Because of the critical shortage of nursing professionals in Georgia and across the U.S., as a practical nurse there’s never been a better time to take the next step in your career. With the abundance of fully accredited LPN to RN bridge programs in GA, becoming a registered nurse has never been easier. LPN to RN bridge programs allow LPNs to capitalize on their previous education and work experience to earn their nursing associate degrees more quickly and affordably.
We’ve put together this guide to introduce you to the many LPN to RN programs available in Georgia today. Discover how to choose the right program for you, what you’ll learn in your LPN to RN program, what the job outlook looks like for new registered nurses in the state, and much more. Ready to get started? Keep reading to learn about quality Georgia LPN to RN bridge programs.
The Best LPN to RN Programs in Georgia: 2023
As we said, there are tons of great LPN to RN bridge programs in GA to choose from. To help get you started in finding the right one, we’re spotlighting three of the very best. These fully accredited programs feature the affordability, flexibility, and student support you’ll need to succeed academically. They’re also all approved by the Georgia Board of Nursing and accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Keep reading to learn who stands out for 2023.
North Georgia Technical College
A major provider of Georgia LPN to RN bridge programs is the Technical College System of Georgia, which offers quality, highly affordable bridge programs on nearly a dozen of its campuses throughout the state. One such program is the Associate Degree in Nursing (Bridge Option) Program available at North Georgia Technical College (NGTC). The 32-credit bridge nursing curriculum is completed as a cohort over four semesters beginning each spring and ending with the following spring semester. Bridge nursing coursework consists of classes and labs attended on NGTC’s Currahee campus in Toccoa. Clinical rotations are attended at various program-approved health facilities in the northeast Georgia region. Students must complete 33 credits of general education and occupational coursework, including 15 credits of general core courses that must be completed prior to admission into the bridge program. Other admission requirements include a current, unencumbered Georgia LPN license, completion of the HESI Admission Assessment Exam (A2), and a minimum of six months of in-field LPN experience.
Perimeter College at Georgia State University
Part of Georgia State University (GSU), Perimeter College is a two-year academic institution offering degree and certificate programs on five campus locations and online. Included in its programs is the Associate of Science with LPN to RN Bridge Track available exclusively on the GSU Perimeter College Clarkston campus. Students admitted into the LPN-RN Bridge Track complete 28 credits of nursing coursework beginning with a Bridge to Professional Nursing transition course in the summer term and continuing through the fall and spring semesters. In addition to academic coursework, students complete clinical rotations at program-affiliated healthcare facilities in the Clarkston and greater Atlanta area.
Eligibility for the LPN-RN Bridge Track requires a current Georgia LPN license, completion of the 35 credits of general education coursework (including courses in English, biology, mathematics, psychology, and history), and passing scores on the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) exam. Seating is limited to 40 students but, in most cases, all applicants meeting eligibility requirements are admitted to this LPN to RN bridge program in GA.
Southern Regional Technical College
LPNs living in Georgia’s south central and southwest regions can earn their nursing associate degree and prepare for RN licensure through the Associate of Science in Nursing (LPN to RN Bridge) program at Southern Regional Technical College (SRTC). The program consists of 72 total credits, including all prerequisite general education and bridge nursing courses. The curriculum is structured over five semesters made up of two semesters of prerequisite coursework and three semesters of nursing courses, labs, and clinical rotations. The program is available on both SRTC’s Moultrie (fall program start) and Thomasville (spring program start) campuses. Clinical rotations are attended at program-affiliated facilities located in southern Georgia and Tallahassee, Florida. The current total cost for the entire five-semester program (including tuition, books, and fees) is $13,050.78.
Admission into this LPN to RN bridge program in GA requires a current, unencumbered LPN license (which must be maintained throughout the program) and a minimum of six months of in-field LPN work experience. Applicants also must complete the TEAS exam with a 64% average score over the four sections.
Key Things You’ll Learn in a Georgia LPN to RN Bridge Program
The curricula of LPN to RN bridge programs in Georgia are designed to accomplish three primary goals:
- Provide students with the academic coursework needed to meet the requirements for the NCLEX-RN exam and RN licensure.
- Provide the additional general education coursework required to earn an associate degree.
- Prepare students for competent practice as a registered nurse.
The nursing coursework in Georgia LPN to RN bridge programs, therefore, focuses on the knowledge and practical skills required of registered nurses above and beyond those of a practical nurse. The specifics are commonly spelled out in the form of end-of-program student learning outcomes (EOPSLOs) detailed by LPN to RN programs. Examples of EOPSLOs for Georgia bridge programs include these from Southeastern Technical College and Southern Regional Technical College.
