How Can I Become a Nurse Practitioner in Georgia?
To understand the role that nurses play in health care, you just have to look at Georgia. Georgia has been hit particularly hard by the national shortage of health care providers, particularly in its rural communities. As the availability of primary care providers has shrunk in Georgia, the healthcare community has looked for solutions. As a result, Georgia schools received a $350,000 grant to educate nurse practitioner students (Daily Nurse, 2016). With this grant, Georgia schools aim to improve availability of care in underserved rural areas.
As a registered nurse, you may be ready to take the next step in your education and do your part to improve health care in Georgia. By taking your education to the graduate level, you can learn how to transition from being part of a nursing care team to a primary care provider. The two main options are a graduate degree and a doctorate. Those who already have a Master’s degree in nursing may pursue a post-graduate certificate.
Graduate Nurse Practitioner Programs GA Average Requirements
- Credit hours required: 46
- Average cost: $650 per credit hour
- Clinical hours required: At least 500 clinical hours
- Timeframe: 2 to 2.5 years of full-time study
Average Requirements for Doctorate Nurse Practitioner Schools GA
- Credit hours required: Approximately 40 beyond the Master’s degree
- Clinical hours required: At least 1000 clinical hours
- Timeframe: 3 to 4 years of full-time study after finishing a Master’s degree
At BestNursingDegree.com, it’s our goal to help you find the ideal school for your career goals. Search our school listings below to get in contact with Georgia nursing programs.
What Types of Nurse Practitioner Programs Are Available in Georgia?
There are may crucial similarities between Master’s degree programs and doctorate programs in Georgia. Both degree options aim to prepare students for advanced practice authorization in Georgia, a goal that allows NPs to work within their scope of practice. Most programs build on a Bachelor’s-level understanding of nursing. Those who have an Associate’s degree may complete Bachelor’s degree courses in an RN-to-MSN, while students with non-nursing degrees may complete nursing and advanced nursing coursework in an accelerated program.
The patients you work with determine your coursework, clinical experiences, and learning outcomes. For example, FNP programs prepare you to work in primary or acute care with families. As a result, you get a well-rounded education that allows you to work with patients of different ages and backgrounds. Other options in Georgia include adult health care and psychiatric health care.
As you look into curricular requirements for a nurse practitioner degree program, compare doctoral and Master’s requirements to figure out which one fits your career goals. Core Master’s courses, listed below, are generally required for graduate and doctorate programs.
Commonly Required Master’s Degree Courses
- Advanced Health Assessment
- Advanced Pathophysiology
- Advanced Pharmacology
- Rural Primary Care
- Advanced Nursing Theory
- Advanced Nursing Research
Doctoral students go beyond the core courses to learn about leadership, health policy, research, and administration.
Examples of Doctoral Nursing Courses
- Advanced Leadership and Organizational Behavior
- DNP Project
- Healthcare Technology
- Healthcare Systems
- Finance in Healthcare
Clinical courses may take up a significant amount of your education time. Ideally, you should get experience at multiple locations prior to graduation. This can help you find the ideal post-graduation work setting and build valuable connections within the advanced practice nursing community.
How Can I Pay for Nurse Practitioner School in Georgia?
Funding options are extremely diverse in health care. Generally, your options are determined by your academic success and how early you begin applying for scholarships and grants. Doctoral students may fund their education through teaching assistantships or research assistantships, but these options tend to be more limited in Master’s degree programs. There are other grant and scholarship options to consider.
Nurse Practitioner Schooling Financial Aid
- BestNursignDegree.com Scholarships: The scholarship program at BestNursingDegree.com awards scholarships worth $2,500 each. There are four application cycles per year, so no matter when you start school, you can start applying for scholarships now.
- NURSE Corps Scholarship Program: Through this federal program, you may minimize your need for student loans. Those who receive scholarships must sign a contract agreeing to spend two years working in a Health Professional Shortage Area.
- NHSC Loan Repayment Program: This program is strikingly similar to the NURSE Corps Scholarship Program. However, rather than awarding scholarships to selected students, the NHSC Loan Repayment Program pays back up to $50,000 worth of loans.
- Georgia Nurses Foundation Scholarship: The Georgia Nurses Foundation, part of the Georgia Nurses Association, funds scholarships for nursing students at all levels.
Licensing and Practice Requirements for NPs in Georgia
To practice in Georgia, you must meet several expectations. First, you need a valid registered nursing license through the Georgia Board of Nursing. From there, you can apply for advanced practice standing by submitting proof of national certification, paying a $75 application fee, and submitting your official transcripts. Once you have your original license, you have to renew it by January 31 every two years. While working in Georgia, you must respect the restricted practice regulations of the state (AANP, 2016). Stay on top of legislative changes, as advocates throughout the country hope to increase practice rights in states like Georgia.
Nurse Practitioner Careers in Georgia
Georgia’s career growth statistics are staggering. The anticipated increase in demand for nurse practitioners far exceeds the national average. From 2012 through 2022, O*Net anticipates a 54% increase in nurse practitioner job openings (2016). You may find that boosting your level of practice and education may positively influence your earning potential. The average income for a Georgia nurse practitioner is $94,420 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016).
The amount of money you earn may depend on your work setting. Nurses in emergency care or urgent care settings may have to work weekends, evenings, and holidays, which may lead to greater earning potential. If you work in a clinic, you may enjoy a more stable weekday schedule.
Health care depends on those who are willing to learn more and do more for patients. Invest in your career and in Georgia health care now—request information from Georgia nurse practitioner programs.
Georgia nurses who want to advance their education and become nurse practitioners can attend an online school, such as Georgetown University, or one of these in-state institutions:
- Emory University. Emory offers quite a few different Master's-level NP tracks such as: adult care nurse practitioner, adult/gerontology nurse practitioner, pediatric nurse practitioner (acute or primary care), emergency nurse practitioner, and women's health nurse practitioner. The graduate program includes a RN-to-MSN option for nurses who wish to become nurse practitioners but have not yet completed a bachelor's degree.
- Georgia Health Sciences University. This school offers NP programs including: family nurse practitioner and pediatric nurse practitioner. Most coursework is offered online, with minimal on-campus attendance required. Full-time students typically graduate in less than two years; part-time students take about 34 months.
- Kennesaw State University. The WellStar School of Nursing at Kennesaw is the largest school of nursing in northern Georgia. The school offers a primary care nurse practitioner program.