Journal of the American Medical Association research reveals that baccalaureate-educated nurses experience significantly lower mortality rates with the patients in their care. With registered nurses being one of Alabama’s “Hot 40 in Demand Occupations,” and with over 1700 new registered nursing jobs opening every year between 2012 and 2022, this provides the ideal opportunity for existing RNs to increase earning potential and pursue more advanced positions within their organization.
Because most of Alabama’s hospital systems prefer nurses with a BSN, obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Nursing will help demonstrate a dedication to safe and effective nursing, as well as a desire to move into leadership roles and areas of advanced practice.
Just two of the positions in Alabama currently available to BSNs:
- Nurse Educator – Women’s Health PerDiem, Birmingham
- Behavioral Health Nurse – New Directions Behavioral Health, Huntsville
To help RNs make the move into a BSN program, many employers, such as Ochsner Medical Center in Mobile, offer their RNs nursing education grant funds and tuition assistance.
Enrolling in an RN to BSN Program in Alabama
Many Alabama nursing programs offer an RN to BSN track for students who are already working as an RN, but who are looking for more opportunities for advancement within their career.
By enrolling in an RN to BSN educational program, RNs are able to obtain higher levels of education, competence, and rapport, all without interrupting their current work life.
Alabama Board of Nursing-approved BSN programs are located in the following cities:
To enroll in an RN to BSN program, most Alabama schools will require the following admission qualifications:
- Hold an Unencumbered RN License in the US
- Hold a 2.5 GPA or higher in Lower-Division Courses
- Hold a 2.0 GPA or higher in Science Courses
- Graduate with an Associate’s Degree from an NLNAC accredited program or from a diploma nursing program
Upon admission to the RN to BSN program, graduates are typically awarded between 35 and 40 credit hours based on holding an existing ADN.
Components of RN to BSN Programs in Alabama
An RN-BSN mobility track makes it easy to earn a bachelor’s degree, with most of the courses being offered online and the clinical activities often available at resident facilities. Because RN-BSN programs need to fill the gap between an associate’s and a bachelor’s degree, they will generally offer the following courses:
- Core Curriculum Requirements (offered online)
- English Composition
- Human Anatomy and Physiology
- General Chemistry
- Introduction to Sociology
- General Psychology
- Literature or History
- Fine Arts
- Human Growth Development
- Medical Ethics
- Computer Science
- Nursing Courses (offered online)
- Nursing Informatics for Registered Nurses
- Inquiry for Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing for RNs
- Role Transition in Baccalaureate Nursing
- Community Health for RNs
- Leadership Management and Roles for RNs
- Complex Client Systems for RNs
- Clinical Courses (offered at facilities close to home)
The following are some of the hospitals that are approved by the Alabama Board of Nursing to provide nursing clinicals:
- Huntsville Hospital – Huntsville
- University of South Alabama Children’s and Women’s Hospital – Mobile
- Riverview Regional Medical Center – Gadsden
Taking Steps Towards Earning an MSN
After obtaining a BSN, RNs are able to take advantage of the scholarships offered by the Alabama Board of Nursing. The Alabama Education Trust Fund allocates grant and scholarship money to the Alabama Board of Nursing each fiscal year. These scholarships are for any nursing student who is entering or in a graduate-level nursing program.
Obtaining a BSN is foundational to becoming an advanced practice nurse (APN) in Alabama. APNs have a graduate-level nursing education, such as an MSN, DNP or PhD. Many Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs in Alabama require that enrollees have either a BSN or a BA/BS in another related field.
The following specific BSN courses are typically considered MSN prerequisites:
- Human Anatomy
- Descriptive Statistics
- Transition to Professional Nursing Practice
- Community Health for RNs
- Leadership and Management for RNs
Alabama Hospital Systems that Facilitate RN to BSN Programs
Because having BSN nurses helps hospitals come into contact with lower mortality rates, Alabama hospitals are dedicated to promoting the RN to BSN programs. Shown here is a list of just a few organizations in Alabama that give RNs incentives to pursue a BSN:
Ochsner Medical Center
As a registered nurse at Oshsner Medical Center, RNs have access to amazing benefits. Some of these benefits are educational in nature, including the Nursing Education Grant Funds and Tuition Assistance, which allow registered nurses to go back to school to earn a BSN or MSN degree.
Brookwood Medical Center
Brookwood Medical Center offers health care scholarships to those who are in four-year undergraduate health care programs. Along with this, it offers an online educational program, tuition reimbursements, and student loan repayment programs to employees.
University of South Alabama Hospital
The hospital at the University of South Alabama offers an Educational Benefit plan for their employees. In this, full-time employees who have been working there for at least six months qualify for the educational benefit plan, which covers tuition for up to five semester hours each semester. Spouses and dependent children are also eligible to be on this plan.
University of Alabama Medicine
To support the registered nurses in Alabama, UAB offers tuition assistance for both UAB employees and their families, to help them further their education. Along with this, UAB offers continuing education to registered nurses, which is needed to renew their license and stay on top of cutting-edge nursing industry trends. Further, UAB offers both part- and full-time registered nurses a Professional Nursing Development program.