Alabama RN to BSN Programs
With the recent national upswing in the demand for advanced registered nursing, Alabama has increased opportunities for current registered nurses (RNs) to further their careers with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, via the popular RN to BSN route. This will enable current RNs in the state to increase their career options as well as their earning potential.
Once you've decided to continue your nursing education with a BSN, you'll need to look at the different schools in the state that offer the program, and the requirements necessary to gain admission. It's wise to check with the Alabama Board of Nursing to see which schools offer approved programs. While requirements may differ depending on the school, the following is a general guide to what you might encounter:
- Submission of a completed RN-BSN Nursing Application Packet along with any application fees
- Minimum GPA of 2.50 for all prerequisite courses
- Minimum overall GPA of 2.0
- Submission of all required medical information and evidence of health insurance
- Completion of an accredited diploma or associate's degree in nursing, and a current unrestricted registered nursing license
The RN to BSN curriculum consists of a variety of specialized nursing courses, some of which involve practice-based clinical assignments. For example, the University of South Alabama College of Nursing offers the following courses as part of their RN to BSN program:
- Concepts of Professional Nursing
- Healthcare Leadership/Collaboration
- Pathophysiology and Trends
- Community Health
Those pursuing an advanced nursing degree may be intending to do so while currently employed as a registered nurse. Because of this, many schools in Alabama are now offering online RN to BSN programs to offer maximum flexibility for their students.
Featured Online School
The University of Alabama's online RN to BSN program is designed to put nurses in charge of their future. This program is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), so prospective students can rest assured that while they may be taking classes from home, they will still be receiving a quality education. Students enrolled in this program can expect to complete 25 credit hours of nursing courses once they complete the classes needed to meet the University's core curriculum requirements.
Admissions and Program Length
Most RN to BSN programs in the state are comprised of two components: the first is the pre-professional component, consisting of prerequisite general education courses which may include English Composition, Statistics, General Psychology, and others. The second is the professional component, in which specific nursing courses are completed. These nursing courses may include Nursing Informatics for Registered Nurses, Role Transition in Baccalaureate Nursing, Complex Client Systems for Registered Nurses, and more. In general, anywhere from roughly 25-31 credit hours in professional nursing courses will be required to graduate, and students are typically admitted starting in Fall, Spring, or Summer semesters.
Tuition and Cost of Attendance
Tuition and costs can vary depending on which school you choose, but there are many affordable options based out of Alabama. The University of Alabama's "Bama by Distance" online RN to BSN tuition costs approximately $346 per credit hour, with 25 credit hours of nursing courses required. Keep in mind that there may be additional costs for course materials.
If you're looking for advancement in your nursing career, completing your BSN can help you get there. Nurses with this level of education can find higher-ranking jobs in pediatrics, surgery, ICU, and other important nursing environments.
RN to BSN Salary Comparison in Alabama
In addition to job status, completing a BSN will offer increased salary opportunities. While the of Bureau of Labor Statistics does not differentiate between an RN with an ADN and one with a BSN, it does report that in 2015 the median salary for an RN in Alabama was $56,890. Nurses with a BSN, however, can expect to be at the higher end of the pay scale than those with a lower degree. They are also eligible for increased earnings from managerial and leadership opportunities that may not be as accessible to nurses who don't hold a bachelor's degree.
As with many professional fields, more advanced credentials result in a wider variety of professional opportunities and greater pay. At present, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing lists about a dozen RN to BSN programs throughout the state. Programs like these, focus on nurses who already have an associate's degree in nursing but who wish to upgrade to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. These colleges and universities rely on the professionalism and variety of candidates to offer a robust learning environment. Education is well worth the cost - in an equal comparison, the average Alabama ADN who upgrades to BSN earns about $3000 more per year.
Auburn University at MontgomeryOnline Campus
School of Nursing
101 Moore Hall, PO Box 244023
Montgomery, AL 36124-4022
Jacksonville State UniversityOnline
Lurleen B. Wallace College of Nursing
700 Pelham Road, North
Jacksonville, AL 36265-9982
School of Nursing & Health Professions
7000 Adventist Blvd NW
Huntsville, AL 35896
The University of AlabamaOnline Campus
Capstone College of Nursing
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
The University of Alabama in HuntsvilleOnline
College of Nursing
301 Sparkman Drive
Huntsville, AL 35899
School of Nursing and Allied Health
209 Basil O'Connor Hall
Tuskegee, AL 36088
University of Alabama at BirminghamCampus
School of Nursing
1720 Second Avenue South, NB 204
Birmingham, AL 35294-1210
University of MobileCampus
School of Nursing
5735 College Parkway
Mobile, AL 36613-2842
University of North AlabamaOnline
College of Nursing and Allied Health
One Harrison Place, UNA Box 5054
Florence, AL 35632-0001
University of South AlabamaCampus
College of Nursing
5721 USA Dr. N. Room 3083
Mobile, AL 36688-0002