Nursing Master’s Programs and Schools in Alabama
If you’re thinking about enrolling in a Master’s degree program in nursing, you are entering an educational endeavor that can greatly impact your patients, your career prospects, and your scope of practice. The National Institute for Health Care Reform notes that there is a primary care practitioner shortage across the nation. They claim that nurse practitioners—nurses that hold a specialized Master’s degree in nursing—can help close that gap. Since the Alabama Department of Labor also reports that family and general care practitioners are one of the hottest 40 career fields in the state, you may find your skills in high demand if you enter this field.
Recent legislative changes in Alabama make advanced practice nursing careers an even more attractive option. The Alabama Board of Medical Examiners & Medical Licensure Commission reports on Act 2013-223, which allowed nurse practitioners to prescribe controlled substances if it is listed in the collaborative agreement with their overseeing physician. The Alabama Health Action Coalition is pushing to get more nurses into Master’s-level programs and remove practice barriers for advanced practice nurses. Clearly, now is a great time to explore your options for earning your Master’s in Nursing in Alabama.
To find nursing Master’s degree programs in Alabama, peruse the schools on our site. We have listed all of the Specialty Master’s in Nursing programs as well as general Master’s of Science in Nursing options. If you do not yet have your Bachelor’s in Nursing, you can take advantage of the many RN to MSN bridge programs that exist. Regardless of the route you take, earning your graduate degree in nursing is a great way to improve your practice and the nursing profession as a whole.
MSN Nursing Schools in Alabama
As you look into finding a Master’s in Nursing program in Alabama, you should prepare for a multifaceted educational experience that will build on everything you’ve learned at the RN or BSN level. Your curriculum will vary, depending on which kind of program you choose, and will be compromised of anywhere from 30 to 60 credits. If you attend on a full-time basis, you may be able to graduate in two to three years. The actual amount of credits you complete is based on what specialty you choose. If you want to become a nurse practitioner, you can specialize in fields like neonatal care, family care, and acute care. Other Master’s degree tracks include nurse leadership, nursing informatics, and nurse education.
Regardless of which specialty or career track you choose, you’ll likely have to take many of the same base courses. Commonly required courses include Health Care for Populations, Leading in Nursing Settings, and Health Systems Improvement.
By the time you graduate, you should be able to use your knowledge of a specialized field and advanced nursing theories to offer evidence-based care to a variety of populations. Your leadership courses are designed to prepare you to be a leader in whichever nursing setting you work in, allowing you to lead and guide other nurses. You will also take business and economics courses that can help you further your own practice wisely in the future. To learn about the curriculum that is specific to each Master’s in Nursing program, visit our Specialty pages.
With the growing need for skilled health professionals, many organizations offer scholarships to make it easier for you to earn a Master’s degree. The Alabama Association of Nursing Students awards scholarships to student members. The Alabama Board of Nursing awards over $166,000 in scholarships to Master’s-level students, making an impact on many students’ ability to earn a graduate degree. If you want to work in primary care, the National Health Service Corps may also have a scholarship you are eligible for, as well as loan forgiveness programs in Alabama.
Alabama Nursing Career Information
Working With Your MSN in Alabama
Alabama has numerous accredited RN-MSN campus and online programs to help advance your career. There are several specialty tracks, which can open the door to a dramatic career change once you complete a RN-MSN program.
Becoming a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner allows you to diagnose and manage the health of newborn babies, infants and toddlers up to the age of two who may be acutely ill or have healthcare problems that require close monitoring or hospitalization.
Obviously employment opportunities are found in hospitals clinics for young children. Alabama NPs received $95,350 as an average annual wage (O*net, 2014).
Adult–Gerontology Primary Care NP, with an Oncology Subspecialty, is a unique career that prepares you to practice in a variety of settings with oncology patients.
Once you have received your MSN, you may take the national certification examinations:
- Oncology Nurse Practitioners – Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation
- Adult–Gerontology–Primary Care NP – American Association of Nurse Practitioners or the American Nurses Credentialing Center
Alabama’s annual income average is $95,350 (O*net, 2014).
Receiving credentials and your MSN in more than one specialty may boost your career, offering new opportunities and a higher income. A graduate degree will earn the respect of your peers also.
As a nurse, you know how important education is, and chances are you have spent some time thinking about all of the possibilities for returning to school. We know that there are dozens of options, and we have taken the time to compile as much information about Master’s in Nursing programs across the U.S. as we could find. Now it is your turn to take the time to compare and review school information, and request program materials from those schools that offer the nursing Master’s programs you’re interested in.
What You Can Expect From Your MSN Program
A Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree could be the next step to boosting your nursing career to the next level. The opportunity for advanced practice nursing in Alabama is growing as a result of both healthcare reform and the ever changing patient population in the state. Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) are the key to increasing patient accessibility to high-quality, advanced medical care. See how earning a master’s degree in nursing in AL could translate to increased success in your nursing career. Contact those schools you find on our site that offer MSN programs in Alabama to get started.
Before deciding what graduate nursing program is the best option for you, it is important to know what role you want to focus on. The direct care routes you can take while you earn your MSN degree have four main specializations to choose from: nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, nurse anesthetist, and clinical nurse specialist. Nurse practitioners often serve as primary care providers and diagnose and treat a variety of illnesses among patients. In fact, the trend for patients who are seen by nurse practitioners in the place of doctors is becoming more prevalent.
