Examine the profiles and visit the cost & curricula links in our school listings to decide if the degree will suit your career goals. Learn how many online RN to MSN programs are now available from Georgia universities. And discover where the cheapest RN to MSN programs in Georgia can be found.
While you’re here, you may wish to skim through our discussion of Georgia’s healthcare landscape and our large job section. We’ve highlighted a number of useful career resources, including job boards and APRN salary reports. GA nursing organizations & associations will also be able to direct you toward mentors and potential clinical sites.
Online RN to MSN Programs in Georgia
Plenty of Georgia universities now offer hybrid and 100% online RN to MSN programs, including public schools. Admissions requirements and concentrations vary, so have a look at the profiles in our school listings to find the right match. Here are a few more points we wanted to mention:
- Augusta University: Augusta’s 100% online program is for aspiring CNLs. Students can take 2-4 online courses per semester (including the summer) on a full-time or part-time basis. Some courses will have a clinical component, but it’s expected that students would complete these requirements at their current place of employment.
- Brenau University: Brenau’s offering is technically hybrid. The undergraduate portion of the RN to MSN program is online. However, graduate coursework is delivered in a hybrid format—on-campus classes are held one Saturday per month on the Brenau University North Atlanta campus in Norcross, Georgia. The remainder of learning can be accomplished via web-enhanced (distance) modalities.
- South University: South states that the RN to MSN courses are fully online, with clinical practicum coursework that takes place at a clinical site. However, it’s important to note that this online RN to MSN is not available to residents of certain states—each program page has a full list of exclusions.
- Thomas University: TU’s RN-MSN program is also hybrid. Classes meet on-campus for one half-day per month for the entire length of the program. Other coursework can be completed online. If you’re considering the MSN-MBA option, TU states that graduate coursework for this master’s combination may be earned completely online or in a hybrid format.
Finally, we should note that the remaining RN to MSN program in our school listings—Georgia State University—is actually blended, with plenty of online components. For example, students taking specialty coursework in their concentration may only meet on-site four times per semester.
Cheapest RN to MSN Programs in Georgia
We put together this ranking of the most affordable Georgia RN to MSN programs by examining per credit graduate tuition rates. But it’s just a broad estimate. Each program in our school listings has a different number of total credits, different fees, and different transfer policies on undergraduate coursework.
- Georgia State University: In-State (Out-of-State is much higher)—View Tuition Rates
- Augusta University: In-State (Out-of-State is much higher)—View Tuition Rates
- South University: View Tuition Rates
We also want to point out that the public universities in this list (i.e. GSU and Augusta) charge different per credit tuition rates for out-of-state residents, even those who are enrolled in online or hybrid programs. And those out-of-state rates can be very high!
Georgia’s Healthcare Landscape
Any RN who has worked in Georgia will know the healthcare battles that the state is fighting. A high rate of uninsured residents, problems with youth obesity and immunization coverage, and deaths from cancer, diabetes, and heart disease are just some of the issues that crop up in data from America’s Health Rankings and the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).
One of the most important challenges is taking better care of mothers and their newborns. According to the NCHS, Georgia has a high infant mortality rate, a high prevalence of low birthweight babies, and a large number of preterm births. Improving prenatal & postnatal care has long been a goal of Georgia NNPs and nurse midwives.
And then there’s the Atlanta factor. If you look at the map of Georgia on the BCBS Health Index, you’ll notice a ring of fairly healthy areas in the counties around the capital. This makes sense, considering the quality and expertise of Atlanta’s healthcare providers. But once you’re beyond that, the colors shade to red. Georgia has 85 rural counties, home to around 17% of its residents. And they’re struggling.
In the U.S. Rural Health Report Card, Georgia frequently gets an F grade.
- Poverty rates and age-adjusted mortality rates in rural GA counties are typically much higher than in urban areas. Drug overdose deaths and suicide rates are also of concern.
- Access to primary healthcare, behaviorial health, and dental care providers is notoriously poor. Multiple rural hospitals have closed since 2013, and others are working on negative operating margins.
- And many Georgia residents who are just above the Federal Poverty Level (FPI) cannot cover the accompanying costs of insurance (e.g. high deductibles).
