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
Email: cmwinfree@alaska.edu
Website: http://www.ctc.uaf.edu/programs/health/nurs-aid.html

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.

University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA)

Many of the UAA 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: https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/cbpl/ProfessionalLicensing/NurseAideRegistry.aspx and check the link “Certification Information: State Approved Nurse Aide Programs.”



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
Email: danielle.curry@alaska.gov
Website: https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/cbpl/ProfessionalLicensing/NurseAideRegistry.aspx

The following national websites includes information about CNA careers, certification, salaries, classes, exams, skills, and much more. They include some Alaska specific information, as well: http://www.cnabuzz.com/https://www.registerednursing.org/certified-nursing-assistant/