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Preparation for a Variety of Roles: RN to BSN Programs in Georgia

Why the BSN? There are a lot of reasons for nurses to consider this higher degree. The Institute of Medicine has described the situation in detail. The population, in Georgia and elsewhere in the nation, is living longer, but people are living with chronic illnesses. New treatments are being developed, and the healthcare system is swelling and growing in complexity. And this is only part of the changing picture. Population changes and technological advances call for a different type of healthcare system: one that is decentralized and focused on care management and prevention rather than acute care. The AACN further notes that baccalaureate level education has been linked to better patient outcomes.

The BSN offers solid preparation for a variety of roles. Typical courses include health assessment, leadership, research, and community health. There may be separate courses in gerontological nursing and meeting complex health needs. There is generally at least a small clinical requirement in an area like public health.

The degree can confer personal benefits as well as knowledge. According to the AACN, some Georgia employers pay baccalaureate level RNs at a higher rate. Among them are Saint Joseph’s of Atlanta and Calvert Medical Associates.

BSN Career Mobility in Georgia

The baccalaureate can help you move into a position where you work more autonomously and make more care decisions. Examples of such positions are case management and care coordination. A BSN can also be an asset if you are seeking a more traditional position on a hospital ward, particularly if you have your eye on one of the state’s premier hospitals. Atlanta Medical Center, a 100,000 Lives participant, requires the BSN for a number of bedside positions including RN II.

Georgia has five medical facilities that have earned magnet recognition by the ANCC. Magnet hospitals have quotas for nurse manager positions; 75% must be staffed by baccalaureate level nurses. Many magnet hospitals also prefer to hire BS level nurses for direct care positions. Saint Joseph’s of Atlanta, for example, likes to have baccalaureate nurses in the operating room.

RN to BSN Program Selection Considerations

Georgia has a statewide articulation plan, the Georgia RN-BSN Articulation Model. You can expect to be awarded credit for your lower division nursing courses. If you graduated too long ago and don’t have recent work experience, you will need to take a validation test before you receive credit at an in-state school.

The statewide articulation agreement means that there are a lot of BSN completion program options. You should have no problem finding a school that you like and a program schedule that fits easily into your lifestyle. You may choose to be a full- or part-time student. You can also take classes in the convenience of your own house or apartment -- many programs are offered as online learning. If you prefer the traditional classroom, that is also an option. There are classes available during the day and evening and on weekends.

You will probably need to do some general studies courses beyond the ones that were required for your AS or ADN. You may not, however, have to take them at the same institution. Georgia colleges do have a history requirement. If you did your initial studies elsewhere and haven’t completed this requirement, you may need to do so before formal admission to a program.

Depending on which program you select, you may pay by the semester or by the credit hour. Employers like Piedmont Hospital and Emory University Hospital offer tuition assistance for RN to BSN programs.

RN to BSN Programs in Georgia

Albany State University

Armstrong Atlantic State University

Brenau University

Clayton State University

Columbus State University

Georgia Baptist College of Nursing of Mercer University

Georgia College and State University

Georgia Southern University

Georgia Southwestern State University

Kennesaw State University

La Grange College

Macon State College

North Georgia College and State University

Piedmont College

South University

Thomas University

University of West Georgia

Valdosta State University

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