University of Mobile Announces Associate Degree in Nursing Program to Reduce Nursing Shortages

Kathy Dean News, Sciences

MOBILE, Ala. – The University of Mobile School of Nursing announces a new Associate Degree in Nursing program that aims to reduce nursing shortages by preparing students to enter the workforce quickly.

The two-year Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program will begin in August 2022, pending final approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and the Alabama Board of Nursing. To learn more, visit

University of Mobile President Lonnie Burnett said Mobile-area healthcare facilities approached the university for help in addressing a sharp increase in demand for registered nurses. The two-year associate-level nursing degree is the most direct route to meeting this need.

“The University of Mobile has provided high-quality nursing education for almost 50 years. Our School of Nursing is known in our community for producing knowledgeable, caring and self-directed nurses who are ready to meet the health care needs of our community and beyond,” Burnett said.

Dr. Sarah Barnes-Witherspoon, dean of the UM School of Nursing in the College of Health Professions, said the high demand for registered nurses will continue to be an issue into the future. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists registered nurses among the top occupations in terms of job growth through 2030.

“The average age for an RN is 50, and 47 percent of nurses are older than that average,” said Barnes-Witherspoon, referring to a U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration 2018 national survey.

Accounting for nurses who are retiring or leaving the field for other reasons, along with the growing demand, she said the Bureau of Labor projects 194,500 openings for registered nurses each year through 2029.

Barnes-Witherspoon said earning an Associate Degree in Nursing can be a first step for students who want to quickly enter the workforce and begin earning a paycheck, then continue their education toward a bachelor’s or master’s degree while working full-time.

Students in the ADN program will gain hands-on experience in UM’s Center for Excellence in Healthcare Practice. The Center features skills labs and high-fidelity patient simulators to mirror scenarios students will experience in their professional nursing careers. The School of Nursing has agreements with more than 20 health care facilities that offer nursing students the clinical experiences they need to prepare for a career in their field.

Opportunities for degrees beyond the ADN include the Bachelor of Science in Nursing – RN to BSN program; master’s degrees in family nurse practitioner, nursing education and nursing executive leadership; and the Doctor of Nursing Practice – BSN to DNP Nurse Practitioner, among others.

To learn more about the Associate Degree in Nursing program in the University of Mobile School of Nursing, visit or call 251.442.2222.

About the University of Mobile

The University of Mobile is a Christ-centered liberal arts and sciences institution with a vision of higher education for a higher purpose, founded to honor God by equipping students for their future professions through rigorous academic preparation and spiritual transformation. Core values are: Christ-Centered, Academically-Focused, Student-Devoted and Distinctively-Driven. The university offers on-campus and online bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in over 75 academic programs. Founded in 1961, the University of Mobile is affiliated with the Alabama Baptist State Convention and is located 10 miles north of Mobile, Alabama on a campus of over 880 acres.

For information about the University of Mobile, areas of study, admissions and more, visit, connect with UM on social media @univofmobile, or call Enrollment Services at 1.800.WIN.RAMS or 251.442.2222.

About the Author

Kathy Dean

Kathy Dean is associate vice president for university communications and has helped tell the University of Mobile story since 1993. She is an award-winning public relations professional and former journalist. Her husband and daughter are UM graduates. She loves playing in the yard – planting flowers, picking blueberries, pulling weeds and petting her two mini-schnauzers.