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Georgia Registered Nurse Salary + Job Outlook


The nursing shortage in Georgia continues to create problems for millions of people seeking care, particularly in inner cities and metro areas. Though the registered nurse salary in Georgia of $68,950 a year falls well below the national average of $75,510, employers across the state have begun offering higher salaries in order to attract new talent and resolve the nursing shortage. Over the next five years, RN employment in the GA will increase by 9.13%, particularly in areas such as Atlanta, Augusta, and Savannah. The following detailed information about RN salary in the state of in GA will help you make better decisions about your own career.

How Many Registered Nurses are Currently Employed in GA?


76,640


What is the Salary of an RN in Georgia?


Starting Salary


As a newly-licensed RN in Georgia, you will earn less than your more experienced counterparts no matter where in the state you work or the specialization you choose. The starting RN salary in Georgia is $53,075 a year on average, or $25.52 an hour.

Type Average Salary
Hourly $25.52
Monthly $4,423
Annual $53,075


Average Salary


The RN average salary in GA, regardless of experience, education, location, specialization, or employer is $68,950 a year, which is equal to roughly $33.15 an hour. Your average salary is expected to rise with each passing year, as well.

Type Average Salary
Hourly $33.15
Monthly $5,746
Annual $68,950
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Estimated Total Annual Compensation (Salary + Benefits)


In addition to the average annual salary of $68,950, you can expect other benefits including insurance, paid leave, and retirement contributions (among others) totaling $28,070 a year, bringing your total compensation as an RN in GA to $97,020 annually.

Component Amount
Paid Leave $6,798
Supplemental Pay $3,108
Insurance $7,186
Retirement and Savings $3,690
Legally Required $7,283
Total Benefits $28,070
Average Annual Salary $68,950
Total Compensation $97,020
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Percentile Wage Estimates of all RN Workers in GA & Factors That Play a Role


Understanding the factors that can affect your RN pay in Georgia is important. Some of the things that can help you earn a higher income include your specialization of choice, your level of education, the city in which you work, and even the employer you choose. Half of all registered nurses earn salaries between $56,900 and $79,610 a year, which means that some RNs earn less while others earn a great deal more. As a newly-licensed RN working in a rural area, you may earn less than $49,250; however, with 20 or more years of experience and employment in a major metro area like Atlanta or Augusta, you can earn well above $92,000 a year.

Percent of RN's Number of RN's Annual Salary
10%7,664Under $49,250
15%11,496$49,250 - $56,900
25%19,160$56,900 - $67,870
25%19,160$67,870 - $79,610
15%11,496$79,610 - $93,770
10%7,664Above $93,770
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Salary Trend (2013-2018)


Due in part to employers’ desire to reduce the nursing shortage in GA and attract more nurses to the state, the salary trend over the last five years has been positive. In 2013, the average annual salary was $61,630, but by 2018, it was $68,950. The difference of $7,320 represents growth of 10.59% across Georgia within that five years.

Year Annual Salary Growth
Number %
2014 $62,350 $720 1.17%
2015 $63,190 $840 1.35%
2016 $64,750 $1,560 2.47%
2017 $66,750 $2,000 3.09%
2018 $68,950 $2,200 3.30%
Overall Growth in Last Five Years $7,320 10.59%
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Salary Projection (2018-2023)


Over the course of the next five years, the average registered nurse income in GA will follow the same trend as the previous five years. As of 2018, the average salary was $68,950, but by 2023, that salary will climb to $76,730. The difference of $7,780 represents growth of 11.28% and will be driven by increases in cost of living across Georgia and employers’ attempts to compensate. It will also be driven by the state’s desire to attract new talent from other states.

Year Annual Salary Growth
Number %
2019 $70,100 $1,150 1.67%
2020 $71,430 $1,330 1.90%
2021 $72,890 $1,460 2.04%
2022 $74,680 $1,790 2.46%
2023 $76,730 $2,050 2.75%
Overall Growth in Next Five Years $7,780 11.28%
(Source: Compiled using data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Georgia BSN Degree Holders vs ADN Degree Holders – Who Earns More?


You will earn more as a BSN-educated RN in Georgia due to the additional skills and knowledge the bachelor’s degree program can offer. In fact, you will earn $5,930 more than RNs who have ADN degrees in GA.

ADN BSN How Much More Does an RN with BSN Earn
$67,210 $73,140 + $5,930
(Source: Compiled using data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Georgia RN vs National RN


The average annual salary for RNs in GA is significantly lower than the national average RN salary, but this is expected to change in the coming years as employers work hard to solve the growing nursing shortage.

