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Alaska Nursing License Requirements

Nurses in Alaska are licensed and overseen by the Alaska Board of Nursing, which has as its mission the protection of the health of Alaskan citizens and the promotion of safe and effective nursing practice in the state. The Alaska Board of Nursing licenses registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and advanced nurse practitioners. The process to become licensed as a nurse begins with a sound education in clinical nursing at the post-secondary level and continues with national exams to ensure that prospective nurses are qualified to obtain licensing. This page will help prospective nurses in Alaska determine the steps to take to obtain a license to practice.

» How to become a licensed practical nurse (requires completion of a training program)
» How to become a registered nurse (requires an associate’s or bachelor’s degree)
» How to become a nurse practitioner (requires a master’s degree)

4 Steps to Become a Licensed Practical Nurse in Alaska

1. Earn Certification in a Licensed Practical Nursing Program.

The first step to licensure as a licensed practical nurse is to complete a program in licensed practical nursing at the post-secondary level. The licensed practical nursing program completed must either be accredited by the Alaska Board of Nursing or meet the same requirements as programs that are so accredited in the opinion of the board.1 Programs that are accredited by the National League of Nursing are also acceptable for meeting the education requirements.1

2. Complete the Application for Licensed Practical Nurse by Examination.

The Application for Licensed Practical Nurse by Examination is the official application form for practical nurse licensure.2 The application should be completed prior to taking the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN), and should include:

  • The completed application, duly signed and notarized;
  • A passport style photograph two inches by two inches in size, signed and dated by the applicant and taken within six months of the application for licensure;
  • A check or money order for the current license and/or permit fees;
  • A complete set of fingerprint cards, which can be requested from the Alaska Board of Nursing;
  • The Nursing Program Verification form included in the application completed by the school at which the nursing program was completed. Note that faxed copies of this form are not accepted;
  • Official transcripts from the school(s) attended. Official electronic transcripts can be sent in lieu of physical documents to boardofnursing@alaska.gov.2

If a temporary permit is desired, the applicant may request the permit using the official application provided the required items for temporary permitting are received.2 The temporary permit is valid for six months or until the official NCLEX-PN score is released.2 The processing time for new applications is typically 10 business days.2

3. Pass the NCLEX-PN

The NCLEX-PN may be taken at any time in the application process after the Alaska Board of Nursing has reviewed the application for licensure and issued an Authorization to Test.2 The Authorization to Test permits the applicant to register with Pearson Vue, the test administrator, to take the NCLEX-PN.3 A permanent license will be issued by the Alaska Board of Nursing following notification from Pearson VUE that an applicant has successfully taken and passed the NCLEX-PN.2

4. If Desired, Complete a Scope of Practice Request.

Licensed practical nurses may submit a scope of practice request using the Evaluation of LPN, RN, & ANP Scope of Practice Request packet.4 The scope of practice request, if approved, may allow licensed practical nurses to expand the nursing services offered following additional education, which should be pre-approved by the Alaska Board of Nursing.4

4 Steps to Become a Registered Nurse in Alaska

1. Complete a Registered Nursing Education and Training Program.

The Alaska Board of Nursing accredits education and training programs for registered nurses. Prospective licensees should complete a program accredited by the board to ensure eligibility for licensure.1 Alternatively, candidates may complete a program that meets the accreditation standards set by the board or that is accredited by the National League for Nursing.1 This accreditation must be in effect at the time that the candidate graduates from the program.1

2. Submit the Application for Registered Nurse by Examination.

The Application for Registered Nurse by Examination must be completed thoroughly and submitted to the Alaska Board of Nursing for licensure consideration. The form must be signed and notarized, and include supporting documentation:5

  • A passport style photo of the applicant taken within the last six months, signed and dated on the back, two inches by two inches in size;
  • A check or money order for the license and permit fees, as applicable;
  • A completed fingerprint card, requested from the Alaska Board of Nursing or other authorized provider;
  • A Nursing Program Verification form completed by the school at which the registered nursing education was earned;
  • Official transcripts from the college or nursing school attended, sent directly to the board. Official electronic transcripts sent by the school(s) are also accepted by email at boardofnursing@alaska.gov.

Processing time for registered nurse applications is typically 10 business days.5 If a temporary permit to practice is desired, the permit may be requested on the official application for licensure. Such permits are valid for up to six months or until the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) results are received.5

3. Achieve a Passing Score on the NCLEX-RN.

Passage of the NCLEX-RN is required for all prospective registered nurses in Alaska who have not previously been licensed in another state.1 A passing score on the exam must be achieved prior to licensure. If the examination is not passed, registered nurses may re-attempt the exam; should a passing score not be obtained within two years of the initial attempt, candidates must take a remedial course recommended by the Alaska Board of Nursing.1 A registered nurse license is issued following receipt of a passing score.

