Aspiring licensed practical nurses will see many opportunities for gainful employment in the state of Alaska due to a nursing shortage across the U.S. that continues to increase. In fact, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services predicts that Alaska will fill all current LPN positions but still be short by 890 LPNs between 2012 and 2025.
LPN programs in Alaska offer rigorous, quality education to prepare students for the state’s growing health care needs. Keep reading to get information on Alaska LPN programs, licensing requirements in Alaska, and an overview of the state’s salary and employment trends specifically for LPNs.
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Finding an LPN Program in Alaska
For some aspiring LPN students, starting the search for the right school is the biggest challenge. To help with this step, AccreditedSchoolsOnline analyzed data from the National Center for Education Statistics’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) to find available LPN programs in Alaska. Below are potential academic options for those interested in the field.
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Licensure Requirements for Alaska LPNs
Like all other states, LPNs must be licensed in order to work. Licensing requirements, however, vary from one state to another, making it important to understand the licensure process in the state one wishes to eventually find employment in before enrolling in a practical nursing program. The following is what individuals can expect when seeking licensure as an LPN in Alaska.
- Must have graduated from high school or earned an equivalent diploma
- Must earn a nursing assistant certification before enrolling in a LPN program
Education & Training Requirements
LPNs in Alaska must graduate from an accredited licensed practical nursing program, which typically takes one to two years of study. An official transcript sent directly from the nursing program will be sufficient for proof. Aspiring LPNs must also submit a Nursing Program Verification Form that further proves they completed the LPN Program.
Individuals can also request a temporary permit, which is valid for six months and serves as a ‘placeholder’ that allows a practical nurse to begin working before NCLEX exam results are finalized. Upon successful test results, the permit holder can then complete the steps for full licensure.
Additional Requirements for Licensure
- Complete the formal application
- Submit a photograph with the application, similar to a passport photo, taken within six months of the application date
- Pay all fees to the State of Alaska, including:
- $50 nonrefundable application fee
- $165 license fee
- $60 fingerprint processing fee
- $50 temporary permit fee (if applicable)
- Pass the National Council Licensing Examination for Practical Nursing (NCLEX-PN)
- Submit completed fingerprint cards for background check and verification
Those who are in arrears on child support or in default on a student loan might be issued a temporary license, which is valid for 150 days. This allows applicants time to resolve such financial issues. Upon resolution, a permanent license can be issued.
LPNs in Alaska must renew their license every two years; this is scheduled for September 30 of even-numbered years. There is no grace period for the renewal deadline. In order to renew a license, LPNs must complete two of the following:
- 30 contact hours of continuing education
- 30 hours of participation in professional activities
- 320 hours of employment
In some cases, alternative methods of continuing competency might be authorized. In addition, random competency audits might be held at any time during the two-year period. Individuals selected for an audit must respond with verification of continuing competency pursuits within 30 days of notice.
Salary for LPNs in Alaska
Nurses in Alaska can expect to see some of the highest salaries for LPNs across the nation. The following tables delve into expected salaries for those working as LPNs in Alaska.
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Alaska LPN Employment Trends
According to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, there are currently 14 average annual openings for licensed practical nurses, and another 17 openings created by those who retire out of the profession. Between 2012 and 2022, the average number of LPNs employed in the state is expected to grow from 644 to 782, an increase of 21.4 percent. The following charts dive deeper into employment trends in the state.
Top Locations for Employment
|Area||Total Employment (2014)|
|Railbelt / Southwest Alaska nonmetropolitan area||80|
|Southeast Alaska nonmetropolitan area||60|
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014
Employment of LPNs in Alaska
Average Annual Openings 30
Source: Projections Central
Resources for LPNs in Alaska
The go-to source for those who want to become nurses in Alaska, it provides in-depth information on applications, licensure, continuing education, renewals and more.
Supporting nurses across Alaska, this organization offers information on professional practice, education, legislation, and a labor program.
Health professionals can volunteer through this site to become a ‘first responder’ in the event of a public health emergency or disaster.
This comprehensive website for nurses focuses on credentials, continuing education, ethical questions, health and safety, policy and advocacy, and more.
Compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this employment fact page includes a wealth of information on salary and growth for LPNs in Alaska, as well as information on other states for comparison.
Designed to help LPNs through each phase of their careers, this organization offers numerous perks for members, including certifications, e-training and the like.
A professional association for LPNs, this organization supports nurses through numerous resources, including continuing education, conventions, legislative information and more.
This O*Net publication offers a wide variety of information helpful to LPNs, including details of work activities, credentials needed, skills and knowledge that will be helpful, and more.
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