The University System of Georgia's Center for Health Workforce Planning and Analysis reports that 60 percent of the state's working registered nurses are at least 50 years old. As these nurses retire in the coming years, new healthcare workers will be needed to replace them. Read on to discover how you can help. This guide is packed with information about licensure, Georgia nursing schools and programs, and industry salaries.
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Georgia on My Mind: Exploring Nursing Schools
Just as healthcare facilities in Georgia are seeing a shortage of qualified nurses, training programs are also experiencing a shortage of nursing instructors, according to the University System of Georgia. This is also a consequence of aging, as professors at nursing schools are retiring in droves. To combat this situation, nursing institutions around the state have empowered a task force to implement solutions. Some of its initiatives include developing strategies for reducing turnover in nursing education programs and providing additional financial aid for nursing students. With the state laying the groundwork for nursing programs that better meet students' needs, now is a good time to research programs. Use the search tool below to find quality nursing schools in Georgia.
Georgia's Nursing Licensure Process
The Georgia Board of Nursing is responsible for issuing licenses to all qualifying nurses in Georgia, including advanced practice nurses. The board has a state mandate to enforce minimum nursing standards and settle complaints against nurses.
How to Become Eligible for a Georgia Nursing License
Nurses meet the eligibility standards once they have graduated from an in-state nursing program approved by the Georgia Board of Nursing. They can then take the following steps:
- Have their fingerprints taken by COGENT Systems
- Register to take the NCLEX-RN with Pearson VUE
- Complete an application form electronically or by mail, and pay a $40 fee to the Georgia Board of Nursing
- Undergo a criminal background check
- Pass the NCLEX-RN
Applicants who graduated from an out-of-state nursing program must apply via paper application rather than online. They must also submit official transcripts.
With the exception of the NCLEX, practicing nurses in others states who are moving to Georgia must do all of the above in addition to sending $60, official transcripts, and verification of previous state licensures. They must also show proof of either recent employment, recent graduation or completion of a reentry program.
How to Renew a License in Georgia
Nursing licenses must be renewed online by January 31 every two years and the board does not send out renewal notices. Applicants must also pay $65 and provide documentation of US citizenship.?
RNs are required to keep current in the field. They have five basic options for doing so during the two-year lifespan of each license:
- Taking 30 hours of continuing education
- Earning recertification by a national certifying organization
- Finishing an accredited nursing program
- Getting an employer to verify competency
- Taking a reentry program
How to Get Advanced Practice Authorization in GA
There are five types of advanced practice registered nurses in the state of Georgia: nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, and clinical nurse specialists in mental health. All have the same requirements for authorization. First, they must be licensed as registered nurses in the state. Second, they must have earned a board-approved master's degree.
Aspiring APRNs who meet these two criteria, can apply via paper form to the Georgia Board of Nursing. They must also send $65, official transcripts, a copy of their national certification, and proof of either active employment or recent graduation.
To stay on top of the APRN authorization process, see the Georgia Board of Nursing for details.
Stats on Georgia Nurses
Georgia has the sixth-lowest concentration of nurses of any state in the US. It also lags behind the national average for nurse practitioners. The Bureau of Labor Statistics foresees the state adding 2,300 new RN jobs every year. APRN jobs as nurse practitioners, nurse midwives and nurse anesthetists will also be expanding at a clip of 290 per year to build from the 4,000 or so specialists practicing in 2012. To see what the salary forecast is for RNs and APRNs in Georgia, take a look at the charts below.
|Area||Hourly Median Wage||Annual Median Wage|
|Augusta-Richmond County GA-SC||$31.16||$64,810|
|North Georgia nonmetropolitan area||$28.04||$58,320|
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014
|Year||Annual salary(25th percentile)||Annual salary(median)||Annual salary(75th percentile)||Annual salary(25th percentile)||Annual salary(median)||Annual salary(75th percentile)|
|Certified Nurse Midwife||$81,390||$91,650||$104,350||$0||$82,580||$96,970||$114,090|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014
|Certified Nurse Midwife||260||5,110|
|Certified Nurse Midwife||380||7,700|
|Certified Nurse Midwife||20||290|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014 and Projections Central