If studying in Georgia for your ADN is on your mind, then you will have plenty of options and a wealth of opportunities when you graduate. Demand for Registered Nurses (RNs) is high in the Peach State, driven by a growing and aging population and large numbers of existing RNs nearing retirement age.
Studying for your Associate Degree in Georgia
The basic requirement for RN status in Georgia is an associate degree (ADN). As a result, these types of courses are very popular across the state with over 25 ADN programs available, the majority being delivered by local technical and community colleges. While program lengths vary, aspiring ADN students can complete their nursing studies, sit the NCLEX-RN examination to obtain a state licence, and find a job as an RN within a minimum of just two years.
Wherever you choose to study for your ADN in Georgia, your chances of passing the NCLEX-RN examination are generally good, as the average pass rate for examination in the state has been several percentage points higher than the average pass rate nationwide for some years.
Many ADN graduates in Georgia will go on to extend their studies and will choose to pursue a BSN or MSN at a later stage in their careers. In addition, since January 2018, RNs licenced in Georgia are able to apply for a multi-state license that will enable them to practice in the almost thirty states that have signed up to the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC).
Benefits of Associate Degree Programs
Associate degree programs allow for an earlier entry to the nursing workforce than bachelors programs. This enables graduates to quickly build up their working experience and to offset the cost of their studies more quickly. The quality of teaching for ADN programs that are delivered by community and technical colleges is also frequently noted as a benefit. Community colleges actively recruit faculty with extensive real-world practical experience. This enhances the relevance of the learning for students and may help to prepare them more effectively for entry to the workplace.
Accreditation and Licensing in Georgia
Educational institutions use accrediting organizations to demonstrate that their programs meet and achieve educational standards. The two accrediting organizations for ADN programs are the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
Licensing in Georgia is managed by the Georgia Board of Nursing. The state is moving to a system that will require every school that offers an ADN program to be licensed, but at the current time it is still important for aspiring students in Georgia to check the status of their chosen program either via the individual school website or via the Georgia Board of Nursing website. For an educational institution to obtain Board approval for licensure, the curriculum of their ADN program must be considered to be suitable preparation for the NCLEX-RN examination.
In addition to educational institutions requiring approval and licensure, RNs must obtain an individual license in order to practice in the state. ADN graduates obtain a license by passing the NCLEX-RN examination at the end of their program of study.
Overview of Associate Degree Programs in Georgia
A shortage of nurse educators means that places in ADN programs across the state are in high demand, entry can be very competitive and there are waitlists for some programs. Applicants are often required to have pre-requisite college-level courses in Biology, English, Psychology, Chemistry, Communications and Math with a minimum GPA in the 2.75-3.0 range; some longer-duration programs include these courses within the curriculum. In addition, applicants may be required to sit additional admissions tests such as the Kaplan Nursing Admission Test or the ATI Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) and may be expected to demonstrate previous clinical experience as a Nursing Aide or similar.
There are a number of different ways of referring to associate degrees in nursing. These include ADN, for Associate Degree – Nursing; AN, for Associate of Nursing; ASN, for Associate of Science in Nursing; and AAS, for Associate of Applied Science in Nursing. As long as the institution granting the degree is fully accredited by either ACEN or CCNE and approved by the Georgia Board of Nursing, graduates of all of these types of associate degrees are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN examination to obtain a licence to practice as a Registered Nurse in the state.
Choosing an Associate Degree Program in Georgia
Many community colleges, universities and technical schools across the state offer an ADN program. The most critical factor in choosing an institution is that it is fully accredited by either ACEN or CCNE, and approved by the Georgia Board of Nursing. After this has been confirmed, other factors to consider include:
- The type of educational institution and the quality of the teaching;
- Curriculum and educational philosophy;
- Pre-requisite courses;
- Waitlists and length of program;
- Clinical hours and where these take place;
- Program outcomes such as the pass rates for the NCLEX-RN licensure exam compared to the state and nationally, student course completion rates, student satisfaction rates and graduate hiring data;
- Tuition and additional costs.
Featured Associate Degree Programs in Georgia
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Albany Technical College
Albany Technical College is located in south-west Georgia. The ASN program has a competitive admission process, and students are selected based on college course grades, pre-admission test scores, completion of required nursing program coursework, and qualifications related to academic and professional potential. Applicants must possess a minimum GPA of 2.75 and achieve a passing score on the ATI TEAS examination.
The curriculum for the two-year associate level nursing program focuses on developing nurses who demonstrate critical thinking/ problem-solving skills, integrity, accountability, a theoretical knowledge base, refined psychomotor skills, and a commitment to life-long learning.
Graduates from the program receive an Associate of Science Nursing degree and are eligible to sit the NCLEX-RN licensure examination, The average pass rate for graduates of Albany Technical College between 2013-2016 was in line with the state of Georgia overall.
Albany’s associate degree program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and approved by the Georgia Board of Nursing.
1704 S Slappey Blvd
Albany, GA 31701
Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College at Bainbridge
ABAC at Bainbridge was formed from the merger of two state colleges in early 2018 and incorporates both the former Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and the former Bainbridge State College.
The ADN program at ABAC consists of 74 credit hours and can be completed in six semesters. Both a traditional track and an advanced placement track for qualifying Licensed Practical Nurses (LPM) are available. The curriculum is organized to provide essential, sequenced learning experiences and emphasizes caring behaviors, communication, critical thinking, nursing process, client-centeredness, and professionalism.
ABAC’s associate degree program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and approved by the Georgia Board of Nursing.
2500 E Shotwell Street
Bainbridge, GA 39819
Gordon State College
Gordon State College is part of Georgia’s state university system and the aim of the nursing program is to prepare entry-level nurses for their first career experience. Gordon’s two campuses feature state of the art classes and labs, individualized attention and apartment-style housing.
Gordon offers a three-year ASN degree which typically leads directly to a career in healthcare. Entry requirements for the program include a minimum score of 62% on the Kaplan Nursing Admission Test. The curriculum aims to deliver generalist-trained graduates who are ready to provide nursing services in a wide range of healthcare settings. ASN students at Gordon are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN exam when they graduate and their average pass rate is typically higher than the state and national average. The Gordon State College ASN Program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and approved by the Georgia Board of Nursing.
419 College Drive
Barnesville, GA 30204
Gwinnett Technical College
ADN students at Gwinnett Technical College must first apply and be accepted into the Interdisciplinary Studies degree program with a concentration of Healthcare Management. Students complete three semesters of core courses and must maintain a GPA above 3.0 before transitioning to the nursing program for a further four semesters. In addition to the traditional nursing option, Gwinnett College offers both a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) Bridge and a Paramedic Bridge program option. The curriculum for all three programs aims to provide a strong generalist foundation in the practice of nursing.
All ADN program graduates are eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) and the historic average pass rate for Gwinnett graduates is higher than the state and national average. Gwinnett Technical College is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and approved by the Georgia Board of Nursing.
5150 Sugarloaf Pkwy
Lawrenceville, GA 30043
West Georgia Technical College
West Georgia Technical College is the state’s third largest technical college. The ADN program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and approved by the Georgia Board of Nursing. Applicants to the ADN program are required to take the ATI TEAS exam for competitive selection and receive additional credit in the selection progress for previous clinical experience, and/or completion of the Nurse Aide certification program.
70% of students at West Georgia Technical College successfully complete the ADN program within nine semesters of the time from entry into the program. ADN graduates are eligible to sit the NCLEX-RN examination to obtain their state license. Pass rates for the NCLEX-RN over the last few years have been above the US average but lower than the average for Georgia.
13017 GA Highway 34 East
Franklin, GA 30217