North Carolina is attracting potential and current nursing candidates by offering higher salaries, more room for advancement, and skill-specific job opportunities. The state is looking at a potential job increase of 3,500 per year over the next 5 years. Combine that with the average registered nurse's salary in the state, which the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports at $66,440, and you can see why nursing has become a desirable career field for many in the region.

For RN bridge programs visit:

Cities in North Carolina

Best RN Programs in North Carolina

Selecting the best nursing school in North Carolina can be difficult. To make the process easier first look for a school that supports students towards licensure and beyond. A great way to measure this is through NCLEX-RN "pass rates." We have ranked the top 20 nursing schools in North Carolina by analyzing current and historical NCLEX-RN "pass rates", meaning the percentage of graduates who pass the exam, out of the 83 RN programs in the state. Programs reviewed include schools that offer an Associate in Nursing (ADN/ASN), BSN, or Direct-Entry MSN Degree.

For more information on our top nursing school rankings, see our Methodology Page (


28 Schenck Pkwy, Ste 309, Asheville, NC 28803

Score: 99.03

Western Carolina University in Asheville, North Carolina offers students a traditional pre-licensure BSN program where clinical placements begin in the first semester. This competitive program offers admission twice yearly in the Spring and Fall semesters. Over the 8-semester long program, students take courses such as Nursing Ethics & Health Policy, Concepts of Adult Nursing, and more.

Program Details

  • Programs: BSN
  • Phone: (828) 654-6499

1201 Elizabeth Ave, Charlotte, NC 28204

Score: 98.02

Central Piedmont Community College's ADN curriculum provides knowledge, skills, and strategies necessary to integrate safety and quality into nursing care, to practice in a dynamic environment, and to meet individual needs which impact health, quality of life, and achievement of potential.

Program Details

  • Programs: Associate in Nursing
  • Phone: (704) 330-6496

629 Industrial Park Ave, Asheboro, NC 27205

Score: 97.50

Randolph Community College in Asheboro, North Carolina is home to an accomplished nursing program. Nursing students learn to manage a community's diverse health care needs, including those of vulnerable or marginalized patients, with caring effectiveness.

Program Details

  • Programs: Associate in Nursing
  • Phone: (336) 633-0200

1001 E 5th St, Greenville, NC 27858

Score: 97.42

East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina is home to multiple quality nursing programs, including several BSN options. Students can choose between the traditional BSN, the accelerated 2nd degree BSN, or the Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurse program (RIBN). The RIBN works in tandem with several local community colleges and allows students to earn both an ADN and BSN.

Program Details

  • Programs: BSN, Accelerated BSN
  • Phone: (252) 744-6433

411 N Front St, Wilmington, NC 28401

Score: 97.35

Cape Fear Community College is home to a top of the line ADN degree program for aspiring RNs. CFCC provides high-quality education to individuals in the community seeking work as entry-level nurses and promotes the transition of the licensed practical nurse into the role of the registered nurse. The school has prepared over 1300 nursing graduates for rewarding healthcare careers.

Program Details

  • Programs: Associate in Nursing, LPN to ADN
  • Phone: (910) 362-7000

2110 Water Ridge Parkway, Charlotte, NC 28217

Score: 96.95

Graduates from Carolinas College of Health Sciences are experienced generalists with knowledge in many specialty areas. The curriculum is designed to give students experience in several different nursing environments. CCHS believes this enables students to experience many different areas before they decide on an area of specialty.

Program Details

  • Programs: Associate in Nursing, BSN
  • Phone: (704) 355-5043

9101 Fayetteville Rd, Raleigh, NC 27603

Score: 96.52

Wake Technical Community College in Raleigh, North Carolina serves nursing students through 2 nursing programs: the traditional ADN and the Advanced Placement LPN to ADN pathway to registered nursing. Wake Tech graduates are welcomed to the profession due to their motivation for continued professional development and their adherence to ethical nursing principles.

