Georgia RN Requirements and Training Programs

Registered nurses (RNs) are vital members of the healthcare team. They coordinate patient care, educate individuals, families, and communities about disease prevention, and provide emotional support to patients and their families. RNs generate and maintain patients’ records, administer medication and monitor patient reactions, record and report changes in patients’ condition, and consult with other healthcare professionals to assess, plan, implement, and evaluate patient care plans. These and other responsibilities require RNs to have a wealth of specialized knowledge to promote wellness and prevent diseases. The Georgia Board of Nursing’s requirements for education and licensure not only serves to protect public health but also ensure the safety and well-being of nursing professionals who are on the frontlines of healthcare. Nursing education programs help individuals develop the skills, knowledge, and awareness to be safety minded in an environment permeated with infectious diseases, hazardous chemical, and other threats.

Education Requirements

Registered nursing programs prepare students for the success on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). The minimum educational requirements for receiving the Board’s authorization to take the exam is an Associate Degree in Nursing. Upon successful completion of the NCLEX-RN and licensure by the BON, the candidate may be employed as a registered nurse.

In spite of the increasing calls for BSN degrees, the Associate’s Degree in Nursing is still the most common nursing education program earned by 41% of all registered nurses. The program is an essential entry point for many nurses who aren’t in a position to afford the time or money for BSN programs. However, as healthcare organizations step up their offerings, more than 35% of nurses with associate’s degrees s pursue higher education to keep up with the rising standards.

Eligibility Requirements

Each school determines its eligibility requirements for enrolling students in the nursing education program. Following are some general criteria:

  • A high school diploma or GED for applicants 18 years or older
  • Verification of Georgia residency
  • A completed application to the college and a separate one to the department of nursing
  • Minimum level one fingerprint clearance card
  • Drug screen
  • COMPASS, ASSET, SAT or ACT test scores
  • Prerequisite courses – Biology, mathematics, English, and Health Sciences
  • Passing score on the school’s admissions exam
  • CPR and health insurance.

Duration and Cost

ADN programs are approximately two years – for the nursing courses only. Completing the general education requirements will extend the course by an additional year. Most programs have a competitive selection process, so applicants should complete the support courses before enrolling in the program. The estimated cost of completing a two-year program, covering nursing courses only, is $5,000 including textbooks, uniform, school fees, liability insurance, and NCLEX-RN.

Licensure Requirements

The Georgia Board of Nursing issues registered nursing licenses by examination, endorsement, and reinstatement. You must take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) if you never took or passed the exam or received a license to practice as a registered nurse. Submit a request for licensure for endorsement if you completed an accredited registered nursing program and have proof of licensure in another state or territory.

The Board of Nursing does not issue temporary licenses to nurse graduates. No graduate should engage in nursing related activities (includes orientation) that require RN licensure.

Licensure by Examination

The Georgia Board of nursing accepts licensure requests online or paper applications submitted with the accompanying documents to the address provided below.

Submit the following for the Board to process your request:

  • A completed application. Submit accurate contact information, including a valid email address as this is the Board’s primary means of communication.
  • The non-refundable application fee of $40 (money order, certified check, and cashier’s check).
  • A completed criminal background check. All applicants must register with Cogent Systems and follow the directions to schedule an appointment for fingerprinting via Livescan. Register with Cogent Systems before submitting your application for licensure.
  • Letters of explanation and certified court documents to explain criminal convictions or disciplinary actions.
  • Official college transcripts submitted in a sealed envelope.* The transcript should indicate the graduation date and the degree conferred.
  • A request for disability accommodations if you require special accommodation for the NCLEX-RN due to a disability. The request can extend the time to process the application as the Board obtains the necessary approvals.

*Graduates of nursing schools approved by the Georgia Board of Nursing do not need to submit transcripts as part of the application program. The school will submit the information to the Board electronically.

Graduates of Non-Traditional Nursing Education Programs

Graduates of nontraditional nursing education programs will be required to complete a preceptorship approved by the Board. The preceptorship depends on the previous education and experience of an LPN, Paramedic, Military Medical Corpsman, or other medical professional.

For specific preceptorship requirements for eligibility, please review the guidelines.

Graduates of Foreign Nursing Education Programs

Submit the following information in addition to those provided above:

  • Documentation of CGFNS certification sent directly to the Board of Nursing.
  • A CGFNS Credentials Evaluation Service (CES) Nursing and Science Course-by-Course report sent directly to the Board’s office.
  • A minimum score of 540 (paper), 270 (computer) or 76 (Internet) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

NCLEX-RN Registration: All applicants for licensure by examination must register with Pearson Vue, preferably before submitting the licensure application. The registration fee is $200. Register using the same name on both applications. Enter your school code. Do not leave the information blank or enter the wrong code as it will lead to delays in processing your application.

