The Best Nursing Schools in Georgia 2017

Georgia's best nursing schoolsStudy after study has shown that the demand for nurses is growing, specifically for well-trained Registered Nurses (RNs) with at least an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN). In fact, the United States Department of Labor estimates that the demand for nurses will increase 19% by 2022, the largest increase of any occupation.

 

 

 

Top 10 Best Nursing Schools in Georgia

School NameNCLEX-RN Pass RateProgram Requirements
Columbus Technical College95.5%70 Credit Hours
Georgia College and State University95.1%120 Credit Hours
West Georgia Technical College94.3%70 Credit Hours
Georgia Perimeter College93.8%71 Credit Hours
Gordon State University93.7%60 (ADN)
LaGrange College 93.7%122 Credit Hours
Piedmont College

92.9%132 Credit Hours
Georgia Baptist College of Nursing at Mercer University92.9%121 Credit Hours
Athens Technical College92.8%70 Credit Hours
Middle Georgia State College91.6%67 (ADN)

Whether you’re starting from scratch or already working in the nursing field as a Nursing Assistant or LPN, there are plenty nursing programs in Georgia to choose from to get you where you want to be. The Georgia Board of Nursing lists more than 60 nursing programs in Georgia that offer at least an ADN degree and successfully prepare students to become RNs by passing the NCLEX-RN examination. That’s a lot of schools to choose from, and that’s why we have compiled a list of best nursing schools in Georgia.


15 Best Nursing Schools in Georgia

1. Columbus Technical College

The number one nursing program in Georgia, based on passing rates for the NCLEX-RN examination, is Columbus Technical College, a two-year technical college with a job placement rate well above 90%. Columbus Technical College’s Division of Health Sciences and Nursing has brand new, state-of-the-art facility, the Wright Health Sciences Center, where nursing students are prepared for the dynamic field of health care.

Enter the Field on Your Way to Becoming an RN

The Division of Health Sciences and Nursing at Columbus Technical College offers multiple nursing licenses and degrees, including a certified medical assistant program, a practical nursing program (LPN), and an ADN program. If you want to begin working as a nurse as soon as possible, the LPN program is a great way to get your start. It’s a 60 credit hour program that will prepare you to get working in the field and administer direct patient care.

From there, you can transition into the ADN program when you’re ready to continue your education and become a licensed RN. Columbus Technical College’s ADN program is a bridge program, meaning it’s purposely designed for you to earn you LPN first and then transition into becoming an RN when you’re ready. After finishing the LPN portion, you can earn your ADN at Columbus Technical College in a short three semesters.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 95.5%
  • Program Length/Credit Hours: 70
  • Admission Requirements: Minimum C average on prerequisite courses
  • In-state Tuition: $1,614/term
  • Accreditation: Yes (ACEN)

2. Georgia College and State University

Georgia College and State University is a public liberal arts college in Milledgeville, Georgia, that offers four-year degrees in a traditional university environment. The university has an idyllic 640-acre campus and boasts an impressive student to teacher ratio of 17:1.

Reaping the Benefits of a BSN

Georgia College and State University offers a BSN degree. In addition to preparing you to become an RN, earning a BSN offers several unique advantages over an ADN. With a BSN, you gain more career opportunities and options, you’ll earn a better salary, and you’ll be equipped to better treat patients.

The BSN program at Georgia College and State University is a four-year, 120 credit hour program that provides a liberal arts education with nursing courses and the opportunity for learning at regional healthcare facilities. The program is competitive, admitting only 56 students per year, and you must first apply to the university and be accepted in order to be admitted into the nursing school.

Georgia College and State University also offers an RN to BSN track, so if you want to earn your ADN degree at a two-year college first, and decide you want to earn your BSN after working for a while, you can apply to transfer into the RN to BSN track.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 95.1%
  • Program Length/Credit Hours: 120
  • Admission Requirements: Admittance to university, separate application to nursing school
  • In-state Tuition: $8,960/year
  • Accreditation: Yes (ACEN)

3. West Georgia Technical College

Serving seven counties as part of the Technical College System of Georgia, West Georgia Technical College offers career-oriented Associate degrees in a range of technical fields, including nursing. The School of Health Sciences at West Georgia Technical College offers several nursing options, including certification training to become a medical assistant, nurse’s aide, and LPN, as well as an ADN program to become a RN.