In another advanced role, the nurse midwife focuses mainly in the realm of women’s health services, including care during pre-conception, pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period. Nurse anesthetists safely practice the administration of anesthetics to patients before, during and after surgical, obstetrical and trauma procedures. Clinical nurse specialists are similar to nurse practitioners, except they focus on a specialized area in which they are considered experts at diagnosing and treating illnesses.
There are also Master’s in Nursing degrees in Alabama that focus on non-patient care roles such as nursing education, leadership and healthcare policy. You can learn more about all of the specialties available directly from our site.
MSN Programs in Alabama: An Overview
Once you decide what you are interested in specializing in, the next step is finding a program that is going to fit your needs. Some factors to take into consideration are finances and work scheduling. Today, most schools have different program options that work with you accommodate your needs, including online MSN classes in Alabama.
Depending on what stage you are in with your education, your past accomplishments may have a determination on the kind of MSN program you enter. For instance, if you have your RN license but do not have a bachelor’s degree, then an RN to MSN program may be the right match for you. A similar program, the direct entry MSN program, is available to those who hold a degree in a non-nursing field. Then, of course, there is the traditional Master’s of Science in Nursing route in which you currently hold a bachelor’s of science in nursing degree. Depending on which route you take, the time for completing your MSN degree typically ranges between 2 to 3 years.
Curriculum of Master’s in Nursing Programs in Alabama
While many of the Master’s in Nursing courses in AL are similar between programs, the Alabama Board of Nursing requires coursework in health promotion and disease prevention, physiology and pathophysiology, health assessment, pharmacology, foundations of nursing practice, research, professional ethics, policy, finance and organization of health care delivery, and diversity and social issues, along with additional courses focused on the selected area of practice.
A sample course outline for a MSN with a specialization as a nurse anesthetist may include the following courses:
- Theoretical Foundations and Role Development for the Advanced Practice Nurse
- Statistics for the Healthcare Professional
- Research for Advanced Practice Nurses
- Health Care Policy and Politics
- Clinical Practicum
- Anesthesia Physiology & Pathophysiology
- Advanced Physiology & Pathophysiology
- Chemistry & Physics of Anesthesia
- Health Assessment for Nurse Anesthesia
- Perioperative Technology & Instrumentation
- Principles of Anesthesia
- Anesthesia Practicum
- Pharmacology for Anesthesia Practice
- Clinical Seminars
- Gross Anatomy for Nurse Anesthesia
Enrolling in a master’s program can be expensive. However, the benefits of education have the potential to outweigh the expense. In fact, a study conducted by the United States Census Bureau estimates that those with a master’s degree will earn up to $2.5 million more than those with a bachelor’s degree over the course of a lifetime.
Because the need for advanced practice nurses is so great, you can find help with financial aid from multiple sources. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing provides a page full of scholarships and loan programs. The National Health Service Corpsawards a scholarship to those committed to providing primary care for at least 2 years at an NHSC-approved site in a medically underserved area of Alabama. The scholarship can go towards tuition, fees, other educational costs, and also provides a living stipend.
NHSC-approved practice sites include:
- Rural Health Clinic
- Hospital-affiliated Primary Care Out Patient Clinic
- Indian Health Service, Tribal Clinic, and Urban Indian Health Clinic
- State or Federal Correctional Facility
- Community Mental Health Facility
- Community Outpatient Facility
- Critical Access Hospital
- Free Clinic
- Immigration and Customs Enforcement Health Service Corp
- Mobile Unit
- School-based Health Program
- State and County Department of Health Clinic
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to expand your career by continuing your nursing education in Alabama. You can check out our list of MSN programs in Alabama, then request information from those schools that interest you most. You may find an MSN program that meets your needs and that can help improve healthcare in Alabama at the same time.
Alabama RN to MSN Bridge Programs
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.
Alabama Direct Entry MSN
Perhaps you aren’t able to find work with your current Bachelor’s degree, or maybe you’ve simply discovered a passion for the field of nursing. Regardless of why you want to jump into a nursing career, an MSN program may be the way to start your new career. Despite popular belief, you do not need a Bachelor’s degree in nursing to enter a Master’s-level program. Several Alabama schools have direct entry MSN programs that allow you to earn an MSN with an unrelated Bachelor’s degree.
Take some time to find out which nursing schools in Alabama offer a Direct Entry Master’s route and request program information from each to compare.
Admissions requirements for these degree programs tend to be fairly stringent, since you must complete four years of work in 18 to 24 months. You’ll likely need a GPA of 3.0 or higher from an accredited university and high grades in science courses. Accelerated MSN programs do not typically include courses like chemistry, human biology, and anatomy & physiology, so these courses must be completed ahead of time.
In Direct entry programs your nursing courses are completed in an accelerated time frame, so many colleges require you to set aside work or only work part-time while earning your degree. In your first year of school, you may take lower-level nursing courses in combination with high-level theory courses. Some schools structure their curriculum so that you can sit for the NCLEX-RN after the first year and start getting nursing experience while finishing your MSN.
Early courses are similar to those taken by BSN students. Commonly required courses include Pharmacology, Health Assessments, and Foundations of Professional Nursing. Due to the accelerated nature of this program, by the end of your first year you may be taking specialty courses like Clinical Practice with Childbearing Families, Promoting Health in Communities, and Leadership in Professional Nursing.
