Why study nursing at UA’s Capstone College of Nursing?

The Capstone College of Nursing isn’t the only place for undergraduate study, but it’s one of Alabama’s best — both for the quality of the program and the personal interest our faculty and administrators show students. Faculty take the time to be helpful and administrative staff are supportive. You’ll also have your own academic adviser as well as a faculty advisor to assist you as you progress through the curriculum.

The College facilities are a big asset. The College has a learning resources center that has a wide range of resources designed to help students be successful in their course work.

The University of Alabama is a great place to be! And the College of Nursing provides students with the advantages of broad clinical experiences, high-tech facilities, and a nationally recognized faculty.

What is meant by lower division and upper division course work?

Lower Division
All students declaring nursing as their major are admitted to the lower division of the Capstone College of Nursing. During your first four semesters, you will learn basic knowledge from the humanities and social and natural sciences. This study provides the basis for the broad education you need to meet the challenges of professional nursing. These courses are referred to as lower division or the preprofessional portion of the curriculum.

Upper Division
As you near completion of lower division course work, you will apply for promotion to the upper division. Promotion to the upper division is required for entry into the clinical nursing courses and prgression in the nursing program. The upper division is the professional phase of the curriculum. Upper division spaces are limited and the acceptance process is competitive. Once promoted to the upper division, you begin your nursing courses with labs in a variety of clinical settings.

What are the requirements to be promoted to the upper division of the Nursing program?

When you are in your last semester of lower division, having completed at least 45 hours of lower division course work, you are eligible to apply for promotion to the upper division. Students must complete and submit an application to be considered for promotion to the upper division of the Nursing program. Student’s GPA in all required lower division courses will determine promotion to the upper division. The science courses are the most important, but all required courses count toward the GPA. Promotion to the upper division is competitive so the better your GPA is the greater your chance of being promoted to the upper division.

You must have a 3.0 GPA to apply for promotion to the upper division. Students must have a least a 2.75 in the sciences and the sciences are looked at separately for promotion purposes. Native UA students are given preference in promotion decisions.

How many students are accepted into the upper division of the nursing program?

112 students are accepted for both the summer and fall semesters for a total of 224 students a year. Students may not begin upper division courses in the spring semester.

Can I transfer courses?

Students can only transfer course credit for courses that count towards the preprofessional portion of the curriculum.  No credit will be given for professional (upper division) nursing courses.

What special facilities, equipment and technology are available?

The facilities and resources of the University, various West Alabama community health care facilities, selected clinical agencies throughout Alabama, home care settings, industry, and public schools are available to students to learn the knowledge and skills needed for professional nursing. A unique feature of the facilities is the Learning Resources Center (LRC), which includes a computer lab, simulation lab and the clinical practice laboratory. The LRC has a broad range of multimedia to assist students in the learning process.

How do I get involved?

The University of Alabama provides its students with a quality on-campus academic, social, and residential environment. We invite you to visit The University of Alabama home page and particularly the section on Admission and Student Services.

Students are also encouraged to participate in the various nursing organizations. In the upper division portion of the curriculum, qualified students are invited to join Sigma Theta Tau, the International Honor Society of Nursing. Through membership in the various student organizations students learn valuable leadership skills, make lasting friendships, and have access to a wide range of support groups.

How will I select the right courses?

The Capstone College of Nursing has a planned program of studies to follow. During freshman and transfer student orientation you will be assigned an academic adviser who will assist you with your course selections. The College’s advising system is one of the best! Your academic adviser, Savannah Hoover and the Office of Nursing Student Services are available to help you every step of the way.

What is the Core Curriculum?

In order to graduate from The University of Alabama all students are required to take specific courses to include freshman composition, the humanities, social sciences, and mathematics; natural science courses with laboratory work; courses that include college-level writing; and either a foreign language or computer science sequence. These courses are called the core curriculum. A copy of approved core curriculum courses can be obtained from the Office of Nursing Student Services and is available online.

Does the nursing curriculum include the University’s core curriculum?

The Capstone College of Nursing’s planned program of studies includes core curriculum requirements. Core courses are identified in the College’s program of studies. To see how UA’s core courses are integrated into your program of study, go to the undergraduate programs section and select the program of studies appropriate for you.

Do I have to follow the planned program of studies outlined by the College?

The sequencing of some lower division courses may be adjusted to meet individual needs. Students may also choose to enroll in summer school to adjust the program of studies. It is important to progress through the science courses in a timely manner. However, once students are admitted to the upper division, courses must be taken in sequence. Successful completion of each semester is necessary in order to progress in the curriculum. Some non-clinical upper division courses may be offered in summer sessions.

Does a degree in nursing prepare me for the national licensing examination?

