Georgia is one of the fastest growing states in the nation. According to Georgia.org, its 10-year growth rate of 14.4% is more than 1.5 times that of the U.S. population growth rate. Due to this, there’s an ever-increasing need for nurses in Georgia. Additionally, there are many different nursing programs to choose from for a nurse who wants to advance their career or for a prospective nurse.
In this article, we will explore:
- Common nursing degrees
- Top nursing schools in Georgia
- How to choose the right program
- Ranking methodology
Common nursing degrees
Some of the more common degree types are:
- Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
- Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN)
- Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
- Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
However, accelerated degree programs and bridge programs are offered to nursing students that can significantly reduce the amount of time spent in school.
Choosing a nursing program may feel stressful and confusing. To help, we’ve created a list of the best nursing programs in Georgia.
To capture the best schools in each state, we applied a rigorous formula, isolating five variables that were weighted equally:
- Graduation rate
- NCLEX pass rate
- CCNE accreditation
- Programs offered
- Tuition costs (based on in-state tuition, attending the maximum number of credits; mandatory fees not included)
Top nursing schools in Georgia
- Georgia College & State University – Score 92
NCLEX pass rate: 96.15%
Tuition per year: $9,524
Georgia College & State University is designated as Georgia’s Liberal Arts college. The school is located 2-hours from Atlanta in the town of Milledgeville. With approximately 6,000 undergraduate students, the campus gives students a small-town vibe. Given the small student population, the school boasts an impressive 17:1 student to faculty ratio. The nursing program offers students everything from a BSN all the way to a DNP degree.
- Georgia State University – Score 84
NCLEX pass rate: 92.91%
Tuition per year: $8,948
Georgia State University is located in the booming metropolis of Atlanta. The school has six different campuses and over 52,000 students Some of their credentials include:
- 70+ study abroad programs
- 84 research centers
- 400+ student organizations
The nursing program provides clinical offerings at over 200 different locations. Nurses have an opportunity to help with diverse, urban populations.
NCLEX pass rate: 85.5%
Tuition per year: $8,864
Augusta University is located in Augusta, Georgia, which is the second largest city in the state. The school provides students with an intimate learning environment, with approximately 10,000 undergraduate students in attendance. Augusta University is dedicated to research and has received over $180 million in research awards.
NCLEX pass rate: 85.5%
Tuition per year: $53,070
Emory University is a private research university located in Atlanta, Georgia. The college has two different campuses–one located in Atlanta and the other in Oxford. The college enrolls just over 7,500 students. According to U.S. News & World Reports, it’s the #2 nursing master’s program in the nation. If you’re interested in a small, private school with a reputation for graduating leaders in the healthcare field, this is the school for you!
NCLEX pass rate: 87.59%
Tuition per year: $5,464
Georgia Southern University is the second largest university on our list. The school is located in Statesboro, Georgia and has over 26,000 students. Additionally, the school boasts a 21:1 student to faculty ratio. This is a good ratio for a larger school. Last, the school is listed as the number one online university in the nation according to Learn.org.
Top nursing jobs in Georgia on Incredible Health
Atlanta, GA | $44,000 to $98,000 /year
Lawrenceville, GA |
Savannah, GA | $40,000 to $80,000 /year
Vidalia, GA | $40,000 to $80,000 /year
Waycross, GA | $40,000 to $80,000 /year
How to choose the right nursing program
Choosing the right nursing program may be stressful. The good news is that we’ve provided several factors for you to consider to help make your decision easier. Some of the things you should consider when choosing a school are location, tuition, NCLEX scores, and programs offered.
This is a major factor for a lot of nursing students when choosing a program to attend. Most nursing programs don’t have online components, so you must select a program to which you can easily commute. The worst thing would be to choose a program that becomes a burden to you simply because it’s too far from your house. Below is a map that shows where each school is located.
Let’s face it: paying for school can be a huge barrier for students. Also, many nurses end up absorbing a massive amount of student debt from their years of college. Additionally, some nurses transition into the field after spending years in another specialty or having another degree from which they’ve already accumulated student debt.
Finding a school that’s both affordable and reputable can seem challenging. Fortunately, you don’t have to jeopardize quality over price. Several of the schools we analyzed were both affordable and highly respected.
One of the most critical measures of a nursing program’s credibility is its NCLEX pass rates. The NCLEX test is an examination that measures a potential registered nurse’s aptitude. A good NCLEX pass rate for a school is anything in the 90th percentile and above.
The programs offered at the particular school you want to go to is critically important. You need to make sure that the school you are applying to has the program that you need. There are many different nursing programs offered at various schools. The principal baseline program offered at most universities is the BSN program. However, every person has different needs, and choosing the right program depends on the career track you are interested in.
The last factor that you should consider when choosing a nursing program is the graduation rate. A higher graduation rate indicates that the school graduates first-year students within 4-6 years at a greater rate than other schools. Knowing that your school has a proven track record of graduating students on time is crucial.
We retrieved our data from the following locations:
- University webpages
- The state board of registered nursing if applicable (for example, Georgia’s Board of Registered Nursing)
- The U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard
- The American Association of Colleges of Nursing
- U.S. News Best Colleges
To calculate the scores for the respective schools, we took the lowest-scoring school from each individual metric, assigned it a 1 and gave the highest score a 10. We then were able to create brackets within that range to place each college in.
After coming up with a score for each school out of 10 for their respective metric, we added them up and multiplied them by two to come up with a score out of 100.
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