You will receive a score report, by mail, only if you fail the exam. It is vital that you notify the Board immediately if your address changes. No examination results will be issued over the telephone. Repeat candidates are eligible for a retest after 45 days.

Candidates have three years from the date of graduation to pass the NCLEX-RN.

Licensure by Endorsement

To apply for licensure by endorsement, you must be licensed as a registered nurse in another state or territory and have evidence of completing a recognized nursing education program before passing an approved licensure exam.

Applicants for licensure by endorsement must submit a paper application; online requests are not available.

Submit the following to the Board’s office:

  • A completed, signed, and notarized application. Submit accurate contact information, including a valid email address as this is the Board’s primary means of communication.
  • The non-refundable application fee of $60 payable to the Professional Licensing Board (money order, certified check, and cashier’s check).
  • A completed criminal background check. All applicants must register with Cogent Systems and follow the directions to schedule an appointment for fingerprinting via Livescan. Register with Cogent Systems before submitting your application for licensure.
  • Letters of explanation and certified court documents to explain criminal convictions or disciplinary actions.
  • Official college transcripts submitted in a sealed envelope. The transcript should indicate the graduation date and the degree conferred. The nursing education program must meet the Board’s requirements.
  • Verification of original licensure by examination in another state and verification of current licensure in another state. The latter requirement is not applicable if your original licensure is current. If the state utilizes Nursys.com for verification, you should request that the verification be made available to the Georgia Board of Nursing. If the state does not participate, you should request verification using the paper form and submit the sealed envelope with your application packet.
  • Secure and verifiable documentation of your US citizenship.
  • One of the following (in accordance with Board rules):
    1. Evidence of graduating from an approved nursing school within 4 years preceding the application date, or
    2. Verification of employment documenting five hundred (500) hours of practice as a registered nurse within the four years preceding the application date, or
    3. Completion of a Georgia Board of Nursing approved reentry program.

Licensure by Reinstatement

If you previously held a nursing license issued by the Georgia Board of Nursing, you should apply for reinstatement of your license.

Submit a completed paper application along with the following to the Board’s office:

  • The non-refundable application fee of $90.00 payable to the Professional Licensing Board. The Board accepts money order, cashier’s check, or certified check.
  • A completed criminal background check. All applicants must register with Cogent Systems and follow the directions to schedule an appointment for fingerprinting via Livescan. Register with Cogent Systems before submitting your application for licensure.
  • Letters of explanation and certified court documents to explain criminal convictions or disciplinary actions.
  • Documentation of your US citizenship status. You must submit a copy of your driver’s license, passport, or other appropriate identification.
  • One of the following (in accordance with Board rules):
    1. Evidence of graduating from an approved nursing school within 4 years preceding the application date, or
    2. Verification of employment documenting five hundred (500) hours of practice as a registered nurse within the four years preceding the application date, or
    3. Completion of a Georgia Board of Nursing approved reentry program.

Renewal Requirements

RN licenses expire on January 31 of even-numbered years. The Board will not mail renewal notices. It is your responsibility to check your expiration date and renew online before the license expires.

The onscreen instructions will guide you through the online process. Submit verification of US citizenship and the non-refundable renewal fee of $65 during the renewal process.

Paper applications are available upon request to the Board’s office. All RNs completing the paper renewal must complete the demographic information, answer the renewal questions, and submit a copy of their driver’s license, and the non-renewable fee using a check or money order.

Licenses not renewed by January 31 will be administratively revoked and the licensee will need to submit an application for reinstatement to continue practicing.

Continuing Education Requirements for Georgia RNs

Effective, January 31, 2016, registered nurses will need to submit documentation of continuing competency to renew their licenses. Georgia law permits completion of the continuing competency requirements in one of five ways:

  1. Completion of 30 continuing education or recertification by a national certifying body
  2. Maintenance of certification or recertification by a national certifying body
  3. Completion of an accredited program of study in nursing
  4. Verification of competency by a health care facility or physician’s office and at least 500 hours of practice as a registered nurse
  5. Completion of a reentry program approved by the Board of Nursing.

Licensees, who submit a renewal application, may be selected for a random audit. If you fail to complete the audit requirements, the license will not the renewed. Do not submit documentation to the Board unless request. However, you should keep the documents on hand to present if you receive notice from the Board.

Review the list of accepted continuing education providers before commencing your continuing competency education.

Georgia Salary and Job Outlook

Employment opportunities for registered nurses are expected to grow by 19 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. The increased emphasis on preventative care, rise in chronic diseases, and demands that the baby boomer population place on the healthcare system are some factors that contribute to the growing demands for nurses.

