North Carolina Nursing Programs and Degrees Guide

    The following guide provides you with key information on the many nursing programs, including profiles of several programs, in the state of North Carolina. Students have the option of concentrating their nursing degrees in such areas as nurse anesthesia, family nurse practitioner, nurse administrator, and nurse educator. Many traditional universities, such as East Carolina University, offer online courses or online nursing programs. A growing number of distance nursing programs allow students the flexible alternative of earning a bachelor’s or a master’s in nursing entirely online.

    Quick Facts

    • 85 schools with nursing programs in North Carolina are in our database (see below).
    • 60 colleges and universities offer associate’s degrees or certificates in nursing.1
    • 26 colleges and universities offer bachelor’s degrees in nursing.1
    • 15 colleges and universities offer master’s or advanced degrees in nursing.1
    • 3 schools ranked in Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges in 2018.2
    • No schools ranked in the Princeton Review’s Great Schools for Nursing Majors in 2018.3
    • 7 schools ranked in US News Best Nursing Schools: Master’s programs.4
    • 5 schools ranked in US News Best Nursing Schools: Doctor of Nursing Practice programs.4

    Top-Ranked Schools with Nursing Programs in North Carolina

    Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges 2018*

    • Appalachian State University (#29 in-state, #22 out-of-state)
    • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (#1 in-state, #1 out-of-state)
    • University of North Carolina-Wilmington (#62 in-state, #68 out-of-state)

    *Institution-wide ranking.

    US News Best Nursing Schools: Master’s

    • Duke University (#2)
    • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (#14 tie)
    • University of North Carolina-Greensboro (#55 tie)
    • East Carolina University (#112)
    • Winston-Salem University (#121 tie)
    • University of North Carolina-Wilmington (#141 tie)
    • Queens University of Charlotte (#183 tie)

    US News Best Nursing Schools: Doctor of Nursing Practice

    • Duke University (#1)
    • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (#13 tie)
    • University of North Carolina-Greensboro (#54 tie)
    • East Carolina University (#101 tie)
    • Winston-Salem State University (#123 tie)

    Below you will find more in-depth information about the nursing programs offered in North Carolina.

    NCLEX Pass Rate and Accreditation Information for Nursing Schools in North Carolina

    The following table allows you to easily compare not-for-profit North Carolina nursing schools on a variety of factors. Click on the arrows in the top row to sort the table. In addition to seeking a program that leads to licensure in your desired area of nursing, it’s advisable to consider accreditation as a factor in your decision. If you are considering education beyond the associate’s level, know that a degree from a school that holds accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is a common requirement for admission to master’s degree, ADN/LVN and RN to BSN, and specialized certificate programs. You should also check to ensure that the school you are considering is approved or accepted by the North Carolina Board of Nursing (https://www.ncbon.com/).

