UAA Campus is Open

We are pleased to report the UAA Anchorage campus will open on Wednesday, Dec. 5, following last Friday's earthquake. The Chugiak-Eagle River Campus will remain closed, but classes will resume in alternative locations. Students should check UAOnline for their new meeting location. As you return to campus, we encourage you to check the web page for important safety tips and resources about how to submit work requests to facilities for repairs. Please continue to check our Facebook and Twitter accounts for updates.

Certified Nursing Assistant/Aide

At a Glance

Years in School (after high school graduation):

2 years or less

Hourly Wage:

$13.22-$23.46 (Mean $18.04)
*Based on 2016 Alaska DOL data

Professional Activities

Nursing assistants assist RNs and LPNs in nearly every aspect of nursing care in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, assisted living, and home health. Nursing assistants are responsible for recording vital signs such as pulse, respiration, blood pressure, and temperature, recording fluid intake and outputs, weights, and recording other observations. In hospitals, nursing assistants also provide daily care to patients, such as helping with meals, baths, exercises, and treatments.

In outpatient clinics, nursing assistants are primarily responsible for preparing patients for the examination by a physician or nurse. They are also responsible for making sure the patients, nurses, and physicians receive the help they need during examinations or treatments. Other duties involve monitoring and stocking medical supplies, and scheduling. In rural Alaska, Native speaking nursing assistants are often called upon to provide crucial translation skills.

Nursing assistants work wherever nurses are employed. Rural Alaska employers include regional hospitals, specialty clinics operated by regional health corporations or state and federal agencies, community-based health care programs and home health employers.

Educational Requirements

Certification is required to work as a nursing assistant in long term care and home health settings; many acute care hospitals and clinics also prefer to hire nursing assistants who hold certifications.

  • Graduation from high school is not required, but if students do not have a high school diploma, they need to have a GED or take a prerequisite test such as the ABLE test or Accuplacer. The test required depends on the academic program.
  • Completion of an approved Nursing Assistant training program. All Alaska programs are required to provide a minimum of 60 hours of classroom instruction and 80 hours of skills/clinical instruction.
  • Successful completion of a certification examination is increasingly being required.

Academic Programs

University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF)
The 9-credit Nurse Aide Program is available to all UAF campuses. The program has both a didactic portion, which has been offered both face to face and distance, and a skills/clinical portion. Students spend approximately two weeks in Fairbanks for their skills and clinical experiences. The program prepares students for entry into the health care field and for the State of Alaska Certification Examination. Once they have satisfactorily completed the program, and they have been approved by the State Board of Nursing, the students are eligible to take the State Certification Examination. For more information, contact your local campus or:

UAF Community and Technical College
604 Barnette St.
Fairbanks, AK 99701
Contact: Cathy Winfree, Nurse Aide Program Coordinator
Phone: (907) 455-2876

University of Alaska Southeast (UAS)
UAS offers Nurse Aide training in Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan. From the website: “The training is a 9-credit course designed to train entry level workers in basic skills needed to assist nurses and to be efficient health care team members. Students qualify to sit for the Alaska Certification Exam for Nursing Assistants.  A minimum of 75 lecture hours and 80 lab/clinical hours are included.” For more information and campus contacts, visit the UAS website:

Many of the University of Alaska Anchorage branch campuses also have Nurse Aide programs. For a list of these approved programs as well as others in the state, please visit the following website: and check the link “Certification Information: State Approved Nurse Aide Programs.”

The Alaska Vocational Technical Center (AVTEC) has an 8-week program that runs throughout the year. It includes 228 hours of classroom, lab skills practice and clinical experience. For more information, contact:

AVTEC, Allied Health Department
1251 Muldoon Road, Suite 103
Anchorage, AK 99504
Phone: (907) 334-2230
Toll Free: (800) 478-5389
Fax: (907) 334-2237


There does not appear to be a state or national association for Nursing Assistants. For information on licensing, programs and program requirements, contact:

Alaska Board of Nursing
Contact: Danielle Curry, Licensing Examiner
Phone: (907) 269-8169
Fax: (907) 269-8196

The following national website includes information about CNA careers, certification, salaries, classes, exams, skills, and much more. It includes some Alaska specific information, as well:

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