With your BSN, you've probably started and enjoyed a rewarding nursing career that has allowed you to touch thousands of lives. Whether you have one year or ten years of nursing experience, though, it may be time to take your career to the next level. Earning a Master’s degree in Nursing in Georgia can give you the opportunity to become an advanced care provider, contribute to nursing research, teach nursing students, or become a leader in the health care field. If you're considering an advanced nursing degree, your first step should be to contact the schools you’re interested in to learn more about program specifics.
The Georgia Department of Labor notes that there are many advanced nursing careers that are expected to stay hot through 2020. Those who provide primary care to people of all ages, educate nursing students, and lead health care organizations have in-demand skills.
In particular, nurse practitioners are in high demand in Georgia and across the country. According to Georgia Health News, the doctor shortage in Georgia is prominent in the state's rural areas. Nurse practitioners provide many of the exact same services as medical doctors, and often with better patient satisfaction. If you're willing to work in a rural part of the state, you may have an excellent job outlook as a nurse practitioner in Georgia.
There are also many professional resources for graduate nursing students and advanced practice nurses in Georgia. The Georgia Association for Nursing Education provides many opportunities for nurse educators and supports them in their efforts to improve nursing education. The United Advanced Practice Registered Nurses of Georgia brings together advanced practitioners and helps them extend health services to the people of Georgia. Nurse anesthesia is a highly specialized field, and you can connect with other aspiring nurse anesthetists and those who are successful in the field by joining the Georgia Association of Nurse Anesthetists.
It's important to make sure that you're a good fit for an MSN program before you start imagining your future as a nurse practitioner or instructor. First, you must have a Bachelor's degree in nursing. This four-year degree offers the nursing background and critical thinking skills you need to do well with graduate-level coursework. In addition, many Master’s in Nursing programs require at least one year of full-time nursing experience.
Before you get started in your specialty courses, you'll need to take the core courses that build the foundation of your advanced nursing skills. In Georgia, these courses may include Nursing Theory and Knowledge Development, Advanced Health Assessment, Health Care Policy, and Research Methods for Advanced Nursing Practice.
Other courses will be related specifically to your choice of concentration. For example, nursing education students may take Educational Theory and Curriculum Design, Instructional and Evaluation Strategies, and Teaching Practicum. Aspiring nurse practitioners may take Diagnostic Ordering, Health Problems in Primary Care Health Settings, and Primary Care Practicum. Leadership programs may combine both nursing and business courses.
You can apply for a number of federal and statewide financial aid opportunities as a Georgia nursing student. The Georgia Nurses Association and Foundation awards two scholarships every year, starting at $500 and increasing in line with donations. The NURSE Corps Scholarship Program awards funds to students that agree to work in a shortage facility after graduation. West Georgia Health awards the George E. Sims Nursing Scholarship.
After graduating with your MSN, your nursing career starts with licensure from the Georgia Board of Nursing. For some careers, you must simply maintain valid RN licensure to work in your field. In other fields, particularly clinical ones, you must pursue advanced practice registered nursing licensure.
Georgia has an encouraging job outlook for nursing professionals. The lowest job growth rate in this field belongs to nurse anesthetists, for whom O*Net anticipates a 28 percent increase in job openings between 2012 and 2022. For other nursing jobs, job growth rates are in excess of 50 percent (O*Net, 2012). O*Net expects a 56 percent increase in job openings for nursing instructors between 2012 and 2022.
There are many promising nursing salary ranges that may open up to you after earning your Master’s in Nursing degree in Geordia. O*Net reports an average annual salary of $60,200 per year for nursing instructors. The highest-earning nursing professionals are nurse anesthetists, who claim a median salary of $135,400 per year in the state (O*Net, 2013).
The most important thing you can do today to get started is to request graduate nursing program information from the schools you find on our site.