Shorten your search for the best Georgia DNP program! Our practical guide contains rankings of the top and most affordable DNP programs in Georgia, details on online & hybrid GA doctorates, tips on choosing a BSN to DNP pathway, and more. Want to skim through all your options? Skip ahead to the detailed program listings.
Top Georgia DNP Programs
To find the best DNP programs in GA, we evaluated independent rankings for nursing graduate degrees, giving extra weight to any Georgia school with a high DNP placement in U.S. News & World Report. But we also considered factors such as reputation, student reviews, clinical partnerships, and facilities.
1. Emory University
If you can afford the price tag, Emory’s DNP program will pay dividends. You’ll usually find the Woodruff School of Nursing in the top 10 of national rankings for the DNP and the top 5 for the MSN. It offers a huge range of BSN to DNP specialties and a Nurse Anesthesia program. It gets raves from nursing graduate students on independent review sites (especially for the helpfulness of its nursing professors). It receives a bucketload of research funding from the NIH. Its faculty are versed in many areas of nursing expertise. And it runs multiple centers & initiatives, including global projects and a one-year Primary Care Residency for new primary care NPs.
Perhaps most importantly, it has strong clinical & education partnerships. The School is affiliated with 500+ clinical training sites, including Atlanta Birth Center, Atlanta Veterans Medical Center (VAMC), Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and the Emory Healthcare System. There’s a high-quality simulation lab for graduate students—the Wesley Woods Graduate Simulation and Skills Facility—within Emory University Hospital. And students are encouraged to participate in service learning & community care. In addition, DNP students can take advantage of Emory’s career support services and apply for nursing scholarships. Emory is expensive, so before you commit, we recommend you take a tour of the School and speak to DNP alumni to decide if the quality matches the cost.
2. Augusta University
Augusta’s flexible DNP program appears in our #2 spot for a whole host of reasons. To start with, Augusta is a public university and academic medical center. That means its College of Nursing has close ties to the Augusta University Health System and the East Central Regional Hospital (ECRH). Here you’ll find top 100 rankings for the DNP and the MSN, an affordable in-state tuition rate, a wide range of choice (e.g. NP specialties and Nurse Anesthesia), an Interdisciplinary Simulation Center and Interdisciplinary Practice and Research Center (IPRC), and an emphasis on real-world faculty practice.
But what really impressed us was Augusta’s commitment to community partnerships and care. Over the years, the College has spearheaded the Greater Augusta Healthcare Network (GAHN), established the Healthy Grandparents Program, and created its own Nurse-Managed Health Center. As a DNP student, you may also be interested in the work being done at the Center for Nursing Research (CNR), including faculty research projects, and the free CNR seminars & workshops. Finally, we couldn’t leave this summary without mentioning the excellent reviews on independent sites. Graduates have nothing but praise for the knowledgeable & caring nursing professors, the rigorous training, the networking opportunities, and the university’s reputation in the medical field.
3. Georgia Southern University
The #3 spot was a toss up between Georgia College & State University, which has solid U.S. News & World Report rankings (especially in online nursing), and Georgia Southern, which usually ranks in the top 100 of DNP programs. In the end, we went for Georgia Southern’s DNP program because it was super-affordable, convenient, well-reviewed, and available in multiple NP specialties. It’s also coming from a public research university. But post-master’s candidates should definitely take a close look at GCSU as well!
At Georgia Southern, you’ll find a School of Nursing with a sturdy track record. The School has excellent DNP job placement rates (e.g. 100%), certification pass rates (e.g. 99%), and nursing scholarships that are open to graduate students. It runs a Center for Nursing Scholarship & Research that supports recent faculty scholarship. And it has up-to-date training facilities. The School is part of the Waters College of Health Professions (CHP), which is housed in the Health Professions Academic Building (opened in 2015) on the Armstrong campus. This building includes a simulation suite, nursing skills and assessment labs, a cardiovascular intervention sciences lab, and more.
Most Affordable DNP Programs in Georgia
Our ranking of the cheapest DNP programs in Georgia is based on the lowest per credit tuition rate. If a school had a different price for in-state and out-of-state residents, we went with the in-state rate.
1. Georgia Southern University
Georgia Southern’s DNP program is classified as “fully online,” which means the tuition rate is the same for Georgia residents and non-residents. An extra bonus? Georgia Southern appears in our top DNP rankings as well.
