Nursing Schools in Atlanta with Degree Overviews

The Atlanta, Georgia, area has at least 6 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 less than a mile from the heart of downtown. It offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs in nursing.
  • About eight 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 four miles from downtown Atlanta.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Clinical Nursing
  • Critical Care Nursing
  • Direct-Entry Midwifery - LM, CPM
  • Licensed Vocational Nurse Training
  • Mental Health Nursing
  • Neonatal Nursing
  • Nurse Anesthetist
  • Nurse Assistant or Patient Care Assistant
  • Nurse Midwife
  • Nurse Practitioner or Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Nursing Administration
  • Nursing for Adults and Seniors
  • Nursing Science
  • Occupational Health Nursing
  • Operating Room and Surgical Nursing
  • Pediatric Nursing
  • Public Health Nurse or Community Nurse
  • Registered Nurse

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 (2014) 32,556* 14,769* 4,282*
Campus Setting Large city Large suburb Large city
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016) $8,974 for GA residents, $23,542 for out-of-state students* $46,314* $2,746 for GA residents, $4,882 for out-of-state students*
% of Full-Time, First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2013-2014) 92%* 59%* 93%*
Undergraduate Acceptance Rate (2014) 59%* 27%* Open admissions*
Retention Rate (2013-2014; undergraduate full-time students) 81%* 95%* 56%*
Undergraduate Graduation Rate 53% for full-time students beginning in 2008* 89% for full-time students beginning in 2008* 28% for full-time students beginning in 2011*

Sources: *NCES College Navigator

Georgia State University

Georgia State University (GSU) offers nearly 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. GSU offers both a traditional and an accelerated track, the latter of which is meant for students who already hold an undergraduate degree in a field other than nursing. Both programs combine 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 six 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 who 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 health promotion, health care systems 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 21st on U.S. News and World Report's 2012 list of best nursing schools. 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 medical terminology, life sciences, health care communication and organizational behavior in health care. Prerequisite classes include physical and social sciences, math and humanities.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing for Second Degree Students

Students who hold a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field can enroll in the second degree BSN program. This 2-year, 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. Emory also offers an accelerated BSN/MSN program for second degree students who wish to pursue both degrees consecutively. Admission prerequisites include seven courses in chemistry, anatomy, physiology, microbiology, math 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 13 areas of study, including acute care, emergency nursing, gerontology, public health, women's health and midwifery. The program can be completed in 3-5 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. The school also offers an RN to MSN bridge program for experienced nurses without a bachelor's degree.

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 International Nursing, the Center for the Study of Symptoms, Symptom Interactions and Health Outcomes and the Center for Research on Maternal and Newborn Survival. Students with bachelor's degrees can complete the Ph.D. program in five years, while those with master's degrees can complete the program in four years. Students may also prepare for nurse practitioner or nurse midwifery certification exams through courses taken concurrently with the Ph.D. curriculum. 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, speech, math and biology 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. Georgia Military College - Atlanta Campus and Kennesaw State University are two additional nearby public schools that also offer nursing programs, located about 18 miles and 20 miles from Atlanta, respectively.

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