5 Best RN-to-MSN Programs in Alabama – 2024


Written By: Editorial Staff @ NursingProcess.org

Are you a nurse in Alabama without a BSN degree? Are you eager to advance in your career but not excited about all the years of school that advancement might involve? RN-to-MSN programs in Alabama combine the essential elements of the BSN and MSN curricula, allowing you to earn your Master’s of Science in Nursing degree more quickly and at a significantly reduced cost. An RN-to-MSN degree can provide you with many clinical and administrative nursing opportunities throughout Alabama’s healthcare industry that are closed to you right now. RN-to-MSN graduates make good money, too: $103,350 a year on average. Begin exploring the possibilities by reading this list of the 5 best RN-to-MSN programs in Alabama for 2024.


WHAT ARE THE BEST RN-TO-MSN PROGRAMS IN ALABAMA (ONLINE & CAMPUS) FOR 2024?

(Based on our ranking methodology, the following are the 5 Best RN-to-MSN Programs in Alabama (Online & Campus).)

1. The University of Alabama at Birmingham - Birmingham


Specialties Offered: Nurse Practitioner (Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner with Registered Nurse First Assist (RNFA), Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, & Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner) and Nursing Health Systems Leadership (Nurse Educator, Nurse Management of Care Transitions, Nursing Health Systems Administration, & Nursing Informatics)


Program Details: The University of Alabama at Birmingham not only offers one of the best RN-to-MSN programs in Alabama but also provides a wide range of specializations in direct and indirect patient care. The program covers all nurse practitioner specializations, as well as leadership in nursing administration, education, and informatics. By offering such diverse specializations, the program prepares students for the most in-demand advanced practice nursing careers. With a reputation for excellent quality, regardless of the area you choose to specialize in, you can be confident that you will leave the program with the highest level of professional preparedness.

Designed for ADN-prepared registered nurses who have a non-nursing bachelor's degree, UAB’s RN to MSN starts with bridge courses after which you enter the graduate portion. While the bridge courses, comprising 11 credits, teach you professional nursing concepts, population health, and leadership development, the graduate coursework comprises MSN core and specialization-related courses.

If you complete your RN to MSN in any of the NP areas of specialization, you start with courses in the MSN core that cover topics such as interprofessional leadership, advanced pathophysiology, population health, pharmacology, evidence-based practice, and health assessment. You can complete this RN-to-MSN-NP program in Alabama either full-time or part-time. The RN to MSN-NP program comprises a total of 45 credits.

The indirect patient care tracks require the completion of 36 credits. The indirect patient care tracks also start with the MSN core, followed by specialty-specific courses.

Admission Requirements: To qualify for the University of Alabama at Birmingham RN-to-MSN, you must have a bachelor’s degree with an ADN from an accredited university or college. Students must have a GPA of at least 3.0. Also, you must have an active and unencumbered RN license. To complete the application, you must submit three recommendation letters and transcripts.


Must-Know Highlights For Potential The University of Alabama at Birmingham RN-to-MSN Students

• The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s family health, adult gerontology acute care, and adult gerontology primary care specializations are ranked among the top in the nation as per the U.S. News & World Report.
• The University of Alabama at Birmingham RN-to-MSN students have a galore of scholarship and funding opportunities to apply to. Students can also apply for fellowships, traineeships, or a nurse faculty loan based on the eligibility criteria.
• The University of Alabama at Birmingham maintains clinical partnerships with more than 5000 clinical affiliates, providing students with a wide range of clinical experiences.


2. The University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa


Specialties Offered: Nurse Administrator


Program Details: If you are searching for one of the best RN-to-MSN programs in Alabama, then the University of Alabama is an excellent place to begin. The school’s RN to MSN program builds on your RN education by preparing you for nursing administration. The program requires completion of 50 to 56 credits, depending on the number of courses previously completed by you.

The program must start with BSN courses for the first four semesters, after which you’ll earn a BSN. After the BSN coursework, students move into the MSN portion of the program. Offered through a 100% online format, the RN to MSN coursework covers topics such as nursing informatics, community health, organizational & systems leadership, and research & evidence-based practice. Further, you also learn about health policy, healthcare informatics, population health, healthcare systems, and quality & safety, and advanced financing & strategic planning in healthcare. The program also includes a 180-hour practicum and an optional thesis. Upon completion of this RN-to-MSN program in Alabama, you’ll earn a BSN, and an MSN and gain the eligibility to take the Nurse Administrator certification exam.

Admission Requirements: The University of Alabama RN-to-MSN program is open for RN-to-MSN programs that have an unencumbered and active RN license. Also, applicants must be graduates of an accredited diploma or an associate degree. Besides, the minimum GPA must be at least 3.0. This RN-to-MSN program in Alabama also requires the submission of your transcripts, a resume, and letters of recommendation.


Must-Know Highlights For Potential The University of Alabama RN-to-MSN Students

• The University of Alabama is known as the leading nursing school in the nation as per the U.S. News & World Report. The school has especially earned recognition for its undergraduate nursing education and the support it offers to military students.
• The University of Alabama RN-to-MSN students pay affordable tuition costs, regardless of their residency status.
• The University of Alabama RN-to-MSN students can apply for several scholarships & financial aid opportunities, including loans & grants.


