There are plenty of reasons to live and work in the state of Georgia, especially for nurses and other healthcare professionals. Known as the Peach State, Georgia has the advantage of a low cost of living and a strong economy. The state is rich in history yet future facing: it is home to 18 Fortune 500 companies and 32 Fortune 1000 companies.
From a recreational perspective, the state boasts a bevy of sports teams to root for and sporting events to attend. Its landscape encompasses everything from mountains to seaside, offering outdoor enthusiasts their pick of scenery and activities, and its residents experience all four seasons, with mild winters. As home to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the state is looked to as a source of health promotion, and this is further supported by the presence of 13 of the 591 facilities that the American Nurses Credentialing Center has identified as Magnet Hospitals, a designation reserved for hospitals that set the gold standard for nursing practice and innovation.
Georgia’s Top Hospital
- Emory University Hospital
- St. Joseph’s Hospital/Candler Hospital
- Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
- Atrium Health Navicent The Medical Center
- Piedmont Augusta Hospital
- Wellstar Paulding Hospital
Best hospitals in Georgia
In choosing the best hospitals in Georgia, we considered both Magnet Hospital status and the rankings of U.S. News & World Report, which evaluated 172 hospitals in the state of Georgia: thirteen were nationally ranked and many more were noted as high performing in the treatment of specific conditions or in specialty areas. We also took ratings from Medicare and safety watchdog The Leapfrog Group, as well as comments and criticism made by current and previous employees on employment websites like Glassdoor and Indeed.
Emory University Hospital is the flagship downtown Atlanta hospital for Emory Healthcare. The teaching facility is a Magnet Hospital and was ranked Number 1 for both the state of Georgia and the city of Atlanta by U.S. News and World Report, which also ranked it nationally in 5 specialties. The hospital earned four star ratings for both overall performance and patient experience from Medicare.
Notably, of the 13 facilities in the state that received Magnet Status designation, 5 of them are part of Emory Healthcare. The other Emory facilities recognized by the ANCC for nursing excellence are Emory Johns Creek Hospital, Emory St. Joseph’s Hospital, Emory University Orthopaedics & Spine Institute, and the Emory Clinic, the first ambulatory practice in Georgia to achieve this recognition. The hospitals of the system and the system itself have received numerous awards, including having been named a top ten most trusted health system brand in the United States by the American Hospital Association and the Society of Health Care Strategy & Market Development.
Notable facts about Emory University Hospital include:
- General medical and surgical facility and teaching hospital
- Located in Atlanta, Georgia
- Part of Emory Health, the state’s most extensive health care system, including 11 hospitals, the Emory Clinic, and more than 250 provider locations
- Number of employees: 24,000+ across the organization
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St. Joseph’s Hospital and Candler Hospitals are the two anchor hospitals of St. Joseph’s Candler Health System. They each rank among the oldest continuously operating hospitals in the United States, and each has achieved Magnet Hospital status, with the distinction of receiving the designation five times since 2002. The two entered a joint operating agreement in 1997, to form the Savannah area’s largest healthcare provider.
U.S. News & World Report ranked Candler Hospital High Performing in three adult procedures and conditions and ranked St. Joseph’s Hospital High Performing in five adult procedures and conditions. The health system has received numerous awards, including the American Heart Association’s Get With the Guidelines Gold Award for Stroke.
Notable facts about St. Joseph’s Candler include:
- Not-for-profit hospitals
- Located in Savannah, Georgia
- Hospitals make up St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System
- Number of nurses: 1,200+ across the system
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is a freestanding pediatric healthcare system made up of three hospitals: of the three, two have achieved Magnet status: Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston and Children’s Healthcare of Scottish Rite. U.S. News & World Report ranked the system as a whole nationally in ten children’s specialties and #1 in both Georgia and the Southeast.
The system has won numerous awards and recognitions, including The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval, recognition among the Best Places to Work in IT from Insider Pro and Computerworld, and being named a Best Companies for Working Moms by Monster.com.
Notable facts about Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta include:
- Comprehensive pediatric hospitals
- Located in Atlanta, Georgia
- Pediatric healthcare system with three hospitals and numerous neighborhood providers
- Number of employees: 11,000 across the system
- Number of nurses: More than 3,500 across the system
A Magnet Hospital, Atrium Health Navicent The Medical Center has also distinguished itself in the eyes of U.S. News & World Report, which rated the facility as high performing in eight adult procedures and conditions. A teaching hospital and Level 1 Trauma Center, The Medical Center is the second largest hospital in Georgia. It has received numerous awards, including a Most Wired Award from the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives.
