Striving to promote quality nursing care by providing degree programs and professional development, the state of Alabama ensures the skill set of nurses and future nurses and through this, quality care for patients. RN jobs are trending upward with forecasts predicting a 7% increase in positions through 2029. Approximately 45% of nurses possess a bachelor’s degree in nursing, which shows that those candidates looking for a competitive professional advantage should look at an equivalent or greater degree programs in order to maximize job opportunities in their desired areas of interest and specialty.

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Cities in Alabama

2023 Best RN Programs in Alabama

Selecting the best nursing school in Alabama can be difficult. To make the process easier first look for a school that supports students towards licensure and beyond. A great way to measure this is through NCLEX-RN "pass rates." We have ranked the top 10 nursing schools in Alabama by analyzing current and historical NCLEX-RN "pass rates", meaning the percentage of graduates who pass the exam, out of the 37 RN programs in the state. Programs reviewed include schools that offer an Associate in Nursing (ADN/ASN), BSN, or Direct-Entry MSN Degree.

For more information on our top nursing school rankings, see our Methodology Page (https://www.registerednursing.org/rn-ranking-methodology/).

1.

710 South Donahue Drive, Auburn, AL 36849

Score: 97.62

With both traditional and 2nd degree BSN programs at Auburn University, the School of Nursing (AUSON) faculty is committed to improving the standards of patient care through education. The city of Auburn is a great place to practice and grow as a nursing student.

Program Details

  • Programs: BSN
  • Phone: (334) 844-5665
2.

650 University Boulevard East, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401

Score: 97.17

The University of Alabama is the proud home of the prestigious Capstone College of Nursing, which offers a traditional 4-year BSN degree program. Located in beautiful Tuscaloosa, Capstone's faculty is committed to mentorship and flexible options to accommodate new students, transfers, and students wishing to upgrade their skills.

Program Details

  • Programs: BSN
  • Phone: (205) 348-6639
3.

1 Harrison Plaza, Florence, AL 35632

Score: 95.24

Anderson College of Nursing is a proud part of the University of North Alabama, located in Florence, Alabama's Renaissance City. With BSN and MSN programs, as well as other flexible options, UNA is a great choice for nursing students.

Program Details

  • Programs: BSN
  • Phone: (256) 765-4100
4.

1701 University Blvd, Birmingham, AL 35294

Score: 94.10

With a mission statement that 'Knowledge will change your world', faculty at the University of Alabama at Birmingham are committed to excellence in teaching the nursing profession. As a top-notch school in Alabama, UAB's BSN graduates are highly sought-after.

Program Details

  • Programs: BSN
  • Phone: (205) 934-5428
5.

801 Main Street Northwest, Hanceville, AL 35077

Score: 93.43

Ranked amongst the fastest growing community colleges, Wallace State Community College - Hanceville is rethinking the student experience for success. Teaching faculty in the college's ADN nursing program are happy to guide nursing students from the start of their education through graduation.

Program Details

  • Programs: Associate in Nursing
  • Phone: (256) 352-8000
6.

301 Sparkman Dr, Huntsville, AL 35899

Score: 93.30

University of Alabama in Huntsville is a well-respected institution for nursing education. The College of Nursing features BSN and MSN programs amongst their options, and is located in an industrious, urban environment.

Program Details

  • Programs: BSN
  • Phone: (256) 824-6742
7.

800 Lakeshore Dr, Birmingham, AL 35229

Score: 92.89

Located in historic Birmingham, the Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing at Samford University is well renowned for the quality of nursing programs and faculty. Students receive guidance and a quality education, in a Christian environment.

Program Details

  • Programs: BSN
  • Phone: (205) 726-2807
8.

3060 Wilson Rd SW, Birmingham, AL 35221

Score: 91.02

Located in Alabama, Birmingham's Lawson State Community College is home to one of the state's most prestigious nursing programs. Lawson's Department of Nursing teaching staff welcome pre-service nurses who will make a difference in patient care.

Program Details

  • Programs: Associate in Nursing
  • Phone: (205) 925-2515
9.

700 Pelham Rd N, Jacksonville, AL 36265

Score: 90.66

Jacksonville State University is a great place for nursing students to achieve their dreams of a BSN or continuing to an MSN. Located in Jacksonville, Alabama the school's motto is Education - Commerce - Heritage; JSU nursing students are strongly supported by their school and community.

