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Salaries for MSN-Educated Nurses in Alabama

Alabama is home to 15 American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)-accredited colleges of nursing. As of 2013 there were 3,780 students enrolled in RN-MSN programs in the state preparing for career advancement in such critical areas as advanced clinical practice, nursing education, public health, administration, clinical leadership and informatics. Pursuing a career change and moving into advanced clinical and non-clinical roles not only means enjoying a greater level of autonomy as a nurse, it also results in a much higher salary.

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Advanced Practice Nurses (APNs) certified as nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, clinical nurse specialists and nurse midwives and serving as primary care providers are seen as key to addressing the shortage of primary care physicians, particularly in Alabama’s rural areas.

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, only six percent of Alabama’s RNs were licensed as advanced clinicians in 2013. However, a concerted effort is being made within the profession to increase that number by making specialized RN-MSN bridge programs more widely accessible.

Salaries for MSN-Prepared Nurses in Alabama

The monetary benefits of higher education are clear in the results of the 2012 salary survey conducted by the Advance Healthcare Network for Nurses. They report the following average annual salaries for RNs in the southern states.

  • Associate’s degree – $58,562
  • Bachelor’s Degree – $61,956
  • Master’s Degree – $77,370

MSN-educated nurses in Alabama with Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) licenses often earned even more. The Alabama Department of Labor reports salaries for nurse anesthetists and nurse practitioners in the state (2014):

Nurse anesthetists:

  • Entry Level – $122,146
  • Mid-Career – $151,826
  • Experienced – $166,670

Nurse practitioners:

  • Entry Level – $67,434
  • Mid-Career – $92,887
  • Experienced – $105,618

Nurse Practitioner Salaries in Alabama

Nurse practitioners diagnose and treat acute and chronic diseases, prescribe medications and educate patients on health related issues. They are especially important in medically underserved regions of the state.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides a full analysis of nurse practitioner salaries in key areas of Alabama (2013):

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Auburn-Opelika AL
30
79230
Birmingham-Hoover AL
440
86040
Columbus GA-AL
100
94130
Decatur AL
50
81030
Dothan AL
70
82170
Florence-Muscle Shoals AL
80
102300
Gadsden AL
60
121430
Huntsville AL
220
96890
Mobile AL
180
77990
Montgomery AL
150
90070
Tuscaloosa AL
130
86730
Northwest Alabama nonmetropolitan area
70
90930
Northeast Alabama nonmetropolitan area
90
88140
Southwest Alabama nonmetropolitan area
70
72710
Southeast Alabama nonmetropolitan area
90
86150

Nurse Anesthetist Salaries in Alabama

Nurse anesthetists are generally the highest earning APNs, in Alabama and nationwide. They deliver anesthesia during surgery and provide both pre- and post-operative care.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides a full analysis of nurse anesthetist salaries in key areas of Alabama (2013):

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Birmingham-Hoover AL
370
155550
Huntsville AL
180
159780
Montgomery AL
Estimate Not Available
134450

*Values are at or above $187,199 per year and $90.00 per hour. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics generally does not report annual salaries higher than $187,199 or hourly wages higher than $90.00.

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