The state of Georgia currently has an estimated 73,330 active registered nurses (RNs). The mean hourly wage in the state is $31.13, which is $64,750/ year. With the increased demand for nurses in the state and the country in general, these figures may grow.

Most Affordable Nursing Schools in Georgia

An estimated 16% new RN jobs will appear between 2014 and 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Many nursing schools are revamping their bachelor’s programs to aid in meeting a goal of 80% of RNs in the U.S. holding a BSN by 2020.  This is the goal of an IOM (Institute of Medicine) initiative, where the starting point was 40% – a doubling. Many are also providing affordable online degrees that fit the busy American life.

What are the cheapest nursing degrees in Georgia?

Data from the NCES (National Center for Education Statistics) indicates that 30 nursing schools in the last academic year had a BSN program. We’ve filtered out inactive and defunct programs/ schools and sorted our list, below, by most affordable (in-state tuition).

A career in nursing can be demanding yet intensely rewarding. If this interests you, or you are already an RN seeking to upgrade your education to a BSN from a school in Georgia, this list may help you get your college search started. The programs listed in this article have been verified as still active at time of publication.

1

Georgia Highlands College

Average Tuition: $3,115

Program Website

Georgia Highlands College (GHC) is part of the public University System of Georgia. It receives institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Undergraduate nursing programs are offered through the Nursing Department, and are specially accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). The main campus of GHC is in Rome, Georgia, and there are four additional campuses between Georgia and Alabama. GHC was ranked as the best value college in Georgia in the two-year programs category.

GHC offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with one entry/ completion path. This is an RN track completion program for students who have completed an associate’s degree or diploma in nursing and hold a current license as a Registered Nurse. While GHC does not have a traditional four-year BSN program, there is an Associate of Science and Nursing (ASN) degree. Graduating from this ASN program and passing the NCLEX-RN professional licensing exam makes you eligible to apply for the RN track BSN program.

Degrees and concentrations offered at this school include:

  • Bachelor of Science – RN to BSN (Completion Program, online)

This BSN program has been designed to cater to working nurses. Courses are delivered online asynchronously, meaning that students can watch at their convenience, rather than having to watch live at a specific time. Graduates of the program can potential find nursing career roles in: community centers; doctor’s offices; educational facilities; government/military; home health care; hospitals; insurance companies; medical equipment and suppliers; nursing homes; outpatient care facilities; pharmaceutical companies.

The courses in the RN program are entirely online; however, an on-campus orientation takes place in the Summer term before the program starts. Students can choose between full-time (three semesters) or part-time (4+ semesters) study. Students will complete 86-92 credits of Major/ support courses, which consists of nursing, biology, psychology, math and sociology. Credits will be granted towards this total based on previously completed associate/ diploma coursework and licensure. The curriculum includes a Community Research Project and a Clinical Leadership Practicum.

Sample courses include:

  • Concepts of Professional Nursing
  • Health Assessment
  • Nursing Perspectives of Historical and Political Issues
  • Foundations of Nursing Research
  • Community Health Nursing

Campus or HQ: Rome, Georgia.

2

South Georgia State College

Average Tuition: $3,211

Program Website

South Georgia State College (SGSC) is part of the public University System of Georgia and gets institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The School of Nursing (SON) offers undergraduate programs that are additionally accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). The college has a second campus in Waycross, GA, and two instructional sites. All locations are entirely smoke free at all times, and applies to everyone while onsite. For students who enjoy nature, both campuses are near the Okefenokee Wildlife Refuge.

SGSC offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with one entry/ completion path. This is an RN completion track for licensed Registered Nurses who have an associate’s degree in nursing. The SON has no pre-licensure BSN; however, it does have an Associate of Science in Nursing, which prepares students for the NCLEX-RN licensing exam. Students could theoretically take this program, get licensed, find employment, and then return to take the RN to BSN program at a later date.

