Certified Nursing Assistant Training in Alaska
What is a CNA?
While doctors and nurses take on a more medical scope of practice in healthcare settings, CNAs bridge the gap between medical care and personal caregiving. As a nurse’s aide, you may carry out healthcare duties like medication administration and bathing while ensuring that each patient’s personal, dietary, and social needs are met.
How Can I Become a Nurse Aide (CNA) in Alaska?
Ready to answer the question “What is a CNA?” and start your career in the field of healthcare?
Check out the list of Alaska CNA training programs below and get in touch with schools in your area.
As you learn more about becoming a certified nurse aide and what this role involves, you’ll find out more about what it takes to become a CNA, apply for certification, and secure a job in this field. You may also discover what the job outlook is in this field and what Alaska CNAs earn.
What Kind of CNA Training Do I Need in Alaska?
Earning your CNA certification is an excellent way to get involved in one of the fastest growing industries in the United States, make a difference in patients’ lives, and even start preparing for a career in nursing. With schools throughout Alaska, you can compare your options and choose which training program fits your needs. Alaska, like many other states, requires licensure for nurse assistant applicants.
Keep reading to find out what type of education and training you need to qualify for licensure.
Getting Into a Certified Nursing Assistant Program in Alaska
While comparing different options for CNA training in Alaska, you should find that there are quite a few institutions that offer CNA training. Some are educational facilities, such as technical schools and community colleges. Other programs are offered through nursing homes, hospitals, and other healthcare employers that are facing a growing CNA shortage. Regardless of which option you choose, this program is quite short and you should be able to graduate in less than six weeks.
When you apply to Alaska training programs, you must meet certain admissions requirements. Since CNA training is often available to high school students and recent graduates, admissions requirements are very straightforward. Some schools accept non-high school graduates. If you do not have a high school diploma or GED, you need an Accuplacer assessment to be accepted.
Application Requirements in Alaska
- TABE test scores
- Government-issued ID
- Negative drug test
- Negative TB test
- Background check
- Fingerprinting cards
- Immunization records
CNA Training in Alaska
Those who take on a nursing assistant role spend the vast majority of their time working with patients, so hands-on experience is a crucial part of your education. However, you must also understand basic healthcare theory and terminology in order to become part of a local healthcare team.
Since the Alaska Nurse Aide Registry requires at least 140 hours of education, you should plan on spending at least four weeks in school. Part-time programs are generally six weeks long, but some stretch out training to eight weeks. Although this program is short-term, it has specific learning outcomes that you should achieve by the time you’re ready to earn your license.
Learning Outcomes at CNA Certification Alaska Programs
- Understand health disorders, including disorders of different body systems and mental health disorders
- Correctly use medical terminology
- Communicate effectively with healthcare providers, families, and patients
- Understand the goals of range of motion exercises and how to administer passive range of motion
- Carry out emergency care
- Know how to help patients reach their nutritional goals and daily nutritional needs
- Be able to explain the role of the certified nurse aide in healthcare
CNA Classes in Alaska
- Communication and Interpersonal Skills: An overview of basic communication skills for the healthcare environment
- Infection Control: Minimizing the spread of infection and protecting patients’ health
- Standard Precautions: Utilizing proper precautions when handling bodily fluids, especially blood
- Emergency Procedures: Steps for reacting to an emergency situation, getting the necessary help, and providing emergency care to patients
- Client Rights: The rights and independence of patients in different healthcare settings
- Patient Status and Care Documentation: Recordkeeping for patient status and the care you provide throughout a shift
- Measuring and Documenting Temperature, Pulse, and Respiration: Protocols for measuring and recording vital signs
- Anatomy and Physiology: Body systems, functions, and disorders
- Personal Hygiene and Grooming: Personal care services, including bathing, oral care, dressing, and toiling
- Safe Transfers and Positioning: Moving and positioning patients alone or with the help of assistive devices
Can I Complete My Patient Care Tech or CNA Program Online?
The state of Alaska requires 140 hours of education, 60 of which must come from classroom instruction and 80 of which must come from clinical rotations and supervised hands-on work (Alaska Nurse Aide Registry, 2017).
Since CNA programs require clinical work, there are no accredited online programs that prepare you for nurse’s assistant certification in Alaska. You may be able to complete some of your classroom hours and work online, since this part of your training typically covers theory. However, you must still spend at least 80 hours in an approved setting working under the supervision of an instructor or registered nurse.
CNA Certification as a Prerequisite for Nursing School in Alaska
Most nursing schools require CNA licensure as a condition of beginning your degree. When you start nursing school, you learn about human anatomy and physiology, the foundations of patient care, healthcare communication skills, and medical terminology.
As you can see, many of these topics significantly overlap with certified nurse aid training. Alaska schools use this requirement as a way of ensuring that nursing school applicants are ready for the physical demands of a healthcare career and the various tasks that may be expected of them.
In addition, any practical experience you can get before you start your career is good for you; with a CNA license, you can work while you’re in nursing school and become comfortable with some of the jobs that may become your daily work duties after graduation.
Paying for a CNA Program in Alaska
Each nurse assistant training program in Alaska has its own financial aid options and requirements. Some CNA programs do not qualify for federal aid, due to their short duration. However, many schools do qualify for federal aid, including grants, unsubsidized loans, and subsidized loans.
When you’ve selected a school, you can fill out the FAFSA, also known as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This application has strict annual deadlines, so make sure you apply as soon as you can.
You may also use private scholarship sources to fund your CNA classes in Alaska. Many nursing organizations award scholarships to those studying nursing at any level. Peterson’s lists a wide variety of scholarships, from local grants to national scholarships. It’s easy to search current scholarships and apply for those that fit you. One local option is the Alaska Performance Scholarship, which is awarded based on academic performance.
