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.
Deciding to earn a BSN is a big step for an RN. Online RN to BSN programs can make the choice a lot easier. Finding the best online RN to BSN program, however, is of great importance. Alabama is home to many options, and we have ranked the top online RN to BSN programs in the state for your convenience. Check out our list below and be one step closer to the nursing degree (and career) of your dreams.
For more information on our top nursing school rankings, visit our Methodology Page (https://www.registerednursing.org/rankings-methodology/).
University of South Alabama
Created for working RNs with patient experience, the University of South Alabama or simply South offers an online RN to BSN. The pathway program includes at least six, entirely online nursing courses that can be finished at the student's own pace (within five years).
- RN to BSN Online/Hybrid
- The program has an MSN bridge option
- Rolling, year-round admissions for busy nurses
- Recognized for educating healthcare professionals
The University of Alabama in Huntsville
Students can gain proficiencies to work as a nursing generalist when they complete the online RN to BSN program from The University of Alabama in Huntsville. By studying healthcare policy and delivery models as well as evidence-based practice, students increase their confidence and competencies in nursing.
- RN to BSN Online/Hybrid
- Affordable tuition for quality education
- Online courses are 7-weeks in length
- Aligns with the American Nurses Assn Code of Ethics
Jacksonville State University
Made to move quickly, the online RN to BSN degree or STEP program at Jacksonville State University in Alabama can be completed in one full year. From Health Assessment and Pharmacology to Emergency Nursing, the program provides RNs with an education they can apply right away.
- RN to BSN Online/Hybrid
- Students can earn credit for their nursing experience
- Flexible scheduling with part- and full-time options
- No waiting list
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.
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 $385 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 Bureau of Labor Statistics does not differentiate between an RN with an ADN and one with a BSN, it does report that in 2020 the median salary for an RN in Alabama was $60,230. Nurses with a BSN, however, can expect to be at the higher end of the pay scale than those with a lower degree. BSN-prepared nurses are also eligible for increased earnings from managerial and leadership opportunities – which 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 $3,000 more per year.
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