Alabama RN to BSN Programs
Searching the web to understand the difference between an RN and a BSN can often lead to confusing results. An RN is simply a registered nurse. That is, a person that has passed the NCLEX-RN exam and earned the ability to become registered to practice nursing. A BSN is not required to become an RN and many students can enter the RN field with just an associate’s degree or a diploma. A BSN, or bachelors of Science nursing, is a four year bachelor’s degree that trains students to work as a nurse, but does not give them the official registration to actually work in the field. You don’t need a BSN to enter the nursing field as a RN, but there are a few reasons you should consider one. Mainly, a BSN is going to put you in a better light with employers and show that you have obtained more education for this line of work than your lesser educated peers. It doesn’t always mean you will be a nurse, but it will definitely get your foot in the door faster for interviews and probably lead to a higher income.
Alabama saw 229 medical school graduates in 2011. A portion of those were nursing graduates, but exact numbers aren’t available to give specifics. The field is growing very fast and in constant need of new nurses, but Alabama actually comes in above the average for working registered nurses per 100,000 population. With 945 RNs per, compared to a national average of 874 per, there will be a bit more competition than Alabama than there would be in below average states in relation to these numbers. A BSN should help you stand out a great deal as you start to hunt for a job. Finding work won’t be extremely difficult either way, but a BSN will make your search very easy.
Alabama RNs earned an average income of $55,000 a year in 2012, which includes the incomes of RN with and without a BSN. You are likely going to see more income with a BSN than you will without, so keep that in mind as you try to decide if this is the right step for you. Gadsden, Florence and Dothan have the highest percentage of RNs relative to population and Auburn, Montgomery and Huntsville have the lowest. You will find the highest income from Anniston, Montgomery and Birmingham on average, so keep these in mind as you start to seek employment.
UAB Hospital in Birmingham, Huntsville Hospital in Huntsville, DCH Regional Medical Center in Tuscaloosa, and Jack Hughston Memorial Hospital in Phenix City rank in the top 15 employers throughout the state regardless of job sector. Look at these as potential employers that could offer internships or entry level work as you work your way through a BSN. They may even offer financial compensation or assistance towards your educational costs.
Alabama schools offer a wide range of scholarships, so keep that at the front of your mind as you start to look at potential educational institutions. Many have information offered to students regardless of their college choice, and some will have specific grants and scholarships that are only available to their own students. The Department of Health and Human Services also has a huge variety of grants and scholarships available to students pursuing further education in the nursing field and you can find plenty of information about each on their site.
As the division of The University of Alabama that is responsible for training students to enter the nursing field, you will find an all-encompassing education at the Capstone College of Nursing. You will be eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) upon graduation and possess the knowledge and skills essential for lifelong learning in this rapidly changing environment. You will also be prepared to continue on to a graduate level degree if you so desire. Located in Tuscaloosa, you will be surrounded by a beautiful campus and have access to all the facilities UA offers their students. The site is full of interactive maps and other useful information that will help you in deciding if this is the right school for you.
Located in Birmingham, UoP is the leader in online educations throughout the country. You will have the ability to visit the campus and attend classes physically, but much of your education will be completed through the schools elite online learning suite. As long as your computer is from the last decade or so, you will have no problem taking full advantage of their full range of tools to assist you in your education and the campus will give you all the tools you need for lab work as your classes require it. Fewer trips to the library will be made since you will have access to a huge selection of ebooks offered through the school. Online educations are perfect for working, busy individuals and few have invested the same amount of time and experience into refining their tools as UoP.