Becoming an RN in Alabama
In order to become a registered nurse in Alabama, you must complete an education program that is both accredited and board-approved. Approved programs cover nursing care across the lifespan and prepare nurses to act according to the scope of duty outlined by the Alabama Board.
- Earn your RN-to-BSN online from Capella University
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing for the Registered Nurse
- Online Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral Nursing Programs and Certificates
Professional nursing programs in Alabama are offered at both the BSN and ADN levels. The BSN program prepares students for the same licensing examination that the ADN does (the NCLEX-RN); it opens up a wider range of career possibilities, though. BSN programs often include additional coursework in areas like leadership, public health, and beginning research skills. There are generally two program phases: pre-nursing and nursing. At the pre-nursing stage, students take a course of study that is rich in both natural and social sciences. Typical prerequisites include anatomy, physiology, microbiology, and human development across the lifespan. The clinical portion of the program progresses from theory to practice. A nursing student can expect multiple rotations or clinical experiences.
After graduation, Alabama’s prospective RNs should have their transcripts forwarded to the Alabama Board of Nursing. This will allow them to receive authorization to take the NCLEX-RN. The licensing application includes questions about character and professional fitness. The procedure can take some time, but a nursing school graduate can obtain a temporary permit. It is good for up to 90 days, unless the candidate fails the NCLEX-RN on the first attempt.
Although the state requires that candidates graduate from approved programs, the approving body doesn’t necessarily have to be Alabama — it can be another state or even another nation, so long as requirements are similar. Nursing candidates who were educated abroad should have their credentials reviewed by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools.
There are mobility options in place for licensed practical nurses. Alabama schools typically expect evidence of both licensure and work experience. 500 hours of experience (in Alabama or elsewhere) is generally sufficient for an LPN to RN program at a state college.
There are also two fast track options for professionals with degrees in other fields: the accelerated BSN and the direct entry MSN. In some cases, a candidate can earn a BSN (and licensing), then progress seamlessly into master’s study in a specialty area. At the University of South Alabama, for example, candidates earn a BSN after 12 months of year-round study, and an MSN after a second 12 months. This program is quicker than in some parts of the country; in some areas, two years of practice as an RN is expected before advanced practice status is earned. Of course, it is a personal choice how fast to earn one’s nursing credentials. Some people prefer to draw a paycheck as an RN while progressing at a slower pace through their advanced studies.
Registered Nursing Career Outlook in Alabama
The Alabama Board of Nursing boasts 60,666 licensed RNs as of May 2011. There are advantages to being part of a field that is not only growing in demand percentage-wise, but has a huge number of total workers.
Hiring prospects tend to be better, during times of recession, for those with higher degrees. An American Association of Colleges of Nursing survey found that 81% of Alabama’s BSN and direct entry master’s candidates had job offers within four to six months of program completion.
The Application Process in Alabama
Admission requirements vary by degree level and institution, but there are some common expectations. All Alabama programs that fall under the direction of the Department of Postsecondary Education now require TEAS scores as part of the admission process. Prospective nurses will also need certain technical competencies, including basic physical and sensory abilities. Applicants at the community college level should be aware that ADN programs are often more competitive than other programs at the same institution. Wallace, for instance notes that 2.5 is the minimum GPA for admission, but that it is no guarantee of acceptance.
Universities often consider multiple indicators of success: career goals as well as strong academic performance.
Alabama Board of Nursing Approved ADN Programs
Virginia College in Montgomery
The Virginia College in Birmingham Associate Degree in Nursing program is approved by the Alabama Board of Nursing.
|ALABAMA SOUTHERN COMMUNITY COLLEGE P.O. Box 2000 Hwy 21 S Monroeville 36461||BEVILL STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE 1411 Indiana Avenue|
Jasper, AL 35501
|BISHOP STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE 1365 Dr. Martin Luther King Avenue Mobile 36603||CALHOUN STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE|
P.O. 2216 Decatur 35609-2216
|CENTRAL ALABAMA COMMUNITY COLLEGE|
34091 US Highway 280
|CHATTAHOOCHEE VALLEY STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE|
2602 College Drive
Phenix City 36869
|FAULKNER STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE|
1900 US Hwy 31, S
Bay Minette 36507
|GADSDEN STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGEP.O. Box 227|
Gadsden, AL 35902-0227
|JEFFERSON DAVIS COMMUNITY COLLEGE|
P.O. Box 958
|JEFFERSON STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE|
2601 Carson Road Birmingham AL 35215
|LAWSON STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE|
3060 Wilson Road Birmingham 35221
|LURLEEN B. WALLACE STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE, MACARTHUR CAMPUS|
P.O. Drawer 910
Opp, AL 36467
|NORTHEAST ALABAMA COMMUNITY COLLEGE|
P.O. Box 159 Rainsville 35986
|NORTHWEST SHOALS COMMUNITY COLLEGE|
2080 College Road Phil Campbell 35581
|OAKWOOD COLLEGE (ADN & BSN Programs) |
7000 Adventist Blvd.
|SHELTON STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE|
9500 Old Greensboro Road Tuscaloosa 35405
|SNEAD STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE|
P.O. Box 734 Boaz, AL 35957-0734
|SOUTHERN UNION STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE|
1701 LaFayette Pkwy.
340 Montgomery Street Montgomery 36104
|UNIVERSITY OF MOBILE (ADN & BSN Programs) |
5735 College Parkway
Mobile, AL 36613-2842
|UNIVERSITY OF WEST ALABAMA|
Livingston, AL 35470
|GEORGE C. WALLACE STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE-DOTHAN|
1141 Wallace Drive
Dothan, AL 36303
|GEORGE C. WALLACE STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE-HANCEVILLE|
P.O. Box 2000 Hanceville, AL 35077-2000
|GEORGE C. WALLACE STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE-SELMA|
P.O. Box 2530
Selma, AL 36702-2530
Alabama Board of Nursing Approved BSN Programs
South University – Montgomery
The South University – Montgomery campus BSN program is approved by the Alabama Board of Nursing.
Programs Offered: BSN (Entry to Nursing)
South University – Montgomery, 5355 Vaughn Road, Montgomery, AL 36116
Samford University – Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing
Samford University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Program and the Alabama Board of Nursing. Samford University is an NLN Center of Excellence in Nursing Education.
Programs Offered: RN to MSN (for associate’s and diploma RNs), MSN – (Specializations: Nurse Anesthesia (CRNA), Nurse Educator, Management, Family Nurse Practitioner), MSN/MBA, DNP, Post-Master’s Certificate (Specializations: Family nurse Practitioner, Education, Management)
Samford University – Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing, 800 Lakeshore Drive, Birmingham, AL 35229
107 Miller Hall Auburn 36849
P.O. Box 244023
|JACKSONVILLE STATE UNIVERSITY|
700 Pelham Road, North Jacksonville 36265-9982
800 Lakeshore Drive
|SPRING HILL COLLEGE|
4000 Dauphin Street
P. O. Box 1430
Basil O’Connor Hall
|UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA|
P.O. Box 870358 Tuscaloosa 35487-0358
|UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA AT BIRMINGHAMUAB Station 1701 University Blvd.|
|UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA IN HUNTSVILLE|
301 Sparkman Drive
|UNIVERSITY OF NORTH ALABAMA|
University Box 5054
Florence, AL 35632-0001
|UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH ALABAMA|
USA Springhill Avenue
Mobile, AL 36688-0002