Laura Hudson, BSN, MBA is now fulltime at APU, serving as Assistant Professor of Health Services Administration. Laura has taught in the MBA program for several years, and last year, in addition to assisting with the development of the RN-to-BSN program, she began working on the self-study process for nursing program accreditation. Prior to joining APU fulltime, Laura was the Clinical Education Manager at ANTHC, and she continues as an epidemiology research nurse there. She also serves as vice chair and commissioner for the Anchorage Health and Human Services Commission. In her new role, Laura will teach courses in health services administration and nursing, and she will coordinate clinical placements and other partnerships for the nursing programs.
What did you do prior to APU?
My career spans several decades in a non-linear fashion. Before I became a registered nurse I was an insurance underwriter, but when a colleague had a terrible accident I was inspired to go back to school to enter the health industry. As a nurse, I worked in the Providence Health System as a hands-on clinical nurse, quality improvement, and infection control. I supervised case managers at another entity before going to work at Alaska Regional Hospital as the Physician Liaison, where my role incorporated aspects of physician relations and business development. After obtaining my MBA, I acquired a leadership role for Aetna for several years and most recently ran the clinical education department for ANTHC. I currently work part-time as an epidemiology research nurse. I am also Vice-Chair for the Anchorage Health & Human Services Commission by appointment of the current mayor.
What are your goals for this school year?
My goals for this next year are to graduate with my Master of Science in Nursing and combine my clinical knowledge and experience with my love of Alaska as a strong team member of our new nursing faculty. I am delighted to have been a part of the process to initiate a new program and I am truly honored to teach, mentor and support our inaugural nursing students in their career development efforts!
Where did you go to school? What did you study?
I went to school at several universities across the USA as my life evolved over time. I graduated from Georgia State University with a Bachelor in Business Administration in the School of Risk Management & Insurance in 1988, Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1997, Alaska Pacific University with an MBA – HSA in 2013, and anticipate graduating from Western Governors University with my MSN by the end of this calendar year.
What is your fondest memory from when you were in school?
My fondest memories are from the warm relationships I developed in my cohort at APU. The leadership class and capstone class were awesome with encouraging me to apply myself in wonderful group experiences that I remember fondly – and the pictures still bring back smiles. I would have to say my favorite memory was our team building a raft out of miscellaneous items provided by faculty that had nothing to do with water or boating – and trying to make the best of our resources without flooding out. All of our teams created wonderful rafts, some made the finish line and others didn’t, but there were many laughs all day with our team efforts of supporting each other as well as distracting the other teams.
When you were a college student, who was the most influential person in your life?
The most influential person to me is and has always been my father, a family practice country doctor who practiced for over 50 years. He has always supported me, encouraged me, and answered any and all of my questions about doctors, medicine, and anything else that was puzzling to me.
What do you do in your free time?
My free time varies depending on the season. Right now, I am outdoors as much as I can enjoying the best Alaska has to offer. I ride motorcycles, fly airplanes, fish, sea kayak, enjoy photography, oil painting, and playing my musical instruments (piano, guitar, and ukulele). In the winter, I only ride motorcycles when I am in the Lower 48, but I can still enjoy my music and sometimes even get to hike or cross-country ski when the conditions are right.
What’s something people would be surprised to learn about you?
People might be surprised to find out I have a cat with no fur or whiskers…a Sphynx. She is a little love bug, her name is Jackie O.
What are you most excited about for this job?
I am very excited about seeing this new nursing program come to life, with the hope of more to come in the future. I believe this is an opportunity for a win-win-win across our community and state. Not only are we creating jobs, but we are also helping Alaskans with opportunities for career-development and improving patient outcomes across our state, and this will address some of the nursing shortages in Alaska. It is my personal belief that part of the high cost of healthcare in Alaska has to do with recruitment and retention of nurses with a nursing shortage across our country impacting the availability of nurses. As we provide opportunities for Alaskans to get new degrees, it will be Alaskans who will fill these jobs…Alaskans who care about our state and understand our unique challenges and cultural diversity. There is still a great deal of work to do, but we have taken the first step(s) in a great direction and I truly look forward to a great year with more to come!