Best Accredited Online Nursing Programs in Georgia

Explore online and hybrid nursing programs that can train you to become
an in-demand nurse in GA, plus get key RN licensing and salary info.

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Kathleen Curtis

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Kathleen Curtis is an American writer currently living in Louisville, Kentucky. She has developed content around education for more than a decade for both domestic and international clients.

last updated

09/15/2022

Whether you’re a working RN interested in getting your bachelor’s degree, or looking to break into the growing nursing profession for the first time, earning your degree online from a Georgia nursing school offers a convenient and often more affordable academic option. Accredited online nursing programs in Georgia are ideal for working adults and others that have life commitments that make on-campus learning a less-desirable option. And now’s a great time to start. Nursing jobs are expanding in Georgia at a fast pace, with nearly double the expected job growth rate of the national average.

The following guide provides a detailed introduction to online nursing programs in Georgia. Keep reading for a list of top accredited programs and to get answers to your most pressing questions. You’ll also get an inside look at Georgia’s nursing job market and the requirements for nursing licensure in the state.

Best Online Nursing Programs in Georgia: 2023

Online nursing programs in Georgia with asynchronous learning allow you to complete coursework at the time that’s best for you. Many schools feature a hybrid learning model, requiring some in-person attendance for clinicals and class meetups, but with the core classwork available 100% online. Full-time online coursework mirrors on-campus programs, but bridge programs such as RN-to-BSN programs allow working nurses to complete programs more quickly. While online nursing programs offer substantial flexibility, they also require a considerable amount of self-motivation, discipline and focus.

The following online nursing programs represent the best in Georgia for 2023. They have the best combinations of academic quality, affordability, and student resources and support. To learn more about how EduMed identified these top schools, please read our detailed methodology in “About the Ranking”. See which online nursing schools in Georgia earned top honors.

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About the ranking

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Base Methodology for EduMed’s 2023 Online College Rankings

1. Create List of Eligible Schools and Programs

To be eligible for this ranking, schools were required to meet the following criteria based on government data provided by The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

  • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • At least one program in subject area offered partially or fully online.

2. Assign Weightings

After creating the list of eligible schools, EduMed data scientists assigned weights and ranked schools based on a mix of affordability, support services, and online program availability metrics. Online program availability and overall affordability metrics received the heaviest weightings.

Online Program Availability

  • Number of online programs in subject area reported by school to the U.S. Department of Education.

Affordability

  • Cost – Relative cost of attendance compared to peer schools on the list. Based on tuition and fees per academic year.
  • Students w/ Institutional Aid – Percentage of students who receive financial aid from the school itself.

Support Services

  • Academic Counseling – Existence of this service on campus or online.
  • Career Placement – Existence of this service on campus or online.

About Our Data

EduMed’s rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Most recent data pull: July 2022

# School Name Type Cost Online Programs More Details School Information Online Students Academic Counseling Career Placement Students w/Institutional Aid Median Earnings 10yrs After Entry Accreditation
1 University of North GeorgiaDahlonega, GA Public $ 5

The University of Georgia’s online nursing programs stand out by the commitment to combining online learning with in-person instruction. For example, the post-master’s certificate and Master of Science in Nursing programs that both specialize in nursing education offer most of the classwork online. There are also a few in-person training requirements, which include several on-campus visits and practicums or clinicals (depending on the program). The Doctor of Nursing program is similar in how it blends face-to-face on-campus learning with online learning. Even though most online classes are offered asynchronously, some of them are also available synchronously so students can take advantage of live learning and peer interaction.

