• Certifications and Licenses
  • RN - Alaska

    • Not a Compact State
    • Participates in NURSYS
    • Renewal every 2 years

    Overview

    Applying for an Alaska RN license varies based on whether the applicant is a new graduate nurse or licensed in another state. However, part of the process always involves providing proof of completion of an approved nurse education program. All applicants also must pass or have already passed the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Experience requirements only impact RNs currently licensed in other states.

    About

    New graduate nurses must apply for licensure by exam. Anyone seeking an Alaska nursing license with a multistate or single state license from another state can apply for licensure by endorsement, which is faster than licensure by exam. Applications for an Alaska RN license can be completed online or with a paper form, but the process is faster online. All applicants must pay $375 to cover application, license, and fingerprint processing fees, plus an additional $100 if they want a temporary license until they receive their permanent license.

    All applicants, whether applying by exam or endorsement, must meet the Board’s nurse education requirements. If they completed an in-state RN education program, the program must be accredited by the Board. Programs completed outside the state must either meet the minimum requirements of the Board for an accredited program completed within the state or be accredited by the National League for Nursing.

    Applicants for an occupational license, including Alaska nursing licenses, must provide a U.S. Social Security Number on their application. For those who don’t have Social Security numbers, they must complete a Request for Exception from Social Security Number Requirement form.

    Renewal

    All Alaska RN licenses expire on November 30th of even-numbered years, regardless of when they were issued. The only exclusion is new licenses issued within 90 days of the expiration date. The Alaska RN license renewal process requires RNs to complete two of three methods of maintaining continuing competency:

    • 30 contact hours of continuing education (CE) or earning an approved certification

    • 60 hours of participation in uncompensated professional activities

    • 320 hours of employment as an RN

    Accepted uncompensated professional activities include a wide array of activities performed without compensation that utilizes nursing knowledge and contributes to individual or community health. Examples include working with professional nursing or health-related organizations, authoring or contributing to healthcare-related books or articles, conducting nursing and healthcare-related research studies, giving injections, volunteering as a camp nurse or a doula, providing End of Life comfort care, or helping with activities at nursing homes or assisted living homes.

    Alaska RN license holders may qualify for alternative methods of continuing competency, such as taking the NCLEX, completing a Board-approved refresher course or earning/making progress towards earning a degree or certificate in nursing beyond the education requirements for the RNs original license.

    Using the online renewal application found on the myAlaska portal is the quickest and easiest way to renew an Alaska nursing license. In most cases, RN licenses are renewed immediately. In comparison, the processing time for paper renewal applications received by mail can take up to 4 to 6 weeks.

    Continuing Education Requirements

    Applicants can renew their Alaska RN license by completing 30 contact hours of CE during the two-year licensing period. At least 20 of the contact hours must be earned in a CE program provided under the accreditation standards of the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), a certifying body of nurse practitioners or nurse anesthetist or a sponsor the applicant obtains approval for from the Board. In place of CE contact hours, nurses can fulfill Alaska RN license renewal requirements by earning one of several approved certifications from the ANCC or the Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nurses Society (WOCN).

    Requirements

    Fingerprinting Requirements

    All Alaska nursing license applications must include a completed fingerprint card provided by the State of Alaska or the standard Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Form FD-258. Incorrect cards will be automatically rejected. Applicants must take a fingerprint card and photo ID to their local law enforcement office or another authorized agency to have their fingerprints collected. Completed cards submitted with Alaska RN license applications are sent to the Department of Public Safety and the FBI to perform criminal background checks. Cards with improperly rolled fingerprints or incomplete personal information or signatures will be rejected.

    Applicants may challenge the accuracy or completeness of an adverse report. Contact the FBI at (304) 625-5590 to challenge the federal criminal history report. Challenge the State of Alaska criminal history report by submitting a Request to Correct Criminal Justice Information form to the  Criminal Records and Identification Bureau or call (907) 269-5940 for assistance within 30 days of receiving the adverse report.

    Contact Information

    Alaska Board of Nursing Robert B. Atwood Building 550 West Seventh Avenue, Suite 1500  Anchorage, Alaska 99501-3567 [email protected] (907) 269-8161

    Multistate

    Alaska isn’t part of the Nurse Licensure Compact, so prospective nurses can’t apply for a multistate license. Nurses with a Compact license can’t practice in the state without receiving an endorsement.

    Licensure by Endorsement

    The Alaska Board of Nursing may issue a license by endorsement to applicants if they’re licensed as an RN under the laws of another state, they’ve worked as a nurse within the past five years, and the Board determines they meet the qualifications required for licensing in Alaska and Alaska’s nurse education requirements. The nursing program must send verification that education requirements have been met and send an official transcript that shows the degree and date conferred.

