RN to MSN Programs in Georgia

There is a strong need for nurses of all levels in Georgia, but there is a particularly high demand for well-educated professionals. You won’t have trouble finding work as a registered nurse, but you will be limiting your career opportunities if you stick with that career alone. The best way to take advantage of Georgia’s nursing shortage is to pursue a master of science in nursing. This will open the door to many other nursing jobs for you. Here is an overview of RN to MSN programs in Georgia so you can get a better idea of the options in front of you.

Why Get an MSN?

There are certain nursing positions in Georgia that are only available to MSN graduates. Nurse practitioners, advanced practice nurses, clinical nurse leaders, and other professionals must have a grad school education in order to apply for work. These jobs have higher salaries attached to them than registered nurses, which is why so many people want to get involved with them. Advanced practice nurses earn an average of over $86,000 in the southern states, Georgia included. This is significantly more than the average of $55,800 for staff nurses. Think about the difference a pay change like this could make over your career.

Job Prospects for MSN Degrees in Georgia

Georgia has one of the most severe nursing shortages in the country, with an estimated 32% by 2015. Only 13.7% of registered nurses in this state have master’s degrees, and the average age for nurse practitioners is 52. With those nurses close to retirement, a large demand is developing for master’s graduates who can fill in the gaps. That is why it is important to start looking into an RN to MSN program now. The sooner you can get your degree, the sooner you will be able to begin work in a highly sought after field.

RN to MSN Program Overview

Each RN to MSN program is unique because it is partially based on your past education. There are several tracks your master’s degree can follow, depending on the job you want to have. You can choose from adult nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, women’s health nurse practitioner, clinical nurse leader, nurse educator, nurse administrator, and much more. Some common courses in nursing master’s degrees include Theory and Research, Advance Nurse Role, Health Assessment, Human Growth and Development, Advanced Anatomy and Physiology, and Pathophysiology.

In order to use your master’s degree effectively, you need to pursue a license through the Georgia State Board of Nursing. If you need extra training after your degree to suit a certain specialization, you may need to get a post-master’s certificate. Some nurse practitioners move on to doctoral programs after earning an MSN, though admittedly, that will not help your salary much. It may potentially limit the number of jobs you can apply for in the future.

Popular Georgia RN to MSN Programs

Georgia RN to MSN programs are more accessible than you might think, leaving you with the tough choice of picking a school to attend. The most important thing to remember for this decision is that you need to have a degree that suits your future career. If you want to be a nurse practitioner, you need to go to a school that offers an NP track. Some popular programs to look into include:

  • Brenau University: BU has a direct RN to MSN bridge program that allows you to bypass the step of earning a BSN. There are both standard and accelerated programs available.
  • Albany State University: ASU has two RN to MSN programs, one for family nurse practitioners and one for nurse educators. It also has an RN to BSN program for students who need to take a break in between degrees.
  • Georgia Southern University: The MSN program at Georgia Southern University encompasses both online and on campus classes. This school also offers a doctoral program for those wishing to learn more after they graduate.

If you do not want to go to a campus-based school, you can also look for RN to MSN programs online. These offer the same training opportunities, but they have classes available via the internet. You get to set your own learning schedule, all while pursuing a degree you know you can use. Check out your options and see what the best one is for you.