Nurses play a vital role in patient care in every state in the nation. But being a nurse in Alaska is especially rewarding. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the demand for nurses will grow faster than the average for all occupations over the next decade. And in Alaska, the demand for nurses is even greater. If you’re ready to become a nurse in Alaska, here’s what you need to do to get started.
1. Apply to an Accredited Nursing Program in Alaska
You’ll need knowledge, training, and experience to become a nurse in Alaska. The first step is to enroll in an accredited nursing program and earn your degree. Your program should teach you how to provide excellent patient care, administer medication, and properly maintain medical records. You’ll also learn the fundamentals of anatomy and physiology, the basics of safety and sanitation, federal healthcare laws and regulations, and how to work well in a nursing environment.
2. Graduate from Your Nursing Program
Your nursing program will teach you the fundamentals of human anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, and what you need to become a professional and effective nurse. You’ll learn about the critical need to follow proper sanitation and sterilization protocols and how to provide excellent patient care. You will also learn about healthcare regulations, patient privacy rules, and workplace laws. During your program, you will have frequent assessments to make certain you master each level of training.
3. Register for the NCLEX Exam in Alaska
Once you graduate from your nursing program, you can begin the process to obtain your license. The first step in that process is to register for the National Council Licensure Examination, or the NCLEX. Before you can schedule an exam date and time, you’ll need to submit an application for licensure to the State of Alaska Board of Nursing. Once you submit the application with all of the requirements, the board Board will verify that you are eligible to sit for the NCLEX. Here’s what happens next:
- Verification—Pearson VUE will send you an email that acknowledges you have signed up for the NCLEX.
- Eligibility—The Board of Nursing will mark your status as eligible in the Pearson VUE system.
- Authorization—You’ll receive an Authorization to Test email from Pearson VUE. Now you can schedule your exam date.
4. Pass the NCLEX Exam
Once you have successfully completed your nursing program, you can sit for the National Council Licensure Examination (NLCEX) exam. Take the NLCEX-PN exam after you complete your practical nursing program. If you complete an associate’s degree in nursing or a bachelor’s degree in nursing program, you can sit for the NCLEX-RN exam. Both exams are six hours and cover four focus areas:
- Safe Effective Care Environment (e.g., infection control)
- Health Promotion and Maintenance (e.g., preventative care)
- Psychosocial (mental health for you and your patients)
- Physiological (overall proper nursing care)
On the day of the exam, you’ll need to arrive at least 30 minutes ahead of time to allow for registration and preparation. You’ll need to present an acceptable form of ID:
- Driver’s license
- Passport book or card
- State identification
- Permanent residence card
- Military identification card
You will need to submit to a palm scan, provide your digital signature, and have your picture taken. You will not be allowed to access your cell phone or any personal items during the exam, so you should leave them in your car or put them in provided locked storage. You’ll have five hours to complete the exam and that time includes two optional breaks. After the exam, you’ll be asked to fill out a survey about the testing experience.
5. Get Your Nursing License and Professional Experience in Alaska
After you pass your exam, you will receive a nursing license from the State of Alaska. Now, it’s up to you to get the professional experience you’ll need to become a great nurse. You’ll also be required to keep your credentials current and to earn regular continuing education credits. The Alaska Board of Nursing requires 30 hours of continuing education every two years.
If you’re ready to get on the path to a nursing career in Alaska, let Charter College be your guide. Explore the Nursing, AAS program today.