If you want to earn your Alabama nursing license, you will need to apply through their state board of registered nursing. The Board is the state governmental agency that is responsible for implementing and enforcing all of the laws pertaining to nurse education, licensure, practice and discipline.
ENTRY LEVEL PRACTICE NURSES
Becoming licensed as a Registered Nurse in Alabama has three stages, getting the education, passing the NCLEX-RN exam, and getting licensure from the state of Alabama Board of Nursing. See 6 Things to Know About the NCLEX Examination and How to Master NCLEX-Style Test Questions.
STAGE 1. COMPLETE AN APPROVED NURSING PROGRAM
Graduating from an approved and accredited nursing program is required. There are several options:
STAGE 2. PASS THE NCLEX-RN
Every prospective nurse must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses, or NCLEX-RN before obtaining a license.
The Board has videos available on the website to explain the process of taking the exam. Signing up and taking the exam is an multi-step process that covers:
- Receiving an Authorization to Test, or ATT
- Presenting the right identification
- Taking the exam
STAGE 3. OBTAIN A LICENSE
If you are already licensed as an RN in the U.S., all you need to do is apply for an endorsement by submitting an application, available here. Supplemental materials are required, which must be mailed to the Board:
- Verification of license
- Continuing education proof (faxed or mailed)
Until the endorsement arrives, the RN may ask for a temporary permit.
RNs who received their training in another country must first pursue certification through CGFNS. The Board may request additional training before granting licensure.
Before a first-time RN gets licensure, she may request a temporary permit good for 90 days.
When you pass the exam, you will be notified about your licensure.
ADVANCED PRACTICE NURSES
All APNs are professional registered nurses, commonly called RN, but only one with an advanced degree and the appropriate clinical training is an APN.
Categories and Approval
Advanced Practice Nurses in Alabama work in four categories:
- Certified Nurse Midwife, or CNM
- Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner, or CRNP
- Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, or CRNA
- Clinical Nurse Specialist, or CNS
The Alabama Board of Nursing is the licensing body that grants approvals for each of the four categories.
In order to request approval for working as an APN, a nurse must have an active RN license for the state of Alabama.
Three Stages for APN Certification
After completing all the requirements and receiving your RN licensure in the state of Alabama, you need to go through three stages in order to become certified to work as an APN in Alabama.
Stage 1. OBTAIN A Graduate Degree
Your degree must have these qualifications:
- recognized by the Alabama Board of Nursing
- accredited by an the U.S. Department of Education or the Council of Higher Education Accreditation
Specialty accreditation is also required from the specific agency that certifies the specialty.
If you took your training in earlier years, there are very limited exceptions to the rule that you need a master’s degree. Check with the accrediting agency for your specialty to see if you have been grandfathered in.
STAGE 2. NATIONAL CERTIFICATION
After receiving your graduate degree, you need national certification in the specialty of Advanced Practice Nursing that you want to work. Each specialty has its own certification requirements and exams.
These are the four categories that the the Alabama Board of Nursing recognizes and their corresponding national certification programs:
Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner (CRNP)
- American Nurses Credentialing Center
- American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
- American Association of Critical Care Nurses
- National Certification Corporation
- Pediatric Nurse Certification Board
Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
- American Nurses Credentialing Center
- American Association of Critical-Care Nurses
- Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation
- Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing Certification Board
Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM)
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
If you become nationally certified in a program that is not one of the four, you can petition to have it recognized.
Once you receive national certification, you can pursue Alabama’s APN certification.
STAGE 3. APPLY FOR YOUR CERTIFICATE
You must apply for a certificate before you can start to practice your APN specialty. You must renew your certification every two years.
Here is the process to start the process to get your certificate:
- Go to the Alabama Board of Nursing’s online application program (CRNP, CNM, CRNA, CNS).
- Pay an approval fee of $150.
- Fill out the online application.
- Make a note which documentation the system requests that you mail in, based on your specialty.
Documentation Process by Specialty
Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner and Certified Nurse Midwife
- Have all colleges you attended for your graduate degree for APN send sealed, official college transcripts to the Alabama Board of Nursing.
- Have your national certifying agency send the Alabama Board a copy of your national certification.
- Complete the Application to Add or Change Collaborative Practice. Have the physician you are collaborating with sign it and send it with a $50 fee to the Board.
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist and Clinical Nurse Specialist
- Have all colleges you attended to earn your graduate degree send sealed, official college transcripts to the Alabama Board of Nursing
- Have the national certifying agency send a copy of your current national certification to the Board
Renew Your Certificate
- You can renew online every two years, but certain types of documents must be mailed to the Alabama Board of Nursing to complete the process.
Proof of active national certification
- Transcripts and other documentation for 24 contact hours of approved continuing education
- If your certification has expired, you can request reinstatement online.
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