The basic requirement for RN status in Alabama is that the candidate holds an associate degree from an approved nursing program that “substantially meets” the requirements set by the Alabama Board of Nursing and has passed the NCLEX-RN licensure examination.
List of 2-year nursing programs (ADN) featured programs covered in this page:
- Chattahoochee Valley State Community College
- Coastal Alabama Community College
- University of West Alabama
- Troy University – Montgomery
- Wallace State Community College
In this article:
- Read nursing requirements
- Discover admission information
- Find programs near you
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2 Year Nursing Programs in Alabama
Chattahoochee Valley State Community College
Chattahoochee’s nursing program offers a five-semester curriculum with stackable credentials including a nursing assistant certificate of completion; a practical nursing certificate and, ultimately, an award of Associate Degree in Applied Science in Nursing (AAS). 66 credit hours are required to complete the program which is made up of 27 credit hours of general courses and 39 credit hours of nursing courses.
Admission to the nursing program is competitive and a minimum GPA of 2.5 is stipulated. However, meeting the minimal requirements does not guarantee an offer of a place as the maximum student intake is limited by the availability of faculty and facilities.
The nursing education program at Chattahoochee is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and approved by the Alabama Board of Nursing. Graduates are eligible to sit the NCLEX-RN licensure examination and previous graduating students have performed better than the state and US average on this test.
2602 College Drive
Phenix City, AL 36869
Coastal Alabama Community College
The mission of the nursing program at the Coastal Alabama Community College System is to prepare graduates to practice safe, competent, patient-centered care. Acceptance into the 66 credit program is competitive and a point system is used to determine who will receive an offer of a place. Coastal Alabama has multiple campuses and applicants are asked to provide a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choice for which campus they wish to attend.
The nursing program is a full-time day program leading to an award of Associate Degree in Applied Science (AAS) after completion of five semesters of studies. The program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and approved by the Alabama Board of Nursing. At graduation, students are prepared to take the NCLEX-RN licensure examination. In recent years the pass rate for graduating students from Coastal Alabama has exceeded the state and US average on this test.
Bay Minette, AL 36507
University of West Alabama
The University of West Alabama offers an Associate of Science Degree (ASN) through the Ira D. Pruitt Division of Nursing. The program aims to develop competent, caring, and culturally sensitive graduates. Students have the opportunity to learn theoretical and practical skills in both clinical and simulated lab settings.
The program is approved by the Alabama Board of Nursing and accredited by the Accreditation Commission of Education in Nursing (ACEN). The curriculum consists of five consecutive semesters (two academic years and one summer semester) and 68 credit hours. Nursing courses begin in the second semester.
Once the program has been completed, students are eligible to take the Registered Nurse Licensure Exam (NCLEX) and enter the workforce. Pass rates for previous graduates of the University of West Alabama are similar to the US national average.
Livingston, AL 35470
Troy University – Montgomery
The Montgomery campus of Troy University is located in the heart of Alabama’s capital city and is clear that its mission is to serve non-traditional adult learners. Troy University has been on the Princeton Review’s “Best in the Southeast” list for 11 consecutive years.
The 70 credit Associate Degree in Science (ASN) program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and approved by the Alabama Board of Nursing. The program is designed to be completed in five full-time semesters and at completion, graduates are eligible to sit the NCLEX-RN examination for state licensure. Previous pass rates for graduates of Troy Montgomery are in line with the US average but slightly lower than the average for Alabama.
231 Montgomery Street
Montgomery, AL 36104
Wallace State Community College
Wallace State Community College is one of the largest and fastest-growing community colleges in Alabama with approximately 7000 students. The nursing program leads to an Associate Degree in Applied Science and is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and approved by the Alabama Board of Nursing. After completion of the program, graduates are eligible to sit the NCLEX-RN licensure examination and the pass rate for previous graduates has exceeded the average for Alabama and the US as a whole.
A new class is admitted each fall and spring to the 67 credit, five semester program. All classes are delivered via traditional face-to-face teaching methods. Admission is competitive and the number of places is limited by the availability of faculty and clinical facilities. After meeting all requirements, applicants are ranked using a point system.
801 Main Street Northwest
Hanceville, AL 35077
Studying for your Associate Degree – Nursing in Alabama
Of the 28 ADN programs across Alabama, the majority are delivered by community colleges who take a coordinated approach to nursing education. That means that the aspiring ADN student can find very similar, traditionally-delivered, 67 credit associate degree programs at any community college across the state. Some universities also offer ADN programs which offer a slightly greater amount of variation in program length and design.
The majority of programs complete within five semesters allowing aspiring ADN students to complete their nursing studies, sit the NCLEX-RN examination to obtain a state license, and find a job as a Registered Nurse within approximately two or two and a half years.
Many ADN graduates in Alabama will go on to extend their studies and will choose to pursue a BSN or MSN at a later stage in their careers. Alabama is not a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact. Residents of a non-compact state are not eligible for a multistate license. This may restrict career mobility for RNs registered in the state in the future.
Benefits of Associate Degree Programs
Associate degree programs enable students to complete their basic nursing studies more quickly than would be possible with a bachelor’s program and graduates of both types of program ultimately sit the same examination for state licensure. This faster completion enables ADN graduates to build-up their working experience quickly and also offset the cost of their studies. In addition, the majority of ADN programs are delivered by community colleges who have a reputation for ensuring their faculty are rich in the real-world experience and practical skills that their students need to succeed.
Accreditation and Licensing in Alabama
Educational institutions use accrediting organizations to demonstrate that their programs meet and achieve educational standards. The two accrediting organizations for ADN programs are the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
Licensing in Alabama is managed by the Alabama Board of Nursing. Nursing education programs are approved and monitored by the Board to ensure that proper educational standards are maintained and to promote patient safety. The Board conducts surveys from time to time to ensure that nursing program criteria are met. If a program fails to achieve defined standards, the Board will issue a Notice of Deficiency.
In addition to educational institutions requiring approval, RNs must obtain an individual license in order to practice in the state. ADN graduates obtain a license by passing the NCLEX-RN examination at the end of their program of study.
Overview of Associate Degree Programs in Alabama
Places on many ADN programs in Alabama are limited by the availability of faculty and facilities. Minimum requirements often specify a GPA of 2.5 but meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee a place. Entry to programs is competitive with applicants being ranked on a point system based upon previous academic achievement.
There are a number of different ways of referring to associate degrees in nursing. These include ADN, for Associate Degree, Nursing; AN, for Associate of Nursing; ASN, for Associate of Science in Nursing; and AAS, for Associate of Applied Science in Nursing. As long as the institution granting the degree is fully accredited by either ACEN or CCNE and approved by the Alabama Board of Nursing, graduates of all of these types of associate degrees are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN examination to obtain a license to practice as a Registered Nurse in the state.
Choosing an Associate Degree Program in Alabama
Many community colleges, universities and technical schools across the state offer an ADN program. The most critical factor in choosing an institution is that it is fully accredited by either ACEN or CCNE, and approved by the Alabama Board of Nursing. After this has been confirmed, other factors to consider include:
- The type of educational institution and the quality of the teaching;
- Curriculum and educational philosophy;
- Pre-requisite courses;
- Length of program;
- Clinical hours and where these take place;
- Program outcomes such as the pass rates for the NCLEX-RN licensure exam compared to the state and nationally, student course completion rates, student satisfaction rates, and graduate hiring data;
- Tuition and additional costs.