Georgia RN to BSN Programs - Information + Rankings for 2020
If you have already completed an ADN or diploma program allowing you to work as a registered nurse (RN) in Georgia but you want to further your education, an RN to BSN course is a great choice. With your BSN degree, you will become more valuable to employers thanks to your training, and you will enjoy a handsome increase in your salary, as well. RNs with BSN degrees in Georgia may also choose to work in a number of specialty fields, including OB/GYN or even pediatrics. Here, we have taken a close look at 15 schools offering online or on-campus RN to BSN programs in Georgia to bring you a list of top 10. The criteria we considered includes NCLEX-RN pass rates, graduation rates, faculty ratings, and
Typical Online RN to BSN Program Details in GA
Furthering your education as an RN opens many doors for you, but if you are already working full-time, going back to school can be a challenge. Fortunately, there are numerous schools and universities in Georgia offering online RN to BSN programs, and some offer hybrid programs that combine traditional learning with online learning. Online programs offer you ample flexibility, but you may be required to visit your school’s campus for testing, labs, practicums, and simulations.
ACEN/CCNE Accredited & Approved by Georgia Board of Nursing:
When you are choosing an RN to BSN program it is crucial to ensure that it has been approved by the Georgia Board of Nursing
and accredited by either the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
(ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
(CCNE), which are national accreditation organizations that set high standards for nursing education. More and more employers across the state of Georgia will only recognize your BSN if it was accredited by one of these bodies.
The coursework included in an online RN to BSN degree will vary from school to school. The courses take your previous education into consideration and build upon it to give you more skills and insight into patient care. Courses may include a mix of general education options, core nursing classes, practicums or labs, and electives that could make you a more valuable asset in the healthcare industry.
| Sample Courses |
| Transition to Baccalaureate Nursing Practice, Survey of Health Science Information, Legal & Ethical Aspects of Professional Nursing, Nursing Research in Professional Practice, Leadership & Management in Professional Nursing, and Community & Population-Based Care |
Clinical training may or may not be required as part of your RN to BSN course in this state. Typically, schools in this state will consider your previous experience working as an RN, then schedule your clinicals to complement this. RNs with several years of experience who can demonstrate proficiency in their skills are usually not required to participate in unpaid clinicals; in this case, it is possible to complete the hands-on portion of your training at your current workplace.
Program length will also vary across the board depending on the school you attend and the track you choose. Some online programs can be completed in as little as two semesters (one year) as long as you have completed all of the prerequisite courses and you can attend year-round as a full-time student. Other programs allow you to work at your own pace, meaning you could take up to three years to complete your training. Traditional campus-based programs in Georgia take an average of two years to complete.
Common Admission Requirements:
The requirements you will need to meet in order to enter an RN to BSN program in GA will vary from one university or school to the next. As an example, the University of West Georgia, which offers one of the best RN to BSN programs in the state, has a very competitive selection process. In order to be considered, you will need to:
• Show a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale on all core nursing courses you took during your ADN program;
• Show completion of at least 36 semester hours of core courses, which include English, mathematics, and three science labs along with 12 semester hours of electives, history, or additional science courses;
• Pass a criminal background check and drug screen; and
• Provide transcripts showing completion of an ADN or nursing diploma program; and
• Have a valid RN license in the state of Georgia.
The school notes that applicants who have completed all of the required 60 hours of core courses will receive preferential treatment when it comes to admissions, as well.
How were the Best RN to BSN Programs Ranked?
|Programs Evaluated ||15 |
|Programs Ranked ||10 |
|Ranking Methodology || Click Here |
What are the 10 Best Accredited RN to BSN Programs in Georgia (Online & Campus) for 2020?
1) University of West Georgia, Carrollton
Program Overview: The RN to BSN program at the University of West Georgia (UWG) is one of the most competitive programs in the state. There are stringent requirements for entry, and if you have completed the required 60 hours of core courses, you will receive preferential treatment. It is a fully online program, and the university notes that you will be required to participate in an Online Virtual Orientation program. Throughout your time at UWG, you will also become a part of a large, caring community that includes faculty and students. You can interact with these individuals online to form study groups or to ask questions about the curriculum.
