Best Nursing Schools in Georgia | 2024

From entry-level nursing programs to graduate degrees equipping students to become advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), discover the best nursing schools in Georgia. Articles Programs


Georgia presents many pathways for individuals aspiring to enter the nursing profession or take their existing nursing careers to the next level.

Whether you're embarking on your nursing journey with an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), or aiming to advance your practice as a registered nurse (RN) with an RN to BSN program, Georgia's nursing education landscape offers a wide array of options to suit your aspirations.

Beyond the undergraduate programs, the state of Georgia also caters to experienced RNs seeking career advancement through graduate-level education. Discover these programs below, along with a comprehensive overview of what it's like to study nursing in Georgia, post-graduation salary expectations, and answers to frequently asked questions.

Best Undergraduate Programs in Georgia

The following schools have been selected based on allnurses' methodology of surveying our readers to understand what they value most while selecting schools with the addition of NCLEX pass rates (when applicable), graduation rates, student-faculty ratio, price, mode, duration, and admission rate of hundreds of the most prominent nursing schools in the United States.

The three main types of undergraduate programs in Georgia are:

Best ADN Programs in Georgia

An ADN is a two-year nursing program typically offered by community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates of this program become RNs and are eligible to work in entry-level nursing positions, providing direct patient care. Below, we've ranked the top 15 in Georgia.

1. Chattahoochee Technical College

Chattahoochee Technical College, situated in Marietta, offers an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) program at an estimated annual cost of $3,068. Boasting a remarkable 99% NCLEX pass rate and ACEN accreditation, this program equips students for successful nursing careers.

2. West Georgia Technical College 

West Georgia Technical College in Waco provides an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program at an estimated annual cost of $2,127. With an 88% NCLEX pass rate and ACEN accreditation, this program offers valuable training for aspiring nurses.

3. Oconee Fall Line Technical College 

Oconee Fall Line Technical College, located in Sandersville, presents an Associate of Nursing Degree (AND) program at an estimated annual cost of $3,407. Achieving a commendable 91% NCLEX pass rate and holding ACEN accreditation, this program prepares students for a fulfilling career in nursing.

Score School Program City   Estimated
NCLEX Pass Rates
(Avg. 2018-2022)
95.56 Chattahoochee Technical College ASN Marietta   $3,068 99% Yes
90.58 West Georgia Technical College ADN Waco   $2,127 88% Yes
90.46 Oconee Fall Line Technical College ADN Sandersville   $3,407 91% Yes
89.35 North Georgia Technical College ASN Clarkesville   $4,571 92% Yes
88.47 Athens Technical College ASN Athens   $5,579 93% Yes
88.43 Southeastern Technical College ASN Vidalia   $6,406 95% Yes
87.88 Wiregrass Georgia Technical College ASN Valdosta   $5,591 92% Yes
86.40 Southern Crescent Technical College AD Griffin   $7,412 94% Yes
86.38 Lanier Technical College AD Gainesville   $6,628 92% Yes
84.35 Georgia Northwestern Technical College AD Rome   $4,038 82% Yes
83.35 Columbus Technical College AD Columbus   $6,329 86% Yes
83.18 Georgia Highlands College AD Rome   $6,848 87% Yes
82.35 Albany Technical College ASN Albany   $8,622 90% Yes
81.51 Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College ASN Tifton   $7,203 85% Yes
81.01 Georgia State University-Perimeter College AD Atlanta   $10,348 92% Yes

Best BSN Programs in Georgia

A BSN is a four-year undergraduate degree in nursing offered by universities and colleges. This program provides a more comprehensive education in nursing, including coursework in areas like leadership, research, and public health. BSN graduates are qualified for a wider range of nursing roles and may have better career prospects. Below, we've ranked the top 26 in Georgia.

1. University of North Georgia

At the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega, the BSN program comes with an estimated annual cost of $10,623. Accredited by ACEN and showcasing an excellent NCLEX pass rate of 95%, this program equips students with essential skills for their nursing careers.

2. Gordon State College

Gordon State College in Barnesville offers a BSN program with an estimated annual tuition of $8,925. With ACEN accreditation and an NCLEX pass rate of 88%, this program provides students with a solid foundation for a successful nursing journey at an affordable cost.

