The COVID-19 pandemic has rocked our world and brought out the best and worst of us. The bad guys, especially, have found ways to target people during coronavirus times and get them to turn over their hard-earned cash. With stimulus check scams, fake contact tracing, and more, you need to constantly be on the lookout. Now they’re even targeting frontline workers. If you’ve received a call or voicemail recently warning that your Alaska Nursing License has been suspended, beware! It’s a scam.
Here’s what you need to know.
Beware of Pandemic AK Nursing License Scam
The State of Alaska now warns all licensed healthcare professionals to beware of a scheme where criminals pose as professional board investigators or law enforcement officials. The criminals will tell you that you are being investigated by the FBI for drug trafficking and will ask you to confirm your professional license number as well as your DEA registration number. They will ask a series of other questions and threaten you with arrest and jail time if you don’t cooperate and agree to pay a fine or bond. If you receive a call like this, here’s what you should do:
- Don’t Answer Their Questions—Do not give any personal information and do not provide your license or DEA number. The best thing you can do if you receive a scam call is to hang up.
- Note the Number—If the number and/or a name appears on your phone, make note of it.
- Report It—The State of Alaska Licensing Board and its investigators will never call you and ask for identifying information. You should report the call immediately to the local authorities and or contact the Division Investigations Unit at 907-269-8124 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Changes to Alaska Board of Nursing Licensing Rules
The pandemic has also brought about unprecedented change, especially for medical professionals. Because of this, the Alaska Board of Nursing has had to adapt accordingly and create new rules and regulations for nursing licenses.
Typically, Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses in Alaska renew their licenses on a set schedule. For RNs, the renewal deadline is Nov. 30 of even-numbered years, and for LPNs, the renewal deadline is Sept. 30 of even-numbered years. Since this even-numbered year has brought about odd circumstances, you may have had trouble meeting these deadlines. If so, don’t worry—the Alaska Board of Nursing has made some changes to help you out:
- LPNs— If you are an LPN who missed the Sept. 30 deadline, you must reinstate your license. If you submitted your reinstatement application before Nov. 30, your penalty fee was waived. However, if you submit your application on Dec. 1 or later, you will have to pay the $10 penalty fee.
- RNs—If you are an RN or an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, your renewal deadline has been extended to Feb. 28, 2021 due to the increased number of applicants. You can renew online or by mail.
Earlier this year, the Alaska Board of Nursing also made changes to the renewal requirements. Both LPNs and RNs now only need 15 hours of continuing education instead of the usual 30 hours. The professional activity hours required for auditing have also been waived.
Emergency Courtesy Nursing Licenses
Because of the urgency of the COVID-19 pandemic, and because so many nurses have had to undergo rigorous testing and quarantines, the Alaska Board of Nursing now issues Emergency Courtesy Licenses. These licenses allow nurses from other states to temporarily practice in the State of Alaska so they can fill in the gaps of patient care wherever it’s needed. Here are the rules for Emergency Courtesy Licenses that you should know:
- You must have a valid nursing license in another state or Canadian province.
- The Emergency Courtesy License is only valid for up to 120 days. The licensee may apply for an extension that lasts for up to 120 days within 18 months of the license’s issue date.
- The Emergency Courtesy License may not be used in place of a temporary license or any other license.
- All licensees must comply with the rules set forth by the Alaska Board of Nursing.
Nurses are in demand in Alaska, especially because of the pandemic. If you’re ready to play an essential role in the healthcare system and assist on the frontlines, contact Charter College today. We offer an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing that can help meet the demand for nurses in Anchorage and across Alaska. Call us at 888-200-9942 or fill out the form to learn more.