Nursing school offers the chance to get the education you need to launch your career in the healthcare field. Nursing positions are highly lucrative with plenty of potential for job advancement. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook rate for nurses during the next 10 years is 15 percent—a much faster rate when compared to all other occupations. The high demand for nurses is contributed to a surge in demand for healthcare services for the baby boomer generation as well as growing awareness of the benefits of preventative healthcare.
Nursing school requirements vary due to the time of degree you are pursuing. Options include the following:
The healthcare field is highly competitive with many prospective nurses choosing higher degrees in order to secure coveted positions. Many employers, including major hospitals and surgical centers, are giving preference to hiring nurses with a minimum of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Moreover, the Institute of Health has proposed an increase of BSN nurses working in the field from 50 percent to 80 percent by the year 2020.
BSN Program Requirements
In order to receive a BSN, students must earn a four-year degree from an accredited college. Courses within a BSN program will include subjects such as anatomy, physiology, public health care, disease prevention, clinical practice and nursing leadership techniques. A minimum of 120 credits is typically required for graduation from nursing school. However, at a number of Georgia colleges, RN to BSN programs are offered to registered nurses with state licensure. Within this program, RNs can earn their BSN at an accelerated rate with previous nursing degree credits transferred.
South Georgia State College is a four-year state school with campuses throughout the state including a central location in Douglas. The college offers flexible options for students who are looking to pursue a career in nursing. The BSN program includes an option for current registered nurses to transfer up to 60 credits toward a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. Nursing courses can be taken at either the college’s Douglas or Waycross campuses.
Georgia Highlands College has the distinction of having a total of five campuses throughout the state of Georgia as a way to reach as many students as possible. Accessibility is critical to the mission of Georgia Highlands College and it is the reason a number of degree programs are available online, including the RN to BSN program. Within the program, a BSN is earned within three semesters to students who attend the college full-time.
The Georgia Perimeter College is part of Georgia State University and has both in-person and online class options for all their students. Students can earn nursing degrees in as little as two years while attending Georgia Perimeter by earning their ASN. The college has a vast online student population with total enrollment topping 26,000.
The Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College is a state-run institution that offers both associate and bachelor degree programs. The nursing program at the college was first launched in 1966 and has been consistent in educating future nursing leaders in the field. Nursing is one of the most popular majors at the college with traditional and bridge tracks offered.
Gordon State College is a public, state-run university that offers both two-year and four-year degree programs in the liberal arts. The campus is rural with a small student body—enabling the staff to offer a lot of one-on-one student support. Nursing programs are made up of 15-week semesters that run year-round. Bridge programs including the RN-BSN are available on site.
Middle Georgia State University is a public university located in central Georgia. The expansive college has a total of five campuses with each site offering courses for both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The nursing department courses at Middle Georgia State are available in-person and online with ASN credits accepted for transfer.
The University of North Georgia was borne out of a merger between North Georgia College and Gainesville State College. The university offers both a traditional four-year degree program for nurses as well as an accelerated track for current registered nurses. The programs blend lessons in the classroom (virtual and in-person) with clinical experience. Two years of science and liberal arts credits are required for a BSN from the University of North Georgia.
Dalton State College is an affordable state college with a modest-sized student body of just over 5,000. The Department of Nursing offers degree programs that can be completed in less than two years, including LPN, ASN and BSN tracks. Simulation technologies and clinical partnerships are available to all nursing students.
The College of Coastal Georgia is located within the historic section of Georgia’s Golden Isles. The college has accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission to offer both associate and bachelor degree programs. The nursing program includes pre-licensure programs including a BSN degree with eligibility to take the NCLEX-RN at the conclusion of the program.
Georgia Southwestern State University is part of the University System of Georgia and offers a variety of undergraduate, masters and specialist degree programs. The School of Nursing is one of the most comprehensive programs in the state with baccalaureate, masters, and certificates all being offered through the university’s dedicated school. An online MSN is also available as a distance learning option through Georgia Southwestern State University.
The park-like atmosphere of Clayton State University, featuring a wooded lot with over 192 acres, is a big draw to many incoming students. The highly selective university has been ranked year after year as one of the 10 best nursing schools in the entire state of Georgia. An accelerated BSN track is available for current registered nurses with GPA and clinical experience pre-requisites.
In 2018, Georgia Southern University merged with Armstrong State University as a way to offer an increased number of undergraduate and graduate degree programs throughout the state at any one of the school’s three campuses. The college has the distinction of being one of the few public research universities within the state. The college has a number of tracks for nursing students to earn advanced degrees including a Doctor of Nurse Practice.
Albany State University’s nursing department is part of the college’s Darton College of Health Professions. Albany State University is a state-run college with the designation of being a historically black university (HBCU). Albany State University offers both accelerated and traditional tracks to earning a degree in the nursing field. Hybrid programs are also offered as a way for students to earn nursing degrees through a mix of in-person and online courses.
14. Georgia Gwinnett College
Georgia Gwinnett College is a four-year public university located in Lawrenceville. Despite only opening its doors in 2006 with a class of a mere 118 students, the college has grown rapidly over the last decade and now has a student body of more than 12,000. The nursing program is part of the college’s School of Health Sciences and has a high post-grad success rate of students passing the NCLEX-RN and a 100 percent employment rate.
Columbus State University has consistently appeared on U.S. News & World Report’s annual list of best colleges in the nation. The nursing program at the university has a high rate of success—with 91 percent of graduates passing the NCLEX-RN exam. Courses required for graduation include online classes, clinical experience and in-person lectures and labs.
