Nurse Practitioner at University of Alabama in Birmingham

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    I am a first year male nursing student at Jacksonville State University. I am planning to apply to the Adult Nurse Practitioner program at University of Alabama in Birmingham for Fall 2013. I have several questions for whom who want to share their experience or want to give me some advices:

    1. What criteria do they look at when they pick applicants? GPA/GMAT score/Experience/Extracurricula/Essay/..., and which criterion is more favorable than the others?
    2. If I was to attend the program right after BSN, is it possible? (graduate Spring 2013, apply for Fall 2013) Do they take the the NCLEX as a admission requirement?
    3. What is some extra good advices you can give me?

    Anybody who got accepted, is applying or plan to apply to NP at UAB?
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  3. 12 Comments so far...

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    I would recommend that you wait until after you have had some experience as an RN. A nurse practitioner is expected to be a health care provider. You simply can not provide full medical care after just going to school for several years.This is the reason that doctors have a residency etc. I would take some time to be an RN on a medical-surgical floor and then maybe in the ICU. Not only will this teach you the ropes of advanced practice nursing, it will also help you to decide what area you would like to specialize in.

    Look at it this way. If you were going to school for an MSN that focused on nursing management, Do you think that qualifies you to go in as a charge nurse or assistant DON without ever being an RN. No It doesn't.

    About the program..

    A nursing degree (BSN or higher) from a regionally accredited institution, equivalent to the one offered by the School of Nursing at UAB An undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale either cumulatively or on the last 60 semester credit hours (3) Letters of professional reference attesting to the applicant’s potential for graduate study Standardized test score (MAT, GRE, GMAT)* A minimum score of 410 on the MAT; or a minimum score of 480 on the GMAT; or a combined score of 1000 on the verbal and quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)* Additional – Selected options may require experience prior to enrollment in a specialty courses.

    Good Luck with your pursuits
  5. 1
    I received my ADN in May 2009, graduating with my BSN in December of this year. I'm shopping around and looking at different NP programs (primary PMHNP) in the area, with UAB being one of them.

    I'll give you my situation in a nutshell -

    I made all C's in my ADN program (grades were all above an 80, but not at the "B" nursing school mark. bummer). In my RN-BSN program, I'm fairly certain I'll be getting all A's. I have so far, so I don't anticipate any differently through the end. Some programs look at pure cumulative (I know Vanderbilt does off hand), some programs look at the last 60 credit hours, some look at your BSN gpa if you received an ADN like me. Some schools even do a funky scoring system of your GRE x your GPA to achieve a benchmark score (Western Kentucky University), and there's one other school I can't think off off hand that does a variant of that.

    My expected cumulative GPA after my BSN is 2.8. Not great, and I even told schools that upfront. The MAJORITY of the ones that I'm interested in told me that they look at the overall package, and GPA is just a small piece. Obviously, the more competitive ones (Vandy, insert high-end school here) will look at the GPA with more scrutiny. Some schools look VERY closely at references and interviews, and weigh them heavily (good in my situation). I also plan to do extremely well on the GRE, so it will help my gpa (im sure your gpa will be fine).

    Also, for NP tracks, more schools require you to have one year of experience by the time you start a clinical rotation, preferably in the field of your interest (ie: psych nursing for PMHNP, med/surg for FNP, ICU/CCU/ER for ACNP)

    I second other people on this threat: take the time to develop meaningful friendships and develop GOOD, SOLID contacts and references, and work a year or so before you dive into an NP program. Also, you're only on your first year of nursing school itself. Focus on whats immediately in front of you before you worry about the future And remember, clinicals are a great opportunity to network for future job opportunities! Throw yourself out there and make friends with clinical instructors and people that work on the floor where you have clinicals! You're only hurting yourself if you don't.
    futurernjap likes this.
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    I'm just curious, why do you want to do the adult NP specialty track?
  7. 0
    Quote from Annaiya
    I'm just curious, why do you want to do the adult NP specialty track?
    Thanks for your advices. I know I'd have better chance if I have some experience, but it doesn't hurt to try applying earlier. If I don't get it, then I'll work as an RN for maybe a year then reapply. I chose ANP because:1)Adult is my favorite population, they are knowledgable, easier to communicate with, and cooperate with care provider. Children and the elderly don't respond much and I can't communicate with children and some of the elderly. They're also very delicate, I'm afraid I'd hurt them when doing assessment or treatment. 2)UAB's ANP program is ranked #10 nation wide. 3) I chose NP because I like a job that is more thinking than doing, like a doctor's job.
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    Quote from kyonguyen22
    Thanks for your advices. I know I'd have better chance if I have some experience, but it doesn't hurt to try applying earlier. If I don't get it, then I'll work as an RN for maybe a year then reapply. I chose ANP because:1)Adult is my favorite population, they are knowledgable, easier to communicate with, and cooperate with care provider. Children and the elderly don't respond much and I can't communicate with children and some of the elderly. They're also very delicate, I'm afraid I'd hurt them when doing assessment or treatment. 2)UAB's ANP program is ranked #10 nation wide. 3) I chose NP because I like a job that is more thinking than doing, like a doctor's job.
    I still think you're getting way ahead of yourself. Most hospital RN positions require lots of thinking as well, just not thinking from a provider's standpoint.
    Have you actually tried to assess older kids and the geriatric population yet in a clinical setting? Nursing school will help you become more comfortable with assessment of all populations, so your thoughts might change a little. I swore id never do geriatrics, and low and behold, I love it. Funny how things works out eh?

    EDIT: Just want you to make sure that I am not knocking your wanting to go to NP school. It's a great goal, and I wish I would have decided sooner that I wanted to go. I would have focused on my grades more. Hindsight is 20/20 I suppose.
    Last edit by jollydogg_RN on Apr 7, '11
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    I agree it is great to have goals, but just keep your options open. You will likely change your mind when you get to nursing school and see what things are really like. One of the big reasons why working as an RN first is so valuable is that it gives you time to become assessing everyone, even the more complicated patients. Adults is everyone 18 and up, so most of the people you will be seeing will be geriatric, since they are the population that needs more health care. As you work with them, your assessment and communication skills will improve.
  10. 0
    Quote from Annaiya
    I agree it is great to have goals, but just keep your options open. You will likely change your mind when you get to nursing school and see what things are really like. One of the big reasons why working as an RN first is so valuable is that it gives you time to become assessing everyone, even the more complicated patients. Adults is everyone 18 and up, so most of the people you will be seeing will be geriatric, since they are the population that needs more health care. As you work with them, your assessment and communication skills will improve.
    Actually, isn't ANP considered ages 13+?
  11. 0
    Quote from jollydogg_RN
    Actually, isn't ANP considered ages 13+?
    Oh yeah I think you're right, I was just thinking about generally the populations you see in an adult facility, not the exact scope of practice. There is definitely overlap there, since PNPs are generally birth to 21.
  12. 0
    Quote from Annaiya
    Oh yeah I think you're right, I was just thinking about generally the populations you see in an adult facility, not the exact scope of practice. There is definitely overlap there, since PNPs are generally birth to 21.
    Oh yeah, of course. Couldn't you more or less chose to only work with adult population as an FNP, or would you be expected/forced to work with children as well? I'm thinking if you had freedom to chose your population, or could find a job where you could do so, you'd be better off receiving an FNP degree because of being more highly marketable.


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