Becoming a registered nurse (RN) in Alabama involves exploring several educational pathways. Among them, the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is considered one of the best launching points.
Considering this, we've provided everything you need to know to apply for a BSN in Alabama, along with salary expectations after graduation and recommendations for the best programs in the state.
Table of Contents
Best BSN Programs in Alabama
The following schools have been selected based on allnurses' methodology of surveying our readers to understand what they value most while selecting schools with the addition of NCLEX pass rates, graduation rates, student-faculty ratio, price, mode, duration, and admission rate of hundreds of the most prominent nursing schools in the United States.
1. University of North Alabama
The University of North Alabama in Florence offers a BSN program with an estimated annual tuition of $12,631. With an impressive NCLEX pass rate of 99% and ACEN accreditation, this program ensures a strong foundation for aspiring nurses.
2. University of Alabama
Pursue your BSN at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, with an estimated annual tuition of $16,585. Accredited by ACEN and boasting a remarkable NCLEX pass rate of 99%, this program equips students with essential skills for their nursing careers.
3. University of Alabama – Birmingham
At the University of Alabama's Birmingham campus, explore their BSN program with an estimated annual tuition of $16,585. The program maintains a stellar NCLEX pass rate of 99% and holds ACEN accreditation, providing quality nursing education.
4. University of Alabama – Huntsville
At the University of Alabama's Huntsville campus, the BSN program offers an estimated annual tuition of $16,585, providing aspiring nurses with a pathway to a rewarding career. Accredited by ACEN and achieving an impressive NCLEX pass rate of 98%, this program ensures students receive a quality education.
5. University of Mobile
The University of Mobile in Mobile offers a BSN program with an estimated annual tuition of $18,986. Accredited by ACEN and boasting a remarkable NCLEX pass rate of 100%, this program provides a supportive environment for aspiring nurses to thrive.
NCLEX Pass Rates
|99.06||University of North Alabama||BSN||Florence||$12,631||99%||Yes|
|95.51||University of Alabama||BSN||Tuscaloosa||$16,585||99%||Yes|
|95.51||University of Alabama at Birmingham||BSN||Birmingham||$16,585||99%||Yes|
|95.06||University of Alabama in Huntsville||BSN||Huntsville||$16,585||98%||Yes|
|93.80||University of Mobile||BSN||Mobile||$18,986||100%||Yes|
|93.61||University of South Alabama||BSN||Mobile||$16,223||94%||Yes|
|91.88||Auburn University at Montgomery||BSN||Montgomery||$13,689||85%||Yes|
|91.27||Jacksonville State University||BSN||Jacksonville||$18,336||93%||Yes|
|89.87||Spring Hill College||BSN||Mobile||$20,891||95%||Yes|
*Costs as reported by Department of Education unless otherwise noted. Actual costs will vary based on scholarship, coursework, and other factors.
What Is a BSN?
A BSN is a step up from an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN). BSNs typically include more extensive study and coursework and offer a broader range of clinical experiences. Earning a BSN can provide nurses with more career opportunities beyond basic clinical care, including roles in:
Many healthcare institutions today prefer BSN-prepared nurses to fulfill various accreditation and Joint Commission requirements.
Related: 10 Best RN to BSN Programs in 2023
Typical BSN coursework includes:
- Biology, including a lab and lecture course
- Chemistry, incorporating a lab and lecture course
- Human Anatomy and Physiology
- Microbiology, with a lab and lecture course
- Genetics and Genomics
- Health Assessment
- Nursing Pharmacology
- Mathematics, often statistics or at least an algebra course
- General Psychology
Can BSNs Be Taken Entirely Online?
Acquiring nursing skills requires hands-on learning and real-life practice, which can't be fully replicated in an entirely online environment for an initial nursing degree. Because of this, Pre-licensure BSN programs aren't entirely online, as in-person skills training and direct patent care experiences in healthcare facilities are needed. However, many BSN programs offer online coursework options, providing a hybrid environment for working students or those requiring more flexible schedules.
Where Do BSN-Prepared Nurses Work?
Nurses with a BSN have many career options and opportunities and can practice in most care settings, including:
- Nursing Homes
- Home Care Agencies
- Physician Office
- Educational Services
- Government Agencies
- Community Centers
- Dialysis Centers
- Telephonic and Virtual Care Settings
BSN Prerequisites and Requirements
BSN programs generally require:
- Proof of Prior Education: Verification of high school diploma or GED.
- Prerequisite studies: Research your program for the exact courses needed.
- Pre-Entrance Exam: Tests like the TEAS or HESI.
- CPR Certification: Varying depending on the program.
- Criminal Background Check: To ensure patient safety.
BSN Salary Expectations in Alabama
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), RNs in Alabama in 2022 earned:
- Mean Hourly Wage: $32.17
- Annual Mean Wage: $66,910
Unfortunately, the BLS does not specify whether this is an ADN-prepared RN or BSN-prepared RNs; however, given that a BSN is likely to increase earning potential, this is likely to be representative of slightly lower than the average BSN-RN salary.
RN salary in Alabama is 25% lower than the national estimates for 2022, as the BLS reports RNs across the U.S. earning:
- Mean Hourly Wage: $42.80
- Annual Mean Wage: $89,010
With the highest-paying states being:
- California: $133,340
- Hawaii: $113,220
- Oregon: $106,610
- Massachusetts: $104,150
- Alaska: $103,310
The BLS collected the Alabama RN wage data from over 49,370 nurses.
How to Choose a Nursing School
Reasons for choosing a nursing school will vary per student and their specific needs. Some students value the cost of education, while others may place greater emphasis on NCLEX pass rates, academic reputation, or other factors.
Although it will vary by individual, a survey by allnurses revealed the top 11 reasons nursing students chose their programs:
- High NCLEX Pass Rate
- Academic Reputation
- Availability of Financial Aid and Scholarships
- Length of Time to Obtain Degree
- Flexibility of Schedule
- Campus and Surroundings
- Nursing Clinicals Location
- Availability of Online Courses
Ultimately, prospective students should assess their needs and pick schools that best fit them.
FAQ and Additional Readings
Q: How do I transfer my nursing license to Alabama?
Alabama is part of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), allowing nurses to practice in other NLC states without additional steps. You do not have to transfer your license if moving from an NLC state.
Q: Are there specialization programs for nurses in Alabama?
Many schools in Alabama offer advanced nursing degrees, allowing RNs to specialize in pediatric, geriatric, family nurse practitioner, acute care, and more.
Q: Is it better to have an ADN or a BSN?
While obtaining an RN license after completing an ADN is possible, the opportunities after graduation and beyond are more significant with a BSN degree. BSNs focus more on research, leadership skills, and evidence-based practice, whereas an ADN primarily focuses on clinical skills.
Additionally, many healthcare institutions now require BSN-prepared RNs to fulfill various accreditation and Joint Commission requirements and to achieve the prestige of Magnet status.