MSN Home

MSN Program Overview

The MSN (Master's of Science in Nursing) curriculum is designed to prepare nurses for advanced specialty practice in advanced nursing roles and for entry into doctoral study in nursing, if desired.

The School of Nursing offers four focal areas for master's studies in nursing: nurse practitioner in either acute care or primary care, nursing education, nursing informatics, and nursing and health systems management.

The School also offers a post-baccalaureate certificate to prepare teachers in nursing, as registered nurse first assistants, or as clinical research managers.

Review the Fact Sheets to determine the best fit for your future. Definitions, functions, and career opportunities for each of the focal areas listed on the fact sheets.

It is also possible to obtain a second master’s degree in an area of your choice. You may want to contact the individual faculty member listed at the bottom of each fact sheet if you have specific questions.





The master's program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 887-6791.


Program Fact sheets


Primary Care


NP Pediatric Primary Care

NP Acute/Prim Dual Pediatric

NP Family

NP Adult-Gero Primary Care

NP Adult-Gero/Occupational Health

NP Adult-Gero / Woman's Health

NP Adult-Gero / Oncology

NP Psychiatric-Mental Health



Acute Care


NP Neonatal

NP Acute/Prim Dual Pediatric

NP Adult-Gero Acute Care

NP Adult-Gero Acute Care - RNFA

Nurse Anesthesia


Advanced Roles


Nursing Health Systems Admin

Nurse Educator

Nursing Informatics


Advanced Generalist


Clinical Nurse Leader

Registered Nurse to MSN



Rural Health Opportunities:

Graduate Nursing Education Primary Care Scholars Program

Information Sheet



MSN Program Admission Requirements

Requirements* for admission in good standing for the MSN degree include the following:
  • BSN degree from a regionally accredited institution, equivalent to the one offered by the UAB School of Nursing
  • Possess a nursing license to practice nursing in the state where you plan to conduct your clinical practicum
  • Cumulative undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or on the last 60 semester hours (graduates of baccalaureate degree programs in countries other than the United States must have their baccalaureate degree transcripts evaluated by the Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. organization OR the World Education Services
  • Combined score of 1,000 or a combined score of 297 (new exam) on verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE or score of 410 on the MAT or score of 480 on the GMAT. Test scores submitted to UAB from the GRE, GMAT, or MAT must not be more than five years old. International students must achieve a TOEFL examination score of at least 500
  • Click GRE/GMAT/MAT Waiver Process for degree seeking MSN students for more information.
  • Three Letters of professional reference attesting to the applicant's potential for graduate study (submitted through the Apply Yourself, AY, on-line application process)
  • One official copy of all transcripts from previous educational programs (mailed directly from the originating university directly to the School of Nursing, see address below)
  • MSN admission requirements: Apply online

* Individual specialty tracks may have additional experience requirements, please review the specialty track application information listed on the Specialties tabs.

Please note: Applicants who are not admitted for a specific term may reapply to be considered for a later term. The same is true for an applicant who is admitted for a particular term but fails to enroll that term. For test information and registration, please visit the sites below.


Distance Accessibility

Applicants to any of our distance-accessible programs should become familiar with the regulations governing distance accessible programs in their state. Prospective students residing in states other than Alabama should contact their state’s Board of Nursing and Department of Education for specific rules and regulations pertaining to completion of clinical learning experiences in that state when enrolled in a distance accessible program. The ability to conduct course work is only guaranteed for student is Alabama and in states with an established agreement.

*** State Approval Website for Online Degree Programs at
The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)


International Students

Along with the requirements listed above, international students will also have to 

  • Prospective international students are asked to first contact International Recruitment and Student Services at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , (205), 934-3328, FAX 934-8664 to determine eligibility in order to submit an application into any academic program
  • Have all foreign transcripts evaluated by the Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc OR the World Education Services, sent from the evaluators directly to the School of Nursing
  • Have earned a degree equivalent to a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited educational institution in the United States
  • Score of 500 or higher on the Test of English as a Foreign Language, TOEFL
  • Achieve a standardized test score of at least a minimum combined score of 1000 on the verbal and quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
  • Possess a nursing license to practice nursing in the state where you plan to conduct your clinical practicum
  • Submit a notarized copy of your nursing license