Program Highlights:

Post-Master’s Certificate – Nursing Education

  • Credits: Varies
  • Cost: $303.00/credit
  • Length: Varies
  • Mode: Partially online

MSN – Nursing Education

  • Credits: 35
  • Cost: $303.00/credit
  • Length: Two to three years
  • Mode: Partially online

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Credits: 38
  • Cost: $375.00/credit
  • Length: About two to three years
  • Mode: Partially online
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
19/1
AccreditationSACSCOC
2 Georgia Southern UniversityStatesboro, GA Public $ 4

Georgia Southern University has a large range of nursing programs to choose from, many of which are available online. At the undergraduate level, there’s the RN to BSN degree completion program. All didactic classes can be completed online and students can choose between taking classes part-time or full-time. Though in-person clinicals are necessary, the number of hours required will be tailored to each student based on their prior training and experience. Those looking to take a more advanced step in their nursing career can enroll in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program with a similar learning format. There are also several DNP concentrations to choose from, such as adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner and family nurse practitioner. Students who don’t need a degree can consider a post-master’s certificate, which offers online coursework and experiential learning.

Program Highlights:

RN to BSN

  • Credits: 120
  • Cost: $182.13/credit
  • Length: One to two years
  • Mode: Partially online

Doctor of Nursing Practice

  • Credits: 37
  • Cost: $389.00/credit
  • Length: About two to three years
  • Mode: Partially online

Post-MSN Certificate Family Nurse Practitioner

  • Credits: 19
  • Cost: $277.00/credit
  • Length: About one year
  • Mode: Partially online
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
22/1
AccreditationSACSCOC
3 Augusta UniversityAugusta, GA Public $$ 4

When it comes to offering a wide selection of online graduate nursing programs, Augusta University stands out. At the highest levels, there are the doctoral DNP degrees, with specializations like nurse executive and family nurse practitioner. These can vary significantly in the credit requirements, but most follow the learning format of providing classes online and having students complete in-person experiential learning requirements, such as practicums. Recognizing that not all students need a doctoral degree, or even another graduate degree, post-graduate certificates are also available. These can usually be completed in about a year and follow a similar distance learning format of the DNP programs with online coursework complemented with clinicals or practicums.

Program Highlights:

DNP – Nurse Executive

  • Credits: 37
  • Cost: $430.00/credit (in-state); $1,132.00/credit (out-of-state)
  • Length: About two to three years
  • Mode: Partially online

DNP – Family Nurse Practitioner

  • Credits: 77
  • Cost: $430.00/credit (in-state); $1,132.00/credit (out-of-state)
  • Length: About three to four years
  • Mode: Partially online

Post-Graduate Certificate – Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

  • Credits: 19
  • Cost: $391.00/credit (in-state); $1,081.00/credit (out-of-state)
  • Length: About two years
  • Mode: Partially online
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
17/1
AccreditationSACSCOC
4 Columbus State UniversityColumbus, GA Public $ 3

Columbus State University has several online nursing programs to choose from. Those who have an associate degree can consider the RN to BSN degree completion program. The primary coursework can be completed asynchronously online with minimal clinical requirements. Those looking for graduate training have several options to choose from, including a Master of Science in Nursing and a certificate. Depending on which certificate is chosen, the entire program can be completed online. As for the MSN degree track, classes are offered online, with no campus visits needed. Students will have practicums or clinicals that must be completed in-person.

Program Highlights:

RN to BSN

  • Credits: 123
  • Cost: $199.00/credit
  • Length: One to two years
  • Mode: Partially online

Master of Science in Nursing

  • Credits: 36
  • Cost: $385.00/credit
  • Length: About two to three years
  • Mode: Partially online

Graduate Certificate – Health Care Informatics

  • Credits: 15
  • Cost: $900.00/credit (in-state); $1,507.00/credit (out-of-state)
  • Length: About one year
  • Mode: Fully online
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
17/1
AccreditationSACSCOC
5 Georgia College & State UniversityMilledgeville, GA Public $$ 7

If a registered nurse is looking to earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree with convenient online learning, Georgia College and State University is a school to strongly consider. The school has various MSN programs to choose from, such as nurse educator, nurse midwifery, and family nurse practitioner. These are available in both a part-time and full-time basis allowing students to graduate in two to three years, and give them to opportunity to continue working while in school. The online coursework can largely be completed online, but students will have various in-person learning requirements, such as residencies and clinicals.