3. Georgia Gwinnett College

Consider pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree at Georgia Gwinnett College located in Lawrenceville. The estimated annual cost for this program is $11,400. Accredited by ACEN and achieving an impressive NCLEX pass rate of 93%, it provides a strong foundation for students aspiring to succeed in the nursing field.

4. Middle Georgia State University 

The BSN program at Middle Georgia State University in Macon offers an approximate annual cost of $10,295. This program holds ACEN accreditation and achieves an NCLEX pass rate of 87%, ensuring students receive quality nursing education.

5. Wesleyan College 

Wesleyan College in Macon offers a BSN program with an estimated annual cost of $11,365. Accredited by ACEN and achieving an NCLEX pass rate of 85%, this program provides a good foundation for aspiring nurses to succeed in their nursing careers.

Score School Program City Estimated
NCLEX Pass Rates
(Avg. 2018-2022)
99.94 University of North Georgia BSN Dahlonega $10,623 95% Yes
98.89 Gordon State College BSN Barnesville $8,925 88% Yes
98.11 Georgia Gwinnett College BSN Lawrenceville $11,400 93% Yes
96.78 Middle Georgia State University BSN Macon $10,295 87% Yes
94.60 Wesleyan College BSN Macon $11,365 85% Yes
93.54 Valdosta State University BSN Valdosta $13,336 88% Yes
92.70 Georgia Southwestern State University BSN Americus $12,567 93% No
92.36 Augusta University BSN Augusta $15,044 90% Yes
91.41 College of Coastal Georgia BSN Brunswick $13,258 92% No
90.74 Kennesaw State University BSN Kennesaw $18,212 95% Yes
90.59 Clayton State University BSN Morrow $10,635 83% No
89.16 Georgia Southern University BSN Statesboro $15,851 85% Yes
88.66 Columbus State University BSN Columbus $13,697 78% Yes
88.34 Georgia College & State University BSN Milledgeville $19,827 94% Yes
88.21 Georgia State University BSN Atlanta $17,738 88% Yes
88.09 Albany State University BSN Albany $14,904 89% No
87.76 Shorter University BSN Rome $16,638 84% Yes
86.91 University of West Georgia BSN Carrollton $16,239 81% Yes
85.23 Piedmont University BSN Demorest $19,827 87% Yes
82.33 Truett McConnell University BSN Cleveland $19,652 80% Yes
82.14 Reinhardt University BSN Waleska $23,843 91% Yes
81.22 Brenau University BSN Gainesville $22,771 86% Yes
80.39 Mercer University BSN Macon $20,884 88% No
80.23 LaGrange College BSN Lagrange $21,748 81% Yes
80.22 Emory University BSN Atlanta $25,424 91% Yes
80.16 Chamberlain University
BSN Sandy Springs $21,537 87% No

Best RN to BSN Programs in Georgia

RN to BSN programs are designed for licensed RNs who want to earn a bachelor's degree. These programs typically take one to two years to complete and allow RNs to enhance their skills, knowledge, and career opportunities by obtaining a BSN. Below, we've ranked the top 16 in Georgia.

1. Columbus State University

The University System of Georgia's eCampus has partnered with Columbus State to offer this affordable, fully online RN to BSN program. As mentioned, several Georgia schools partner with eCampus to offer online RN to BSN courses; however, CSU is the chosen official partner. 

Columbus State's high ranking is a combination of its affordability, flexibility, and program outcomes. There are no on-campus requirements for the program and the clinical requirements can be completed in your local area.

Program Overview: Online RN to BSN

  • RN to BSN Credit Requirement: 28
  • Cost per Credit Hour: $199 for RN to BSN Courses
  • Estimated Program Cost: $5,572
  • Program Length2: 12 Months for full-time
  • Clinical Requirements: One class requires community-based clinical, NURS 4698 - Senior Project
  • Course List

Program Admission

  • Minimum GPA: 2.5; for those with a GPA between 2.0 and 2.49, a conditional admission may be offered
  • Terms: Fall, Spring, and Summer admission options
  • Application Deadlines: Deadlines vary based on the initial application submission
  • Out-of-state Applications: The program accepts applicants from approximately 30 states (see the full list)

2. Dalton State College

Also part of the consortium of schools offering classes through eCampus, Dalton State ranks highly for its extremely reasonable RN to BSN credit requirements at just 21, leading to its affordability. In fact, for those who have a large number of credits to transfer, Dalton State is the most affordable program of all of the schools in Georgia that we reviewed.