Degrees and concentrations offered at this school include:

  • Bachelor of Science – RN-BSN (hybrid)

This BSN program prepares students for both graduate studies (such as an MSN degree) and advanced nursing roles, upon completion. Students learn from course work and clinical experiences, with the latter conduct at three places: campus skills lab, simulation labs, partnered community clinical facilities.

The BSN degree at SGSC requires 122 credits for graduation. Admitted students will receive transfer credits for both core requirements (60 credits) and prior nursing coursework/ licensure (30 credits). To complete the degree, an additional 32 credits of nursing courses must be successfully finished. This is a hybrid program with both online and on-campus courses.

Sample courses include:

  • RN to BSN Career Mobility
  • Nursing Pathophysiology
  • Health Assessment
  • Nursing Leadership and Management
  • Community Health

Campus or HQ: Douglas, Georgia.

3

Dalton State College

Average Tuition: $3,440

Program Website

The School of Health Professions (SHP) at Dalton State College (DSC) is home to the college’s Department of Nursing, which offers undergraduate nursing programs specially accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). DSC is itself a member of the University System of Georgia and gets its institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The SHP building was recently relaunched after a renovation. Nursing students in several programs including BSN benefit from the updated skills labs. The Simulation lab renovation is in progress at time of writing, and will include patient rooms and observation rooms, amongst other spaces, as well as mannequins.

DSC offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with one entry/ completion path. Students who are already a licensed Registered Nurse and who have an associate’s degree in nursing may be eligible for this RN completion track. There is no full pre-licensure BSN track. However, DSC offers an ADN (Associate Degree in Nursing), which prepares them for NCLEX-RN licensing, after which they can find employment as a Registered Nurse. At a later date, they can apply to the RN-BSN program.

Degrees and concentrations offered at this school include:

  • Bachelor of Science – RN-BSN (completion, hybrid)

The RN-BSN program takes three semesters or more and combines online and on-campus courses. This provides working nurses the ability to continue working while studying. Some of the skills students will gain include case management, informatics, nursing leadership.

Students in this program require 120 credits for graduation. Credits are granted for relevant course work completed previously (associate’s degree), after successful completion of an exam. Degree completion requires 21 credits of Major and Upper Division courses, plus any remaining requirements. The curriculum includes a Capstone course.

Sample courses include:

  • Health Assessment
  • Perspectives on USA Health Care System
  • Evidenced Based Practice
  • Management and Leadership –Groups and Communities

Campus or HQ: Dalton, Georgia.

4

Gordon State College

Average Tuition: $3,551

Program Website

Gordon State College (GSC) offers undergraduate nursing programs through its School of Nursing and Health Sciences (SNHS), which are specially accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). The college is a member of the public University System of Georgia, which receives institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. It boasts state of the art classes and labs, individualized attention and a beautiful campus with apartment-style housing, amongst other amenities.

GSC offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with two entry/ completion paths. One is an RN completion track for licensed Registered Nurses who hold an associate’s degree in nursing. The other is a pre-licensure track for first-time undergrads. Under an ASN to BSN Pathway option, this track accepts transfers from an associate’s nursing program for qualified students. There is also an ASN (Associate of Science in Nursing) program available.

Degrees and concentrations offered at this school include:

  • Bachelor of Science (pre-licensure)
  • Bachelor of Science – RN-BSN (Completion Degree)

The BSN program at GSC prepares students for direct-care nursing roles in different health care settings, for the needs of individuals, families and communities. Pre-licensure students are readied for the post-graduation NCLEX-RN professional licensure exam for Registered Nurse credentials. These students can take lower-division courses at either this (Barnesville) main campus or at McDonough (Henry County) campus. Upper division courses are taken at Barnesville.

A total of 122 credits is required for completion of the BSN degree. RN track students will take 31 credits of upper division nursing courses. They will be granted credits for prior coursework/ licensure upon completing seven of the 31 credits. This includes 31 credits of lower division nursing courses and 60 credits of Core Curriculum. Courses are a mix of online and in-class delivery.Two practicums are included (Fall and Spring), and the track can be completed full-time in three semesters (including Summer).