Program Details

  • Programs: Associate in Nursing, LPN to ADN
  • Phone: (919) 866-5000

287 Rivers St, Boone, NC 28608

Score: 96.37

Located in Boone, Appalachian State University serves nursing students with multiple quality programs. Its traditional BSN, for example, consists of 2 years of general education and prerequisites, followed by 2 years of core nursing content. The curriculum includes courses in pediatrics, adult health, leadership, and more.

Program Details

  • Programs: BSN
  • Phone: (828) 262-3113

630 S Main St, Dobson, NC 27017

Score: 96.16

Surry Community College offers an ADN program that builds upon the domains of healthcare, nursing practice, and the holistic individual. The goal of the program is to help students successfully pass the NCLEX-RN exam and find employment in the vast global healthcare system.

Program Details

  • Programs: Associate in Nursing, LPN to ADN
  • Phone: (336) 386-8121

2855 Hickory Blvd, Hudson, NC 28638

Score: 95.90

Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute of Hudson, North Carolina gives its nursing graduates a strong foundation in patient care and community advocacy. The school's ADN program focuses on training nurses as important members of the interdisciplinary healthcare team, emphasizing holistic care, evidence-based practice, and safety.

Program Details

  • Programs: Associate in Nursing
  • Phone: (828) 726-2200

307 Trent Dr, Durham, NC 27708

Score: 95.85

Duke University in Durham, North Carolina offers one of the state's most prestigious and unique nursing programs. The accelerated BSN (ABSN) is designed for those who already hold a non-nursing bachelor's degree and who wish to enter the field. The full-time program can be completed in just 16 months of study. Students enrolled in the ABSN program can complete their clinical hours locally or abroad through the school's immersion experience program.

Program Details

  • Programs: Accelerated BSN
  • Phone: (919) 684-4248

1247 Jimmie Kerr Rd, Graham, NC 27253

Score: 95.76

Situated in Graham, Alamance Community College offers both a traditional ADN and an LPN to ADN to educate the next generation of registered nurses. Students can enroll in the ADN's daytime or evening option for maximum flexibility. Coursework includes topics such as Pharmacology, Holistic Health Concepts, and more.

Program Details

  • Programs: Associate in Nursing, LPN to RN
  • Phone: (336) 578-2002

315 E. Wilson St, Wingate, NC 28174

Score: 95.72

Wingate University's BSN degree program strives to train competent, skilled, and compassionate nursing generalists. The competitive-entry program admits just 40 students at a time, creating an intimate environment for students to learn and practice the art of nursing.

Program Details

  • Programs: BSN
  • Phone: (704) 233-8000

143 Main St., Buies Creek, NC 27506

Score: 95.39

Campbell University's Catherine W. Wood School of Nursing is committed to providing students with an exceptional BSN education in a Christian environment. With caring faculty and access to academic support, Campbell nursing grads leave the BSN program armed with a degree as well as the confidence needed to find success in the healthcare industry.

Program Details

  • Programs: BSN
  • Phone: (800) 334-4111

1001 Burkemont Ave, Morganton, NC 28655

Score: 95.26

Morganton’s Western Piedmont Community College offers an Associate Degree in Nursing with a curriculum based on knowledge, skills, and strategies to integrate safety into quality nursing care. Graduates of the program will be able to communicate effectively, make skilled judgments, and educate families and patients to promote optimal health.

Program Details

  • Programs: Associate in Nursing
  • Phone: (828) 438-6000

133 James Sprunt Dr, Kenansville, NC 28349

Score: 95.15

Located in Kenansville, James Sprunt Community College is home to a nursing program that culminates in an associate's degree in nursing (ADN). Enrolled students complete 71 total semester credit hours and complete clinical experiences to become skilled, safety-driven entry-level nurses.

Program Details

  • Programs: Associate in Nursing
  • Phone: (910) 296-2400

1208 N Road St, Elizabeth City, NC 27909

Score: 94.88

College of The Albemarle in Elizabeth City is home to a renowned nursing department that offers both an ADN as well as an LPN to ADN bridge program. Experienced nurse educators guide students to theoretical and clinical models of thought and research that spark lifelong patient advocacy and professional development.

