Advanced Nurse Practitioner Requirements in Alaska

Alaska advanced practice nurses hold RN licensing and advanced practice authorization. The Board recognizes two main roles: Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP) and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). The ‘ANP’ designation can include other related roles such as nurse midwife.

Before nurses can receive permanent authorization as ANPs or CRNAs, they must be certified by nationally recognized organizations.

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Advanced Nurse Practitioner Educational Requirements in Alaska

The prospective advanced practice nurse will need to complete a specialized program at the master’s level or higher. The program is to hold an approved accreditation (Nurse Practitioner programs in Alaska).

A nurse practitioner program is to be accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the National League of Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC).The program must be at least a year in length and must include at least 500 clinical practice hours.

The program will prepare the ANP for practice with one or more of the following populations:

  • Family
  • Pediatric
  • Adult
  • Geriatric
  • Neonatal
  • Women’s health
  • Adult/ geriatric
  • Family care/ individuals across the lifespan
  • Acute/ emergency care
  • Family psychiatric/ mental health
  • Adult psychiatric/ mental health

An advanced nurse practitioner program is to include at least three semester hours of discrete coursework in the following content areas:

  • Advanced pathophysiology
  • Advanced physical assessment
  • Advanced pharmacotherapeutics

Nurse practitioners who completed their programs prior to 1998, however, will not be held to the above coursework requirements.

The Board may authorize an individual who is enrolled in an out-of-state ANP program to complete a preceptorship in Alaska; this can provide the opportunity to obtain the required clinical experience hours. Applications are available on the Board website (

An individual who completed an advanced nurse midwife, neonatal, or women’s health program prior to 2006 may be eligible for credentialing on the basis of a certificate (as opposed to a master’s degree). The same holds true for advanced nurse practitioners in other specialties who were educated before 2003 and for nurse anesthetists who were educated before 2001.

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NP Certification Requirements

The nurse will pursue advanced certification through one of several national credentialing agencies. The Alaska Board recognizes the following nurse practitioner certifications:

  • Family NP, issued by either the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners or the American Nurses Credentialing Center
  • Adult NP certification, issued by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners or the American Nurses Credentialing Center
  • Pediatric NP certification, issued by the National Certification Board of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners & Nurses or the American Nurses Credentialing Center
  • Gerontological certification, issued by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners or the American Nurses Credentialing Center
  • Acute care certification, issued by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) or the American Nurses Credentialing Center
  • Women’s health certification, issued by the National Certification Corporation for the Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing Specialties (NCC)
  • Neonatal certification, issued the National Certification Corporation for the Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing Specialties (NCC)
  • Family psychiatric/ mental health certification, issued by the American Nurses Credentialing Center
  • Adult psychiatric/mental health certification, issued by the American Nurses Credentialing Center

Additionally, the Board recognizes nurse midwife certifications issued by the American Midwifery Certification Board and the American College of Nurse Midwives.

Initial nurse anesthetist certification is granted by the Council on Certification of Nurse Anesthetists; renewals are handled by the National Board on Certification & Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists.

The Board can recognize psychiatric mental health certification based on a clinical mental health specialist examination if granted by the American Nurses Credentialing Center prior to 2003.

Other certifications may be considered. The Board would require detailed information about the program and examination.

Prescriptive Authority in Alaska

In order to be eligible for initial prescriptive authority, the nurse will need to demonstrate 15 hours of recent coursework in advanced pharmacology and drug therapy management. Education is ongoing; the advanced practice nurse will need 24 hours of relevant continuing education during each renewal period (12 hours in pharmacotherapeutics and 12 hours in clinical patient management).

Prescriptive authority, held in conjunction with CRNA certification, authorizes dispensing of controlled substances. In the case of nurse practitioners, prescriptive authority typically authorizes dispensing of legend drugs. In some cases, an advanced practice nurse will also receive prescriptive authority for controlled substances. This authorization requires concurrent registration with the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency.

Nonrenewable Permits

An individual who holds an Alaska RN license and has met examination prerequisites can be issued a nonrefundable permit that authorizes practice pending examination/ certification. The temporary permit is invalidated if the individual fails an examination attempt.

The Application Process

Applications are available online ( are separate forms for APNs and CRNAs.

Any advanced care nurse who will be providing health services to the public will need to provide a consultation and referral plan.

The graduate transcript is to be sent directly to the licensing agency from the issuing institution.

The applicant can use copies of certificates to document coursework required for prescriptive authority. The licensing agency will need to know the actual number of hours of pharmacology that an APN has pursued; it may be necessary to provide course outlines as documentation.

The applicant will need to have one individual complete a reference form; additional references will be listed on the application.

A nurse who has not yet taken q qualifying examination will need to document that one has been scheduled.

Fees vary. The applicant will pay $50 for application, $60 for initial authorization, and $50 for prescriptive authority. An ANP who seeks prescriptive authority for both legend drugs and controlled substances will pay a $50 fee for each. A nonrenewable or temporary permit, if required, will cost $50.

Internationally Educated Advanced Practice Nurses

A foreign program is expected to meet similar requirements (with the exception of programmatic accreditation). A nurse who attended a foreign nursing program will need to have his or her credentials evaluated by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools.

The Board will also require an English proficiency examination (IELTS or TOEFL) if English was not the primary language of the nation where the nursing program was pursued.

Renewal Requirements

ANP authorizations must be renewed every two years; the first renewal period is typically shorter. The practitioner must hold current certification.

The ANP will need to meet the continuing education requirements of the certifying agency or, in the absence of such requirements, complete 30 contact hours of continuing education. Continuing education may simultaneously meet requirements for advanced practice authorization and prescriptive authority.

CRNAs will need to demonstrate current national certification.

Additional Information

Credentialing information is available from the Alaska Board of Nursing ( The licensing agency can be reached by telephone at (907) 269-8161.

Professional organizations include the Alaska Nurse Practitioner Association ( and the Alaska Association of Nurse Anesthetists (

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