Nursing job market in Atlanta
May 11, 2014 8:53 PM   Subscribe

Asking this question for a family member who just graduated from the University of Mobile with a B.S. She's considering moving to Atlanta for better job opportunities and continuing education in nursing. She has some bachelor-level credits in nursing-related classes and experience in the field. We have some questions...

-What is the job market like in Atlanta for someone with a bachelor's looking to pursue nursing?
-What are those positions typically like?
-Any pointers on how to go about getting those positions?
-Any recommendations for nursing programs in the Atlanta area?

She will scour Craigslist and job sites, but any other ideas would be awesome. And of course, any general advice from someone in the nursing field would be a great help. Thank you!
posted by blackcatcuriouser to Work & Money (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I advice pre-nursing students as part of my job as a biology professor. The job market for BSN nurses in Atlanta is good. Without some kind of credential, though, she will not be able to work as a nurse. If all she wants is to work in a nursing related field, she could get a CNA credential in a few months, or an RN in a couple years. However, most of the good jobs now require a BSN.

Since she already has a BS, she may be able to apply directly to nursing school (the second two years of the BSN). In Georgia, the pre-reqs for that are generally 2 semesters of chemistry, 2 semesters of anatomy and physiology, and 1 semester of microbiology, plus various math and social science courses that she may have already taken. Depending on her interests and background, she may also be interested in direct admission to a master's in nursing program.

In Atlanta, the 4-year nursing schools include Georgia State, Kennesaw State, Clayton State, Mercer, Emory, and Georgia Gwinnett.

One thing to keep in mind is that nursing school is hard and gruelling. In traditional programs, students do not have time to have jobs because they spend so much time on their clinical rotations. For this reason, most students take out loans to finish those 2 years. Luckily, a well-qualified nurse with good recommendations can find nursing jobs that allow them to pay off loans.
posted by hydropsyche at 4:15 AM on May 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

Atlanta has some great hospitals as well as the CDC, so there are plenty of positions. Nursing is a very specialized skill-set. So, just as a doctor decides on her specialty, so too, must a nurse.

Husbunny worked in geriatric nursing, but he was also a telephonic nurse for an insurance company counseling people with a chronic disease. He did Med/Surg and Telemetry early in his career. Nurses are just as varied as doctors.

If you want to get a good idea of open nursing positions, simply go to the hospital sites themselves and look over their offerings.

Northside Hospital

Emory St. Joseph's

Grady Memorial

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

US Government/VA Hosptial

When Husbunny was a nurse, we would get phone calls all the time with recruiters wanting to know if he would consider taking this or that position.

Being a nurse is like being a musician, it's more than the education, it's a calling and a talent. You have to want to help people, have compassion, but be dispassionate. It's not easy, and it's getting harder.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:32 AM on May 12, 2014

Look for positions within a hospital. One, because many of them will pay for your education. Two, because it gives you a foot in the door when you do graduate nursing school. Three, because it helps you narrow down your specialty. Four, you will learn how very, very hard nursing is. Go to each hospital's website and apply for any job you are remotely qualified for. Community hospitals often have more cross training opportunities so don't pass them up.
With a B.S already, look for associate degree programs. You won't get any big benefit from the nursing bachelor's. But seconding that it is really really hard to both work and go to nursing school. Sorry I don't have Atlanta specific info or if you already know all this.
posted by SyraCarol at 9:31 AM on May 12, 2014

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