The second half of your program tends to be less demanding than the first half, since you generally complete fewer credits per semester. Some of the graduate-level courses you may take include Diagnostic Reasoning, Health Care Systems for Advanced Nursing Practice, and Advanced Pathology. It’s clear that clinical experience is crucial in this type of program. Between all your nursing courses, you may complete over 900 clinical hours.
There are many scholarships, grants, and loan repayment options for those who are working towards a Master’s degree in nursing. The Alabama Nurses Association awards scholarships to nurses at different educational levels. You can apply for scholarships through the Alabama Board of Nursing as well; in 2013, they awarded over $166,000 in graduate nursing scholarships. If you join the Alabama Association of Nursing Students, you may be eligible for graduate-level scholarships.
In general, the job outlook is quite positive for those who go into Master’s-level nursing careers. O*Net expects job openings for nurse practitioners to increase by 32% between 2012 and 2022. They anticipate a 20% increase for nurse anesthetists (O*Net, 2012). Job openings for nurse instructors may increase by 33% in the same time frame (O*Net, 2012).
Nursing professionals at this level may have a higher salary potential than those who have Associate’s degrees or Bachelor’s degrees. Average salaries at this level range between $64,300 per year for nursing instructors to $144,600 per year for nurse anesthetists (O*Net, 2013).
The Alabama Board of Nursing oversees licensing for nurses at all levels. Even if you go into a specialty field like informatics or research, you will likely still need to maintain an active nursing license.
Completing your MSN degree can have a lasting and positive effect on your future. Of course, for many people, it may lead to an increase in earning potential. It can also be very personally fulfilling, since you get to work with people of all different needs and backgrounds. A nursing career may give you the freedom to work in a number of settings, allowing you to explore different nursing options and find what you really enjoy.
Having a higher level of education can also benefit your local nursing community. With an MSN degree, you can harness a thorough understanding of nursing research and use it to enhance the standard of patient care in Alabama. Whether you work directly with patients, study nursing developments, or teach students, your education can have a powerful impact on the people around you.
Take some time to review programs today to determine which is the best fit for you.
Alabama CRNA Programs
As a working nurse, you may have developed a great sense of patient communication and skilled care over the years. If you want to take your career to the next level, you may be considering different advanced nursing specialties. Becoming a nurse anesthetist (CRNA) can be an excellent specialty choice if you want to keep spending most of your time working with patients but want take on an expanded practice role. Contact the schools you find that offer CRNA programs in AL to learn more.
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists in Alabama fulfill a number of practice roles. You may work on call, providing anesthesia to those who come in for emergency surgery or for women in labor. You may also choose to work for a practice, where you may prepare patients for routine surgery by administering anesthesia.
Since you can take on a more independent practice role as a CRNA, your patients may benefit from more individualized care. It’s important to be prepared to work with many types of patients in this specialty. Over the course of a shift, you may see laboring women, patients in the middle of a medical crisis, or those who have chronic conditions. Regardless of the circumstances, you must be ready to treat each patient with respect and professionalism.
Working in this field requires knowledge in many different areas. You must have a strong background in pharmacology, as you may be using many types of anesthetics and other medications on a daily basis. In addition, you will need careful hands and an impeccable knowledge of human anatomy, since different varieties of anesthesia are used in specific parts of the body. If you’re ready to find out what you must do to become a CRNA, request information from those Alabama nurse anesthetist programs that interest you.
Admissions and Curriculum for CRNA Programs in Alabama
As you begin evaluating CRNA programs in Alabama and looking for a school that suits you, you may want to look at your academic and work history to ensure that you meet admissions requirements for nurse anesthetist programs. For the majority of schools, you need a Bachelor’s degree in nursing. However, there are some schools that accept Associate’s-level students into RN-to-MSN programs.
Regardless of which type of program you choose, a strong academic history will likely be required. The majority of schools require a GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. You must be willing to supply proof of your nursing experience; schools may ask for one to three years of full-time work experience. In addition, many CRNA programs require you to take the GRE and receive a score of 290 or higher.
To earn a Master’s degree in nursing that focuses on nurse anesthesiology, you should plan on completing roughly 60 credits. The high credit requirement is due to the highly specialized work required of nurse anesthetists and the many clinical requirements you must meet. Most CRNA programs can be completed in two to three years, depending on whether or not you take courses during the summer.
Your curriculum may start with core advanced nursing courses like Theoretical Foundations for Health Professionals, Advanced Health Assessment, Advanced Pharmacology, and Advanced Pathophysiology. Once you have completed your core requirements, you may move on to anesthesiology courses like Principles of Anesthesia, Clinical Anesthesia, and Clinical Anesthesia.
There are several clinical anesthetic courses that require you to work in a health care setting. A growing number of CRNA schools also require the completion of a special project. This project may focus on a specific population that you may serve in your career, an issue in clinical anesthesia research, or a practical issue in the provision of CRNA services.
There may be scholarships for you to consider as you work through an Alabama CRNA program. The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists offers numerous scholarships to those who work in nurse anesthesia or those who are currently working toward a degree. The Health Resources and Services Administration also awards several nurse anesthetist grants. The Bessie May French CRNA Scholarship is available through the McLaren Foundation.
