Georgia offers a wide variety of on-campus programs for prospective nursing students, and you don’t need to live in Atlanta to gain your nursing degree. For instance, you can achieve a BSN or MSN at Valdosta State University, where graduates assume leadership in nursing and health care from clinical decision making at the patient’s bedside to the corporate board rooms of major health care organizations. If you’d prefer to study in the northern part of the state, you can achieve a BSN or MSN at Kennesaw State University’s WellStar School of Nursing. If you’d prefer to be in Atlanta, you can achieve up to a PhD at Mercer University’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing or strive for your doctoral degree at Georgia State University’s Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing. This state offers degree opportunities in just about every town and city on the map, and employment opportunities are just as broad.
Statewide, the average salaries for LPN, RN and specialty nurses range between $15,000 and $87,000 annually, depending upon degree earned, years in the field, expertise and size of the health facility. Georgia has its share of some of the most prestigious hospitals and health care systems in the U.S. Some of the largest health care facilities are located in Atlanta. These include Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, which has been recognized as a premier employer by Fortune magazine, Working Mother magazine and the Atlanta Business Chronicle, while ranking among the nation’s best pediatric hospitals by Child magazine and U.S.News & World Report. St. Joseph’s Hospital is rated as one of the nation’s “100 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals,” and St. Mary’s Health Care System offers employment in a wide range of health care specialties and support services. Graduates also can seek gainful employment outside Atlanta. Dekalb Medical Center in Decatur is one of the state’s largest employers, and Medlink Georgia, Inc., a non-profit organization, shares that status. MedLink is a fully staffed year-round primary care organization that consists of an administrative office and clinic sites throughout northeast Georgia.