Program Overview: Online RN to BSN

  • RN to BSN Credit Requirement: 21
  • Cost per Credit Hour: $199 for RN to BSN Courses
  • Estimated Program Cost: $4,179
  • Program Length2: 9 Months for full-time (2 semesters)
  • Clinical Requirements: There's a clinical precepting experience revolving around leadership and community health.
  • Course List

Program Admission

  • Minimum GPA: 2.75
  • Terms: Fall and Spring
  • Application Deadlines: July 1st for Fall admission; November 1st for Spring admission

3. Georgia Southern University

Georgia Southern's Online RN to BSN Program scores highly across the board, with a relatively low tuition rate and a high degree of flexibility. For those wanting to take their time, you have up to 5 years to complete the program.

Program Overview: Online RN to BSN

  • RN to BSN Credit Requirement: 31
  • Cost per Credit Hour: $199
  • Estimated Program Cost: $6,169
  • Program Length2: 9 months for full-time (2 semesters)
  • Clinical Requirements: Two courses require clinicals, equating to 120 hours of clinical experience.
  • Course List

Program Admission

  • Minimum GPA: 3.0; provisional admission may be granted with a 2.7 GPA
  • Terms: Fall and Spring
  • Application Deadlines: April 1st for the Fall semester; October 1st for the Spring semester
School City Program Format Accreditation Estimated Costs1
Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Tifton RN to BSN Online ACEN $4,770 12 Months
Albany State University
(Darton State College)
Albany RN to BSN Online ACEN $6,368 12 Months
Clayton State University Morrow RN to BSN
Completion Program
Online CCNE $5,070 12 Months
College of Coastal Georgia Brunswick RN to BSN Online ACEN - 12 Months
Columbus State University Columbus RN to BSN Online CCNE $5,572 12 Months
Dalton State College Dalton RN to BSN Online ACEN $4,179 9 Months
Mercer University
(Georgia Baptist College of Nursing)
Atlanta RN to BSN Online CCNE $11,552 12 Months
Georgia Highlands College Rome RN to BSN Online ACEN $5,970 9 Months
Georgia Southern University Savannah RN to BSN Online CCNE $6,169 12 Months
Georgia Southwestern State University Americus RN to BSN Online CCNE $4,741 12 Months
Georgia State University Atlanta RN to BSN
Bridge Program
Online CCNE $8,940 12 Months
Gordon State College Barnesville RN to BSN
Online ACEN $5,572 12 Months
La Grange College LaGrange RN to BSN Online ACEN - -
Middle Georgia State University Macon RN to BSN
Online CCNE $5,970 12 Months
South Georgia State College Douglas RN to BSN Online ACEN - -
University of West Georgia Carrollton RN to BSN Online CCNE $5,460 12 Months

Best Graduate Nursing Programs in Georgia

The two main types of graduate nursing programs in Georgia are:

Best MSN Programs in Georgia

An MSN is a graduate-level nursing degree that can be pursued after earning a BSN. It offers advanced training and specialization in various nursing fields, such as nurse practitioner, nurse educator, or nurse administrator. MSN graduates often have opportunities for leadership roles in healthcare.

1. Emory University

Emory University's Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing offers four specialty areas in the MSN program:

  • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPC-NP)
  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
  • Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (PPC-NP)
  • Women's Health/Gender Nurse Practitioner (WHNP)

Graduates are prepared for their roles as APRNs and can sit for licensure from the state board of nursing. 

2. Augusta University

August University's MSN program offers a concentration in Clinical Nurse Leadership. It's an innovative, accelerated graduate program for individuals with a non-nursing bachelor's degree. Graduates are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN and CNL certification exam offered by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).

3. Clayton State University

Clayton State University's MSN program offers a concentration in Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), designed to prepare professional RNs for their APRN roles as culturally competent primary care providers of clients, families, and communities. The program is committed to championing the training of a diverse workforce that reflects the population of Georgia. 

4. Mercer University

Mercer University's MSN program offers three tracks:

  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGAC-NP)
  • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPC-NP)

Graduates are prepared to become nursing leaders in their advanced specialty area of nursing, which can be practiced in a variety of healthcare delivery systems and settings. Students are taught to think analytically and theoretically, strengthening their area of practice and theory.

