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Graduate Nursing Programs in Georgia

Graduate degrees in nursing prepare candidates for administration, teaching, and advanced patient care roles. Georgia has several graduate schools that appeal to nurses seeking master's and doctoral degrees.

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Nurses who desire positions as administrators, college instructors, nurse practitioners, and other kinds of advanced practice specialists usually seek master's or doctoral degrees. Admission criteria depend on the structure of the graduate degree program, but applicants need to have completed an educational program leading to licensure as a registered nurse.

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Graduate Nursing Programs in Georgia

Graduate nursing program admission requirements include an application, official transcripts, and letters of recommendation. GRE/MAT scores may not be required of all schools. However, an applicant must hold an unrestricted registered nurse license and have work experience.

In addition to traditional master's programs that require a bachelor's degree for admission, there are RN-to-master's programs where a registered nurse with a two-year degree or diploma can earn a master's degree. There are also bachelor's-to-doctorate programs. Master's programs prepare nurses for advanced practice and leadership roles, while doctoral programs focus heavily on teaching and research. Both master's and doctoral programs can prepare graduates to become certified as Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs). Graduate certificate programs are also options for nurses desiring certification in additional advanced practice areas. Below is information about a few school options for nurses seeking a graduate-level education in the state of Georgia.

Emory University

Emory University, a private institution located in Atlanta, offers a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program with nine tracks. Students can choose from one of the following APRN tracks: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Emergency Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Midwifery, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Acute Care, Pediatric Primary Care, and Women's Health. The school also offers two doctorate degrees: a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and a PhD in Nursing. These programs can be entered by students who hold either a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or an MSN.

The post-BSN DNP program requires 73-88 credit hours, depending upon the specialty area. The post-BSN PhD program requires completion of 120 credit hours with a specialty area and 106 credit hours without a specialty area. The post-MSN PhD program requires 79 credit hours. Students in the post-MSN DNP in health systems leadership program must complete 38 credit hours. The post-MSN DNP population health track requires 40 credit hours, and the post-MSN DNP in nurse anesthesia requires 88 credit hours.

Georgia Southern University

Located in Statesboro, Georgia Southern University offers a Master of Science in Nursing Education (36 credit hours), and a Master of Science in Nursing - Chronic Care Management (27 credit hours). Both programs are offered 100% online. For those interested in advanced practice, the school also offers a post-MSN Doctor of Nursing Practice that requires 34 credit hours for completion.

Nurses holding BSN degrees can enroll in the post-BSN Doctor of Nursing Practice program, which requires 77 credit hours. While enrolled in the post-BSN DNP program, a student may opt out of the doctoral program once he or she has completed requirements for the MSN degree. The opt-out tracks offered in the program are Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner, Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, and Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.

The school also offers post-master's certificates in the following areas: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Each certificate requires 19 credit hours for completion.

Georgia State University

Georgia State University in Atlanta is a public institution that offers both master's and doctoral degrees in nursing. Master of Science in Nursing students can choose one of the following specialties: Adult Health-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Adult Health-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Nursing Leadership in Healthcare Innovations, Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, and Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. MSN programs require 48 credit hours for clinical concentrations and 36 credit hours for the Leadership in Health Innovations specialty. An RN-to-MSN bridge option is available; registered nurses with associate degrees must have completed the required undergraduate non-nursing courses and take eight hours of bridge courses prior to admission to the master's program.

The PhD in Nursing is research-focused and requires 60 credit hours for completion. Students must pass a comprehensive examination and write and defend a dissertation to meet graduation requirements. The Doctor of Nursing Practice prepares students for advanced practice, includes capstone projects, and requires 39 credit hours for completion. The school also offers post-master's certificate programs in the same concentration areas as the MSN.

Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw State is a public university in Kennesaw, Georgia. It offers Master of Science in Nursing programs in the following focus areas: nursing education, with an emphasis on leadership in a digital world; nursing administration and transformational leadership; and nurse practitioner, which prepares students to become certified as primary care family nurse practitioners. The nursing administration master's program is offered online, and the nursing education master's degree is hybrid, requiring both online and on-site courses. Courses for the nurse practitioner master's degree are offered on alternate weekends. The nurse practitioner master's degree requires 40 credit hours for completion.

University of West Georgia

The University of West Georgia a public university in Carrollton, Georgia. The school offers a Master of Science in Nursing with two plans of study: education and health systems leadership. Completing the MSN education plan of study requires 35 credit hours. Under the health systems leadership plan of study, students may choose the clinical nurse leader (38 credits) or leader/manager (35 credits) concentration. The following post-MSN certificates are also offered: Health Systems Leadership-Clinical Nurse Leader (10 credit hours), Health Systems Leadership - Leader/Manager (13 credit hours), and Nursing Education (10 credit hours). A Doctor of Education in Nursing Education (EdD) is also offered and requires 60 hours or coursework, a comprehensive exam, and a dissertation.

Registered nurses have several flexible options for graduate study in Georgia, including online and campus-based programs. Graduate certificates allow nurses seeking advanced skills to earn a credential by taking a few courses in a specialty area, while nurses seeking higher-level administrative or teaching jobs can pursue a master's degree or a doctorate.

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