe, the arts, and a fresh take on local good eats. Read on to discover the adventures and culture that await you in The Last Frontier State.  

Travel Nursing in Alaska:

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Alaska is home to approximately 27 hospitals, 24 of these provide general acute care and just three provide specialized care. According to the U.S. News & World Report, the top three overall best hospitals in Alaska are Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage, Alaska Regional Hospital also in Anchorage, and Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau. Alaska also ranked #25 in healthcare and #18 in opportunity in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 Best States List. Not surprisingly, oil, gas, fishing, and tourism are the bedrock of Alaska’s economy.

When it comes to licensing, Alaska is a NURSYS state, but it is not a compact state. You can learn more about Alaska’s licensure process here.

Alaska Fast Facts:

State Nickname: The Last Frontier

Capital: Juneau

Largest City: Anchorage

National Parks: 8

State Parks: 120

State Motto: “North to the Future.”

State Flower: Forget-me-not

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Denali is a Koyukon word that means “High One.”

State Tree: Sitka spruce

State Bird: Alaska Willow Ptarmigan

State Rock: Jade

Alaska was the 49th state.

Of the 20 highest peaks in the United States, 17 are in Alaska.

Denali, the highest peak in North America, is 20,320 feet above sea level. 

Alaska has 6,640 miles of coastline and, including islands, has 33,904 miles of shoreline.

Alaska has more land area than Texas, California & Montana combined.

Alaska is less than 50 miles from Russia.

More than half the world’s glaciers can be found in Alaska.

It is illegal to whisper in someone’s ear while they are moose hunting in Alaska.

Giant vegetables are common in Alaska due to the extremely long days in summer. Alaska has grown a record cabbage weighing in at 94 pounds.

The nation’s two largest forests are located in Alaska. The Tongass in Southeast includes 16.8 million acres and Chugach in Southcentral has 4.8 million acres.

There is no sales tax in Alaska.

Famous people from Alaska include, singer/songwriter Jewel, actor James Morrison, actress Irene Bedard, (the voice of Disney’s Pocahontas) former governor Sarah Palin, four-time winner of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Susan Butcher, baseball pitcher Curt Schilling, alpine skier and Olympic medalist Tommy Moe, and basketball player Carlos Boozer.

To Do & See in Alaska:

To live in Alaska is to be surrounded by natural beauty 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In fact, the state shines in the summer and dazzles in the winter. From cross-country skiing to dog-sledding, it’s almost impossible not to enjoy all the outdoor activities Alaska has to offer.

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Dall sheep call Denali home.

For example, Denali National Park and Preserve is a great place to jumpstart your Alaska experience. Open from mid-May to mid-September, the park covers more than 6 million acres of land and is home to North America’s tallest peak, Denali. If mountain climbing sounds a bit daunting, you can backpack through the tundra, take a bike or bus ride down the Denali Park Road, check out a few glaciers, and even search for wildlife in the summer. If you’re lucky, you might see Denali’s famous Dall sheep or a herd of caribou. Wildlife sightings aren’t guaranteed, but you can still soak up all the scenic sights that make this park incredible!

While many people who visit Alaska come for the outdoor adventures, there’s also plenty to see and do in the state’s major cities, Anchorage, Juneau, and Fairbanks. As the largest city in the state, Anchorage knows how to throw a good party and there’s always something social going on. If you’re there in the summertime, you simply must attend Anchorage’s Summer Solstice Festival and discover what a midnight sun looks like — Hint: It’s pretty fabulous! If you miss out on the Summer Solstice, don’t worry! There’s a chance you could catch a glimpse of the gorgeous green glow of the Northern Lights instead. Plus, Anchorage hosts the start of the famous Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on the first Saturday of March each year.

Fairbanks, the second-largest city in Alaska, offers plenty in terms of art and culture. You can visit the Fountainhead Auto Museum, where 85 antique cars are on display, as well as the Museum of The North, which is home to a 2,000-year spectrum of Alaskan art, the state’s largest display of gold, and Blue Babe, a 50,000-year-old mummified steppe bison.

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Kayak around misty Mendenhall Lake near Juneau, Alaska.

Meanwhile, Alaska’s capital city, Juneau, is a high treat for visitors. Take a boat tour around the coast for a chance to see a pod of whales and view the awe-inspiring Mendenhall Glacier up close. There’s also the Glacier Gardens Rainforest — didn’t know Alaska had a rainforest? — well, guess again! Plus, Alaskan Brewery and Bottling Company is a must-visit attraction, where you can take a seat in their cozy tasting room and sip on smoked porter and other award-winning craft brews.

If all that sightseeing and outdoor activity have you feeling hungry, then you’re in luck! In recent years, Alaska has earned a surprising reputation as a foodie destination. In fact, eating local isn’t just a fad—it’s a way of life here. And if you’re envisioning “Deadliest Catch,” think again. Thanks to some of Alaska’s creative chefs, fresh salmon burgers with chipotle blueberry sauce, spruce tips ice cream, and reindeer pate are now all a part of Alaska’s delicious food scene.

Ready for your adventure to incredible Alaska?! Search jobs now to find your dream Travel Nurse job in Alaska! Or, search all jobs here.

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