• The RN to BSN course at UWG is one of the shortest in the state if you can enroll full-time and year-round. In this case, it will take you only two semesters (one year) to complete.
• UWG makes it clear that as an RN, you will be treated as a colleague rather than a student, and all of the content provided to you is structured specifically for adult learners with previous nursing experience.
2) Albany State University, Albany
Program Overview: This option at Albany State University is yet another fully-online RN to BSN degree in this state that has much to offer and provides an excellent learning experience. It was specifically designed for working professionals who have already earned ADN or ASN degrees and who are currently licensed to work as an RN in Georgia. The format consists of three consecutive semesters (18 months) if you choose to attend full-time, or if you choose to attend only part-time, it consists of five consecutive semesters (30 months).
• You may still enter the program at Albany State University if you have not fulfilled all the core course requirements, but you may be required to attend those courses on campus rather than online.
• You may be rewarded with credit for up to 33 credit hours based on the courses you completed in your ADN, ASN, or diploma program. These are held in escrow until you have completed seven semester hours in core nursing courses.
3) Georgia College & State University, Milledgeville
Program Overview: Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville is another excellent online-only option that is flexible enough to meet your needs. Most students complete the program in three semesters, but full-time students can complete the program in two semesters (12 months). On the other hand, if you are currently working as an RN and you need more time, you can customize your program to your needs. Admissions take place in the spring and fall, making enrollment convenient. Finally, Georgia College does provide optional on-campus meetings for presentations, exams, and orientations, but you are not required to attend these.
• Georgia College & State University employs some of the best staff in the state; many hold advanced doctorate degrees, and all faculty is highly qualified.
• The school’s E-Portfolio program makes it easy for you to see documents and media that can help you reach your goals, and it serves as the equivalent of a pre-licensure BSN exit exam.
4) Columbus State University, Columbus
Program Overview: Columbus State University’s RN to BSN program has been recognized at the national, regional, and state level for its excellence. The program is specially designed for working nurses who want to earn their BSN degrees in a single year, but if you need more time, the program is also quite flexible. It offers year-round program entry, small interactive classes that take place over the course of seven weeks each, and a dedicated RN student faculty advisor to help you meet your goals. The didactic portion of the program is 100% online, and if you are required to complete clinicals, these will be held in your geographic area to reduce your commute time.
• The RN to BSN Program at Columbus was ranked 29th on the list of the Nation’s Best Online Nursing Degree programs by Affordable Colleges Online.
• CSU has been ranked among the top regional universities in the southern US by US News & World Report, and its online programs received special recognition.
• CSU is also named Georgia’s top provider of RN to BSN programs among public colleges.
5) Georgia Southern University, Savannah
Program Overview: Georgia Southern University (GSU) offers a well-recognized online RN to BSN program that is designed for RNs who want access to a quick, affordable way to earn their degrees. The program here is designed to be 100% individualized and flexible, and while the university recommends completing it in one to two years, it does make special considerations for RNs who want to proceed more quickly or slowly depending on their individual circumstances. GSU will provide you with credit for 29 credit hours of study after completing six hours of nursing courses there.
Georgia Southern University is the recipient of numerous awards and recognition, including:
• National recognition as a Top 100 Nursing Program in 2016 by US News & World Report;
• One of the 2015 Top Online Programs in Nursing by OnlineU;
• One of the 50 Top RN to BSN Programs in 2016 by The Best Schools; and
• One of the Top Online Bachelor’s Degrees in 2017 by Best Degree Programs.
6) University of North Georgia, Dahlonega
Program Overview: The RN to BSN course offered by the University of North Georgia is a fairly standard online option. There is only one optional track that requires full-time enrollment, and you can complete the program in three semesters. All courses take place online, but you will need to attend the mandatory program orientation on campus during the first week of the fall semester, and some of the electives may contain on-campus proctored events, as well. For RNs with working experience, clinicals can be completed online, but for those who have no working experience or prefer clinicals in a hospital, this can be arranged with one of numerous facilities.
