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Navigating the Nursing Profession in Alabama

Updated: Sep 2, 2022

Let us help you land on your dream job here in Alabama! Read this article to know more about the licensing process in Alabama, and more!


Through this article, you will be able to know the following:

  • Fees for the licensing

  • Licensing renewal process (step-by-step)

  • Requirements for Continuing Education in Nursing

  • Licensing and certification

  • Salary of nurses in Alabama

  • Popular hospitals in Alabama

  • Nursing associations in Alabama

  • Contact details


Fees for the Licensing

The table below shows the required payments for the licensing, whether you are a first-time nurse, applying by endorsement, or renewing your license. For more details, visit the Alabama licensing page.

As a nursing compact state, Alabama lets nurses hold multi-state licenses.

*Fees may change without any notice.

**A background check is required in most states, but prices are not usually stated.


Nursing License Renewal in Alabama

  1. Check when your license expires by visiting the Alabama Board of Nursing website. Alabama has a Verification page for you to verify your license. The license is valid for two years based from its renewal. RN and LPN Licenses renew in alternating years: all RNs in even years; all LPNs in odd years.

  2. Complete all your continuing education requirements BEFORE your license expires

  3. Apply for your renewal process by going to the Alabama Board of Nursing. You may check on the Renewal Information page for more specific information. Be reminded that Alabama is a compact state. Do not apply for a license in Alabama if your Primary State of Residency is in another compact state. You have to declare that your Primary State of Residency is Alabama.


Requirements for Continuing Education in Nursing

The following are the Continuing Education Requirements for nurses in Alabama.

Both RN and LON are required to have 24 contact hours every 2 years, while APRN must have 24 contact hours every 2 years, where 6 hours must be in pharmacology

Courses that are ANCC accredited are accepted by the Alabama Board of Nursing.


Licensing and Certification

Step 1: Education

To earn an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), you must attend an accredited institution that offers ADN for 18-24 months. You can also take a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Degree in an accredited institution. These programs typically take 4 to 5 years to complete. If you have an ADN but you wanna pursue your bachelor’s, there are certain programs that let you earn your BSN in 12 to 18 months. There is also an RN to BSN program that will take one year for you to earn the degree. Said programs let you save on time and money as you work towards advancing your career.

Step 2: Licensing

Six weeks before your graduation, you can start the process of your application for the NCLEX-RN exam. This exam is composed of 75-265 items and you will be given a limit of 5 hours to finish all of it. Failing the exam does not necessarily mean that you do not have the chance anymore. After your first try, you just have to wait for 45 days and you can apply again.

The scope of NCLEX includes questions about: (1) health promotion and maintenance; (2) safe and effective care environment; (3) physiology and integrity; and (4) psychology and integrity.

Step 3: Experience

This time, you must learn how to take the opportunities in gaining first-hand experiences in dealing with patients, with colleagues and superiors, and with the different situations that you might face. These invaluable experiences will make you more attractive to bigger employers in the future.

Step 4: Certification

Your last step is to obtain certifications for your chosen career. There are different requirements for earning a certification, depending on your preferences so it is important to check with the governing provider for information. You can attend several trainings, seminars or workshops in varied institutions for this purpose.


Job and Salary Expectations of Nurses in Alabama

Shortage of healthcare professionals, specifically nurses, has been a perennial issue in the country. This makes nurses highly in demand during this period of time. This profession will increase by about 9% from 2020 to 2030. The average annual salary currently is $61,920.

Let us help you check out average wages of nurses to help determine if Alabama is the right place for you.


Best Hospitals in Alabama

Still not decided on whether to work as a nurse in Alabama or not? This list of the best hospitals in the state will surely help you make that decision to go in the right direction. U.S. News and World Report made a list of the best hospitals in Alabama.Here are some of them.

  • University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital – (located in Birmingham, AL):

    • #1 in Alabama and in Birmingham

    • Nationally ranked in 8 adult specialties specialties

    • Rated high performing in 2 adult specialties and 14 procedures and conditions

    • General medical and surgical facility

    • A teaching hospital

    • Part of the Magnet Recognition Program®.

    • Some specialties of the hospital include procedures and conditions related to cancer, cardiology and heart surgery, diabetes and endocrinology, ENT, and many more.

  • Children’s Hospital of Alabama(located in Birmingham, AL):

    • #1 in Alabama and #3 in Southeast

    • Nationally ranked in 9 pediatric specialties

    • A children's general medical and surgical facility

    • The only Level I Pediatric Trauma Center in the state

    • Specializes in pediatric cancer, pediatric cardiology and heart surgery, pediatric gastroenterology and GI surgery, and neonatology.

  • Ascension St. Vincent’s Birmingham(located in Birmingham, AL)

    • #3 in Alabama and #2 in Birmingham

    • Rated high performing in 6 adult procedures and conditions

    • A general medical and surgical facility

    • Some of the hospital’s top rated specialties include colon cancer, surgery, heart and kidney failure, hip & hip replacements

  • Andalusia Health(located in Andalusia, AL):

    • Rated high performing in 1 adult procedure or condition

    • A general medical and surgical facility

    • Top-rated specialties include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart failure, nephrology, and hip replacement

*The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) awards Magnet Status to Hospitals that apply and meet certain criteria. This award is also considered as the “gold standard” for excellence in nursing practice and care.


Nursing Associations in Alabama

Becoming a member of a nursing association opens a lot of opportunities to your career growth. It gives you the advantages of varied job offers and networking, and a bunch of information and experiences shared between you and your fellow nurses. Through these organizations, learning and professional growth never stop. Listed below are just a few of the nursing organizations that you can find and join once you are in Alabama.

Alabama State Nurses Association – “The voice for Alabama Nurses”

“It has been representing Alabama nurses for over a hundred years, encouraging awareness of public health issues, promoting professional standards of nursing, and “supporting the war effort”

Alabama Nursing Home Association – “It represents 98% of the state’s licensed nursing care centers since 1951. It is the oldest and largest long-term care trade association in Alabama and the strongest voice advocating for nursing home residents and employees.”

Alabama Organization for Nursing Leadership – “It provides direction and leadership for the improvement of nursing practice and patient care in health care systems, supports and promotes excellence in nurse executive and nurse management practice, and helps to shape policy affecting health care delivery from the perspective of the nurse executive and the nurse manager”

Alabama Hospital Association – “An association that represents Alabama’s hospitals and their patients, and advocates for them at the same time. One of its priorities is to work with hospitals and health systems on issues that can affect the ability to render quality care.”

For more information about the nursing associations, you may visit the comprehensive list of national organizations as well.


Contact Details

Alabama Board of Nursing

Phone: (800) 656-5318

Fax: (334) 293-5201


Mailing Address:

Alabama Board of Nursing

PO Box 303900

Montgomery, AL 36130-3900

Physical Address:

RSA Plaza, Suite 250

770 Washington Avenue

Montgomery, AL 36104

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