3. Samford University - Birmingham


Specialties Offered: Family Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner with Emergency Specialty, and Dual Family Nurse Practitioner/Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner


Program Details: Samford University is one of the prominent nursing schools, producing excellent quality nursing professionals. The school offers one of the well-known RN-to-MSN programs in Alabama. The program starts with bridge courses worth 15 credits. The bridge courses prepare you for the transition to professional nursing practice, by teaching you topics such as health assessment, healthcare research, clinical prevention, and leadership & management. The program then covers MSN core courses, including population health & policy, statistics for advanced practice nursing, research, theory & quality improvement, and ethical leadership & collaboration.

After completing the MSN core courses, you can choose your specialization from family health, family health with emergency courses, or dual family health & psychiatric mental health, based on your interests and career goals. While the FNP coursework comprises 30 credits, if you choose the FNP with the emergency specialization, you’ll require the completion of an additional 12 credits in emergency courses. Whereas, if you choose the dual specialization track, you will require completing a total of 49 credits, including 19 credits in psychiatric mental health courses. The FNP courses mainly prepare you for the primary care of individuals and families across the lifespan.

Admission Requirements: For admission into Samford University’s RN-to-MSN, you must be a registered nurse with an accredited ADN. This RN-to-MSN program in Alabama also requires applicants to have a minimum GPA of 3.0. To fulfill the admission requirements, you must be prepared to submit your resume, official transcripts, and recommendation letters.


Must-Know Highlights For Potential Samford University RN-to-MSN Students

• Samford University RN-to-MSN students study in a Christian environment where the school nurtures them intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.
• Samford University RN-to-MSN graduates report an excellent pass rate on the national certification exam.
• Samford University RN-to-MSN students who come from the military can avail of veteran benefits.
• Samford University RN-to-MSN program also includes optional nine credits in advanced education courses. By completing the education courses, you’ll be able to position yourself for faculty roles.


4. University of South Alabama - Mobile


Specialties Offered: Adult-Gerontological Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontological Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult Gerontological Clinical Nurse Specialist, Clinical Nurse Leader, Dual Family Nurse Practitioner/Adult-Gerontological Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Dual Family Nurse Practitioner/Emergency Nurse Practitioner, Executive Nursing Administration, Family Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Nursing Informatics, Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner


Program Details: University of South Alabama offers registered nurses several options to advance their careers. Among the sought-after RN-to-MSN programs in Alabama, the program opens doors to fifteen in-demand career paths. So, based on where you find your calling, you can choose to enter either of the NP tracks or choose any of the areas of specialization in indirect patient care. Regardless of your preferred area of specialization, when you graduate, you’ll earn an MSN and be eligible to take the national certification exam within your chosen focus.

If you choose any of the NP tracks, you require completing a total of 45 credits in support courses, MSN core courses, and NP-specific courses. On the other hand, for any of the in-direct tracks, you must complete around 37 credits. The MSN core courses which form the base for the specialization tracks cover topics such as evidence-based practice, healthcare policy, and organizational & systems leadership.

Admission Requirements: If you are applying for University of South Alabama’s RN-to-MSN, you must have an accredited BSN with a minimum GPA of 2.75. This RN-to-MSN program in Alabama also requires applicants to have a current and unencumbered RN license. To complete the application, you must be prepared to submit your resume, official transcripts, and letters of recommendation.


Must-Know Highlights For Potential University of South Alabama RN-to-MSN Students

• University of South Alabama RN-to-MSN students have the option of choosing a sub-specialization to further enhance their career prospects. The sub-specialization can be added to the RN to MSN program and include focus areas such as addiction nursing care, forensic nursing, cardiovascular, and palliative care, and emergency NP, to name a few.
• University of South Alabama RN-to-MSN program offers competitive tuition costs along with several financial aid options.
• University of South Alabama RN-to-MSN students study in small-sized classes where they receive personalized attention.


5. University of North Alabama - Florence


Specialties Offered: Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Practitioner


Program Details: If you are searching for online RN-to-MSN programs in Alabama, then you are in the right place. To advance your career in nursing, the University of North Alabama offers an excellent online RN to MSN program. Training you in family health and psychiatric mental health, the program makes you a leader in as little as 12 to 18 months of full-time study.

The program, regardless of whether you choose family health or psychiatric mental health, is offered completely online. Students first complete bridge courses in community health, leadership & management, health policy, and advanced health assessment. After completing the bridge courses with a minimum of 3.0, students enter the graduate portion to complete the MSN and NP-related courses.

While the FNP specialization prepares you for the primary care of patients suffering from chronic and acute health conditions, the mental health track emphasizes psychiatric mental healthcare for individuals across the lifespan.

Admission Requirements: To be considered for University of North Alabama RN-to-MSN program, you must have an ADN and an active RN license. Students must also have a GPA of at least 3.0. Further, to fulfill the admission requirements, students must also submit a resume, transcripts, and letters of recommendation.


Must-Know Highlights For Potential University of North Alabama RN-to-MSN Students

• University of North Alabama nursing school ranks among the best in the nation as per the U.S. News & World Report. RN to MSN students can rest assured of receiving an excellent quality education.
• The University of North Alabama RN-to-MSN students pay a competitive tuition rate. Moreover, students will be able to apply for financial aid and scholarships.
• University of North Alabama’s RN-to-MSN program, despite being online, is highly respected by employers. Students not only enjoy the flexibility of 100% online coursework but also find placements soon after graduation.


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