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If you are a Georgia resident thinking about a nursing career, or an RN considering a move to Georgia, know that a registered nurse salary in Georgia comes with a low cost of living and top-rated nursing departments at area hospitals.
Lifestyles encompass anything from bustling Atlanta to slower-paced cities and historic towns. With solid employment growth projections and opportunities for career advancement, Georgia ranks high as a state favorable to nurses.
Our guide discusses an average RN salary in Georgia, the state's highest-paying cities, and the cost-of-living adjustments that make RN salaries in Georgia go even further.
- Average Georgia RN Salary: $75,380 (Ranks 26th among all states)
- Hourly Georgia RN Salary: $36.24
- Projected Georgia RN Employment Growth (2018-2028): 22.5%
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Average RN Salaries in Georgia
RN salaries in Georgia rank 26th among U.S. states, with an average annual wage of $75,380 and $36.24 per hour. While RN salaries in Georgia fall below the The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)-stated national annual average of $82,750, the cost of living in Georgia also sits lower than the national average.
Like elsewhere in the country, Georgia RNs are in demand. Projections Central lists a 22.5% employment growth rate for Georgia RNs for 2018-2028. In fact, Georgia ranks number five among states with the largest projected employment growth for nurses.
Georgia offers many advantages to RNs, including salaries adjusted for cost of living, workforce diversity, NCLEX-RN pass rates, and RN supply and demand.
Add to the list of advantages several top-rated hospitals and nursing schools, and Georgia becomes even more attractive.
The table below outlines the range of RN salaries in Georgia from the lowest 10% to the highest 10% of earners, with the top salaries approaching six figures.
For general information about how to become a nurse, workplaces, and daily duties, explore our overview to RN careers page.
|Percentile||Average Annual RN Salary||Average Hourly RN Salary|
Georgia RN Salary, Adjusted for Cost of Living
States' cost-of-living calculations consider regional metrics like the price of clothing, groceries, healthcare, housing, and transportation.
Georgia's cost-of-living index of 94.5% slides in 5.5% lower than the national average. Georgia's adjusted salary for RNs totals $79,526, which ranks the peach state 19th among all states.
Payscale's analysis of cost-of-living data for Atlanta, Georgia's largest metro area and highest-paying city for RNs, shows that residents pay 6% less for housing than the national average and 15% less for utilities. Groceries cost 5% more, but the overall cost-of-living is 1% lower than the national average.
According to the Georgia Department of Economic Development, below-average housing costs and low tax rates contribute to a high standard of living.
While neighboring Florida may be better known for attracting retirees, Georgia is developing a reputation for a good place to retire. An influx of older Americans can translate to an increased need for nurses.
- Average RN Salary Adjusted for Cost of Living: $79,526 (Ranks 19th among all states)
- Cost of Living Index (RPP): 94.5 (5.5% lower than the U.S. average)
Highest-Paying Cities for RNs in Georgia
The table below shows the top-paying metropolitan areas for Georgia RNs. Atlanta tops the list at $80,760.
With six million people, Atlanta offers all the amenities of a big city, plus nearby recreational opportunities in the Appalachian Mountains. Atlanta has universities with top nursing programs, and several magnet-designated hospitals.
In addition to Atlanta's Emory University hospitals, Georgia is home to Northeast Georgia Health System, Southeast Georgia Health System, and Wellstar Health System.
Smaller cities like Gainesville (near Atlanta) and Dalton (in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains) feature salaries in the lower $70,000s. Athens and Augusta salaries clock in around the same.
|City||Average RN Salary|
|Atlanta — Sandy Springs — Roswell, GA||$80,760|
|Athens — Clarke County, GA||$73,370|
|Augusta — Richmond County, GA — SC||$72,420|
Average Salaries for Other Nursing Roles in Georgia
Other types of nursing roles in Georgia start with nursing assistants and licensed practical/vocational nurses with average salaries in the $30,000-$40,000s.
Advanced practice registered nurses, including nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and nurse anesthetists earn six-figure salaries.
The projected employment growth for nurse practitioners in Georgia is 41.4% for 2018-2028, indicating strong job opportunities for nurses who earn their graduate nursing degrees.
Several Georgia nursing schools offer online master of science in nursing degrees including Atlanta's Emory University, Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville, Georgia State University in Atlanta, and Mercer University in Macon. Licensed RNs can usually complete a master's program in 30-36 months.
- Nursing Assistants: $30,600
- LPN/LVNs: $47,370
- Nurse Midwives: $99,140
- Nurse Practitioners: $109,560
- Nurse Anesthetists: $177,960
Methodology and Sources
Registered nursing salary data by state is collected from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program, released on March 31, 2022. Data reflects RN salaries as of May 2021. The highest-paying cities and states for RNs are ranked by average annual salary.
Cost-of-living data is collected from the U.S Bureau of Economic Analysis real personal income for states and metropolitan areas, released on December 14, 2021. RN salary adjusted for cost of living is calculated by multiplying each state's RN salary by its regional price parity (RPP). RPP measures differences in the cost of goods and services in a region compared to national prices.
Projected employment growth data by state is collected from Projections Central.
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