For a closer look at what you’ll learn in your Georgia LPN to RN bridge program, here are descriptions of five courses similar to those offered at most schools:
Transition to Registered Nursing Practice
Most LPN to RN bridge programs in GA start with a course designed to provide students with an overall survey of the advanced practice and leadership competencies that distinguish RN nursing practice from that of LPNs. Topics include patient physical assessment, patient safety, infection control, documentation, patient education, and teamwork and collaboration.
Concepts of Pediatric and Women’s Nursing Care
This course focuses on the nursing care of children and women, with a particular emphasis on maternal care. Students learn to incorporate new critical thinking and clinical knowledge and skills into concepts of care for patient economic, cultural, and spiritual characteristics, as well as physiological and psychological needs.
Introduction to Microbiology
Review of the foundational concepts of microbiology with an emphasis on their relationship to infectious diseases. Topics include microbial genetics, diversity, cell biology, and the impact of microorganisms on humans and human disease. This is one of several biology courses included in bridge curricula.
Introduction to Nursing Pharmacology
Dispensing drugs to patients is a major responsibility taken on by registered nurses. This course introduces students to the knowledge and tools related to the safe administration of drugs, along with the proper assessment and monitoring of their effects.
Medical Surgical Nursing II
Medical Surgical Nursing I introduces the topics of adult health restoration, promotion, and maintenance, and Medical Surgical Nursing II continues the exploration of those topics. Particular focus is placed on issues of care related to cardiac, endocrine, gastrointestinal, immunological, and neurological systems.
Exploring Online LPN to RN Programs in Georgia
Nursing is a hands-on profession, so it should be no surprise that all LPN to RN bridge programs in GA include in-person components. Programs feature lab activities on campus and clinical rotations at healthcare facilities in the school’s local area. However, while you won’t find any LPN to RN bridge programs in Georgia billing themselves as online, you’ll discover in your search that most programs offer many required general education and possibly even some nursing courses either fully or partially online. Examples include the five programs listed below.
To find out more about online learning in LPN to RN programs, visit EduMed’s guide to online LPN to RN programs.
Examples of Quality Online and Hybrid LPN to RN Programs in GA
- Albany State University: Primarily on-campus with the potential for some courses to follow a hybrid or fully online format.
- Dalton State College: First semester requires one day per week of on-campus attendance. Second and third semesters feature a combination of online academic coursework and in-person clinical/practicum rotations.
- Georgia Highlands College: Several nursing bridge and general education courses are offered in either a fully online or blended (partially online) format.
- West Georgia Technical College: Some prerequisite courses available fully or partially online. Some nursing bridge courses may include online components.
- Wiregrass Georgia Technical College: One nursing bridge course available fully online. Some general education and non-nursing occupational courses are offered in either a fully online or blended format.
Frequently Asked Questions About LPN to RN Programs in Georgia
How long does an LPN to RN bridge program take to complete?
The program lengths for LPN to RN bridge programs in Georgia are remarkably similar, but you’ll discover some differences in the details. So, make sure you have a clear understanding of those details before you enroll. Most Georgia bridge programs feature a cohort format requiring students to complete their nursing bridge coursework according to a specific schedule. Most are three semesters long with fall and/or spring starts and may or may not include summer sessions. There are some exceptions, however, like the four-semester program at North Georgia Tech .
Students will also have to consider the time needed to complete all general education and any other courses required for admission into Georgia LPN to RN bridge programs. That time varies from student to student but typically requires the equivalent of two semesters of full-time study. A few bridge programs, like those at Columbus Technical College and Oconee Fall Line Technical College, offer curricula (five semesters and six semesters, respectively) that include all of the general education/prerequisite and nursing bridge coursework to earn the ADN degree.
What are the admissions requirements for LPN to RN bridge programs in GA?
As with program lengths, the admissions requirements for LPN to RN bridge programs in Georgia are similar, but the specifics vary somewhat from program to program. Therefore, be sure you clearly understand the specific requirements of any program you’re interested in before you enroll. With that in mind, here’s a look at the requirements you’ll need to meet for admission into your Georgia LPN to RN bridge program:
- LPN licensure: A current, unencumbered LPN license (in most cases, a Georgia LPN license) is the foundational requirement for all bridge programs. You’ll need to maintain your LPN license throughout the entire course of your LPN to RN program.
