Medical College of Georgia Nursing Program Review

The College of Nursing at Georgia Health Sciences University (also home to the Medical College of Georgia) actually began as part of the University of Georgia in Athens. In 1956, it joined with the Medical College of Georgia (MCG) in Augusta, as part of a decision to turn the medical college into a health sciences university.

The nursing school offered the first undergraduate program in the college. It has since expanded to offer master and doctoral degrees in nursing as well, and now has a huge range of offerings for potential students to review.

In 2013, Georgia Health Sciences University and Augusta State University merged to form Georgia Regents University.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at Georgia Health Sciences University (GHSU) is not a traditional four-year baccalaureate program. Georgia Health Sciences University does not offer some core curriculum courses that are necessary for graduation, so students who wish to pursue this program must attend another college to earn credit for courses in English, algebra, humanities, fine arts, science, and social sciences. Typically, a student must spend at least two years at another school taking these classes, and apply to transfer to Georgia Health Sciences University at the end of her sophomore year. After transferring, the BSN program requires five semesters. At the end, the graduate may take the National Council Licensing Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX_RN) and earn certification as a Registered Nurse (RN).

Master of Science in Nursing – Clinical Nurse Leader (Pre-licensure)

Although the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) program is a master’s program, it is designed for students who are not yet RNs. Applicants must have a baccalaureate degree, but in a field other than nursing. The program takes four semesters to complete, and at the end, a graduate can take the NCLEX to become an RN and take the CNL certification exam through the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. As a working CNL, a graduate will focus on working with multiple healthcare providers in order to coordinate and direct patient care.

Master of Science in Nursing – Nurse Practitioner

An experienced RN who wishes to advance his career can pursue continuing education through the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program offered at Georgia Health Sciences University. He has two specialization options: family medicine, leading to certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and pediatric medicine, leading to certification as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP). Both programs are available in Augusta, Athens, and Columbus. RNs may pursue these programs either full-time or part-time, and also have the additional flexibility of mostly online classes. Full-time, the MSN program requires 22 months, and part-time, it requires 34 months. At the end, graduates take certification exams offered by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners or the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Master of Science in Nursing – Nurse Anesthetist

The MSN program in nursing anesthesia is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs. It prepares students to plan and administer anesthesia care to patients and it takes seven semesters to complete. The first three are in the classroom, with the majority of the rest of the coursework taking place in a clinical setting. On average, students in this program spend about 2000 hours in a clinical setting. The program is open to students who already have a BSN.

Post-Master’s Certification

A nurse who has already earned an MSN in one field can continue expanding her career options through a post-master’s certification program. At Georgia Health Sciences University, nurses can earn certification as Family Nurse Practitioners, Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, or in Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing. The program requirements are based on the traditional MSN program requirements.

Doctor of Nursing Programs

Georgia Health Sciences University offers a Doctor of Nursing program in three different areas. Nurses who wish to focus on research should consider the PhD in Nursing program, which is designed to get nurses involved in cutting-edge research, especially in conjunction with the university’s Center for Nursing Research. The program takes nine semesters on a full-time basis and twelve semesters on a part-time basis, and is only open to nurses with MSN degrees. A nurse who wishes focus on practical nursing as opposed to research and wants to take more of a leadership role working in a healthcare setting should consider the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. This hybrid (partly online, partly onsite) program can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis. Within the DNP program, a student can choose to concentrate on acute care, leading to certification as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP) or a Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialist (CCNS). The DPN program is accredited by the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education.

Medical College of Georgia
Georgia Health Sciences University
1120 15th Street
Augusta, GA 30912

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