Top Nursing Schools in Georgia

Asian male medical professional talking to patient
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Identifying the best nursing schools in Georgia can be a challenge. The state has many excellent options with 65 colleges and universities offering some form of nursing degree. A total of 59 of those options are non-profit institutions, and among those schools, 32 offer nursing degrees at the bachelor's level or higher.

Nursing is a growing field with excellent employment prospects, but students will find the best salaries and career advancement opportunities with a four-year degree or a graduate degree. All 8 of the nursing schools below offer BSN and MSN degrees, and most have options at the doctoral level as well.

Schools were selected based on their campus nursing facilities, clinical experience opportunities, general reputations, and licensure rates.

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Augusta University

Science Hall at Augusta University
Science Hall at Augusta University.

GRUcrule / Wikimedia Commons /  CC BY-SA 3.0

Augusta University's Health System is Georgia's only public academic medical center, and the College of Nursing benefits from this relationship, since students have ready access to valuable clinical experiences. Nursing is the university's most popular program at both the bachelor's and master's levels. In recent years, the university has averaged an 88% pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX).

Augusta nursing students take advantage of the school's Interdisciplinary Simulation Center that includes a pediatric simulation room, inpatient simulation room, a clinical skills exam room, a home health simulation, and numerous other classroom and simulation facilities.

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Brenau University

Pearce Auditorium at Brenau University
Pearce Auditorium at Brenau University.

 Jerry & Roy Klotz, MD / Flickr / CC BY-SA 3.0

Nursing is by far the most popular major at Brenau University. The small university offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master's in Nursing Leadership and Management, Master's in Nursing Education, and Master's in Nursing Family Nurse Practitioner. At the undergraduate level, students can choose from an accelerated BSN program for those who already have a bachelor's degree in another field, a traditional BSN, and an RN to BSN program. The school has an 86% pass rate on the NCLEX.

Brenau University's Grindle School of Nursing grounds its undergraduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences, so students will take classes across the sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities. The university encourages students to study internationally and work with students from other majors on issues related to sustainability. Nursing students also have access to a state-of-the-art simulation lab and many clinical settings for gaining hands-on experiences.

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Emory University

Cafeteria on Emory University Campus
aimintang / Getty Images

Ranked among the top 10 nursing programs in the United States, Emory University's Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing enrolls over 500 students across the baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral programs. Students can draw from an impressive 500 clinical sites in the Atlanta region and around the world. The university has a 93% pass rate on the NCLEX.

With 95 faculty members, 114 instructors, and nearly $18 million in research funding, Emory's School of Nursing is a real research powerhouse. The university is home to numerous health-related centers including the Center for Nursing Excellence in Palliative Care, the Center for Neurocogitive Studies, and the Children's Environmental Health Center.

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Georgia College and State University

Georgia College & State University
Georgia College & State University.

Ken Lund / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

With a 97% pass rate on the NCLEX, Georgia College and State University has one of the best success rates in the state. Georgia College is a public liberal arts college, and BSN students must complete a liberal arts and sciences foundation before applying to the nursing program in their sophomore year. The college offers degrees at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels.

Georgia College School of Nursing students gain hands-on experiences in practice laboratories as well as clinical settings in the region. Georgia College students also have opportunities to conduct research with faculty mentors and to study abroad in countries including Honduras, Tanzania, Sweden, and the Philippines.

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Georgia Southern University

Georgia Southern University
Georgia Southern University.

 Alex Crumpton / Wikipedia

Georgia Southern University graduates close to 300 BSN students every year through its traditional, accelerated, and online nursing programs. The university also offers several master's degree options and a Doctor of Nursing Practice program. Like many of the programs on this list, Georgia Southern requires its traditional BSN students to complete several semesters of coursework as pre-nursing majors before applying to the School of Nursing.

The Georgia Southern nursing curriculum includes significant clinical experiences and work in simulation laboratories. Nursing students also have opportunities to study abroad in Costa Rica and Italy.

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Georgia State University

Georgia State University
Georgia State University.

 Barry Winiker / Getty Images

Georgia State University awards over 150 BSN degrees every year, and graduates have a healthy 87% pass rate on the NCLEX. The School of Nursing has traditional, accelerated, and online BSN programs, as well as several options at the master's and doctoral levels. Affiliated Perimeter College offers associate degrees in nursing.

Georgia State's location in downtown Atlanta gives its nursing students ready access to over 200 sites for clinical experiences. Options range from home care to trauma units. The School of Nursing takes pride in the diversity of its students, and the university likewise emphasizes culturally competent nursing care. Georgia State is an excellent choice for students interested in serving the health care needs of culturally diverse urban populations.

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Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw State University
Kennesaw State University.

 Amy Jacobson

Kennesaw State University's WellStar School of Nursing ranks among the top programs in the state in part because of the school's impressive 96% pass rate on the NCLEX. WellStar is the largest nursing program in northern Georgia, and the school has partnerships with a wide range of sites for clinical practice. These include area clinics, schools, hospice facilities, hospitals, and medical centers.

WellStar is selective with a rigorous curriculum, and prospective BSN students apply after taking coursework in English, psychology, sociology, math, chemistry, and biology. The school awards over 150 BSN degrees annually. The master's and doctoral programs are considerably smaller.

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Mercer University

Mercer University
Mercer University. Alexdi / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

Mercer University's main campus is located in Macon, Georgia, but the university's Georgia Baptist College of Nursing sits on the Cecil B. Day Graduate and Professional Campus in Atlanta. Students in the traditional BSN program will complete their pre-nursing courses on the Macon campus before moving to the Atlanta campus their junior year. The urban location gives students access to over 200 health care agencies for gaining clinical experiences.

Over 150 students earn their BSN degrees from Mercer each year, and the school has a strong 91% pass rate on the NCLEX. At the master's level, the university offers MSN degrees with tracks for Family Nurse Practitioner and Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. At the doctoral level, students can choose from both Ph.D. and DNP programs.

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Grove, Allen. "Top Nursing Schools in Georgia." ThoughtCo, Aug. 28, 2020, Grove, Allen. (2020, August 28). Top Nursing Schools in Georgia. Retrieved from Grove, Allen. "Top Nursing Schools in Georgia." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 10, 2023).