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CNA License in Alaska

Alaska, located northwest of Canada, is the largest state in the United States but also the most sparsely populated one. The capital is Juneau, and other popular cities include Anchorage and Fairbanks. Residents love the peacefulness of their surroundings as well as the many outdoor activities that the state offers, such as fishing, biking and mountain climbing. The 736,000 residents are served by a variety of health care personnel, but a majority of the hands-on care comes from a team of dedicated CNAs who work in the 22 hospitals and 779 nursing homes. While only nine percent of the state’s population is older than 65, the need for CNAs is expected to rise dramatically in the next decade.

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More facts about Alaska

– Capital: Juneau
– Minimum Wage: $9.75
– Number of Hospitals: 22
– Number of Nursing Homes: 779


– Total Population: 736,732
– Population (ages 45-64): 190,633
– Population (ages 65+): 69,413
– Population (ages 85+): 5,931

Top Colleges & Unversities

– University of Alaska, Fairbanks
– University of Alaska, Anchorage

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) in Alaska

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CNA Training Requirements

Taking the Test (Procedure)

Out-of-State Applicants

Renewing & Expired Certification

Applications & Forms

Contacts & Additional Resources

The Alaska Board of Nursing oversees the state’s CNA training programs to ensure that CNAs are knowledgeable. The most popular route for becoming a CNA is to complete a state-approved training program. Alaska requires that programs have a minimum of 140 hours, which is far higher than the federal minimum of 75. Of these hours, at least 80 must be spent in a local health care setting providing hands-on care to patients under the direct supervision of a nurse.

However, other routes exist for individuals wishing to become certified. For example, nursing students can apply to take the competency examination if they have completed at least one year of nursing school and have had clinical hours. Graduate nurses can challenge the examination within two years of completing nursing school. Additionally, military medics and nurses with active or lapsed licenses can challenge the examination.

Students wishing to begin an Alaska-approved CNA training program must meet certain qualifications. Students must be at least 17 years old. While they do not need a high school diploma or GED, this is recommended for those looking for future employment, especially in rural areas that show preference to more highly educated applicants. Those without a diploma may be asked to pass a TABE test. Students must undergo state and federal criminal background checks performed with fingerprinting. They will also need to be in excellent physical shape with complete and up-to-date immunizations, negative drug tests and negative tuberculosis screenings.

Alaska uses the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program through Pearson VUE for its CNA competency testing. Applicants are allowed to work for up to 120 days as non-certified nurse aides in the state while they train and wait to take the test. The test must be passed within 24 months of completing training; those who do not complete it in this period will be required to retrain.

The competency evaluation consists of a knowledge section and a skills section. The knowledge section is typically taken with pencil and paper, but it may be taken orally by students who have difficulty reading English. The written version has 70 multiple-choice questions testing CNA theory while the oral version has 60 multiple-choice theory questions and an additional 10 English reading comprehension questions. This section must be completed within two hours or less.

The skills section tests five hands-on CNA skills. Each student will perform these skills in front of an evaluator and will perform them on a volunteer actor. Students will always have to demonstrate hand washing; the other four skills will be randomly selected on test day. Students will have up to 25 minutes to complete this section.

Students will learn their results by mail approximately ten days later. If they have failed a section, they will have up to three attempts to pass it before needing to retrain. The cost for testing is $260 total, which includes an application fee, fingerprint processing fee, certification fee and examination fee.

CNAs moving to Alaska from a different state have a chance to transfer their certifications to Alaska without having to retrain or retest if they meet several qualifications. They must have an active and unencumbered license without accusations of patient abuse or neglect. They must have completed a training program that provided at least 60 classroom hours and 80 clinical hours. They must have successfully passed their former state’s competency evaluation. CNAs who meet these requirements can fill out the Endorsement Application, have it notarized and send in a check or money order for the $260 endorsement fee. They will also need to have fingerprints taken for a criminal background check. CNAs who are approved will be notified in writing in approximately ten days.

Alaska CNAs must renew their certifications every two years to remain active. The state sends out renewal notices approximately two months before expiration. All licenses expire on March 31 of even-numbered years except for new CNAs who were certified within 90 days of the expiry date. To renew, CNAs must complete at least 12 hours of continuing education every year except during the first renewal period, in which they must complete only 12 hours total. CNAs must also work at least 160 hours for pay every two years except for newly certified CNAs. CNAs who allow their certifications to lapse may need to retrain and retest. Renewal fees are $100 for certification numbers 1 to 14767 and $50 for 14768 and higher.

Alaska Department of Health and Social Services
Alaska Board of Nursing
Alaska Nurse Aide Registry
License Verification

Danielle Curry, Licensing Examiner
Phone: (907) 269-8169
Fax: (907) 269-8196
Email: danielle.curry@alaska.gov
550 W. 7th Avenue., Suite 1500
Anchorage, AK 99501-3567

Employment Information for Alaska

Average Salary for CNAs in AK

Pay rates are high in Alaska to meet the cost of living. In fact, the income per capita is $32,651, and CNAs make even more than this at an average of $37,180 per year or $17.87 per hour. CNAs can expect to make more than this if they work in cities rather than rural areas and if they have several years of experience.

Job Outlook in AK

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics currently lists over 1,700 CNAs positions in Alaska. CNAs expect a bright future as over 190,000 residents are between the ages of 45 and 65 and will be needing more skilled care in the next decade. Currently, CNAs care mainly for the 69,000 residents over the age of 65.

Employment Opportunities

Top Hospitals in AK
Hospital NameAddressCityStateZipPhoneWebsite
Alaska Native Medical Center4315 Diplomacy DriveAnchorageAK99508907-563-2662Website
Alaska Psychiatric Institute3700 Piper StreetAnchorageAK99508907-269-7100Website
Alaska Regional Hospital2801 Debarr RoadAnchorageAK99508907-264-1754Website
Bartlett Regional Hospital3260 Hospital DriveJuneauAK99801907-796-8900Website
Bassett Army Community Hospital1060 Gaffney Road, Box 7400Fort WainwrightAK99703907-361-5172Website
Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation6000 Kanakanak RoadDillinghamAK99576907-842-5201Website
Central Peninsula General Hospital250 Hospital PlaceSoldotnaAK99669907-714-4404Website
Cordova Community Medical Center602 Chase AvenueCordovaAK99574907-424-8000Website
Fairbanks Memorial Hospital1650 Cowles StreetFairbanksAK99701907-452-8181Website
Maniilaq Health Center436 5th AvenueKotzebueAK99752907-442-7344Website
Mat-Su Regional Medical Center2500 South Woodworth LoopPalmerAK99645907-861-6000Website
Norton Sound Regional HospitalBering StraitsNomeAK99762907-443-3311Website
Peacehealth Ketchikan Medical Center3100 Tongass AvenueKetchikanAK99901907-225-5171Website
Petersburg Medical Center103 Fram StreetPetersburgAK99833907-772-4291Website
Providence Alaska Medical Center3200 Providence DriveAnchorageAK99508907-562-2211Not Available
Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center1915 East Rezanof DriveKodiakAK99615907-486-3281Website
Providence Seward Medical Center417 First AvenueSewardAK99664907-224-5205Website
Providence Valdez Medical Center911 Meals AvenueValdezAK99686907-835-2249Website
Samuel Simmonds Memorial Hospital7000 Uulu StreetBarrowAK99723907-852-4611Website
Searhc Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital222 Tongass DriveSitkaAK99835907-966-2411Website

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