Become an RN without Breaking the Bank

The ADN program at West Georgia Technical College is designed specifically to get you prepared to pass the NCLEX-RN exam and become a successful RN. The program has a track record of student success, with graduates regularly achieving exemplar pass rates on the NCLEX-RN exam. Most appealingly, West Georgia Technical College is very affordable, with tuition rates only costing $89 per unit. Considering the job and salary opportunities that await you as an RN, it’s a fantastic investment.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 94.3%
  • Program Length/Credit Hours: 70
  • Admission Requirements: Pre-entrance exam
  • In-state Tuition: $7,460 total
  • Accreditation: Yes (ACEN)

4. Georgia Perimeter College

Georgia Perimeter College is a two-year college in the University System of Georgia that offers Associate degrees. Like other public two-year colleges, it is very affordable. Tuition costs only $91 per credit hour. With a large student body of more than 21,000 students, Georgia Perimeter College also offers a full college experience with campus clubs, athletics, and everything else you’d only expect to find at a four-year university.

Preparing you to Become an RN and Further Your Education

The nursing program at Georgia Perimeter College offers an ADN degree that prepares you take the NCLEX-RN test and become a successful RN. The program also has a high success rate with students transferring into four-year degree programs. In fact, Georgia Perimeter College sends more students on to other institutions than any other University of Georgia institute, so if you want to become an RN with the option to get your BSN degree later on, this is one of the top nursing programs in Georgia.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 93.8%
  • Program Length/Credit Hours: 71
  • Admission Requirements: high school diploma, placement test
  • In-state Tuition: $6,451 total
  • Accreditation: Yes (NLNAC)

5. Gordon State University

Located in Barnesville, Georgia, Gordon State University is a four-year college in the University System of Georgia. Gordon State University has an illustrious history dating back to 1832, when it was a simple town schoolhouse.

Get your ADN or BSN at One Campus

What makes Gordon State University unique is that it offers both Associate and Bachelor degrees in nursing. Few, if any, nursing schools in Georgia offer both types of degrees. The ADN program has two tracks, a traditional track and an LPN to RN bridge program in case that you become an LPN first. Whichever degree or track you decide upon, Gordon State University offers state-of-the-art facilities and an experienced faculty.

The BSN degree is a RN to BSN bridge program, meaning you have to earn your ADN and pass the NCLEX-RN exam before earning your 4-year degree. If you earn your ADN at Gordon State University, the transition is a simple matter, but you can also transfer into the BSN program if you earn your ADN at another nursing school in Georgia or elsewhere.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 93.7%
  • Program Length/Credit Hours: 60 (ADN)
  • Admission Requirements: prerequisite classes with minimum 2.5 GPA
  • In-state Tuition: $1,225/term
  • Accreditation: Yes (ACEN)

6. LaGrange College

LaGrange College is a private four-year college. It began as an all-female institution in 1831 and is the oldest private college in Georgia. As a private college you get the individualized attention at LaGrange College that larger public schools cannot provide. The college boasts an impressive 11:1 student to faculty ratio, and while tuition is more expensive than at public institutions, 97 percent of students at LaGrange College receive financial aid.

Earn Your BSN Traditionally or with the RN to BSN Track

The nursing program at LaGrange College offers two ways to earn your BSN. You can enter the college as a freshman and take the traditional, four-year track, or if you’re already an RN, you can enroll in the RN to BSN program. LaGrange College’s nursing program is geared towards providing a sound foundation for becoming a nurse and also pursuing your education beyond a Bachelor degree.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 93.7%
  • Program Length/Credit Hours: 122
  • Admission Requirements: prerequisites and assessment test
  • Tuition: $27,210/year
  • Accreditation: Yes (ACEN)

7. Piedmont College

Piedmont College, is a small four-year private college with only 2,264 students and an impressive student to faculty ratio of 14:1. Although it is a private college with a tuition rate higher than public schools, more than 96% of students at Piedmont College receive need-based financial aid or scholarships, averaging $12,208 per student.

Career Mobility and a BSN

The school of Nursing and Health Sciences at Piedmont college offers three tracks for earning your BSN degree: a traditional route, an RN to BSN track, and an LPN to BSN track. The program is designed to provide career mobility for you, so you can take the traditional college 4-year route or transfer in after beginning your education at another institution and already working in the field. In addition to receiving a liberal arts education at Piedmont College, you’ll also gain clinical practice in healthcare settings, including the opportunity to work with under-served populations.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 92.9%
  • Program Length/Credit Hours: 132
  • Admission Requirements: prerequisites with minimum 2.5 GPA
  • Tuition: $21,990/year
  • Accreditation: Yes (ACEN)

8. Georgia Baptist College of Nursing at Mercer University

Mercer University, Georgia Baptist College of Nursing has a long history of educating nurses and is a nursing school in Atlanta. Mercer University itself is one of oldest universities in the country, and the nursing school is one of the few nursing programs in Georgia with 100% school enrollment in the National Student Nurses Association. Mercer University is a four-year college and like with most other BSN programs, you must complete your pre-nursing prerequisites before being admitted into the nursing school.

