Registered nurses in Alabama looking to advance to high level nursing careers and specialties in the state will eventually need to earn a Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. For those who have already earned an Associate's Degree or Bachelor's of Science in Nursing, there are a few options for RN to MSN programs in the state. Whether online or in person, an RN to MSN in Alabama is within reach for ambitious nurses.

RN to MSN Admissions Requirements in Alabama

Nurses considering applying to an RN to MSN program in Alabama will likely face the following admissions requirements:

  • Must hold an unencumbered RN license
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 on all undergraduate work
  • Submission of resume which documents clinical experience, and/or letters of recommendation
  • Evidence of CPR certification
  • Completion of all prerequisite courses

RN to MSN Courses

Most schools offer two kinds of RN to MSN programs: a version for ADN-educated RNs, which allows them to earn a BSN as well, and a version for those who already hold a BSN and just need to complete the MSN portion. Many RN to MSN programs have specialized tracks that students can enter once their general education courses are completed. These specialties may include Family Nurse Practitioner, Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist, and more.

As part of their RN to MSN program, the University of Alabama in Huntsville, for example, offers the following general education nursing courses:

  • NUR 417: Nursing Care of Vulnerable Populations
  • NUR 420: Evidence Based Nursing Practice
  • NUR 421: Acute Care for the Practicing RN
  • NUR 602: Scholarly Inquiry Advanced Nurse Practice
  • NUR 605: Advanced Health Assessment

Online RN to MSN Programs in Alabama

There are a handful of online RN to MSN programs available in Alabama. These programs offer convenience and affordability, and are just as academically rigorous as their classroom counterparts. Many working RNs appreciate the ability to finish their graduate level courses while remaining employed. It's important to keep in mind that most MSN programs, even online versions, have a clinical requirement that can usually be completed in the student's local area.

Featured Online School

The University of North Alabama offers a CCNE-accredited, fully online RN to MSN program. There are two different ways to earn an MSN through the school; for RNs with an ADN, the RN to MSN online program offers the opportunity to complete a BSN as well as an MSN. Otherwise, RNs can complete the online MSN program, which offers two tracks: Nursing in Teaching-Learning Environments and Nursing Leadership in Organizational Environments.

Admissions and Program Length

The length of an RN to MSN program can fluctuate based on a few factors. Full-time or part-time study, online or in person, and specialization chosen can all impact how quickly the coursework can be completed. For example, the MSN Nurse Practitioner track at Auburn Schools of Nursing in Alabama requires 43 total credits generally split over 6 semesters (including summers), as well as 750 total clinical hours. Full-time students in this program are admitted in the summer semester only, while part-time students can enter during any semester upon space availability.

Tuition and Cost of Attendance

The cost of an RN to MSN program in Alabama can vary widely from school to school. The graduate level tuition at the University of Alabama is $367 per credit hour for their MSN program. This does not include additional expenses for things like books and course materials. Tuition costs are subject to change at any time, so it's a good idea to inquire about costs with your school of choice before making your final program decision.

RN to MSN Career Pathways in Alabama

An MSN degree can open the door to a vast and rewarding array of nursing careers. From hospital jobs to management roles to teaching positions, an MSN is the key to unlock them all. The following are just a few nursing career options that require an MSN:

  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Legal Nurse Consultant
  • Nurse Researcher

RN to MSN Salary Comparison

Completing a graduate level nursing degree is one surefire way to increase salary. The national average salary for a registered nurse lands at roughly $60,616 annually. To compare, the national average salary for the MSN-required acute care nurse practitioner is $96,442 annually. There are dozens of other pathways for MSN-educated registered nurses, all with salaries that are significantly higher than an ADN or BSN educated nurse.

Helpful Links

RN to MSN Listings

With a BSN in hand, many Alabama nurses find that it's beneficial to continue investing in their education by pursuing an MSN degree. To this end, there are more than 5 colleges and universities throughout the state that offer MSN degree programs for those nurses looking to obtain their degree either full-time or through blended learning while balancing their ongoing professional responsibilities.

ProgramWebsite
Spring Hill College
Online
Division of Nursing
4000 Dauphin St.
Mobile, AL 36608
(251) 380-4485
The University of Alabama
Online
Capstone College of Nursing
650 University Boulevard East
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
The University of Alabama: Huntsville
Online
College of Nursing
124 University Cir,
Huntsville, AL 35816
(256) 824-6669
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Campus
School of Nursing
1720 Second Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35294
(205) 934-5360
University of North Alabama
Online
College of Nursing and Allied Health
One Harrison Place
Florence, AL 35632
(256) 765-6301
University of South Alabama
Online
College of Nursing
307 N. University Blvd. #130
Mobile, AL 36608
(251) 445-9400