Associates of Applied Science – RN

Registered NurseThe training is offered in the Anchorage area.

Registered Nurses (RNs) provide and coordinate patient care, educate patients and the public about various health conditions, and provide advice and emotional support to patients and their family members. Registered nurses work in hospitals, physicians’ offices, home healthcare services, and nursing care facilities. They also work in correctional facilities, schools, summer camps, and with the military.

Registered nurses typically do the following:

  • Record patients' medical histories and symptoms
  • Give patients medicines and treatments
  • Set up plans for patients' care or contribute to existing plans
  • Observe patients and record the observations
  • Consult with doctors and other healthcare professionals
  • Operate and monitor medical equipment
  • Help perform diagnostic tests and analyze results
  • Teach patients and their families how to manage their illnesses or injuries
  • Explain what to do at home after treatment

Some registered nurses oversee licensed practical nurses, nursing aides, and home care aides. Registered nurses sometimes work to promote general health by educating the public on warning signs and symptoms of disease. They might also run general health screenings or immunization clinics, blood drives, or other outreach programs. Most registered nurses work as part of a team with physicians and other healthcare specialists. Most registered nurses work in well-lit, comfortable healthcare facilities. Home health and public health nurses travel to patients' homes, schools, community centers, and other sites. Some registered nurses work in correctional facilities, schools, summer camps, and nurses often work with the military. Some move frequently, traveling in the United States and throughout the world to help care for patients in places where there are not enough healthcare workers.

Employment of registered nurses is expected to grow 26 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. Growth will occur primarily because of technological advancements; an increased emphasis on preventative care; and the large, aging baby-boomer population who will demand more healthcare services as they live longer and more active lives.

Overall, job opportunities for registered nurses are expected to be excellent. Employers in some parts of the country and in some employment settings report difficulty in attracting and keeping enough registered nurses.


PDF Viewer Required RN Application Checklist

Applicants must currently hold a valid license as a Practical Nurse (LPN) from the State of Alaska Board of Nursing. The LPN license must be maintained as current while attending the Registered Nurse program. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED transcript. High school chemistry or non-credit college chemistry with lab (course below 100 level) is required with a grade of C or better. Applicant’s TABE testing scores on reading and math must be a minimum of 12th grade level. Applicants must have a current certification in Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers. Twenty four credits of general education at the college level are required. These credits are not offered at AVTEC. The general education credits are approved for transfer to AVTEC if taken at a college or university that is regionally or nationally accredited and approved by the U.S. Department of Education. Applicants must pass the courses with a grade equivalent of a C or better.

Ability to Benefit test does not apply to associate degree program. 

The associate of applied science in nursing program consists of 84 credit hours. The credits are distributed among general education prerequisites, practical nursing requirements, and specific nursing courses.

General Education Prerequisite Courses

The general education prerequisite courses total 24 credits. These are courses not offered by AVTEC. These courses are accepted as transfer credit. Criteria for acceptance of credit are that courses are taken at a college or university that is regionally or nationally accredited and approved by the U.S. Department of Education. Courses must be passed with a grade equivalent of C or better.

Applicant must have completed:

  • Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II with lab. Introduction to human structure and function, with all body systems covered in the 2 components of the course. [8 credits (or equivalent); 6 lecture and 2 laboratory]
  • Microbiology with lab. Introductory microbiology covering bacteriology, virology, host parasite interactions, host defense mechanisms, and epidemiology. [4 credits (or equivalent); 3 lecture and 1 laboratory]
  • Nutrition (for Health Sciences). Study of human nutrition in the life cycle. Includes food sources, nutrient requirements, physiology and metabolism aspects of nutrition, and relationships to disease states and health science interventions. (3 credits or equivalent)
  • Human Lifespan Development. Physical, psychosocial, cognitive, emotional, and spiritual development across the lifespan with attention given to cultural influences on development. Both classical and contemporary theories are considered. (3 credits equivalent)
  • English, Written Communication. Instruction in the composition of written documents with attention to style, organization and the exposition of thoughts. (3 credits equivalent)
  • College Algebra. Solving of equations and inequalities, function theory, and exponential and logarithmic functions in a college level course. (3 credits equivalent)

Practical Nursing Prerequisite Courses

The practical nursing program requirements total 26 credits. These are courses offered in a practical nursing training program. The following course descriptions are of AVTEC's practical nursing program required courses. Applicant must hold a current and valid license as a LPN in the state of Alaska.

Applicant must have completed:

