*This class requires physical attendance at the MetrOasis campus in Anchorage, Alaska
even though it is a partially web-based curriculum. All materials and the exam are in English.
This class does not teach you how to perform manicures, apply artificial nails, or any other technical skills within the nail industry. The entire purpose of this class is to teach you how work safely and how you can prevent the spread of infections and disease while you provide services to your clients.
The State of Alaska requires that anyone applying for a nail license take a written test and has stated this requirement as such:
"The written examination must cover subjects designated by the board and must test the applicant's knowledge of sanitary practices, safety of all procedures, and use of instruments, equipment, and chemicals permitted within the field of practice for which the applicant is seeking a license."
The state requires that this class cover sanitation and safety measures, bacteriology, sanitation, including chemical agents, and sanitizing methods and procedures, as well as federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety standards; and infectious agents and infection.
This class provides a certificate of completion with the successful participation of the class and a passing grade of 75% or higher on the exam.
Our program is self-contained and computerized so you can take this course at your own pace. If you would like to do 10 hours in a row, you can. If you'd like to do 2 hours a day, you can. You're not stuck with a group with set hours that may or may not fit into your schedule. If you work during the day, you can also take this class from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm if you want. It's up to you. Available days are Wednesday 9:00 am to 7:00 pm, Thursday 9:00 am to 7:00 pm, Friday 9:00 am to 7:00 pm and Saturday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Call if you have questions.
The program consists of six modules and a test.
Module #1 Bacteriology is 1 hour.
Module #2 Decontamination is 2 hours.
Module #3 Infection Control is 3 hours.
Module #4 Nail Anatomy & Physiology is 2 hours.
Module #5 Nail Disorders & Diseases is 2 hours.
Module #6 Harmful Products & Protection is 2 hours.
The test is included in this program and is also accomplished on a computer.
HB 131-LICENSURE OF MANICURISTS/HAIR DRESSING
CHAIR OLSON announced that the first order of business would be HOUSE BILL NO. 131, "An Act relating to the licensure of nail technicians and hairdressers; relating to the practice of manicuring; and providing for an effective date."
REPRESENTATIVE LYNN GATTIS, Alaska State Legislature, stated she previously introduced this bill [in the 28th Legislature] on behalf of a member of the Board of Barbers and Hairdressers. She advised that the board was adamant in its desire to help improve the health, safety, and hygiene for nail technicians and salons. The board wants to professionalize Alaska's nail technician workforce. This bill would enhance the training requirements from 12 theory hours without any exam to 250 practical and theory hours with a state board examination. A manicure or pedicure can be necessary for the elderly, physically disabled, diabetic, and those not able to personally
attend to their hygienic needs. Alaskans should not need to worry about contracting infections in a nail salon from improper sanitation or improper use of tools.
REPRESENTATIVE GATTIS offered her belief that nail technicians should be able to
identify diseases and administer the appropriate procedures, keeping hygiene and
safety to the highest standards. She stated that consumers and nail technicians
will appreciate the additional training requirements that can lead to greater safety and
statewide implementation of hygiene practices in nail technology.
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX expressed concern that the bill does not have a grandfather clause for nail technicians who currently provide services. She recognized HB 131 has a quasi-grandfather clause with requirements as a condition of license renewal.
However, she expressed concern about this might affect the "mom-pop" businesses or single mothers who are trying to support their children as manicurists. She cautioned that 250 hours of training, or essentially six weeks to two months of fulltime effort, could mean these manicurists might not be able to work simultaneously. She expressed hope that consideration will be given to grandfathering in those who have been in the profession for a while.
REPRESENTATIVE GATTIS acknowledged that she has passed on the foregoing concern to the board chair [Board of Barbers and Hairdressers], who was adamant that this is a health and safety issue for Alaskans. She understood the business concerns and mentioned that perhaps the issue to accommodate current practitioners can be resolved in another committee or on the House floor.
REPRESENTATIVE HUGHES asked whether the board, [Board of Barbers and Hairdressers], was asking for these changes.
REPRESENTATIVE GATTIS answered that the board requested the change, but she deferred to her staff to more fully respond.
TYSON GALLAGHER, Staff, Representative Lynn Gattis, Alaska State Legislature, on behalf of the prime sponsor, Representative Lynn
Gattis, stated that a letter from the Board of Barbers and Hairdressers was forthcoming.
REPRESENTATIVE KITO said that he did not see any letters of support or opposition from nail technicians, just from board members or consumers. He expressed concern that there were not comments from anyone who will be impacted under this statute.
MR. GALLAGHER related his understanding one letter in members' packets was from a licensed manicurist. He added that some of the licensed [barbers and hairdresser] currently practice manicuring.
REPRESENTATIVE GATTIS added that she has gone to nail technicians for the past 10 years in the Lower 48 and Alaska.
She offered that many nail technicians are Asian and most were trained in the Lower 48. She offered her belief that it was not uncommon for practicing nail technicians to have acquired 250 to 400 hours of training, which is very different from the minimal 8-12 hours of training required in Alaska. She further believed that the current technicians are fine with the bill.
