If you’re an LPN in Georgia, you know how in-demand you are. And while practical nurses will always be sought-after, earning your bachelor’s degree and becoming a registered nurse opens up even more job opportunities – not to mention higher pay. Luckily, there are multiple LPN to BSN programs in Georgia that allow you to get your Bachelor of Science in Nursing in only two or three years. Ready to get started on your journey? This guide covers the top programs in your state, what you need to know to become a licensed RN after graduating, and how far a BSN can advance your nursing career and salary.
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Best LPN to BSN Programs in Georgia for 2024
Finding the right LPN to BSN program is worthwhile and gratifying, but it takes time and patience. To get you started on your search and make it less complicated, we’ve identified the top LPN to BSN programs in Georgia. All of these programs are fully-accredited, and graduates are eligible to become licensed RNs in Georgia. We placed accreditation, affordability, academic excellence, and student support high on the list when ranking these programs. See which Georgia LPN to BSN programs stand out in 2024.
Georgia State University
The LPN to BSN program at Georgia State began in 2021. Despite its youth, the program has already gained a reputation as a high quality, flexible program. The degree is designed for working nurses, meaning offered course times can fit around a full-time work schedule. To facilitate increased flexibility, some courses are offered fully online while those with lab requirements are offered on campus. Students also complete clinical rotations in acute care and community-based agencies near campus. This allows them to gain real world experience and to apply what they learn in the classroom to multiple healthcare settings. The program also has online resources to help students prepare for the NCLEX exam and for the application for nursing licensure. Students getting this degree usually graduate within six semesters, even if they work full time while getting their degree, making this program one of the fastest in the state.
Georgia Southwestern State University
Georgia Southwestern State University offers a high-quality hybrid LPN to BSN program. While the program is designed to take place over four years, students can complete it in as little as three years if they already have met some of the general education requirements. The general education requirements to be completed can be taken online, adding some flexibility to students’ schedules. All nursing courses and clinicals must be completed in person. Usually, students will take a mix of general education and foundational nursing courses in their first one to two years. During their last two years in the degree, their time is split between nursing courses and clinical hours with an approved partner. All students take the same 62 credit hours of nursing courses, though they can choose what type of nursing settings they want to complete their clinical hours in. By the time they graduate, most students will have work experience in hospitals, long-term care facilities, treatment centers, and outpatient and community clinics.
Georgia Southern University
If you’re looking for a quick way to get your BSN and you already have your LPN or LVN, check out the nursing bridge program from Georgia Southern University. In this program, LPNs and LVNs are put on an advanced graduation track. They take BSN nursing courses either at the Armstrong or Statesboro campus, but unlike other programs they don’t have to complete in-program clinicals. Students’ full-time roles as LPNs or LVNs count as their clinical hours. Since their full-time job counts toward their degree, class times are flexible and designed to fit around a full-time role. The program’s curriculum also encompasses foundational courses and electives. In elective courses, students can opt to learn more about a field of nursing which is of interest to them, such as geriatric nursing or psychiatric nursing. Upon completing the degree, usually within two to three years, students will be prepared to sit for the NCLEX and become a licensed RN in the state of Georgia.
FAQs About LPN to BSN Programs in Georgia
What additional nursing skills and knowledge will I gain in an LPN to BSN program in Georgia?
An LPN to BSN program builds off the foundational knowledge you already possess from your LPN degree and work experience. It’s designed to help you hone your expertise and become a licensed RN. After you complete your BSN and become an RN, there’s more career advance opportunities available since RNs with a BSN have more advanced skills. Some programs, such as the one at Georgia Southern University, let students take electives in areas of interest to them, like gerontology and home health nursing. Other programs, like the one from Georgia Southwestern, offer a foundational degree without specialties.
How long does it take to complete an LPN to BSN program in Georgia?
On average, it takes two to three years to complete an LPN to BSN program in the state of Georgia. The exact time frame depends on how many classes you take each semester and each program’s curriculum. Georgia State University’s program takes six semesters, while the program at Georgia Southwestern University is usually completed in three to four years. Additionally, it could take you longer if you complete your degree on a part-time basis while working full time. While a part-time degree extends your time in class, it does provide a steady source of income to help fund your tuition.
How much do LPN to BSN programs in Georgia cost?
The cost of your degree can vary greatly from program to program. How much you pay isn’t just about the tuition price either–your financial aid package from your university and the state and federal government can also lower the price. You can also apply to privately funded scholarships to help cover the cost. To give you a better idea of how much you can expect to pay, we looked at the price of three popular nursing programs in the state. Keep in mind these costs per credit are before any financial aid.
Georgia Southwestern University
Total Credits: 120
Georgia State University
Total Credits: 47 plus 60 core curriculum
What are the admission requirements for LPN to BSN programs in Georgia?
Most LPN to BSN programs in Georgia have the same four requirements for acceptance:
- Graduation from a state-approved LPN program
- Current LPN license in the state of Georgia
- A minimum GPA, which can differ from school to school
- Completed prerequisites in order to enter the program. Like GPA, this can differ from program to program.
Some programs also have additional requirements, such as Georgia State University, which requires a letter of reference or Georgia Southern University, which has core performance standards applicants must meet to be accepted.
