A website that offers information about nursing degree programs has determined Georgia Highlands College’s online RN-BSN program is among the best in the state.
TopRNtoBSN.com has ranked GHC’s program No. 2 in Georgia, just behind South Georgia State College, for registered nurses who want to turn their associate degrees into bachelor’s degrees.
The site touted the program’s affordability, quality and convenience as reasons for ranking it near the top.
“Georgia Highlands College’s RN to BSN degree program is done completely online, allowing you the flexibility of scheduling coursework at convenient times so you can continue to work,” it said. “With part-time and full-time BSN options, students can complete the requirements in as little as three semesters when attending classes full time.”
The site also noted the college is part of the state’s RN-BSN articulation plan, which allows nursing students who already have an Associate of Science in nursing from an accredited program in Georgia and a valid RN license to earn transfer credits from their ASN degree programs.
“I am very excited that the GHC RN-BSN program has been named as one of the state’s best online nursing programs,” Dean of Health Sciences Michelle Boyce said. “This recognition is well-deserved. The nursing faculty members work hard to ensure that we are graduating high-quality, career-ready nurses.”
Boyce said GHC’s program, which has 51 students enrolled, is “geared toward working nurses who may only have an associate degree.”
“We offer a unique opportunity for students through our RN-BSN online program,” she said. “Once students are accepted into our program, they only have 30 hours of credit to take. This can be completed in as little as three semesters.”
And students aren’t just left on their own to finish their coursework.
“Even though the program is completely online, faculty are available to work with and help students one-on-one,” Boyce said. “I am proud of the collaborative environment and spirit that the faculty have created.”
The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies has set a goal for at least 80 percent of all nurses to have a bachelor’s degree or higher, RNs who have only a two-year degree will “risk losing their competitiveness on the job market,” the website said.
“They won’t lose their license, but it will be much harder to get a job in a hospital or other facility when every new nurse enters the field with a bachelor’s degree,” it said.
Budget-conscious nurses who complete their bachelor’s degree through a fully online or hybrid program can save money on tuition, according to the site, which gave GHC a cost rating of one dollar sign out of five.
“A major part of GHC’s mission is to provide affordable, high-quality degree programs and help graduate career-ready students with little to no debt upon completion,” Boyce said.
Nurses with a BSN also can earn, on average, around $4,000 more per year than their counterparts with an associate degree and have the chance to “specialize and work their way into much higher-paying jobs than an RN with less training,” the site said.
“It’s also worth noting that Atlanta, Georgia, is one of the highest-paying cities for nurses in the U.S., and the cost of living is considerably less than other high-paying cities,” it said.
Boyce said this is the first time GHC’s nursing program has been named to the TopRNtoBSN.com list, but it was recognized as the “most affordable” nursing program in the state by College Choice, one of the 30 most affordable nursing degree programs in the country by GeriatricNursing.org and the second of 30 most affordable online programs in the nation by Great Value Colleges.
The programs surveyed by TopRNtoBSN.com are all regionally accredited, and most are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, the gold standards of nursing program accreditation.
To see the full list of Georgia’s RN to BSN programs, visit www.toprntobsn.com/ga/online-rn-bsn/.
CORRECTION:This article has been corrected to show that the organization that set the goal for 80 percent of all nurses to have a becherlor's degree or higher was the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, not the American Nurses Association, as previously reported.