Sample courses include:

  • Health Assessment and Health Promotion
  • Professional Nursing Concepts
  • Pathophysiology/ Pharmacology
  • Research and Evidence-Based Practice
  • Community Health Nursing

Campus or HQ: Barnesville, Georgia.

5

Middle Georgia State University

Average Tuition: $3,890

Program Website

Middle Georgia State University (MGSU) is a member of the public University System of Georgia (UGS), with institutional accreditation provided by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Undergraduate nursing programs are run by the Department of Nursing (hosted by the School of Health Sciences) and are additionally accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). The university has five campuses in total, the result of a 2012 merger of two former UGS colleges. These are all southeast of Atlanta, GA, with on-campus housing at three locations including this one. The current name is active as of 2015, when the first master’s programs were launched.

MGSU offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with two entry/ completion paths. Students new to nursing can apply for the traditional BSN track. If you are a licensed Registered Nurse and have an associate’s degree in nursing, apply to the RN completion track.

Degrees and concentrations offered at this school include:

  • Pre-Licensure Bachelor of Science in Nursing (PLBSN)
  • RN-BSN (Completion Program)

The MGSU nursing programs are designed to “prepare culturally sensitive graduates” who will have a goal of promoting health, applying disease prevention and use clinical reasoning. Students graduating from the traditional PLBSN track will be prepared to sit for the NCLEX-RN professional licensing exam. Learning is a combination of online, flipped classroom and simulation experiences. Note: the PLBSN track is available at this main campus and Warner Robins campus, while the RN track is online. (The ASN is available at 4 of 5 campuses.)

Students need to complete 120 credits for graduation. PLBSN track students will take 60 credits of upper division nursing courses (2-8 credits each), including a Senior Nursing Practicum. RN track students take 30 credits of upper division nursing courses (5) and any outstanding degree requirements.

Sample courses include:

  • Introduction to Professional Nursing
  • Pharmaconutrition
  • Concepts of Mental Health Nursing Care
  • Concepts of Adult and Gerontological Nursing Care
  • Concepts of Community Health and Transcultural Nursing Car

Campus or HQ: Macon, Georgia.

6

College of Coastal Georgia

Average Tuition: $3,971

Program Website

College of Coastal Georgia (CCGA) offers undergraduate nursing programs through its School of Nursing and Health Sciences (SNHS), which are specially accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). CCG is a member of the public University System of Georgia, and receives institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Students who want a get away from studies might enjoy the activities on nearby St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island, planned by the Office of Recreation and Wellness. This includes beach and trail hikes to study ecosystems, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and more.

CCGA offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with two entry/ completion paths. The prelicensure track is designed for students new to nursing. The RN completion track is intended for students who have already completed an associate’s degree or diploma in nursing and are licensed as a Registered Nurse.

Degrees and concentrations offered at this school include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Pre-Licensure)
  • RN to BSN (online)

The BSN program at CCGA prepares students for multiple outcomes varying by track, including being prepared for professional nursing practice and leadership roles. The SNHS has relationships with over 40 clinical facilities in the area, including the Southeast Georgia Health System, providing students with multiple clinical experience opportunities. Pre-licensure students are readied for the NCLEX-RN professional licensing exam. (CCGA’s first-time NCLEX-RN exam pass rate has been 100% for four straight years, making it #1 out of over 2000 “similar programs nationwide,” according to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.) All BSN students can transition to advanced nursing programs after graduation.

Students need to complete 120 credits for graduation from this BSN program, for either track. RN track students can choose from 3-, 6- or 9-semester study plans and need to complete 30 credits of upper-division nursing courses (online), plus any outstanding other requirements. Credits are granted to RN students for prior coursework after completing specific courses. (See site for details or contact CCGA.)

