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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.

There are two types of prelicensure programs for nursing: a two-year associate’s degree and a four-year bachelor’s degree. Both courses allow their graduates to take the NCLEX-RN, a government licensure exam for registered nurses.

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Registered nurses who are graduates of either course are in great demand in Alabama, although bachelor’s degree holders are more sought-after and receive higher pay than associate’s degree graduates. This is why many associate’s degree holders still pursue a full-term bachelor’s degree.

There are many employment opportunities for registered nurses in Alabama, including public and private offices, hospitals, nursing homes, and even private homes with critically ill patients. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, RNs earn an average annual salary of $66,220. This can range from a low of $45,630 to a high of $96,320, depending on the degree earned, salary grade level, and place of assignment, among other factors.

The first step towards embarking on a nursing career is finding the right school. Below is a list of the top schools in Alabama offering associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in registered nursing.

Birmingham

Samford University
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 96.7% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
Jefferson State Community College
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 92.0% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 89.9% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
Bevill State Community College
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 87.3% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
Lawson State Community College - Birmingham
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 84.5% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
Herzing University - Birmingham
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 73.8% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
Virginia College - Birmingham
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 47.3% NCLEX pass rate (2010-11 through 2011-12)
ITT Technical Institute - Bessemer
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing

Huntsville

Oakwood University
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 92.0% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
John C Calhoun State Community College
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 89.8% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
University of Alabama in Huntsville
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 82.6% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
ITT Technical Institute - Madison
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing

Mobile

University of South Alabama
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 90.4% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
University of Mobile
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 90.0% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 85.2% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
Bishop State Community College
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 82.6% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
Virginia College - Mobile
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 82.4% NCLEX pass rate (2011-12 through 2011-12)
Spring Hill College
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 73.9% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
ITT Technical Institute - Mobile
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing

Montgomery

South University - Montgomery
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 100.0% NCLEX pass rate (2011-12 through 2011-12)
Auburn University at Montgomery
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 94.4% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
Troy University - Montgomery
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 84.9% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
Virginia College - Montgomery
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 72.4% NCLEX pass rate (2010-11 through 2011-12)
Fortis College - Montgomery
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing

Other Alabama cities

Tuskegee University
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 100.0% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
Auburn University
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 98.1% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
James H Faulkner State Community College
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 97.9% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
The University of Alabama
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 97.2% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
Alabama Southern Community College
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 97.1% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
Troy University
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 95.8% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
University of North Alabama
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 93.3% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
George C Wallace State Community College - Selma
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 93.1% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
Southern Union State Community College
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 91.4% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
George C Wallace State Community College - Hanceville
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 88.1% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
Jacksonville State University
Bachelor's in Registered Nursing: 88.0% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
Northwest-Shoals Community College
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 88.0% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
Northeast Alabama Community College
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 87.3% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
Gadsden State Community College
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 86.9% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
Shelton State Community College
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 86.2% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
University of West Alabama
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 85.8% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
Chattahoochee Valley Community College
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 83.0% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
Jefferson Davis Community College
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 82.2% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
Snead State Community College
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 82.0% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
Central Alabama Community College
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 81.1% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
George C Wallace State Community College - Dothan
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 78.5% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
Lurleen B Wallace Community College - MacArthur
Associate's in Registered Nursing: 74.4% NCLEX pass rate (2009-10 through 2011-12)
Judson College
Programs offered: Associate's in Registered Nursing
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