Program Highlights:

MSN – Nurse Educator

  • Credits: 39
  • Cost: $373.00/credit
  • Length: Two to three years
  • Mode: Partially online

MSN – Nurse Midwifery

  • Credits: 45
  • Cost: $373.00/credit
  • Length: Two three years
  • Mode: Partially online

MSN – Family Nurse Practitioner

  • Credits: 40
  • Cost: $373.00/credit
  • Length: Two to three years
  • Mode: Partially online
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
16/1
AccreditationSACSCOC
6 University of West GeorgiaCarrollton, GA Public $ 2 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
19/1
AccreditationSACSCOC
7 Albany State UniversityAlbany, GA Public $ 2 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
19/1
AccreditationSACSCOC
8 Clayton State UniversityMorrow, GA Public $ 2 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
19/1
AccreditationSACSCOC
9 College of Coastal GeorgiaBrunswick, GA Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
21/1
AccreditationSACSCOC
10 Gordon State CollegeBarnesville, GA Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
22/1
AccreditationSACSCOC
11 Georgia State UniversityAtlanta, GA Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
27/1
AccreditationSACSCOC
12 Herzing University-AtlantaAtlanta, GA Private not-for-profit $$$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
14/1
AccreditationHLC

From bridge programs to doctoral degrees, Georgia offers online and hybrid nursing programs that can meet the needs of students at all levels of their nursing career and education. Let’s take a deeper look at some of the most common online nursing programs in Georgia that are currently available.

Online RN Bridge Programs

RN to BSN

Developed for working RNs, this online bridge program expands career options while providing an accelerated academic path. RN-to-BSN tracks allow learners to transfer prerequisite coursework and can be completed in as few as 12 months. Online and hybrid options accommodate the around-the-clock schedule of nurses, offering flexibility so workers can balance professional, academic, and personal obligations.

Examples of Online RN-BSN Programs in Georgia

RN to MSN

An academic path for working RNs, RN-to-MSN programs provide a quicker track for nurses to get a master’s degree. These academic tracks exist online via institutions throughout Georgia and typically require applicants to hold an active Georgia RN license. In addition to completing undergraduate courses such as pharmacology and nursing leadership, MSN coursework offers specialized topics in areas such as nurse midwifery and nursing administration.

Examples of Online RN-MSN Programs in Georgia

Nurse Practitioner Programs

MSN (Master of Nursing Science)

Online MSN programs with a nurse practitioner concentration provide a flexible and affordable academic option to bolster career opportunities. These programs rigorously develop the analytical and clinical skills necessary for competent patient care. Often taking only 18 months to complete, coursework covers topics such as advanced physiology, applied pharmacology, and the principles and application of nursing theory. Graduates work in areas spanning from private practice to administration and management.

Examples of Online MSN Programs in Georgia

DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice)

DNP programs offer the highest academic level of nursing practice, opening career opportunities in areas such as teaching, research, and administration. Graduates obtain the specialized academic and clinical skills needed to work as leaders within the nursing field. These online programs often take approximately six semesters. DNP graduates specialize in areas such as emergency nursing, pediatric primary care, and family nurse practitioner.

Examples of Online DNP Programs in Georgia

Post-Master’s NP Certificate

Post-master’s certificates allow nursing graduates to pursue additional specializations within the field. In a growing discipline, additional education can improve the competitiveness of your resume. Certificates also provide a quick and relatively inexpensive way to jumpstart professional growth and earning potential. Often completed part-time in three semesters, learners choose from concentrations such as adult-gerontology, family nurse practitioner, and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner.

Examples of Online Post Master’s NP Certificates in Georgia

RN Licensing Information and Requirements in Georgia

Understanding Georgia RN licensing can help determine if an academic program is right for you. The board of nursing outlines the rules and regulations of state-specific license requirements. We’ve laid out the steps you’ll need to take to become an RN in Georgia below.

STEP

1

Earn your degree

Prospective RNs must complete a professional nursing program from an accredited institution. Choosing an accredited school is essential when working towards a career in nursing. The most common accrediting bodies are the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. An out-of-state nursing education will only be approved if it meets the standards set by the Georgia Board of Nursing.

