Top Nursing Schools in Alabama

Rank School Name Score Tuition Student/Teacher ratio Program count Graduation Rate
1 Wallace Community College – Selma 97.25 $$$$$ 14:1 1 20%
2 Jefferson Davis Community College 95.75 $$$$$ 16:1 1 18%
3 Wallace State Community College – Hanceville 95.75 $$$$$ 16:1 1 24%
4 Alabama Southern Community College 95.50 $$$$$ 17:1 1 25%
5 Central Alabama Community College 95.50 $$$$$ 17:1 1 14%
6 Lurleen B Wallace Community College 95.25 $$$$$ 17:1 1 19%
7 Gadsden State Community College 94.50 $$$$$ 18:1 1 13%
8 Northeast Alabama Community College 93.75 $$$$$ 20:1 1 29%
9 Wallace Community College – Dothan 93.50 $$$$$ 19:1 1 15%
10 Bevill State Community College 92.75 $$$$$ 17:1 1 17%
11 Southern Union State Community College 92.25 $$$$$ 23:1 1 16%
12 Shelton State Community College 91.50 $$$$$ 21:1 1 12%
13 Snead State Community College 91.25 $$$$$ 21:1 1 32%
14 Chattahoochee Valley Community College 89.75 $$$$$ 18:1 1 12%
15 Northwest-Shoals Community College 89.75 $$$$$ 22:1 1 12%
16 Bishop State Community College 89.50 $$$$$ 20:1 1 9%
17 Calhoun State Community College 89.50 $$$$$ 25:1 1 13%
18 Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus 89.25 $$$$$ 18:1 1 10%
19 Faulkner State Community College 88.25 $$$$$ 25:1 1 11%
20 Jefferson State Community College 87.25 $$$$$ 20:1 1 5%
Rank School Name Score Tuition Student/Teacher ratio Program count Graduation Rate
1 Samford University 94.75 $$$$$ 12:1 2 66%
2 University of Alabama at Birmingham 94.00 $$$$$ 18:1 2 56%
3 Auburn University 93.75 $$$$$ 17:1 5 71%
4 Troy University 93.00 $$$$$ 15:1 4 35%
5 University of South Alabama 92.75 $$$$$ 20:1 1 38%
6 University of Mobile 92.75 $$$$$ 12:1 5 41%
7 Spring Hill College 92.75 $$$$$ 13:1 5 58%
8 The University of Alabama 92.25 $$$$$ 21:1 5 66%
9 Judson College 92.25 $$$$$ 9:1 11 43%
10 University of North Alabama 91.75 $$$$$ 17:1 10 39%
11 Jacksonville State University 91.50 $$$$$ 19:1 5 30%
12 Tuskegee University 91.25 $$$$$ 13:1 11 47%
13 Oakwood University 91.00 $$$$$ 14:1 11 44%
14 University of West Alabama 90.75 $$$$$ 15:1 11 33%
15 Auburn University at Montgomery 90.00 $$$$$ 15:1 11 22%
16 Stillman College 88.25 $$$$$ 17:1 11 20%

Alabama Nursing Schools

From community colleges to large four-year universities, aspiring nurses can choose from several Alabama nursing schools to achieve their career goals. Use the search tool below to filter and explore Alabama schools that offer quality education for nurses of tomorrow.

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Nursing Licensing in Alabama

All nurses must be licensed in order to practice; however, each state has its own requirements and regulations for registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and nurse midwives. The Alabama Board of Nursing (ABN) is the government agency that regulates the state’s nursing education and nursing practice. ABN also oversees all licensing requirements, from application to verification to renewal and reinstatement. Below is an overview of first-time licensure requirements for registered nurses who wish to work in Alabama:

Eligibility Requirements

  • Successfully completed either a 2-year associate degree, 4-year baccalaureate degree, or a 2 or 3-year diploma nursing program from an accredited nursing school
  • Apply for licensure with ABN, which includes a $75 initial application fee
  • Request your school send official, sealed transcriptions to ABN
  • Provide detailed explanation and records if you answer “Yes” to any of the legal background questions
  • Register to take the NCLEX exam and send a $200 payment to Pearson Vue
  • Provide one-time proof of US Citizenship or Lawful Presence in the United States. Non-citizens with other documents are required to show this information during initial licensure and each renewal after.
  • Schedule an exam after you’ve received an Authorization to Test (ATT) letter form Pearson VUE (proper identification, such as a Department of Motor Vehicle-issued US driver’s license, DMV-issued state identification, US military identification, or valid passport, will be required on exam day)
  • RNs who have licensure from another state, can apply for an Alabama license through licensure by endorsement

