Many registered nurses (RNs) working in Georgia begin their nursing career by earning an associate degree in nursing (ADN) or by completing an RN diploma program that has been approved by the Georgia Board of Nursing (GBON). To further one’s nursing career, many RNs decide to complete a Bachelor of Science (BSN) in Nursing degree program; however, there are now academic degree programs that offer a seamless (and less costly) way to earn a BSN and a Master of Science in Nursing degree (MSN) simultaneously, by completing relevant coursework that earns credits for both degrees at the same time.
RN to MSN degree programs in Georgia offer professional nurses an educational option that allows them to earn an MSN – by just starting the program with a valid, unencumbered Registered Nurse’s license – in about three years, or less, if offered through an accelerated format. This condensed time commitment also saves nursing students the cost of tuition over time!
Programs in Georgia that are accredited ACEN or CCNE are typically referenced as ‘completion’ programs, specifically designed to provide working nurses an opportunity to advance their education while working full-time or maintaining other full-time life commitments.
According to BLS’s statisticians, there were more than 3,000,000 registered nurses working in the United States in 2019, with an expected job growth through the next decade of about 7%, nearly twice the national average of all occupations combined for the same time period. And earning an MSN makes obvious fiscal sense when comparing the 2019 median annual incomes for an RN and an advanced practice nurse who has earned their MSN –
- Registered Nursing License was $73,300 per year (which translates to $35.24 per hour).
- Professional Nurses with an MSN degree (at a minimum) have a median annual income of $115,800 per year(which translates to $55.67 per hour).
Fast arithmetic discloses that professional nurses who hold an advanced (master’s level or higher) degree in nursing earn, on average, approximately 58% more than those nurses with just an RN license or baccalaureate nursing degree.
The following list of RN to MSN is provided to help RNs determine which of the available programs would best meet their education and career objectives, with costs that meet the students’ budget constraints. Each of these programs has been regionally accredited (by SACSCOC), approved by the GBON, and programmatically accredited by ACEN or CCNE.
These RN to MSN programs in Georgia are offered as online, campus-based, and hybrid formatted programs, which means that it is likely that one of the programs in Georgia will meet your needs and goals.
Best 9 RN to MSN Programs in Georgia
1. Valdosta State University (VSU – Valdosta)
Valdosta State University’s Nursing and Health Sciences College offers three academic tracks for its programs in Georgia. Students enrolled in Valdosta State University’s Master of Science in Nursing programs can choose from an academic specialty as a family nurse practitioner, adult0gerontology nurse practitioner, or a family psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. Each of these programs is offered through a hybrid delivered format and includes hundreds of clinical hours as well.
- Total Program Tuition Fees – $ 254.00 per credit for Georgia residents.
- Program Length – 40 credit units (Adult Gerontology), 56 credit units (Family Psychiatric Mental Health), 50 credit units (Nurse Practitioner).
- Student Enrollment – 11,270
2. Georgia Southern University (GSU – Statesboro & Savannah (Armstrong))
Georgia Southern University offers two MSN degree programs for RNs who also hold a baccalaureate degree in nursing. Students may enroll in these academic tracks offered in GSU’s RN to MSN programs in Georgia – nursing education or chronic care management. Classes for this degree in nursing include epidemiology, the theoretical basis for a clinical scholarship, advanced health assessment, and chronic care management, to name a few.
- Total Program Tuition Fees – $ 277.00 per credit for Georgia residents.
- Program Length – 36 credit units.
- Student Enrollment – 26,054
3. Albany State University (ASU – Albany)
Albany State University offers two RN to MSN programs that offer RNs either a Master of Science in Nursing degree program (i.e., MSN) with an academic track as a Nurse Educator or Family Nurse Practitioner. The core curriculum for these RN to MSN from Albany State University include pharmacology in advanced nursing, family diversity in vulnerable communities, and nursing theory development, to name a few. Each master’s degree in nursing will also require degree candidates to complete a directed study.
- Total Program Tuition Fees – $ 300.00 per credit unit for Georgia residents.
