If you’re interested in joining the nursing profession, becoming a licensed practical nurse (LPN) in Georgia is a great career path that can help you make a difference. Your first step is to earn your LPN credentials from an accredited, state-approved program. There are quite a few options out there—diploma programs, certificate programs, traditional on-campus instruction, community college offerings, and hybrid or partially online programs for additional flexibility.
This guide is designed to help you sort through the choices. You’ll learn everything you need to know about how to obtain your credentials and discover some of the best LPN programs in Georgia. You’ll also find out how online/hybrid classes work, the steps you’ll need to take to get licensed, and current trends and salaries in the Georgia LPN job market.
College Spotlights: Best LPN Programs in Georgia
Below are three stand-out LPN programs in GA. The programs made the short list based on the criteria that matter the most: curriculum, cost, and student support. In addition to accreditation and state-level approval, each program sets itself apart by offering the resources and programming you need to begin your LPN career. See which schools stand out in 2021.
FAQs About LPN Programs in Georgia
Inside Look at Online LPN Programs in Georgia
Most LPN programs in Georgia require significant on-campus attendance, but a few are beginning to move toward hybrid models with more flexibility. Under these models, some classes occur entirely online with clinical elements taking place in person. Others combine both elements—online and on-campus attendance—within a single course. Hybrid models offer quite a few benefits in terms of convenience and accommodation. Busy learners and working professionals alike find this useful because it means you can finish your training without completely restructuring your life.
North Georgia Technical College offers some prerequisite and core courses online and during the evenings; Chattahoochee Technical College has similar options but only for prerequisite courses. Central Georgia Technical College also administers practical nursing courses online and lists current offerings through its course search tool.
Common Questions About Online LPN Programs in Georgia
Will earning my credential from an online LPN program in Georgia impact my ability to get certified or licensed?
No. You will complete the same licensure requirements as anyone else, so online study has no impact on your standing as an LPN candidate. Like other regulators, the Georgia Board of Nursing does not differentiate between online or in-person students as long as you complete an approved program.
Do employers care if I take some of my LPN classes online?
Each employer is different, but most do not care what type of program you attend as long as you hold proper licensure and certification through the Georgia Board of Nursing. Online LPN programs in Georgia deliver the same programming and develop the same competencies as their brick-and-mortar counterparts.
Are online LPN programs more affordable than campus programs in Georgia?
Traditional and online LPN programs in Georgia tend to fall in the same ballpark as far as tuition expenses go. That said, you can still save money by attending an online program. For example, taking classes online means you won’t need to commute, so you’ll see savings on travel expenses.
Can I complete my LPN training in Georgia faster by taking classwork online?
Online LPN programs in GA offer a convenient way to complete the coursework component of your studies. They still function as hybrid programs, however, which means you will need to complete the same in-person requirements as any other program (clinical rotations, fieldwork placements, etc.). Depending on your program and circumstances, online classes could expedite things, but this isn’t guaranteed.
LPN Licensing Information and Requirements in Georgia
Once you graduate from your program you will need to obtain licensure from the Georgia Board of Nursing. This board approves qualified LPN programs in GAand specifies the requirements for licensure. This section takes a closer look at that process and details the steps you’ll need to complete to work as an LPN in Georgia.
Education and Training
The first step is to attend a program approved by the Georgia Board of Nursing and ideally accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. The Georgia Board of Nursing provides a directory of approved programs. LPN programs in Georgia must meet the basic requirements stipulated by the Rules and Regulations of Georgia. The programs should include at least 685 clock hours of theoretical nursing instruction and at least 485 clock hours of supervised clinical practice. These rules also specify content areas and clinical experience components that approved programs integrate into the curriculum.
Professional Nursing Examination
Once your studies in an approved program are complete you can move to the next major requirement for licensure, your nursing examination. Like other states, Georgia uses the NCLEX-PN exam provided by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). The exam assesses core areas of competency required for entry-level nursing practice, and most LPN programs in GA provide preparation experiences as a regular part of their curriculum. You can also use resources provided by the NCSBN and the Georgia Board of Nursing to help prepare for the exam.