Mailing Address

SON Office of Student Affairs
NB 1002
1720 2nd Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35294-1210


(205) 934-5490

Core Performance Standards for MSN Admission and Progression
Didactic Course Standards 
Issue Standard Some Examples of Necessary Activities (not all inclusive)
Critical Thinking Critical thinking ability sufficient for appraisal of theoretical content. Analyze theories for application to advanced nursing practice.
Interpersonal Interpersonal abilities sufficient to interact with individuals, families, faculty, and groups from a variety of social, cultural, emotional, and intellectual backgrounds. Interpersonal skills sufficient to establish collaborative relationships for class discussions and projects with students, faculty, and others.
Communication Communication abilities (hearing, speaking, reading, and writing) sufficient for interaction with others in written and verbal form. Communication abilities sufficient for professional interaction with peers and faculty; the ability to complete written assignments effectively.
Mobility Physical abilities sufficient to gain access to computer-based resources and/or classrooms. Physical abilities sufficient to utilize computers to attend class and gain access to library/internet resources with or without the use of support persons or devices.
Motor Skills Gross and fine motor abilities sufficient to complete assignments. Motor skills sufficient to utilize computer software to retrieve information and to prepare written assignments with or without the use of support persons or devices.
Hearing Auditory ability sufficient to participate in required course activities. Auditory skills sufficient to understand audio portions of class content with or without the use of support persons or devices.
Visual Visual ability sufficient for observation and viewing assignments. Visual abilities sufficient to read course assignments and prepare written assignments with or without the use of support persons or devices.
Tactile Tactile ability sufficient to complete assignments. Tactile ability sufficient for accurate use of a computer with or without the use of support persons or devices.
Practicum/Lab Course Standards
Issue Standard Some Examples of Necessary Activities (not all inclusive)
Critical Thinking Critical thinking ability sufficient for clinical judgment. Identify cause/effect relationships in clinical judgment in clinical situations, develop clinical notes, employ diagnostic reasoning.
Interpersonal Interpersonal abilities sufficient to interact with individuals, families, faculty, and groups from diverse backgrounds. Establish rapport with patients to interact with individuals, faculty, colleagues, families, and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds.
Communication Communication abilities sufficient for interaction with others in verbal and written form. Explain treatment and diagnostic procedures in verbal and written form, initiate health teaching, document and interpret patient/client responses to acute and chronic illness.
Mobility Physical abilities sufficient to move from room to room and maneuver in small spaces. Move around in patients’ environment, examination rooms, work spaces, and treatment areas; administer needed procedures.
Motor Skills Gross and fine motor abilities sufficient to provide safe and effective nursing care. Utilize instruments specific to the clinical specialty; perform physical and developmental assessment maneuvers.
Hearing  Auditory ability sufficient to monitor and assess health needs. Hear verbal exchanges among health care personnel and patients, monitor alarms, auscultatory sounds, cries for help, evaluate percussion tones. span>
Visual Visual ability sufficient for the observation and assessment necessary in nursing care. Observe patient responses. Assess client visual acuity. Visually inspect skin and body structures.
Tactile Tactile ability sufficient for physical assessment. Perform palpation, functions of physical examination and/or those related to therapeutic intervention, e.g., pulse, body parts, temperature of skin or fluids.
Distance-Accessible Course Standards
Issue Standard Some Examples of Necessary Activities (not all inclusive)
Critical Thinking Critical thinking ability sufficient for clinical judgment Synthesize reading assignments, able to write course assignments
Interpersonal Interpersonal abilities sufficient to interact with individuals and groups from diverse backgrounds Interact with classmates and course instructors on course related subjects, able to work with other students on a group project
Communication Communication abilities (hearing, speaking, reading, and writing) sufficient for interaction with others in verbal and written form Communicate with faculty and other students via e-mail and electronic threaded discussions
Motor Skills Physical abilities sufficient to use a computer. Complete written assignments and examinations by typing on the computer
Hearing Auditory ability sufficient to complete class assignments Listen to online audiovisual presentations
Visual Visual ability sufficient to participate in course activities Complete reading assignments and watch audiovisual presentations


