The popularity of accelerated BSN programs in Georgia is increasing, and the health education systems in the state are responding. Increasing the availability of nursing programs in the state requires additional faculty to develop curricula and teach students. Unfortunately, nursing faculty is one segment of the profession which sometimes lags behind demand. This is exactly the case in Georgia, according to the states Health Workforce Center. While there are many options to choose from when it comes to nursing degree programs, there are often students turned away, simply because there are not enough faculty members on hand. For this reason, it can be a good idea to look into as many schools as you can, requesting information from those that offer the degree program you seek.
One of the ways in which state nursing organizations are addressing the need for both nurses and nurse faculty is by offering online programs, which allow for more students to enroll, while minimizing the in-class workload on faculty seen in traditional programs. As an aspiring RN, you can apply to online schools that offer a second degree BSN program, which are designed with busy schedules and other commitments, such as family and work, in mind. For information on these programs, check out our featured schools below, requesting information from each.
An Overall Look at Accelerated BSN Programs in Georgia
The accelerated Bachelor's of Science in Nursing programs are specifically designed for college graduates with a degree in a non-nursing major, who are seeking to transition to a nursing career in the fastest way possible. the importance of educating new nurses to enter the profession quickly is based, in part, upon the increasingly aged population in Georgia, and the rate with which is it predicted to grow (Health Workforce Report, 2009).
There are expected to be 1.1 million new Georgia residents, over the age of 65, between 2000 and 2030, an increase of over 140% (HWR, 2009). With a nursing supply that already lags behind demand, the need for well educated nurses entering the Georgia workforce in the next 10-20 years is imperative for state citizens' health, as well as the state's economy.
One of the hallmarks of accelerated second degree programs is the fact that most previously earned credits, such as those in math, natural sciences and English, are accepted and applied to the credits required for a BSN. This enables students to complete the second degree BSN program more quickly than a traditional BSN program, earning a nursing degree in anywhere from 12 to 18 months. The accelerated BSN programs in Georgia are an effective way to put aspiring nurses on the fast track to a new career, simultaneously strengthening healthcare services in the state, as well.
General requirements for admission into a Georgia accelerated BSN program include a four-year degree from an accredited institution and completion of select prerequisite courses. Although the required prerequisites vary from school to school, they generally include biology, statistics, anatomy and physiology and psychology. While some schools in Georgia accept students before fulfillment of all prerequisites, the majority defer official acceptance until successful completion of all prerequisites.
There are a wide variety of grants and scholarships to help students pay for their nursing education, available for those who qualify. According to the American Association of Colleges for Nurses (2013), scholarship programs are in the works to increase diversity in the nation’s nursing industry. Students from minority backgrounds in Georgia will have access to $10,000 in scholarships over the next three years.
The Accelerated BSN Curriculum in Georgia
Typically, the second degree Bachelor's in Nursing curriculum in Georgia spans three semesters and is comprised of a clinical component coupled with 60 credit hours in nursing courses. It is an intense course of study that requires a full-time commitment. In addition to lectures, students have access to state-of-the-art equipment for lab studies, and complete clinical experience in actual healthcare settings.
General and Nursing courses in the accelerated BSN program include:
- Pharmacology I and II
- Legal Aspects in Healthcare
- Theory, Principle and Practice in Nursing
- Nursing Ethics
- Community and Population Based Nursing
After completion of all course study and clinical experience, students are well-prepared to take the NCLEX-RN exam. Passing of the NCLEX-RN is required in order to obtain licensure as an RN in the state of Georgia. Many schools assist in test preparation, as well as application for initial licensure in the state.
We have taken the time to compile a thorough listing of all the Accelerated BSN programs in Georgia, and we suggest that you request information from as many as you are interested in. The more you know about your options, the better prepared you will be when it is time to select a program.
Job Outlook and RN Salary
The prospects for gaining employment in Georgia as an RN are positive. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (2012) has revealed that the demand for nurses will increase up to 26 percent over the next several years. In addition, RNs are well-compensated in Georgia, earning a median annual salary of $61,200, according to (O*net, 2013).
Georgia is also a state that has been severely affected by the nursing shortage. According to a 2009 policy brief, regardless of the statistics used, analysis reveals that Georgia ranks among the ten worst states in the nation when looking at RN to population ratio. What this means is that there are fewer than 800 Georgia RNs for each 100,000 Georgia residents. The Health Workforce Center expects this trend to continue, estimating that the state will be short an additional 37,000 nurses by 2020. Earning your nursing degree now can help bridge the gap between supply and demand, strengthening the healthcare system in the state, and providing you with a rewarding career in a growth industry.
After completing the accelerated BSN program and passing the NCLEX-RN exam, Registered Nurses work in a wide variety of medical settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, home healthcare, private physician offices, clinics, and much more. RNs also increase their salaries quickly through experience and attaining specialty certifications based on areas of practice. To date, once you are an RN, the Georgia Nursing Board does not require continuing education classes for renewal.