    The steps to apply for an Alaska RN license by endorsement online include:

    • Completing an online application

    • Paying required fees by credit card

    • Uploading the original notarized signature page to myAlaska account or mailing it to the Board office

    • Submitting one original fingerprint card

    • Passing an English proficiency exam if the nursing program was outside the U.S. or Canada (minus Quebec)

    Additionally, applicants for an Alaska RN license by endorsement must verify their license, which must be current. Inactive status isn’t considered a current license. The Board must receive verification from the state or Canadian province where the applicant received their initial RN license and where they hold their current license. License verifications may be made available through Nursys for states that participate in this program. Otherwise, verification must be sent directly from the appropriate state board of nursing or Canadian entity in charge of licensing RNs.

    Applicants must also complete a Verification of Employment form and verify they’ve worked at least 320 hours in a nursing capacity within the past two years. RNs who can’t document the required hours must satisfy the Board’s continuing competency requirements or complete a Board-approved refresher course. Applicants who haven’t practiced in the last five years must complete a Board-approved refresher course.

    Applying for an Alaska nursing license by endorsement using a paper application also requires providing verification of education, nurse licensure, and employment as described above, plus:

    • Completing and notarizing a paper application

    • Paying required fees by check or money order

    • Completing an Authorization for Release of Records form

    • Submitting one original fingerprint card

    • Passing an English proficiency exam if applicable

    All applications will undergo an initial review within 2 to 3 weeks of receipt. If all required documents are submitted, the applicant receives their permanent license at that time. If an applicant paid for a temporary license and it’s not needed, the Board will process a refund of the fee. If any documents are missing from the application, the applicant will receive notification through email or postal mail.

    Licensure by Exam

    Graduate nurses must apply for Alaska nursing licensure by exam. All applicants must provide written evidence of completion of an approved registered nursing education program. A Nursing Program Verification form and an official transcript must be sent directly from the college or school of nursing the applicant attended. Transcripts must include the graduation date and type of degree earned and can be mailed to the Board or sent electronically to [email protected].

    When applying for Alaska RN licensure by exam online, the steps include:

    • Completing an online application

    • Paying all required fees using a credit card

    • Mailing the original notarized signature page to the Board office

    • Submitting one original fingerprint card

    Applications are processed by the date of receipt, generally within 15 business days. Applicants can receive a temporary permit while waiting for their permanent license by submitting the four items listed above and after the board receives the Nursing Program Verification form. To be eligible for a temporary license, applicants must not have previously failed the NCLEX-RN or failed to appear to take the NCLEX-RN after registering for the exam.

    Steps for applying for an Alaska nursing license by exam using a paper application include:

    • Completing a signed and notarized paper application

    • Paying required fees by check or money order

    • Submitting one original fingerprint card

    Applications are processed by the date of receipt, generally within 2 to 3 weeks. Applicants can receive a temporary permit while waiting for their permanent license by submitting the three items listed above and after the board receives the Nursing Program Verification form.

    Applicants may register to take the required NCLEX-RN with Pearson VUE Professional Testing any time during the application process. After registering for the exam and receiving application approval, the Board notifies the testing company of an applicant’s eligibility to take the exam. Pearson VUE issues an Authorization to Test to applicants within about 48 hours of receiving the notice of eligibility. Applicants receive their permanent license upon passing the NCLEX-RN. Those failing the exam will receive written notice via email or postal mail.

    Licensure for Foreign Educated Nurses

    Foreign-educated nurses must apply for Alaska RN licensure by exam and pass the NCLEX-RN, unless they qualify for an endorsement. Foreign-educated nurses must have:

    • Graduated from a school of nursing in the U.S. or Canada and request a complete certified transcript be mailed to the Board directly from the school of nursing OR

    • Graduated from a school outside the U.S. or Canada (except Quebec) and submit an evaluation of their nursing education from the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools Credentials Evaluation Service, with a full education and course-by-course report

    If the nursing program was taught with English as the primary language, English textbooks, and English testing modules, the school must submit a letter on its letterhead directly to the Board indicating this.

    Those who graduated from a nursing program that wasn’t taught with English as the primary language and using English textbooks and testing modules must submit verification of passing an English proficiency exam. Accepted exams and minimum scores include:

    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examination with an overall score of 6.5 and a minimum of 6.0 on all modules

    • Test of English as a Foreign Language, Internet-based test (TOEFL-iBT) with an overall score of 84 and a speaking score of 26

    • TOEFL, computer-based test (TOEFL-CBT) with an overall score of 220 and a score of 50 on the Test of Spoken English (TSE)

    • TOEFL, paper-based test (TOEFL-PBT) with an overall score of 560 and a score of 50 on the TSE

    The Board can’t accept the Online IELTS Indicator Test or the TOEFL at Home Test. Any documents that aren’t submitted in English must be accompanied by a certified English translation.

