Alabama Intro goes here

Eight Steps to Become a Nurse Practitioner in Alabama

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:
  4. 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.
  5. Become Board Certified – Your certifying body to become an NP depends on your population foci:
  6. Obtain Licensure – Licensure is done on a state-by-state basis. Contact the Alabama state board of nursing (BON) for more information.
  7. 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.
  8. 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

Acute

Primary

Family Nurse Practitioner

Family Nurse Practitioner

Neonatal Nurse Practitioner

Neonatal Nurse Practitioner

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Acute

Primary

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner

Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner

NP Program Costs in Alabama

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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

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Potential NP Employers in Alabama

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Nurse Practitioner Schools in Alabama

Programs at a Glance

Offered As

  • Online: 33
  • Campus: 0
  • Hybrid: 15

Degree Type

  • BSN to DNP: 8
  • Master's: 22
  • Post Master's NP Certificate: 10
  • MSN to DNP: 8

Alabama

Samford University

  • 800 Lakeshore Drive, Birmingham, AL - 35229-2240
  • 205-726-2011

Family Nurse Practitioner

University of Alabama in Huntsville

  • 301 Sparkman Dr, Huntsville, AL - 35899
  • 256-824-6120

Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

Family Nurse Practitioner

The University of Alabama

  • 739 University Blvd, Tuscaloosa, AL - 35487-0166
  • 205-348-6010

Family Nurse Practitioner

Auburn University at Montgomery

  • 7440 East Drive, Montgomery, AL - 36117-3596
  • 334-244-3000

Family Nurse Practitioner

Auburn University

  • Auburn, Alabama, Auburn, AL - 36849
  • 334-844-4000

Family Nurse Practitioner

University of Alabama at Birmingham

  • Administration Bldg Suite 1070, Birmingham, AL - 35294-0110
  • 205-934-4011

Family Nurse Practitioner

Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner

Neonatal Nurse Practitioner

Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner

Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Women's Health Nurse Practitioner