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Top University for a Degree in Nursing - Birmingham, AL

Students interested in studying nursing in Birmingham, Alabama have many schools to choose from. Read about the top local schools' degree programs, tuition and ranking info to find the right one for you.

School and Ranking Information

There are many schools offering nursing degree programs near Birmingham, Alabama. However, there are only 3 schools within 15 miles of the city that are not-for-profit institutions. In Alabama, aspiring registered nurses must complete a training program at a state-approved and accredited school and pass the NCLEX-RN examination to obtain a license. Based on program offerings, degrees awarded and ranking information, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Samford University and Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus are considered the best in the area. All of these programs are state-approved.

  • Winner: The University of Alabama at Birmingham is the winner, with the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reporting more than 600 nursing degrees awarded during 2011-2012. It offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs.
  • Runner-Up #1: Samford University is the 1st runner-up with the NCES reporting a 70% graduation rate. It offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs.
  • Runner-Up #2: Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus only offers certificates and is the 2nd runner-up with the NCES reporting a 17% graduation rate.

School Comparison Chart

Category University of Alabama at Birmingham Samford University Lawson State Community College- Birmingham Campus
Rankings 152nd for 2014 National Universities ,
21st for 2011 national graduate nursing programs**
3rd for 2014 Regional Universities (South),
234th for 2011 national graduate nursing programs,
32nd for 2011 national nursing-anesthesia**
Not ranked**
Location Birmingham Birmingham Birmingham
School Type 4-year, public 4-year, private not-for-profit 2-year, public
Tuition & Fees (2012-2013)$6,798 (in-state undergraduate), $15,462 (out-of-state undergraduate);
$6,420 (in-state graduate), $14,574 (out-of-state graduate)*
$25,150 (undergraduate);
$16,678 (graduate)*
$4,170 (in-state), $7,470 (out-of-state)*
Programs Offered Bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees Bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees Associate's degrees
Nursing Degrees /Certificates Awarded (all levels) in 2011-2012 629* 95* 38*
Most Popular Nursing Program (2011-2012)Master's (323 awarded)* Bachelor's (87)* Associate's (38 awarded)*
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) 48% (29% transfer-out rate for 2006 Entering Class)* 71% (2006 Entering Class)* 17% (33% transfer-out rate for 2009 Entering Class)*
Noteworthy Offers one of the largest academic medical centers in the United States*** Nurse anesthesia class of 2013 boasts a 100% pass rate on the national exam*** Only offers associate's degree program***

Sources: *NCES College Navigator, **U.S. News and World Report, ***Schools' Websites

Winner: University of Alabama at Birmingham

  • The NCES reports the student to teacher ratio was 18:1 in 2012
  • Among nursing schools, the University of Alabama at Birmingham's graduate nursing program ranked in the top 5%
  • More than 15 graduate nursing programs are available to specialize in
  • Students can complete clinical experiences close to campus

The University of Alabama at Birmingham offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs in nursing. Through the Dean's Nursing Scholars Program, students can enter the nursing program straight out of high school once they have fulfilled the prerequisites. Students enrolled in the bachelor's degree program will take courses in pharmacotherapy, disease process and nursing skills development. The NCES reported that more master's degrees in nursing were awarded than bachelor's degrees during 2011-2012. Students who choose to complete a master's degree in nursing may choose to specialize in different areas of: primary care, acute care, advanced roles and advanced generalist.

Runner-Up #1: Samford University

  • Nurse anesthesia students in 2013 had a 100% pass rate on the national certification for that specialty
  • The NCES reports the student to teacher ratio was 11:1 in 2012
  • U.S. News and World Report ranked Samford University's online graduate nursing program 35th in the nation in 2013

Samford University offers multiple degrees in nursing. There are 3 options for students seeking a bachelor's degree. The traditional program;, the 5-semester, second-degree program; and the 15-month, accelerated, second-degree program are designed to prepare students to take the NCLEX-RN exam. Students wishing to continue their education with a master's degree can choose to specialize in a variety of areas. Family nurse practitioner, nurse anesthesia and nurse education are some of the tracks students pursuing a master's degree may choose to specialize in. Students wishing to culminate their education may complete a doctor in nursing program. This program can be completed in 1 to 2 years depending on the format and course schedule.

Runner-Up #2: Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus

  • Nursing degree program holds an accreditation from the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission and is approved by the Alabama Board of Nursing
  • The NCES reports the student to teacher ratio was 18:1 in 2012
  • Both day and evening nursing degree programs are available

The nursing program at Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus prepares students to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN or NCLEX-PN). This program consists of 5 consecutive semesters. Students will take courses in adult nursing, psychology and microbiology. Students will also be required to complete a clinical experience in a local hospital or health center. Upon successfully completion of the nursing program, students will be awarded an associate's degree.

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