    Nurses licensed in Canada may qualify for Alaska RN licensure by endorsement if they worked as a nurse within the past five years and the Board determines they meet the qualifications required for licensing in the state, meet the same education requirements as those trained in the U.S., and completed a comparable Canadian Nurses' Association Testing Service (CNATS) examination. 

    Canadian nurses who passed the CNATS exam before August 1980 with a score of at least 350 on all five parts of the exam or after July 1980 but before July 1992 with a score of 400 may apply for Alaska RN licensure by endorsement. Applicants who took the CNATS after June 1992 must take the NCLEX.

    Timing

    The average time it takes to process paper applications varies but can take several weeks from the date the application is received with all required documentation and fees. However, applications usually take 2 to 3 weeks, whether it’s a paper application for licensure by endorsement or exam. Alternately, applications for an Alaska nursing license by endorsement or exam completed online are generally processed within 15 business days. 

    NCLEX results are mailed within 14 days of the test date and nurses receive their RN license with it, if they pass the exam. Temporary licenses are typically issued within 10 to 15 days of receiving all required documents.

    Incomplete applications are considered abandoned after 12 months have passed since the last correspondence from the applicant or on behalf of the applicant. Abandoned applications are denied without prejudice. The Board sends a notification to the applicant's last known address telling them their application is considered abandoned and they have 30 days to submit a written request for a refund of fees paid, minus non-refundable application fees. Fees are forfeited if there’s no response.

    Temporary Nurse License

    The Alaska Board of Nursing may issue temporary permits at its discretion. To obtain a temporary Alaska nursing license when applying for RN licensure by endorsement, applicants must pay the $100 fee, submit a certified true copy of their current license in another state, and verify their employment. Applicants can obtain a certified true copy by either having a notary compare the original to the photocopy and sign and notarize the copy after writing “I certify this to be a true copy of the original document” on it or they can certify it’s a true copy themselves and have their signature notarized.

    Applicants who apply for an Alaska RN license by exam can also receive a temporary permit. They must complete an application, pay the required fee, mail their original notarized signature page to the Board office, and submit their completed fingerprint card for background checks. Applicants for licensure by exam are only eligible for a temporary nurse license in Alaska if they’ve never failed the NCLEX-RN or failed to show up to take the NCLEX-RN after registering for the exam.

    Temporary permits are nonrenewable and valid for six months for applicants for endorsement. For applicants for licensure by exam, temporary permits are valid for six months or until they receive the results of their NCLEX, whichever comes first. Should they fail their NCLEX, the temporary permit becomes invalid and must be returned to the Board of Nursing, even if six months haven’t passed.

    Fees

    The Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development sets the fees for all professional licensing within the state, including Alaska nursing licenses. Licensees pay their fees online with any major credit card when submitting an online application. They pay by check or money order made payable to the “State of Alaska” if they’re submitting a paper application. Current fees for RN licensing and other related costs include:

    • Nonrefundable Application Fee: $100

    • Alaska RN License by Exam or Endorsement: $200

    • Biennial Renewal of Alaska RN license: $200

    • Temporary Permit: $100

    • Reexamination Application Fee: $50

    • Late Renewal Penalty: $100

    • Nonrefundable Fingerprinting Processing Fee: $75

    • Courtesy License: $50

    Recent Updates

    If the Alaska Child Support Enforcement Division has determined that an Alaska nursing license applicant is in arrears on child support, they may be issued a nonrenewable temporary license that’s valid for 150 days. During this time, they must resolve payment issues by contacting Child Support Services at (907) 269-6900.

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    Frequently asked questions

    Are telephonic nurses required to have an Alaska nursing license?

    Yes, anytime a nurse provides nursing services to Alaska residents in person, telephonically, or through telehealth, they must have an active Alaska nursing license.

    Can an RN get their Alaska nursing license reinstated if it has lapsed?

    Yes, RN licenses that have lapsed may be reinstated after an RN completes an application for reinstatement, pays the license and penalty fees, submits verification of licensure in each jurisdiction they held a license, and provides proof they completed continuing competency requirements. RNs whose licenses lapsed over a year ago must submit a fingerprint card for state and federal background checks. If they haven’t worked in the last five years, they must submit proof they completed a Board-approved refresher course.