How to Become a Nurse in Alaska

There are more than 5,500 staff nurses registered by the Alaska Board of Nursing, with about 500 additional advanced practice nurses. Staff nurses in the state earn an average of $41 per hour, making Alaska one of the better-paying states for nurses. Nursing schools in Alaska offer associate degrees as well. There are plenty of opportunities to work as a nurse in Alaska, due to staffing shortages. By 2030, Alaska is expected to have the fifth-largest nursing shortage in the country. Alaska has been working hard to develop incentives beyond its natural beauty to attract nurses to the state. Learn more about how to become a certified nursing assistant, licensed practical nurse, registered nurse, or advanced practice nurse in Alaska.

How to Get a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Certification in Alaska

The Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development oversees the certification and application requirements of certified nursing assistants (CNAs). To get an Alaska CNA certification, applicants must successfully complete a state-approved nursing program and have a minimum of 140 hours of training. Minimum training hours are further divided into 60 hours of classroom education and 80 hours of clinical training. Applicants must possess a CNA certification with no impediments pending. Additionally, a competency evaluation must be successfully completed in order to finalize the application. Applicants whose primary language is not English will need to meet minimum requirements on an approved English proficiency examination. Applicants must also pay the $330 application fee.

In the same fashion as other Alaska nursing licensure, CNAs must renew their certification every other year before March 31 on even-numbered years. CNAs will get a notification to renew 60 days in advance. CNAs are not allowed to practice with a certification that has lapsed.

How to Get a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) License in Alaska

All Alaska LPN license applicants must complete, sign and notarize their application. An application fee of $375 must be paid when submitting the application. Applicants can request a temporary permit at the same time and will need to pay an additional $100 for the temporary license. Next, applicants will need to follow the Alaska Board of Nursing procedure and get their fingerprints taken. Finally, verification of the successful completion of a nursing program will need to be sent from the school to the Alaska State Board of Nursing. Graduation date and type of degree must be present on the verification documents. Licensure will not be complete until the applicant has passed the NCLEX-PN examination.

Applicants who applied for the temporary permit must attend and pass their NCLEX-PN test for their license to remain valid. Applicants whose primary language is not English must complete an English proficiency test and meet minimum requirements as outlined by the board.

How to Get a Registered Nurse (RN) License in Alaska

The Alaska State Board of Nursing provides oversight for the state’s nursing regulations. In order to become licensed in the state of Alaska, applicants must complete, sign, and notarize their application. An Alaska RN license requires a $375 application fee that must be paid when submitting the application. Alaska nursing license applicants can request a temporary permit at the same time and will need to pay an additional $100 for the temporary license. Next, applicants will need to follow the Alaska Board of Nursing procedure and get their fingerprints taken. Finally, applicants need to send verification of the successful completion of an approved nursing program to the Alaska State Board of Nursing. Graduation date and type of degree must be present on the verification documents. Licensure is not complete until the applicant has passed the NCLEX examination.

RN licenses lapse on November 30 of even-numbered years. Individuals obtaining a new license within one year of the renewal date, but not sooner than 90 days before, will be required to renew at the next renewal date. If a new applicant applies within 90 days of renewal, their licensure will be valid until the next renewal date. It can take up to eight weeks to process applications, and applicants will be notified by email once their application has been reviewed. RN applicants can request a temporary permit that will last six months from the issue date. Temporary permits cost $50.

How to Get an Advanced Practice Nurse License in Alaska

Applicants pursuing an Alaska advanced practice nurse license must first be licensed as a registered nurse in the state of Alaska. All Alaska nursing license applicants must complete a signed, notarized application. Nursing programs must send proof that the applicant has successfully completed the respective program directly to the Alaska Board of Nursing. Any documentation sent from the applicant will not be accepted. Proof of at least 60 hours of continuing education is required within the past two years. Copies of CEU certificates are required for proof. Advanced practice applicants must have a reference form completed by an individual who qualifies to verify the applicant's competency as an APRN.

Consultation and Referral Plans need to detail specifics such as patient population, geographical location and age range. Methods for consultations and referrals must be outlined, and a description of how quality assurance will be pursued must be outlined. APRNs who need prescriptive privileges must submit certificates of completion for at least 15 hours of education in pharmacology or clinical management of drug therapy. License renewal takes place on November 30 of even-numbered years.