Program Details

  • Programs: Associate in Nursing, LPN to ADN
  • Phone: (252) 335-0821

UNC Chapel Hill Carrington Hall, CB#7460, Chapel Hill, NC 27599

Score: 94.66

The University of North Carolina (UNC) - Chapel Hill campus fosters strong BSN graduates. The school offers both a traditional BSN in addition to a 4-semester accelerated BSN pathway designed for those who already hold a non-nursing bachelor's degree. Nurses from UNC are proud of their alma mater and use the skills gained there to propel them forward in professional arenas.

Program Details

  • Programs: BSN, Accelerated BSN
  • Phone: (919) 966-4260

2100 Silas Creek Pkwy, Winston-Salem, NC 27103

Score: 94.48

Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston-Salem North Carolina produces nursing graduates from its esteemed ADN, LPN to RN, and ADN/BSN Dual Enrollment programs. Forsyth Tech grads are well prepared with a solid nursing foundation delivered through multiple teaching methodologies, including lecture, labs, and clinical experiences.

Program Details

  • Programs: Associate in Nursing, LPN to RN
  • Phone: (336) 723-0371

401 Medical Park Drive, Concord, NC 28025

Score: 93.99

Cabarrus College of Health Sciences was founded in 1942 with the mandate to support the field of health care both locally and statewide. Located in Concord, North Carolina, CCHS's ADN program graduates are welcomed into the ranks of professional nurses.

Program Details

  • Programs: Associate in Nursing
  • Phone: (704) 403-1555

ADN Programs in North Carolina

An Associate's Degree in Nursing (ADN) is one of the fastest ways to attain a nursing license. This 2-year program is offered at a variety of community and technical colleges throughout the state and will qualify you to take your nursing licensure examination upon completion. ADN programs tend to be less expensive than longer nursing programs which take 4 or more years to complete.

There's no shortage of ADN programs in North Carolina, as over 50 schools in the state offer the degree.

What to Look For in an ADN Program in North Carolina

It's always advised to compare educational programs before deciding on the right one for you. You'll want to look into a variety of factors, including the following:


Proper accreditation is crucial for an ADN program's reputation. National organizations like the Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing's Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) are just two of the organizations that offer legitimate accreditations. You should also check to see that your program of choice is approved by the local North Carolina Board of Nursing.


To actually receive your nursing license, you'll have to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) once you complete your ADN education. When comparing schools and programs, check the curriculum to ensure that it will prepare you to take and pass the NCLEX. Many schools will even provide statistics on pass rates from graduates of their program.

Program Outcomes

You will also want to see what kind of statistics your school can provide on outcomes from prior graduates. Pay particular attention to favorable reports on things such as:

  • Graduation rates
  • Licensure exam pass rates
  • Graduate satisfaction
  • Employment rates

As an example, Durham Technical Community College is just one of the many schools in North Carolina that offers an accredited ADN program.

ADN Program Admission Requirements in North Carolina

Each school and program will have its own variation of admission requirements, but in general, you can expect to see things like:

  • Submit high school and any post-secondary transcripts
  • Achieve minimum English, Math, and Reading competencies on SAT or ACT exams
  • Achieve and maintain a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA
  • Completion of one unit of high school biology and one unit of high school chemistry with a grade of C or higher

Tuition and Costs of ADN Programs in North Carolina

You will need to carefully consider a few items when looking into program costs. Tuition is one of the big ones, but you'll also need to factor in things like textbooks, transportation, and other miscellaneous mandatory fees.

To give you a general idea regarding cost, the total estimated ADN program fees at Wake Technical Community College in Raleigh are approximately $14,000 for in-state students.

Advantages of ADN Programs

If you are looking to complete your nursing training quickly so that you can enter the workforce and start your career, an ADN is ideal. It's also perfect for those who are cost-conscious, as the relatively short program length combined with its availability at smaller colleges tends to make it much more affordable than a longer nursing program. The sheer number of ADN programs available throughout the state of North Carolina makes it a snap to find an accredited program in a desirable location.

