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.
Inside Look at Online Nursing Programs in Georgia
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.
Popular Online Nursing Programs in Georgia
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.
Profiles of Online Schools in GA for Nursing
Choosing which Georgia college to earn your online nursing degree at is a big decision. To help you get started on your search, we’ve spotlighted three high-quality options. Each school is properly accredited so you can feel confident your degree will prepare you for the nursing career you want. Learn more about each school and their online nursing programs below to see if they’re the right choice for you.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)|
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 $74,000 annually in 2019. 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 nearly $14,000 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|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2019
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.