• UNG is one of a handful of online programs in the state of Georgia that allows admissions to students who are in the process of completing their ADN/ASN degrees. Though you can be accepted into the program before graduation, you cannot actually attend the program until you have received your degree.
• You will need 120 credits to complete the program, but you can get credit for 69 credit hours based on your ADN program.
7) Georgia Baptist College of Nursing of Mercer University, Atlanta
Program Overview: The online RN to BSN course at Georgia Baptist College of Nursing of Mercer University was designed specifically for ADN or diploma nursing program graduates. Here, you can choose between full-time or part-time study, which means it is flexible enough to suit your needs. The courses are asynchronous, which means you can complete them on your own time, but you will need to attend two orientation days on campus at the very beginning of the program. In order to meet the degree requirements, you will need to complete a minimum of 32 semester hours at Georgia Baptist College of Nursing.
• You can attend free information sessions specifically regarding the RN to BSN program by registering ahead of time
, and these are held every Thursday from 2pm to 4pm local time.
• The program is a minimum of three semesters in length but can be extended out to five semesters for working RNs who need more flexibility.
• Georgia Baptist College of Nursing requires you to complete two clinical courses, each of which are about 45 hours in length and require you to work with a BSN-prepared RN.
• This is one of few schools in the state that offers year-round entry with coursework starting in fall, spring, or summer.
8) Clayton State University, Morrow
Program Overview: The online RN to BSN track offered by Clayton State University makes it easier than ever for working RNs to earn their BSN degrees. The suggested progression lasts three semesters, but it can be tailored to your individual needs. Clayton State University will provide you with up to 30 semester hour credits upon completing the Professional Issues course in the second semester, as well. The electives offered here can serve you well in your career, as well; these include courses like AIDS Epidemic, Gerontology, Nutrition, Nursing Informatics, and Forensic Nursing, among others.
• Clayton State University requires a unique 90-hour practicum, but you can choose to complete it in several ways. You can work as an RN with a BSN in a clinic or health department, create an educational offering for the target audience you choose, or work directly with a nurse leader in a healthcare facility to practice the application of leadership and management principles.
• CSU also offers access to a double major in Healthcare Management that was specifically designed to complement its RN to BSN track and provide you with a business degree emphasizing technology in the healthcare environment.
9) Brenau University, Gainesville
Program Overview: The online program Brenau University in Gainesville is an accelerated program in which most classes last for only seven weeks, and many RNs can complete it in less than one year. It is one of the most flexible RN to BSN courses in GA since it allows students to choose only one class per session to fit into their busy schedules. There are three start times per year in spring, summer, and fall, and Brenau University will give you ample opportunity to network with nurses both at the local and national level, as well.
• The program at Brenau University is comprised of 10 courses and you will need to complete a minimum of 34 credit hours to fulfill the degree requirements.
• Brenau University places special emphasis on things like nursing research, professional ethics, leadership and management, and more to help you further your career after graduation.
• Aside from CCNE accreditation, the RN to BSN degree is also accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
10) Valdosta State University, Valdosta
Program Overview: Valdosta State University’s program, which takes place at the school’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences, is known as the RN Preference Pathway which gives you the opportunity to complete all of the academic requirements and earn your degree in a single academic year. It is a fully online format requiring a total of 120 credit hours, but you will receive credit for courses you took during your ADN or diploma nursing program after completing a minimum number of core credit hours at VSU.
• The VSU College of Nursing and Health Sciences is accredited by numerous agencies, including not only the CCNE, but also the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
• VSU’s RN to BSN curriculum was designed specifically for adult learners who want to earn their BSN degrees and reap the benefits quickly.