Higher Learning in the Nursing Field

Georgia Baptist College of Nursing offers two tracks to earn your BSN, as well as advanced degrees in nursing, including a Master degree in Nursing, a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree, and a Ph.D. in nursing. The Pre-licensure BSN track is for students who have little or no experience in the nursing field, and the RN to BSN track is for nurses who are registered RNs, giving you the flexibility to either attend Mercer University for all four years or to transfer in from another institution after becoming an RN.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 92.9%
  • Program Length/Credit Hours: 121
  • Admission Requirements: Prerequisites
  • Tuition: $11,190/semester
  • Accreditation: Yes (CCNE)

9. Athens Technical College

Founded in 1958, Athens Technical College is part of the Technical College System of Georgia, and offers two-year Associate degrees as well as numerous certificate programs. Like other technical colleges, Athens Technical College is a vocational institution geared towards preparing you for your professional career, and it also has very affordable tuition rates at only $89 per credit hour. On top of the low tuition rates, 73% of the 10,000 students at Athens Technical College receive financial aid.

Options for Entering the Nursing Field

If you’re looking to get your start in nursing and enter the field quickly, Athens Technical College has a practical nursing program for you to earn your LPN certificate. From there, you can not only enter the field, but also continue your education and become an RN with Athens Technical College’s LPN to RN Bridge Program. Alternatively, you can go the traditional route to earning your ADN and becoming an RN with their ADN degree program.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 92.8%
  • Program Length/Credit Hours: 70
  • Admission Requirements: high school diploma, admission testing
  • In-state Tuition: $89/credit hour
  • Accreditation: Yes (ACEN)

10. Middle Georgia State College

Located in Macon, Georgia, Middle Georgia State College is a public four-year university that offers all of the perks of a public university without being too big. Sports, Greek life, and student organizations are at the heart of the college, but the school only has 8,000 students and maintains 21:1 student to faculty ratio. Middle Georgia State College is also unique because it offers both Associate degrees and Bachelor degrees in nursing.

Attain Your 2-year or 4-year Degree at a State College

The Department of Nursing at Middle Georgia State College offers both ADN and BSN degrees, as well as an RN-to-BSN track that can be taken on campus or online. The nursing department utilizes evidence-based nursing education and has a mission purpose of preparing nurses “who are committed to provide safe and effective nursing care through health promotion and disease prevention, and are able to utilize clinical reasoning skills in the provision of care.”

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 91.6%
  • Program Length/Credit Hours: 67 (ADN)
  • Admission Requirements: prerequisites with minimum 2.5 GPA
  • In-state Tuition: $1,630/semester
  • Accreditation: Yes (ACEN)

11. Georgia State University

Georgia State University is a public, four-year research university located in downtown Atlanta. The school has a diverse population of over 32,000 students, and is focused on student success and pioneering research opportunities. Georgia State University offers Bachelor degrees and advanced degrees in a wide variety of disciplines, including nursing.

Multiple Tracks for Earning Your BSN

The Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professionals at Georgia State University offers four tracks for earning your BSN degree, giving you flexibility in earning your bachelor degree from a top-tier university, at a fraction of the cost compared to private four-year universities. The school offers a traditional four-year track, an accelerated ACE track, a transfer track for students who have already completed their prerequisite general education classes at another institution, and on online RN to BSN bridge program, which can be completed in one year of full-time study or over two years as a part-time student.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 91.4%
  • Program Length/Credit Hours: 124
  • Admission Requirements: prerequisite with minimum 3.3 GPA
  • In-state Tuition: $5,343/year
  • Accreditation: Yes (CCNE)

12. Gwinnett Technical College

Located in Lawrenceville, Georgia, Gwinnett Technical College offers a career-focused education for real-world jobs. It is the third largest technical college in the state, with an enrollment of over 18,000 students, and it awards the highest number of Associate degrees in the state.