The Capstone College of Nursing awards the degree of Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Upon completion of the program, students meet the educational qualifications of the Alabama Board of Nursing for taking the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

If I earn a degree in nursing, can I pursue graduate studies at UA?


Yes! Baccalaureate-prepared nurses have the option of three concentrations in the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program: Case Management/Leadership, Clinical Nurse Leader, and Nurse Practitioner. A post-master’s certificate in Case Management/Leadership is also available. For the registered nurse (RN) who holds an associate degree in nursing and meets the required admission criteria, we offer an RN to BSN/MSN track.

For master’s prepared nurses, CCN offers an EdD for Nurse Educators Program which leads to a Doctorate of Education (EdD) as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).

What is BlackBoard Learn?

BlackBoard Learn is an online educational environment, better known as a course management system. Simply put, it is a web-based application used to make and host course web sites.


I am a registered nurse. I would like to pursue a BSN, but I can’t quit my job. What does the College have for me?

There is an RN to B.S.N./M.S.N. track for registered nurse students meeting the required admission criteria.

Who is eligible to apply for the RN Mobility Tracks?
Students who meet the following criteria are eligible to apply for promotion into the RN Mobility Tracks:

  • Successful completion of all lower division coursework
  • A minimum GPA of 2.5 on lower division coursework
  • A minimum GPA of 2.0 in science courses
  • Graduation from an ACEN (formerly NLNAC) accredited associate’s degree program or from a diploma nursing program
  • Unencumbered RN license or eligibility for licensure in the state where clinical requirements will be completed.

What degrees do you offer online?
Students who meet the eligibility requirements listed above may pursue the BSN online.

Students who meet the above eligibility requirements and who demonstrate significant academic promise by earning a 3.0 GPA in their last 60 hours of transferable coursework may apply to complete the BSN and MSN jointly. This online program of study provides an MSN with a concentration in case management or clinical nurse leadership.

Are your courses available online?
Yes. All required Nursing classes are available online. All core curriculum classes, except for lab science courses, are available online. These courses may be completed at another institution (such as a community college) and transferred into The University of Alabama.

In what states does the The College of Nursing accept applications for admissions?
Click Here to view the states in which The College of Nursing currently accepts applications for admission

May I enroll in Nursing classes before I finish the core curriculum?
No. As a rule, students are required to complete the entire core curriculum before beginning Nursing coursework.

Am I required to come to campus for any reason?
No. RN Mobility students are never required to visit campus. However, you are always welcome to arrange a visit.

Is it possible to complete a degree through the RN Mobility Tracks if I do not live close to Tuscaloosa?
Yes. We have RN Mobility students who live in states throughout the US and also students who live outside of the continental US. Students are not required to visit campus.

When can I begin enrollment in the RN Mobility Tracks?
The sequence of Nursing classes begins in Summer and Spring semesters. You may begin work on core curriculum courses during any semester.

Am I able to transfer the core curriculum into The University of Alabama from a community college?
Yes. RN Mobility students often transfer the core curriculum.

I have been out of school for many years. Will my credits still be recognized?
Yes. Course credits do not “expire” with The University of Alabama. Your course work will be evaluated in the same way that it would have been evaluated at the time of completion.

Students with questions about course transferability should contact Katara Wilson, Mentoring and Recruitment Coordinator, RN Mobility Program, at 800.313.3591 (toll-free), 205.348.6639 (direct), or katara.wilson@ua.edu.

Will I receive any academic credit for my experience as an RN?
Yes. RN Mobility students receive 41 hours of nursing credit in recognition of their RN licensure.

How long does it take to finish my BSN online?
RNs who have completed the entire core curriculum may complete their BSN in one year of online study.

How long does it take to finish my BSN/MSN online?
RNs who have completed the entire core curriculum may complete the BSN/MSN in 7 semesters.

How much does it cost?
Tuition varies per credit hour.

For online classes, there is NO additional charge for out-of-state tuition.

Tuition rates change regularly. For the most updated tuition schedule for online coursework, visit http://bamabydistance.ua.edu/financial-aid-scholarships/tuition.php

When do I apply?
Application to the RN Mobility Tracks is a two-step process. Students must first be accepted into The University of Alabama. Students must then apply to the Capstone College of Nursing for promotion into the upper-division of the nursing curriculum.

Applications for promotion into the upper division of the nursing curriculum are available from the RN Mobility Mentoring and Recruitment Coordinator.

Interested students should contact:

  • Katara Wilson, Mentoring and Recruitment Coordinator, RN Mobility Program, at 800.313.3591 (toll-free), 205.348.6639 (direct), or katara.wilson@ua.edu.
  • Michelle Cheshire, RN Mobility Coordinator at 800.313.3591 (toll-free), 205.348.6318 (direct), or mcheshire@ua.edu.