Primary Care Acute Care  Advanced Roles Advanced Generalist

Nurse Practitioner Pediatric Primary Care;
Distance Accessible

Tedra Smith, PhD, CRNP, CPNP-PC
Specialty Track Coordinator
(205) 996-4193

Nurse Practitioner Neonatal Care
Distance Accessible

Cheryl Robinson, DNS, CRNP, NNP-BC
Specialty Track Coordinator
(205) 934-6224 

Nursing and Health System Administration

Linda Rousell, DSN, RN, NEA-BC, CNL
Specialty Track Coordinator
(205) 975-0249

Clinical Nurse Leader
Distance Accessible

Angela Jukkala, PhD, RN, CNL, CNE
Specialty Track Coordinator
(205) 996-6136

Nurse PractitionerFamily Primary Care
Distance Accessible

D’Ann Somerall, DNP, CRNP, RNP-BC
Specialty Track Coordinators
(205) 975-4124

Nurse Practitioner Adult-Gerontology Acute & Continuing Care;
Distance Accessible

Specialty Track Coordinator
(205) 934-6653

Nurse Educator:
Distance Accessible

Laura Steadman, EdD, CRNP, MSN, RN
Specialty Track Coordinator
(205) 996-7670

Dual (primary and acute) Pediatric Care to DNP
Distance Accessible

Steadman McPeters, DNP, CRNP, CPNP-AC, RNFA
Specialty Track Coordinator
(205) 975-1958

Nursing Informatics

Marisa Wilson, DNSc, MHSc, RN, CPHIMS, RN-BC
Specialty Track Coordinator
(205) 934-3485


Nurse Practitioner Adult- Gerontology Primary
Distance Accessible 

Natalie Baker, DNP, ANP-BC, GNP-BC
Specialty Track Coordinator
(205) 975-8457

Nurse Practitioner Adult-Gerontology / Registered Nurse First Assist
Distance Accessible

Specialty Track Coordinator
(205) 934-6653


Nurse Practitioner Adult-Gerontology Primary with Occupational Health Subspecialty
Distance Accessible

Jennan Philips DSN, RN
Specialty Track Coordinator
(205) 996-9829

Nurse Anesthetist:

Susan McMullan, PhD, CRNA
Specialty Track Coordinator
(205) 934-6587

Nurse Practitioner Adult / Women’s Health Primary Care

Distance Accessible

Donna Dunn, PhD, CRNP, CNM, FNP-BC
Specialty Track Coordinator
(205) 996-3013 


Nurse Practitioner Adult-Gerontology Primary Care with Oncology Subspecialty
Distance Accessible

Deborah Wlaker, DNP, CRNP, AOCN
Specialty Track Coordinator
(205) 975-9101


Nurse Practitioner Psychiatric-Mental Health Primary Care
Distance Accessible

Susanne Fogger, DNP, CRNP, PMHNP-BC
Specialty Track Coordinator
(205) 996-6052


Note: Specialty tracks are offered based on adequate interest and enrollment, as well as available resources to support the track.  Enrollment in specialty tracks may be suspended due to insufficient enrollment, lack of demand for graduates, or insufficient resources to support continuation of the track.  When a specialty track is no longer enrolling new students, those students already enrolled in the specialty track must follow their programs of study to completion within the timeframe in which the courses will be offered, or request admission to another specialty track for which they meet admission requirements.