Notable facts about Atrium Health Navicent The Medical Center include:
- Academic medical center and Level 1 Trauma Center
- Located in Macon, Georgia
- Part of Atrium Health Navicent
- Number of employees: 4,500
Ranked 9th best hospital in Georgia, #1 in Augusta, and high performing in nine adult procedures and conditions by U.S. News & World Report, Piedmont Augusta Hospital has also distinguished itself in the eyes of the ANCC, which awarded it Magnet Status. The hospital was known as University Hospital Augusta until March of 2022. The hospital has earned many awards, including having won an “A” safety grade from The Leapfrog Group fifteen times.
Notable facts about Piedmont August Hospital include:
- Nonprofit fully private hospital
- Located in Augusta, Georgia
- Part of University Health Care System
- Number of employees: 4,138
Ranked high performing in five adult procedures and conditions by U.S. News & World Report, Wellstar Paulding Hospital is a Magnet Hospital that has also been recognized by Healthgrades for their Patient Safety Excellence Award™ and Pulmonary Care Excellence Award™.
The hospital received a four-star overall performance rating from Medicare, an “A” safety grade from The Leapfrog Group, and has received numerous awards, including the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and the Emergency Nurses Association’s Lantern Award.
Notable facts about Wellstar Paulding Hospital include:
- Community hospital providing inpatient and outpatient care and emergency services
- Located in Hiram, Georgia
- Part of Wellstar Health System
- Number of employees: 1,000
What makes a top hospital in Georgia?
There are many things that hospitals do to make themselves standout. Though the most obvious factor is quality of care, Georgia hospitals also distinguish themselves by focusing on patient and employee satisfaction, and by nurturing employee wellbeing.
Every high quality organization recognizes that their employees are their most valuable assets. When it comes to attracting and retaining top tier talent, salary is just a starting point: today’s healthcare organizations need to provide employees generous and innovative benefits. Each facility has its own unique offerings, but some of the more creative elements being added to paid time off, sick leave, and health insurance include concierge services, on-site day care, and flexible schedules.
People enter the nursing profession at different times of their lives, and their career and educational decisions are often driven by their life circumstances. Nurses who are interested in moving into a higher-paid position or having greater independence and authority know that the best hospitals in Georgia offer them the opportunity to continue learning and growing.
Nurses are compassionate, patient, and dedicated, but the job is undeniably stressful, and the last few years have taken an emotional toll. Hospitals whose administrators are empathetic have taken steps to support their nursing staff, offering a variety of solutions designed to ease the impact of nurse burnout.
High patient satisfaction
There are few things that can inspire a nurse like working for an employer they can be proud of. Beyond the care that’s provided and the number of patients seen, a recent survey showed that healthcare professionals value having colleagues that they enjoy being with and knowing that the work they do makes a difference. Other drivers of employee satisfaction include a strong leadership team and a positive workplace culture. Notably, studies have confirmed a link between employee satisfaction and patient satisfaction and outcomes.
Other factors that make a top hospital
A hospital is a place for care as well as an integral part of their neighborhood. The best hospitals take both of these roles seriously, constantly working to improve outcomes, increase safety for patients and staff alike, and to invest in both their own infrastructure and equipment and in the needs of the surrounding community.
Safety record is critical
Attention to safety is in the best interest of a hospital’s patients as well as its employees. Hospitals that dedicate themselves to preventing errors, accidents, infections, and injuries are recognized for their high-quality care and diligence.
Hospital policies focus on customer services
According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, healthcare spending represents 19.7% of America’s GDP, averaging $12,530 per person. With medical care representing such a significant investment, patients are comparing and contrasting, doing research to ensure that they receive the very best care and attention from hospitals. As a result, facilities are paying more attention to their patients – and their patients’ families – as consumers, working to improve service levels and overall satisfaction.
Latest technology and training improve healthcare
Hospitals need to keep their facilities up-to-date in terms of the equipment and medical devices they use to provide care, as well as in their physical plant and their infrastructure. A clean, modern, high-tech environment helps employees do their jobs and sends a strong message that quality-of-care matters.
