Best Nursing Schools in Georgia | 2022 Programs, Requirements, Cost, Job Outlook

Do you remember Fatu Kekula, a 22-year old nursing student who invented a “trash bag method” during the 2014 West African Ebola outbreak? She is an alumnus of one of the best nursing schools in Georgia.

Well, that’s not much of a surprise as graduates of Georgia Nursing schools always stand out in any professional healthcare environment they find themselves.

Just like Fatu, you too can become a valuable asset in the healthcare sector if you so desire. All you need is a guide on how to get started and that’s exactly what you’ll learn in this article.

Whether you are seeking a first degree in nursing, associate degree, or desiring to advance your education, Nursing schools in Georgia have the best fits for you.

But, before you enroll in any nursing program, you have to get all the details about the profession. Read through to gain expert advice.

Who Is A Nurse?

A registered nurse is a nurse who has graduated from a nursing program and met the requirements outlined by a country, state, province or similar government-authorized licensing body to obtain a nursing license- according to wikipedia.org

Nurses are compassionate and are dedicated to constantly addressing the healthcare needs of society.

What are the Responsibilities of a Nurse?

There is really no valid duty for these professionals. Nurses work together with physicians, to help a patient get well.

Their responsibilities range from making acute treatment decisions to long-term monitoring of patient’s behavior. Additionally, the skills and drives nurses demonstrate is what makes them stand out.

There a vast array of rewarding opportunities for nurses to choose from. But, only nurses with a degree from reputable nursing schools are considered first for top positions. That is why as an aspiring nurse, you are advised to select your programs carefully.

Nurse Practitioner Vs Physician Assistant: Learn the difference

Why Attend a Nursing School In Georgia?

Attending nursing school is the first step toward achieving future success in your career. As a prospective nurse, you have to make sure that the school you begin your career is of good standing with accrediting bodies.

Nursing schools in Georgia especially the ones on our list are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. These schools are loaded with experienced staff and also have the latest technologies for students to gain knowledge and experience.

They rank in annual publications such as the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, US News rankings, and many others.

In fact, after graduation from a top Nursing school in Georgia, you can boast of skills to help those in need and make a real difference in people’s lives. 

Tips on How Can I become a Nurse In Georgia

To become a nurse in Georgia, you must complete an RN program, Pass the NCLEX-RN Exam, and obtain a Licensure.

Step #1. Complete an RN program

Nurses are well-trained professionals that means, you will need a degree and a license to be a certified nurse.

To achieve this, you have to enroll in a bachelor’s degree or an associate degree program to become a Registered Nurse RN.

An associate degree typically takes 2years to complete while a bachelor’s degree may last for four to five years.

Most associate degree programs feature distant learning options allowing students to take some or all their courses online.

Bachelor’s degree programs require students to complete general education classes in addition to their nursing coursework. 

Typical undergraduate coursework may include the following;

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Microbiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Nutrition
  • Statistics
  • Patient care
  • Chemistry
  • Psychology
  • Health care law and ethics
  • Nursing Research
  • Health Care policy
  • Introduction to Professional Nursing

Step #3. Obtain a State License

To obtain licensure, you must meet the licensing requirement as slated at the state level.

Actually, each state has its own criteria that a graduate must meet before being issued a license. So, it is important that you check your state local board before applying for a license. See the Georgia state requirements below.

Step #4. Pursue an Advanced Degree

As a Registered Nurse, if you decide to practice nursing in an advanced level, you may have to enroll in a master’s program. An advanced degree in nursing opens the door for bigger opportunities with increased salary.

How Do I Get a Nursing License in Georgia?

The Georgia Board of Nursing is responsible for issuing and renewing licenses to all qualifying nurses in the state.

However, to be eligible to obtain a license, you have to meet the criteria approved by the board as highlighted below. Additionally, if you graduated from an out-of-state program, you will have to apply via paper application also submit your official transcripts.