4. Optionally, Request Expanded Scope of Practice.

Registered nurses may request expanded scope of practice from the Alaska Board of Nursing by completing a packet of information showing the education and potential benefit of the expanded scope requested.4 The Alaska Board of Nursing will review all such requests and either approve or deny the expanded scope based on the information provided in the Evaluation of LPN, RN & ANP Scope of Practice Requests form.4

5 Steps to Become an Advanced Nurse Practitioner in Alaska

1. Obtain Licensure as a Registered Nurse.

Prospective nurse practitioners in Alaska must first become licensed as registered nurses, which includes taking and passing the NCLEX-RN exam.1 Completion of the requirements for becoming a registered nurse may also include completion of a bachelor’s degree, which is also a prerequisite for the graduate work required to become a nurse practitioner.1

2. Obtain Nurse Practitioner Certification in One or More Populations.

Prospective nurse practitioners must obtain authorization to practice in at least one population area, such as acute care and emergency, adult, or women’s health. A list of populations is available in the Alaska State Statutes.1 Certification to work with the populations desired must be obtained from a national certification body recognized by the Alaska Board of Nursing.1 A list of approved certification programs is included in the Advanced Nurse Practitioner Application.6

3. Complete a Graduate Education in Nursing.

A graduate education is a prerequisite for licensure in advanced practice nursing. The graduate education must comprise at least one academic year of study that prepares previously licensed registered nurses for an expanded health care role.1 The program must also include clinical and classroom instruction, with at least 500 hours of supervised clinical practice.1

4. Submit the Advanced Nurse Practitioner Application.

The Advanced Nurse Practitioner Application should be completed and submitted to the Alaska Board of Nursing following completion of the graduate education and certification requirements. Along with the application, candidates for licensure should include:6

  • A check or money order for the application and licensure fees;
  • Certified transcripts sent directly from the completed graduate program to the Alaska Board of Nursing;
  • A certified copy of the certificate for the role and population focus(es) issued by the nationally certifying body;
  • A consultation and referral plan form, included with the application.

Depending on the population focus of the candidate, additional documentation may be required. Candidates may review the licensure application form or contact the Alaska Board of Nursing for specific population specialization requirements.6

Optional: Apply for Authorization to Prescribe and Dispense Drugs (Optional)

The authorization for nurse practitioners in Alaska to prescribe and dispense drugs is a separate application process from nurse practitioner licensing.1 The authorization may be requested by completing the Advanced Nurse Practitioner Application for Authorization to Prescribe and Dispense Controlled Substances.7 To qualify for permission to prescribe, advanced nurse practitioners must have received 15 contact hours of advanced education in pharmacology.6 Note that candidates who wish to request this authorization must also apply to register with the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency.6

Alaska Nursing Associations

There are numerous nursing associations and organizations in Alaska that can help prospective and licensed nurses find networking opportunities, employment openings, and continuing education.

Alaska Nursing Salary

OccupationNumber EmployedAverage Annual Salary
Nursing Assistants1,720$37,520
Licensed Practical Nurses and Licensed Vocational Nurses500$53,760
Registered Nurses5,570$86,450
Nurse Practitioners450$121,250

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2016.8,9,10,11

References:
1. Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing Statutes and Regulations: https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/Portals/5/pub/NursingStatutes.pdf
2. Alaska Application for Licensed Practical Nurse by Examination: https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/portals/5/pub/nur4111.pdf
3. Pearson Vue: https://portal.ncsbn.org/
4. Alaska Board of Nursing Evaluation of LPN, RN & ANP Scope of Practice Requests: https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/cbpl/ProfessionalLicensing/BoardofNursing/IncreasingScopeofPracticeDuties.aspx
5. Alaska Application for Registered Nurse by Examination: https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/portals/5/pub/nur4112.pdf
6. Advanced Nurse Practitioner Application: https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/portals/5/pub/nur4028.pdf
7. Advanced Nurse Practitioner Application for Authorization to Prescribe and Dispense Controlled Substances: https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/portals/5/pub/nur4028d.pdf
8. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wages, Nursing Assistants: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes311014.htm
9. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wages, Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292061.htm
10. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wages, Registered Nurses: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291141.htm
11. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wages, Nurse Practitioners: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291171.htm