    SchoolADN or LVN ProgramBSN ProgramGraduate Nursing ProgramACEN/CCNE Accred.*NCLEX-PN First Time Pass Rate**# TakingNCLEX-RN First Time Pass Rate^# TakingNet Price^^
    Alamance Community CollegeYesNoNoNoN/AN/A78%18$10,020
    Appalachian State UniversityNoYesNoCCNEN/AN/A97%39$11,508
    Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community CollegeYesNoNoNo67%989%81$9,111
    Barton CollegeNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A61%46$21,302
    Beaufort Community CollegeYesNoNoNo76%1776%54$10,269
    Bladen Community CollegeYesNoNoNo95%2091%22$11,257
    Blue Ridge Community CollegeYesNoNoNoN/AN/A85%39$8,167
    Brunswick Community CollegeYesNoNoNo94%16100%21$7,139
    Cabarrus College of Health SciencesYesYesNoACEN/CCNEN/AN/A83%104$12,426
    Caldwell Community College and Technical InstituteYesNoNoNoN/AN/A84%63$11,862
    Campbell UniversityNoYesNoNoN/AN/AN/AN/A$27,309
    Cape Fear Community CollegeYesNoNoACEN100%20100%57$9,253
    Carolinas College of Health SciencesYesNoNoACENN/AN/A90%133$41,647
    Carteret Community CollegeYesNoNoACEN50%682%17$11,194
    Catawba CollegeNoYesNoNoN/AN/AN/AN/A$20,359
    Catawba Valley Community CollegeYesNoNoACENN/AN/A88%52$6,766
    Central Carolina Community CollegeYesNoNoNo67%2770%44$7,874
    Central Piedmont Community CollegeYesNoNoACENN/AN/A93%59$6,892
    Cleveland Community CollegeYesNoNoNo100%11N/AN/AN/A
    Coastal Carolina Community CollegeYesNoNoNo94%1896%27$9,309
    College of the AlbemarleYesNoNoACEN88%1797%32$6,427
    Craven Community CollegeYesNoNoNo100%1189%44$7,655
    Davidson County Community CollegeYesNoNoACEN100%1495%56$6,829
    Duke UniversityNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A94%109$21,295
    Durham Technical Community CollegeYesNoNoACEN100%871%80$6,630
    East Carolina UniversityNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A95%257$13,300
    Edgecombe Community CollegeYesNoNoACEN100%876%45$7,741
    Fayetteville State UniversityNoYesNoCCNEN/AN/A88%25$5,170
    Fayetteville Technical Community CollegeYesNoNoNo81%3278%46$3,691
    Foothills Nursing ConsortiumYesNoNoNoN/AN/A90%60N/A
    Forsyth Technical Community CollegeYesNoNoACENN/AN/A79%57$20,417
    Gardner-Webb University (BSN)YesYesYesACENN/AN/A100%26$20,417
    Gaston CollegeYesNoNoACEN100%59100%66$10,841
    Guilford Technical Community CollegeYesNoNoNo100%1986%85$12,832
    Halifax Community CollegeYesNoNoNo50%882%17$3,375
    Haywood Community CollegeYesNoNoNoN/AN/AN/AN/A$7,959
    Isothermal Community CollegeYesNoNoNo56%39N/AN/A$4,776
    James Sprunt Community CollegeYesNoNoNo100%694%16$6,521
    Johnston Community CollegeYesNoNoNoN/AN/A97%38$6,501
    Lees-McRae CollegeYesYesNoCCNEN/AN/AN/AN/A$23,075
    Lenoir Community CollegeYesNoNoNo100%10100%21$7,749
    Lenoir-Rhyne UniversityNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A94%31$19,972
    Mayland Community CollegeYesNoNoNo0%177%30$9,067
    McDowell Technical Community CollegeYesNoNoNo100%31N/AN/A$4,168
    Methodist UniversityNoYesNoCCNEN/AN/A53%30$22,274
    Mitchell Community CollegeYesNoNoACENN/AN/A97%34$8,104
    Montgomery Community CollegeYesNoNoNo76%29N/AN/A$6,336
    Nash Community CollegeYesNoNoNo80%1077%56$7,303
    North Carolina A & T State UniversityNoYesNoACENN/AN/A71%38$8,589
    North Carolina Central UniversityNoYesNoACENN/AN/A66%71$9,793
    Pfeiffer UniversityNoYesNoCCNEN/AN/A94%17$18,316
    Piedmont Community CollegeYesNoNoNoN/AN/A71%28$8,484
    Pitt Community CollegeYesNoNoACENN/AN/A87%90$5,199
    Queens University of Charlotte (ADN)YesYesYesCCNEN/AN/A25%4$26,020
    Queens University of Charlotte (BSN)YesYesYesCCNEN/AN/A88%85$26,020
    Randolph Community CollegeYesNoNoNoN/AN/A76%34$8,581
    Region A Nursing ConsortiumYesNoNoNoN/AN/A70%46N/A
    Richmond Community CollegeYesNoNoNo80%1591%35$4,792
    Roanoke-Chowan Community CollegeYesNoNoNoN/AN/A56%25$2,396
    Robeson Community CollegeYesNoNoNo100%13100%19$9,112
    Rockingham Community CollegeYesNoNoNo80%5100%10$7,225
    Rowan-Cabarrus Community CollegeYesNoNoACEN100%491%47$6,361
    Sampson Community CollegeYesNoNoACEN100%1692%37$10,607
    Sandhills Community CollegeYesNoNoNoN/AN/A100%61$9,623
    South Piedmont Community CollegeYesNoNoNo90%1093%27$6,353
    Southeastern Community CollegeYesNoNoNo96%2669%51$8,004
    Southwestern Community CollegeYesNoNoNoN/AN/A82%28$9,120
    Stanly Community CollegeYesNoNoNoN/AN/A88%34$7,614
    Surry Community CollegeYesNoNoNo100%993%27$9,139
    Tri-County Community CollegeYesNoNoNoN/AN/AN/AN/A$8,220
    University of Mount OliveYesYesYesCCNEN/AN/AN/AN/A$14,654
    University of North Carolina-Chapel HillNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A96%172$10,785
    University of North Carolina-CharlotteNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A88%113$8,761
    University of North Carolina-GreensboroNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A88%104$9,875
    University of North Carolina-PembrokeNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A81%43$10,613
    University of North Carolina-WilmingtonNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A94%80$14,999
    Vance-Granville Community CollegeYesNoNoNo86%2889%54$6,109
    Wake Technical Community CollegeYesNoNoACENN/AN/A98%111$9,094
    Wayne Community CollegeYesNoNoACEN93%1597%36$2,955
    Western Carolina UniversityNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A99%74$12,680
    Western Piedmont Community CollegeYesNoNoACENN/AN/A93%29$7,330
    Wilkes Community CollegeYesNoNoNoN/AN/A88%33$5,429
    Wilson Community CollegeYesNoNoNo100%10N/AN/A$10,847
    Wingate UniversityNoYesNoACENN/AN/A76%34$18,821
    Winston-Salem State UniversityNoYesYesCCNEN/AN/A87%123$8,746