Entry Date



Summer 2016 October 12, 2015 See Summarized Fact Sheet under the Specialties tab for experience requirements.  
Fall 2016 February 29, 2016  


MSN Program Application Process

Apply for Master of Science in Nursing Degree
     -CLICK HERE for detailed application instructions.
Apply as a Non-degree, post-baccalaureate nurse to take one course
    -CLICK HERE to submit an application through the UAB Graduate School  


MSN Program Outcomes  
  • Synthesize research, theoretical formulations, and principles of scientific inquiry to provide evidence-based practice.
  • Assume leadership in managing and evaluating continuous quality improvement processes.
  • Use information systems/technology to evaluate programs of care, outcomes of care, and care systems.
  • Advocate and implement health-care policies that improve access, equity, efficiency, and social justice in the delivery of health care.
  • Design innovative educational programs for patients, nursing staff, and nursing students using teaching and learning principles.
  • Provide ethical, culturally sensitive care in an advanced nursing role independently and collaboratively with professionals from multiple disciplines.
  • Monitor the quality of one's own nursing practice based on professional practice standards and relevant statutes and regulations.
  • Apply theories and principles of marketing, economics, consultation, management, and leadership to comprehensively perform an advanced nursing role.


Scholarships & Financial Aid  

The School of Nursing at UAB has excellent scholarship, traineeship, fellowship and loan programs in which many students participate.

Tuition & Fees  

The following tuition and fees are valid for the 2014-2015 academic year. Tuition and fees and are SUBJECT TO CHANGE annually based on approval from the University of Alabama Board of Trustees and/or university. The estimates below are based on the costs listed at the UAB Office of Planning and Analysis Web site (Tuition and Fees). Each student’s costs will vary depending upon state of residence, the number of credits taken in a semester, whether the student attends class live or through distance-accessible class, and several other factors. Fees vary with program or type of student, and certain fees may be waived.

Tuition and Presidential Fees School of Nursing

Cost ($)

Graduate SON (in-state, Each semester hour) 476
Graduate SON (out-of-state, Each semester hour) 1118
University Tuition (per semester) 215
Total cost for Tuition  = University Tuition + (Undergraduate SON tuition cost per semester hour x total number of semester hours for that semester)

Fees - School of Nursing

Cost ($)

Undergraduate and Graduate—Online Fee per each online course (per course if the course is designated with a ‘Q’ in the section code, e.g. NUR 601 QL ) 250
For all courses designated with a 'L' in the course number, e.g. NUR 355L, a Lab and Assessment Fee will apply. The fees are listed below.) 
Lab Fee (per clinical course) 50
Assessment Fee (per clinical course) 150
Campus Dining Fee (undergraduate only) (flat fee per semester—excluding the summer term—for students taking 12 or more hours) 225
Student Hospitalization Insurance Fee (per year)** 1,776
Student Dental Fee (per term)** 39

Special Fees Paid (When Applicable)

Cost ($)

Graduation Fee 50
Expenses (Estimated) Cost ($)
Uniforms (undergraduate and AMNP students)* 300
Books and supplies (per term) 500
Lab Kit (undergraduate, upon admission)* 200
Electronic handheld device (one-time fee; select programs—BSN, AMNP, MSN)* 350
Room and Board (on campus, per term, cost varies depending on dorm) 2,700
* These must be purchased upon initial enrollment in the School of Nursing and should be planned for in student budgets.
** May be waived with proof of equal or greater coverage that can be documented.



Q: What tracks are available to take online?
A: Most of the tracks / specialties can be taken from a distance with online coursework and several on-campus intensives.  When looking into the details for a specific specialty, the fact sheet will list the program as being distance accessible, which equates to being an online specialty for the courses and will list the number of on-campus experiences. The fact sheets are listed under the MSN Home Page.


Q: For admission, do I qualify for the waiver for the MAT, GRE, GMAT testing?
A: One you submit your application through Apply Online, the student affairs personnel will calculate your overall and last 60 hours of undergraduate course work. If either of those GPAs is equal to or greater than a 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, you may waiver and do not need to complete a graduate entrance exam as part of your application.


Q: How much experience is required for new BSNs prepared nurse entering into an NP track?
A: Each specialty at the master’s levels is different, and the fact sheet on the program is the best place to confirm the experience requirements. The fact sheets are listed on the MSN home tab (right side of the web page).


Q: What is the number of students admitted into the master’s program each term?
A: The master’s program is competitive for many of the specialty tracks.  A student may select a second specialty option when they submit their application. The admission qualifications are listed under the Admission tab above.


