How to Become an RN in Georgia (A Complete 2023 Guide)

How to Become an RN in Georgia (A Complete Guide)

So you decided to become an RN in Georgia. 

Great choice!

Georgia actually ranks 11th in Nurse Journal’s list of the best states for nurses.

That said, you need to earn your RN license. 

And this is where we come in.

Today, we’re going to give you a complete 2023 guide on how to become an RN in Georgia. In this guide, we’ll give you ALL the steps, as well as all the details. 

This can be your roadmap to your new journey. 

So let’s begin!

The 5 Steps to Becoming an RN in Georgia

Here are the 5 steps to becoming an RN in Georgia:

  1. Set your nursing career goal
  2. Establish a solid pre-college education 
  3. Choose a nursing degree
  4. Choose a nursing school
  5. Earn your RN license

Let’s go through these steps in detail. 

Step 1: Set Your Nursing Career Goal

Before anything else, you need to already set your nursing goals. This will help you choose which nursing degree to get later on. 

To do this, you might want to ask yourself questions. 

Where do you see your career going? Is there a specific area you prefer for your practice?

Do you want to focus on monitoring patients and maintaining their records? Or would you prefer to step into a leadership role someday? 

As we said, If you know your nursing goal, you’ll have an easier time choosing a nursing degree. 

Step 2: Establish a Solid Pre-College Education 

A nursing career requires solid groundwork, and it begins even before you go to a nursing school. 

This is why nursing schools often have pre-requisites. Of course, these vary between colleges, so it’s best to check them out once you’ve decided on a school.

Generally, these are the subjects you’ll need:

  • 4 years of English
  • 3 to 4 years of Math, including algebra and geometry
  • 2 to 4 years of science, including botany and chemistry; taking physics and computer science is an advantage
  • 3 to 4 years of Social Studies
  • 2 years of Foreign Language

Step 3: Choose a Nursing Degree

There are 2 types of nursing degrees in Georgia. 

The first one is an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN). The other is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).

Whichever you decide to take, it will help you earn an RN license in the state. So there’s no difference there. 

But remember when we said your long-term goals could help you choose a nursing degree? 

Let’s see why.

But first, here is a quick rundown of the differences between ADN and BSN:

Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
Program Length20 to 24 months36 to 48 months
Program FocusNursing concepts and clinical practiceNursing skills and theory, public health, ethics and pharmacology
Potential Practice AreasIntensive Care, Mental Health, Pediatrics, Emergency DepartmentIntensive Care, Mental Health, Pediatrics, Emergency Department, Research, Management, Teaching, Case Management, Nursing Forensics, Public Health
NCLEX Pass Rates (First-Try)82.80%90.29%
Advancement OpportunitiesLessMore
  • Are you in a hurry to start working and earning? You can complete an ADN in 2 years or even less, which allows you to find employment sooner. In comparison, a BSN takes 3 to 4 years to finish. That delays your entry into the workforce.
  • Are you on a low budget? Since ADN is a lot shorter, you don’t have to spend so much to get your nursing degree. 
  • Are you looking for prestige? Holding a bachelor’s degree comes with prestige. So if that’s important to you, you may want to consider a BSN.
  • What are your career aspirations? A BSN qualifies you for more opportunities, such as teaching, working in public health, or holding a leadership role.
  • Do you plan to work at a Magnet hospital? Magnet hospitals are institutions where nurses drive innovation and changes in institutional healthcare. They’re also empowered to take the lead in their patients’ care. The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) certified 12 facilities in Georgia as of 2021. A Magnet hospital requires you to have a BSN.

Step 4: Choose a Nursing School

Now that you know which nursing degree you want, it’ll be a lot easier to choose a nursing school. 

However, just make sure that the school is accredited by the Georgia Secretary of State. 

Click here for a list of accredited nursing schools in Georgia. conducted a study ranking various approved nursing schools in Georgia. Their top picks were as follows:

  • Georgia Southwestern State University
  • Emory University
  • Georgia State University
  • Mercer University
  • Augusta University

They used the following criteria in their evaluation:

  • Reputation
  • NCLEX pass rate
  • Tuition
  • Acceptance rate

If you decide to do your own research, you can use similar criteria. However, try to consider the following as well:

  • Class size or student-to-teacher ratio
  • Availability of financial aid
  • Available technology for hands-on training
  • Job placement assistance after you graduate

Step 5: Earn Your RN License

Once you’ve graduated, it’s time for the last step. 