REPRESENTATIVE KITO referred to the fiscal note and asked for further clarification on whether the department will absorb the costs to adopt regulations due to the proposed regulations being combined with other projects. He suggested that the department might need to respond since it seemed as though the division has made conflicting comments on being able to absorb the cost of adopting regulations.
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX referred to pages 3 and 4, [proposed Section 6] and noted a different standard seems to exist for large and small communities.
MR. GALLAGHER referred to Section 6, [AS 08.13.160] (d), which lists the exemption for areas where licensing provisions do not apply. However, this geographic stipulation was not addressed in this bill. He suggested that a limited number of manicurists practice in some areas, but deferred to the board to respond.
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX asked whether any changes were being made to AS 08.13.160(d).
MR. GALLAGHER answered yes. He referred to page 4, lines 4-7, which would remove two [paragraphs] that relate to the practice of manicuring by a student as part of a 12-hour course and exempts the shampoo staff from licensure. The reason to remove [paragraph (2)] was due to removing the 12-hour practice certification. In addition, the sponsor worked with the board and determined the shampoo person was not a professional that needed licensure.
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX understood the exemption was already in statute.
MR. GALLAGHER answered yes.
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX remarked that if this bill addresses health and safety, she quesioned whether those small communities should also be subject to the additional training.
REPRESENTATIVE GATTIS deferred to the board.
REPRESENTATIVE HUGHES asked for further clarification on whether the board verbally indicated its support for the bill.
MR. GALLAGHER answered yes; it his understanding that the entire [Board of Barbers and Hairdressers] supports the bill.
REPRESENTATIVE HUGHES asked whether the training schools in the state support HB 131.
MR. GALLAGHER answered that the sponsor has not had any contact with the training facilities; however, two schools are in the Anchorage area.
REPRESENTATIVE HUGHES asked whether this training will impact consumer costs for services. She indicated that nail technician services in the Lower 48 are much less. She understood the importance of health and safety in the industry, but asked whether it will raise costs for manicures and pedicures in Alaska.
REPRESENTATIVE GATTIS said she considered these services as a supply and demand issue. Certainly, as sponsor, she can't tell a business what they should charge, but she was unsure the additional hours of training will affect the cost of manicures.
REPRESENTATIVE HUGHES asked whether the sponsor has heard from nail technicians who anticipate charging more for services.
REPRESENTATIVE GATTIS answered no.
REPRESENTATIVE KITO appreciated that there are schools in Alaska so technicians will not need to travel out-of-state to acquire the proposed additional training for licensure. However, he suggested that if two schools are located in Anchorage and the bill requires licensees to submit to 250 hours of education, it may require nail technicians to spend a significant amount of time away from home. He expressed concern about the training costs for licensed nail technicians, therefore, it certainly seemed they may decide they must charge more to recover their training costs.
REPRESENTATIVE GATTIS said she hoped the Board of Barbers and Hairdressers could have that discussion. She deferred to the board, but related her understanding that the board needs this bill to move the industry forward.
REPRESENTATIVE COLVER asked whether these functions will be handled by the existing Board of Barbers and Hairdressers.
REPRESENTATIVE GATTIS answered yes.
REPRESENTATIVE COLVER said he did not see language for any designation of seats for a manicurist.
REPRESENTATIVE GATTIS answered that this bill does not address board composition, but focuses on training and education for health and safety aspects of nail technicians.
REPRESENTATIVE HUGHES asked for further clarification on grandfathering since some technicians may not meet the 250 hours or may not have received training, so the supply of technicians could go down and costs could go up.
MR. GALLAGHER understood the concern, noting that the changes in training would ultimately be a policy call. He said that since the state issues licenses, it effectively offers its seal of approval that the person has acquired skills and training sufficient to offer services to Alaskans. The state wants to stand behind safety regulations to protect consumers. He offered his belief that the market will bear costs and certainly the potential exists for costs to be passed on to consumers; however, he felt that will balance out in a competitive market. He noted approximately 1,000 people hold manicurist licenses.
REPRESENTATIVE HUGHES questioned whether students enrolled in the 250-hour course could practice, similar to hairdressers enrolled in training programs, and offer nail technician services at a lower cost.
MR. GALLAGHER answered yes. He referred to proposed Section 9, which adds a student permit section. The Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development currently offers two levels of manicurist licenses. One class, the manicurist requires 12 hours of training and the second class, the advanced manicurist, requires 250 hours of training and passing an exam for licensure. This bill would raise the minimum requirement for nail technicians to 250 hours and passing a mandatory exam, which essentially will merge the two current licenses into one. These changes provide more hands-on training and experience for students, including instituting student permits.
CHAIR OLSON asked whether any portion of the training was offered on-line via web training.
REPRESENTATIVE GATTIS said she was not sure. She deferred to the Board of Barbers and Hairdressers, although she believed the board's goal was to accommodate rural area technicians on-line, in particular, in terms of hygiene, health, and safety aspects.
REPRESENTATIVE KITO asked whether the schools in Alaska have the capacity to provide a 250-hour training program.