Ethics leads the way
From the first time that the directive “Do no harm” was used, medicine has been a values-driven profession. Today’s hospitals are constantly faced with ethical dilemmas that make having strong and clearly defined values essential. A hospital’s moral philosophy is evident in the way that they treat their patients, their staff, and their surrounding community.
Even in the face of a national shortage, landing the perfect nursing position is no easy task: it’s a job in itself, and that’s the way you should approach it. Dedication, organization, and persistence will all take you from identifying the Georgia hospitals you’d most like to work for to putting yourself in the best position to be hired.
Build your resume
Your resume is the building block around which your hiring journey will be built. Make sure that it is concise and easy to read. Your resume speaks for you before you have the chance to speak for yourself, so don’t be shy about using action words that convince anybody reading it of your competence and strengths. The most effective resumes are well organized and contain your contact information, a personal statement that reflects your goals, your work experience, educational history, and your skills.
Join a nurses’ association
Networking is one of the most effective ways of hearing about open positions and getting your foot in the door for an interview. Though joining a union is not for everybody, professional nurses’ associations like the Georgia Nurses’ Association can be particularly helpful in helping learn the lay of the land and meeting the people who can be of the most help.
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Attend industry educational conferences and workshops
Educational conferences and workshops represent another excellent networking opportunity, with the added bonus of exposing you to new skills and research. If you have Georgia-specific questions and you’re unable to attend a conference, Incredible Health’s helpful community is always happy to provide answers and valuable information.
Keep up with continuing education requirements
Each state has its own continuing education requirements for nurses, as well as its own criteria and processes for licensing. Incredible Health provides you with the most up-to-date information on Georgia’s expectations of its nurse professionals, as well as free continuing education classes that are accredited, easily accessed online, and which provide you with a certifying document as soon as you’ve completed the course.
Search for job openings
Once you’ve crafted a professional resume and prepared yourself for interviewers’ questions, you still need to find job openings that you find appealing and for which you qualify. There are plenty of job boards around, and you can always visit each hospital’s careers page to check for new openings, but Incredible Health offers an entirely different way to search that brings employers directly to you. Our process lets you create and post a professional profile listing your qualifications as well as the type of position you’re looking for, then let hiring managers find you and compete with one another to hire you. It eliminates stress and effort and is proven to expedite the process..
Transfer your nursing license to Georgia
If your current nursing license comes from another state, then switching to a job at one of Georgia’s best hospitals is going to require completing some paperwork. Transferring your license isn’t hard if you know what to do. Georgia is a nursing compact state, which generally makes things much easier.
- “Best Hospitals in Georgia.” U.S. News & World Report. Accessed July 28, 2022.
- “Top 10 Most Trusted Health System Brands.” Becker’s Hospital Review. Accessed July 28, 2022.
- “Get With The Guidelines – Stroke.” American Heart Association. Accessed July 28, 2022.
- “Most Wired Award.” College of Healthcare Information Management Executives. Accessed July 28, 2022.
- “Baldridge Performance Excellence Program: Wellstar Paulding Hospital.” National Institute of Standards and Technology. Accessed July 28, 2022.
- “ENA Lantern Award.” Emergency Nurses Association. Accessed July 28, 2022.
- “Pride a key factor in healthcare employee satisfaction: LinkedIn survey.” Healthcare Dive. Accessed July 28, 2022.
- “Historical National Health Expenditure Data.” CMS.gov. Accessed July 28, 2022.
- “Georgia nursing shortage at crisis levels.” Atlanta Journal Constitution. Accessed July 28, 2022.
- “Cost of Living in Georgia.” Salary.com. Accessed July 28, 2022.
- “Headquarters.” Georgia.org. Accessed July 28, 2022.
- “Sports.” Explore Georgia. Accessed July 28, 2022.
- “Best Places to Work in IT.” InsiderPro. Accessed July 28, 2022.
- “Best Companies for Working Moms.” Monster.com. Accessed July 28, 2022.
Top Georgia RN jobs on Incredible Health
Augusta, GA | $40,000 to $80,000 /year
Savannah, GA | $40,000 to $80,000 /year
Atlanta, GA | $60,000 to $100,000 /year
LaGrange, GA | $60,000 to $100,000 /year
Austell, GA | $60,000 to $100,000 /year