Due to a growing emphasis on improved patient outcomes, the state of Georgia is increasingly encouraging higher education for its registered nurses. Luckily, an abundance of schools in the state are offering a Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree via RN to MSN programs. These programs offer classroom or online learning for RNs who currently possess either an Associate's or Bachelor's degree in nursing. Nurses in the state who hold a master's degree have the opportunity to enter specialized nursing careers and earn substantially higher salaries.

RN to MSN Admissions Requirements in Georgia

Schools who offer an RN to MSN program in Georgia can be competitive, and typically require at least some of the following:

  • ADN or BSN from an accredited institution (degree level requirement varies by program)
  • Active, unencumbered Georgia RN license
  • Minimum one year of post-licensure experience
  • Minimum overall GPA of 3.0 on all college level work
  • Evidence of satisfactory health status, AHA CPR certification, malpractice insurance, health insurance, and immunizations
  • Three letters of recommendation

RN to MSN Courses

RN to MSN programs generally consist of a few components: first, bridge courses are taken if a student is starting out with an ADN. Once those are completed, or if a student is starting out with a BSN, advanced level MSN core courses are taken. Finally, specialized courses are completed that build upon the knowledge obtained by the core coursework. Afterwards, there is usually a clinical component that students must complete to earn their degree.

As an example, MSN core courses offered as part of the RN to MSN program at Thomas University in Thomasville, GA, include:

  • Information Technology in Nursing Administration and Education
  • Advanced Theoretical Foundations
  • Research Designs and Methodology
  • Policy, Law, and Ethics in Nursing
  • Global Perspectives on Population-based Health

Online RN to MSN Programs in Georgia

Online RN to BSN options are growing in number, as schools rise to meet the needs of busy working RNs. Online options allow students to work at their own pace via part-time or full-time plans of study. Some schools even offer hybrid options, allowing students to take a portion of the coursework in the classroom and select classes online. The clinical component of online programs is usually arranged in the student's local area, making it convenient for those in the state who don't live near a large university.

Featured Online School

Georgia College School of Nursing offers an online MSN format with numerous specialization options for BSN-educated RNs. They currently offer MSN degrees with majors in Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Family Nurse Practitioner with a Concentration in Psychiatric Mental Health (PMHNP), or Nurse Educator. All clinical rotations must be completed in Georgia with a preceptor that is approved by the School of Nursing.

Admissions and Program Length

Due to the flexible nature of many RN to MSN programs, length can vary widely. Students starting out with an ADN can expect to take some additional time completing the bridge courses, while BSN-educated nurses will be finished a little sooner. Part-time or full-time study can also impact the length it takes a student to graduate. Most schools typically require a student to complete all coursework within 5-7 years of starting the degree program. Generally, 2-3 years of full-time study is needed to complete most programs.

Tuition and Cost of Attendance

Students can anticipate paying the costs of tuition, mandatory fees, and course materials. These expenses can fluctuate wildly, depending on the school chosen. To provide a cost example, the MSN program at the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing charges $10,126 for 9-14 semester hours. Enrollment in fewer than 9 semester hours or more than 14 semester hours is charged at a rate of $1,125 per semester hour. This does not include applicable fees, such as application fees, lab fees, or other required mandatory expenses.

RN to MSN Career Pathways in Georgia

Earning a graduate degree in nursing can open the door to a plethora of rewarding career options. Some of the career pathways one can enter upon earning an MSN include:

  • Case Management Nurse
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse Educator
  • Nurse Administrator

RN to MSN Salary Comparison

Many nurses find that the increased earning potential an MSN more than makes up for the cost of the degree. For example, an MSN-educated registered nurse in Atlanta, Georgia currently makes an average annual salary of $90,225. Compare this to the annual salary of a general registered nurse in the same city, which is roughly $61,521. It's clear that the advanced education makes a direct impact on salaries in the state.

Helpful Links

RN to MSN Listings

RN to MSN programs are offered all over the state in a number of colleges, all offering the program with different methods available. Some programs are of a blended online/in-class option, while others are offering online-only options, earning your degree can be worked into your already busy schedule without having to quit work.

Brenau University
School of Nursing
500 Washington Street, SE
Gainesville, GA 30501
(770) 534-6283
Clayton State University
School of Nursing
2000 Clayton State Boulevard
Morrow, GA 30260
(678) 466-4953
Georgia State University
Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing & Health Professions
33 Gilmer Street SE
Atlanta, GA 30303
(404) 413-1201
South University
Online Campus
College of Nursing
709 Mall Blvd
Savannah, GA 31406-4805
(912) 650-5678
Thomas University
Division of Nursing
1501 Millpond Rd
Thomasville, GA 31792