Type Georgia United States Difference
Number %

Average Hourly Wage

$33.15 $36.30 - $3.15 - 8.68%

Average Annual Salary

$68,950 $75,510 - $6,560 - 8.69%
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


RN Salary vs All Occupations in GA


Type GeorgiaGeorgia All Occupations Difference
Number %

Average Hourly Wage

$33.15$23.21+ $9.94 + 42.83%

Average Annual Salary

$68,950$48,280+ $20,670 + 42.81%
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


RN Salary vs All Nursing Occupations in GA



$0 $40,000 $80,000 $120,000 $160,000 $200,000 (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2018) Nursing Asstant Licensed Practical Nurse Registered Nurse Nursing Instructor Nurse Practitioner Nurse Midwive Nurse Anesthetist $25,870 $41,690 $68,950 $71,470 $106,750 $109,640 $151,070


RN Salary vs Similar Healthcare Occupations in GA



$0 $20,000 $40,000 $60,000 $80,000 $100,000 $120,000 (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2018) Medical Assistant Emergency Medical Technicia & Paramedic Cardiovascular Technologist and Technician Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Dental Hygienist Social Worker Registered Nurse Occupational Therapist Physician Assistant $32,060 $33,950 $58,120 $61,960 $65,650 $67,630 $68,950 $82,060 $103,190


RN Employment & Pay in Different Healthcare Facilities of GA


After obtaining your licensure, you will have the best luck finding an entry-level job in a local hospital. Hospitals employ the majority of Georgia’s registered nurses, but they also provide the highest average pay at $34.13 an hour or $70,980 a year. Nursing care facilities tend to pay the least in the state of GA at just $61,520.

Industry Employment Hourly Salary Annual Salary

Hospitals

44,100 $34.13 $70,980

Physician's Offices

5,140 $29.76 $61,900

Home Health Care

4,700 $31.54 $65,610

Nursing Care Facilities

3,980 $29.58 $61,520

Outpatient Care Centers

3,680 $34.78 $72,350
(Source: Compiled using data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Registered Nurse Salary in 10 Major Cities of Georgia


1) Atlanta


Atlanta is the most highly populated city in GA, and more RNs work here than in any other city statewide. Between Atlanta, Sandy Springs, and Roswell, there are more than 41,000 registered nurses. As an RN working in Atlanta, GA, you will earn an average annual salary of $73,190. Some of the biggest employers of RNs in the city include hospitals such as Emory University Hospital, Egleston Hospital, and Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital. Atlanta is also home to a large percentage of the state’s nursing homes, outpatient clinics, and physicians’ offices.

Year Annual Salary Growth
Number %
2014 $65,040 $670 1.04%
2015 $65,990 $950 1.46%
2016 $67,870 $1,880 2.85%
2017 $70,540 $2,670 3.93%
2018 $73,190 $2,650 3.76%


2) Augusta


RNs who work in and around the Augusta area earn an average annual salary of $69,000. Some of the top employers in Augusta are the Children’s Hospital of Georgia, University Hospital, the JMS Burn Center, and the Georgia Cancer Center, which is home to some of the best oncologists in the state. Overall, some 6,960 registered nurses work in the Augusta, GA area.

Year Annual Salary Growth
Number %
2014$65,150$1,1901.86%
2015$66,120$9701.49%
2016$68,170$2,0503.10%
2017$68,150- $20- 0.03%
2018$69,000$8501.25%


3) Columbus


There are roughly 2,350 registered nurses in and around the city of Columbus, and on average, they earn $61,230 a year. Piedmont Regional Hospital is the largest employer of RNs in the area, followed by Northside Medical Center and Emergency Room, Southeastern Cardiology Associates, and Sullivan Memorial Blood Center. Some RNs in Columbus work in nursing homes, doctors’ offices, and schools, and a handful even work in the home health sector.

Year Annual Salary Growth
Number %
2014$58,630- $420- 0.71%
2015$58,730$1000.17%
2016$59,190$4600.78%
2017$59,600$4100.69%
2018$61,230$1,6302.73%


4) Macon


In the city of Macon, GA, there are 2,840 registered nurses working in hospitals, doctors’ offices, clinics, long-term care facilities, schools, and more. They earn an average annual salary of $65,140. Hospitals here tend to pay the most, and they also employ most of the RNs across the city. Children’s Hospital at Navicent Health, the Northside Hospital, and the Coliseum Northside Hospital are excellent places to start your job search in Macon.

