Nursing Schools in Atlanta with Degree Overviews

Feb 10, 2019

The Atlanta, Georgia, area has at least six schools that offer nursing programs. Learn about the degree programs, admission info and program requirements for three of these schools, all within 10 miles of downtown, and make an informed education decision.

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Atlanta Nursing Schools

The Atlanta area has many different schools offering programs for people interested in studying nursing. This article explores three of those schools, none more than 20 minutes from the city center, and the nursing programs they offer at several levels. Prospective students can learn important facts about these schools, such as tuition, size and the graduation rate. At the end of the article is a listing of a few more Atlanta-area schools that offer nursing programs.

  • Georgia State University is located in the heart of downtown. It offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs in nursing.
  • About five miles from downtown Atlanta, Emory University offers two bachelor's degree programs in nursing, one designed for students who already have a degree in another field. Emory also offers master's and doctoral programs in nursing.
  • Atlanta Technical College has an associate's degree program for those who wish to become registered nurses (RNs). This school is almost three miles from downtown Atlanta.

Comparison of Schools

Individuals who are deciding on a nursing school must look at many factors. This table showcases pertinent statistics about these three schools in a way that makes comparison easy.

Georgia State University Emory University Atlanta Technical College
School Type 4-year, public 4-year, private not-for-profit 2-year, public
Total Enrollment (2017) 32,816* 14,263* 4,098*
Campus Setting Large city Large suburb Large city
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $9,112 for GA residents, $23,971 for out-of-state students* $49,392* $2,816 for GA residents, $4,952 for out-of-state students*
% of Full-Time, First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017) 94%* 58%* 94%*
Undergraduate Acceptance Rate (2017) 70%* 22%* Open admissions*
Retention Rate (2016-2017; undergraduate full-time students) 83%* 93%* 58%*
Undergraduate Graduation Rate 53% for full-time students beginning in Fall 2011* 91% for full-time students beginning in Fall 2011* 44% for full-time students beginning in Fall 2014*

Sources: *NCES College Navigator

Georgia State University

Georgia State University (GSU) offers more than 250 degree programs. Programs are offered through eight schools and colleges, including the Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions, which awards several nursing degrees. The school was founded in 1968 and became a college in 2011.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Students interested in becoming RNs can enroll in the BSN program., which combines classroom instruction with clinical experience opportunities that allow students to train in professional medical settings. Courses include microbiology, anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, trends in health care and nursing leadership. Upon completion of the BSN program, graduates can take the NCLEX-RN, which must be passed to become a licensed RN.

Master of Science in Nursing

The master's degree program in nursing allows students to focus on one of five concentrations, including mental health nursing, nursing leadership and family nursing. The program is intended for professionals seeking advanced positions in nursing and health care, such as nurse practitioners or clinical nurse specialists. Students can take courses in multicultural health care systems, financial management, health care research methods and operations management. The MSN program is available to RNs with a BSN, or RNs who hold an associate's degree but also demonstrate significant nursing experience. RNs with a bachelor's degree in another field may have to complete prerequisite coursework prior to admission. RNs who hold an associate's degree or diploma and a significant amount of experience may be eligible for the RN-to-MS bridge program.

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing

The nursing Ph.D. program emphasizes research and academic studies rather than clinical experience. Students in the Ph.D. program take advanced research and theory courses in areas like nursing foundations, health assessment and epidemiology. Some Ph.D. nursing courses are offered online. Applicants are expected to be licensed RNs and have master's degrees in nursing.

Emory University

Emory University's Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate-level nursing programs. It was ranked 3rd on U.S. News and World Report's 2019 list of best nursing schools for a master's degree and 5th for Doctor of Nursing Practice. Nursing students have access to the Evans Center, a nursing simulation lab that provides experience in patient care and safety.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

The BSN program provides students with a foundational knowledge of health care, nursing practices and patient assessment. The program combines general education courses in the first two years and specialized nursing courses in the last two. Coursework focuses on health promotion, pharmacology, population health and nursing in complex care situations. Prerequisite classes include physical and social sciences, math and humanities.

Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Students who hold a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field can enroll in the second degree BSN program. This 15-month, full-time program provides students with nursing coursework that allows for a smooth professional transfer into the health profession. With this degree, students can sit for the NCLEX-RN. Admission prerequisites include seven courses in chemistry, anatomy, physiology, microbiology, statistics and human development.

Master of Science in Nursing

The master's degree program prepares nurses for advanced positions in hospitals, clinics and other medical settings. Students in the MSN program can choose from nine areas of study, including acute care, emergency nursing, gerontology, women's health and midwifery. The program can be completed in four full-time semesters. Students learn nursing concepts through advanced courses and clinical practice opportunities. Students interested in public health can enroll in a dual-degree program that is offered in conjunction with the Rollins School of Public Health. Graduates are prepared to sit for professional certification exams in their areas of specialty. Prerequisites include a BSN and related coursework. Part-time enrollment is an option.

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing

The nursing Ph.D. program focuses on policies, research and contemporary trends in health care. Students learn research methods through work with three affiliated centers, including the Lillian Carter Center for Global Health & Social Responsibility, the Center for the Study of Symptom Science, Metabolomics and Multiple Chronic Conditions and the Center for Neurocognitive Studies. Students with bachelor's degrees can complete the Ph.D. program in five years. Applicants must be eligible to earn RN licensure. Full-time doctoral students may earn a tuition waiver; those who work as teaching or research assistants may also earn a stipend.

Atlanta Technical College

Founded in 1945 as an adult vocational school after World War II, the school was reorganized as Atlanta Area Technical School in 1967. Today, Atlanta Technical College provides certificate, diploma and associate's degree programs to a diverse student body. Prospective nursing students can choose between related health certificate programs or a nursing degree.

Associate of Science in Nursing

This competitive degree program prepares students for the NCLEX-RN exam. Entrance requirements include an admissions test, math and biology classes and a background check. Students take occupational courses covering topics such as pharmacology, medical-surgical nursing, childbearing, childrearing and psycho-social mental health. Additionally, core curriculum courses are required, including English, public speaking, math and humanities classes.

Other School Options

There are more than ten additional schools offering nursing programs within 50 miles of Atlanta. A sampling of these schools include Georgia Piedmont Technical College, a 2-year public school located in Clarkston, roughly 10 miles from Atlanta. It offers certified nurse aide and practical nursing diploma programs. Clayton State University and Kennesaw State University are two additional nearby public schools that also offer nursing programs, located about 12 miles and 22 miles from Atlanta, respectively.

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