Renewal in Alabama

Alabama RNs need to renew their license every two years (in even-numbered years) between September 1st and December 31st to continue practicing. As part of the process, nurses are required to complete 24 contact hours of continuing education (CE) from board-approved providers. There is a $75 license fee and a $3.50 transaction fee. Those who miss the designated timeframe will be subject to a $150 late fee.

Registered nurses who wish to reinstate a license to active status will need to submit a reinstatement application, pay a fee, provide proof of US Citizenship or Lawful Presence, and complete 24 contact hours within two years of submitting the reinstatement application. These hours can be completed through workshops, seminars, classes, web casts, continuing education journals, pod casts, and home study.

Licensing for Advanced Practice Nurses in AL

RNs and LPNs make up a majority of the nursing field. However, a variety of advanced and specialty nurses also work in Alabama, including nurse practitioners (NPs), certified midwives, neonatal nurses, and forensic nurses. And, like RNs and LPNs, specific licensing requirements exist to ensure those who work within these niches have the right training and experience. In addition to the licensure requirements discussed in the previous section, advanced practice nurses must also complete a few a more steps:

  • Must have an active Alabama RN license
  • Must meet all requirements for clinical experience in the specialty beyond basic educational preparation as a registered nurse
  • Must hold at least a master’s degree in advanced practice nursing from an accredited program (the Board of Nursing may waive this requirement at its discretion or if the applicant meets certain academic criteria)

For more detailed information on advanced and specialty nursing licensing and licensure renewal in Alabama, please visit the Alabama Board of Nursing.

Nursing by the Numbers in Alabama: RNs and Beyond

Employment of registered nurses in the U.S. is projected to grow 19 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than average in comparison to all occupations. Registered nurses were the second most in-demand job in the state as of September 2015. Additionally, Alabama also offers promising opportunities for nurse midwives and nurse practitioners. Take a look at the numbers below.

Top-Paying Areas for RNs in Alabama

Area Hourly Median Wage Annual Median Wage
Montgomery $27.84 $57,900
Tuscaloosa $27.45 $57,110
Birmingham-Hoover $27.26 $56,700
Huntsville $26.97 $56,090
Northwest Alabama nonmetropolitan area $26.94 $56,040
Auburn-Opelika $26.41 $54,940
Southwest Alabama nonmetropolitan area $26.17 $54,430
Southeast Alabama nonmetropolitan area $26.12 $54,320
Mobile $25.99 $54,060
Northeast Alabama nonmetropolitan area $25.40 $52,840

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014

Alabama vs. National Numbers

Salary
  • Alabama
  • National
  • Annual Salary (25th percentile)
  • Annual Salary (median)
  • Annual Salary (75th percentile)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014

Employment
Total Employment (2014)
2022 occupational outlook
Avg. annual openings (2012 – 2022)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014 and Projections Central

Resources & Associations for Alabama Nurses

Alabama Board of Nursing

The Alabama Board of Nursing, or ABN, is the state government agency that oversees nursing education across Alabama. The organization also enforces legal standards for nursing practice, including licensure, renewal, and endorsements.

Alabama League for Nursing

The Alabama League for Nursing is an affiliate of the National League for Nursing. It is dedicated to advancing the quality of nursing education in the state.

Alabama Organization of Nurse Executives

AlaONE is an affiliate of the Alabama Hospital Association. It promotes the advancement of nursing practice and patient care, as well as helps shape policies that directly affect health care delivery.

Alabama State Nurses Association

This organization promotes excellence in nursing in AL and acts as the professional voice for all registered nurses in the state.

Central Alabama Nurse Practitioner Association

The Central Alabama Nurse Practitioner Association offers advanced practice nurses opportunities for networking, legislative updates, and access to timely continuing education programs.