Learn About Nursing Schools in Alabama
Healthcare is one of the largest industries in Alabama, and becoming a nurse may be one of the best ways to get involved in this field. At an Alabama state nursing program, you may hone your clinical skills, learn how to communicate with patients, and find out how you can best contribute to a healthcare team.
There are several levels of licensure within this industry. Some require prior education in the field of nursing, and others are ideal for new students who haven’t completed any post-secondary education. Compare different types of nursing programs in Alabama to figure out which degree is the best decision for your career and future.
Contact the Alabama nursing schools listed below, or click “more schools” to learn more about how to enter this vital profession.
Nursing Education in Alabama
One of the benefits of attending one of the nursing schools in Alabama is the strong nursing leadership available in this state. That tradition was strengthened in 2017 by statewide grants to Alabama universities from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration’s Nurse Faculty Loan Program. At Samford University in Birmingham, the school’s portion of these grants will fund a loan forgiveness for Alabama masters or doctoral nursing students who stay on as faculty. In a nod to the strength of Alabama’s nursing programs, four other state schools also received smaller awards.
Of course, the positive job outlook in this state is one of the main reasons that you may be considering a career in registered nursing. Another Birmingham school, Herzing University, recently introduced a new two-year Associate of Science in Nursing Degree to help manage the annual 15 percent growth in demand for Alabama RNs.
If you are ready to take the first step to becoming a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse, contact nursing schools in Alabama for more information. There are several types of degree programs you can consider. The shortest option is likely a licensed practical nurse course. These courses, which are often offered at hospitals and community colleges, require approximately one year of full-time study. To earn an Alabama nursing Associate’s degree, you must dedicate at least two years to your degree. A Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing takes roughly four years.
Alabama Nursing College Bridge Programs
Students who decide to further their education often use bridge programs to shorten the amount of time they spend in school and allow them to start applying their skills more quickly. The grant-funded initiative at Samford University in Birmingham has a bridge program aspect since it promotes advanced master’s and doctoral nursing degrees with loan forgiveness and post-graduation employment opportunities.
Other Alabama nursing programs with RN to BSN bridge options may permit you to move from your current level of nursing to a more advanced nursing certification. They also offer non-nursing graduates the chance to transition into a nursing career.
Programs designed for nursing professionals aim to develop your clinical skills and help you work toward a more advanced level of certification. Common options include LPN to BSN and RN to BSN programs. You meet the general education and nursing theory requirements of a BSN simultaneously, streamlining the education process.
LPN to BSN programs do require clinical work; some RN to BSN programs can be completed fully online by students with enough nursing hours behind them. RN to MSN programs are also offered at some Alabama nursing programs. These programs allow you to earn your MSN in about three years, rather than completing a BSN and then moving into an MSN program.
Accelerated programs permit students with non-nursing Bachelor’s degrees to work toward a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or a Master of Science in Nursing. Accelerated BSN programs are extremely fast-paced, often lasting just 12 to 18 months. Direct entry MSN programs tend to be a bit longer, lasting an average of two to three years.
Choosing a School in Alabama
While a lot of articles talk about the national nursing shortage, fewer address the brick-and-mortar aspect of the current healthcare shortfall. Not only are there too few nurses, there aren’t enough beds in some areas to handle the growing aging population’s needs. Alabama is ahead of the curve on this aspect of healthcare too, with hospital expansions to accommodate more patients already underway. That’s great news for nurses eager to stay in the state to begin their careers.
To learn more and start down the path to a nursing career, contact nursing programs in Alabama today by using our featured school box or “Schools Near You” quick search.
Selected Nursing Degree Programs in Alabama
|University of Alabama||BSN, online RN to BSN, MSN, DNP, post-master’s Family Nurse Practitioner, graduate certificate in nursing education||Huntsville|
|Auburn University||BSN and MSN||Auburn|
|University of South Alabama School of Nursing||Bachelor’s, master’s doctoral, post-graduate certificates||Mobile|
|Troy University School of Nursing||ASN, BSN, MSN and DNP||Montgomery|
Specifically interested in online education? You may be able to complete key portions of your schooling via Alabama online nursing programs.
Tips for Choosing the Top Nursing Schools in Alabama
Clearly, choosing a school that fits your needs is crucial to your future success as a nursing student and working nurse. There are lots of factors to weigh in your selection. Some are equally important for all nursing students, while others are based in your personal preferences and learning style.
Factors to Consider as You Compare the Best Nursing Colleges in Alabama:
- Is the school accredited by the ACEN or CCNE? Accreditation makes the licensing process much quicker, and in some cases, you may be unable to earn a license with a degree from a non-accredited school.
- How much clinical experience do students get? You can also ask Alabama nursing programs about the diversity of clinical experiences. It’s important to be comfortable working with patients by the time you earn your degree.
- What is the NCLEX pass rate? Passing the NCLEX on the first try may help you get started in the workforce more quickly.
- What is the average class size in nursing courses? Smaller classes may make it easier to ask questions and interact with peers, while larger classes may facilitate more academic discussion. Both sides have their benefits.
- Are there job search assistance options for graduates? Getting into the workforce may be easier with the help of your school.
Learning outcomes can help you direct the course of your education and get as much from your training as possible. You may learn how to deliver professional nursing care to various populations, apply theory to your clinical practice, develop nursing leadership skills, and work alongside other health care professionals.
Alabama Nursing School Financial Aid
As you begin your nursing education, look into the variety of nursing scholarships and grants available in Alabama:
- Alabama State Nurses Association scholarshipsfunds are available to qualifying undergraduate nursing students.
- If you are interested in working with the aging population, particularly in nursing homes, consider applying for Alabama Nursing Home Association financial aid.
- Check out the Alabama Association of Nursing Students Foundation website for additional Alabama nursing scholarship information.
2017 Career Outlook for Nursing Professions
Once you finish your training at an Alabama nursing school, you may be very excited to start putting your education to work. You have to earn your license before you begin working, so you may want to start the licensure process before you graduate. LPN applicants must take the NCLEX-PN, while those who attend Bachelor’s-level registered nursing programs must take the NCLEX-RN. At the graduate and doctoral levels of study, different testing requirements are set for each area of study.
The training you get in licensed practical nursing degree programs may make you an asset to clinics and nursing homes. In Alabama, the average salary for a licensed practical nurse is $36,300 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017). Through 2024, demand for LPNs is projected at 15% throughout Alabama (O*Net, 2017).
You may put your Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree to work in almost any healthcare setting in Alabama, making this a very versatile degree. Registered nurses are in high demand in Alabama, with a steady 17% increase in demand expected through 2024 (O*Net, 2017). Their average annual income is $56,900 (BLS, 2017).
Many students who opt to take their education to the graduate level choose to attend nurse practitioner degree programs in Alabama. This degree may boost your earning potential; the average salary for an Alabama nurse practitioner is $92,130 per year (BLS, 2017). A 37% boost in job openings is anticipated by the year 2024 (O*Net, 2017).