The Alaska Board of Nursing manages the certification of nurse aides and maintenance of the Nurse Aide Registry. New nurse aide candidates, student nurses, out-of-state CNAs, and military trained medics or corpsmen must successfully complete competency evaluation to practice as a nurse assistant. If you qualify under the eligibility routes outlined in this article, you should submit an application and provide supporting documents to take the CNA exam. Upon successful passage of the exam, your name will be added to the Alaska Nurse Aide Registry. Once issued, your nurse aide certificate must be renewed every two years in even-numbered years regardless of when the certificate was issued. The Board of Nursing will mail a renewal notice approximately 60 days before the March 31 deadline. If you receive a new certificate within 90 days of the renewal expiration, your certificate will remain valid through the next biennial period. Your continuing competency requirements for renewing your license will depend on time your certificate was issued and may be 12 to 24 hours of continuing education and 120 to 160 hours or more of monetarily compensated employment.
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How to Apply for the Alaska CNA Exam
There are five eligibility routes to apply for the NNAAP exam in Alaska. You must meet one of the following requirements before applying for the exam.
Route 1 – New Nurse Aide
You successfully completed a certified nurse aide training program in the past two years.
Route 2 – Out-of-State CNA
You possess an unencumbered nursing license – either active or lapsed- from another state or territory in the U.S. or a province or territory in Canada.
Route 3 – RN or LPN Students
You successfully completed one or more years of nursing education that includes didactic and practical instruction in the fundamentals of nursing. The training must have been completed from an approved licensed practical or registered nursing program within the U.S. or Canada. Apply for the exam within two years of completing nursing fundamentals and submit a copy of your official transcripts with the application.
Route 4 – Military Trained Medics
You successfully completed a U.S. corpsman or medic training program and served in the U.S. military forces as corpsman or medic not more than five years before the date of the application.
Route 5 – Foreign Educated Nurses
You successfully completed a nursing program in a foreign country other than Canada. Submit all required documents and certified English translations if the documents are not in English.
If you committed an act or omission that constitutes grounds for denial of certification, the Board would not grant approval for you to take the competency exam.
To apply for the exam under the certification routes:
- Obtain an application form from your training program or the Board of Nursing and provide the requested information. Make sure the name used to register exactly matches the name on your government-issued ID. Provide your social security number for the Registry record.
- Enclose the non-refundable application fee.
- Include documentation to verify your eligibility to take the exam.
- Request special accommodation if you have a disability that qualifies under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Please allow up to 30 days for Pearson Vue to review your request.
You may be entitled to reimbursement of your training and testing costs if you secure employment at a licensed nursing facility within 12 months of certification. You must submit copies of your receipts, indicating the date, total, and payment method. If you’re employed at the time of the exam, your employer, by law, must pay for the test.
The established fees for Alaska are as follows:
- $50 – Clinical Skills and Written Examination
- $55 – Clinical Skills and Oral Test
- $100 – Initial Certification
- $60 – Fingerprint Processing Fee
- $50 – Application Fee
CNA Exam Overview Alaska
Candidates for the NNAAP exam must take the Written or Oral exam and the Skills Evaluation. If you’re a first-time candidate, you must take both exams on the same day. The Written exam usually comes first, but they may be administered in any order. According to state and federal regulations, you’ll have up to two years or three attempts to pass the exam for placement on the Alaska Nurse Aide Registry.
The Written Exam
The two-hour long Written test comprises of 70 multiple-choice questions. The questions are drawn from the nurse aide training curriculum, so your notes should play a vital role in your preparation for the exam. CNA practice tests on Pearson Vue’s website follow a similar format as the actual test. Paid and free timed exams on the web are also helpful as they provide opportunity to take the test in a timed environment and provide answers and feedback at the end so you can identify your weak areas. The Candidate Handbook is another valuable resource as it contains not only the new content outline for the written exam, but also the steps you must take before, during, and after the exam. The new content outline for the Written exam took effect on January 1, 2016, and is based on a 2014 Job Analysis and Knowledge, Skill, and Ability Study of Nurse Aide. Ten of the pretest questions are non-scored items used for statistical purposes. The content falls into three categories, Physical Care Skills, Psychosocial Skills, and Role of a Nurse Aide.
The Oral Exam
The content distribution and percentages for each category for the Oral exam is the same as the Written exam. This exam is specifically designed for candidates who may have difficulty reading and understanding the English language. A three-page Reading Assessment in the Candidate Handbook will help you to determine if you fit into that category. The assessment contains basic questions in English with multiple-choice options. After you complete the assessment, you can check your answers against those provided in the Handbook and evaluate your score. A score below 17 means you should apply for the Oral exam to hear the audio questions using a headset and MP3 player provided by the testing service. You must request the oral exam on your application for the NNAAP. Like the Written exam, the Oral exam is two hours and in multiple-choice format. Unlike the Written exam, Oral exam candidates will need to answer 10 reading comprehension questions on the second part of the exam. You must pass the audio evaluation and the reading comprehension to pass the Oral exam.
The Skills Exam
A Nurse Aide Evaluator will provide a card with the five skills you’ll have to perform during the 30-minute skills evaluation. The exam time is approximate only, and you should be prepared to spend more time than expected at the testing center. One of your assigned skills will always be handwashing. The other four skills will be selected at random from the NNAAP Skills List – a copy is available in the Candidate Handbook. At least one of the skills will be recording a measurement, such as recording blood pressure, radial pulse, or an ambulatory client’s weight. You must perform the Critical Element Step correctly for each skill. However, you can still fail the exam if you only perform the CES correctly. If you make a mistake, you can make corrections before you proceed to the next skill on the list – you cannot go back. Another candidate will volunteer for the part of a weakened elderly client. You must be prepared to volunteer for another candidate’s evaluation. Dress appropriately in a loose-fitting scrub top and pants and flat shoes with enclosed toes.
What To Bring To The Exam
Check with the testing center to determine what materials are prohibited – if any. Typically, reference materials, books, and not allowed at the center. You cannot take any of these items into the exam room. All electronics, such as pagers, tablets, and cell phones, must be switched off and during the exam. You cannot access them for the duration of the exam. A proctor will verify your ID and issue instructions before the scheduled time, so arrive early. Check in early for both the Written (or Oral) exam and the Skills Evaluation.
Take two forms of signature-bearing ID to the testing center – one must be a photo identification, such as a driver’s license or passport. Your name on the IDs must match the name used to register for the exam. Photocopies of an ID will not be accepted. You will not be allowed to take the exam if you do not take two forms of appropriate ID to the center. Apart from the ID, you’ll also need to take three number 2 pencils, your social security number, an eraser, and a watch with a second hand to the center.
Receiving Your Scores
Pearson Vue will mail your official score report to your address approximately 10 business days after receiving your exam materials. The report will indicate whether you passed or failed the Written or Oral and the Skills exam. If you fail one or both parts of the exam, the report will also outline the skills and content areas that need improvement. The report will also provide guidelines for retesting for the part(s) you fail. You must pay a new exam each time you retake the exam.
PO Box 13785
Philadelphia, PA 19101-3785
Phone: (800) 475-8292
Alaska Board of Nursing
Juneau Mailing Address
P.O. Box 110806
Juneau, AK 99811-0806
333 Willoughby Avenue
Juneau, AK 99801-1770
Main Phone: (907) 465-2550
Fax: (907) 465-2974
Anchorage Mailing/Physical Address
550 West Seventh Avenue
Anchorage, AK 99501-3567
Main Phone: (907) 269-8160
Main Fax: (907) 269-8156