If you are interested in becoming a nurse in Alaska, you will need to apply through their state board of registered nursing. The Board is the state governmental agency that is responsible for implementing and enforcing all of the laws pertaining to nurse education, licensure, practice and discipline. You must apply through the Alaska Board of Nursing. Multiple options exist.
ENTRY LEVEL PRACTICE NURSES
STAGE 1. COMPLETE AN LPN (LICENSED PRACTICAL NURSE) DIPLOMA PROGRAM.
During this program, you will gain patient care techniques and clinical care. It will allow you to sit the NCLEX-PN examination, which is a national examination. See 6 Things to Know About the NCLEX Examination and How to Master NCLEX-Style Test Questions.
STAGE 2. COMPLETE EITHER AN ASSOCIATE’S DEGREE OR A BACHELOR’S DEGREE IN NURSING, WHICH ALLOWS YOU TO BECOME A REGISTERED NURSE.
These two options have similar prerequisites. During the first year of studying, you will complete between 15 and 30 hours of core courses like statistics, math, psychology and physiology. These core courses will allow you to be accepted in a nursing college. Choosing the bachelor’s option will give you more advanced skills and knowledge and allows for greater job opportunities. Both degrees will allow you to sit the NCLEX-RN examination. Some 90% of students have a pass grade on these degrees.
STAGE 3. ONCE YOU PASS YOUR NCLEX-PN OR NCLEX-RN EXAMINATION, YOU CAN BECOME LICENSED THROUGH THE ALASKA BOARD OF NURSING.
ADVANCED PRACTICE NURSES
In Alaska, three types of specializations exist for advanced practice nurses. These are:
- Advanced Nurse Practitioners (ANP)
- Nurse Midwives (who is also an ANP)
- Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA)
The stages to become licensed to practice are:
STAGE 1. GAIN A GRADUATE DEGREE IN YOUR CHOSEN SPECIALTY.
Depending on your chosen specialization, there are a number of requirements. For APNs and Nurse Midwives, these are:
- The program must be at least a year in length full time.
- At least 500 hours of clinical practice must be included.
- At least 3 credits must be offered in advanced pharmacotherapeutics, advanced pathophysiology and advanced physical assessment.
For CRNA, the requirement is that the degree is offered by an accredited nurse anesthesia school
STAGE 2. ANPs, NURSE-MIDWIVES AND CRNAs CAN ALL APPLY FOR PRESCRIPTIVE AUTHORITY.
For an ANP, at least 15 contact hours must be completed in clinical management and advanced pharmacology of drug therapy during the two years before applying for authorizations. Additionally, they must gain a year’s working experience in prescribing and administering legend drugs while being supervised. This secondary requirement is not in place for CRNAs.
STAGE 3. CHOOSE SPECIALIZATION.
As an ANP, you can work as a nurse practitioner or a nurse midwife, or you can choose both. However, you have to specialize in a population target area as well, which can be adult, acute care/emergency care, geriatric, family, pediatric, neonatal, family psychiatric/mental health, women’s health or adult psychiatric mental health.
STAGE 4. FOR THOSE NURSE PRACTITIONERS WHO HAVE GAINED THEIR EDUCATION OUT OF STATE, OR WHO HAVE NOT YET COMPLETED THE REQUIRED CLINICAL HOURS, A PRECEPTORSHIP MAY BE NEEDED.
For this, you must complete the Advanced Nurse Practitioner Preceptorshpip Registration, with associated fees.
STAGE 5. BECOME NATIONALLY CERTIFIED THROUGH A NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED INDEPENDENT CERTIFICATION ORGANIZATION.
You will also need to complete continuous education as set out by the organization through which you are certified. The following organizations are recognized in Alaska:
- The ANCC (American Nurses Credentialing Center), who recognize Adult Nurse Practitioners, Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP), Gerontological Nurse Practitioner (GNP), Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), Pediatric Nurse Practitioner PNP) and the Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP).
- The AANP (American Academy of Nurse Practitioners), which recognizes the Adult Nurse Practitioner and the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP.
- The AACN Certification Corporation (American Association of Critical Care Nurses), which recognizes the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner.
- The NCC (National Certification Corporation for the Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing Specialties), which recognizes the Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner (WHNP) and the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP).
- The National Certification Board of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners and Nurses (NCBPNP/N), which recognizes the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP).
- The National Board on Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA), which recognizes the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA).
- The American Midwifery Certification Board, which recognizes the Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM).
If your certification is not through any of these agencies, the Board will have to evaluate your credentials and will require documentation in relation to this.
STAGE 6. GAIN YOUR ADVANCED PRACTICE AUTHORIZATION.
For this, you will need your social security number. As an ANP, you will need to complete the Advanced Nurse Practitioner Application with all supporting documentation. You must also indicate whether you want prescriptive authority, which requires a further application form.
As a registered nurse anesthetist, you will need to complete the relevant form and include all necessary documentation.
STAGE 7. RENEW YOUR AUTHORIZATION.
This is done every two years on the 30th of November of an even numbered year. You will receive a reminder for this. Your RN license will expire at the same time and must be renewed first. You must also include continuous education to maintain your prescriptive authority. The national agency you are certified with is likely to have additional continuous education requirements. Additionally, you must maintain the continuous education requirements for your RN license, which are 30 per renewal cycle, 20 of which must be approved by a recognized institution.
Juneau Mailing Address
P.O. Box 110806
Juneau, AK 99811-0806
333 Willoughby Avenue
Juneau, AK 99801-1770
Main Phone: (907) 465-2550
FAX: (907) 465-2974
Anchorage Mailing/Physical Address
550 West Seventh Avenue
Anchorage, AK 99501-3567
Main Phone: (907) 269-8160
FAX: (907) 269-8156