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Latest on Georgia’s Push for 80 Percent BSN by 2020
In 2010, the national Institute of Medicine challenged all 50 states to have at least 80% of its RNs educated at the BSN level by the year 2020. The state of Georgia has made some serious headway in this regard thanks in part to the Georgia RN-BSN Articulation Model. This model was created to help make it easier for existing RNs to attend BSN programs. The model requires participating educators to provide students with 32 credit hours after successfully passing the first nursing clinical course. These credits are held in escrow until students have completed more than six hours of core nursing credits.
Aside from this, Georgia allows community and technical colleges to award BSN degrees to existing RNs, which benefits the state in its quest to meet the IoM (institute of Medicine) goals in two distinct ways. Allowing smaller schools to award BSN degrees makes them more affordable to RNs than ever before, and this alone will increase the number of RNs with BSN degrees significantly. Because there are more community and technical colleges than standard four-year universities across the state, this also makes the program far more accessible. More RNs can enroll each year, which will continue to facilitate the push for 80%.
Options to Fund My RN to BSN Education
Obtaining a BSN can be costly, but thanks to Georgia’s decision to allow community and technical colleges to award them, it has become more affordable than ever before. Below, you will discover some of the ways in which you can get help paying for your education.
The federal government offers several grants that you can qualify for and access by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid
(FAFSA) application before starting your program. These include the Pell Grant as well as several opportunities through the Health Resources and Services Administration
Student loans are yet another option, and while there are no loans specific to the state of Georgia, most students apply through the Sallie Mae website for federal loans
with easy repayment terms. You should also consider obtaining loans with even better terms through private lenders, including banks and financiers. Lastly, you may also be able to apply for a Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program
through the US Department of Health and Human Services.
The scholarships available to RNs across Georgia who are interested in furthering their education with a BSN degree are virtually endless. Some of the most popular scholarships can be found through the Georgia Nurses Association, which lists options including the Katherine Pope Scholarship, the Annie Lou Overton Scholarship, and the Kathryn Suggs Chance Leonard Scholarship, all of which are awarded by the Georgia Nurses Association
. Many of the colleges and universities offering RN to BSN courses offer scholarships of their own, so be sure to talk with the finance or accounting department at the school of your choice to learn more.
Employer Assistance Programs:
Finally, depending on your experience and your employer, you may qualify for one of many employer assistance programs across the state. Some of these programs offer limited tuition reimbursement, which means that after you complete the program, your employer will compensate you for a portion of your out-of-pocket costs. In other cases, employers may completely pay for your RN to BSN degree in exchange for your agreement to work with that employer on a contractual basis for a predetermined amount of time. Talk to your employer to learn more.
6 Potential Advantages of Pursuing an RN to BSN in Georgia
If you are curious as to whether pursuing an RN to BSN degree in GA is worth the time and effort, the following benefits will appeal to you. In almost every case, your investment in your education will pay off almost immediately.
1. Expand Your Knowledge, Skills & Abilities
RN to BSN degrees in the state of Georgia are designed to build upon what you have already learned during an ADN/ASN or diploma degree program, giving you better, more specific training and the ability to provide higher quality care to patients. You will learn about leadership and management in nursing, community nursing, and information that is specific to individual medical specialties depending on your elective choices. All of these can allow you to further your career, and they will make you far more attractive to employers in the industry.
2. Salary Bump
In the state of Georgia, an increase in knowledge will almost always result in a significant increase in your annual salary. The average salary for an RN who has an ADN/ASN or diploma degree in Georgia is $64,840
. However, after earning a BSN degree, this average salary jumps to $70,560, an increase of $5,720 a month. If you work in Atlanta or Augusta, you can earn even more. This is a significant boost, especially when you consider that you can earn your BSN degree in one year or less at many of the state’s top schools.