Working as a Nurse Anesthetist in Alabama
Becoming licensed as a CRNA in Alabama is a crucial part of your career in this field. Before you can begin working as a nurse anesthetist, you must complete the licensure process. This involves using your RN login at the Alabama Board of Nursing website and completing the online application for CRNA licensure. You must provide proof of your nurse anesthesia education and pass a rigorous nurse anesthesia exam. After that, you must keep your RN license renewed as well as your CRNA license. Before you actually begin working, you may need to provide proof of malpractice insurance to your employer and fill out paperwork indicating that you understand the scope of practice in your field.
The job outlook is positive for nurse anesthetists in Alabama. From 2012 to 2022, O*Net anticipates a 20 percent increase in job openings, a job growth rate that is on par with the national average.
You may earn a wide range of salaries as a nurse anesthetist in Alabama. O*Net reports an average salary of $144,600 per year in Alabama. The full reported range of salaries goes from $113,000 to $185,900 per year (O*Net, 2013).
Completing your education as a CRNA can be rewarding and professionally fulfilling. Not only does this job path allow you to provide pain relief to people that need it, it may help you become a more independent practitioner of nursing care. As a result, you may serve as a leader in your place of employment and encourage other nursing professionals to further their education. By implementing the latest nursing research and delivering a high standard of care to your patients, you can positively influence the nursing community of Alabama.
Nurse anesthesia in Alabama is a growing field that can help you get more out of your education and nursing career. Review your options for Alabama CRNA schools, then contact those you are interested in applying to in order to take the next step in your nursing career.
Forensic Nursing in Alabama
Rapid growth in the field of nursing has led to the development of specialties that allow nurses to combine their healthcare knowledge with expertise in other industries. Forensic nursing is the perfect example of this phenomenon. Forensic nurses work with victims of crime and sexual assault victims, in addition to collecting physical evidence for use in legal cases. To thrive in this specialty, you need a thorough understanding of crime psychology, Alabama law, and healthcare.
In Alabama, forensic nurses are united through the Alabama Chapter of the International Association of Forensic Nurses. This group offers certification to forensic nurse specialists, provides opportunities to meet continuing education requirements, and hosts networking events. The IAFN Alabama Chapter Forensic Conference, held annually, offers highly focused training on current issues in forensic nursing.
Your nursing skills may lay the groundwork for challenging, rewarding career options like this one. Get more information by contacting forensic nursing schools below.
Master’s Degree Programs in Forensic Nursing in Alabama
In Alabama, you need a BSN to pursue a Master’s degree in nursing. RN-to-MSN options are available at a handful of schools throughout the country, but the additional work of forensic nursing typically requires applicants to have completed their undergraduate training. Furthermore, many programs require at least one year of full-time nursing experience. As a graduate student, you may qualify for scholarship and loan repayment options through the Alabama Department of Public Health.
During your Master’s program, you complete your nurse practitioner training prior to moving on to forensic nursing coursework.
Required courses include:
- Translating Evidence Into Practice
- Advanced Forensic Nursing
- Practicum in Advanced Forensic Nursing
- Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning
- Pharmacology and Therapeutics
- Healthcare Systems for Advanced Nursing Practice
Upon completion of your Master’s degree, you should have roughly 200 to 250 hours of forensic nursing experience.
The American College of Forensic Examiners Institute offers a Certified Forensic Nurse option. You must have at least three years of experience as a registered nurse and supply proof of completing a forensic nursing program. You need to earn 30 CEUs every three years to renew your license.
The Commission for Forensic Nursing Certification has two primary certification options. To become a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE), you need two years of nursing experience, 40 hours of SANE training, a clinical preceptorship, and 300 hours of SANE experience. If you opt to become an Advanced Forensic Nurse, you need an MSN, 2000 hours of forensic nursing experience, and 30 CEUs within the last three years.
The Role of Forensic Nurses in Alabama
Becoming a forensic nurse can put you in a position to help some of the most vulnerable people in Alabama. Victims of crime have experienced immense trauma, and healthcare professionals without specialized training may unintentionally cause further traumatization. Your forensic nurse training can preserve evidence, strengthen court cases, and help victims heal.
Awareness of the field of forensic nursing is growing, leading to new opportunities. CNN reports that proposed federal legislation would give survivors easy and prompt access to SANEs, require SANE staffing at healthcare facilities, and improve treatment of victims (CNN, 2016).
As a forensic nurse, you can positively impact residents’ lives, strengthen the legal system, and use your passion for nursing in a new way. Request information on forensic nursing in Alabama by contacting the schools below.
Alabama Clinical Nurse Leader Degrees
Strong leadership is an essential component within the field of nursing, particularly in states like Alabama, where rural communities often rely on nursing staff to meet the majority of their health care needs.
The role of Clinical Nurse Leaders has expanded recently throughout Alabama. The industry is looking for innovative ways to meet health care needs by running mobile clinics, outreach programs, and traveling clinics (WCBL, 2015). In order to function legally and provide high levels of care to patients, these clinics must employ highly educated nurse managers and leaders.
Another growing area of opportunity for Clinical Nurse Leaders is telemedicine (WHNT, 2015). This type of care makes it easier for rural patients to get prompt and accurate care from nurses. Clinical Nurse Leaders can oversee working nurses, ensure the quality of advice given, and streamline the calling process.
If you have experience working as a nurse and you are interested in using your knowledge in a new way, talk to nurse leadership programs in Alabama to learn more.