Completed Background Check and Additional Application Materials
After you pass the NCLEX-PN, you can move to the final stage of the process. The first part of this stage entails a successful criminal background check completed by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Other items include a completed application for initial licensure, academic transcripts from an approved program, and other administrative forms required by the Georgia Board of Nursing. Initial applicants must also pay a $40 nonrefundable application fee and provide any additional information required by the board.
Licensure by Endorsement
If you reside in another state and have an active LPN license, you can seek licensure in Georgia through endorsement. A popular measure in many states, licensure by endorsement is a way of converting your credentials so you can work as an active LPN in Georgia. You’ll need to complete an application and background check, provide transcripts, and verify your licensure status in the other state. You’ll also need to submit evidence of at least 500 hours of professional nursing practice or proof of graduation from a nursing education program within the last four years.
License Renewal & Continuing Education
In Georgia, working LPNs must renew their license every other year. Applicants can submit renewals online using the Board of Nursing’s licensure portal (initial licenses must be done in hard copy). Each renewal applicant must satisfy the Georgia Board of Nursing’s continuing education requirements before obtaining a new active license. For LPNs, this means at least 20 hours of continuing education within a given licensure period. These hours must be completed through an approved provider and must cover key areas of competency.
Salary and Job Outlook for LPNs in Georgia
Find out more about earning power and job growth for Georgia LPNs below to get an idea of what the job market could look like after you graduate.
Are LPNs in high demand in Georgia?
LPNs are in high demand throughout Georgia due, in part, to an aging population. In fact, the projected job growth rate for Georgia LPNs detailed below outpaces the national growth rate for LPNs by more than one percentage point. It also exceeds the current growth rate for all professions, which is 4% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over 24,000 LPNs are employed in Georgia, and almost 3,000 new jobs will be added by the end of the decade, indicating that the job market for LPNs in Georgia should continue to be strong.
Job Outlook for Licensed Practical Nurses in Georgia
|Employment (2018)||New Jobs (2018-2028)||Job Growth Rate (2018-2028)||Average Annual Openings (2018-2028)|
Source: Projections Central
How much do LPNs make in Georgia?
The table below offers a detailed picture of the LPN salary trends in Georgia. Annual earnings remain consistent with the national average and in some cases exceed the national average. Albany, Athens, and Dalton pay the highest median earnings, while Augusta, Valdosta, and Warner Robins are at the bottom of the list. Consider, too, how the cost of living in various areas affects salaries.
Annual Earnings for Licensed Practical Nurses in Georgia
|10th Percentile||Median Earnings||90th Percentile|
|Athens-Clarke County, GA||$31,370||$45,160||$59,280|
|Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA||$33,020||$42,200||$57,240|
|Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC||$32,410||$38,380||$53,700|
|Warner Robins, GA||$32,630||$38,610||$48,780|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2019
Georgia LPN Student and Professional Resources
- Georgia Board of Nursing This organization establishes education standards for Georgia LPNs and oversees the licensure and certification process. It also provides active practical nurses with resources for continuing education and professional development.
- Georgia Health Care AssociationThe Georgia Health Care Association focuses on elder care and has promoted professional success in the field since 1953. It offers financial aid to aspiring professionals, hosts local events, and engages in legislative advocacy efforts.
- Georgia Nurses Association This association supports Georgia nursing professionals at every level of practice. It offers educational tools and career advancement resources. It also provides employment services, hosts webinars, and supports new publications in the field.
- Georgia Nursing Leadership CoalitionThe Georgia Nursing Leadership Coalition works to build industry leaders through training and advocacy. It hosts regular events for working professionals, aggregates healthcare tools and resources, and publishes education reports.
- National Black Nurses Association With chapters in Atlanta, College Park, Columbus, Dublin, Martinez, Savannah, and Waycross, the National Black Nurses Association works to improve healthcare for all Americans and offers scholarships, nurse of the year awards, an under 40 award, and more.
- Scholarships and Online Resources for LPN/LVN Students Our guide details a number of scholarships and online resources available to LPN students in Georgia and elsewhere. It looks at school-based awards along with prominent national and regional scholarships. It also lists advice for landing financial aid as an LPN student.