As hospitals discharge patients, referring them to long-term care facilities and outpatient care centers to increase profitability, there will be more jobs for nurses in those organizations. Newly licensed registered nurses with associate’s degrees are more likely to find employment in long-term care if they lack experience. Hospitals are more likely to hire nurses with BSN degrees.

According to the BLS, the median annual salary for a registered nurse in Georgia was $62,350 in May 2014. There were 68,010 RNs employed at that time. The specific location determines the salary in Georgia, as with everywhere else. Earning an annual salary of $69,466, RNs in Atlanta, Roswell, and Marietta were among the highest paid.

Contact the Board of Nursing
Georgia Board of Nursing
Location: 237 Coliseum Drive
Macon, GA 31217

Mailing Address: 237 Coliseum Drive
Macon, GA 31217
Phone: (478) 207-2440
Fax: (877) 371-5712

Georgia Registered Nursing Programs and NCLEX-RN Pass Rates:

Albany, GA RN Programs:
Albany Technical College
1704 South Slappey Boulevard, Albany, GA 31701
229-430-3500
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 100.00%

Darton State College
2400 Gillionville Road, Albany, GA 31707
229-317-6000
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 82.42%

Alpharetta, GA RN Programs:
Georgia Perimeter College
3705 Brookside Parkway, Alpharetta, GA 30022
678-240-6000
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 94.03%

Athens, GA RN Programs:
Athens Technical College
800 US Highway 29 North, Athens, GA 30601
706-355-5000
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 94.72%

Atlanta, GA RN Programs:
Atlanta Technical College
1560 Metropolitan Parkway Southwest, Atlanta, GA 30310
404-225-4400
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 60.00%

Bauder College
384 Northyards Boulevard, Northwest Suites 190 & 400, Atlanta, GA 30313
800-935-1857
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 54.83%

Augusta, GA RN Programs:
Augusta Technical College
3200 Augusta Tech Drive, Augusta, GA 30906
706-771-4000
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 83.82%

Bainbridge, GA RN Programs:
Bainbridge College
P.O. Box 990 2500 East Shotwell Street, Bainbridge, GA 39818
866-825-1715
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 90.60%

Barnesville, GA RN Programs:
Gordon State College
419 College Drive, Barnesville, GA 30204
678-359-5555
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 94.96%

Brunswick, GA RN Programs:
College of Coastal Georgia
One College Drive, Brunswick, GA 31520
912-279-5700
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 86.69%

Columbus, GA RN Programs:
Columbus Technical College
928 Manchester Expressway, Columbus, GA 31904
706-649-1800
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 94.53%

Dahlonega, GA RN Programs:
University of North Georgia
110 South Chestatee Street, Dahlonega, GA 30597
706-864-1800
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate:89.69%

Dalton, GA RN Programs:
Dalton State College
650 College Drive, Dalton, GA 30720
706-272-4436
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 80.00%

Griffin, GA RN Programs:
Southern Crescent Technical College
501 Varsity Road. Griffin, GA 30223
770-228-7348
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: N/A

Lawrenceville, GA RN Programs:
Gwinnett Technical College
5150 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville, GA 30043
770-962-7580
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 92.34%

Macon, GA RN Programs:
Central Georgia Technical College
3300 Macon Tech Dr, Macon, GA 31206
478-757-3400
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: N/A

Middle Georgia State College
100 College Station Drive, Macon, GA 31206
478-471-2700
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 91.14%

Marietta, GA RN Programs:
Chattahoochee Technical College
980 South Cobb Drive, Marietta, GA 30060
770-528-4545
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 96.00%

Rome, GA RN Programs:
Georgia Highlands College
3175 Cedartown Highway, Rome, GA 30161
706-802-5000
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 82.42%

Georgia Northwestern Technical College
1 Maurice Culberson Dr SW, Rome, GA 30161
706-295-6963
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate:81.61%

Thomasville, GA RN Programs:
Southwest Georgia Technical College
15689 U.S. Highway 19 North, Thomasville, GA, 31792
229-225-4096
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 87.86%

Tifton, GA RN Programs:
Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College
2802 Moore Highway, Tifton, GA 31793
800-733-3653
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 90.12%

Valdosta, GA RN Programs:
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College
4089 Val Tech Road, Valdosta, GA, 31602
229-333-2100
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: N/A

Vidalia, GA RN Programs:
Southeastern Technical College
3001 East First Street, Vidalia, GA 30474
912-538-3100
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: N/A

Waco, GA RN Programs:
West Georgia Technical College
176 Murphy Campus Drive, Waco, GA, 30182
770-537-6000
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 93.53%

Waycross, GA RN Programs:
South Georgia State College
2001 South GA Parkway, Waycross, GA 31503
912-449-7600
NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 82.93%

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