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Cities across the US have a high demand for nurses to care for their growing and aging population. Huntsville, the second largest city in Alabama, is no exception.

Several major schools in Alabama, including the University of Alabama in Huntsville, offer a wide range of nursing degree programs to meet this demand for more nurses. Colleges and universities offering nursing programs ensure a steady stream of healthcare workers to look after the health and well-being of the sick, disabled, and elderly.

Nurses come with different academic preparations and clinical training. Some are graduates of a four-year bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program, while others complete programs that require fewer academic units and classroom hours, such as licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and those with an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN). Approximately half of practicing registered nurses in the US hold a BSN and are thus qualified to take on a wider range of nursing responsibilities.

Those who pursue a career in nursing most often choose to earn a four-year bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree. Though it takes a considerable amount of commitment in time and money, a BSN prepares graduates for a promising future upon passing the licensure exam for registered nurses (RNs). In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics considers nursing a high-demand profession, with registered nurses earning an average of $55,000 annually.

According to the Health Resources and Services Administration, almost half of US nurses who hold a bachelor’s degree in registered nursing started out earning a two-year associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) initially. This underscores the significance of such a degree as an important step in the career path of full-fledged registered nurses across the country, including Alabama.

Following a national trend, jobs for registered nurses (RNs) in Alabama are expected to grow in the coming years. Registered nurses play a critical role in addressing the need for more qualified healthcare workers to attend to the increasing number of sick, disabled, and elderly patients. Proof of this critical demand is similar growth in the number of nursing aides needed to help registered nurses perform basic nursing functions.