If you want to earn your Georgia nursing license, you will need to apply through their state board of registered nursing. The Board is the state governmental agency that is responsible for implementing and enforcing all of the laws pertaining to nurse education, licensure, practice and discipline.
ENTRY LEVEL PRACTICE NURSES
Becoming licensed as a Registered Nurse in Georgia has three stages, getting the education, passing the NCLEX-RN exam, and getting licensure from the state of Georgia Board of Nursing. See 6 Things to Know About the NCLEX Examination and How to Master NCLEX-Style Test Questions.
First, you need to meet the prerequisites. Secondly, you must complete your training and, finally, you must become certified.
STAGE 1. MEET THE PREREQUISITES.
If you choose to become an LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse), you generally won’t have to meet any prerequisite courses. However, most aspiring nurses complete either a two year associate’s degree (ADN) or a four year bachelor’s degree (BSN). To be accepted to these programs, you will need to complete various undergraduate courses in subjects such as math, biology, psychology, English and chemistry. You can expect it to take between 3 and 6 months to complete this.
STAGE 2. COMPLETE YOUR TRAINING.
The LPN diploma takes just one year to complete. With the ADN and BSN degrees, you will start by looking at patient care and other practical skills. The rest of your program will incorporate more advanced practice and theory, including management skills. See 60+ Best Georgia Nursing Schools for Entry level training.
STAGE 3. BECOME CERTIFIED.
If you complete your LPN, you will need to pass the NCLEX-PN examination. Registered Nurses (RNs), who hold either an ADN or BSN, must pass the NCLEX-RN examination.
ADVANCED PRACTICE NURSES
To become an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN), you must complete the following steps.
STAGE 1. COMPLETE A GRADUATE DEGREE.
This must be at least a master’s degree. The program must also be approved by the Georgia Board of Nursing. The Board recognizes a large number of in-state graduate programs. If your program was not offered in Georgia, it must be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. In order for a course to be accepted, it must have included advanced pharmacology, advanced pathophysiology and advanced health assessment. Additionally, those who want to work as a clinical nurse specialist or as a psychiatric/mental health specialist must take a minimum of two courses in psychiatric/mental health nursing. Additionally, they must have completed supervised practice in these areas. Those who want to become a certified registered nurse anesthetist have to completed courses in anesthesia induction, maintenance and emergence; preanesthetic preparation and evaluation; postanesthesia care; and perianesthetic and clinical support functions.
In Georgia, an APRN can be specialized in a certain disease, population focus, care type or medical subspecialty. This can be specified on your national certification.
STAGE 2. BECOME NATIONALLY CERTIFIED.
Four types of APRNs are recognized in the state and all of these have to become nationally certified through an independent agency in order to practice. Each of these agencies have their own certification requirements. The four specialties are:
- NP – Nurse Practitioner
- CNM – Certified Nurse Midwife
- CRNA – Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
- CNS/PMH – Clinical Nurse Specialist in Psychiatric/Mental Health
To become certified, you must be registered with one of the following national bodies, and you must be certified by at least one of these in order to practice:
- The ANCC (American Nurses Credentialing Center), who recognize Adult Nurse Practitioners, Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP), Gerontological Nurse Practitioner (GNP), Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), Pediatric Nurse Practitioner PNP) and the Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP).
- The AANP (American Academy of Nurse Practitioners), which recognizes the Adult Nurse Practitioner and the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP.
- The AACN (American Association of Critical Care Nurses), which recognizes the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner.
- The NCC (National Certification Corporation for the Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing Specialties), which recognizes the Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner (WHNP) and the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP).
- The PNCB (Pediatric Nursing Certification Board, which recognizes the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in Acute Care and Primary Care.
- The AMCB (American Midwifery Certification Board), which recognizes the Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM).
- The National Board on Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA), which recognize the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA).
STAGE 3 – GAIN AUTHORIZATION.
You must disclose your social security number in order to do this. This means that various nurse practitioner databanks are aware of your existence and licensing authorizations. You must file the Application for Authorization as an Advanced Practice Nurse, indicating your area of specialization. You can specialize in multiple areas, and you must put in an application for each of these. You will also have to include relevant documentation as required. If you meet all requirements, you will be sent an authorization in the mail. You can track the status of your application online.
You should have went through a criminal background check when you received your RN license and will hence not need to do this again. However, you must answer the history questions on your APRN question truthfully. Additionally, you will authorize the Board to access your criminal history through a consent form.
STAGE 4. RENEW YOUR LICENSE.
This must be done every two years by January 31st of every odd numbered year. You do this together with your RN license. You will receive a reminder via email. Renewal and payment can be completed fully online.
You do not need to meet any continuous education (CE) requirements for the Georgia Board. However, your national certification agency will have CE requirements that you must meet in order to remain licensed as an APRN.
Georgia Board of Nursing
214 State Capitol
Atlanta, Georgia 30334