    *The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) accredits ADN/ASN/BSN programs. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredits BSN/MSN/DNP programs.5,6
    **NCLEX-PN pass rates reported are for first-time undergraduates testing between January 1, 2016 to September 30, 2016.7 You can compare these pass rates to the national average through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.
    ^NCLEX-RN pass rates reported are for first-time undergraduates testing between January 1, 2016 to September 30, 2016.7 You can compare these pass rates to the national average through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.
    ^^The National Center for Education Statistics calculates net price from the total estimated cost of attendance, including includes tuition, books, room and board, and other expenses, for in-state students minus the average financial aid award (such as grants and scholarships).

    Schools in North Carolina with Nursing Degrees

    Associate’s in Nursing Programs

    Central Carolina Community College
    The associate in applied science in nursing degree program at Central Carolina Community College’s Lee County campus prepares graduates to become registered nurses equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to work as part of an interdisciplinary team in diverse healthcare environments. The curriculum includes content focused on holistic health and nursing education and can typically be completed in five semesters. Admission to the program is competitive and is based on the completion of nursing prerequisites and an acceptable score on the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) exam, among other factors. Central Carolina Community College also offers a practical nursing program through its Harnett County campus.

    Wake Tech Community College
    Wake Tech Community College offers an associate’s degree in nursing that requires 72 credit hours to complete. Program graduates are qualified to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam and become licensed registered nurses in North Carolina. Core courses in the program include Holistic Health Concepts, Developmental Psychology, Health-Illness Concepts, and Family Health Concepts. An advanced placement program is available for licensed practical nurses that may shorten the time required to earn the associate’s degree. Advanced placement cohorts begin once per year in the summer semester. Nursing courses for both traditional and advanced placement are typically held during the daytime hours. The registered nursing program at Wake Tech is approved by the North Carolina Board of Nursing and holds accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

    Bachelor’s in Nursing Programs

    North Carolina A&T State University
    North Carolina A&T State University confers the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to students who successfully complete the 124-125 credit, four-year program. Students generally spend the freshmen and sophomore years completing general college requirements and prerequisites before predominately focusing on the nursing major in the junior and senior years. The nursing curriculum covers adult health, the childbearing family, pharmacology, pediatric mental health, and leadership and management. Students, who already have a current registered nurse’s license and an associate’s degree in nursing, may want to consider the nursing department’s BSN completion program. Students with a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing may pursue their BSN through an accelerated program.

