Registered nursing has consistently been among the top ten occupations with the largest job growth according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The extent of responsibilities requires nurses to draw on their wealth of knowledge to assess, plan, and implement strategies to promote health and prevent diseases. Registered nurses observe, assess, and record patients’ symptoms and progress. The information collected forms the basis for developing care and intervention plans. They also function as patient advocates and educators, case managers, and team leaders. Their scope of practice allows them to work independently although they must collaborate with physicians and other members of the healthcare team for the overall promotion of wellness. Registered nurses find employment in rehabilitative and long-term care facilities, physicians’ offices, hospitals, clinics, home health care agencies, and schools.
The registered nursing (Associate Degree Nursing, ADN) program prepares students to deliver safe and competent care in a variety of medical settings. Graduates will be empowered to care for patients in hospitals, clinics, community health centers, long-term care facilities, and other healthcare settings. Students who successfully complete the program receive an associate degree in nursing which makes them eligible to apply for the NCLEX-RN for licensure in Alabama.
The Alabama Board of Nursing is specific about educational requirements for prospective nurses. Applicants for the licensing exam must graduate from a board-accredited program which follows the prescribed curriculum for classroom and clinical instruction. The curriculum, which prepares students for entry-level employment, includes human anatomy and physiology, introduction to pharmacology, English, communication, human growth and development, nursing through lifespan, transition to nursing practice, microbiology, adult nursing, and maternal and child nursing.
The registered nursing (ADN) remains the most common point of entry for registered nurses. However, nurses hoping to remain competitive and relevant in the evolving healthcare system must pursue advanced education – a BSN at a minimum. More than 35 percent of registered nurses with an ADN accreditation return to school to earn a baccalaureate degree.
The minimum admission requirements for an ADN degree at most schools are:
- A completed application by the school’s deadline
- High school transcript or copy of GED certificate
- Official college transcript if transferring credits
- A minimum 2.5 GPA on previous college coursework
- Completion of the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) prior to application. The test scores should not be older than three years.
Duration and Cost
The two-year ADN program covers the nursing and general education courses based on a full-time schedule. Students may require another 6 months of classes to complete the prerequisite requirements. The estimated cost of completing a two-year program, without the prerequisite course requirements, is $7,500 at Alabama’s colleges and universities. In addition to common expenses, there are costs specific to the nursing program, such as clinical supplies, uniform, lab fees, transport to and from the clinical sites, medical equipment, immunization, liability insurance, and CPR.
The Alabama Board of Nursing issues a license to qualified applicants who apply for and pass the licensure exam or apply for licensure by endorsement. Nurses with a lapsed license to practice can apply for reinstatement to resume practice in Alabama. The Board will issue a temporary license (90 days non-renewable) to nursing graduates who are taking the NCLEX-RN for the first time. The candidate must request the temporary permit, submit a completed application for the licensure exam, and pay the temporary permit fee of $50. Endorsement candidates may qualify for a temporary permit after submitting a copy of an active license to practice in another state.
Licensure by Examination
To apply for licensure as a Registered Nursing in Alabama, you must submit:
- A completed application for the licensure exam.
- The application fee of $85 plus an additional $50 if requesting a temporary permit. Payment can be made online using a credit card when submitting the application.
- The official transcript of your nursing education from an accredited school. The school must send the transcript directly to the Board of Nursing in a sealed envelope. Student copies will be rejected.
- Documentation (written explanation and court documents, etc.) for any “yes” answers to the Regulation questions
- Registration for the NCLEX – online or using the toll-free number 1-866-496-2539.
- A request for special accommodations if you have a qualifying disability. Submit your request with the application and include a statement from the Office of Student Disability Services (indicating special accommodations made for your nursing education) and your written request specifying the type of accommodation needed.
Requesting a Temporary Permit
First-time applicants for the licensure exam may request a non-renewable temporary permit. The permit is valid for 90 days and will be issued once the Board receives and approves a completed application packet.
After receiving the permit, the candidate may practice as a Nursing Graduate under the direction of a registered nurse who must be physically present at the facility. The permit will expire automatically once the applicant receives notice of licensure approval after passing the exam. Applicants who receive notice of failing the exam must immediately cease working under the permit and notify their employer.
Graduates of Foreign Nursing Education Programs
In addition to the above requirements, graduates of foreign nursing education programs must submit the following:
- Certification from the Commission of Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS).
