While you don’t need a bachelor’s degree to be a registered nurse in Georgia, getting one significantly improves your qualifications and lifetime earnings. RNs with a BSN degree in Georgia earned more than $20,000 more per year than those without, according to ZipRecruiter. A Bachelor of Science in Nursing moves your resume to the front of the line in an in-demand field and offers job security. Whether you want to take more leadership responsibility as a nurse manager or become a clinical research nurse, a BSN can help you achieve your goals.
To meet the rising demand for higher standards of patient care, Georgia colleges and universities have developed more accessible programs specifically for RNs pursuing BSN degrees. This guide tells you everything you need to know as you consider RN to BSN programs in Georgia.
Nursing School Spotlights: Best RN to BSN Programs in Georgia
With so many RN to BSN degree options in Georgia, selecting the one that best meets your needs is challenging. For RNs already working in the field, access to online classes, affordable tuition rates, and outstanding student support are crucial factors in choosing a program. Whether your priority is maximum flexibility or earning a degree as quickly as possible, there’s an on-campus or online RN to BSN program in Georgia to help you achieve the next level in your career. To help you begin your search, we’ve spotlighted three of Georgia’s best RN to BSN degree programs for 2022.
University of West Georgia
The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program for RNs at the University of West Georgia (UWG) is ranked one of the state’s best RN to BSN online programs. Studies can be completed 100% online in an asynchronous format, meaning students do their coursework whenever convenient. Over four semesters, students complete 30 credit hours focused on humanities and technology related to the art and science of nursing. The program prides itself on treating students as colleagues, customizes the degree experience for adult professionals, and tailors clinical requirements to complement previous work experience. UWG’s program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and has an average NCLEX pass rate of 84.2%.
Georgia State University
Designed for practicing RNs with an associate degree in nursing or a nursing diploma, the Georgia State University (GSU) RN to BSN program is built to be flexible for working nurses. Almost all 30 credit hours of coursework can be completed online, except for two courses requiring in-person clinical rotations. After three semesters of study, students earn their BSN and are prepared to advance to leadership or specialized nursing positions. GSU carries the additional distinction of being the only university in the state with a full roster of nursing degree options, from associate to doctoral degrees. GSU’s RN to BSN program is accredited by CCNE and has an average NCLEX pass rate of 88.7%.
Georgia Southwestern State University
With full-time and part-time options and 100%, online study, Georgia Southwestern (GSW) State University’s RN-BSN program is often highlighted as one of the state’s best and most affordable. To meet the needs of students with existing employment and family responsibilities, GSW allows flexibility in course sequencing. Professional nursing advisers assist students in developing an individual plan of study to guide them in completing 29 credit hours over one to three years. Half-term sessions of about seven weeks are available for students looking for an accelerated path. After obtaining a BSN, students can continue in RN careers, pursue an MSN at GSW, or enroll in specialized nursing programs such as nurse-midwifery. GSW is CCNE-accredited and has an average NCLEX pass rate of 92.64%.
FAQs: RN to BSN Programs in Georgia
How will an RN-to-BSN program in Georgia prepare me for more opportunities?
RN to BSN online degrees in Georgia build on your existing skills to broaden and deepen your understanding of nursing science and leadership. Upon graduation, you’ll be prepared to deliver a higher standard of patient care and are qualified for management and leadership positions at healthcare institutions. Typical RN to BSN coursework expands students’ knowledge of healthcare policy, organizational systems, and the application of clinical judgment. For example, courses at Mercer University include classes in leadership in nursing, methods and critical appraisal for evidence-based practice, and population and global health.
How long is an RN to BSN program in Georgia?
Because RN to BSN online degrees in Georgia are aimed at currently practicing registered nurses, completion timelines are often flexible. Some programs can be completed in as little as one year, but most take three to four semesters. The Columbus State University one-year RN to BSN program is ideal for those who want to complete a BSN in a short amount of time. If you choose the program at GSW, you can adjust the pace to fit your needs. While most students earn their BSN degree in one to two years, you can divide coursework over three years. Under exceptional circumstances, you could have up to five years to complete the required courses.
In Georgia, how much do RN to BSN programs cost?
When pursuing a BSN degree, the price of tuition is a prominent factor in choosing which program to attend. The cost per credit hour of RN to BSN degrees online in Georgia varies widely by school. Researching tuition costs and a BSN degree’s potential return on investment is vital to the decision-making process. To help you get started on comparing the costs of an RN to BSN on campus or online in Georgia, we’ve compiled three schools’ costs per credit.