REPRESENTATIVE GATTIS deferred to the board to respond.
DEANNA PRUHS, Member, State Board of Barbers & Hairdressers, Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development (DCCED), spoke in support of HB 131. She stated that she has been licensed hairdresser in Alaska for 30 of the 34 years she has worked in the profession. She has served for three years on the Board of Barbers and Hairdressers and has been working on this bill during her tenure. She noted that the Board of Barbers and Hairdressers has been working on these health and safety issues for eight years. She offered to respond to some questions, noting that the training for the 250-hour advanced endorsement was already offered by the division. This bill would make the advanced endorsement the standard and eliminate the 12-hour manicurist license that allows people to work in salons without possessing any knowledge pertaining to health, safety, and hygiene necessary for nail technicians.
MR. PRUHS reported that the bill would require passing a written national examination from the NIC [National Nail Technology], without requiring licensees participate in a practical exam. The national exam is offered online and is provided in several languages, including English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Korean. Candidates can take practice written exams and obtain additional information online. In addition, schools also offer manicuring as part of hairdressing education and training. The two manicuring schools in Anchorage already teach the 250-hour course, but without the Board of Barbers and Hairdressers requiring the mandatory hours, some students only elect to take the 12-hour course. She cautioned that this creates health issues since manicurists use cuticle scissors, razors, cheese graters, and electric drills to remove skin and file nail beds for the application of acrylic and gel in order to install false nail applications on hands and feet. Manicurists also use chemicals to remove calluses and acetone to soak off products for removal. If not done properly, it can take months for the nail bed to recover and clients can lose their nails. She reported that California raised its nail technician standards in
2004 when some celebrity lost her thumbnail. She pointed out that sanitation was crucial and it only takes a miniscule opening in the skin to allow bacteria into the system. She reported that the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
has had several complaints in the past year from communities from Soldotna to Fairbanks.
MS. PRUHS said one advantage of adopting new regulations is that Alaska licensees would have an opportunity for reciprocity in other jurisdictions, since the 12-hour manicuring license is not recognized in any jurisdiction. Thus Alaska's manicurist licensees cannot practice in other jurisdictions until they first qualify via state board testing or attend school to meet the minimum requirements.
MS. PRUHS stated that the 12-hour manicurist licensee obtains his/her professional license by taking safety and sanitation course without any practical training. She offered that "professional" is defined as obtaining standards of education and training that prepare members of the profession with particular knowledge and skills necessary to perform the role of that profession. In her view, the 12-hour safety & sanitation course does not fit that definition, she said.
MS. PRUHS pointed out that when she accepted the board position with the Board of Barbers and Hairdressers, she understood that her role was to provide state agencies information on specific issues, provide regulations for the industry, and ensure consumer protection. This board has been trying to get minimum requirements increased for the past eight years. She emphasized that this bill is very important to the board. She has heard horror stories, seen photographs, and observed clients with infections or those subjected to gross negligence. She emphasized the importance of making the manicurist license mean something by bringing manicurists up to national standards and keeping the public safe. She characterized this as a very important issue.
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX expressed two concerns. First, her community has a large Hmong and Laotian population and she wanted to know whether the test will be given in those languages.
MS. PRUHS was unsure, but she suggested the exam could be transcribed or given orally. She suggested that those applicants who have already passed the 12-hour exam could likely pass this one. In further response to Representative LeDoux, she said that the same proctors who administer the Board of Barbers and Hairdressers exams would administer an oral exam.
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX expressed her second concern, which was the lack of any provision for those already in the business to meet the new requirements. She acknowledged she has seen the previously mentioned photographs that illustrated infections clients suffered and agreed that manicurists need regulation, but it seemed as though on the job training and work should count for something. She said that many manicurists are single mothers trying to support their children and they cannot afford to take two months off to take a 250-hour course.
MS. PRUHS agreed. She assured members that the board does not want to put anyone out of business, but wants to adopt regulations increasing training and education requirements. She related her understanding that those technicians who are already licensed can renew their licenses, thereby allowing additional time to achieve the endorsement by taking the written exam. This bill does not require them to go back to school, but manicurists must demonstrate adequate knowledge of hygiene, health and safety aspects of nail technology.
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX referred to page 6, lines 6-11, noting the transition language seems to allow licensees to be grandfathered in until their license renewal, but then licensees must meet all licensing requirements, including the hours and test.
MS. PRUHS related her understanding that the Board of Barbers and Hairdressers would give licensees time to prepare to take and the state board exam and submit proof with their renewal.
REPRESENTATIVE LEDOUX questioned whether the drafter might explain the transitional language.
MS. PRUHS suggested that licensees take the board testing to receive the endorsement.
SARA CHAMBERS, Acting Director, Division of Corporations, Business, and Professional Licensing, Department of Commerce, Community, & Economic Development (DCCED), agreed with Representative LeDoux that any licensees who currently have not taken the 250-hour training course must meet the new requirement prior to their August 2017 license renewal, which means licensees would have two years to comply.
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*You must at least 18 years old and have
a 3 minute phone call with Sue in English to make sure that you will
understand the materials & the test.