The Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) certificate program at Alaska Pacific University (APU) has been recognized with accreditation by the Accreditation Commission on Education (ACEN). The program is the only accredited practical nursing program in Alaska and is renowned for its integration of culturally safe health care practices throughout the curriculum. As ACEN noted, “The program and governing organization’s mission and philosophy of educating Alaskans and meeting students where they are to provide culturally safe education was evident in every interaction with university and program representatives, students, community partners, and communities of interest.”
The LPN program addresses Alaska’s nursing shortage and is part of APU’s larger mission to serve the workforce development needs of the state. APU currently collaborates with community partners to provide LPN training in Bethel and Fairbanks, with plans to expand to Anchorage, the Mat-Su Valley, and Juneau next year.
“We are very excited to support the development of the Practical Nursing program and to host classes on our campus. The students and new LPNs from APU’s program are having an immediate impact on our community,” said Mike Hoffman, Executive Director, Yuut Elitnaurviat.
In addition to receiving support from clinical partners, the development of the Practical Nursing program has been made possible with funding from US Department of Education grants for Alaska Native Education (ANE) awarded to Yuut Elitnaurviat in Bethel and Indigenous One Health Expansion to APU, with additional support from Direct Relief’s Fund for Health Equity.
The ACEN accreditation process includes a year-long self-study, an evaluation site visit by peer reviewers, and an assessment by the ACEN commissioners. Accreditation is conferred on programs that have been found to meet or exceed standards for educational quality. APU’s associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in Nursing were initially accredited by ACEN last spring.