Alabama RNs and LPNs are licensed by the Alabama Board of Nursing. Although Alabama is not a nurse licensure compact state, out-of-state nurses may apply for license by endorsement. Depending on the state of licensure, verification is to be requested directly from the licensing agency or from nursys.com.
First time licensees are credentialed on the basis of examination. They become eligible to take the NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN after graduation.
Nurses should be aware that regulations do change periodically. They can visit the Board site to see proposed rules (http://www.abn.state.al.us/Content.aspx?id=9).
The Alabama State Nurses Foundation has a scholarship competition for nursing students (http://alabamanurses.org/). The Alabama Board provides a limited number of graduate level scholarships (http://www.abn.state.al.us/Content.aspx?id=202). Students may look on the site of the Alabama Commission on Higher Education for general financial aid information (http://www.ache.alabama.gov/StudentAsst/Programs.htm).
A candidate for Licensed Practical Nurse will need to enroll in an approved, accredited program that’s a year or more in length. There is a list of in-state programs on the Board site. The Board has provided NCLEX pass rates as well as contact information (http://www.abn.state.al.us/Content.aspx?id=195).
There are several factors to consider prior to selecting an LPN program. The article, LPN programs in Alabama, will help you better understand these factors during your LPN program selection process.
Later the candidate will fill out two applications. The candidate will fill out an online licensing application (https://www.abn.alabama.gov/abnonline/Examination.aspx) and have transcripts sent to the Board. The application carries an $85 fee (http://www.abn.state.al.us/Content.aspx?id=2). The application includes regulatory questions; a past conviction will not always preclude licensing, but the candidate should be aware that the process may take longer. The applicant should have all supporting documentation ready at the time the candidate applies.
The candidate will register with Pearson VUE to take the NCLEX-PN (http://www.pearsonvue.com/nclex/).Registration will cost $200.
After eligibility has been determined, the candidate will receive two notifications. The Alabama Board of Nursing will confirm eligibility, and Pearson will grant an Authorization to Test. The candidate may schedule their own exam, but must make sure it’s done within the window granted in the Authorization to Test.
The ATT letter and ID must be brought to the testing center.
A temporary permit may be requested with first application. It costs an additional $50. A practical nursing graduate working under this status is known as a Nursing Graduate – PN Program (NG-PNP).
The permit is good for up to 90 days but is immediately invalidated if the candidate fails an examination attempt. The candidate will be allowed to repeat the exam once 45 days has elapsed. The candidate will pay $85 to the Alabama Board when the candidate applies for reexamination.
Nursing students can find a series of videos on the Board site to guide them through the licensing process.
Practical nurses may wish to join the state’s professional organization, the Alabama Association of LPNs (http://www.nflpn.org/stateEvent.php).
LPNs who are, or have been, licensed in another state should apply be endorsement – provided they did complete an approved program. (LPNs licensed on the basis of having partially completed a registered nursing program are not eligible for endorsement into Alabama.) The application may be submitted online (https://www.abn.alabama.gov/abnonline/ABNOnline_Endorsement.aspx).
Nurses must have 24 hours of continuing education completed at some point in the preceding 24 months – this must be verified before a permanent license can be issued. CE certificates may be faxed.
License verification must be provided by the state where the nurse was originally licensed. Transcripts should also be sent directly from the source in a sealed envelope. These materials may not be faxed. However, depending on the state of licensure, license verification may be carried out online.
If license verification must be done via paper form, it may be a lengthier process. A temporary permit may be issued to a nurse who provides a notarized copy of the current license. (In the case of states that have gone completely paperless with their licensing process, a notarized screen print will be accepted.)
There is a $50 fee for a temporary permit; this is in addition to the standard $85 endorsement fee.
The Board asks that supplemental materials not show up before the licensing application.
A candidate should enroll in an approved, accredited program of professional nursing. The Board site lists approved programs, along with the NCLEX results of program graduates. Programs with a pass rate under 80% are issue a note of deficiency.
Read the "RN Programs in Alabama" article to learn about factors to consider when choosing a Registered Nursing program.
The graduate will need to take the NCLEX-RN before a license can be issued. However, the candidate will first need authorization from the Alabama Board. The Board has put together some videos to explain the process to students who will soon be graduating and applying (http://abn.alabama.gov/video/Soon-to-be-graduates-part-1/Soon-to-be-graduates-part-1.html). NCLEX registration and scheduling are two separate steps. The candidate will register and pay a $200 fee online, by mail, or by telephone. The candidate will find detailed instructions in the candidate handbook (www.vue.com/nclex). After the ATT arrives, the candidate will be able to schedule at a computer adapted testing center, either in Alabama or another state.
A first time examination candidate is eligible for a temporary permit (available for an additional $50). A professional nursing graduate is known as a Nursing Graduate-RN Program, or NG-RNP. The NG-RNP must be under the supervision of a registered nurse and is not allowed charge duties. Alabama requires the supervising nurse to be physically present at the healthcare facility.
The Board will send official examination scores. An unsuccessful candidate may retake, but will need to pay additional fees. The candidate will no longer be eligible to wok under a temporary permit.
Registered nurses may wish to join the Alabama State Nurses Association (http://www.alabamanurses.org).
An RN who has already been licensed in a U.S. jurisdiction will apply by endorsement. The candidate will submit an endorsement application, then have supplemental materials sent to the Board. The candidate will need official transcripts as well as license verification from the original state of licensure. The candidate will also need to demonstrate 24 hours of continuing education, completed during the previous two year period. CE certificates, unlike official transcripts, may be faxed.
A notarized copy of a current license is adequate status verification for a temporary permit, but not a permanent license. The CE requirement does not have to be met before the temporary permit is issued. It can be issued on the basis of only three things: application, fee, and notarized photocopy. There is an $85 application fee and an additional $50 charge for those requesting a temporary permit.
The Board has provided an email address for questions about the endorsement process (http://www.abn.state.al.us/Content.aspx?id=9).
International nurses who completed programs approved by their own licensing agency are eligible for licensure in Alabama, but they must meet additional requirements. They should pursue certification through CGFNS before seeking permission to take the NCLEX. A course by course educational evaluation is required. Deficiencies may be made up through additional coursework.
The candidate will need to provide a social security number before the license can be issued.
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