How Can I Become a Clinical Nurse Leader in Alabama?
To become a certified Clinical Nurse Leader in Alabama, you must earn your national certification. This involves attending an accredited nurse leadership graduate program. Many programs require you to have a Bachelor’s degree in nursing, but there are RN to MSN options and options for students with non-nursing Bachelor’s degrees.
Generally, this type of program involves a bit more coursework than other nursing Master’s degrees. On average, expect to earn 36 credits over the course of two years in Alabama. Most schools require the completion of over 500 clinical hours.
You may earn your credits and expand your understanding of nursing in courses like:
- Physiopathological Basis of Advanced Nursing
- Clinical Nurse Leader Role and Competencies
- Evidence-Based Practice and Quality Improvement in Health Care
- Organizational & Systems Leadership
- Health Care Policy and Finance
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing accredits schools in this area of study. This is also the organization that awards certification in this specialty. Upon completing your training, you must successfully pass a three-hour licensing exam. The fee is $350 if you test at a nursing school or $425 if you test at an AACN testing site.
This certification is renewed every five years. In addition to paying a $310 renewal fee, you must submit proof of completion of 50 CEUs.
At all times, you must maintain a valid Alabama nursing license. The Alabama Board of Nursing requires you to earn 24 CEUs every two years. Renewing your registered nursing license costs $75.
What Does a Clinical Nurse Leader Do?
As a Clinical Nurse Leader, you are in a great position to be recognized as an important player in your local nursing community. The role of the CNL encompasses both clinical care and administrative work. Although you may spend much of your time creating care plans, managing the work of other registered nurses, and staying on top of nursing research, you are still a significant part of the clinical care team. In your new clinical role, you may carry out your chosen care plans while directing the tasks and responsibilities of nursing staff in your department.
One of your goals as a CNL is to improve the care process for patients. This may be achieved in a variety of different ways. However, research covering the role of the CNL indicates that CNLs do successfully improve the patient experience. The National Center for Biotechnology Information found that the use of nurse leaders leads to improved nursing care, admissions procedures, and skill levels.
Keep in mind that the Clinical Nurse Leader certification is still relatively new. The CNL demonstration program began in 2004 and this role is still being implemented in hospitals and clinics across the country. As a nurse leader, you may be expected to direct the course of your career and educate medical staff on the role of the Clinical Nurse Leader.
Nurse managers and leaders are becoming more and more visible throughout Alabama. This is partially due to the efforts of groups like the Alabama Organization of Nurse Executives. On top of staying active in registered nursing professional organizations, joining the AONE may give you the chance to further the growth of the nursing leadership specialty.
As a nurse leader, you can make a huge difference in the nursing community and in the care that patients receive. Learn more about Master’s degree options in Alabama by contacting nurse leadership programs below.
Alabama Research Nursing Graduate Programs
There are many professional roles that contribute to the nursing industry in Alabama. One crucial area of growth in this state is nursing research. Those who work in nursing research design, carry out, and critique studies that are meant to advance the field of nursing as a whole.
Request program details from the Alabama schools with graduate programs in nursing research to learn more about your options.
Overall, Alabama has had quite a bit of success in its nursing research community. Rachel Z. Booth revolutionized this area of nursing in Alabama and went on to lead one of the top nursing schools in Alabama.
Alabama Public Radio reports frequently on nursing research and the important findings that it discovers. One recent study showed that performing more mammograms on low-risk women does not actually lower the amount of women who died from cancer. This conclusion and others like it shape evidenced-based practice. Find out more about becoming a research nurse in Alabama by reaching out to local schools.
Alabama Graduate Degree Programs in Nursing Research
Nursing research programs are extremely expansive, since there is a lot of money invested in this field. Not only must you have a strong knowledge of nursing procedures, history, and laws, you must be well-versed in the ethics and legal issues of research. Failing to come through on any of these aspects can invalidate very expensive research projects.
Because of the delicate nature of this field, it is important to complete a thorough educational program before you begin working in a research setting. Your curriculum should explore techniques for developing a research project, different problems in health care, priorities in the field of nursing, and statistical analysis.
Classes that you may take include Contemporary Design and Methods, Biostatistics, Philosophical and Theoretical Perspectives of Nursing, Knowledge Appraisal and Development, and Advanced Research Techniques in Nursing.
A graduate degree in this field may take between two and three years, as you must complete roughly 45 credits. A PhD, on the other hand, may take up to seven years if you take your time on your dissertation. Regardless of which path you choose, you will likely need to complete a research residency and a teaching residency.
If you demonstrate financial need or academic success, you may be able to earn a graduate scholarship. The Alabama Board of Nursing awards more than $100,000 in graduate scholarships each academic year.
The Role of Clinical Nurse Researchers in Alabama
The job outlook for clinical nurse researchers is fairly stable in Alabama. Between 2012 and 2022, O*Net predicts a 1% increase in job openings in this area. The average salary for a professional in this field is $104,700 per year (O*Net, 2014).
With your newfound expertise and knowledge, you may be able to work in a variety of settings. Nurse researchers often work in hospitals, colleges and universities, and laboratories. As you progress through your career, you may contribute to important studies. A local research institution recently conducted a study on palliative care and how it is perceived by people in the community. They plan on using this information to improve care for patients and support care providers.