Program Details

  • Programs: BSN
  • Phone: (256) 782-5781
10.

5721 USA Dr. N. Room 3083, Mobile, AL 36688

Score: 90.58

Mobile's University of Southern Alabama (USA) trains the next generation of registered nurses through its numerous nursing pathways. Aside from the traditional BSN degree program, USA also offers an early acceptance program as well as an accelerated BSN/MSN track.

Program Details

  • Programs: BSN
  • Phone: (251) 445-9400

ADN Programs in Alabama

RNs with an Associate's Degree in nursing have taken the first steps toward lifelong professional development and a satisfying career serving others. With looming health care shortages throughout the nation, stepping forward into a rewarding nursing career means facing the shortages that plague many states, including Alabama. To combat this, Alabama has more than 20 community colleges and private institutions that offer programs that prepare nursing students for NCLEX licensure.

What to Look For in an ADN Program in Alabama

There are a number of criteria that future nurses should consider as they research ADN programs throughout Alabama and a great first step is ensuring that your school of choice is is approved by the Alabama Board of Nursing is a great first step. Some other considerations are:

Accreditation

In recent years, there have been steps to legitimize nursing programs through the nationwide evaluation system of ADN programs, called the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). As part of their best practices and continual improvement plan, Alabama has a state regulatory agency for educational institutions known as the Alabama Commission on Higher Education that helps students ascertain which schools and institutions are accredited and which may require further investigation.

Licensing

Since this license is what allows nurses to use the title ‘Registered Nurse’ it is very important to ensure that the Alabama Board of Nursing supports your school of choice for ADN programming.

Program Outcomes

Data regarding your community college ADN program are obtainable from a variety of objective sources. Ensure that you are satisfied with these outcomes from your chosen school:

  • How many nursing students graduate successfully
  • NCLEX pass rates
  • Graduate job market statistics
  • Student and graduate satisfaction metrics

Calhoun Community College is home to an accredited ADN program. CCC is located in Tanner, Alabama – part of state and federal initiatives to make ADN training accessible to all students in the face of looming healthcare shortages.

ADN Program Admission Requirements in Alabama

Individual community colleges and private institutions have a variety of criteria by which they measure and accept applicants, and sometimes these changes on an annual basis! However, while institutions do vary, most ADN programs have the following requirements of their applicants.

  • Each applicant must meet the general admission requirements of the school
  • Each applicant must meet the minimum overall GPA requirements
  • Each applicant must submit appropriate ACT, SAT or COMPASS scores
  • Each successful graduate must take a drug and background screening to prepare for employment
  • Applicants must have an Alabama High School Diploma or its equivalent
  • Applicants have a minimum ACT composite of 16 or a total of 790 or greater on the SAT
  • Applicants must pass a health screening test

Tuition and Costs of ADN Programs in Alabama

Due to program size, location, and a variety of other factors, tuition can vary from college to college. As a sample school, Shelton State Community College's 2-year ADN program has complete costs of around $13,000 for a two-year ADN program. Program costs include mandatory program items such as NCLEX review materials, nursing instruments, and appropriate footwear for clinical placement.

Advantages of ADN Programs

With a shortage of licensed RNs throughout the state of Alabama, government and postsecondary initiatives ensure that those who want to start their career in nursing can do so in a relatively short span of time. With the potential for course flexibility and clinical placement in area hospitals and doctor's offices, successful graduates are already well accustomed to the types of working environment and patients they may encounter on the job.

LPN to RN Programs in Alabama

Many registered nurses start out as Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs). For an LPN to transition into a registered nursing role, they must attend a specialized LPN to RN program. These programs apply previous nursing coursework, making them much shorter in duration than traditional RN programs.

LPN to ADN/BSN Programs

The shortest pathway for practical nurses is the LPN to ADN program pathway. This program culminates in an associate’s degree in nursing in just a few consecutive semesters. Herzing University in Birmingham, for example, offers an LPN to ADN pathway which requires roughly 48 credits to complete. With a little more time, students can earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing via an LPN to BSN program. While there are currently no on-campus LPN to BSN programs in Alabama, some national online programs do exist.