What should I look for in an LPN to BSN program in Georgia?
It’s important to make sure your LPN to BSN program has the right accreditations so you can become a registered nurse upon graduating. The minimum requirement for any program in Georgia is to be approved by the Georgia Board of Nursing and accredited by either the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Beyond that, the school you choose should have a high NCLEX-RN pass rate in recent years and provide the learning format that works best for you.
Can I get financial aid to help pay for my LPN to BSN program in Georgia?
Since Georgia is facing a critical nursing crisis and recognizes the need for well-prepared and educated nurses in the state, it provides state-specific aid to many LPN to BSN candidates. The Georgia College Completion Grant can be used to complete a bachelor’s degree by those with some advanced education, such as an LPN degree. The state also provides REACH scholarships to students who demonstrate financial need.
While state-specific scholarships are great, you can also apply to national ones and other financial aid options. Check out our nursing scholarship guide for a complete list of scholarships available to you.
Inside Look at Online LPN to BSN Programs in Georgia
Hybrid and online programs are rarer than in-person programs in the state of Georgia. When hybrid and online programs are available, they will have some in-person requirements, whether that is the clinical hours or clinical hours and some in-person courses. Some programs, like the one from Georgia Southwestern University, let you take general education requirements online, but all nursing courses and clinical hours must be completed in-person. Other programs, like the one at Georgia State University, offer some nursing classes online while others must be taken in person.
If you’re interested in a fully online program, check out our list of the best online LPN to BSN programs in the U.S. Keep in mind that while we didn’t find any fully online programs in Georgia in our research, we found several quality hybrid LPN to BSN programs.
Common Questions About Online LPN to BSN Programs in Georgia
Are hybrid and online LPN programs more affordable than campus programs in Georgia?
Whether or not an online or hybrid program is more affordable than an in-person one differs from university to university. Usually, the two program types often have the same tuition prices. But even if they are the same tuition price, online and hybrid students save money on housing and not commuting to campus.
Can I finish my LPN to BSN program in Georgia faster by taking coursework online?
The beauty of taking coursework online is that you have more control over how many courses you take each semester. Because you are cutting down on commuting time, you could take more courses and finish faster. You could also take less courses if you have a busy schedule and finish slower. The pace is up to you.
Will earning my LPN to BSN degree online or through a hybrid program impact my ability to get licensed?
If you go to an accredited institution in Georgia, the learning format of the program will not impact your ability to get licensed. Whether you pursue an in-person, online, or hybrid program, make sure it’s accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and approved by the Georgia Board of Nursing.
Will employers care if I took some of my LPN to BSN classes online?
While this could differ, most employers will not care if you got your LPN to BSN online. What they do care about is your credentials, experience, and how you can discuss both throughout the job application and interview process.
How Do I Go from Being an LPN to a BSN Nurse in Georgia?
Getting your BSN degree isn’t enough to become an RN. In Georgia, you also must go through a licensure process outlined by the Georgia Board of Nursing. To get your RN license, there are a couple steps you need to follow:
- Attend a BSN program that’s accredited by ACEN or CCNE and approved by the state of Georgia. The Georgia Board of Nursing provides a list of approved LPN to BSN programs.
- Register through Pearson VUE to take the NCLEX, the national nursing exam, and register with the board to apply for licensure on the same day you register for the test. Applicants also need to sign up for a background check with GAPS/Gemalto on the same day as well.
- Once all three registrations are processed, GAPS/Gemalto will send out instructions about how to complete the fingerprint test.
- After passing the background check and NCLEX, you can pay the application fee of $40 and submit your official transcripts. Transcripts and your application must be notarized.
- The state should tell you within a couple weeks if your request for a license was approved or rejected.
In Georgia, nurses must renew their license by January 31st of the expiration year. There is a nonrefundable renewal fee of $65 and nurses know within three days if they’re license renewal has been approved.
LPN to BSN Salary and Employment Trends in Georgia
You’ve probably heard time and time again that a BSN can increase your potential earnings and make you more employable in Georgia. But how much money are we talking about, and how many more job opportunities will be available? For a better idea of what to expect, check out the median salaries and employment rates of LPNs and RNs with a BSN in Georgia.
How much more can I make going from an LPN to BSN in Georgia?
In every major metro area, RNs make significantly more than LPNs. In fact, they make $20,420 more annually on average, meaning you can expect up to a 50% pay bump after becoming an RN. In certain counties, RNs make even more. For example, Columbus County, Gainesville County, and Macon County pay RNs the most and might be a good place to search for jobs upon graduating.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2021
What’s the job market like for BSN nurses in Georgia vs. LPNs?
Georgia is currently facing the worst nursing crisis in the state’s history. No matter which degree you have, your skillset is most likely in demand. However, when we look at the projected job growth rate over the next ten years, RNs are more in-demand, with a 19.2% growth rate compared to the 18.1% growth rate for LPNs. RNs are also more likely to be promoted to leadership roles and given more opportunities to advance in their career, thanks to their higher education level. The market favors RNs both in terms of both job advancement opportunities and the total number of open roles.
Source: Projections Central