Nurse practitioners (NPs) in Georgia can help their communities while focusing on specific areas of interest. Individuals who enjoy working with children can specialize in pediatrics, while others can help patients with mental health issues. These careers provide challenging environments that can change on a daily basis as patients experience different issues. Incentives for NP careers in GA include faster-than-average growth projections and an in-state salary average that more than doubles the average income for U.S. workers in 2018.
To work as an NP in the state, each candidate must obtain the applicable license and authorization from the Georgia Board of Nursing. Our guide examines these credentials, along with listing the top NP programs in GA and professional in-state resources.
Online Nurse Practitioner Programs Based in Georgia
Nursing candidates often begin their education with an associate or bachelor's degree in nursing. These degrees include nursing courses, electives, and general education requirements. A full-time enrollee can typically complete an associate degree in two years and a bachelor's in four years. Admissions criteria for either degree may require ACT or SAT scores and an application fee.
The best nurse practitioner programs in Georgia may offer specializations in women's health, adult-gerontology, mental health, neonatal practice, and emergency care at the master's level.
Bachelor's degree-holders can apply for admission to nursing master's programs. Unlike undergraduate programs, these advanced degrees focus solely on nursing practice and require clinical experience. The best nurse practitioner programs in Georgia may offer specializations in women's health, adult-gerontology, mental health, neonatal practice, and emergency care at the master's level. These programs may require 30-60 credits that students typically complete in 2-4 years.
Admission criteria for master's-level NP programs in Georgia generally include earning a registered nurse (RN) license, a nursing bachelor's, and prerequisite coursework in statistics. Departments may also look for a minimum GPA of 2.5-3.0 and request recommendation letters.
Admission requirements for DNP programs generally include earning a nursing master's, obtaining an RN license, and submitting a resume.
A master's qualifies candidates to work as NPs in many states. However, this educational requirement may increase to a doctorate of nursing practice (DNP) by 2025. The DNP can take 3-4 years to complete, require supervised clinical fieldwork, and incorporate similar specializations to master's programs.
Admission requirements for DNP programs generally include earning a nursing master's, obtaining an RN license, and submitting a resume. Applicants may also undergo an interview and submit essays on topics in nursing philosophies, career goals, and field experience.
These details vary by school, along with program formats. Some departments may offer all coursework online, while others insist on occasional campus visits. Students should research these details for their schools to determine specific requirements.
Complete List of Online Nurse Practitioner Programs in Georgia
Georgia Nurse Practitioner Career Information
Georgia NPs earned annual mean wages of $106,750 in 2018, which is higher than the wages in nearby Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina. The U.S. average income for NPs surpasses Georgia's, but by less than $4,000. All of these averages are higher than the Social Security Administration's reported average income for U.S. workers of $52,145 in 2018.
Projected growth for NPs in Georgia exceeds the national projection by more than 2%. Likewise, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects Georgia NP positions to increase more than opportunities in Alabama and North Carolina. These projections indicate that candidates can pursue licensure and authorization in Georgia to join a job market with ample opportunities after graduation.
According to a 2014-15 report, 33.4% of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) in the state work in adult/family health and 31.1% work in hospitals. Candidates should consider relevant specializations and internships if they want to work in these popular settings.
Nurse Practitioner Salary and Projected Job Growth in Georgia and Nearby States
Working as an NP in Georgia requires an APRN authorization. Candidates can only earn this credential after obtaining their RN licenses. RN licensure by examination calls for completing a Georgia Board of Nursing-approved program. These licenses also require criminal background checks, an application, and a $40 fee.
The board also requires scores from the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for RN licenses. To register for the NCLEX, candidates must receive approval from the board and pay a $200 fee. This exam varies in structure but includes a maximum of 265 questions.
RNs must renew their licenses every two years by the last day of January.
RNs must renew their licenses every two years by the last day of January. Renewal costs $65 and requires continuing education or competency experiences, which may include continuing education hours, courses, programs, or certifications.
After earning RN licenses, candidates can fill out a paper application for APRN authorization. This credential, however, requires a board-recognized graduate degree. An applicant who graduated more than four years ago must possess at least 500 hours of field experience. APRN authorizations also call for certification in nursing through national agencies.
Other Requirements for Georgia Nurse Practitioners
Earning national certifications for the APRN authorization may require specific degrees, fieldwork, exams, and fees. For instance, the American Nurses Credentialing Center offers the psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner credential. For this certification, candidates must complete a graduate-level program that requires at least 500 supervised field hours and coursework in physiology, pharmacology, and health assessment. This certification also calls for a 175-question exam and a $220-$395 fee.
NPs who want prescriptive authority should enter protocol agreements with physicians. These agreements allow NPs to write prescriptions without a physician's signature. However, APRNs must obtain a Drug Enforcement Administration number to work with controlled substances.
For the protocol agreements, the physician and the NP should work within similar practice areas. The agreement also outlines services the NP may perform, such as requesting radiographic imaging tests during emergencies.
Information for Out-Of-State Nurse Practitioners
Out-of-state NPs can obtain Georgia RN licenses by endorsement, provided they hold a nursing degree and complete the NCLEX. Candidates must undergo a criminal background check, provide transcripts, and pay a $75 fee. Endorsement applicants must also complete a recognized re-entry program, provide evidence that they graduated no more than four years ago, or submit proof of at least 500 hours of recent fieldwork.
Each state maintains different regulations for NPs. In over 20 states, NPs benefit from full practice rights. However, Georgia candidates have restricted practice rights, which limits services and mandates some form of supervision. NPs from other states, then, may decrease their rights by practicing in Georgia.
Georgia plans to participate in the nurse licensure compact (NLC). This arrangement allows nurses in NLC states to practice in other member locations. This change in format will simplify the process of practicing in Georgia with out-of-state credentials.
Georgia Nurses Association GNA guides Georgia residents on preparing for nursing careers and earning continuing education credits for license renewal. Members can participate in events and browse open nursing positions in the state through the site.
Georgia Board of Nursing This board regulates nursing licensure in the state. Candidates can review the licensure process and exam information through the site and also apply for and renew nursing credentials online.
Georgia Nursing Leadership Coalition GNLC events include the Doctoral Symposium and other training opportunities. Its website connects viewers to resources like research briefs and nursing education facts to offer news on recipients for field scholarships and doctoral awards.