- Prerequisite coursework: All LPN to RN programs require a substantial number of prerequisite courses in subjects such as biology, English, mathematics, and psychology.
- Preadmission testing: Most LPN to RN bridge programs in Georgia require an entrance test. The two most common are the HESI Admission Assessment Exam (A2) and the TEAS exam.
- Requirements for participation in clinicals: Bridge students must meet a number of requirements including a physical examination, TB skin test, American Heart Association CPR certification, mandatory vaccinations, and up-to-date immunizations. Passing both a criminal background check and drug screening is also required.
How affordable are LPN to RN bridge programs in Georgia?
You might be pleasantly surprised at the affordability of most LPN to RN bridge programs in Georgia (at least compared with other degree programs). That’s mostly due to the fact that virtually all Georgia LPN to RN programs are offered by two-year state and technical colleges that feature particularly affordable tuition. To give you a better idea on what you might expect to pay for your bridge program, we’ve listed below the current tuition rates for three LPN to RN bridge programs in GA. Just remember that these are tuition rates only and don’t include additional program and school fees. You’ll also need to factor in the cost of items such as books, supplies, uniforms, and travel costs to and from campus for classes and healthcare facilities for clinical rotations.
Georgia Northwestern Technical College
Nursing LPN to ASN Transition Program
Total Credits: 32 (LPN-RN bridge curriculum); 62 (total, including prerequisites/general education courses)
$100/credit (Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee residents); $200/credit (out-of-state residents)
Gordon State College
Total Credits: 31 (LPN-RN bridge curriculum); 62 (total, including prerequisites/general education courses)
$106.80/credit (Georgia residents); $394.53/credit (out-of-state residents)
South Georgia State College
Total Credits: 33 (LPN-RN bridge curriculum); 66 (total including prerequisites/general education courses)
$95/credit (Georgia residents); $359.67/credit (out-of-state residents)
What should I look for in an LPN to RN program in Georgia?
Affordability, study flexibility, and access to support services are all important benefits of Georgia LPN to RN bridge programs. First and foremost, though, you’ll want to find the program that best prepares you to take and pass the NCLEX-RN exam and obtain your RN license. With that in mind, there are three fundamental factors to look for during your LPN to RN program search:
- Program approval by the Georgia Board of Nursing.
- Programmatic accreditation. The primary programmatic accreditor of associate degree in nursing programs (which includes LPN to RN programs) is the ACEN.
- High NCLEX-RN pass rates.
Check current program state approval status and recent NCLEX-RN pass rates on the Georgia Board of Nursing’s Approved Programs and NCLEX Information website. For current ACEN accreditation status, use ACEN’s Accredited Nursing Programs search engine.
LPN vs. RN in Georgia: Earnings and Job Demand Comparison
The critical shortage in nurses throughout the U.S. is being felt in Georgia as well. But with the shortage comes opportunity for anyone in or considering a career in nursing, including LPNs looking to advance in their profession by becoming registered nurses. The best way to illustrate the opportunities that await newly licensed RNs in Georgia is through the robust earnings and job market figures below.
How much more can I earn going from an LPN to RN in Georgia?
Making the move to becoming a registered nurse brings with it a new level of skills and responsibilities. It also means an upgrade to your paycheck. And, as you can see from the chart below, it’s a major upgrade. These figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that RNs employed in Georgia earn anywhere from 23% to a whopping 83% more than LPNs, with most RNs bringing in a salary approximately 60% higher than their practical nurse counterparts. Keep reading for the numbers in regions across Georgia.
|LPN Median Annual Wage||RN Median Annual Wage||Earnings Increase|
|Athens-Clarke County, GA||$46,990||$77,030||64%|
|Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA||$48,350||$77,700||61%|
|Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC||$46,500||$75,040||61%|
|Warner Robins, GA||$39,090||$71,570||83%|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2021
How’s the job market for RNs in Georgia vs. LPNs?
Along with solid earnings, new RNs in Georgia will discover a highly favorable job market – one that’s expected to stay that way for years to come. This is clearly evidenced by the most recent job growth data from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Projections Central website, shown in the chart below. To put these figures into perspective, consider that the job growth estimates of 19.2% for LPNs and 18.1% for RNs in Georgia are more than twice those for LPNs and RNs nationally (9% and 9.3% respectively), as well as the 7.7% estimate for all occupations combined.
|Job Growth Rate|
|Average Annual Openings|
|LPNs in Georgia||4,200||19.2%||2,230|
|RNs in Georgia||13,260||18.1%||5,460|
Source: Projections Central