2. Augusta University
Augusta charges different in-state and out-of-state tuition rates for the DNP. The Georgia resident rate is very affordable; the non-resident rate is comparable to expensive private schools. Keep in mind that there’s a separate per credit tuition rate for the Nurse Anesthesia program.
3. South University
South University is a private university with a standard online program rate for the DNP. South is regionally and CCNE-accredited. However, the U.S. Department of Education classifies the institution as “for-profit” and it doesn’t always get the best reviews. If you’d prefer something more traditional, the University of North Georgia’s DNP tuition rate is only a bit more expensive. And it’s the same for in-state and out-of-state students.
Online DNP Programs in Georgia
All of the Georgia DNP programs in our listings are classified as online or hybrid. Having said that, some are more online than others! When we took a close look at the fine print on DNP program webpages, we found a few trends.
- Hybrid BSN to DNP Programs in GA: Fully online BSN to DNP programs in Georgia don’t exist. Instead, you’ll see hybrid options like Augusta (online & on-campus coursework), Georgia Southern (e.g. 2-3 on-campus learning days each semester for clinical specialty courses), GSU (e.g. 1-day intensives at the beginning of each fall and spring semester), Mercer (e.g. on-campus courses in Advanced Physiology and Health Assessment), and Emory (e.g. 5 on-campus sessions per year).
- Hybrid DNP Nurse Anesthesia Programs in GA: Both Emory and Augusta have gone for a blended approach. Emory’s program includes online presentations, synchronous & asynchronous discussions, group assignments, face-to-face anesthesia classes, and two required Saturday sessions per semester. Meanwhile, the first four semesters of Augusta’s program include didactic instruction in core DNP courses and experience in the human patient simulation laboratory.
Post-master’s programs are going to be more flexibile—less clinical training equals less need for face-to-face instruction. But you still may need to visit the campus at least once.
- Online Post-Master’s DNPs in GA: Programs offered by Augusta (e.g. interactive web-based classes taught by experienced online instructors), Georgia Southern (e.g. asynchronous & synchronous classes), and South University appear to be predominantly online.
- Hybrid Post-Master’s DNPs in GA: A number of schools still like to incorporate campus elements. Examples include Brenau (e.g. monthly Saturday classes), GCSU (1 week of on-site immersion experiences each year), GSU (e.g. 1-day intensives at the beginning of each fall & spring semester), University of North Georgia (e.g. 2 mandatory visits for an orientation & DNP symposium), and Emory (e.g. 3 on-campus sessions each semester).
Coming from out-of-state? As always, we recommend you check with the university and your own State Board of Nursing before you sign up for any online program, especially DNP tracks in NP specialties. Many schools have distance learning limitations and cannot accept nursing students from certain areas.
Note: Looking for even more possibilities? Check out the listings of Online DNP Programs. They are organized by state.
BSN to DNP Programs in Georgia
If you glance at the Georgia BSN to DNP programs in our listings, you’ll notice that you have the choice to go public (e.g. Augusta, Georgia Southern, and GSU) or private (eg. Mercer and Emory).
- NP Specialties: All of these schools offer tons of traditional NP specialties (e.g. FNP, PMHNP, PNP, etc.).
- Unusual Foci: Emory also offers rare tracks in nurse midwifery and emergency care.
- CNS: GSU has a special track for aspiring Adult Gerontology CNS students.
- Nurse Anesthesia: Emory and Augusta are now competing for glory in this area. These are intense, full-time programs with separate tuition rates to NP specialties.
Price may be a factor in your decision. Georgia Southern is usually the most affordable school in Georgia, closely followed by Augusta’s in-state tuition rate. But out-of-state rates at Augusta and GSU are high (e.g. $1,100+). And Emory is—hands-down—the most expensive school in our listings.
Georgia Nursing Organizations
- Georgia Board of Nursing
- Coalition of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (CAPRN)
- Georgia Nursing Leadership Coalition (GNLC)
- United Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (UAPRN)
- Georgia Association of Nurse Anesthetists (GANA)
- Georgia Organization of Nurse Leaders (GONL)
Below you'll find a list of all of the Doctor of Nursing Practice programs available in Georgia.