Nursing Schools in Alabama

Nursing Schools in Alabama – AL

Nursing Schools in Alabama

Alabama is experiencing an increase in demand for nurses, according to the University of Alabama at Huntsville. This is due to a number of reasons: an increased emphasis on preventive care, growing rates of chronic conditions, and demand for healthcare services from the baby-boom population, as they live longer and more active lives. Fortunately, those seeking to become a nurse can prepare to meet this demand by pursuing a degree program from one of the nursing schools in Alabama. The key to achieving maximum career potential, however, is to select an accredited college with a degree program that fits the vision of both your personal and professional career goals as a nurse.

Depending on the nursing occupation you’d like to pursue, nursing schools in Alabama typically offer 2-, 4-, and 6-year educational programs combined with entry-level to advanced nursing curriculums. If you want to explore the different kinds of nursing jobs and their specializations, have a look at our article on Nursing Education, Schools and Career Overview.

What nursing schools are there in Alabama?

In Alabama, nursing programs such as NP and RN are typically approved by the Alabama Board of Nursing (ABN). ABN ensures that proper educational standards are maintained and patient safety is taken care of. Apart from ABN, Alabama’s state regulatory agency for educational institutions, the Alabama Commission on Higher Education (ACHE), helps students by analyzing institutions eligible for accreditation as well as those which may require further investigation.

A few of the colleges that offer nursing programs in Alabama include:

  • Auburn University
  • Calhoun State Community College
  • Coastal Alabama Community College (Faulkner State)
  • Herzing University – Birmingham
  • Jefferson State Community College
  • University of Alabama – Birmingham

Here’s a closer look at a few nursing schools in Alabama, some of which include bridge programs for various levels of nursing education, and some of which have programs that can be completed online.

  • Students in Alabama with no prior nursing education may want to consider the 6-semester associate degree in nursing (ADN) program at Herzing University.
  • In addition, Herzing University’s accredited LPN-to-RN bridge program allows LPNs to apply previous coursework toward an associate degree that prepares students to become RNs.
  • Samford University's Ida Moffett School of Nursing offers a bachelor’s of science in nursing (BSN) degree program, in addition to accelerated program options.
  • Samford University also offers an online ADN-to-MSN program, consisting of five bridge courses.
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham, Jacksonville State University, Troy University offer the RN-to-BSN program for prospective students to earn their bachelor’s degree in nursing; and the BSN-to-MSN program, for those who want to pursue a master’s degree program.

What financial aid can I get in nursing programs in Alabama?

There are many needs-based and merit-based financial aid programs that students in Alabama can apply for. Each program has its own eligibility criteria. Students can also apply for federal or state aid by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.

State-based financial aid resources include:

  • Alabama State Nursing Scholarship — This scholarship may be available only to Alabama residents who have been admitted to and are currently attending clinical nursing courses with a 2.5 grade point average or higher in the School of Nursing undergraduate program.
  • Alabama Board of Nursing Scholarship — During the year of funding, the candidate is typically required to attend school for at least 6 hours each semester (8 hours per quarter) for no fewer than 2 consecutive semesters.
  • Brookwood Medical Center Scholarship — typically offers undergraduate and graduate scholarships to nursing students enrolled in accredited nursing schools with at least grade “B” in nursing courses and recommendation from faculty advisor and Financial Aid Office.

What do I need to know about certifications in nursing in Alabama?

The purpose of nurse certification in Alabama is to help you enhance your abilities and mastery in the nursing field of your choice. The initial step is to choose any of the programs (bachelor’s, associate or diploma) and enroll in a state-recognized nursing school.

After receiving your graduate degree, you typically need national certification in the specialty of advanced practice nursing (APN) that you want to work. Each specialty has its own certification requirements and exams.

Alabama recognizes four advanced practice categories:

  • Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner (CRNP)
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
  • Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM)
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

Once you receive national certification, you can pursue Alabama’s APN certification.

Do I need a license to be a nurse in Alabama? How do I apply for it?

In Alabama, nurses are typically required to be licensed by the ABN. Here is a checklist of the requirements to become a nurse in Alabama:

  • Application for licensure
  • School transcript documenting nursing education
  • Payment of licensure application fee
  • Passage of the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX), a nursing credentialing organization

In the interim, before receiving your state license from the ABN, you can request a temporary permit which allows you to practice for a 90-day period until your NCLEX testing results have been verified. During this time, you may be allowed to work under the supervision of a licensed nurse or physician; however, you are usually not allowed to assume full patient responsibility.

In Alabama, nursing licenses such as RN and APN licenses are typically renewed every two years. However, the APN may expire earlier if the certification expires before the RN license does.

What can I do with a degree in nursing in Alabama?

According to the University of Alabama in Huntsville, aspiring nurses usually find job prospects in the Birmingham metropolitan area, home to the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital. Mobile, Huntsville and Montgomery are other places where nurses typically find jobs, making these four cities account for almost two-thirds of the state's nursing workforce.

Here’s the job growth you might expect to see as a nurse in Alabama:

CareerTotal EmploymentStatewide Projected Job Growth Rate
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses12,4007.3%
Nurse Anesthetists1,20015.6%
Nurse Practitioners3,80030.2%
Nursing Assistants22,7507.2%
Registered Nurses49,19012.9%
2019 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2018-28 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

The amount of pay you can earn as a nurse in Alabama depends not only on what type of nursing work you do, but also on your location.

CareerAnnual Mean WageBottom 10% Annual WageTop 10% Annual Wage
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses$39,310$28,690$50,100
Nurse Anesthetists$157,430$90,190>$208,000
Nurse Practitioners$99,570$71,660$129,270
Nursing Assistants$24,590$18,750$31,640
Registered Nurses$60,230$43,350$79,590
2019 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2018-28 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Sources:

  • ADN/ASN to MSN, Ida Moffett School of Nursing, Samford University, accessed May 2019, https://www.samford.edu/nursing/rn-to-msn
  • Advanced Practice Nurse Requirements in Alabama, Nursing Licensure, accessed May 2019, https://www.nursinglicensure.org/np-state/alabama-nurse-practitioner.html
  • Advance your nursing skills and your career, Herzing University, accessed May 2019, https://www.herzing.edu/nursing/lpn-associate-nursing-program
  • Alabama Board of Nursing, Graduate Scholarships, accessed April 2019, https://www.abn.alabama.gov/alabama-nursing-resource-center/grad-students/#tab-scholarships
  • A Look at Nursing in Alabama, The University of Alabama in Hunstville, May 2018, https://online.uah.edu/articles/rnbsn/nursing-in-alabama.aspx
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners, April 2019, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/nurse-anesthetists-nurse-midwives-and-nurse-practitioners.htm
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Registered Nurses, April 2019, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm
  • May 2017 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates Alabama, March 2018, https://www.bls.gov/oes/2017/may/oes_al.htm#29-0000
  • Nursing Education Programs, Alabama Board of Nursing, accessed April 2019, http://www.abn.alabama.gov/nursing-programs/
  • Troy University, B.S. Nursing Online, accessed may 2019, https://www.troy.edu/online/index.html#online-degrees
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