Best Nursing Schools in Georgia

Updated on January 12, 2024

At a Glance

  • Emory University – Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing: Top-ranked nursing program nationally with competitive admissions and excellent career outcomes.
  • Georgia State University – Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions: Affordable BSN and MSN degrees with strong academics and faculty support.
  • Augusta University – College of Nursing: Close partnership with Augusta University Health, offering unparalleled clinical training and high demand from Georgia hospitals.
  • University of Georgia – College of Nursing: Flagship university with selective admissions and reputation for graduating compassionate, highly-skilled nursing professionals.

Georgia offers many excellent nursing programs across the state. When researching schools, it’s important to consider factors like NCLEX pass rates, types of degrees offered, admissions selectivity, cost, graduate career outcomes, and more. Here are 10 of the top nursing schools in Georgia with details on ratings, tuition, average salaries after graduation, and other key info.

Emory University – Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing

Location: Atlanta, GA

Rating: 9.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 3.7%

Average SAT: 1420

Tuition: $55,000 per year

Average Starting Salary: $75,000

Website: www.nursing.emory.edu

Emory University’s nursing school is one of the top-ranked programs nationally, offering BSN, MSN, DNP, and PhD degrees. With extremely competitive admissions, excellent faculty, state-of-the-art facilities, and prestigious research programs, Emory’s nursing graduates are highly recruited by top hospitals and employers.

Georgia State University – Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions

Location: Atlanta, GA

Rating: 8/10

Acceptance Rate: 23%

Average SAT: 1300

Tuition: $27,000 per year (in-state)

Average Starting Salary: $65,000

Website: nursing.gsu.edu

Georgia State offers some of the more affordable BSN and MSN degrees in the state at a large, public university right in downtown Atlanta. Clinical opportunities at major hospitals provide valuable real-world experience. Graduates report high satisfaction scores thanks to strong academics and faculty support.

Augusta University – College of Nursing

Location: Augusta, GA

Rating: 8.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 17%

Average SAT: 1180

Tuition: $26,000 per year (in-state)

Average Starting Salary: $59,000

Website: www.augusta.edu/nursing

Augusta’s nursing school benefits from its close partnership with Augusta University Health, offering unparalleled clinical training with diverse patient populations. Students get early hands-on experience and learn from expert faculty. Graduates are highly sought after by Georgia hospitals.

University of Georgia – College of Nursing

Location: Athens, GA

Rating: 9/10

Acceptance Rate: 18%

Average SAT: 1380

Tuition: $28,000 per year (in-state)

Average Starting Salary: $60,000

Website: www.nursing.uga.edu

The University of Georgia is the state’s flagship university offering BSN, MSN and DNP nursing degrees. UGA’s nursing school is one of the most selective in Georgia with competitive admissions, rigorous academics, and a reputation for graduating compassionate, highly-skilled nursing professionals.

Kennesaw State University – Wellstar School of Nursing

Location: Kennesaw, GA

Rating: 7.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 31%

Average SAT: 1210

Tuition: $25,000 per year (in-state)

Average Starting Salary: $60,000

Website: nursing.kennesaw.edu

Kennesaw State offers a range of nursing programs from an LPN certificate to a DNP with many specializations to pick from. Strong academics, faculty mentorship and quality clinical placements help graduates achieve high exam pass rates and employment outcomes with a variety of employers.

Brenau University – School of Nursing

Location: Gainesville, GA

Rating: 8/10

Acceptance Rate: 44%

Average SAT: 1150

Tuition: $39,000 per year

Average Starting Salary: $55,000

Website: www.brenau.edu/nursing

Brenau offers several exceptional, high-quality nursing programs from an online RN-BSN to doctoral degrees. Smaller clinical groups ensure close supervision and support. Diverse clinical experiences challenge students to provide compassionate care to vulnerable populations in the community.

Albany State University – Darton College of Health Professions

Location: Albany, GA

Rating: 6.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 63%

Average SAT: 900

Tuition: $15,000 per year (in-state)

Average Starting Salary: $50,000

Website: www.asurams.edu/nursing

Albany State offers affordable pathways to an ADN or BSN degree along with excellent online RN-BSN and MSN degrees. Small class sizes ensure one-on-one attention and support. Clinical experiences take place close to campus at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital and other regional healthcare facilities.