- A full course-by-course evaluation package sent from the CGFNS to the Board of Nursing.
- Evidence that the nursing education program completed is approved by the relevant authorities. The course content must meet the AL Board of Nursing’s criteria for graduate nurses.
- Evidence of completing secondary school or its equivalent.
Applicants must be willing to make up educational deficiencies, pass the NCLEX-RN, and possess a social security number for the Board to issue a license.
All applications and fees submitted to the Board of Nursing will be retained for up to one year. You’ll need to submit a new application and fee if the process is not completed within the one-year timeframe. Notify the Board’s office immediately if your address changes before the processing of your application is complete.
Application to Repeat the Exam
Repeat examination applicants will not qualify for a temporary permit. Submit the following to retake the NCLEX:
- A completed online exam application to the Board of Nursing.
- The application fee of $85 payable using a credit card.
- Official transcript from the school of nursing sent directly to the Board’s office. Required if more than 12 months has passed since you last tested.
- Registration for the NCLEX with Pearson Vue (online or by phone).
- An Out of State Repeat Examination Application if you took the NCLEX in another state. Complete the first page of the application and mail with a self-addressed stamped envelope to the licensing agency in the state where you first took the exam. Include a fee if the Board requires it. Additionally, the out-of-state applicant must contact the school of nursing to forward transcripts to the Board’s office.
NCLEX-RN Registration: Pearson Vue facilitates registration online or over the phone for the licensure exam. The registration fee is $200 payable each time the candidate takes the exam. Enter the correct information on the application and use the same name submitted to the Board for the licensure exam. The Board’s office will send a notification to your address if you fail the exam or confirmation of licensure if you succeed. No scores will be issued at the testing center or over the phone. The results will be available within one month of taking the exam.
Licensure by Endorsement
Nurses licensed as a registered nurse in another state may apply for licensure by endorsement by submitting the following to the Board of Nursing:
- A completed Endorsement application submitted online.
- The application fee payable using a credit card.
- Verification of licensure mailed from the licensing authority in the original and current state of licensure to the Alabama Board of Nursing or submitted through Nursys.com if the state agency is a participating member.
- Official transcript from the nursing school sent directly from the registrar to the Board’s office in a sealed envelope.
- Evidence of meeting the continuing education requirements (24 contact hours) obtained through classroom, the internet, seminars, workshops, home study, continuing education journals, and podcasts. The continuing education must not be older than 24 months.
- Evidence of U.S. Citizenship or Lawful Presence in the U.S.
- Documentation (written explanation and court documents, etc.) for any “yes” answers to the Regulation questions.
The Board of Nursing may issue a temporary license (upon request and payment of the $50 temporary permit fee) to an applicant for endorsement who submits evidence of U.S. citizenship or lawful presence in the US and a notarized copy a current/active license card. The license must indicate the effective dates of licensure.
Licensure by Reinstatement
Licensure by reinstatement is available for anyone who previously held an Alabama RN license. To reinstate a license, you must submit the following:
- A completed reinstatement application.
- The reinstatement fee of $225 payable using a debit or credit card.
- Evidence of at least 24 contact hours of continuing education.
- Evidence of US citizenship or lawful presence.
The renewal period for registered nurses runs from September 1 through November 30 annually. Late renewal is available until December 31. Applicants for renewal must complete the continuing education requirements, provide evidence of citizenship or legal presence in the US, and a completed application submitted online.
The standard renewal fee is $75 (plus a $3.50 transaction fee) for on-time renewal. Requests for renewal submitted after November 30 will incur a $125.00 late fee for a total cost of $203.50.
Continuing Education Requirements for Alabama RNs
Registered nurses must earn 24 contact hours of continuing education from a Board-approved provider in order to renew a license to practice nursing. It is important that you update and complete the online CE record before submitting your application for renewal. Do not submit the documents confirming completion of the renewal requirements until the Board makes a request during a random audit.
During the first renewal period, Alabama registered nurses must complete a four-hour mandatory class in The Role of the Alabama Board of Nursing: Legal, Ethical, and Practice Implications. The class is available online.
Alabama Salary and Job Outlook
According to data published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for registered nurses will increase 19% by the year 2022, which a faster than the national average for all occupations. In the same report, the BLS emphasizes that nurses with a minimum Bachelor of Science will have the best job opportunities. In line with the BLS’ observation, employers across Alabama are implementing policies to make a BSN the standard requirement for hiring registered nurses. In cases where hospitals hire a nurse with an ADN, they will require the employee to complete the requirements for a BSN degree within a stipulated timeframe.
