As described in the Birmingham Times, modern nurses in Alabama may be expected to become involved in the solutions of the future and direction of nursing. An advanced education is encouraged to prepare RNs for these challenges. Fortunately, achieving a BSN as a professional nurse also may open doors for you that provide new opportunities in specialty areas of nursing.
A 2009 Alabama Board of Nursing survey reports that 75 percent of Alabama's 53,800 RNs were working full-time while 14 percent were working part-time. The two most commonly cited reasons for RNs not practicing were a need for flexible hours and a lack of desire to return to the workforce. The survey also revealed that three-quarters of Alabama RNs plan to work 10 years or more. Over half of Alabama RNs work in hospital settings. Other areas of concentration include outpatient centers or clinics, physician offices, and home health.
To find the RN to BSN program that will work best for you, simply request information from the schools below, keeping in mind that the more you know, the better prepared you can be to make a wise decision about nursing school.
According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, over 580,000 additional RNs will be required by 2018. Schools of nursing across the nation are responding to that need by establishing creative programs to reach out to new student populations and to increase student capacity. One of the best things nurses can do for their careers is to obtain a BSN degree. Alabama has a variety of programs available to help nurses meet that goal.
Curriculum of RN to BSN programs in Alabama
Your courses in the BSN are constructed to expand your perspectives and build on your seasoned nursing knowledge. Alabama nursing schools provide classes to enrich your practice such as:
- Community nursing in elderly populations discusses care for the high population of elderly in Alabama that suffer from multifaceted disease and conditions
- Health promotion provides preventative health and initiatives for diverse communities and local areas in public health
- Nursing theories and the family discuss the role of the professional nurse in health promotion, family dynamics and the prevention of disease in Alabama communities
- Ethics in nursing provide a refreshing perspective on the ethical and moral dilemmas that particularly affect the nursing profession
- Psychiatric and mental health nursing focus on the theoretical concepts that are related to the biosocial and complex management of psychiatric illnesses in families and the community
- Nursing research empowers you with the tools and theories to provide evidence-based nursing treatments and applications that are proven to be effective and rationalize costs
- Nursing leadership prepares professional nurses in business acumen, administrative roles and management of support staff
- Medical and informational technologies provide a introduction to electronic medical record legalities, emerging patient information databases and the current medical technology for nurses
Careers for RN to BSN Graduates in Alabama
If you have achieved a BSN to manage the increasingly complex patient care at the bedside, your expansive knowledge may empower you to provide care with ease and self-confidence. For specialty areas of care, your BSN may prepare you to excel in your expertise such as:
- A clinical nurse specialist oversees the care of patients by nurses, doctors and allied health in an area of expertise that requires certain medical procedures, technologies and protocols that are defined by standards of care
- Public health nursing communicates with communities on health issues, provides patient health resources and works with referring agencies to achieve patient care
- Research nursing assists the collection and distribution of details, data and works with scientists to achieve documentation and participant information
- Wound and ostomy care are delivered by BSN nurses in hospitals, nursing homes, private homes and surgical areas
- Hematology nurses specialize in abnormal conditions of the blood and typically oversee blood transfusions, blood tests, chemotherapies and order related prescriptions, diagnostic tests and perform nursing research
A BSN in nursing can empower you with the supportive information that you require to meet the challenges of nursing in the 21st century. As healthcare initiatives change from the effects of the physician shortage, preventative care and health technologies, you can be prepared to effectively master the dramatic shifts of the healthcare system.
Alabama BSN Career Outlook
The Alabama Department of Labor references nursing as a "High Demand" career field. In fact they list it as the industry with the largest necessity, needing to fill on average 1,525 jobs per year. Obtaining your BSN degree can set you apart from your ADN educated counterparts as you show your initiative to further your nursing education. There is a trend of hiring BSN prepared nurses over those with an Associates, cites the National Student Nurses Association, most likely because of studies done in the U.S. and Canada that linked a baccalaureate degree to a lower mortality rate than ADN prepared nurses. They go on to say that continuing one's education has proved to change perspectives, provide new experiences and raising potential.
According to the United State Bureau of Labor Statistics (2012), the average annual salary for an Alabama RN is above $55,000.
Programs to consider:
- University of South Alabama (Mobile). This is a fully online, web-based program. Students can log in at any time to complete their interactive course work. Students may complete their clinical requirements in their home communities without coming to Mobile. The program can be completed in one year of full-time study; however, students may progress at their own pace.
- Auburn University at Montgomery (Auburn). Students may complete their BSN degrees in three semesters of full-time study with both traditional and online hybrid programs offered. An extensive orientation to online learning is provided. Clinical experiences and hours are independently structured to meet the needs of individual students.
- University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa). All the nursing courses are taught online in this program, and students will be able to complete their clinical activities near their homes in most cases. After completing core requirements, students can finish the program in as little as three semesters, full-time. Part-time programs can be arranged as well.