Combine Classroom and Laboratory Training with Clinical Experience

As a technical college, the nursing program at Gwinnett Technical College is oriented towards providing a hands-on education that combines classroom education with laboratory and clinical experiences. The ADN program is designed to prepare you to become a RN, and offers three tracks, a traditional track and bridge options for both LPNs and paramedics. The traditional track is designed to be completed in seven semesters. With a proven track record of preparing students for the NCLEX-RN examination and low tuition, Gwinnet Technical College removes the financial obstacles to becoming an RN.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 90.9%
  • Program Length/Credit Hours: 71
  • Admission Requirements: prerequisites
  • In-state Tuition: $1,605/semester
  • Accreditation: Yes (ACEN)

13. Albany State University

Albany State University is a state-supported, historically black, four-year university that has a commitment toward helping students realize their potential. The College of Sciences & Health Professions at Albany State University emphasizes a hands-on experiences and is one of only twenty institutions in the United States that is accredited by the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

Earning a BSN that Gives You Options

The nursing program at Albany State University is geared towards preparing you to continue your education and earn an advanced degree if you choose, but also “to enter the health care workforce and provide holistic, culturally competent care.” The school offers a traditional BSN program and multiple opportunities for RSNs, including an RN to BSN program and two RN to MSN programs, making Albany State University a great place to get your start or to transfer into if you’re already working in the field.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 89.8%
  • Program Length/Credit Hours: 120
  • Admission Requirements: prerequisites with minimum 2.75 GPA
  • In-state Tuition: $3,070/year
  • Accreditation: Yes (NLNAC)

14. Georgia Southern University

Located in Statesboro, Georgia, Georgia Southern University is the largest and most comprehensive higher education institution south of Atlanta. It is a Carnegie Doctoral-Research university with a student body of over 20,000 students, but it still has a “large-scale, small-feel.”

A Top 100 Nursing Program in the Country

Georgia Southern University’s nursing program is ranked by US News and World Report as one of the top 100 nursing  programs in the country, and it offers multiple tracks for earning your BSN or advanced degree in nursing. If you already have a start in the field, you can take advantage of either the LPN to BSN or RN to BSN programs to get onto an accelerated track to earn you BSN.

All of the tracks include innovative classroom, clinical, and community experiences to provide you a well-rounded education and prepare you for the field of nursing. Georgia Southern University also offers online programs for earning your advanced degrees in nursing, which offers a great opportunity for career advancements once you have earned your BSN.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 89.8%
  • Credit hours: 126
  • Admission Requirements: prerequisite courses with minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Tuition: $3,659/term
  • Accreditation: Yes (CCNE)

15. Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College

Located in Tifton, one of the most beautiful areas of Georgia, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College is a public college that was established in 1906 and offers both Associate and Bachelor degrees, although it only offers an ADN in nursing.

A Bright Future as an RN

The School of Nursing & Health Sciences at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College has been educating nurses for over fifty years, with an amazing 100% graduate employment rate. There are two tracks for earning your ADN, a traditional two-year track and an accelerated one-year bridge program for students with previous training in the healthcare field. Whichever route you might choose, you’ll be equipped with the tools and the resources to enter the workforce as a highly-trained RN.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 89.2.7%
  • Program Length/Credit Hours: 61
  • Admission Requirements: prerequisites with minimum 2.5 GPA
  • In-state Tuition: $4,066/year
  • Accreditation: Yes (ACEN)

Affordability and Options

Georgia offers a rich and diverse variety of nursing programs, with a number of options for getting a certificate or degree in the nursing field. If you want to enter the field quickly, many of the technical and two-year colleges offer LPN programs that give you the flexibility to continue toward earning your ADN and becoming an RN once you’re already working in the field. The four-year institutions offer you the flexibility of either a traditional four-year college experience or the ability to transfer in after earning your ADN degree.

Similarly, you have many options depending on your budget. Public nursing schools in Georgia have very affordable tuition rates, and even the more expensive private institutions offer financial aid packages that can make tuition manageable.

Whatever route you want to take toward becoming a nurse and advancing your career, it can all be done in Georgia. Find the school that sounds like a good fit to you and get in touch with the nursing department to get started!

How The Schools Were Ranked

The  top Georgia nursing schools were ranked based upon their student passing rates on for the NCLEX test for Registered Nurses. A weighted score was given to each school, based on their last four years of student scores, from 2011 to 2014, with the most recent years weighted more heavily.

NCLEX-RN scores are readily available and were obtained from the State of Georgia. In cases where NCLEX-RN scores were equal, rankings were based upon tuition rates for the nursing programs, with lower tuition rates warranting a higher ranking.

Information on job projections in the nursing field were based upon data from the United States Department of Labor.