The healthcare industry is gaining momentum in job creation, with thousands of new positions available every year. And the momentum is projected to continue increasing for many years to come. Becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant is one of the best ways to take part in the rising importance of the healthcare professional. In the state of Alaska, employment opportunities are not as common as other places. Outside of tourism and manual labor, entry-level positions are hard to come by. Even within these fields, employment benefits and salaries are not very competitive. But training to become a CNA is a great option for fulfilling employment and grants opportunities to a wider range of workers.
The point of all CNA training is to qualify to challenge the state competency evaluation. All types of training should reflect this aim, though there are many variations between training programs. For the most part, most nurse aides gain experience through state-approved training programs. In Alaska, the best place to find these types of classes are at nursing homes and community colleges. There are not as many options available as in other states, due to the large rural expanses within the state. Notable community colleges offering CNA training in the state are Kodiak College and Kenai Peninsula College. Though more readily available and well-recognized, the classes at these institutions will be more expensive than options at nursing homes. Other types of training that qualify applicants to challenge the competency evaluation include several types of nursing education. Student nurses who are completing their degrees or have already done so may challenge the test with submission of the appropriate materials to the state board of nursing. Medics trained by the U.S. military are also qualified to take the test.
There are many different types of employment available for CNAs in Alaska. The most common institutions in the state that hire nurse aides are nursing homes and hospitals. With a low population density and especially low population of elderly people, nursing homes are few and far-between in the rugged state. Therefore, it may be easier to find employment at a major hospital or other type of healthcare institution. The Alaska Regional Hospital is the main hospital located in the urban center of Anchorage. In the state capitol of Juneau, the primary hospital is Bartlett Regional Hospital. Given the rugged nature of the state, there are many situations where medical knowledge will be useful, so employment may be found in unlikely companies or offered for a position with similar responsibilities as a nurse aide but in a different field.