- Program Length – 44 credit units for FNP or 36 credit units for Nurse educator.
- Student Enrollment – 6,122
4. Georgia State University (GSU – Atlanta)
Georgia State University’s Lewis Nursing & College offers nursing professionals both traditional MSN and online RN to MSN in Georgia that provide students with four academic emphases in family nurse practitioner, adult-gerontology, pediatric primary care NP, and psychiatric mental health NP. Core coursework for these RN to MSN programs includes the culture of health care, pharmacology, and theoretical foundations, and research methods, to name a few.
- Total Program Tuition Fees – $ 404.00 per credit unit for Georgia residents.
- Program Length – 48 credit units for all MSN tracks.
- Student Enrollment – 35,041
5. Georgia Regents University (GRU – Augusta)
The Nursing College at Georgia Regents University was established by combining Augusta State University and Georgia Health Sciences University in 2013. This combined nursing program offers several RN to MSN programs in Georgia, a direct entry in addition to academic tracks in the degree that include clinical nurse leader and family nurse practitioner. The core curriculum for this MSN degree from Georgia Regents University includes pathophysiology, epidemiology, and Biostatistics, and nursing therapeutics, and professional nursing, to name a few.
- Total Program Tuition Fees – $ 500.00 per credit unit for Georgia residents.
- Program Length – 60 credit units.
- Student Enrollment – n/a
6. Thomas University (TU – Thomasville)
Thomas University offers one of the hybrid programs for RNs that offers mostly online coursework and classes that meet once a month for only one-half of one day. Students complete BSN bridge work as they complete the requirements for the Master of Science degree in Nursing offered by Thomas University. The core curriculum for this master’s degree in nursing includes advanced theoretical foundations, policy, law, and ethics in nursing, global perspectives on population health, and program planning for nurse education/leadership, to name a few. There are two academic tracks in administration or education.
- Total Program Tuition Fees – $ 524.00 per credit unit.
- Program Length – 132 credit units.
- Student Enrollment – 1,528
7. Brenau University (BU – Gainesville)
Brenau University offers one of the best accelerated RN to MSN that is available on the school’s North Atlanta campus and online through a blended hybrid delivery. Brenau University’s RN to MSN degree program is provided with an academic track in leadership and management that can be complete in two or three years, depending on the student’s time availability and academic tracks – nurse educator, leader/manager, or nurse practitioner.
- Total Program Tuition Fees – $ 742.00 per credit unit.
- Program Length – 45 credit units.
- Student Enrollment – 2,817
8. South University (SU – Savannah & Online)
South University offers one of the programs in Georgia that offers nursing professionals the opportunity to complete their MSN degree with academic emphases in family nurse practice, nurse educator, nurse administrator, adult-gerontology, or nursing informatics. Depending on the program, these RN to MSN degree program from South University are offered online and on-campus in Savannah.
- Total Program Tuition Fees – $. 782.83 per credit unit.
- Program Length – 74 credit units (Nursing Informatics), 76 credit units (Nurse Educator, Adult-Gerontology, or Administrator),
- Student Enrollment – 7,019
Our Methodology for Ranking
The selected programs in Georgia shown in the analysis above represent a cross-selection of available RN to MSN programs for full-time or part-time students. These graduate degree in nursing programs are available online, on-campus, or as a hybrid-delivered program.
To prepare this analysis, we evaluated each program’s relevant ‘per credit’ cost based on the latest posted tuition costs representing the school year of 2020/2021 or 2019/2020. In addition, the school and program’s educational aspects were assessed based on information that had been extracted from the USDE’s College Scorecard, the National Center for Education Statistics’ (NCES), or each school’s program or catalog website.
The most affordable of these RN to MSN programs are shown first and will typically include those programs in Georgia offered by state schools operating from public funding.
Additionally, it is important for prospective students to consider each degree’s mandated credit units as this ultimately dictates the overall tuition costs as well as the time that will be required to complete the graduate nursing degree program.
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