A Guide to Nursing in Alabama
JUL 13 2021
Welcome to Alabama, the “Peanut Capital of the World.” Yes, it gets hot and muggy in the summer, but there are so many things to do in Alabama you’ll hardly notice. There is the Unclaimed Baggage Center where you can buy unclaimed luggage or the Spectre Set Ruins which is an abandoned town that was used for a movie set.
If you are a registered nurse (or are thinking of becoming one) read on to find the information you need, from licensing info, continuing education requirements, job & salary outlook, top hospitals, and nursing associations. Let us help you find your dream job!
In this article, we will cover:
Below are the fees for becoming a nurse in Alabama whether you are a first-time nurse or are moving to Alabama from another state. For more information visit the Alabama licensing page.
Licensing fees by examination (first-time nurses):
NCLEX fee: $200
Application fee: $103.50
Licensing fees by endorsement (already have RN licensure):
Application fee: $103.50 (RN/LPN); $175 (APRN)
Temporary permit: $50
License verification: $30
License renewal fees:
LPN single-state application fee: $103.50
RN/LPN multistate application fee: $203.50
Non-Alabama multistate APRN fee: $75
Transaction fee: $3.50
Alabama is a nursing compact state, which allows nurses to hold multi-state licenses.
*Fees are subject to change.
**Most states require a background check, but prices are not always listed.
Steps for renewing an Alabama nursing license
Verify the status of your license Visit the Verification page to confirm your license. The license period is for two years based upon the renewal cycle of the license. Licenses for RNs and LPNs renew in alternating years: all RNs in even years; all LPNs in odd years.
Complete your Alabama nursing continuing education requirements before your license expires You can complete your nursing CEUs online, on your schedule, and 100% free with Incredible Health.
Go to the Alabama Board of Nursing to enter your renewal application Visit the Renewal Information page for specific requirements. Alabama is a compact state. If your Primary State of Residency is in another compact state do not apply for licensure in Alabama unless you are declaring Alabama as your Primary State of Residency.
Continuing education requirements
RN: 24 contact hours every 2 years
LPN: 24 contact hours every 2 years
APRN: 24 contact hours every 2 years (6 must be in pharmacology)
Job & salary outlook for nurses in Alabama
Due to the shortage of nurses, these healthcare professionals are in high demand. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates the profession will grow by about 9% between 2020-2030. The annual mean wage is $60,230.
We can also help you check out salary estimates to help determine if Alabama is the right state for you.
[ MORE: Average nurse salary in Alabama ]
Top hospitals in Alabama
If you’re not already picking up the phone to call movers, maybe this list of the best hospitals in Alabama will sway you in the right direction. Here are the top hospitals according to U.S. News and World Report:
University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital – Birmingham, AL: This teaching hospital is a member of the Magnet Recognition Program® and is nationally ranked in eight specialties and 14 procedures and conditions. Some of these include:
Renowned UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center
Children’s of Alabama – Birmingham, AL: This hospital is the only Level I Pediatric Trauma Center in the state. U.S. News and World Report named nine pediatric specialty services at Children’s of Alabama among the nation’s best children’s hospitals for 2021-22. Some of the top specialties include:
Pediatric cardiology & heart surgery
Pediatric gastroenterology & GI surgery
Ascension St. Vincent’s Birmingham – Birmingham, AL: Rated high performing in 6 adult procedures and conditions. It is a general medical and surgical facility. Some of the top rated specialties include:
Colon caner surgery
Hip & hip replacements
Andalusia Health – Andalusia, AL: Rated high performing in 1 adult procedure or condition. It is a general medical and surgical facility. Some of the higher rated specialties include:
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
*Magnet status – Awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and is considered the “gold standard” for excellence in nursing practice and care. Hospitals must meet certain criteria and apply to be designated.
Nursing organizations & associations in Alabama
Once you become a registered nurse (or even if you’re in the process), joining a nursing organization or association will give you access to networking, job opportunities, and a wealth of information shared between fellow nurses. Here are a few of the organizations and associations for nurses in Alabama:
Alabama State Nurses Association – An association that responds to the needs of patients through increasing awareness of public health issues and promoting professional standards of nursing.
Alabama Nursing Home Association – A network of professionals dedicated to providing quality care for those living in Alabama’s skilled nursing facilities.
Alabama Organization for Nursing Leadership – An organization of nurse leaders who design, facilitate, and manage care.
Alabama Hospital Association – Priorities include advocating for and representing Alabama’s hospitals and the patients they serve. Works with hospitals and health systems on issues that can impact the ability to provide quality care.
Check out the comprehensive list of national organizations as well.
Basic steps for licensing and certification
Step 1: Education
Attend an accredited nursing school to earn either an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). An ADN will take between 18 and 24 months to complete, while you can expect to spend roughly four years to earn a BSN. If you already have an ADN, there is an ADN to BSN bridge program that allows you to earn a BSN in 12-18 months. There is also an RN to BSN bridge which takes three semesters of nursing courses to be completed in one year. These programs will save you time and money. The more education you have, the better your chances of landing your dream job.
Step 2: Licensing
When you are six weeks away from graduation, you can apply to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam. There are 75 to 265 questions on the NCLEX-RN with a five-hour time limit for completion. If you do not pass the NCLEX-RN on your first attempt, you must wait 45 days before you can try again.
The NCLEX includes questions on the following topics to test nursing candidates’ knowledge:
1. Safe and effective care environment
2. Health promotion and maintenance
3. Psychosocial integrity
4. Physiological integrity
Step 3: Experience
This step in the process is to gain hands-on experience. This will provide you with invaluable opportunities to work with patients making you attractive to future employers.
Step 4: Certification
The final step is to obtain certifications for your chosen career. Requirements for earning a certification vary so it is important to check with the governing body for information. Incredible Health offers free courses in order to obtain or renew certification requirements. Create a free account to access professional development mandates and get instant certificates.
Alabama Board of Nursing
Phone: (800) 656-5318
Fax: (334) 293-5201
Alabama Board of Nursing
PO Box 303900
Montgomery, AL 36130-3900
RSA Plaza, Suite 250
770 Washington Avenue
Montgomery, AL 36104