Top 7 Alabama RN to MSN Programs

If you are looking into achieving your MSN degree in Alabama, it is very important to choose the right school for this. What is also important is that you fully understand whether or not the investment you will have to make in obtaining your MSN degree, both in terms of time and money, will be worth it. Hence, before looking at the different MSN programs that are out there, let’s take a look at the salary and job prospects for those with an MSN degree in Alabama.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Alabama counted some 44,300 registered nurses (RNs) in 2010. There are substantial differences in the salaries that they earn throughout the state, and the average is slightly below the national average. However, the cost of living in Alabama is also slightly lower. The largest number of RNs work in the Birmingham-Hoover area and the average annual wage there is $60,440. The top 10% of earners had a median annual wage of $81,930 and the bottom 10% earned $41,900. Further data has demonstrated that salaries in this area have risen since the last BLS count.

The highest salary for RNs in Alabama can be enjoyed in Columbus. The average is $61,310. The top 10% earned a median of $77,240 and the bottom 10% earned a median of $46,670. This is very similar to the earnings in Montgomery, with the average being $61,180, the top 10% being $82,600 and the bottom 10% being $41,670.

So why is there such a big difference between the top 10% and the bottom 10%? Although geographical location and job demand are important, it seems the key factor is education. Those in the bottom 10% are generally those with an associate’s degrees and those in the top 10% usually hold an MSN or even a doctorate degree. This really demonstrates how important it is to gain the highest degree possible, as it leads to the highest salaries. Additionally, the demand for nurses is increasing well above the national average but most medical employers now want to employ those with a BSN at the very least, and prefer those with an MSN, which is another great reason to get your MSN degree.

Top MSN Programs in Alabama

In order to complete an MSN program, you will need around five to seven years, if you start with no previous education other than your high school diploma. You will need to complete your BSN first, at which point you can become a registered nurse. Once you have achieved this, you will be able to move on to your master’s degree. There are also numerous accelerated programs for those who already have a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing related field.

Let’s take a look at the best schools in Alabama that offer MSN programs.

1. University of Alabama at Birmingham

The MSN programs offered by the University of Alabama at Birmingham have been designed to ensure nurses can become advanced specialty practice nurses. They also prepares student to move towards a doctorate study, if they so choose. There are four areas of focus within the various MSN pathways that are available. These are nursing education, nurse practitioner (acute or primary), nursing and health systems management. and nursing informatics.

• Campus: Birmingham, AL
• Type: Public
• Accreditation: CCNE
• Tuition: $6,900 per year for in state students and $16,000 per year for out of state students
• Degree requirements: Application form, personal statement, transcripts, other requirements depending on the pathway chosen
• Minimum time commitment: 2 years
• Programs: Accelerated Master’s in Nursing Pathways, Master of Science in Nursing, Registered Nurse to MSN
• School Site: Tuition | Financial Aid

2. University of South Alabama

At the University of South Alabama, there are a variety of MSN specialties available. The degrees are designed to create nurses with advanced knowledge and to prepare for doctorate studies those who are planning for further education. Graduates would be able to apply and synthesize advanced theories and perform research in specific areas of nursing. They are expected to become true leaders and that their professional careers will move forward. The specializations include nurse practitioner (adult-gerontological acute, adult-gerontological primary care, advanced emergency nursing, family, family psychiatric, neonatal, pediatric primary care, women’s health and acute care pediatric), non-nurse practitioner programs (clinical nurse leader, executive nursing administration, clinical nurse specialist and nursing informatics), and nurse educator. Many of these programs are also available fully on partially online.

• Campus: Mobile, AL
• Type: Public
• Accreditation: CCNE
• Tuition: $6,800 for in state students and $13,000 for out of state students
• Degree requirements: Application, transcripts, test scores, personal statement, BSN, RN, letters of reference
• Minimum time commitment: 2 years
• Programs: RN to MSN, online RN to MSN, MSN
• School Site: Tuition | Financial Aid

 

3. University of Alabama at Huntsville

MSN graduates from the University of Alabama at Huntsville are advanced practice nurses who will deliver direct care to families, adults and others. They can also become leaders in health care systems. Five tracks are available for students to choose from and each of these prepares them to become distinguished practitioners who understand the complexity of making clinical decisions and how to manage health care environments.

• Campus: Huntsville, AL
• Type: Public
• Accreditation: CCNE
• Tuition: $8,900 per year for in state students and $21,000 for out of state students
• Degree requirements: Application, transcripts, records, test scores, BSN, GPA, GRE, three letters of recommendation, statistics course, immunization, RN
• Minimum time commitment: 2 years
• Programs: Adul-gerontology acute care NP, adult-gerontology clinical nurse specialist, family nurse practitioner, leadership in health care systems (also available online), RN to MSN
• School Site: Tuition | Financial Aid

4. The University of Alabama

The University of Alabama is host to the Capstone College of Nursing, where a range of degree programs in the field of nursing are offered, including MSN programs. Their goal is to ensure that people in the state of Alabama, as well as people nationally and globally, can enjoy better health and overall well-being. This is done by producing the most highly educated nurses who are able to research and provide service to the community in which they work. The school has been nationally recognized for its inclusive environment and innovative approaches. These standards are part of their core values, as well as professionalism, integrity, student-centered learning and caring.

• Campus: Tuscaloosa, AL
• Type: Public
• Accreditation: CCNE
• Tuition: Varies depending on personal circumstances, financial aid and degree track chosen
• Degree requirements: GPA, BSN, RN
• Minimum time commitment: 38 semester hours
• Programs: Nursing Case Management (online), clinical nurse leader (online), nurse practitioner with rural mental health specialization (online with some campus attendance required), RN to MSN, Dual MSN/MA degree, MSN Nurse Educator
• School Site: Tuition | Financial Aid

5. Troy University

The MSN programs offered by Troy University have existed since 1983. When they were first established, the school offered three specific clinical fields of study in maternal/infant health, adult health and child health. Furthermore, they focused on the roles of educators and that of administrators. However, the child health specialty was removed in 1993 and the family nurse practitioner was added in 1995 and the nursing informatics specialist started in 2004. In 2008, Troy University had been offering MSN programs for 25 years. In that time, they have gone from innovation to innovation, which they intend to continue to do.

• Campus: Troy, AL
• Type: Public
• Accreditation: ACEN (NLNAC)
• Tuition: $365 per credit hour for in state students and $703 per credit hour for out of state students
• Degree requirements: GPA, GRE, criminal background check, BSN, RN,
• Minimum time commitment: 39 hours
• Programs: All programs are fully online. RN to MSN, MSN (clinical nurse specialist, nursing informatics specialist, family nurse practitioner)
• School Site: Tuition | Financial Aid

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