A career in nursing research could help you reach your full potential as a nurse. Find schools near you below and request information to start this new journey.
Alabama Certified Nurse Midwife Programs
The Alabama Board of Nursing defines the scope of practice for an Alabama Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) as a professional who collaborates with a physician and is qualified through advanced knowledge by formal education, which means a graduate degree. Collaboration does not mean direct, on-site supervision, but it does define the relationship between a certified nurse-midwife and a physician as defined by the State Board of Medical Examiners and the Board of Nursing.
The pathway to becoming a CNM is a graduate degree from an accredited university once you have your BSN. In addition, the American Midwifery Certification Board is the national certifying body that provides accreditation by examination, which is required in Alabama for a Nurse Midwifery license.
The advanced knowledge and skills required to manage women’s health focuses on pregnancy, childbirth, the postpartum period, care of the newborn, family planning, and gynecological needs of women.
If you are interested in this career, this might be a good time to check into the nurse-midwifery programs listed on our site.
Certified Nurse Midwife Programs in Alabama
There are two fully accredited online Master of Science in Nursing for Nurse-Midwifery (WHNP) programs for Alabama nurses, which are Georgetown University and Frontier Nursing University.
Online nurse midwife programs can be very convenient as you take the courses online, full-time or part-time, at your convenience. The clinical requirements are typically met at a local facility, and you will have a preceptor. You may be required to attend two or three brief on-campus sessions during the course of your study.
The admission criteria typically requires nurses with their BSN or one that is completing an ADN Bridge program.
The online Nurse Midwife curriculum is similar to most accredited on compus programs, and requires about 49 didactic credits along with 15 clinical credits for a total of 64 credit hours overall.
The curriculum typically includes:
- Principals of Health Promotion
- Epidemiology and Biostatistics
- Evidence Based Practice
- Advanced Health Assessment
- Advanced Practice Across the Lifespan
- Primary Care of Women
- Role of nurse Midwife
- Midwifery Care During Labor and Birth
- Midwifery Care door Pregnancy
- Midwifery Care during Postpartum
- Advanced Midwifery Care of the Childbearing Woman
- Woman’s Health
- Principles of Independent Practice
- Skills for Advanced Practice
- Skills for Nurse-Midwifery Care
- Nurse-Midwifery Clinical I-V
- Nurse-Midwifery Comprehensive Exam & Certification Exam Review
It is wise to compare all accredited universities before making a choice of the university that meets your needs. You can request program details from all of the schools on our site, in order to learn more.
If you need financial assistance, complete a FAFSA application, which is a federal grant. The National Health Service Scholarship and Loan Repayment program are worth checking into as well. The scholarship program in Alabama pays all of your tuition, general educational costs, and it pays a striped for living if you work in a NHSC-approved facility for a minimum of two years.
Working as a Certified Nurse Midwife in Alabama
Nurse Midwives work in a variety of diverse settings, which include hospitals, public and community health systems, private offices, ambulatory care clinics and birth centers. In 2012 the CDC concluded the majority of babies attended by midwives were born in hospitals at (94.8 percent). Midwives cannot perform home births alone in the state of Alabama, but they can in do so in a hospital or a host of other institutions.
The American Midwifery Certification Board offers the certification exam for graduates. This certification is recognized in all states, and it is considered a mark of distinction as it ensures you have met the criteria for safety in practice. The fee for this exam is $500.
The advanced knowledge and skills relative to the management of women’s health care focuses on pregnancy, childbirth, the postpartum period, care of the newborn, family planning, and gynecological needs of women, within a health care system that provides for consultation, collaborative management, or referral as indicated by the health status of the client.
According to O’net in 2014, the average annual income for an Alabama Nurse Midwife was $96,970. This position is expected to increase by 2,900 nurse midwives by 2022. In addition to job security, this can be a very satisfying career.
This is a career for an individual that enjoys working with people, and it helps the field of nursing as a whole, allowing you to provide high quality care to women across the lifespan.
Alabama Clinical Nurse Specialist
Nurses are an important part of clinical care in many different specialties and settings. If you’re interested in advancing your education by exploring one of these specialties, you may want to consider clinical nurse specialist programs in Alabama.
Clinical nurse specialists provide evidence-based, advanced care to patients of all different medical needs, ages, and backgrounds. For example, some clinical nurse specialists work in palliative care. One area of research in nurse specialty focuses on the importance of palliative care.
One of the benefits of working as a clinical nurse specialist is the independence you can use in your clinical practice. You must make care decisions across three different spheres of practice: patient, nurse, and system. By integrating these spheres of influence, you can prevent and treat illness, work alongside other care providers, and promote healthy choices amongst your chosen patient population.
If you’re ready to take the next step in your nursing career, find out what it takes to succeed in clinical nurse specialist programs in Alabama.
Becoming a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Alabama
Clinical nurse specialist schools in Alabama tend to be fairly competitive. This is a graduate-level program, so you need a bachelor’s degree in nursing to enroll in a CNS program. There are a few schools that offer RN-to-MSN degrees, so you may be able to get your bachelor’s degree and master’s degree at the same time. Traditional programs in this area of study take two to three years of full-time study.
As an advanced nursing student, you may develop a set of core competencies that define your nursing practice and knowledge. You may learn how to work independently in direct clinical practice, consult research and journals to improve your education, collaborate with health care professionals, and serve as a leader in a clinical setting.
