University of South Alabama

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Updated August 6, 2020

The University of South Alabama appears in our ranking of the 10 Most Affordable Doctorate in Health Informatics Online.

The University of South Alabama, also known in the area as simply, South, was founded in 1963 after the state legislature saw a need for more higher education in the state. The university started out as a single building in Mobile, Alabama, and first enrolled 276 students. As more people heard about the university, by the second year, enrollment jumped to more than 900 students. Today, there are more than 16,000 students attending the school.

As more students began attending South in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the leaders decided to focus on establishing a medical school. The University of South Alabama's College of Medicine first started accepting students in 1973, and the College of Nursing was added soon after. These days, these schools offer a number of degrees, including online degrees, such as the online Doctor of Nursing Practice with a nursing informatics specialization.

In general, the University of South Alabama offers more than 100 degrees spread over 10 different colleges, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The school also has greatly included the health of the overall community thanks to its USA Health system, which includes five hospitals, health clinics, and institutions.

University of South Alabama Accreditation Details

The University of South Alabama is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

The College of Nursing, which houses the online Doctor of Nursing Practice program, is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

University of South Alabama Application Requirements

The University of South Alabama has specific application requirements for students who are interested in entering the College of Nursing to pursue an online Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. The university admits two DNP students each year, one in the fall and one in the spring. Admission into this program is selective and limited, and to begin the application process, perspective students must complete and submit both a primary and supplemental application. The fall deadline for primary applications is February 15, and the spring deadline is July 15.

To be eligible for admission into the DNP program at the College of Nursing, the applicant must be a US citizen or permanent resident. They must submit both the primary and supplemental applications and have a registered nursing license that is current and unrestricted. The applicant must have at least two years of professional nursing experience.

For those who are choosing the BSN-DNP Pathway or MSN-DNP Pathway, which are two of the admission options offered by the College of Nursing, they must show transcripts with a minimum of a 3.0 out of 4.0. All applicants must be in good standing at all other colleges, universities, and/or nursing programs that they attended in the past.

There are several admission options for students who are interested in this program.

For students who are interested in the MSN to DNP for an advanced nursing practice role is for people who are in the process of or who have completed the MSN program at the University of South Alabama and want to earn a DNP in the same specialty. Students can also take the MSN to DNP pathway and choose to add a different specialty. There is also a BSN to DNP pathway, which is for people who have a BSN and want to not only earn their MSN, but also a DNP.

Tuition and Financial Aid

For graduate level programs at the College of Nursing, the University of South Alabama has two different tuition rates. Students who are attending on-campus programs, the tuition is $509 per credit hour for in-state residents and $1,018 per credit hour for out of state students. For those choosing the online programs from the College of Nursing, they must pay a tuition of $594 per credit hour. Depending on the program pathway a student chooses, the online DNP credit hours range from 39 to 64. In addition to tuition, there are also other fees that count be applied, including lab fees, application fees, resource fees, etc.

Financial aid is available from the University of South Alabama for students who qualify. Any student who has been accepted to the university can apply. The first step is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. Other qualifications include:

  • Demonstrating a financial need and help paying for education
  • Have a high school diploma or a GED
  • Be enrolled in a University of South Alabama degree program
  • Have a valid Social Security number
  • Be a U.S. citizen or have a visitor student visa
  • Register with the Selective Service System, if necessary
  • Maintain satisfactory grades while taking classes

Some of the financial aid options for the College of Nursing include Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, work study opportunities, Perkin's Loans, Federal direct loans, and alternative independent loans.

Online Degree(s) Available

The online Doctor of Nursing Practice with a nursing informatics specialization program is a specialty that combines aspects of information science, computer science, nursing, and decision and cognitive sciences. This online program was created to tech students the skills and knowledge to enhance the level of patient care that is delivered. Additionally, students will have the skills to provide education to others, use modern nursing research, and promote community health.

All students who go through this online program are required to attend a three to four day orientation on the University of South Alabama campus in Mobile, Alabama. Various workshops are held during this orientation, and students are required to attend in order to earn their degree.

Part of this program is a practical component, and students are required to go through a clinical period. Depending on where a student lives, faculty from the University of South Alabama can help find a placement. If there is no possible clinical site for a student to attend, the university can work with that student to create an alternative option.

This program does not require any dissertation or thesis, which makes it unique, but all students must complete a project that leads to some type of improvement in health care and a positive patient outcome. This project takes place in the student's community, not at the University of South Alabama's campus.

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