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Numerous programs are geared for students who aspire to careers in the health care industry, including those in nursing, medical assisting, health information technology and emergency medical services. Depending on the area of focus, programs are commonly available at the associate and bachelor's degree levels. Master's degree programs in nursing are also available. Below is a list and comparison table of the 10 largest Alabama community colleges and universities that offer health care-related programs.
Gadsden State Community College
The Health Sciences Division at Gadsden State Community College offers numerous certificates and Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degrees. In the 72-unit Registered Nursing program, students cover a full range of topics in the humanities and behavioral/natural sciences, including microbiology, psychology, pharmacology and maternal nursing. The division also offers degrees in Public Safety Telecommunication, Emergency Medical Services and Radiologic Technology.
George C Wallace State Community College-Hanceville
George C Wallace State Community College in Hanceville, Ala., offers an AAS in Health Information Technology (HIT). Curriculum for the program includes courses in medical coding, health data, laboratory skills and ethical issues. Applicants for the program are required to hold American College Testing (ACT) scores of 17 or higher, plus recent COMPASS reading-exam scores of at least 76.
Jefferson State Community College
Birmingham's Jefferson State Community College has an AAS program for registered nursing (RN) majors. Consisting of 72 credit hours, the program leads students through five terms of coursework and hands-on practice in topics like anatomy, pharmacology, microbiology, human growth and lifespan nursing. Requirements for the program include a passing score on the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS V).
Lawson State Community College
The Health Professions Division at the Birmingham campus of Lawson State Community College offers associate degrees in nursing. Standard curriculum spans 72 units that are split between 42 nursing credits and 30 general-education requirements. Commencing with the Fundamentals of Nursing, the five-semester sequence culminates with Nursing Through the Lifespan (I through III) and Role Transition for the Registered Nurse.
Northeast Alabama Community College
Northeast Alabama Community College (NACC) in Rainsville offers several programs for students interested in the health care profession. The 70-unit Medical Assisting program - split between 48 credit hours of major courses and 22 hours of general curriculum - prepares students for clinical work at physician's offices. For students interested in paramedic work, there's also a 74-unit AAS in Emergency Medical Services. NACC even offers short-term certificates in phlebotomy and medical transcription.
Northwest-Shoals Community College
Northwest-Shoals Community College in Muscle Shoals, Ala., offers AAS degrees in nursing, medical assisting and emergency services. The 72-unit nursing program consists of requisite courses over a five-semester sequence, for which applicants must hold a recent, passing TEAS V score. Medical assisting can be taken as a 74-unit AAS or a 25-unit certificate, either of which covers topics like medical transcription and administrative procedures. At 74 units, the emergency program combines 50 units of paramedics topics with 24 units of general education. Emergency-program applicants are required to hold valid driver's licenses and undergo placement testing.
Birmingham's Samford University offers nursing degrees at the bachelor's and graduate levels. The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Nursing can be earned as a primary or secondary degree, or even through a 15-month accelerated sequence. Samford's Master of Science (MS) programs offer the following concentrations in nursing: Family Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Anesthesia and Nurse Educator. Students aspiring to leadership roles in the health care industry can opt for the school's Health Systems Management and Leadership program.
Southern Union State Community College
The Opelika campus of Southern Union State Community College (SUSCC) offers an AAS in Nursing (RN). Curriculum for the 72-credit hour program runs the gamut from intermediate algebra and English composition to core topics like maternal care and practice nursing. Applicants to the program must submit to drug screening and criminal-background checks. SUSCC's Health Sciences Division also has programs in radiologic and surgical technology, as well as physical education and emergency medical services.
University of Mobile
The University of Mobile offers nursing degrees at the undergrad and graduate levels. Students may pursue a BS in Nursing or a MS in Nursing.
University of South Alabama
The University of South Alabama in Mobile offers a BS in Nursing. With a total of 68 credits, the program starts with courses in clinical pharmacology and nursing skills then proceeds through topics like diet therapy, childbearing, healthcare management and practicum. Requirements for entry into the five-semester program include CPR certification, immunization and drug/background screening.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Health Care Degree Programs Offered||Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)|
|Gadsden State Community College||Two-year, Small City||AAS in Registered Nursing|| $3,216 (in-state)
|George C Wallace State Community College-Hanceville||Two-year, Distant Town||AAS in Health Information Technology|| $4,320 (in-state)
|Jefferson State Community College||Two-year, Midsize City||AAS in Nursing Education||$4,380 (in-state)
|Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus||Two-year, Midsize City||AS in Nursing|| $4,320 (in-state)
|Northeast Alabama Community College||Two-year, Rural Distant||AAS in Emergency Medical Services,
AAS in Medical Assisting
|Northwest-Shoals Community College||Two-year, Small City||AAS in Emergency Medical Services,
AAS in Medical Assisting Technology,
AAS in Registered Nursing
|Samford University||Four-year, Private not-for-profit, Large Suburb||BS in Nursing,
MS in Nursing
|Southern Union State Community College||Two-year, Rural Remote||AAS in Nursing (RN)||$3,752 (in-state)
|University of Mobile||Four-year, Private not-for-profit, Rural Fringe||AS in Nursing,
BS in Nursing,
MS in Nursing
|University of South Alabama||Four-year, Public, Midsize City||BS in Nursing||$7,332 (in-state)
Source: *NCES College Navigator