The courses you are required to take as a CNS student prepare you for success in these competencies and learning outcomes. Some of the classes you may be required to take include Physio-Pathological Basis of Advanced Nursing, Scientific Underpinnings of Advanced Nursing Practice, Nursing Leadership, Clinical Concepts of the CNS Role, Pharmacology for Advanced Practice, and Health Care Policy & Finance. Many of these courses focus on providing you with clinical experience. Master’s degree programs in nursing typically provide at least 500 hours of clinical experience.
As an advanced nursing student, you can apply for a variety of scholarships to cover your educational costs. The Alabama Board of Nursing awards thousands of dollars in scholarships to graduate students every year. The NURSE Corps Scholarship Program may be an option for you if you’re willing to work in an underserved area of Alabama. Through the Alabama Student Nurses’ Association, you may be able to apply for different types of financial aid.
Working as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Alabama
You must meet the licensure requirements of the Alabama Board of Nursing to start working as a clinical nurse specialist. This involves passing a comprehensive licensing exam in your chosen specialty and applying for advanced standing.
In Alabama, the average salary for a registered nurse is $54,500 per year (O*Net, 2013). With a master’s degree and an advanced license, your earning potential may increase significantly.
Your job outlook depends on which part of Alabama you live in and which specialty you pursue. Generally speaking, however, the job outlook is positive in Alabama. Between 2012 and 2022, O*Net anticipates a 19 percent increase in registered nursing jobs.
Becoming a clinical nurse specialist can allow you to use your training and medical knowledge to their fullest extent. Take the first step now by contacting clinical nurse specialist programs in Alabama.
Alabama Public Health Graduate Programs
Public health nursing offers career advancement opportunities for you in Alabama’s nursing sector. With a goal to improve the community’s healthcare services, public health nursing allows you work with the public, manage scarce resources, and help reduce overall healthcare costs in underserved or low-income areas. By utilizing public, social, and nursing health sciences, you will be able to focus on promoting healthier living and preventing diseases APHN (2015, July 21).
If you are a career-oriented individual who wishes to become a licensed public health nurse in Alabama, then you will need to enroll in a Master of Science in Nursing degree program. As you review potential MSN programs, you should choose one that is accredited through a main regulatory body like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
Accredited programs focus on training you to exceed ASPA’s code of good practice as well as help you gain the necessary knowledge to pass the credentialing exam. Check out public health nursing programs near you today by contacting the schools below.
Master’s Degree Programs in Public Health Nursing in Alabama
Before you are eligible to enroll in an accredited MSN program in Alabama, you will need to prove that you have already earned your Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree as well as have passed the NCLEX exam, which shows you meet the national standards of nursing practice.
You will also need to have taken the following courses:
- Applied statistics
- Nursing research
- Health assessment
You can expect to earn your MSN degree within two to three years, providing you attend full time. Master’s degree programs require the completion of both classroom and clinical training. As a student, you will learn how to improve local access to healthcare, educate the public on direct healthcare services, advocate policies with the proper authorities, identify specific risk factors in communities, and focus on health-related interventions at a local level. Clinical practicums provide you with hands-on training on direct and indirect care, and you will need to complete around 500 hours before graduation.
Coursework may cover academic core, advanced practice core, and specialty subjects, such as:
- Bioethics and health policies
- Research and theory in advanced practice nursing
- Pharmacology in advanced practice nursing
- Advanced pathophysiology
As a full-time student, you may qualify for financial aid through the government or a healthcare organization. The FAFSA helps determine resoureces for your college costs as long as you meet the eligibility requirements. You may also take advantage of certain scholarships and loan repayment programs that are offered by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration or benefit from a fellowship through the Council of Graduate Schools.
Click on a college today to request information about available financial aid options.
The Role of Public Health Nurses in Alabama
Employing approximately 43,680 registered nurses, Alabama offers numerous potential employment opportunities for you as a public health nurse BLS, (2015, July 21). Recent studies show that experts are expecting a 19 percent growth in the nursing sector, which includes the public health field. This growth could lead to 8,299 more positions in Alabama’s medical industry BLS, (2015, July 21).
As a certified public health nurse, you may seek employment at:
- Health departments
- Correctional facilities
- Community health centers
With the average wage for registered nurses being $56,470 per year, you could earn upwards of $75,130 per year by being certified and gaining work experience BLS, (2015, July 21). You can prove you are an expert in public health nursing by earning your APHN-BC credential, which can be attained through the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
Further your nursing career today by enrolling in an accredited MSN program in Alabama.
Alabama Healthcare Policy Graduate Nursing Programs
As a registered nurse, you are likely very passionate about providing healthcare to the people of your community and ensuring that everyone gets high quality care regardless of their age, medical needs, past, or socioeconomic status.
Why not take that passion and your experience to the next level? The field of healthcare policy is one of the most important in nursing, since nurses offer special insight and knowledge to the legislative process.
To see how important it is to have nurses involved in the creation of healthcare policies, you simply have to look at the state’s expansion of its Medicaid program (The Hill, 2015). The time you have spent in clinics and hospitals helps you see how current and proposed policies will actually impact the people of Alabama. Nurses involved in healthcare policy may be able to reliably predict patient outcomes.
Are you ready to fight for the people of Alabama in an entire new way? Discover nursing healthcare policy graduate programs in Alabama below.