The University of West Georgia is a large scale university with a 645-acre central campus located less than an hour away from Atlanta. With a student body comprised of more than 13,000 students, the University of Georgia has one of the largest student populations in the state. The university’s nursing school is part of the Tanner Health System and has received a national ranking for its online nursing degree program.
As one of the state’s most competitive universities, Kennesaw State University is highly focused on helping students achieve professional success. Accelerated nursing degree programs are available, including an option to earn the BSN in under four years. For those looking to fill leadership roles in the field of nursing, the university does offer MSN and DNP graduate programs.
Valdosta State University is one of four public colleges that make up the University System of Georgia. With a large campus that crosses over 168 acres, the college has a large number of undergraduate, masters and doctoral programs available. The nursing school at Valdosta State University has partnerships with community healthcare locations in order to assist nurses in gaining clinical experience and participate in community outreach.
Augusta University has the advantage of being home to the flagship medical school for the state’s university system. The Medical College of Georgia is consistently named as a top 10 medical schools within the United States and includes the latest technologies used to train doctors and nurses. The nursing school offers options including simulation learning and distance learning courses.
At Georgia College and State University, nursing students receive a nursing education with a two-year focus on the liberal arts. The public college has a state-of-the-art laboratory on campus for classroom work and also partners with clinics to provide hands-on opportunities for nurses.
The Atlanta campus of Herzing University is home to the college’s numerous nursing degree programs. The downtown Atlanta location is a major convenience for commuters and the college offers flexible scheduling options. By attending Herzing on a part-time or full-time basis, nurses can earn specializations in areas such as family nurse practitioner, nursing education and nursing leadership.
South University is a private non-profit college located in the heart of Savannah. In recent years, the college has focused on flexible learning options with a course catalog expansion of online classes. The college has undergraduate and graduate degrees available in nursing with fast-track options for registered nurses to get their BSN and MSN with credit given for ASN classes.
Thomas University is a private college located in Thomasville, Georgia. Nursing students at Thomas University find success after graduation in the fields of healthcare, education and professional leadership. Besides BSN and MSN programs, the college has certificate programs in nursing administration and nursing education.
Chamberlain University has over 125 years of experience in training healthcare professionals. The college offers a supportive learning environment with students able to reach out to tutors and mentors throughout the course of their studies. Chamberlain offers a fast track to earning the BSN in as quickly as three years. The accredited BSN degree program requires no pre-requisites and classes can be scheduled at 21 different locations nationwide.
The Truett McConnell University is a liberal arts college with a Christian foundation. The college is governed by the Georgia Baptist Convention and has a total student population under 2,500. The BSN program at the university requires students to minor in Great Commission in order to graduate from the university.
Shorter University was founded in 1873 as a Christian university associated with the Baptist Church. The college continues to offer Christ-centered instruction and has both undergraduate and graduate degrees available. The Ben and Ollie School of Nursing’s mission is to give nurses the opportunity to earn higher degrees and fill occupational gaps in the healthcare field.
Wesleyan College is a women’s university located in the historic section of Macon, Georgia. The college mentors women on obtaining leadership positions in a vast number of professions, including the field of nursing. The nursing degrees are accredited with a strong focus made on out of the classroom clinical experience with personalized patient care.
Piedmont College prepares students to provide exceptional levels of healthcare in a variety of settings. Piedmont uses a clinical-based approach to teaching with nursing degrees requiring a minimum number of clinical hours. All Piedmont graduates will meet the eligibility requirements to take the NCLEX-RN exam.
Brenau University is a non-profit private college in Gainesville with undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Brenau has several campuses throughout the southeast as well as a comprehensive online program. The School of Nursing at Brenau University is a competitive program with students able to access state-of-the-art equipment while attending in-person seminars including human simulator training sessions.
In 1831, LaGrange College was founded as a private higher-education institution for women. There are a total of 55 degree programs currently available at LaGrange with a high rate of post-graduation success. The graduating class of 2018 boasted a job placement rate of 77 percent. Nursing students are able to access high tech labs for training and can choose to take part in medical missions to different countries.
Berry College is located in Floyd County and has a reputation of being a solid choice for students looking for a prestigious liberal arts college. The college’s nursing program is based around the institution’s “head, hearts and hands” approach to learning. The curriculum of all the nursing degree programs has a strong emphasis on patient-centered care and safety initiatives.
Mercer University is located within the college town of Macon and has the distinction of being the nation’s oldest private university. The nursing school recently received re-accreditation through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The MSN and DNP programs from Mercer University have been included as part of the U.S. News & World Report’s list of best graduate schools.
Emory University was first founded in the early 1800s as a religious college and now has become one of the leading research universities in the state. There are nine schools within the university and the college is part of the state’s largest healthcare system. Nursing degree options at Emory University range from a BSN to post-doctoral certificate programs.
The nursing schools appearing on the list are made available through RNtoBSNProgram.com and were ranked using the following criteria:
To determine how to rank each college with a BSN program available, we researched and evaluated each school’s estimated cost of tuition per year and graduation rate, letting each value make up equal portions (50%) of each school’s score.
All nursing schools in Georgia appearing on this list are invited to contact RNtoBSNProgram.com to suggest edits. Any nursing schools not appearing can also contact us to request a review of their available programs.
Our mission at RNtoBSNProgram.com is to help nursing students find the top degree programs within their states. We research and review accredited programs as a way to recommend the best opportunities for nurses to continue their education.