5. Brenau University

Brenau University offers an Entry-Level MSN for students with a bachelor's degree in a different discipline who want to quickly transition into the healthcare field. Students receive an advanced foundation of knowledge and skills in an effort to translate to compassionate, evidence-based patient care.

  • Duration: 5 semesters, accelerated
  • Location: North Atlanta
  • Class Type: On-Ground
  • Tuition: $863/hr.

Best DNP Programs in Georgia

The DNP is a terminal practice-focused doctoral degree in nursing. It is designed for experienced nurses who want to advance their clinical practice and leadership skills. DNP programs often emphasize evidence-based practice and healthcare system improvement. Graduates with a DNP can pursue roles as nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, or healthcare executives.

1. Emory University

Emory University's Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing post-master's DNP is recognized as a national leader. Numerous clinical and community partners support students' learning experiences at Emory, and after graduation, students lead health and healthcare improvements within the context of health systems, public-private ventures, non-profit organizations, and more.

2. Augusta University

August University offers six DNP tracks:

  • Nurse Executive
  • Nursing Anesthesia
  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP)
  • Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)
  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGAC-NP)

Key highlights include asynchronous online programs, full-time and part-time study options, interactive web-based classes, experienced faculty, and more.

3. Georgia State University

Georgia State University's Byrdine F. Lewis College of Nursing and Health Professionals DNP program is for thos seeking the highest level of clinical nursing practice. 

Graduates are highly qualified to become:

  • Healthcare Executives
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Nursing Faculty
  • APRNs
  • Healthcare Lobbyists
  • Clinical Researchers

4. Mercer University

Mercer University's DNP offers five tracks:

  • BSN to DNP with Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGAC-NP)
  • BSN to DNP with Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPC-NP)
  • BSN to DNP with Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
  • Post-Master's DNP
  • Post-Master's DNP with Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGAC-NP)

Graduates are equipped to engage in clinical scholarship using evidence-based practice, theoretical practice knowledge, and analytics. They will also be able to apply leadership and advocacy, integrate information technology, and more.

5. Georgia Southern University

Georgia Southern University's DNP program offers four clinical tracks:

  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGAC-NP)
  • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPC-NP)
  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
  • Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

Graduates will be able to develop advanced clinical practice expertise, affect healthcare outcomes, evaluate theory, employ critical thinking and diagnostics, and more.

Studying Nursing in Georgia

Studying nursing in Georgia offers a unique and rewarding educational experience, with several notable aspects to consider:

  • Quality Nursing Programs: Georgia is home to numerous reputable nursing schools and universities that offer a range of nursing programs. These include ADN, BSN, RN to BSN, MSN, and DNP. These programs provide students with a solid foundation and expertise in nursing theory and clinical practice.
  • Diverse Healthcare Settings: Georgia's diverse healthcare landscape provides nursing students with opportunities to gain clinical experience in various settings. From large urban hospitals to rural healthcare facilities, students can learn to adapt to different patient populations and healthcare environments.
  • Experienced Faculty: Nursing schools in Georgia typically have experienced and dedicated faculty members who are passionate about nursing education. They often have a wealth of clinical experience and can provide valuable insights to students.
  • Community Involvement: Many nursing programs in Georgia emphasize community involvement and service. Students may have opportunities to participate in healthcare outreach programs and gain hands-on experience in underserved communities.
  • Clinical Training: Georgia offers a wide range of clinical training sites, including hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, and public health departments. This diversity allows nursing students to gain exposure to various aspects of healthcare.
  • Supportive Nursing Organizations: Nursing students in Georgia can benefit from the support of professional organizations such as the Georgia Nurses Association (GNA) and the Georgia Board of Nursing. These organizations offer resources, networking opportunities, and advocacy for nursing students and professionals.
  • Cost of Living: The cost of living in Georgia is generally moderate compared to some other states, making it an attractive option for students seeking affordable education. This can be particularly advantageous for out-of-state students.
  • Career Opportunities: After completing nursing programs in Georgia, graduates have opportunities to pursue nursing careers in the state or explore job prospects in neighboring regions. Georgia's healthcare industry continues to grow, offering a variety of career paths for nursing professionals.
  • Licensing and Certification: Nursing students in Georgia will need to follow the state's licensing and certification requirements, which are administered by the Georgia Board of Nursing. This process typically involves passing the NCLEX-RN or NCLEX-PN examination, depending on the level of nursing education.