  • Foundations of Nursing. This course focuses on the core concepts of nursing including nursing process, person, caring and health. The interrelationship of the core concepts to threads of the curriculum including development, communication, culture, care continuum and role development are included. The development of safe and effective basic nursing skills is emphasized. Therapeutic communication skills are introduced as a means of health promotion. [5 credits (or equivalent); 4 classroom and 1 clinical/skills lab]
  • Nursing in Health and Illness. This course focuses on the concepts of health in the care continuum across the life span. Assessment and monitoring skills and the role of the practical nurse in that process are presented. Physiology associated with the various body systems is explored. (2 credits)
  • Nursing Care of Adults 1. This course focuses on nursing care of adults with medical concerns of the various body systems. Specialized care of patients undergoing surgery, with cancers and infectious diseases is explored. 
    [10 credits (or equivalent); 4 classroom and 6 clinical/skills lab]
  • Pharmacology 1. This course presents calculation of medication dosages, use of medications including actions, side effects and lifespan considerations and the understanding of various forms of medication delivery to the patient. Teaching patients concerning medications is included. (1 credit)
  • Introduction to Maternal/Child Nursing with clinical experience. This course presents the nursing care for childrearing and child bearing families from pre-fertilization through adolescence. Increased development of nursing skills is based on an understanding of principles of the practical nursing role. [4 credits (or equivalent); 3 classroom and 1 clinical]
  • Ethics and Issues in Nursing. This course presents the legal and ethical issues that the practical nurse will face in various work settings. Included in the course is a discussion of the various roles the experienced PN can occupy in the health care system, employment trends, professional responsibility and nursing issues. (1 credit)
  • Clinical Concentration. This course provides intensive clinical experience with a nurse preceptor in an actual work situation. The student works 24-30 hours per week for a total of 96-100 clinical hours (2 credits)
  • Nursing Skills. This course focuses on utilizing the skills lab to practice specialized skills in nursing including ostomy, feeding tubes, tracheotomy, respiratory care treatments, urinary catheterization, and wound care. Focus assessment for each body system studied are practiced. (1 credit)

Program Content

To receive an associate degree, students must complete the following required courses. These courses total 34 credits. For a detailed description of each requirement, click on the link below.

Requirements Credits
Transitions, Trends and Issues in Professional Nursing 4
Pharmacology II 3
Nursing Care of Adults II 4
Maternal Nursing 2
Pediatric Nursing 2
Clinical Experience for Adults and Children 5
Mental Health Nursing with Clinical Experience 5
Ethics 3
Preparation for NCLEX 1
Clinical Practicum 4
Advanced Nursing Skills 1

Transitions, Trends and Issues in Professional Nursing: AH 201

This course will explain the roles and responsibilities of a registered nurse. The course overview includes practical information on classroom study habits, professional writing, knowledge and skills acquisition and the differences in the roles of LPN and RN. The nursing process, teaching role, critical thinking as a decision-making and problem-solving process will be utilized. Review of the communication process, interpersonal relationships and nurse-patient relationships are included. Current issues in nursing and the legal aspect of nursing are presented. Concept of developing cultural competence is discussed.
(4 credits)

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Pharmacology II: AH 205

This course will enhance the pharmacology the student has learned as part of a licensed practical nursing program. Previous body systems and basic pharmacologic principles will be reviewed. This course presents advanced treatments and pharmacologic agents used by nurses in health promotion, prevention, and treatment across the life span. Major body systems discussed will be the endocrine, cardiovascular, and immune systems. The use of IV drugs, blood products, chemotherapy agents, and biologic response modifiers will be presented.
(3 credits)

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Nursing Care of Adults II: AH 203

This course will emphasize nursing care for adults with acute illnesses. Pathophysiology for each system and disease studied is included. The concept of diverse populations and diversity in care delivery will be discussed. (4 credits)

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Maternal Nursing: AH 210

This course will present nursing care concepts and principles of women’s health during childbearing years. The care of the neonate will be included. (2 credits)

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Pediatric Nursing: AH 211

The course will present the care of children and adolescents with acute and chronic illnesses. Pathophysiology of the diseases, medications and pain management for children and adolescents will be discussed. (2 credits)

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Clinical Experience for Adults and Children: AH 212

This clinical course will include acute care of adults in medical and surgical settings; pediatric acute care and postpartum nursing care. Experiences in intensive care units and labor/delivery units may be included. (5 credits)

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Mental Health Nursing with Clinical Experience: AH 214

This course will emphasize caring strategies for promoting mental health and preventing mental illness across the life span will be explored. The roles and function of the psychiatric nurse, clinical experiences with patients with mental health needs in a variety of health care settings are included. (5 credits)

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Ethics: AH 220

This course examines the ethical aspect of the nursing practice. Philosophies and theories are presented while the concepts of values and ethical decision making are discussed.
(3 credits)

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Preparation for NCLEX: AH 221

This course is on-line and assists in preparing for the NCLEX examination. The course is presented in collaboration with ATI. (1 credit)

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Clinical Practicum: AH 207

This course will provide intensive clinical experience with a preceptor in an actual work setting. The student will work 160 hours in the clinic for five weeks. (4 credits)

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Advanced Nursing Skills: AH 208

This course focuses on the skills lab for training in suctioning procedures, IV therapy procedures and assessment skills. Simulation of health care situations are utilized to assist the student to critically think. (1 credit)

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Additional Requirements

  • Proof of immunizations or titers for MMR (Measles, German Measles, Mumps), Varicella (Chicken Pox), d Tap and Hepatitis B.
  • Meningitis immunization or signed form declining this immunization.
  • Negative TB (tuberculosis) test or negative chest x-ray in the last six months prior to the date of admission.
  • Current license as a Practical Nurse (LPN) in Alaska.
  • Current certification in Basic Life Support for Health Care Providers which must remain current during program.
  • Physical requirements of the occupation are the ability to lift 50 lbs.

A background check including finger prints from Certification and Licensing Department, Alaska Division of Public Health is required prior to beginning the clinical portion of training. The cost of the background check is paid by the student. Students will complete the forms for background checks during training.


For an application or information, email Vivica Carr, the Admissions Coordinator at the Allied Health Department, at vivica.carr@avtec.edu, or call (907) 334-2230.

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