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The job outlook for nurses in Georgia

Georgia, like most other states, is experiencing a nursing shortage, especially of nurses with Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees, and the shortage is only going to get worse. The flip side of this is that there is an abundance of nursing jobs in Georgia.

Between now and 2022, the number of job openings for nurses nationally will increase from 2.7 million to 3.2 million - a nearly 20 percent increase. Moreover, by 2020, according to the Center for Health Workforce Planning & Analysis, if the status quo is maintained, there will be 50,000 fewer nurses than there are jobs in Georgia.

The continuing need for nurses

Experts are saying that there is and will continue to be a great demand for nurses in Georgia and across the United States because:

  • The 72-million-strong boomer generation is aging and will need many more nurses to care for their chronic illnesses.
  • The average age of working RNs is rising and many nurses currently employed will be retiring in the next decade. In 1980, 54 percent of nurses were under age 40; by 2008, that number was less than 30 percent. In Georgia, 60 percent of the RN workforce is aged 50 or older.
  •  The Affordable Care Act makes health insurance and healthcare more accessible for millions who could not have otherwise afforded it. This will put a strain on all types of providers, especially nurses.

Hospitals want nurses with BSNs

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the number of nurses with BSNs must increase because evidence has demonstrated that they provide a higher quality of patient care, and that readmission and mortality rates are lower when hospitals have a high percentage of BSN nurses.

Nearly 44 percent of all hospitals and long-term care settings in the country require their nurses have a minimum of a BSN, and nearly 8 in 10 hospitals express a strong preference for nurses with BSNs. This is because of the increasing complexity of patient care, and because many hospitals seek Magnet® status. In order to earn Magnet® status, a high percentage of hospital staff must hold BSN degrees or higher.

Post-graduation prospects:

According to an American Nurses Association report, 68 percent of BSN graduates nationally have job offers at graduation, and nationally, 9 in 10 new BSN graduates are employed six months after graduation.

The national average annual wage for nurses is $65,500; the average for RNs in Georgia is about $61,600 a year.

Because there are a greater number of Georgia nursing jobs than nurses, and because the demand will be high for some time to come, now is an ideal time to earn a degree through an online RN to BSN program. BSN-prepared nurses come away with expanded job possibilities, increased job security and the ability to improve patient care.

Learn more about Columbus State University’s online RN to BSN program.


Morris, Linda. "Nursing shortages continue as need grows in middle Georgia." Retrieved from

Future of Nursing; Campaign for Action. "Campaign history." Retrieved from

The Institute of Medicine. "The future of Nursing: focus on education." Retrieved from

American Nurses Association. "Fast facts: the nursing workforce 2014: growth, salaries, education, demographics & trends." Retrieved from

American Association of Colleges of Nursing. "Creating a More Qualified Nursing Workforce." Retrieved from

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