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.
– 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
– University of Alaska, Fairbanks
– University of Alaska, Anchorage
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 Native Medical Center||4315 Diplomacy Drive||Anchorage||AK||99508||907-563-2662||Website|
|Alaska Psychiatric Institute||3700 Piper Street||Anchorage||AK||99508||907-269-7100||Website|
|Alaska Regional Hospital||2801 Debarr Road||Anchorage||AK||99508||907-264-1754||Website|
|Bartlett Regional Hospital||3260 Hospital Drive||Juneau||AK||99801||907-796-8900||Website|
|Bassett Army Community Hospital||1060 Gaffney Road, Box 7400||Fort Wainwright||AK||99703||907-361-5172||Website|
|Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation||6000 Kanakanak Road||Dillingham||AK||99576||907-842-5201||Website|
|Central Peninsula General Hospital||250 Hospital Place||Soldotna||AK||99669||907-714-4404||Website|
|Cordova Community Medical Center||602 Chase Avenue||Cordova||AK||99574||907-424-8000||Website|
|Fairbanks Memorial Hospital||1650 Cowles Street||Fairbanks||AK||99701||907-452-8181||Website|
|Maniilaq Health Center||436 5th Avenue||Kotzebue||AK||99752||907-442-7344||Website|
|Mat-Su Regional Medical Center||2500 South Woodworth Loop||Palmer||AK||99645||907-861-6000||Website|
|Norton Sound Regional Hospital||Bering Straits||Nome||AK||99762||907-443-3311||Website|
|Peacehealth Ketchikan Medical Center||3100 Tongass Avenue||Ketchikan||AK||99901||907-225-5171||Website|
|Petersburg Medical Center||103 Fram Street||Petersburg||AK||99833||907-772-4291||Website|
|Providence Alaska Medical Center||3200 Providence Drive||Anchorage||AK||99508||907-562-2211||Not Available|
|Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center||1915 East Rezanof Drive||Kodiak||AK||99615||907-486-3281||Website|
|Providence Seward Medical Center||417 First Avenue||Seward||AK||99664||907-224-5205||Website|
|Providence Valdez Medical Center||911 Meals Avenue||Valdez||AK||99686||907-835-2249||Website|
|Samuel Simmonds Memorial Hospital||7000 Uulu Street||Barrow||AK||99723||907-852-4611||Website|
|Searhc Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital||222 Tongass Drive||Sitka||AK||99835||907-966-2411||Website|