South Carolina is facing a nursing shortage that mirrors the situation in many states around the country. With a high demand for skilled nurses, now is a great time to embark on this rewarding career path in South Carolina. The first step to becoming a registered nurse, or advancing to a leadership position in nursing, is completing a certification/training program. In Columbia, there are a number of accredited training programs to choose from, ranging from entry-level programs for those new to nursing to more advanced degree programs aimed at experienced nurses.

To get started in nursing or to advance your nursing career, check out our accredited program listings sections below:

Entry-Level ADN & BSN Programs in Columbia, SC

Starting a career in a new field can be an overwhelming prospect, with a number of entry-level training programs to choose from. All of these program types are designed to prepare students to take the NCLEX licensing exam and secure their first jobs as RNs, but the curriculum, completion time and cost varies. Options for entry-level training programs in the Columbia area include LPN to RN programs, Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) and Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) programs.

LPN to RN Programs

LPN to RN programs are accelerated training programs meant to help licensed practical nurses become certified as registered nurses. This is a popular career path for practical nurses who want to take their careers to the next level and earn either an ADN or BSN and take the NCLEX. Because these programs build upon previous practical nursing coursework, they are often quicker to complete than a traditional ADN or BSN program. Midlands Technical College offers an LPN to ADN pathway for nurses who wish to move up the ladder.

ADN Programs

ADN programs are offered at many community colleges and technical schools and take around two years of full-time study to complete. Midlands Technical College offers an ADN program that includes classroom instruction, practice in simulated laboratories and practice hours to various clinical settings.

Direct-Entry BSN Programs

BSN programs are typically offered at four-year colleges and universities and, like other types of bachelor’s degrees, take around four years to complete. According to a study by the University of South Carolina, the state of South Carolina is graduating more bachelor’s in nursing students than associate’s degree students, which is in line with the Institute of Medicine’s recommendations that more nurses have a bachelor’s degree education or higher. BSN programs are generally more expensive than associate’s degree programs and include more in-depth nursing curriculum that prepares students for a wider range of nursing careers.

Find out more about South Carolina Accelerated BSN Programs

SchoolContact Information
Fortis College in Columbia
246 Stoneridge Drive, Suite 101
Columbia, SC 29210
(803) 678-4800
Midlands Technical College
316 S Beltline Blvd
Columbia, SC 29205
(803) 738-8324
South University
9 Science Ct
Columbia, SC 29203
(803) 799-9082

RN to BSN/MSN Programs in Columbia, SC

For RNs who received their ADN, going back to school to earn a higher degree can be a pathway to higher pay, more responsibilities and a wider range of job opportunities. Experienced RNs may consider RN to BSN or RN to MSN bridge programs that build on previous ADN coursework and professional experience to deliver a higher degree on an accelerated time frame.

RN to BSN Programs

There are a variety of schools from across the country that offer online RN to BSN programs that help nurses earn their bachelor’s degree via online courses and clinical practice hours in a local setting. In the Columbia area, the University of South Carolina offers a fully online RN to BSN program that is completed in 12 months of study.

Find out more about South Carolina RN to BSN Programs

RN to MSN Programs

Less common than RN to BSN programs, some schools offer RN to MSN bridge programs that take an ADN-educated nurse from the associate’s degree level to the master’s degree level, preparing nurses for a variety of advanced practice nursing careers. For example, South University in Columbia offers an RN to MSN program that awards nurses the bachelor’s degree in nursing as well as the Master of Science in Nursing degree with a specialization in the family nurse practitioner role.

Find out more about South Carolina RN to MSN Programs

SchoolContact Information
South University
9 Science Court
Columbia, SC 29203
(803) 799-9082
University of South Carolina
1601 Greene Street
Columbia, SC 29208
(803) 777-3861

APRN & Nurse Practitioner Programs in Columbia, SC

Advanced practice nursing programs are designed for nurses with their bachelor’s degrees who want to leadership positions and advanced certifications. In the Columbia area, options for advanced practice degrees include traditional MSN programs, graduate certificate programs, and doctorate programs.

MSN Programs

Traditional MSN programs provide advanced practice training and certification for nurses who have completed their BSN. MSN programs usually train nurses for particular career pathways, a specific nurse practitioner role for example, and prepare them for the relevant certification exam. The University of South Carolina offers its MSN programs in an online format to better accommodate working students, and offers specializations in nursing administration and three nurse practitioner roles.

Find out more about South Carolina Nurse Practitioner Programs

Post-Master's Certificate Programs

Post-graduate certificate programs allow nurses with their master’s degree to learn a new specialty and become certified without having to repeat their previous master’s-level coursework. The University of South Carolina offers graduate certificates in all of its MSN-level specialties, which take between four and six semesters of study to complete.

Find out more about Post-Master's Certificate Programs

DNP & Ph.D. Programs

Doctoral-level study of nursing includes the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree. The University of South Carolina offers both degree types – a DNP program that prepares students for advanced clinical and leadership roles and a Ph.D. program that prepares students for research careers.

Find out more about South Carolina DNP Programs

SchoolContact Information
South University - Columbia
9 Science Court
Columbia, SC 29203
(803) 799-9082
University of South Carolina
1601 Greene Street
Columbia, SC 29208
(803) 777-7412