Nurses in Alaska are expected to earn continuing education units (CEUs) to renew their professional licenses. Alaska is one of 37 states with this requirement. Nursing CEUs and licensure renewal in Alaska are overseen by the Alaska Board of Nursing.
Nurses must renew their licenses every two years to practice in the state. During the two years leading up to their official renewal date, nurses are tasked with completing their CEUs.
CEU Requirements for RNs and LVNs in Alaska
CEUS for RNs in Alaska is not required. However, competency must be proved every two years by completing two of the following three methods:
- Complete 30 contact hours.
- Engage in 60 hours of professional nursing activities.
- Complete 320 hours of nursing employment.
The Alaska Board of Nursing is specific in which patients do not qualify for the professional nursing activity requirement. Regulations state that providing nursing care to immediate family members does not qualify under this requirement. Immediate family members are defined as a parent, sibling, child, spouse, parent-in-law, sibling-in-law, stepchild, or domestic partners of the same or opposite sex.
All RN licenses lapse November 30 of even-numbered years, according to the Alaska Board of Nursing.
CEU Requirements for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) in Alaska
APRNs in Alaska have to meet all the same CEU mandates as regular RNs. Additionally, they must obtain the following:
- The completion of at least 2 hours of education in pain management and opioid use and addiction.
- Registration with the prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) controlled prescription database.
APRNs who hold a valid DEA registration number must prove to the Alaska Board of Nursing that they have met these two requirements to renew their license.
Special Areas of Focus for CEUs in Alaska
In 2018, Alaska’s Department of Health & Social Services prioritized the state’s ongoing opioid crisis with a five-year action plan affecting hospitals’ operation statewide. The plan called for changes to the way hospitals treat patients with opioid addictions.
APRNs with prescribing privileges need to take CEUs focused on using opioids and provide evidence of their completion to the Alaska Board of Nursing at the time of licensure renewal.
Alaska Nursing Requirements and COVID-19
In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Alaska Board of Nursing has extended the licensing period for regular RNs and APRNs through Feb. 28, 2021. Nurses can check the status of their professional licenses online.
Any additional extensions or provisions relating to professional licensing and COVID-19 will update to the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development website.
Additionally, CEU requirements for 2020 reduced from 15 hours from 30 hours for RNs and LPNs.
Required CEU Courses in Alaska
Except for the pharmacotherapeutics requirement for APRNs, there are no mandates for specific nursing CEUs in Alaska. However, the state board of nursing only requires that courses fall under the accreditation standards of one of the following accrediting organizations:
- American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
- American Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME)
- Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE)
- A nurse practitioner certifying body (AANP)
- A nurse anesthetist certifying body
Incredible Health’s CEUs meet ANCC accreditation standards. Alaska nurses can feel confident in taking any of our courses in preparation for their licensure renewals.
All nursing professionals in Alaska should keep accurate records of any CEUs earned for at least five years. The state board of nursing conducts random audits of all active licenses annually to ensure compliance. As mentioned, APRNs must prove they have completed their licensing requirements when they file their renewal applications.
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Our easy online CE courses are ANCC-accredited and 100% free for nurses.