Certified Nurse Aide Requirements in Alaska

Alaska’s Certified Nurse Aides are credentialed by the Alaska Board of Nursing. CNAs are certified on the basis of training, examination, and background screening.

Select an Alaska Certified Nurse Aide Topic:

Training Requirements

The nurse aide will complete a training program before applying for certification. In most cases, this will be a CNA training program.

The program must meet state standards (http://commerce.state.ak.us/dnn/Portals/5/pub/NursingStatutes.pdf). A list of state-approved programs is available on the website of the Board of Nursing (http://commerce.state.ak.us/dnn/Portals/5/pub/ApprovedNAPrograms.pdf).

A person who is enrolled in a nursing assistant program in a nursing home may begin doing nursing assistant duties before receiving certification, but must receive certification within 120 days (http://www.asisvcs.com/publications/pdf/079950.pdf).

The Board will only accept training if it was completed within the two years prior.

Alternate Training

There are alternate certification pathways for individuals with training in related healthcare fields.

An individual who has completed at least a year of nursing school is eligible; the program must have included classwork and clinicals. The individual must apply for examination within two years of program completion.

Training as a corpsman or medic in the U.S. military is certification-qualifying if completed in the prior five years.

An individual who has a nursing license in good standing, whether current or lapsed, is eligible for certification as a nurse aide; the nursing license may be issued by a U.S. state, Canadian province, or a territory of the United States or Canada.

An individual who completed nursing education outside the United States or Canada is also eligible; documents that are not in English must be translated into English.

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Examination Requirement

A prospective Alaska CNA must pass the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) examination. There are two components: a written assessment and a skills assessment. A candidate who has difficulties reading English may opt to take an oral examination instead of a written one; a cassette tape and head phones will be provided. The oral examination does include ten questions that involve reading.

The examination is administered by Pearson VUE. Candidate handbooks can be downloaded from the ‘Alaska Nurse Aide’ page of the Pearson Vue website (http://www.pearsonvue.com/ak/nurseaides/). A practice exam is also available.

Pearson will mail test results to the candidate approximately ten days after receiving them. A test taker who fails either the written or skills test will receive information about areas where improvement is needed.

A candidate is allowed three attempts at both the knowledge and skills test. An individual who fails either test three times but still seeks certification must complete another approved training program.

Questions may be addressed to Pearson VUE at (800) 475-8292.

Background Checks

Alaska requires CNA applicants to have fingerprint-based state and national criminal history checks.

Fingerprints are to be made on standard FD 258 fingerprint cards. The Board notes that many fingerprinting sites will have the required card. However, an applicant may request a card from the Board of Nursing; there is an online request form (https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/cbpl/ProfessionalLicensing/NurseAideRegistry.aspx).

The completed fingerprint card should be submitted with the application.

The Application Process

An individual will apply after training but before taking the examination. Application forms are available on the Board website (http://commerce.state.ak.us/dnn/cbpl/ProfessionalLicensing/NurseAideRegistry.aspx). Applicants should make sure that they have the current version of the application.

The applicant will need to have the training program verify education.

Fees are as follows:

  • $50 for application
  • $100 for certification
  • $60 for fingerprint processing
  • $50 for examination

Candidates who opt for the oral examination will pay an additional $5.

The total due will be $260 or $265.

The applicant will need to attach a passport-style photograph to the application and have the form notarized.

The Nurse Aide Registry will provide status information approximately two weeks after receiving the completed application.

An applicant who has defaulted on a student loan or is arrears in making child support payments can be issued only a temporary license.

Endorsement Applicants

Nurse aides who are on the registry in other states will send the ‘Verification of Nurse Aide Certification’ form to their state credentialing agencies. The Alaska Board has provided contact information for other state agencies in the application packet. The Alaska Board will need verification from both the initial state and current state (if different).

A nurse aide may be endorsed on the basis of certification in a U.S. state or territory or Canadian province or territory. The CNA will need to have completed at least 140 hours of training; there must be a minimum of 60 hours of classroom instruction and 80 hours of skill training.

An endorsement applicant can be issued a temporary certificate that will authorize work pending results of the required background check.

English Proficiency for International Candidates

A student who completes their CNA or nursing training outside the United States or Canada will need to take a language proficiency examination if English was not the primary language of the country. The same goes for students who trained in Quebec or who trained in the United States at a school where English was not the primary language. The Alaska Board has approved several English proficiency exams.

  • The minimum score for the IELTS academic examination is 6.5. (The tester can score no lower than 6 on any module.)
  • The minimum score for the TOEFL paper-based test is 560. (The tester can score no less than 50 on the Test of Spoken English.)
  • The minimum score for the TOEFL computer-based test is 220. (Again, the minimum TSE score is 50.)
  • The minimum score for the TOEFL internet-based test is 84. (The minimum speaking score is 26.)

Additional Information

Information for the Alaska Nurse Aide Registry can be found on the website of the Board of Nursing (http://commerce.state.ak.us/dnn/cbpl/ProfessionalLicensing/NurseAideRegistry.aspx).

Rules for CNA certification begin on page 36 of the October 2014 edition of the Nursing Statutes and Regulations (https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/cbpl/ProfessionalLicensing/NurseAideRegistry.aspx).

Applicants can call (907) 269-8169 or (907) 269-8161 if they have questions.


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