LPN to RN Programs in North Carolina

Those who are already Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) can enter the realm of registered nursing through a specialized LPN to RN program. Depending on the student’s goals, they can choose between the LPN to ADN pathway or the LPN to BSN.

LPN to ADN/BSN Programs

For the quickest route to entry-level RN practice, RN to ADN programs in North Carolina is a great option. This program bridges the gap between LPN and RN practice in just a few semesters. For example, Bladen Community College in Dublin offers an RN to ADN program that requires just 33 total credit hours to complete. Those looking to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing may opt for the RN to BSN program pathway. Winston-Salem State University offers an LPN to BSN for students who have at least one year of direct patient care experience in the state.

Requirements for LPN to RN programs in North Carolina may include:

  • Minimum cumulative GPA (usually 2.5 or higher)
  • Must hold a current unencumbered LPN license
  • Graduate of an accredited LPN program

BSN Programs in North Carolina

A Bachelor's of Science in Nursing (BSN) is the next step up beyond an ADN and is great for those who have the time and resources for a longer program. This traditional 4-year degree opens the door to more advanced nursing careers and higher salaries. Many schools also offer shorter RN to BSN programs for those who already hold a nursing license but want to advance to higher nursing positions.

North Carolina boasts over 25 pre-licensure BSN programs, and more than 20 RN to BSN programs.

What To Look For in a BSN Program in North Carolina

You will want to compare each school and program you are interested in to make sure you find the right fit. Cost, location, accreditation, and program outcomes should all be top considerations. If you already hold a bachelor's degree or higher in another subject, you may want to look for a school with an accelerated BSN program, which is gaining popularity for those looking at nursing as a second career.

Pfeiffer University, located in Misenheimer, NC, is an example of a school with an accredited BSN program.

BSN Program Length in North Carolina

A regular, pre-nursing licensure BSN program will take you 4 years to complete. If you are doing an accelerated BSN, you can be done in as little as 15 months. RN to BSN programs, for those who already hold an ADN and want to advance, can take 1-2 years to complete depending on the school and the types of courses already completed.

BSN Program Admission Requirements in North Carolina

While requirements for each BSN program may vary, the following is a sample of the types of admission requirements you're liable to face:

  • Completion of all pre-requisite courses with a grade of C or better
  • Overall GPA of 2.8 or higher
  • Submission of one-page essay on the nursing profession
  • Clear criminal background check and drug screen

Tuition and Costs of BSN Programs in North Carolina

Tuition and other associated fees may fluctuate depending on the type of BSN you are applying to. Remember that you will need to cover tuition costs, as well as extras like textbooks and lab fees. There are usually other mandatory fees that you'll need to pay for that aren't necessarily included with the tuition price, so always double-check to make sure you understand the full cost of the program.

For example, the estimated tuition rate for a BSN at Queens University of Charlotte is roughly $800 per credit hour, plus additional fees.

Advantages of BSN Programs

If you are looking for a traditional university experience, and know that you want to work at a higher level of responsibility within the nursing field, a BSN is a great choice. The versatility of this type of degree is also a big draw, as you can earn one straight out of high school, or go through a specialized program if you already hold a bachelor's degree or a nursing license.

MSN Programs in North Carolina

To reach one of the highest and most respected areas of nursing, a Master's of Science in Nursing degree (MSN) is your ideal educational choice. An MSN is for those who want to go into more advanced nursing careers such as Clinical Nurse Specialist, Certified Nurse Midwife, or Nurse Practitioner, among others. Nurses holding this advanced degree also have the potential to earn much more money.

North Carolina has roughly 15 schools that offer a general MSN degree throughout the state, as well as about 7 schools that offer an MSN-Nurse Anesthesia program.