Clayton State University – School of Nursing

Location: Morrow, GA

Rating: 7/10

Acceptance Rate: 48%

Average SAT: 1100

Tuition: $18,000 per year (in-state)

Average Starting Salary: $55,000

Website: nursing.clayton.edu

Clayton State offers an affordable BSN program that runs along a traditional semester calendar or year-round in an accelerated track. Clinical training takes place at hospitals in the metro Atlanta area including Southern Regional and Piedmont. Graduates are equipped to pursue a wide range of nursing careers.

Georgia Southern University – School of Nursing

Location: Statesboro, GA

Rating: 7/10

Acceptance Rate: 34%

Average SAT: 1110

Tuition: $24,000 per year (in-state)

Average Starting Salary: $55,000

Website: nursing.georgiasouthern.edu

Georgia Southern’s nursing programs offerings range from an RN to BSN bridge programs to specialized master’s degrees in areas like family nurse practitioner. Graduates pursue careers locally and throughout the state taking advantage of job placement help from career services.

Learn More

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best nursing schools in Georgia?

Some of the top nursing schools in Georgia include Emory University, Georgia State University, Augusta University, University of Georgia, and Kennesaw State University. All of these schools have competitive admissions, strong academics and clinical training, and excellent career outcomes.

What types of nursing degrees are offered in Georgia?

Popular nursing degrees in Georgia include Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), Doctor or Nursing Practice (DNP), and PhD. Many schools also offer accelerated BSN options, RN to BSN bridge programs, and online degrees.

How much does nursing school cost in Georgia?

Tuition and fees can range widely but expect to pay $15,000-$30,000+ per year for public universities as an in-state resident. Private schools and certain advanced nursing degrees like DNPs cost over $50,000 per year.

What is the job outlook for nurses in Georgia?

The job outlook for nurses in Georgia is excellent. According to projections, Georgia will experience over 18% job growth for nurses through 2026 to keep up with demand from a growing, aging population needing care. New nurses can expect high starting salaries as well.

What admission requirements do nursing schools in Georgia have?

Admissions to Georgia nursing schools is often quite competitive with limited seats. Expect to have prerequisites like anatomy, physiology, biology, chemistry, statistics, and psychology. Strong GPAs (3.0+), SAT/ACT test scores, admissions essays, interviews and direct patient care hours boost applications.

Do I need to get licensed to work as a nurse in Georgia?

Yes, you must pass the NCLEX-RN exam and apply for licensure through the Georgia Board of Nursing to work as either an Registered Nurse (RN) or Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) in the state. Certain advanced degrees also require additional certification.

Where do most nursing graduates find jobs in Georgia?

Many graduates find employment at major hospitals and health systems like Emory Healthcare, Piedmont Healthcare, Wellstar Health System, Northeast Georgia Health System or within state and county public health departments. others pursue roles in labs, doctors office, long term care facilities, schools and more.

What is the average salary for nurses in Georgia?

The average annual salary for nurses in Georgia is approximately $68,000 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Salaries vary based on your degree, certifications, speciality, experience and employer with new BSN graduates often starting around $50,000-60,000.

What financial aid is available to nursing students?

Many forms of financial aid are available to nursing students including federal student loans and grants, university scholarships, private loans and state aid programs. Some hospitals offer tuition reimbursement for employees pursuing nursing degrees as well.

Are there accelerated nursing degree options?

Yes, an accelerated BSN program condenses a traditional 4-year BSN into about 12-24 months of intensive, full-time study for those who already hold a bachelor’s degree. These programs have limited seats but allow you to transition into nursing more quickly. Some schools also offer part-time options.

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Rohit Mittal

Rohit Mittal is the co-founder and CEO of Stilt. Rohit has extensive experience in credit risk analytics and data science. He spent years building credit risk and fraud models for top U.S. banks. In his current role, he defines the overall business strategy, leads debt and capital fundraising efforts, leads product development, and leads other customer-related aspects for the company. Stilt is backed by Y Combinator and has raised a total of $275M in debt and equity funding to date.