Sample courses include:

  • Theoretical Perspectives in Nursing Transition
  • Health Assessment and Promotion
  • Gerontology and Healthy Aging
  • Pathophysiologic Applications to Nursing Practice
  • Pharmacological Nursing Concepts

Campus or HQ: Brunswick, Georgia.

7

University of North Georgia

Average Tuition: $4,967

Program Website

University of North Georgia (UNG) is part of the public University System of Georgia. Institutional accreditation is provided by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Undergraduate nursing programs are offered through UNG’s Nursing Department (in the College of Health Sciences and Professions) and are additionally accredited by the Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (CNEA). UNG has earned a number of ranking spots on college review lists published by: U.S. News & World Report (Best Colleges: Public Regional Universities South); G.I. Jobs magazine (Military Friendly (r) School); Forbes (America’s Top Colleges) and others.

UNG offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with two entry/ completion paths. New nursing students should choose the traditional BSN track. Students who are currently licensed Registered Nurses and have earned an associate’s of science degree in nursing (ASN) may be eligible for the RN completion track.

Degrees and concentrations offered at this school include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Registered Nurse (RN) to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

The UNG BSN program prepares students for roles as an entry-level nurse, as well as for manager and leadership positions, in a range of health care environments. Students have the extra flexibility of choosing to start the BSN degree on any of UNG’s five campuses, after which the degree is completed on either the main campus (Dahlonega) or Gainesville. Study-abroad travel opportunities are available yearly in multiple locations (Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Uganda) to provide care to locals, giving students a broader perspective of the world, in addition to opportunities to learn a foreign language, making new friends and gaining skills for resumes. UNG’s job placement for RN track grads is 89%.

Students will complete 120 credits for graduation. Traditional track students take two years of prerequisite courses (liberal arts and sciences), followed by two years of upper division nursing courses. RN track students complete 27 credits of upper division nursing courses and any outstanding requirements over three semesters. Up to 69 credits will be granted for ASN work. Students can choose from between in-class or online courses. (This track will be online only, starting Fall 2017.)

Sample courses include:

  • Nursing Information Management
  • Foundations in Nursing Practice
  • Health Assessment
  • Pathophysiology
  • Health Policy, Finance and Regulation

Campus or HQ: Dahlonega, Georgia.

8

Georgia Southwestern State University

Average Tuition: $5,262

Program Website

Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) is a member of the public University System of Georgia. It receives institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Undergraduate nursing programs are offered by the School of Nursing (SON), and are additionally accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Amongst other rankings, GSW earned a “Military Friendly School” designation from list publisher Victory Media.

GSW offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with four entry/ completion paths. New nursing students should apply for the traditional BSN track, unless they already have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree — in which case there is the 2nd-degree track. For currently Licensed Practical Nurses with a diploma in nursing, there is the LPN completion track. Finally, currently licensed Registered Nurses holding an associate’s degree in nursing may be eligible for the RN completion track.

Degrees and concentrations offered at this school include:

  • Traditional BSN Program
  • 2nd Degree BSN Program
  • LPN-BSN Program
  • RN-BSN Program (Online)

The BSN program prepares students for roles as professional nurses and nurse leaders. A replica hospital floor in the Rosalynn Carter Health and Human Sciences Complex gives students access to several clinical resources and equipment. The floor boasts a critical care unit, medical-surgical unit, nurses stations, pediatrics care, simulation lab, trauma center and more. These resources provide practice experiences to prepare for off-clinical work, which contributes to preparing pre-RN track students for the NCLEX-RN professional licensing exam after graduation. GSW claims a first-time NCLEX-RN pass rate of “well above the national average.”

Traditional track BSN students at Georgia Southwestern start as Pre-Nursing majors and complete prerequisite lower-division courses in the first two years, followed by upper-division nursing courses in the final two years. The 2nd-degree track allows some transfer credits and takes 22-24 months to complete. The RN track takes 1-2 years. Courses are fully online, but the program requires on-campus presence for international students. For information on all BSN tracks, see site for details. Clinicals and practicums are part of all tracks.