  • You must have your fingerprints taken by COGENT Systems
  •  Register to take the NCLEX-RN with Pearson VUE
  • Pass the NCLEX-RN
  • Complete an application form electronically or by mail, and pay a $40 fee to the Georgia Board of Nursing
  •  Undergo a criminal background check

How to Renew a Nursing License in Georgia

Nursing licenses are renewed online by January 31 every two years. To begin the process, you must pay $65 and provide documentation of US citizenship. Below are the procedure you should follow.

  • Take 30 hours of continuing education
  •  Earn recertification by a national certifying organization
  •  Finish an accredited nursing program
  •  Get an employer to verify competency
  •  Take a reentry program

Are Nursing Schools In Georgia Expensive?

The cost of enrolling in Nursing schools is dependent on quite a number of factors. First, school and type of program; A Georgia resident enrolled in a master’s degree program can pay $57,000 (total tuition, fees, books, and supplies accumulated over the entire program).

However, some schools charge flat tuition for all students regardless of their residency status. In summary, the average total cost of getting a nursing degree in Georgia can range from $5,00 to $30,000 per semester.

Are you worried about how to fund your studies? Nursing Scholarship got you covered.

How Long Does It Take To Complete a Nursing School in Georgia?

The duration of a nursing program varies from school to school. However, most school program in Georgia usually takes four to five years to complete.

Aspiring nurses complete either a two-year associate’s degree (ADN) or a four-year bachelor’s degree (BSN).

Additionally, you will need to complete various undergraduate courses in subjects such as math, biology, psychology, English, and chemistry to be accepted to these programs.

What are the Best Nursing Schools in Georgia?

Below is a list of best Nursing schools in Georgia. Each of these schools are well accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, an organization that reviews nursing education nationwide.

Our selection criteria are based on their range of programs provided, NCLEX Pass Rate, rankings, and reputation.

We got our data from reliable sources, testimonials, interviews, and also by contacting individual schools.

  • Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing – Emory University
  • Georgia Southwestern State University
  • Georgia Baptist College of Nursing-Mercer University 
  • University of West Georgia
  • Columbus State University
  • Kennesaw State University- WellStar School of Nursing
  • Augusta University College of Nursing
  • Clayton State University
  • Georgia College & State University 
  • Byrdine F. Lewis College of Nursing and Health Professions-Georgia State University

#1. Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing – Emory University

Estimated Tuition: $26,535/semester
Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
NCLEX Pass Rate: 91.38%

Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University is accredited and ranked among the top nursing schools in Georgia.

According to U.S. News and World Report’s 2021, Emory ranked No. 5 among the nation’s best graduate nursing schools and also ranked No. 8 for its Doctor of Nursing Practice program.

Furthermore, Emory school of nursing features a wide array of nursing programs ranging from BSN, Accelerated, MSN to doctoral programs.

Apart from the pursuit of academic excellence, Nell school of nursing is committed to preparing visionary nurse leaders through clinical collaborations and transformational research.

With all these qualities, any aspiring nurse resident in Georgia will consider Emory a great destination for a nursing career.

#2.Georgia Southwestern State University

Estimated Tuition: $9,959.00/semester
Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
NCLEX Pass Rate: 90.28%

Just like Emory, Georgia Southwestern State University(GSSU) school of nursing also ranks consistently among the top Nursing schools in the country.

The school awards baccalaureate and master’s degree programs in traditional BSN, 2nd degree BSN, LPN-BSN, and Online RN-BSN.

From the data above, you could see that graduates of this school perform above the national average on the nursing licensure exams and this happens consistently.

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Also, nurse practitioners and nursing educators have a high pass rate on certification exams. This proves that taking up a program in GSSU is indeed be an excellent choice to make.

#3. Georgia Baptist College of Nursing-Mercer University 

Estimated Tuition: $12,413/semester
Accreditation:
 Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
NCLEX Pass Rate: 
91.45%

Georgia Baptist College of Nursing of Mercer University offers a full-time Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and the Doctor of Nursing Practice program.  

