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What is a CNA?

Being a CNA means making a difference in someone’s life every day by providing patient care. This job, especially in Alaska, is an important service for community members in need of long-term or rehabilitative care.

Our Communities Need You

​Alaska is currently facing a shortage of CNAs to work in nursing homes and hospitals. With many opportunities in the state for training programs, tuition waivers, and application assistance, now is the time to become part of a patient care team!  


What does a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) do?

Certified Nurse Aides (CNAs) provide patients with direct everyday care and are the eyes and ears for clinical staff. Working in the medical field is always a BIG team effort. CNAs play the essential role of helping make sure patients and their healthcare team's needs are met. 


​CNAs can work at facilities like hospitals or nursing homes. Here, they help people with basic activities such as moving, eating, dressing, and bathing. They also support nurses by taking vital signs like temperature and blood pressure and watching for warning signs of an infection. CNAs work under the supervision of a licensed nurse and do not provide medical care. They also help with a facility's daily operations like answering phone calls or speaking with patient visitors like family members and friends. 

What makes a good CNA?


CNAs provide personal care to those they serve. Here are some important qualities successful CNAs have: 

  • Caring and kind

  • Strong, both mentally and physically

  • Team player

  • Good communicator and listener 

  • Reliable

  • Flexible, doesn’t mind experiencing something different each day

  • Good time management skills 


CNA potential careers & positions


There is a diverse range of positions and career paths available for CNAs in Alaska! Here are some examples of where a CNA would work, what positions may be available, and future career goals being a CNA can lead to: 

Why become a CNA?


  • A college degree is not required to become a CNA - training takes weeks rather than years.

  • Many jobs and good salary - Alaska has the nation's highest average CNA salary ($42,500 per year.)

  • Begin a healthcare career without investing lots of time or money.

  • Stepping stone to a nursing or other healthcare degree.

  • Make a difference by helping people who are sick, recovering from surgery, and/or in pain.

CNAs career paths often lead to becoming:

  • Licensed Practical Nurse

  • Registered Nurse

  • Nursing Home Administrator

  • Nurse Educator or Professor

  • Physical Therapist 

  • Physician

CNAs find positions in:

  • Nursing homes

  • Hospitals or clinics

  • Assisted living services

  • Home healthcare services

  • Government facilities

  • Schools 

CNA positions can be:

  • Patient Care Technicians

  • Critical Care Technicians

  • Travel CNA

  • Qualified Medication Aide

  • Home Health Aide

Kickstart a Meaningful Career.

“Alaska has a lot of opportunities to get you to where you want to be. The programs are there. Within a month, I went from going to school to getting a federal job. I have benefits and can plan for the future with a 401k.”

- Julie

Anchorage, AK

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