Getting an Associate's degree in nursing was probably one of the best decisions you ever made for your future. You may have used your RN degree to work with the sick, the injured, or those who need long-term care. Whatever type of experience you have, you may now be considering an RN-to-MSN bridge program in Alabama. With an MSN degree, you can have the freedom to pursue a career in nurse midwifery, nurse anesthesia, nursing research, or numerous other nursing specialties. With MSN bridge programs in Alabama, you can get the education you need to work in advanced practice without spending the time to get your Bachelor’s degree first. Contact the schools that offer RN-to-MSN programs in Alabama to learn more about your options.
Since you may be entering an MSN program with an Associate's degree, rather than a Bachelor's degree, you need to complete some lower-level coursework before you begin courses in your chosen specialty. You may take classes in nursing research, evidence-based practice, and nursing leadership in the first semester of your three-year program.
Upon completing your Bachelor's-level courses, it's time to tackle your graduate-level courses and start your advanced nursing courses. You may begin with general courses like Concepts of Professional Nursing, Advanced Health Assessment, and Healthcare Leadership. From there, the curriculum splits off into different tracks for each specialty. For example, nurses in an education program may learn about curriculum development, assessment in nursing, and engagement in the classroom. Those in a direct care specialty may take courses like Ethics in Advanced Nursing and Patient Interaction for Advanced Practice Nurses.
As you proceed through your RN-to-MSN program, you need to make sure that you're addressing the learning goals of your program. These goals may be used by your nursing instructors to gauge your progress and ensure that you are hitting your learning milestones. They may check your ability to use nursing theories and research from different sources in your clinical decisions, address the growing health needs of Alabama's population, and serve in a leadership role in a nursing profession.
In the field of nursing, there are many different scholarships you can apply for. Typically, you must first be accepted to an MSN program before you apply for nursing scholarships. The Alabama Board of Nursing awards a number of graduate scholarships each academic year through the Alabama Education Trust Fund. Other scholarships are school-specific, like the Alabama State Nursing Scholarship and the Brookwood Medical Center Scholarship. The East Alabama Medical Center is a local employer that also awards scholarships to MSN students.
After you complete your graduate nursing education, you can check out the licensing standards upheld by the Alabama Board of Nursing. They expect advanced practice nurses to obtain advanced licensure before beginning their careers.
Overall, the outlook for nursing professionals in Alabama is quite positive. Between 2012 and 2022, O*Net expects a 20 percent increase in job openings for medical service managers. During this time period, O*Net also predicts that job openings for nursing instructors may increase by 33 percent.
Though nursing salaries in Alabama tend to be slightly lower than the national average, they are still fairly competitive. According to O*Net, nursing instructors in Alabama earn an average salary of $64,300 per year. The highest paid nursing professionals in Alabama may be nurse anesthetists, who earn an average of $144,600 per year (O*Net, 2013).
Completing one of the RN-to-MSN bridge programs in Alabama may expand your career opportunities and help you find additional fulfillment in this field. Not only can this degree bring personal satisfaction, it may give you the chance to improve the nursing field and have a positive impact on patients' lives. Reach out to the Alabama nursing schools with RN-to-MSN programs to learn more about how to begin.