Q: Where do I find the Nurse Anesthetists, CRNA, requirements?
A: The Nurse Anesthetists specialty is offered by the UAB School of Nursing. Please visit our Web site for information about the Nurse Anesthesia Program


Q: Do I have to wait until I have all of the application paperwork to submit my application through Apply Online?
A: A good technique is to complete and submit your application. For most students, the references and transcripts arrive after the application has been submitted. We recommend that you check with your recommenders to ensure they submitted the references. The Office of Student Affairs  will contact you once your application is complete.


Q: How does a student prepare for the practicum piece of curriculum?
A: We recommend that each student coordinate with their family, employer, and practicum site as soon as possible to arrange to complete the required course work hours to meet course requirements.


Q: What is the requirement for a statistics class?
A: A statistics course must have been successfully completed prior to your first semester courses. If you need to take or retake the class, UAB offers an online statistics section for nursing students only. Contact the Office of Student Affairs for the course registration number, since the course will not be listed in the general catalog.


Q: Where do I submit the reference letters?
A: As part of the Apply Online process, the individuals submitting the refereces will be sent an e-mail for an on--line submission. Please ask the individuals from whom you request references to submit the recommendation online. Electronic submission is the preferred method. However, if your referees prefer to mail a recommendation letter, mail it to:
UAB School of Nursing
MSN Applications—Letter of Recommendation
NB 1002; 1720 2nd Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35294-1210


Q: Where should I send my medical-clearance information?
A: Students must obtain medical clearance from UAB Student Health Services prior to registration for classes. A physical examination is required for medical clearance. The form needed for medical clearance can be downloaded at UAB Student Health Services. This form should be returned to UAB Student Health Services for processing. The address is located on the form. DO NOT send the forms to the School of Nursing.


Q: How do I know I am medically cleared?
A: Once you have completed all the steps in the medical-clearance process, Student Health Services enters your clearance into the Student Health database. The Office of Student Affairs at the School of Nursing routinely checks to update a student’s medical-clearance status. If you want to check if your clearance has been completed, Student Health Services can be reached at 205-934-3580.


Q: I have registered for certain courses, how can I confirm that?
A: If you have registered for a course, you already have a BLAZERNET account. On BLAZERNET, select the Student Resources Tab, and then select the Registration Tools to look up your registration status.


Q: When do I complete my orientation for my online classes?
A: You will receive an e-mail once you have been entered into UAB’s computer system. The e-mail will contain the steps necessary to establish an account on the UAB computer network. This system is a Web interface called BLAZERNET. Once the account is established, you will be able to follow the steps for the online orientation.


Q: What do I need to do for changing my specialty?
A: If you determine you need to change your specialty, you must submit a Change of Practice Area/Concentration for MSN Students form, which is listed at Student Forms. If the gaining and losing departments have space for the switch, the request will be considered.


Q: When can I apply for non-degree credit to be transferred as a graduate credit?
A: Submit the Non-Degree Credit form listed on the forms page to School of Nursing Student Affairs.

Q: Can I be admitted to the MSN program if I have not taken or passed NCLEX?
A: The master’s program requires practicum work, which requires NCLEX completion. You may be initially admitted into the program, but cannot begin your clinical course work until you have successfully passed NCLEX, and are licensed in the state in which you practice.


Q: Is medical clearance or CPR certification required for admission?
A: Medical clearance and CPR certification are required prior to being able to register for any classes.


Q: Is there a time limit on the graduate entrance exams (GRE/MAT/GMAT) test score?
A: Currently, there is no expiration on the date the graduate entrance exam was taken; however, an official copy must be received from the testing agency sent to UAB.  Many of the testing organizations only maintain test scores for five years.


Q: My grades from my first university are on the final transcript of my second university transcript.  Do I still need the official transcript from the first university I attended?
A: All transcripts from every undergraduate institution you attended are required for your application packet.


Contact Us


 Program Director

Michele Talley, MSN, CRNP, ACNP-BC

 Program Assistant Director

D'Ann Somerall, DNP, CRNp, FNP-BC

Contact for currently enrolled students 


Program Manager

Charlene Bender, MPH

Contact for general information about the application process