Nursing Schools in Georgia – GA
Nursing Jobs in Georgia
As Georgia’s elderly population grows from its current estimate of 980,000 people to a projected 1.9 million, this group will comprise 16% of the state’s population by 2030. This means the demand for skilled nurses who can help seniors cope with the health problems that accompany aging is expected to increase dramatically.
Within nursing, certain sectors offer more promising prospects than others. Traditionally, most nurses in Georgia have worked in hospitals, and employment in hospitals still makes up the majority of nursing jobs in the state. However, because more medical procedures are being done on an outpatient basis both inside and outside hospitals, employment in hospitals is expected to grow more slowly than in other workplaces, while outpatient facilities, like those that provide physical therapy, rehabilitation services, or chemotherapy, are likely to experience very rapid job growth. Nursing employment is also expected to be rapid in other settings that provide same-day services and increasingly sophisticated procedures, like physician’s offices and emergency clinics. Facilities serving the elderly with Georgia, from long-term care facilities and nursing homes to Alzheimer’s and stroke treatment units, are also likely to see booming job growth. Finally, job growth in rural areas and cities like Atlanta, where nurses are increasingly acting as lower-cost health service providers in place of physicians, is likely to be high.
As healthcare expands and procedures become more sophisticated at every level, all sectors will reward nurses who can competently perform complex procedures. The better your education and training, the better positioned you’ll be to take advantage of the wealth of opportunities opening up in Georgia.
Through campus based and online programs, aspiring nurses in Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus and Savannah, Georgia may be able to prepare themselves for the possibility of employment in some of the largest hospitals and healthcare facilities in the state including Atlanta Medical Center, Grady Memorial Hospital, WellStar Kennestone Hospital, and DeKalb Medical at North Decatur.
Nursing Programs in Georgia
There are three main types of educational programs for aspiring nurses. You can pursue a diploma, typically administered in hospitals and lasting about three years, an associate degree in nursing (ADN), offered by community colleges and requiring 2-3 years, or bachelor’s of science degrees in nursing (BSN), which are offered primarily by colleges and universities and last about 4 years. All three programs usually qualify graduates for entry-level positions in hospitals and doctor’s offices.
There are many nursing programs in Georgia that offer an ADN or BSN, and comparatively few that offer diplomas. However, as nurses are increasingly responsible for complex procedures, a growing number of employers are looking to hire nurses with BSNs, so it may be a good idea to start off with a four-year program.
A BSN isn’t necessary right off the bat though—indeed, many nurses in Georgia begin with an associate’s degree and later acquire an advanced degree through an accelerated learning program. In hopes of alleviating the state’s nursing shortage, many schools in Georgia offer accelerated BSNs, which allow nurses to acquire a BSN and become qualified for advanced jobs in just 12-18 months. Nurses can also undergo accelerated programs to achieve a master’s degree in nursing (MSN) in two years.
Nursing Salaries in Georgia
Nursing can be a challenging career, yet many people choose to pursue it regardless because they are drawn to the idea of helping others or fascinated by health issues.
In addition to emotional satisfaction, though, rest assured that you’d also be certain to receive a good salary and benefits. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a nurse in Georgia is $60,610, though salaries range from a low of $42,880 to a high of $80,900. Salaries also vary by geographic location, with an average salary of $51,560 in Dalton and $63,390 in Atlanta.
Within this basic range, however, you have a great deal of potential for increasing your earning potential. Nursing is a field with many avenues for advancement and professional development. Most nurses in Georgia start off as staff nurses in hospitals or other large healthcare institutions and move up the ladder to work in administrative positions or as head nurses. Many others choose to pursue the advanced degrees required to become a nurse practitioner or nurse anesthetist. Still others decide to teach nursing or become public health educators. A degree in nursing opens up many diverse possibilities for your future career, and the better your education, the better your chances of seizing the opportunities you want.