Year Annual Salary Growth
Number %
2014 $59,660 - $1,360 - 2.23%
2015 $61,130 $1,470 2.46%
2016 $61,210 $80 0.13%
2017 $62,980 $1,770 2.89%
2018 $65,140 $2,160 3.43%


5) Savannah


Savannah has 3,700 registered nurses serving a citywide population of 146,444. The salary range is $44,200 to $78,960 a year with an average annual RN salary of $61,930. Some of the city’s biggest and most popular employers include Select Specialty Hospital, The Heart Hospital at St. Joseph’s/Candler, and the Old Candler Hospital. Rehabilitation facilities and physicians’ offices in Savannah also hire a great deal of the city’s RNs.

Year Annual Salary Growth
Number %
2014 $61,090 $2,320 3.95%
2015 $62,100 $1,010 1.65%
2016 $62,980 $880 1.42%
2017 $62,160 - $820 - 1.30%
2018 $61,930 - $230 - 0.37%


6) Athens


The 1,910 registered nurses working in Athens and Clarke County earn an average annual salary of $67,310. Some earn as little as $52,340, but some earn as much as $87,960. Hospitals such as the University of Georgia Health Center, Mercy Health Center, and the Landmark Hospital of Athens are some of the city’s biggest employers. RNs in Athens also work in doctors’ offices and long-term care facilities as well as in home health.

Year Annual Salary Growth
Number %
2014 $60,900 - $100 - 0.16%
2015 $60,350 - $550 - 0.90%
2016 $60,660 $310 0.51%
2017 $62,980 $2,320 3.82%
2018 $67,310 $4,330 6.88%


7) Sandy Springs


Sandy Springs is just outside Atlanta, and between the three cities of Atlanta, Sandy Springs, and Roswell, there are well over 41,000 registered nurses. They earn an average annual salary of $73,190, which is well above the state average, and some earn as much as $97,820 a year. The biggest employers of RNs in Sandy Springs include Scottish Rite Hospital, Northside Hospital, and Piedmont Heart of Perimeter.

Year Annual Salary Growth
Number %
2014 $65,040 $670 1.04%
2015 $65,990 $950 1.46%
2016 $67,870 $1,880 2.85%
2017 $70,540 $2,670 3.93%
2018 $73,190 $2,650 3.76%


8) Roswell


Roswell is another community just outside of Atlanta. More than 41,000 registered nurses work in Atlanta, Roswell, and Sandy Springs combined, and they earn an average annual salary of $73,190. As you gain more experience, you can earn a salary that climbs well beyond $97,000 here. Some of the biggest employers of RNs in the Roswell area include PAMPA Children’s Hospital, North Fulton Regional Hospital, and Park Places.

Year Annual Salary Growth
Number %
2015 $65,990 ----- -----
2016 $67,870 $1,880 2.85%
2017 $70,540 $2,670 - 3.93%
2018 $73,190 $2,650 3.76%


9) Warner Robins


The 1,120 registered nurses employed in Warner Robins, GA earn an average annual salary of $62,700, but some earn as much as $80,860 depending on their employers, specialties, and experience. Some of the biggest employers of RNs in Warner Robins include Primary Pediatrics, Magnolia Surgery, and various other clinics such as Pediatric Associates and the Houston County Volunteer Medical Clinic.

Year Annual Salary Growth
Number %
2014 $57,540 $1,600 2.86%
2015 $57,170 -$370 - 0.64%
2016 $58,870 $1,700 2.97%
2017 $61,350 $2,480 4.21%
2018 $62,700 $1,350 2.20%


10) Albany


Roughly 1,260 work in the city of Albany, GA, and they earn an average annual salary of $56,710, which is much less than the state’s average salary for RNs. At the high end of the scale, it is possible to earn $66,890 a year. The lack of major hospitals in the area contributes to the lower salary, and most RNs here are employed by facilities such as the Phoebe Putney Health System and QuickFix Family Convenient Care at Southern Spine and Health.

Year Annual Salary Growth
Number %
2014 $60,910 $460 0.76%
2015 $58,800 - $2,110 - 3.46%
2016 $52,950 - $5,850 - 9.95%
2017 $54,030 $1,080 2.04%
2018 $56,710 $2,680 4.96%


Which Georgia Cities are Paying Registered Nurses the Most?


The registered nurse salary in GA varies significantly depending on the city in which you work. If you work in Atlanta, Sandy Springs, or Roswell, you will likely earn well above the state average at $73,190 a year. On the other hand, if you work in a city like Albany where employment opportunities are scarcer and there are fewer people seeking treatment, you will earn a much lower average annual salary of $56,710.