You’re finally applying for your RN license!

Here are the steps to earn your RN license in Georgia:

  1. Register for the NCLEX-RN exam with Pearson Vue through their website
  1. Pass a background check. Complete this by registering with GAPS/Gemalto. They do fingerprinting and criminal background checks (CBC).
  1. Submit the necessary documents online or through the mail (address: Georgia Board of Nursing, 237 Coliseum Drive, Macon, Georgia 31217). Here are the documents you need:
    1. A filled-out application form (click here for the form)
    2. A fee of $40, plus $10 for processing
    3. completed CBC
    4. Official nursing school transcript 
    5. Affidavit of citizenship
    6. NCLEX eligibility 
    7. Any other information requested by the Nursing Board
  1. Take and pass the NCLEX. You must pay a $200 testing fee directly to Pearson Vue to take the test.

Note: It’s best that you complete steps 1 and 2 48 hours before you begin your application. This is because it could take some time to fulfill it. 

And that’s it!

Once you complete the last step, you’ll be able to practice as an RN in Georgia.


Frequently Asked Questions

To help you even further, let’s take some time to answer the most frequently asked questions about RN nurses in Georgia. 

Is Georgia a compact state?

Yes, Georgia has been part of the Nurse Licensure Compact for 5 years. This means you can practice in other compact states as long as you hold a multistate license.

If you have a single-state license, you can upgrade it to a multistate one by meeting the 11 Uniform Licensure Requirements and complying with the state’s conditions. The application fee is $50.

How much do RNs earn in Georgia?

Registered Nurses in Georgia earn $75,380 per month on average. That’s 8% lower than the national average of $82,750.

Georgia is a state where nurses with BSNs have an advantage since they usually receive higher pay than those with ADNs. 

Where do nurses usually work?

Hospitals remain the most common workplace for nurses. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 61% of nurses find employment in this environment. It includes state, local, or private institutions.

Other areas of opportunity:

  • Ambulatory healthcare services — 18%
  • Residential care facilities — 6%
  • Government — 5%
  • Educational services, whether state, local, or private — 3%

Helpful Resources for Georgia RNs

List of Associate Degree Programs (ADNs) in Georgia

Here’s a list of ADN programs approved by the Georgia BON:

Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College
2802 Moore Highway, Tifton, GA 31793

Albany State University-ASN
504 College Drive
Albany, GA 31705
(229) 500-2000

Albany Technical College
1704 South Slappey Blvd,. Albany, GA 31701
229-430-3500 or 877-261-3113

Andrew College
501 College Street,
Cuthbert, GA 39840

Athens Technical College
800 US Hwy 29 North
Athens, GA 30601
(706) 355-5000

Atlanta Technical College
1560 Metropolitan Pkwy SW, Atlanta, GA 30310, United States
+1 404-225-4400

Augusta Technical College
3200 Augusta Tech Dr.
Augusta, GA 30906

Central Georgia Technical College
3300 Macon Tech Dr, Macon, GA 31206, United States
+1 478-757-3400

Technical College
980 South Cobb Drive
Marietta, GA 30060

Coastal Pines Technical College
College of Coastal Georgia
One College Drive
Brunswick, GA 31520

College of Coastal Georgia – ASN
One College Drive
Brunswick, GA 31520

Columbus Technical College
928 Manchester Expressway
Columbus, GA 31904

Dalton State College
650 College Dr.
Dalton, GA 30720
(706) 272-4436

Georgia Highlands College
3175 Cedartown Highway Rome, GA 30161

Georgia Northwestern Technical College
One Maurice Culberson Drive
Rome, GA 30161
1-866-983-GNTC (4682)

Georgia Southwestern
State 800 GSW State University Dr. Americus, Georgia 31709
(877) 871-4594

Georgia State University – ASN
33 Gilmer Street SE Atlanta, GA 30303

Gordon State College – ASN
419 College Dr, Barnesville, GA 30204, United States
+1 678-359-5555

Gwinnett Technical College
5150 Sugarloaf Pkwy, Lawrenceville, GA 30043, United States
+1 770-962-7580

Lanier Technical College
2535 Lanier Tech Dr, Gainesville, GA 30507, United States
+1 770-533-7000

Middle Georgia State University – ASN
100 University Parkway | Macon, GA 31206

North Georgia
Technical College
1500 GA-197, Clarkesville, GA 30523, United States
+1 706-754-7700

