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 finest, both for the quality of the program and the personal interest our faculty, staff, and administrators show students.

The College facilities are a major asset. From the high tech labs to the up to date classrooms, the College of Nursing 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! 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 progression 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. Students applying for promotion must meet all minimum requirements to be considered.  Meeting minimum requirements does not guarantee promotion to the upper division of the nursing curriculum. These requirements are:

  • Admission to the University of Alabama with Nursing as the primary major.
  • Minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on required lower division classes.
  • Minimum cumulative grade point average of a 2.75 on all required science classes.
  • Completion of or current enrollment in all lower division courses at application deadline.
  • Completion of the ATI TEAS admissions assessment. 

When are students admitted into the upper division?

CCN accepts students into the upper division three times per year, for the summer, fall, and spring. Promotion to the upper division is competitive, as spaces are limited.

Can I transfer courses?

Students can only transfer course credit for courses that count towards the pre-professional 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.

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 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 study 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, contact Kelli Smith at 205.348.3071 or for more information.


I am a registered nurse. I would like to pursue a BSN, but I can’t quit my job.

The majority of students work full-time as RN’s while completing our program.

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

  • 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.

Are your courses available online?
Yes. All required Nursing classes are available online. All core curriculum classes, 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  program 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. There is no out-of-state tuition for students enrolled in a distance learning program at UA.

When can I begin enrollment in the RN Mobility program?
The sequence of Nursing classes begins in Spring, Summer and Fall 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,  Coordinator of RN Mobility Student Services, at 800.313.3591 (toll-free), 205.348.6639 (direct), or

Will I receive any academic credit for my experience as an RN?
Yes. RN Mobility students receive 40 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

When do I apply?
Application to the RN Mobility  program 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.

Interested students should contact:

  • Katara Wilson,  Coordinator of RN Mobility Student Services, at 800.313.3591 (toll-free), 205.348.6639 (direct), or
  • Michelle Cheshire, RN Mobility Coordinator at 800.313.3591 (toll-free), 205.348.6318 (direct), or