Rank City Hourly Annual
Range Average Range Average
1 Atlanta $25.70 - $47.03 $35.19 $53,460 - $97,820 $73,190
1 Sandy Springs $25.70 - $47.03 $35.19 $53,460 - $97,820 $73,190
1 Roswell $25.70 - $47.03 $35.19 $53,460 - $97,820 $73,190
2 Augusta $23.16 - $44.27 $33.17 $48,180 - $92,080 $69,000
3 Hinesville $27.02 - $38.26 $32.98 $56,190 - $79,590 $68,590
4 Athens $25.17 - $42.29 $32.36 $52,340 - $87,960 $67,310
5 Clarke County $25.17 - $42.29 $32.36 $52,340 - $87,960 $67,310
5 Rome $22.86 - $39.71 $31.39 $47,560 - $82,610 $65,290
5 Macon $21.91 - $39.76 $31.32 $45,580 - $82,710 $65,140
6 Warner Robins $21.72 - $38.87 $30.14 $45,180 - $80,860 $62,700
7 Valdosta $21.12 - $40.37 $30.02 $43,940 - $83,980 $62,440
8 Savannah $21.25 - $37.96 $29.78 $44,200 - $78,960 $61,930
9 Columbus $20.95 - $38.26 $29.44 $43,580 - $79,590 $61,230
10 Brunswick $20.60 - $38.48 $29.39 $42,850 - $80,030 $61,130
11 Dalton $20.48 - $38.33 $28.99 $42,600 - $79,720 $60,300
12 Albany $19.96 - $32.16 $27.26 $41,510 - $66,890 $56,710
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Employment Trend (2013-2018)


Year Employment Growth
Number %
2014 68,010 1,930 2.92%
2015 68,980 970 1.43%
2016 73,330 4,350 6.31%
2017 75,000 1,670 2.28%
2018 76,640 1,640 2.19%
Overall Growth in Last Five Years 10,560 12.69%
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


RN Job Outlook in Georgia (2018-2023)


The RN job outlook in Georgia is good over the next five years. Each year, anywhere from 1,380 to 1,440 new RN positions will become available across the state, representing consistent annual growth of anywhere from 1.69% to 1.83%. For the entire five-year period, 7,000 new jobs will become available, representing 9.13% growth. This outlook is average when compared to most other states across the nation.

Some of the factors that will drive the increase in employment include Georgia’s growing and aging population and increased access to affordable health insurance. What’s more, employers in GA consistently raise salaries and offer outstanding benefits to attract new RNs to help reduce the nursing shortage across the state.

Year Employment Growth
Number %
2019 78,040 1,400 1.83%
2020 79,420 1,380 1.77%
2021 80,860 1,440 1.81%
2022 82,250 1,390 1.72%
2023 83,640 1,390 1.69%
Overall Growth in Next Five Years 7,000 9.13%
(Source: Compiled using data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Projected Annual RN Job Openings (New + Replacement) in Georgia


Year New Jobs Replacement Jobs Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement)
2019 1,399 4,300 5,699
2020 1,378 4,540 5,918
2021 1,445 4,800 6,245
2022 1,390 5,080 6,470
2023 1,389 5,380 6,769
(Source: Compiled using data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Which Georgia Metro Areas Employ the Highest Number of RNs?


Is in most states across the US, it’s the metro areas across GA that employ the largest number of RNs. The Atlanta area, including the suburbs of Sandy Springs and Roswell, employs 41,940 RNs – approximately six times more than any other metro area in GA. For the most part, where there are more hospitals, there will also be more RNs to provide patient care.

These employment numbers are directly proportional to city populations, as well. For example, the population of Atlanta is estimated at just under a half million people, and the population of Augusta is much lower at 197,909, which explains the need for fewer nurses. Atlanta is also home to several of the country’s biggest and best hospitals offering some of the most advanced technology, which draws patients from all over the world. This also helps to explain the tremendous difference in RN employment between Atlanta and other Georgia cities.

Rank Metro Area # Employed
1 Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell 41,940
2 Augusta 6,960
3 Savannah 3,700
4 Macon 2,840
5 Columbus 2,350
6 Athens-Clarke County 1,910
7 Rome 1,500
8 Valdosta 1,310
9 Albany 1,260
10 Warner Robins 1,120
11 Brunswick 860
12 Dalton 810
13 Hinesville 200
(Source: In-House Research, May 2019)