Alabama Intro goes here
Eight Steps to Become a Nurse Practitioner in Alabama
- Earn an RN Degree – All Nurse Practitioners (NPs) must first become RNs. Getting your RN through an ADN or BSN program is your first step. Be sure to earn your RN or BSN from a university that is accredited by the ACEN or CCNE. Your credentials are more likely to be accepted by your NP program if you earned your RN from an accredited school.
- Pass The NCLEX-RN Exam – Our practice tests and NCLEX-RN exam study guide are just the tools you need to help you prepare for test day.
- Earn Your MSN or DNP – To become an NP you can either get your masters or doctorate. Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs take about 2 years while Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs take about 4 years. You will choose a population foci such as gerontology, family, neonatal when you start your program:
- Complete Supervised Clinical Hours – If you earn your MSN you will need to between 500-600 clinical hours depending on your population focus. To earn your DNP you need 1000 hours.
- Become Board Certified – Your certifying body to become an NP depends on your population foci:
- National Certification Corporation: For Women’s health and neonatal NPs.
- The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners: Family and adult-gerontology NPs.
- The American Association of Critical Care Nurses: Adult-gerontology NPs.
- The American Nurses Credentialing Center: Adult-gerontology, family, psychiatric mental health, and pediatric NPs.
- Pediatric Nursing Certification Board: Pediatric NPs.
- Obtain Licensure – Licensure is done on a state-by-state basis. Contact the Alabama state board of nursing (BON) for more information.
- Obtain a DEA Number – DEA registration is required in order to prescribe medication in Alabama. Once you are licensed, apply for your NPI number which is free. Then you use this to apply for your Alabama Controlled Substances Registration (MCSR) and then your DEA registration so that you can prescribe medications.
- Maintain Active Certification and Licensure – Your certifying body and BON in Alabama will tell you what is required to maintain certification and licensure. Usually this requires a certain amount of continuing education (CE) credits as well as clinical practice. You may also have to fill out an application and pay a fee every 2-3 years.
Types of NP Programs Available in Alabama
BSN to MSN
If you are getting your MSN after having your BSN in the state of Alabama, you can expect to spend 2 years earning your degree to become NP. If you have your RN, but not your BSN, you can complete a program that is similar in length and will give you an MSN. General requirements to enter and complete your BSN to MSN program in Alabama include:
- A 3.0 GPA or the equivalent of a B average
- Must be licensed as an RN in Alabama
- Complete about 50 credits of classroom work
- Complete 500 to 800 hours of supervised clinical experience depending upon the University
Direct Entry MSN Programs
Direct Entry MSN programs or accelerated MSN programs give people who are not nurses but have a bachelors degree in something else the opportunity pursue nursing. These programs prepare you to be an NP without having you repeat non-nursing college courses that you have already taken. There are a handful of these programs in Alabama. Direct entry programs take between 2 and 3 years to complete. After the program you will be an RN and an NP. General requirements to enter and to complete your accelerated MSN program in Alabama include:
- A 3.0 GPA or the equivalent of a B average
- Completion of pre-requisites such as anatomy and physiology, developmental psychology, microbiology, organic and inorganic chemistry, and more
- Complete about ## credits of classroom work
- Complete ### to ### hours of supervised clinical experience depending upon the University
MSN to NP Certificate
If you already have your MSN but are not an NP you can complete a certificate program to train you to be an NP. This may be the right path for you if you have your MSN in something like nursing education, nursing administration, or if you are a clinical nurse specialist. In general MSN to NP certificate programs take about one year and to enter and to complete your NP to Certificate program requires the following:
- You must be an RN in Alabama to be eligible to apply for these programs
- Typically you are not required to take the GRE again for these programs
- You will have to submit an application with your resume, references, past transcripts and more
- Complete 500 to 700 clinical hours depending on the school and your population focus
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
DNP programs are the doctorate level programs that prepare nurses to be NPs. In these programs you will be trained to provide nursing care at the expert level and will also be able to teach in most universities. DNP programs are becoming more popular as the entry pathway into becoming an NP. Program length varies from 3 to 5 years depending on whether or not you already have your masters. The eligibility requirements vary a little between the BSN to DNP and MSN to DNP programs.
BSN to DNP: These programs are for bachelor’s level trained nurses.
- You must be a licensed Alabama nurse and have had a GPA of at least 3.0 (B average) or better.
- The BSN to DNP programs will take about 5 years depending on the university.
- Your application will need to include GRE scores, letters of recommendation, previous transcripts, and more.
- You will need to complete 1000 hours of supervised clinical experiences.
- Some programs will require you to have nursing experience.
MSN to DNP: These programs take into account that you are already a nurse trained at the master’s level. Depending on the program you may be required to already be an NP in Alabama.
- All programs will require you to have your Alabama RN license.
- These programs will take between 2 and 3 years to complete.
- Like the BSN to DNP programs you need to submit an application with letters of recommendations, past transcripts, and more.
- You do not have to take the GRE however, as it is assumed that you already had to take it for your MSN.
- At the end of your DNP education you will not only be an NP but you will also have completed the highest level of clinical nursing education available.
Nurse Practitioner Program Specialties
Description about the different populations NPs can serve . . .
Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
Family Nurse Practitioner
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
NP Program Costs in Alabama
Online NP Programs
Online NP Programs as main stream,
Requirements for Entrance
Are campus visits required?
Are online programs the same as campus?
Other Important Topics
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NP Salaries in Alabama
Potential NP Employers in Alabama
Nurse Practitioner Schools in Alabama
Programs at a Glance
- Online: 33
- Campus: 0
- Hybrid: 15
- BSN to DNP: 8
- Master's: 22
- Post Master's NP Certificate: 10
- MSN to DNP: 8