It's important to note that the experience of studying nursing in Georgia can vary depending on the specific program and institution you choose.

Salary Expectations in Georgia

Several factors can affect salary expectations for nursing professionals in Alabama, including education, experiences, healthcare facility, employer, demand for specialty, shift and hours, and more. The following averages are from the latest data available from the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS). To develop the best understanding of potential salaries, it's important to conduct further research relevant to yourself and your employer.

RN Salaries

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), RNs in Georgia in 2022 earned:

  • Mean Hourly Wage: $40.95
  • Annual Mean Wage: $85,180

Unfortunately, the BLS does not specify whether this is an ADN-prepared RN or BSN-prepared RNs; however, given that a BSN is likely to increase earning potential, this is likely to be representative of slightly lower than the average BSN-RN salary.

RN salary in Georgia is 4% lower than the national estimates for 2022, as the BLS reports RNs across the U.S. earning:

  • Mean Hourly Wage: $42.80
  • Annual Mean Wage: $89,010

With the highest-paying states being:

  • California: $133,340
  • Hawaii: $113,220
  • Oregon: $106,610
  • Massachusetts: $104,150
  • Alaska: $103,310

The BLS collected the Georgia RN wage data from over 82,970 nurses.

Advanced Practice Salaries: MSN- and DNP-Prepared Nurses

For advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) with an MSN or DNP, the BLS reported the average salaries in Georgia are:

  • Nurse Practitioners: $115,440
  • Nurse Anesthetists: $190,800

Compared to the national averages of:

  • Nurse Practitioners: 124,680
  • Nurse Anesthetists: $205,770

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: Is it better to have an ADN or a BSN?

While obtaining an RN license after completing an ADN is possible, the opportunities after graduation and beyond are more significant with a BSN degree. BSNs focus more on research, leadership skills, and evidence-based practice, whereas an ADN primarily focuses on clinical skills.

Additionally, many healthcare institutions now require BSN-prepared RNs to fulfill various accreditation and Joint Commission requirements and to achieve the prestige of Magnet status.

Q: Is it better to have an MSN or DNP?

Whether it's better to have an MSN or a DNP depends on your career goals, the specific role you aspire to, and your personal circumstances. Here's a breakdown to help you decide:


  • Advanced Clinical Practice: An MSN is suitable if you want to become an advanced practice nurse, such as a nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist, nurse midwife, or clinical nurse specialist. MSN programs provide specialized clinical training and prepare you for advanced patient care.
  • Quicker Entry into Practice: MSN programs are typically shorter in duration than DNP programs, allowing you to enter the workforce more quickly. This can be advantageous if you want to start your nursing career sooner.
  • Focused on Clinical Skills: MSN programs emphasize clinical skills, making them a good choice if you intend to primarily focus on patient care and clinical practice.


  • Advanced Practice and Leadership: A DNP is ideal if you aspire to hold leadership roles in nursing or want to combine advanced clinical practice with leadership responsibilities. DNPs are trained to lead healthcare organizations and drive evidence-based practice.
  • Highest Clinical Expertise: While DNPs can also work in clinical practice, they often seek the highest level of clinical expertise in their specialty. This makes them suitable for roles demanding in-depth knowledge and complex patient care.
  • Advocacy and Policy Influence: If you're interested in influencing healthcare policy, improving patient outcomes, or contributing to research and evidence-based practice, a DNP can equip you with the skills needed to effect change in the healthcare system.
  • Research and Scholarly Pursuits: DNPs are often involved in research and scholarship, which can be appealing if you have a passion for advancing nursing science and practice.

The choice between an MSN and a DNP depends on your career aspirations. If you want to focus primarily on advanced clinical practice, an MSN is a suitable choice. If you aim to take on leadership roles, conduct research, or influence healthcare policy, a DNP may better align with your goals.

AD DISCLOSURE: This page may contain affiliate links. These links are designed for allnurses to generate revenue at no cost to you. The websites you visit are operated by third parties and have no influence in our recommendations, which are grounded in research.

Editorial Team / Admin

allnurses specializes in Official allnurses account.

107 Articles   277 Posts

There are no comments to display.

By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X