Working as a Certified Nursing Assistant in Alaska
CNA Requirements in Alaska
Once you have completed your nurse assistant training, it’s time to apply for CNA certification. Alaska oversees this process through the Alaska Nurse Aide Registry. You must schedule your written or oral competency exam through Pearson VUE. With your application, you must also pay a variety of fees and submit additional paperwork.
Certification Documents and Fees in Alaska
- $50 application fee
- $100 certification fee
- $60 fingerprinting fee
- $50 examination fee
- 2×2 photograph of your face
Once you have your initial license, it is good until March 31 of the next even-numbered year. Renewal documents must be submitted by March 31 to avoid a lapse in licensure. During your first renewal cycle, you either have no continuing education requirements to meet or you must meet half of the current continuing education requirements. This depends on when you received your initial license.
During each subsequent cycle, you must complete at least 160 hours of work as a CNA and complete 24 hours of continuing education.
Where are the Best CNA Jobs in Alaska?
Alaska is a great place to work as a CNA. The state has many rural and remote communities that have limited access to healthcare. In these areas, CNAs are expected to work within their full scope of practice to save time for doctors and nurses, provide patients with timely care, and streamline operations.
If you work in a nursing home or assisted living facility, you may work a variety of shifts and hours. This is due to the need for around-the-clock staffing. You may see the same patients on a consistent basis, since many patients remain in their nursing homes until they pass.
You may also look into hospitals. CNAs work with patients of all ages, diagnoses, medical needs, and backgrounds in hospitals, since they provide basic care to various departments. Like nursing homes, hospitals typically have around-the-clock staffing requirements.
Home health is a growing area of opportunity for patient care tech graduates. As a nurse assistant, you may work shifts at group homes or patients’ own homes to prepare food, administer medication, document their status, and get information on any health concerns they may have. These traveling positions may allow you to travel to communities in your area.
Nurse Aide Hiring Requirements and Preferences
- Strong knowledge of medical terminology
- Effective listening skills
- Ability to stand for 8 to 12 hour shifts
- Strong decision making skills
- Ability to bend, squat, lift, move, and kneel comfortably
- Flexible scheduling availability
What Does a Nursing Assistant Do in Alaska?
At all times, you must stay within the scope of practice for a nurse’s aide. This is laid out by the Alaska Nurse Aide Registry. Acting outside of your scope of practice may lead to termination or suspension of your license.
The Nurse Aide Registry notes that a nursing aide may carry out many basic healthcare and emergency tasks.
CNA Scope of Practice
- Monitoring body functions
- Non-invasive collection of specimens
- Measuring intake of fluid and food
- Personal care skills, including bathing, grooming, and dressing
- Skin care
- Range of motion
- Transfer and ambulation
Certified Nursing Aide Duties
- Check patient vital signs as needed or as scheduled throughout a shift
- Respond to patient questions and requests in a timely manner
- Lift clients or help them ambulate as requested and as ordered by physical therapists
- Notify supervising nurses and doctors of changes in patient condition
- Feed clients and provide hydration
- Assist clients in restroom and with basic hygiene
- Administer medications as scheduled and ordered
- Provide access to social activity and mentally stimulating activities
- Maintain thorough patient records and documentation
- Promote self-care and independence that is in line with each patient’s abilities
How Much Does a CNA Make in Alaska?
The average salary for a nurse’s assistant in Alaska is significantly higher than the national average. Furthermore, Alaska has a growing healthcare shortage that has led many employers to ramp up their hiring efforts. If you are willing to work in a shortage area or a high-needs area, you may be able to secure bonuses or incentives.
On average, Alaska nursing assistants earn $37,300 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017). In the southeast region of the state, the average salary is slightly higher, at $40,090 per year (BLS, 2017). Between 2014 and 2024, the Bureau of Labor Statistics believes that job openings for CNAs may increase 18% throughout the country (2017).
Important CNA Resources in Alaska
In any industry, it’s important to have a professional network that helps you navigate issues, come up with solutions, and keeps you up-to-date on new protocols and standards. You may get involved in local healthcare groups, build a community at your place of employment, and attend local seminars and events as they are available.
CNA Organizations and Associations
- National Association of Health Care Assistants
- National Association of Career Nursing Assistants
- National Association for Home Care and Hospice
When you become a nursing assistant, you have a chance to improve healthcare in your community and even expand access to healthcare. This is particularly true in Alaska. A recent report out of Florida notes that CNAs have many care responsibilities in rural parts of Alaska (Synapse, 2017).
A well-trained CNA team can free up nurses and doctors to focus on specialized tasks, which makes care quicker and more affordable across the board. This is your opportunity to learn more about Alaska caregiver training and certified nurse aid licensure.
Use the list of training programs below to contact CNA schools in your area.
Alaska Career College
Campus Locations in: Anchorage, AK
Matching Programs: Medical Assistant Specialist
Program Types Offered: Diploma
Campus Locations in: Anchorage, AK / Wasilla, AK
Matching Programs: AAS – Allied Health
Program Types Offered: Associate Degree, Certificate
University of Alaska-Anchorage
Campus Locations in: Anchorage, AK / Fairbanks, AK
Matching Programs: Medical Assistant Program
Program Types Offered: Certificate
Programmatic Accreditation: CAAHEP
University of Alaska-Fairbanks
Campus Locations in: Fairbanks, AK
Matching Programs: Medical Assisting – Certificate
Program Types Offered: Certificate
Programmatic Accreditation: CAAHEP