Each of these programs features a wide variety of course curriculum that prepares individuals for a bigger job position in the health sector.

Mercer college of nursing has a great reputation; The MSN and DNP degree programs in the College of Nursing are ranked among the top nursing programs across the country. Not only that, but the MSN FNP program was also rated as the BEST value program in Georgia.

With this data, we can conclude that this school excels in all-round teachings, research, leadership, and service.

#4. University of West Georgia

Estimated Tuition: $17,450
Accreditation:
Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
NCLEX Pass Rate: 
91.35%

The University of West Georgia(UWG) awards a BSN, MSN, and a Doctorate in Nursing education. UWG is well accredited and recognized as one of the best nursing programs in Georgia.

The school provides a safe and supportive learning environment for students to practice nursing, apply nursing knowledge, and develop caring attitudes.

Students develop good clinical proficiencies in campus skills labs and also participate in clinical rotations at local health care facilities.

Graduates of this school are competent and capable of delivering high-quality care.

#5. Columbus State University

Estimated Tuition: $199/credit hour
Accreditation:
 Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
NCLEX Pass Rate: 
91.45%

Data from the school website show that more than 91 percent of Columbus State University’s School of Nursing graduates pass the NCLEX, the national nursing licensure exam. This makes Columbus one of the most sought after Nursing schools in the country.

This school features degree programs at all levels including RN and BSN Online Program. Students in the Junior year focus on the pre-requisites course work during their first four-semester.

Upon graduation, students of this program are eligible to take the Registered Nurse Licensure Exam (NCLEX-RN).

#6. Kennesaw State University- WellStar School of Nursing

Estimated Tuition: $13,560 
Accreditation:
Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
NCLEX Pass Rate: 
95.16%

WellStar School of Nursing has the largest nursing program in north Georgia. The school is accredited and offers baccalaureate, masters, doctoral degrees, and also an accelerated track for students with degrees in other fields.

The traditional and accelerated BSN programs curriculum feature courses in the humanities and the biological and social sciences as well as the theoretical and clinical practice background.

Wellstar is indeed a good place to start a nursing career. In addition to the academic program, this school provides freshmen nursing students with a variety of merit-based and need-based institutional scholarships.

#7. Augusta University College of Nursing

Estimated Tuition: $667/credit (in-state) and $1,368/credit (out-of-state)
Accreditation:
Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
NCLEX Pass Rate: 
86.60%

Augusta University College of Nursing is one of the few nursing schools in Georgia that offers inter-professional collaboration across healthcare disciplines. This school offers graduates and online programs.

Te program curriculum integrates  simulated learning and offers opportunities for students to engage in cutting-edge research. Students also learn the latest innovations in health care and advances in nursing science. 

 If working with a collaborative health care team is what draws you to nursing, then, you will definitely gain much from Augusta.

#8. Clayton State University

Estimated Tuition: $14,426
Accreditation:
 Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
NCLEX Pass Rate: 
90%

If you’re looking to study in a serene environment, then, Clayton has met your expectations. The school campus feels like a second home with its 214 acres of park-like beauty. Students can enjoy a vibrant campus life.

The program curriculum features practical classes, internships, and real-life experiences. The small class sizes allow students to have one-on-one coaching with the professors.

We can’t forget to mention that Clayton ranks among the top ten nursing schools in Georgia according to data from a recent publication. This school is indeed a good choice for every aspiring nurse.

#9. Georgia College & State University 

Estimated Tuition: $373/credit (in-state) and $373/credit (out-of-state)
Accreditation:
 Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
NCLEX Pass Rate: 
95.56%

The list of top nursing schools in Georgia won’t be complete if we fail to mention Georgia College & State University(GCSU). GCSU school of nursing offers a degree major (BSN) and a master’s degree (MSN).