MSN Program Length in North Carolina

Many people wonder how long a graduate MSN program will take to complete since you must already hold at least a BSN in order to apply. Because these programs are designed for busy working nurses to complete, the length can vary. Generally speaking, it will take roughly 2-3 years to complete your MSN. Keep in mind that these programs sometimes offer flexible coursework in the form of night and/or online classes.

MSN Admission Requirements in North Carolina

Most MSN programs will have the following requirements in order to gain acceptance, although you should check with your school of choice to see what they specifically require:

  • Must possess a BSN from a regionally accredited college and a nationally-accredited nursing program
  • Minimum 2.85 cumulative GPA
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Current RN license and one-year clinical experience within the last 5 years

Tuition and Costs of MSN Programs in North Carolina

Tuition and costs for an MSN can vary depending on the type of specialty you are interested in going into. You'll have to cover the cost of tuition of course, as well as additional fees for things like books and labs. To provide an idea about the cost of an MSN program in the state, the total estimated in-state cost for tuition and fees at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill is between $11,000 and $12,500 per semester, not including additional mandatory fees.

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Getting a North Carolina Nursing License

North Carolina regulations for licensure by examination or by endorsement require a candidate to demonstrate their eligibility by submitting a completed application, subsequent fees, and the following information:

If applying by examination you must meet these criteria and provide the following information:

  • Graduate of a state-approved school of nursing - transcripts automatically sent from school to board upon completion
  • Registration for NCLEX - obtain successful completion of the exam
  • Criminal Background Check - including fingerprints

If applying by endorsement you must include the following with a completed application:

  • Proof of education
  • Criminal Background Check
  • Successful completion of NCLEX or SBTPE
  • Verification of licensure from originating state
  • Previous Employment information

Learn more about NC RN license information at the North Carolina Board of Nursing.

Accelerated Nursing Programs in North Carolina

Investing in your career can be done before you even graduate, you can accelerate your learning and earn your degree faster making advancements and opportunities available sooner. Programs are offered throughout the state in more than 5 different colleges and run anywhere from 10 to 15 months in length. If you are currently working and are looking to upgrade your degree there are bridging options as well. Accelerated degree programs are intensive in nature due to the full-time commitment they require, and because clinical hours run consecutively. Entrance requirements and tuitions vary depending on the program, as well as the courses required prior to being accepted.

Continued List of All RN Programs in North Carolina

Here is a continued list of all RN Programs a continued list of all RN Programs a continued list of all RN Programs a continued list of all RN Programs a continued list of all RN Programs a continued list of all RN Programs.