Is there financial aid available to Georgia RN to BSN students?
A BSN is a regular undergraduate course of study at most Georgia colleges and universities, making it eligible for financial aid and scholarships. Some schools, like Georgia Southern University, offer school-based scholarships exclusively for students in the RN to BSN program. The Georgia Nurses Foundation awards the Annie Lou Overton Scholarship annually to a student enrolled in an RN to BSN program. Get started funding your BSN with our financial aid guide, or learn more about scholarship opportunities in our nursing scholarship guide.
What requirements do I need to meet to apply for admission to RN to BSN programs in Georgia?
Georgia has recognized a need for more nurses with BSN degrees and adopted an RN-BSN Articulation Model to make it more accessible for RNs to obtain a BSN. Because of this initiative, active registered nurses are likely to already qualify for most RN to BSN programs. The requirements for RN to BSN programs in Georgia are set by each school and vary by institution. If you want a good idea of what to expect, Georgia State University’s program offers an excellent example of typical admission requirements:
- Graduation from an accredited nursing associate degree or diploma program
- Registered to practice as a professional nurse in Georgia or prepared to take the NCLEX test
- Current resume and transcript from an accredited nursing school
- Minimum GPA of 2.5
What should I look for in an RN to BSN degree program in Georgia?
With so many degree options for RN to BSN programs online and on-campus in Georgia, it can be hard to choose the right one for you. When considering options, evaluate how much flexibility and time you may need to achieve a BSN, primarily if you’re currently working as an RN. High NCLEX-RN pass rates are a good indicator that the program prepares BSN students well for future careers in nursing. Before applying, ensure that a program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the CCNE and approved by the Georgia Board of Nursing.
Inside Look at Online RN to BSN Degree Programs in Georgia
The most significant obstacle for most RN to BSN students is balancing an active RN career and your personal commitments with your studies. Georgia colleges and universities have developed several online and hybrid RN to BSN programs to make this process easier. By offering partial or entirely asynchronous online coursework, these programs support students in earning BSN degrees on convenient schedules. Though some schools require an on-campus orientation or clinical rotations, the in-person portion of RN to BSN online programs in Georgia is usually minimal. As part of a collaborative education agreement between state institutions, the University System of Georgia has made five core RN-BSN courses available online through the eCampus program, which students can take from any participating institution. To know more about what to expect from RN to BSN online programs in Georgia, check out EduMed’s complete guide to online RN to BSN programs.
In Georgia, How Do I Become an RN with a BSN?
The path from RN to BSN in Georgia begins with meeting the initial requirements of registered nurse licensure before proceeding to an accredited RN to BSN program online or in person. A typical career path from RN to BSN progresses in this order:
- Graduate from a state-approved nursing education program
- Apply for, take, and pass the NCLEX-RN exam to become a registered nurse
- Apply to an accredited RN to BSN program in Georgia
- Complete required coursework and clinical rotations to obtain your BSN degree
RN to BSN Career Outlook for Georgia
Once you’ve graduated from an RN to BSN online program in Georgia, you’ll be well-qualified to provide superior patient care and manage healthcare nursing teams. You’ll also be a preferred candidate in an in-demand job market, leading to higher earning potential and better employment security.
How much do Georgia RN to BSN graduates earn?
In general, nurses with a BSN earn more than $20,000 more per year than the average RN salary in Georgia. ZipRecruiter reports that, as of September 2022, a registered nurse in Georgia makes an average salary of $54,173 per year. In contrast, nurses with a BSN degree command an average annual salary of $75,288.
Based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, Georgia’s registered nurses earn a median annual salary of $75,040. Overall, that’s a bit lower than the national average of $77,600. The lowest percentile earners make an average of $58,400 annually, while the highest percentile earners average $98,410. As a general trend, nurses working in metropolitan areas of the state earn the highest wages, while rural nurses are paid on the lower end of the average.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2021
What is the job market like for registered nurses with a BSN in Georgia?
RNs are in very high demand in Georgia. Currently, 78,290 registered nurses are working in the state, but Georgia is experiencing a shortage of nurses and ranks 45th in the country in the number of active nurses per capita. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the demand for registered nurses will continue to outpace the supply by several thousand until at least 2030.