Bethel to host Alaska’s only licensed practical nurse certificate program


Yuut Elitnaurviat and Alaska Pacific University are teaming up to offer Alaska’s only licensed practical nurse certificate program in Bethel. (Dean Swope / KYUK)

A new nursing program is coming to Bethel, and it’s the only one in Alaska. Students in the program will earn a Licensed Practical Nurse certificate. Applications are accepted for the inaugural class.

The program is a team effort between Alaska Pacific University and Yuut Elitnaurviat, the workforce development center in Bethel. The APU provides the faculty and the curriculum. Yuut Elitnaurviat provides the facilities.

There are several levels in the field of nursing. A Licensed Practical Nurse Certificate, or LPN, is one step higher than that of a Certified Practical Nurse and lower than an Associate Nursing degree, said APU Director of Admissions Toni Riley.

“So you’re going to usually see them taking vital signs, giving drugs and giving injections, and also just getting patients ready for their physicals and surgeries and recording a lot of medical information and medical records,” Riley said. “So they really work in all areas of health care.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for healthcare workers in rural areas. A quick search of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation website shows 25 openings for LPNs in Bethel alone.

“The average salary for an LPN right now in Bethel starts at just over $ 30 an hour,” Riley said.

The APU has expanded its nursing program in recent years and Riley said he sees a potential partnership in Bethel. Yuut Elitnaurviat operates a six-week Certified Practical Nurse program. This program may serve as a prerequisite for the clinical training required for the new LPN program. Other professions may also provide this required clinical training.

“Anyone who is a medical or nursing aide, paramedic, paramedic or even, like, a dental attendant, it all counts as proof of clinical experience,” said Riley.

Other application requirements include an online application form, successful completion of an anatomy and physiology course, high school or GED transcript, background check, and nursing faculty interview. .

“Just to find out more about them, find out more about them and definitely connect with them to see, you know, what their backgrounds are and what their experiences are, and really why they want to get involved in healthcare.” , said Riley.

The LPN program will run for two semesters over one year. Classes will be delivered online and students will have face-to-face classes to practice their clinical skills every two weeks on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Applications for the inaugural class are being accepted until November 30. Classes start January 10.

“We’re really excited,” Riley said. “We know this is a new program and there are a lot of questions. So I think the most important thing is to feel free to contact us. “

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