Top CNA Programs in Alaska
Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) play an integral role in allowing a healthcare team to operate smoothly. These healthcare professionals can be found working in hospitals, assisted living facilities, and in doctor's offices across the country.
Core duties of CNAs include:
- Feeding, bathing and dressing patients
- Taking patient vital signs
- Serving meals, making beds and maintaining room cleanliness
- Setting up medical equipment and assisting with certain medical procedures
- Answering patient calls for help and observing any changes in a patient's health condition
How to Choose a Top CNA Program in Alaska
In researching the very best Certified Nursing Assistant programs in the state, one should take the following into consideration:
- Student completion rate of the program
- Availability of scholarships
- Cost of attending the program
- The size of the program - how many campuses is it offered at?
- Any local hospital partnerships the program may have
- How long the program has been in operation
- Accolades received by the program
- State board examination pass rate
Testing and Certification
In order to be qualified to take Alaska's state CNA examination, CNA candidates will first need to complete a training program that has been approved by the state. Training programs need to have at least 140 hours of training comprised of 60 hours of in-class teaching and 80 hours of laboratory/clinical practice. Generally, CNA training courses in the state take anywhere between 2 to 6 months for students to complete. Upon completion of a state authorized program, candidates are able to apply for the certification exam. The application should be submitted to the Alaska Board of Nursing, and should include a photo ID, a passport sized photo, the required fee, and finger print cards that are required for the state and federal background check. After candidates pass both the exam and background checks, their names will be added to the Alaska Nurse Aide Registry. Alaska CNA licenses should be renewed every two years.
List of CNA Classes and Programs in Alaska
Alaska is home to many quality nursing programs. Some of the most prolific CNA programs in the state include the following:
University of Alaska Southeast (UAS)
UAS is a publicly funded, four-year institution that is part of the University of Alaska system. It’s main campus is located in Juneau, in the south of Alaska.
UAS offers students a Certified Nursing Aide training program in its Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan campuses. The 9-credit hour CNA program is designed to train entry level workers in the basic skills required to effectively assist nurses and doctors and to be efficient health care team members. Certified nursing aide candidates who successfully complete the program qualify to sit for the Alaska Certification Exam for Nursing Assistants.
The university reports that 98% of all UAS CNA program graduates have passed the state licensing exam. This figure puts it as one of the top CNA programs in the state.
The program is comprised of 75 lecture hours and 80 lab/clinical hours.
Hospitals and healthcare facilities near UAS currently hiring Certified Nursing Assistants
- Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium
- Brookdale Senior Living Inc.
- United Surgical Partners International
The total program cost for the CNA program at UAS is $1,763.
University of Alaska (UAF) Fairbanks Community and Technical College
UAF Community and Technical College is located in the city of Fairbanks in central Alaska. The school offers a state approved, 9-credit Nurse Aide Program which prepares students for the state of Alaska Certification Exam and prepares them to enter the healthcare field. The UAF Community and Technical College CNA program is available to students at all of it’s campuses.
The one semester CNA program is comprised of two parts: a didactic instruction portion, which contains both online and face to face meetings, and a laboratory/clinical skills portion where students learn hands-on nursing skills. Students can complete this program in an entirely online setting, through in-person classes, and also through a mix of in-class and online courses.
Courses CNA candidates will take during the program include Nurse Aide Training, Personal Care Attendant Training, and Person Care Attendant to Nursing.
Hospitals and healthcare facilities in the area currently hiring Certified Nursing Assistants
- Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium
- Montrose Bay Health and Rehabilitation Center
- Foundation Health
For Alaska residents to attend UAF, tuition is $212/credit hour totaling $1,908. For Non-residents to attend UAF, tuition is $751/credit hour totaling $6,759.
Located just southeast of Anchorage, Alaska on the island of Kodiak sits Kodiak College. The college is a public, two-year satellite campus of the University of Alaska, Anchorage, and has been operating as a community college since 1968.
KC offers a 140-hour, 7-credit Certified Nursing Assistant program that is approved by the state of Alaska. The program hours are divided into two parts: 60 hours of in-class instruction and 80 hours of supervised clinical experience. The clinical portion is conducted during a combination of weekday hours, weekends and some evenings.
Hospitals and healthcare facilities in Kodiak currently hiring CNAs
- Providence Health & Services
The curriculum CNA candidates will take during the program is a 7-credit course that simply goes by the title of Certified Nurse Aide—this program course is divided into 2 sections: lecture and clinical experience.
To attend Kodiak College’s Certified Nursing Assistant program, in-state residents will pay $185 per credit hour, which comes to a total of $1,295 for the entire program.