Sample courses include:

  • Fundamentals of Nursing
  • Nursing of Adults
  • Leadership
  • Human Pathophysiology
  • Pharmacology

Campus or HQ: Americus, Georgia.

9

Clayton State University

Average Tuition: $5,340

Program Website

Clayton State University (CSU) is part of the public University System of Georgia. It gets institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Undergraduate nursing programs are offered through the School of Nursing (part of the College of Health), and are additionally accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). CSU has created partnerships with universities and institutions around the world and has made an effort to create “an international footprint.” Study abroad programs are available for some programs. In particular, the Service Learning – Guadalajara (Mexico) program may be of interest to nursing students.

CSU offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with two entry/ completion paths. New nursing students can apply to the Basic BSN track. For students currently licensed as a Registered Nurse and holding an associate’s degree in nursing, there is an RN completion track. Students in either BSN track can also take advantage of a Double Bachelor’s program that combines a second bachelor’s in Health Care Management.

Degrees and concentrations offered at this school include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Basic Licensure)
  • RN-BSN (online)

Students in either BSN track have access to a Simulation Lab as well as to clinical experiences. Real clinicals are conducted at health care facilities within a 50-mile radius of the campus and require availability on days, evenings and weekends, as necessary through rotations. RN track is 100% online and can be completed on a full- or part-time basis, providing working nurses with study plan flexibility.

Students in the Basic track will take 57 credits of upper division nursing courses. The Basic track also has clinical requirements that rotate between day, evening and weekend experiences, for which students must be available as necessary. Clinical shifts may be up to 12 hours long. CSU also states that students should expect to spend 9-12 hours per week for each 3-credit course taken. Students who opt to take the Double Bachelor’s dual degree program will need to complete 33 credits (11 courses) in Health Care Management or related courses.

Sample courses include:

  • Pathophysiology for RNs
  • Interactive Communication
  • Nursing Leadership and Management for RNs
  • Research for Evidence-Based Practice
  • Community and Population-Focused Nursing Practice for RNs

Campus or HQ: Morrow, Georgia.

10

Albany State University

Average Tuition: $5,490

Program Website

Albany State University (ASU) is an HBCU (Historically Black College/ University) that is part of the public University System of Georgia. Institutional accreditation is provided by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Undergraduate nursing programs are offered by the Darton College of Health Professions’ Nursing Division, at both the East and West campuses. These programs are additionally approved by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). (Note: ASU recently consolidated with Darton State College under the ASU banner.) Students at the university played a role in the American Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.

ASU offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) with three entry/ completion paths in total between East and West campuses. This includes a traditional track for new nursing students seeking a first bachelor’s degree, an accelerated second degree track for students with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, and an RN completion track for students who are currently licensed Registered Nurses and hold an associate’s degree in nursing. Note: ASU also has an Nursing Associate’s Degree Program with several locale and delivery options. See site for details.

Degrees and concentrations offered at this school include:

  • BSN – Baccalaureate Nursing Degree
  • Accelerated BSN (For Second Degree Students)
  • RN-to-BSN – Advanced-Standing Nursing Courses (RN Exclusive)

Students will have the opportunity to combine a mix of course topics, including nursing, science and liberal arts. Those who graduate with a BSN and get RN licensing may be interested in following up by applying for ASU’s RN-to-MSN Family Nurse Practitioner program. These programs aid graduates towards careers in nursing as practicing nurses, managers or leaders, in different health care environments.

Students in the traditional/ generic BSN track will complete 65 credits of nursing courses, most of which are taken in years 2-4. (Courses range from 2-5 credits each.) A total of 125 credits is required for the generic track. Students in other tracks will receive some credit for prior course work. Check site or contact an ASU advisor to determine any relevant transfer credits.

Sample courses include:

  • Nutrition
  • Ethical Legal Issues/ Health Care
  • Computers in Health Care
  • Pediatric Nursing
  • Women’s Health Nursing

Campus or HQ: Albany, Georgia.

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