Dallas, NC 28034 | Phone: (704) 922-6200
Programs: Associate in Nursing, LPN to RN
Albemarle, NC 28001 | Phone: (704) 982-0121
Programs: Associate in Nursing, LPN to ADN
Goldsboro, NC 27534 | Phone: (919) 735-5151
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Wilmington, NC 28403 | Phone: (910) 962-3000
Programs: BSN
Bolivia, NC 28422 | Phone: (800) 754-1050
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Charlotte, NC 28223 | Phone: (704) 687-8622
Programs: BSN, RN to BSN, RN to MSN
Statesville, NC 28677 | Phone: (704) 878-3200
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Boiling Springs, NC 28017 | Phone: (704) 406-4000
Programs: Associate in Nursing, BSN
Lumberton, NC 28360 | Phone: (910) 272-3700
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Monroe, NC 28110 | Phone: (704) 290-5100
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Hamlet, NC 28345 | Phone: (910) 410-1700
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Clinton, NC 28328 | Phone: (910) 592-8081
Programs: Associate in Nursing, LPN to ADN
Smithfield, NC 27577 | Phone: (919) 934-3051
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Morehead City, NC 28557 | Phone: (252) 222-6000
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Fayetteville, NC 28301 | Phone: (910) 672-1111
Programs: BSN
Raleigh, NC 27613 | Phone: (919) 283-5748
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Hickory, NC 28601 | Phone: (828) 328-1741
Programs: BSN, RN to BSN
Shelby, NC 28150 | Phone: (704) 669-4073
Programs: Associate in Nursing, BSN
Weyers Cave, NC 24486 | Phone: (540) 234-9261
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Washington, NC 27889 | Phone: (252) 946-6194
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Wilson, NC 27893 | Phone: (800) 345-4973
Programs: BSN
Pembroke, NC 28372 | Phone: (910) 521-6000
Programs: BSN
Charlotte, NC 28274 | Phone: (704) 337-2314
Programs: BSN, RN to BSN
Pinehurst, NC 28374 | Phone: (910) 692-6185
Programs: Associate in Nursing, LPN to ADN
Greensboro, NC 27412 | Phone: (336) 334-5000
Programs: BSN, RN to BSN, MSN
Durham, NC 27705 | Phone: (919) 470-7348
Programs: Diploma
Kinston, NC 28504 | Phone: (252) 527-6223
Programs: Associate in Nursing, LPN to ADN
Roxboro, NC 27573 | Phone: (336) 599-1181
Programs: Associate in Nursing, LPN to ADN
Salisbury, NC 28146 | Phone: (704) 216-7222
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Spruce Pine, NC 28777 | Phone: (828) 765-7351
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Fayetteville, NC 28311 | Phone: (910) 630-7000
Programs: BSN
Pittsboro, NC 27312 | Phone: (919) 775-5401
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Asheville, NC 28801 | Phone: (828) 398-7900
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Charlotte, NC 28273 | Phone: (980) 939-6241
Programs: BSN
Wilkesboro, NC 28697 | Phone: (336) 838-6100
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Winston-Salem, NC 27110 | Phone: (336) 750-2000
Programs: BSN, MSN
Jacksonville, NC 28546 | Phone: (910) 455-1221
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Charlotte, NC 28246 | Phone: (186) 689-2381 x9
Programs: BSN
Fayetteville, NC 28303 | Phone: (910) 678-8400
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Hickory, NC 28602 | Phone: (828) 327-7000
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Greensboro, NC 27401 | Phone: (336) 274-2664
Programs: BSN
Wentworth, NC 27375 | Phone: (336) 342-4261
Programs: Associate in Nursing, LPN to ADN
Rocky Mount, NC 27801 | Phone: (252) 823-5166
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Ahoskie, NC 27910 | Phone: (252) 862-1200
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Jamestown, NC 27282 | Phone: (336) 334-4822
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Dublin, NC 28332 | Phone: (910) 879-5500
Programs: Associate in Nursing, LPN to RN
New Bern, NC 28562 | Phone: (252) 638-7200
Programs: Associate in Nursing, LPN to ADN
Asheville, NC 28803 | Phone: (828) 398-2500
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Rocky Mount, NC 27804 | Phone: (252) 443-4011
Programs: Associate in Nursing, LPN to ADN
Thomasville, NC 27360 | Phone: (336) 249-8186
Programs: Associate in Nursing, LPN to ADN
Durham, NC 27703 | Phone: (919) 536-7200
Programs: Associate in Nursing, LPN to ADN
Misenheimer, NC 28109 | Phone: (800) 338-2060
Programs: BSN
Winterville, NC 28590 | Phone: (252) 493-7200
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Whiteville, NC 28472 | Phone: (910) 642-7141
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Wilson, NC 27893 | Phone: (252) 291-1195
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Durham, NC 27701 | Phone: (919) 530-6100
Programs: BSN
Weldon, NC 27890 | Phone: (252) 536-4221
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Henderson, NC 27536 | Phone: (252) 492-2061
Programs: Associate in Nursing, LPN to ADN
Sylva, NC 28779 | Phone: (828) 339-4000
Programs: Associate in Nursing
Mars Hill, NC 28754 | Phone: (866) 642-4968
Programs: BSN
Banner Elk, NC 28604 | Phone: (828) 898-5241
Programs: BSN
Salisbury, NC 28144 | Phone: 1800
Programs: BSN
Laurinburg, NC 28352 | Phone: (910) 277-5555
Programs: BSN

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