These worries come at a time when Georgia is facing a potential nursing shortage. According to a 2017 report from the National Center for Health Workforce Analysis (NCHWA), Georgia could have one of the highest gaps between supply and demand of nurses by 2030. The state’s population has been growing, baby boomers are getting old and demanding services (e.g. cardiology, orthopedics, etc.), and patients with chronic conditions are putting demands on the healthcare system.
In rural Georgia, the problem is particularly pressing. Because there’s a shortage of primary care doctors, many underserved communities are starting to rely on nurse practitioners. But, as of 2019, Georgia law still requires that NPs work under the supervision of a physician.
In response, some Georgia nurses have been advocating for a change that would allow them to operate limited practices within a 50-mile radius of a supervising physician. Until that time, NPs may find it difficult to get jobs in the places that need the most help.
Jobs for Georgia RN to MSN Graduates
Career Outlook for RN to MSN Graduates
All in all, it adds up to a considerable demand for Georgia APRNs in urban areas. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) keeps close tabs on employment & wage data for Nurse Practitioners and Nursing Instructors & Teachers, Postsecondary. We particularly like the maps on these pages, since they highlight how Georgia regions are faring in the job stakes.
For example, in the employment maps for Nurse Practitioners, you’ll notice that:
- The Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell metropolitan area has some of the highest employment levels of NPs in the country (just behind Chicago and Los Angeles).
- The Atlanta area alone accounts for more than half of state’s total NP job numbers and 500+ jobs for Nursing Instructors & Teachers, Postsecondary.
- Another hotspot is Augusta. In 2019, the city had several hundred unfilled nursing positions.
- Wages for local NPs are also strong, especially when you compare the numbers to Georgia’s neighbors (e.g. South Carolina, Florida, etc.).
If you’re planning on a hospital job or thinking of where to focus your clinical practicums, have a look at the U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of the Best Hospitals in Georgia and the ANCC’s list of Magnet Facilities in Georgia.
You won’t be surprised to see a lot of Atlanta hospitals—including Emory-affiliated institutions—on both lists. Other well-regarded institutions outside of Atlanta include the Augusta University Medical Center, Saint Joseph’s/Candler in Savannah, the Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville, and the WellStar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta.
Thinking of devoting some time & expertise to rural healthcare? Remember that the State of Georgia offers an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Loan Repayment Program (APRNLRP) to assist APRNs in repaying their advanced nursing education loan debt.
- The state will provide service-cancelable loans of up to $10,000/year in return for APRNs practicing in an underserved rural Georgia county.
- Contracts are awarded for one year and renewable a maximum of three times.
Career Resources for Future APRNs
Georgia Nursing Job Boards
- GNA Career Center: Job listings for Georgia nurses, including nurse leaders, NPs, and nurse educators
- UAPRN Career Center: Job listings for Georgia NPs
Georgia APRN Salary & Wage Data
- Annual Mean Wages for Georgia Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations: Listed under “Nurse Practitioners” and “Nursing Instructors & Teachers, Postsecondary”
- AANP National Compensation Survey: Available to AANP members
Georgia Nursing Organizations
State Board of Nursing
GA Nursing Associations & Coalitions
- Coalition of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (CAPRN)
- National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN): Georgia Chapter
- National Black Nurses Association (NBNA): Georgia Chapters
- Georgia Hospital Association (GHA)
- Georgia Nurses Association (GNA)
- Georgia Nursing Leadership Coalition (GNLC)
- United Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (UAPRN)
GA Nursing Specialty Organizations
- American College of Nurse-Midwives — Georgia Affiliate (GA ACNM)
- American Psychiatric Nurses Association – Georgia Chapter (APNA Georgia)
- Association of Women’s Health, Obstetrics and Neonatal Nurses – Georgia (AWHONN Georgia)
- Georgia Association for Nursing Education (GANE)
- Georgia Association of Nursing Students (GANS)
- Georgia Association of PeriAnesthesia Nurses (GAPAN)
- Georgia Association of School Nurses (GASN)
- Georgia Association of Nurse Anesthetists (GANA)
- Georgia Association of Occupational Health Nurses (GAOHN)
- Georgia Clinical Nurse Specialists (GCNS)
- Georgia Emergency Nurses Association (Georgia ENA)
- Georgia Organization of Nurse Leaders (GONL)