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A Guide to Nursing in Alaska

If you like the outdoors, you’ll love Alaska. Ever feel like dogsledding? Alaska’s got it. Hike up a glacier? You bet. And don’t forget about the majesty of the Northern Lights. Hiking, kayaking, and cruises are also popular reasons to visit Alaska.

If you are a registered nurse (or are thinking of becoming one) read on to find the information you need, from licensing info, continuing education requirements, job & salary outlook, top hospitals, and nursing associations. Let us help you find your dream job!

In this article, we will cover:

Licensing information

Below are the fees for becoming a nurse in Alaska whether you are a first-time nurse or are moving to Alaska from another state. For more information visit the Alaska licensing page.

Licensing fees by examination (first-time nurses):

  • NCLEX fee: $200

  • Application fee: $100

  • License fee: $200

  • Fingerprint processing fee: $75

Licensing by endorsement (already have RN licensure):

  • Application fee: $100

  • License fee: $200

  • Fingerprint processing fee: $75

  • Temporary permit: $100

  • License verification: $30

  • APRN fees: $400 (total)

*Fees are subject to change.


Steps for renewing an Alaska nursing license

  1. Verify the status of your license Visit the Verification page to confirm your license. The license period is for two years based upon the renewal cycle of the license.

  2. Complete your Alaska nursing continuing education requirements before your license expires You can complete your nursing CEUs online, on your schedule, and 100% free with Incredible Health.

  3. Go to the Alaska Board of Nursing to enter your renewal application Visit the Alaska Board of Nursing’s Renewal Information page for information.


Continuing education requirements

RN/LPN/APRN: 2 of the following are required every 2 years:

  • 30 contact hours;

  • 320 hours documents nursing employment;

  • 30 hours in professional activities or volunteer work

APRNs with prescriptive authority are required 12 contact hours in advanced pharmacology and 12 contact hours in the clinical management of patients, which may be counted as part of the 30 contact hours.

In addition, to renew a valid federal DEA registration number 2 hours in pain management and opioid use and addiction, are required.

Incredible Health offers ANCC-accredited continuing education courses for nurses in all 50 states, 100% free and online. The Alaska Board of Nursing accepts courses that are ANCC accredited.

Job & salary outlook for nurses in Alaska

Due to the shortage of nurses, these healthcare professionals are in high demand. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates the profession will grow by about 9% between 2020-2030. The annual mean wage is $95,270.

We can also help you check out salary estimates to help determine if Alaska is the right state for you.

[ MORE: Average nurse salary in Alaska ]


Top hospitals in Alaska

If you’re not already picking up the phone to call movers, maybe this list of the best hospitals in Alaska will sway you in the right direction. Here are the top hospitals according to U.S. News and World Report:

  • Providence Alaska Medical Center – Anchorage, AK: This facility is a member of the Magnet Recognition Program® and is the state’s largest hospital, with a nationally recognized adult and pediatric trauma center. This hospital provides full-service, comprehensive care to all Alaskans. Here are some highlights of the health system:

    • Trauma center

    • Heart failure

    • Heart attack

    • Kidney failure

    • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

  • Alaska Native Medical Center – Anchorage, AK: This Magnet Recognition Program® hospital provides comprehensive medical services to Alaska Native and American Indian people living in Alaska. This hospital provides the highest quality care and where cutting-edge technology meets special cultural and traditional services. Here are some highlights of the health system:

    • Heart failure

    • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

    • Pneumonia

  • Alaska Regional Hospital – Anchorage, AK: This hospital has consistently been accredited by The Joint Commission, the nation’s leading healthcare monitoring organization. Here are some highlights of this health system:

    • Heart attack

    • Colon cancer surgery

    • Kidney failure

    • Procedures and conditions related to orthopedics

*Magnet status – Awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and is considered the “gold standard” for excellence in nursing practice and care. Hospitals must meet certain criteria and apply to be designated.


Nursing organizations and associations in Alaska

Once you become a registered nurse (or even if you’re in the process), joining a nursing organization or association will give you access to networking, job opportunities, and a wealth of information shared between fellow nurses. Here are a few of the organizations and associations for nurses in Alaska.

Alaska Nurses Association: Purpose is to advance and support the nursing profession in Alaska.

American Association of Nurse Practitioners: This association is dedicated to NPs to advance quality health care through practice, education, advocacy, research, and leadership.

Alaska School Nurses Association: The association is dedicated to helping nursing school students achieve school health and to advancing school nursing practice to keep students healthy, safe, and ready to learn.

Check out the comprehensive list of national organizations as well.


Basic steps for licensing and certification

Step 1: Education

Attend an accredited nursing school to earn either an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). An ADN will take between 18 and 24 months to complete, while you can expect to spend roughly four years to earn a BSN. If you already have an ADN, there is an ADN to BSN bridge program that allows you to earn a BSN in 12-18 months. There is also an RN to BSN bridge which takes three semesters of nursing courses to be completed in one year. These programs will save you time and money. The more education you have, the better your chances of landing your dream job.

Step 2: Licensing

When you are six weeks away from graduation, you can apply to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam. There are 75 to 265 questions on the NCLEX-RN with a five-hour time limit for completion. If you do not pass the NCLEX-RN on your first attempt, you must wait 45 days before you can try again.

The NCLEX includes questions on the following topics to test nursing candidates’ knowledge:

1. Safe and effective care environment

2. Health promotion and maintenance

3. Psychosocial integrity

4. Physiological integrity

Step 3: Experience

This step in the process is to gain hands-on experience. This will provide you with invaluable opportunities to work with patients making you attractive to future employers.

Step 4: Certification

The final step is to obtain certifications for your chosen career. Requirements for earning a certification vary so it is important to check with the governing body for information. Incredible Health offers free courses in order to obtain or renew certification requirements. Create a free account to access professional development mandates and get instant certificates.

Contact information

Alaska Board of Nursing

Office Assistant

Shirley DeBose

Phone: (907) 269-8161

Fax: (907) 269-8156

Robert B. Atwood Building

550 W. 7th Avenue, Suite 1500

Anchorage, AK 99501-3567

Your Instructor

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