| Georgia |
|Before RN To BSN || After RN to BSN || How Much More Will I Earn |
| $64,840 || $70,560 ||+$5,720 |
|(Source: Compiled using data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) |
3. More Job Opportunities
| Georgia Area Wise Breakdown |
|Area || Before RN To BSN || After RN to BSN || How Much More Will I Earn |
|Albany||$52,030 ||$56,620 ||+$4,590 |
|Athens, Clarke County ||$61,400 ||$66,820 ||+$5,420 |
|Atlanta, Sandy Springs, Roswell||$68,840 ||$74,910 ||+$6,070 |
|Augusta, Richmond County||$66,110 ||$71,950 ||+$5,840 |
|Brunswick||$56,240 ||$61,210 ||+$4,970 |
|Columbus||$58,070 ||$63,190 ||+$5,120 |
|Dalton||$58,480 ||$63,630 ||+$5,150 |
|Hinesville||$64,430 ||$70,110 ||+$5,680 |
|Macon||$60,580 ||$65,920 ||+$5,340 |
|Rome||$61,680 ||$67,120 ||+$5,440 |
|Savannah||$60,150 ||$65,460 ||+$5,310 |
|Valdosta||$59,210 ||$64,430 ||+$5,220 |
|Warner Robins||$59,680 ||$64,950 ||+$5,270 |
|(Source: Compiled using data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) |
Each year across the state, only 1,650 new and replacement job openings become available to RNs who have ADN degrees or the equivalent. When compared to the 2,640 new and replacement job openings available exclusively to RNs who have BSN degrees, it is clear that your participation in the program will give you many more opportunities to work with some of the best healthcare organizations in Georgia.
4. The Outlook is Brighter for a BSN Graduate
| Georgia Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement) |
| Annual Openings for BSN Graduates || 2,640 |
| Annual Openings for ADN Graduates || 1,650 |
| (Source: Compiled using data from careeronestop.org) |
After completing an RN to BSN degree in Georgia, you will undoubtedly enjoy a brighter future. Thanks to the unique push for having 80% of all RNs educated at the BSN level by 2020, employers across the state actively seek nurses who have this advanced education, and this is evidenced in the chart below. RNs with ADNs will see a 15.67% growth in employment between 2017 and 2027, but RNs with BSNs will experience much higher growth of 21.67% in the same time period.
5. Career Advancement
| 10 Year (2017-2027) Job Outlook |
| || Employment || New Job Growth |
| 2017 || 2027 || Number || % |
| BSN || 37,200 || 45,260 ||8,060 || 21.67% |
| ADN || 24,750 || 28,630 || 3,880 || 15.67% |
| (Source: Compiled using data from careeronestop.org) |
One of the biggest benefits associated with the completion of an RN to BSN degree is the ability to further your career. Thanks to the additional training you will receive, you will be able to apply for positions such as Nurse Educator, Nurse Manager, Charge Nurse, Clinical Research Nurse, or even Director of Nursing, each of which carries enhanced responsibilities along with a larger salary.
6. Post-RN to BSN Study Options
| Advancement Opportunities |
| Charge Nurse || Director of Nursing |
| Chief Nursing Officer || Nurse Educator |
|Clinical Nurse Specialist ||Nurse Manager |
| Clinical Research Nurse || Nurse Supervisor |
Though your BSN degree will undoubtedly open new doors for you throughout your career, your education does not have to stop there. Your BSN degree allows you to enter a variety of graduate study programs, including MSN, PhD, or even DNP programs. After completing your MSN, you could work as an educator, Nurse Practitioner, clinical nurse specialist and more, and these careers come with average salaries of up to $131,000 in Georgia – twice as much as your BSN education alone. Similarly, if you choose to pursue a PhD or DNP degree, you could work as a researcher, a dean, a senior policy analyst, and more. Careers like these pay an average salary that tops out at $198,910 in Georgia.
| Type of Degree || Length || Roles and Responsibilities || Salary |
| Master’s Degree (MSN/MS) || Up to 2 years ||Administrator, Certified Nurse Midwife, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, Clinical Leader, Clinical Nurse Specialist & Nurse Practitioner|| $73,820 - $131,000 |
| Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degree || 4 to 6 years || Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, College Faculty, Nursing School Dean, Health System Executive, Researcher, & Senior Policy Analyst || $81,380 - $198,910 |
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