Beginning Your Career as an LPN in Alaska
More than 724,500 Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) are employed in the U.S., and the LPN career path continues to grow each year. By 2026, the Projections Management Partnership (PMP) predicts a 12.3 percent increase in LPN employment across the country. With an average of 62,700 job openings per year, this field holds great employment opportunities for Alaskans who want to get started in their ideal healthcare career.
Practical Nurses assist Registered Nurses (RNs) and doctors in the care of patients. Their workday might include bathing a patient, recording vital signs and administering other care procedures as instructed by nurses and doctors. You must take at least one year of educational training and pass a national nursing exam to become an LPN in Alaska.
How to Become an LPN
To become an LPN in Alaska, you should first complete your high school diploma or GED equivalent. After that, enroll in a Practical Nursing program at a school approved by the Alaska Board of Health. Your school should prepare you to take the NCLEX-PN exam, which you must pass in order to apply for an Alaska Practical Nursing License.
Finding a Practical Nursing School
The number of schools with LPN programs is limited in Alaska. This program is administered by the state and offers Practical Nursing training to prepare students for the NCLEX-PN exam:
- Alaska Vocational Technical Center (AVTEC). The Alaska vocational school offers an 11-month Practical Nursing program, which equates to the first year of an Associate Degree in Applied Science Nursing Program (AAS) at the University of Alaska. The nursing learning center is in Anchorage. Prerequisites for the LPN program include a Certified Nurse’s Aide (CNA) certificate, passing a TB test, proof of immunizations and a clean criminal background check.
The Alaska LPN License Process
The Alaska Board of Nursing’s Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing (CBPL) offers Practical Nursing licenses in Alaska in a few ways: initial exam, endorsement or retired nursing license procedures. This means that if you are already licensed in another state, you can transfer your license to Alaska through the endorsement process. Retired nurses can obtain an LPN license to get back into the workforce.
Employment and Salary
The outlook for LPNs in Alaska is positive, with a 17.6 percent Practical Nurse employment increase predicted by 2026. Many Alaskans pursue LPN work in another state through the transfer of their license (endorsement), because other states hold more job opportunities. However, LPNs in Alaska earned strong incomes in 2017. Their mean income of $27.20 per hour, or $56,580 annually, was higher than average across the country, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Working as a LPN in Alaska
Anchorage is the best place to find an LPN job in Alaska, with almost half the LPNs in the state working there in 2017. LPNs who worked in the general Alaska nonmetropolitan area, however, made the highest mean income in the state; they were paid an average of $28.86 per hour or $60,030 annually. The BLS also reported that Fairbanks was the city with the highest employment of LPNs per 1,000 jobs in 2017.
Looking at the optimistic statistics for Practical Nursing careers across the country, it’s clear that now is a good time to start your LPN career. If you live in Alaska and want to become Practical Nurse, begin on your path to licensure by enrolling in an LPN educational program.