Master’s Degree Programs in Healthcare Policy in Alabama
The work done by graduate-level nurses in healthcare policy is critical to the success of this industry. As a result, the admissions requirements for these programs are often quite rigorous. You may be expected to have lots of nursing experience behind you, with some Alabama schools requiring up to five years of full-time registered nursing work.
Health policy and public health programs in Alabama typically require you to complete between 36 and 42 credits. The courses listed below cover some of the most important core concepts of nursing research and healthcare policy:
- Strategic Management in Health Programs
- Finance for Health Professionals
- Public Health Policy
- Public Health Law
- Social and Ethical Issues in Public Health
- Management Concepts in Public Health
Earning a graduate degree in healthcare policy involved looking at nursing from an entirely different perspective. You already have the practical experience and skills needed for a successful nursing career—in your graduate study, you should come to understand how policy affects the work nurses do every day and how specific policies impact the care received by patients.
Working in healthcare policy does not involve any special licensing process. However, to continue working in a healthcare setting and gaining experience that can make you a valuable asset to legislative teams, you must maintain your nursing license. The Alabama Board of Nursing requires you to renew your license every two years and complete 24 hours of continuing education during each renewal cycle.
How Do Nurses Impact Healthcare Policy in Alabama?
Much of the work done by nurses at this level in Alabama involves the Alabama Department of Public Health. This agency aims to improve health outcomes and make you care more accessible by focusing on many different parts of care. Some of the main areas of focus in Alabama include nutritional counseling, family planning, preventive care, immunization, and infectious disease.
By looking at the goals of nursing research and healthcare policy, you can see how your work in this field affects the entire state. Not every topic you explore or advocate for is relevant to every Alabama resident. However, the policies that dictate how these topics are covered and treated do affect government spending and the overall health of the state of Alabama.
Throughout your career, you may work with people of many different backgrounds, goals, and areas of expertise. You may still work in a healthcare setting to stay up-to-date on current health issues and keep your finger on the pulse of what is important to front-line healthcare workers. On top of that, you may also spend long days in policy meetings working with legislators, politicians, and other government figures.
With a Master’s degree in healthcare policy, you can use your nursing experience to affect the future of healthcare in your community and your state. Contact healthcare policy graduate programs in Alabama to find out what it takes to make your voice heard.
Hospice Nursing in Alabama
While medical advances have improved outcomes for many diseases and eradicated others, there are many patients with chronic illnesses who still need end-of-life medical support. Hospice and palliative nurses in Alabama, represented by the Alabama Hospice & Palliative Care Organization, provide crucial services that help patients preserve their freedom of choice, dignity, and comfort while in the final stages of life. Those who study palliative care at the Master’s degree level provide education to patients and family members, discuss care options with patients’ other practitioners, and ensure that patients’ wishes are respected. If you want to make a difference for struggling families and patients, learn more about hospice nurse certification and education programs in Alabama.
Master’s Degree Programs in Hospice and Palliative Care Nursing in Alabama
Master’s degree programs in palliative care generally allow Alabama nursing students to earn a Master’s of Science in Nursing while focusing on hospice care. This involves choosing a population to serve as a nurse practitioner. While many students choose to focus on gerontological care, adult healthcare and pediatrics are options to consider, as these populations do still benefit from hospice care.
Adding hospice certification to an existing Master’s degree does increase your overall credit load, so you may earn between 50 and 60 credits over a period of approximately three years. APRN programs often have RN-to-MSN options, so Associate’s-level nurses may be able to combine their undergraduate and graduate education.
On top of general nurse practitioner courses, you must complete a set of palliative and hospice courses. Common courses are listed below:
- Foundations of Palliative Care
- Advanced Practice Nurses in Palliative Care
- Advanced Chronic Illness Care
- Pain and Suffering in the Chronically Ill
- Quality of Life and Disease Progression
- Advanced Disease States
- Treatment Modalities
Clinical work is essential for hospice nursing education, since transitioning from a registered nursing role to a nurse practitioner role is a major shift in responsibility. Most nurse practitioner programs in Alabama require close to 1000 hours of clinical work, including hours specifically dedicated to hospice work.
After becoming a nurse practitioner and working with hospice patients, you may look into hospice and palliative care certification. The Hospice & Palliative Credentialing Center requires 500 hours of APRN work in hospice care in the year prior to licensure. This certification awards the title of Advanced Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse.
There are many scholarships open to those who want to specialize in hospice care. The Hospice & Palliative Nurses Foundation awards scholarships of $2,000 to Master’s degree students.
The Role of Hospice/Palliative Care Nurses in Alabama
After earning your degree, you may start working in hospice while waiting to be eligible for hospice nursing certification. Alabama facilities hire palliative care nurses under a variety of job titles, including hospice care consultant, home hospice nurse, inpatient hospice nurse, and hospice care case manager.
Most hospice nurses travel to patients and provide care in their homes. However, Alabama does have an inpatient hospice care center for patients who prefer to remain in a medical setting. In your day-to-day work, you may be responsible for patient assessment. This includes initial patient assessments and ongoing updates. Due to the nature of palliative work, you must consider a patient’s physical, psychosocial, emotional, and mental needs as you look into care options. Along with other care providers on your team, you may develop and alter plans as the need arises.
Palliative care certification can help you explore your potential as a nurse and help patients through the end-of-life stage.