STEP

2

Complete background and fingerprint check

Graduates preparing to apply for RN licensure must submit to a fingerprint background check. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation provides a service allowing for electronic submission of fingerprints and additional applicant information. Fingerprinting sites are available throughout the state. Upon completion of the background check, you can complete your application and sign up to take the licensure exam.

STEP

3

Prepare for the NCLEX-RN Exam

Preparing for the NCLEX-RN exam traditionally requires a reasonable amount of preparation. While academic coursework can play a significant role in test prep, taking the time to know the information inside and out will help ease any pre-test nerves. Free online study materials, classes, and guides exist and can be useful. Taking the NCLEX-RN exam in Georgia costs over $200—having to retake the test can get expensive quickly. If you fail the exam, reexaminations can take place in 45 days.

STEP

4

Apply for Licensure

It’s critical to make sure you fully complete your notarized application. You’ll need to provide academic transcripts showing that you graduated from an accredited nursing program and successfully passed the NCLEX-RN exam. Applications will be rejected if not fully completed. In addition to application information, you must include a check or money order of $75 made payable to the Georgia Board of Nursing.

STEP

5

Keep your license up-to-date

Georgia nursing licenses expire every two years on January 31st. The Georgia Board of Nursing approves several continuing education options, including the completion of 30 hours of approved continuing education courses, completion of an accredited academic program, and employer certification of at least 500 hours of practice. Other options include undertaking a board reentry program or nursing education program.

Salary and Job Outlook for Registered Nurses in Georgia

Even though Atlanta is home to a sizeable population of nurses, rural areas are in perpetual need of competent RNs. Over the next decade, Georgia is projected to see a sizeable job growth rate for nurses. Keep reading as we highlight the Georgia job market and average RN salaries below.

Is there a big demand for registered nurses in Georgia?

Georgia is expected to need a large number of new nurses in the coming years. Boasting a nursing job growth rate of 22.5% over the next decade, the state will see an increase of more than 17,000 RN jobs. In addition to that growth, the state will see an average of more 6,000 existing nursing job vacancies per year.

Job Outlook for Registered Nurses in Georgia

Employment (2018) New Jobs (2018-2028) Job Growth Rate (2018-2028) Average Annual Openings (2018-2028)
Georgia 77,460 17,420 22.5% 6,340
United States 3,059,800 371,500 12.1% 210,400

Source: Projections Central

How much money do registered nurses make in Georgia?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Georgia-based RNs earned average salaries of about $75,000 annually as of May 2021. Location plays a large role in annual earning in a state defined by dense urban populations and expansive rural areas. The salary difference between a city like Atlanta and a smaller city like Columbus is over $12,000 per year. Review the table below to see how much RNs earn around Georgia.

Annual Earnings for Registered Nurses in Georgia

Median Hourly Wage Mean Hourly Wage Annual Mean Wage
Georgia $36.08 $36.24 $75,380
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA $37.35 $38.83 $80,760
Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC $36.08 $34.82 $72,420
Columbus, GA-AL $35.31 $32.85 $68,330
United States $37.31 $39.78 $82,750

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2021

Online Georgia Nursing Resources

  • Georgia Board of Nursing Offering resources to practitioners and students alike, the Georgia Board of Nursing provides licensure, training, and continuing education resources. The board sets standards applicable to all nursing working in the state of Georgia.
  • Georgia Nurses Association Promoting values such as leadership, diversity, and service, the Georgia Nurses Association is the largest professional association for registered nurses in the state. The GNA empowers nurses to improve access to healthcare while advancing the practice and profession of nursing.
  • Georgia Association of Nursing Students GANS has a stated purpose of having students assume responsibility for the evolution of nursing education and practice. This student association offers networking opportunities with professionals in the field and holds an annual conference.
  • South Georgia Association of Nurse Practitioners Dedicated to advancing nursing practice through legislation, education, and community outreach, SGANP promotes the visibility of nurse practitioners while advocating for professional growth. SGANP offers monthly educational meetings and a number of academic scholarships.
  • Scholarships and Resources for RN Students This EduMed guide lays out scholarship and online resources for RN students. An insightful resource, the page offers an exhaustive list of national scholarships and provides practical advice for effective applications.