LPN to RN program admissions requirements commonly include:

  • Current, active Alabama LPN license
  • Graduate of an approved LPN program with copies of transcripts
  • Completion of all prerequisite courses with a passing grade
  • Background check and immunization records

BSN Programs in Alabama

Throughout the state, more than 15 universities have the Alabama State Board of Nursing's seal of approval to offer a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. With a timeline that is approximately 4 years in length, there is additional opportunity to specialize in a particular aspect of nursing, and additional time for clinical placement and gathering relevant nursing experience.

What To Look For in a BSN Program in Alabama

There is often information specifically created for freshmen students who have recently graduated from high school which will be significantly different from those students who are entering the RN to BSN accelerated track.

Located in Birmingham, Alabama, Samford University’s BSN program is accredited by both the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), which ensures the quality of BSN, MSN, and nurse-resident programs throughout the country, and the Council on Accreditation (COA) which underwrites the quality of Nurse Anesthesia programs throughout the U.S.

BSN Program Length in Alabama

BSN programs throughout Alabama are a standard 4 years in length. With online classes, distance education, and summer sessions, BSN undergraduates can complete a full BSN degree in a little over 2 years. RNs who are upgrading from ADN qualifications will have a 2-year stint of schooling to earn their BSN; accelerated options may be available.

BSN Program Admission Requirements in Alabama

No two schools have admission requirements that are identical, however, BSN programs in universities across Alabama will have these types of requirements:

  • Students meet admission criteria to the university
  • Students have a minimum GPA of 3.0 – often there are language, math and science credit requirements
  • Students have a minimum composite ACT of 21 or composite SAT of 1000

Tuition and Costs of BSN Programs in Alabama

Depending on the schooling environment, length of time you are at school and whether or not you choose to accelerate, BSN tuition costs may vary considerably. For example, the BSN program at the University of Southern Alabama costs around $378 per credit hour for in-state students (out-of-state students can expect to pay $756 per credit hour). Expenses for nursing students including scrubs, shoes, nursing equipment, and NCLEX materials are extra costs that students should research carefully.

Advantages of BSN Programs

Compared to shorter programs, BSN programs throughout Alabama show a clear advantage over lifetime professional earnings compared between ADN and BSN graduates. With a BSN degree, there tend to be additional career advancement opportunities for the nurse in question, as part of the role description involves knowing more information regarding the patient condition, as well as have leadership and advocacy abilities that work well with medical teams, patient-family interactions, and community health advocacy.

MSN Programs in Alabama

Those RNs who wish to become advanced practice registered nurses are encouraged to pursue their Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. Earning a Master of Science in Nursing consists of graduate-level coursework and clinical practice for those nurses who wish to pursue teaching or leadership roles, or become involved in policy, state-wide health initiatives, or community engagement. There are also several clinical avenues that an RN with MSN can pursue such as nursing specialists and nurse practitioners. At this time, there are only a couple of in-state universities that offer a CCNE-accredited MSN nursing program.

MSN Program Length in Alabama

After completion of a baccalaureate in nursing (undergraduate degree), the graduate portion of study can take an additional three to five years, depending on the level of experience the candidate has as well as the career path they wish to pursue like like a Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, a Nurse Anesthetist, or a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner.

MSN Admission Requirements in Alabama

There is some variation between the in-state programs' admission standards, but overall, applicants can expect to be evaluated and possibly admitted based on the following criteria:

  • BSN degree from an institution on academic par with where you’d like to take your graduate studies
  • Nursing license to practice in the state where you’d like to practice your clinical rotations
  • GPA minimum of 3.0
  • Letters of professional reference that specifically discuss the candidate’s readiness for graduate studies
  • Official transcripts from all previous educational programs
  • Applicant test scores from the GRE, GMAT, and MAT graduate testing that falls in line with the school's criteria (some variance between schools in this regard)

Tuition and Costs of MSN Programs in Alabama

Tuition costs for MSN programs vary between Alabama's few universities that offer an advanced degree. For example, at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, tuition costs are approximately $656 per credit hour plus fees. Depending on the number of courses in the program and the career pathway, there may be 10 – 15 courses that candidates wish to take, leading to program costs upward of $20,000.

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Getting an Alabama Nursing License

Alabama has clear regulatory requirements for becoming an RN - most importantly the successful completion of a State Board-approved nursing program and passing the NCLEX-RN exam.