In spite of the increased standards for RNs (or maybe because of it), there is still a tremendous demand for nurses. Newly licensed nurses will find jobs in inpatient and ambulatory care units and some other healthcare settings within 12 months of graduating from an accredited program. The job market will remain strong as demographic trends and federal legislation governing health care influence demands.
New nurse graduates can counteract their obvious lack of experience by crafting a well-written resume, paying attention to those details employers want. Glowing letters of recommendation from course instructors will also help to win a prospective employer’s favor.
There are 71,614 registered nurses in Alabama. They earn a median average salary of $56, 470 annually.
Contact the Board of Nursing
Alabama Board of Nursing
Location: P.O. Box 303900
Montgomery, AL 36130-3900
Alabama Registered Nursing Programs and NCLEX-RN Pass Rates:
Andalusia, AL ADN Programs:
Lurleen B. Wallace State Community College
P.O. Drawer 1418, Andalusia, AL 36420
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 86.20%
Bessemer, AL ADN Programs:
ITT Technical Institute- Bessemer
6270 Park South Drive, Bessemer, AL 35022
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 33.30%
Birmingham, AL ADN Programs:
280 West Valley Avenue, Birmingham, AL 35209
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 74.2%
Virginia College- Birmingham
488 Palisades Boulevard, Birmingham, AL 35209
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 56.70%
Jefferson State Community College
2601 Carson Road, Birmingham, AL 35215
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 79.00%
Lawson State Community College
3060 Wilson Road, Birmingham, AL 35221
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 94.40%
Boaz, AL ADN Programs:
Snead State Community College
102 Elder Street, P.O. Box 734, Boaz, AL 35957
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 81.60%
Brewton, AL ADN Programs:
Jefferson Davis Community College
P.O. Box 958, Brewton, AL 36427
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 78.70%
Childersburg, AL ADN Programs:
Central Alabama Community College
34091 US Highway 280, Childersburg, AL 35044
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 87.00%
Decatur, AL ADN Programs:
Calhoun Community College
P.O. Box- 2216, Decatur, AL 35609
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 79.40%
Dothan, AL ADN Programs:
Wallace Community College- Dothan
1141 Wallace Drive, Dothan, AL 36303
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 74.60%
Gadsden, AL ADN Programs:
Gadsden State Community College
1001 George Wallace Drive, Gadsden, AL 35903
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 75.00%
Jasper, AL ADN Programs:
Bevill State Community College
1411 Indiana Avenue, Jasper, AL 35501
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 81.00%
Livingston, AL ADN Programs:
The University of West Alabama
UWA, Station 200, Livingston, AL 35470
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 82.40%
Madison, AL ADN Programs:
ITT Technical Institute- Madison
9238 Madison Boulevard, Suite 500, Madison, AL 35758
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 66.70%
Marion, AL ADN Programs:
302 Bibb Street, Marion, AL 36756
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 33.33%
Minette, AL ADN Programs:
Faulkner State Community College
1900 Highway 31 South, Bay Minette, AL 36507
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 100.00%
Mobile, AL ADN Programs:
University of Mobile
5735 College Parkway, Mobile, AL 36613
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 91.30%
Monroeville, AL ADN Programs:
Alabama Southern Community College
P.O. Box 2000, Highway 21 South, Monroeville, AL 36461
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 61.50%
Montgomery, AL ADN Programs:
Troy University – Montgomery
340 Montgomery Street, Montgomery AL 36104
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 82.80%
3470 Eastdale Circle, Montgomery, AL 36117
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: N/A
Opelika, AL ADN Programs:
Southern Union State Community College
1701 Lafayette Parkway, Opelika, AL 36801
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 80.90%
Phenix City, AL ADN Programs:
Chattahoochee Valley State Community College
2602 College Drive, Phenix City, AL 36869
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 76.90%
Phil Campbell, AL ADN Programs:
Northwest-Shoals Community College
2080 College Road, Phil Campbell, AL 35581
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 82.40%
Rainsville, AL ADN Programs:
Northeast Alabama Community College
P.O. Box 159, Rainsville, AL 35986
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 71.10%
Tuscaloosa, AL ADN Programs:
Shelton State Community College
9500 Old Greensboro Road, Tuscaloosa, AL 35405
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 95.90%