The BSN is built on a two-year core curriculum of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Also, the MSN program covers concentrations in Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, Nurse-Midwifery, and Nurse Educator.

At the end of your program, you will gain a foundation in humanities and behavioral sciences on to which you can build your nursing practice.

#10. Byrdine F. Lewis College of Nursing and Health Professions-Georgia State University

Estimated Tuition:
Accreditation:
 Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
NCLEX Pass Rate: 
100%

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Byrdine F. Lewis College of Nursing offers five distinct degrees, many with additional tracks or specialties. With the undergraduate program leading to a degree in Traditional Bachelor of Science, ACE Bachelor of Science, Transfer Track R.N. to B.S. – Online Bridge Program.

The graduate program also features numerous options including the R.N. to M.S. – Bridge Program, Post-master’s Certificate, Doctor of Nursing Practice, Doctor of Philosophy.

Students take courses from numerous majors and participate in many aspects of campus life. Any career focus student will definitely choose Byrdine F. Lewis College of Nursing at Georgia State.

There are many educational paths to becoming a professional nurse. While many people begin their nursing career with a BSN, others who want to pursue a professional nursing career but don’t have the time or money to complete a bachelor’s degree may consider an associate degree in nursing(ADN).

That being said, Associate degree programs are not common in most nursing schools especially schools with high tuition and acceptance. That is why individuals seeking this type of degree option oftentimes consider easy nursing schools to gain entry.

Best Nursing Schools in Georgia Offering ADN Programs

The Associate’s degree in Nursing, ADN, is a 2-year degree and is the minimum amount of school required to become licensed as a registered nurse, or RN.

Georgia residents seeking an ADN can take advantage of the following schools.

  • Wiregrass Georgia Technical College
  • Chattahoochee Technical College
  • College of Coastal Georgia
  • Gwinnett Technical College
  • Gordon State College
  • Middle Georgia State University
  • South Georgia State College
  • Georgia Highlands College

Most Nursing schools in Georgia are among the top 15 Best Nursing Schools in the World

What Are The Professional Associations for Nurses In Georgia?

Do you know being a part of a professional association can be beneficial for you as a Nurse? This is very necessary especially if you are a graduate or enrolled in a graduate program.

These associations offer continuing education opportunities, networking events, and information about job openings.

They also help to promote and protect your role as a Nurse and as an integral part of the health care team.

As a Nurse in Georgia, you should identify yourself with the following associations.

How Much Do Nurses Earn in Georgia?

Generally, the annual earnings of nurses are dependent on their level. An entry-level Registered Nurse (RN) with less than 1-year experience can expect to earn an average total pay of $25.68 per hour based on 98 salaries.

 While an experienced Registered Nurse (RN) with 10-19 years of experience earns an average total pay of $35.14 based on 143 salaries. 

In summary, a Registered Nurse (RN) in Georgia typically makes between
$24.44 – $39.99 per hour according to Payscale.

What is the Job Outlook For Nurses In Georgia?

Georgia doesn’t have an agency designated to analyze nursing workforce data and that makes it difficult to accurately predict future demand for nurses in the state.

However, the US Bureau of Labour statistics speculates that the overall employment of nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners is projected to grow 26 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Best Nursing Schools in Georgia-Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any Professional Associations for Nurses in Georgia?

There are varieties of Nurse associations in Georgia but the most common is the Georgia Nurses Association.

How Long does it take to Nursing degree in Georgia?

It takes 5 to 8 years to complete a Nursing program in Georgia.

Are Nurses in Georgia well Paid?

According to Payscale, an average salary range for nurses in Georgia is $24.44 – $39.99 per hour.

Conclusion

The first step to becoming a nurse is getting the required education and, the type of nursing school you attend is going to have a big impact on your career. If you are looking for a nursing school that will create a smooth path for your career, consider nursing schools in Georgia. You will learn in a way that will benefit you.

References

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