Alabama is the 23rd most populous state in the United States, with a population of just over 4.8 million people. Growing health concerns and a shortage of nursing faculty are causing great challenges in the health community; reports show that Alabama is currently experiencing a shortage of six percent of nurses, and that by 2015 they will need to fill over 4,500 positions. But with more prospective students than teachers, Alabama schools are forced to turn away thousands of qualified applicants.
Online nursing programs are growing and are able to cater to nursing students who may be unable to find a spot in a state school due to faculty shortages. These programs are aimed at nursing students of all levels, from nursing assistants to advanced practice nurses, such as nurse practitioners. The Alabama Board of Nursing (ABN) currently offers professional nursing licenses for the following:
- Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
- Registered Nurse (RN)
- Advanced Practice Nurse (APN)
- Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)
- Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
- Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner (CRNP)
- Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
Nursing Licensure in Alabama
Each state has its own board in place to set forth criteria and requirements for nursing licensure and certification. The ABN issues licenses to nurses who have successfully completed all of the required steps for attaining this certification. In order to work as a nurse in Alabama, you must fulfill all of the following requirements:
- Complete a nursing program through an accredited and state-approved school
- Apply for, take, and receive a passing grade for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for registered nurses
- Attend at least 24 contact hours of Board-approved or Board recognized continuing education every two years
- Renew license every two years and ensure all contact and personal information is up-to-date
Each state has varying requirements for licensing advanced practice nurses. The necessary steps for licensure and renewal are determined by your area of specialty.
Average Nurse Practitioner Salaries in Alabama
All salary data is as of May 2013.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the average annual salary for nurse practitioners in the state of Alabama is $88,320, compared to the U.S. national average of $95,070. Occupational employment and salary vary throughout Alabama’s metropolitan areas, though salary levels remain lower than the national average.
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Wage estimates for registered nurses in Birmingham-Hoover were the highest in Alabama, along with employing the largest number of RNs. Mobile reported the second highest employment rate for RNs in Alabama’s top metropolitan areas, but BLS reports show them having the lowest average salary among these five areas.