Along with a completed application, the applicant must have ready:

  • An official transcript from an approved nursing program that 'substantially meets' state requirements
  • A high school diploma
  • Proof of US citizenship or equivalent and the ability to work in the U.S.
    Be of good moral character

Nurses from other states may apply for endorsement to practice. They should be prepared to submit:

  • Eligibility for licensure in your former state
  • The exam application with addendum for Out of State Repeat Examination Application
  • Provide proof of registration for NCLEX-RN
  • An official transcript to be mailed to the Alabama Board of Nursing for review

Learn more about AL RN license requirements at the Alabama Board of Nursing.

Accelerated Nursing Programs in Alabama

Many nurses see the value in accelerating their education after they take their first few steps into the nursing profession. With this in mind, and given how demand for nurses is increasing, the state of Alabama offers a few accelerated programs to help nurses transition from RN to BSN, and from BSN to MSN. Eligibility and cost depend on whether the program bridges to BSN degree or is in fact a graduate-level program where costs are higher. The average program time frame to attain a BSN is 12 months at the accelerated rate, or as much as 3 years' part-time at the MSN level.

Latest Alabama NCLEX-RN Pass Rates and Statistics

  • Total Number of State Approved Schools: 37
  • 2021 Average Statewide Alabama NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 80.8%

Continued List of All RN Programs in Alabama

Here is a continued list of all RN Programs a continued list of all RN Programs a continued list of all RN Programs a continued list of all RN Programs a continued list of all RN Programs a continued list of all RN Programs.

RankedSchoolProgramScoreWebsite
11.
Wadley, AL 36276 | Phone: (256) 395-2211
Programs: Associate in Nursing
89.79
12.
Troy, AL 36082 | Phone: (800) 551-9716
Programs: BSN
89.72
13.
Birmingham, AL 35209 | Phone: (205) 791-5860
Programs: Associate in Nursing
88.82
14.
Birmingham, AL 35242 | Phone: (205) 983-5911
Programs: Associate in Nursing
88.76
15.
Dothan, AL 36303 | Phone: (334) 983-3521
Programs: Associate in Nursing
88.68
16.
Livingston, AL 35470 | Phone: (205) 652-3400
Programs: Associate in Nursing
88.61
17.
Mobile, AL 36608 | Phone: (800) 742-6704
Programs: BSN
87.60
18.
Phenix City, AL 36869 | Phone: (334) 291-4900
Programs: Associate in Nursing
87.27
19.
Eight Mile, AL 36613 | Phone: (251) 675-5990
Programs: BSN, Accelerated BSN
86.17
20.
Tanner, AL 35671 | Phone: (256) 306-2500
Programs: Associate in Nursing
86.16
21.
Muscle Shoals, AL 35661 | Phone: (256) 331-5200
Programs: Associate in Nursing
84.03
22.
Montgomery, AL 36104 | Phone: (334) 241-9500
Programs: Associate in Nursing
83.33
23.
Tuscaloosa, AL 35405 | Phone: (205) 391-2211
Programs: Associate in Nursing
82.95
24.
Sumiton, AL 35148 | Phone: (205) 648-3271
Programs: Associate in Nursing
82.52
25.
Montgomery, AL 36117 | Phone: (334) 244-3000
Programs: BSN
79.52
26.
Rainsville, AL 35986 | Phone: (256) 638-4418
Programs: Associate in Nursing
79.43
27.
Boaz, AL 35957 | Phone: (256) 593-5120
Programs: Associate in Nursing
77.39
28.
Tuskegee, AL 36088 | Phone: (334) 727-8011
Programs: BSN
74.99
29.
Alexander City, AL 35010 | Phone: (256) 234-6346
Programs: Associate in Nursing
74.12
30.
Andalusia, AL 36420 | Phone: (334) 222-6591
Programs: Associate in Nursing
72.16
31.
Gadsden, AL 35903 | Phone: (256) 549-8200
Programs: Associate in Nursing
71.90
32.
Selma, AL 36703 | Phone: (334) 876-9227
Programs: Associate in Nursing
68.32
33.
Mobile, AL 36603 | Phone: (251) 405-7000
Programs: Associate in Nursing
64.93
34.
Huntsville, AL 35896 | Phone: (256) 726-7000
Programs: BSN
51.66
35.
Monroeville, AL 36460 | Phone: (251) 575-3156
Programs: Associate in Nursing
-
36.
Brewton, AL 36426 | Phone: (800) 381-3722
Programs: Associate in Nursing
-
37.
Bay Minette, AL 36507 | Phone: (800) 381-3722
Programs: Associate in Nursing
-

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