Oconee Fall Line
Technical College
1189 Deepstep Rd, Sandersville, GA 31082, United States
+1 478-553-2050

South Georgia State College
100 W College Park Dr, Douglas, GA 31533, United States
+1 800-342-6364

Southern Crescent
Technical College
501 Varsity Rd, Griffin, GA 30223, United States
+1 770-228-7348

Southern Regional
Technical College
15689 U.S. Highway 19 North
Thomasville, Georgia 31792
(888) 205-3449

Technical College
3001 E 1st St, Vidalia, GA 30474, United States
+1 912-538-3100

West Georgia
Technical College
1 College Circle, 1302 Orchard Hill Rd, LaGrange, GA 30240, United States
+1 706-845-4323

Wiregrass Georgia
Technical College
4089 Val Tech Rd, Valdosta, GA 31602, United States
+1 229-333-2100

Visit the Georgia BON website for updates.

List of Baccalaureate Degree Programs (BSNs) in Georgia

Here’s a list of BSN programs approved by the Georgia BON:

Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College
2802 Moore Highway, Tifton, GA 31793

Albany State University-BSN
504 College Drive
Albany, GA 31705
(229) 500-2000

Augusta University – BSN
1120 15th St, Augusta, GA 30912, United States
+1 706-721-0211

Berry College
2277 Martha Berry Hwy NW
Mount Berry, GA 30149

Brenau University
500 Washington St. SE
Gainesville, Georgia 30501

Brewton Parker College
201 David-Eliza Fountain Circle, Mt Vernon, GA 30445, United States
+1 912-583-2241

Chamberlain College of Nursing
1100 Altmore Dr, Sandy Springs, GA 30342, United States
+1 404-250-8500

Clayton StateUniversity
2000 Clayton State Boulevard
Morrow, GA 30260
(678) 466-4000

College of Coastal
Georgia – BSN
One College Drive
Brunswick, GA 31520

Columbus State University
4225 University Avenue
Columbus, Georgia 31907

Emory University – BSN
1520 Clifton Road NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30322 USA
(404) 727-7980

Georgia Baptist College of Nursing at Mercer University
3001 Mercer University Dr, Atlanta, GA 30341, United States
+1 800-551-8835

Georgia College and StateUniversity
231 W. Hancock St. Milledgeville, GA 31061

Georgia Gwinnett College
1000 University Center Ln, Lawrenceville, GA 30043, United States
+1 678-407-5000

Georgia Southern University
1332 Southern Drive
Statesboro, GA 30458

Georgia State University – BSN
33 Gilmer Street SE Atlanta, GA 30303

Gordon State College – BSN
419 College Dr, Barnesville, GA 30204, United States
+1 678-359-5555

Herzing University – Atlanta Campus
50 Hurt Plaza SE Suite 400, Atlanta, GA 30303, United States
+1 404-586-4265

Kennesaw State University
1000 Chastain Road
Kennesaw, GA 30144

LaGrange College
601 Broad St, LaGrange, GA 30240, United States
+1 706-880-8000

Middle Georgia StateUniversity – BSN
100 University Parkway | Macon, GA 31206

Piedmont College
1021 Central Avenue
Demorest, Georgia | 30535

Reinhardt University
7300 Reinhardt Circle, Waleska GA 30183
+1 770-720-5600

Shorter University
315 Shorter Ave NW
Rome, GA 30165
(800) 868-6980

South College
2600 Century Pkwy NE, Atlanta, GA 30345, United States
+1 470-322-1200

Thomas University
1501 Millpond Road
Thomasville, GA 31792

Toccoa Falls College
107 Kincaid Dr, Toccoa Falls, GA 30598, United States
+1 706-886-7299

Truett – McConnellCollege
100 Alumni Drive
Cleveland, GA 30528

University of North Georgia
82 College Cir, Dahlonega, GA 30597, United States
+1 706-864-1400

University of West Georgia
1601 Maple St
Carrollton, GA 30118
(678) 839-5000

Valdosta State University
1500 N. Patterson St.
Valdosta, Georgia 31698

Wesleyan College
4760 Forsyth Rd, Macon, GA 31210
1 (800) 447-6610 or
(478) 477-1110

Visit the Georgia BON website for updates.

In Conclusion

To be sure, there are a lot of details in the 5 steps. 

However, if you put your heart into it, you’ll be an RN in no time. 

So why delay any more?

Go set out your nursing career goals and start working towards them. 

Good luck!

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