    North Carolina Central University
    North Carolina Central University features a traditional BSN program that allows undergraduates to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in four years. The 124 credit program requires nursing majors to complete 56 credits of general college coursework in math, science, and English the first two years of the program before concentrating on the nursing curriculum in the second two years. The nursing program features coursework in the care of the family, psychiatric mental health nursing, nursing care of the adult, and pharmacology in nursing. The nursing department also features a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) completion program for students who already have an associate’s degree in nursing and a current registered nurse’s license.

    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Nursing has a range of programs, including a Bachelor’s of Nursing (BSN). The BSN program features two tracks. The first track is for those students pursuing a bachelor’s degree for the first time. Students complete required general college coursework before moving into the nursing program for the final two years of study. Students, who already hold a bachelor’s degree in another specialty, can follow the second track, the Accelerated BSN, which takes four terms to complete. The school also features an MSN program, which prepares graduates to take the Clinical Nurse Leader exam necessary for national certification. Students who commit to the program full-time generally take four semesters to fulfill degree requirements while part-time students require five semesters. Courses are generally held on campus, online, and through seminars.

    Master’s in Nursing Programs

    East Carolina University
    East Carolina University’s Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program is offered in eight concentrations. The adult gerontology nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, neonatal nurse practitioner, nursing leadership, family nurse practitioner, nurse midwifery, and nursing education programs are all offered online while the nurse anesthesia program is campus-based. The adult gerontology nurse practitioner program requires students to complete 45 credits and minimum of 616 hours of a clinical practicum. The nursing leadership program consists of 41 credits and a 252-hour practicum. Students may study full time or part, depending on the particular concentration’s requirements.

    University of North Carolina at Charlotte
    The University of North Carolina at Charlotte confers the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in family nurse practitioner across the lifespan, community/public health, nurse anesthesia, nurse educator, and nurse administrator. The family nurse practitioner across the lifespan track requires 46 credits with students beginning in the summer. The nurse anesthesia full-time program requires students to take courses, which are offered once each year, in sequence. Full-time or part-time study is permitted depending on the concentration. Clinical practicums are mandatory with students working at local medical and healthcare facilities such as Carolina Medical Center and the Carolina Healthcare System.

    Student Reviews

    Note: Student Reviews are based on the experiences of a few individuals and it is unlikely that you will have similar results. Please review the “Data, Student Reviews and Other Information” section in our Terms of Use and Disclaimers.

    Bladen Community College
    7418 NC Hwy 41W
    Dublin, NC 28332
    (910) 879-5500

    Student Review: “I’ve just started the nursing curriculum at this school but so far I’m pleased. The instructors are very knowledgeable and approachable. Just finishing up the basics of patient care in nurse aide courses but the instructors have been more than willing to assist us in our practical environment (clinical sites) when it comes to handling patient needs within our scope of practice. The school uses a more hands-on approach to teaching and prefers to use living patients as opposed to mannequins or lecture. Many students find this an easier environment in which to learn the material. I look forward to continuing my education in this career as I eventually work towards completing a Master’s level training program in the field of nursing. I feel that this school has given me a great foundation on which to complete that goal.” – Student at Bladen Community College

    Wake Technical Community College
    9101 Fayetteville Rd
    Raleigh, NC 27603
    (919) 866-5000

    Student Review: “Wake Technical Community College was an average nursing school program. I really enjoyed all of the various clinical experience we got and in all the different areas we were able to experience. I did feel that the first semester was too many different things all packed into just 1 semester and especially for new students. It was the only semester where we had a lab that also had separate tests and quizzes which were just more unnecessary work. I also felt that the teachers were unfair when making tests and would not admit to writing a poor question or when the right answer they had was wrong. It made going over tests really difficult and often times we would end up getting a question wrong (which is important when there are not many tests in class so each question counts) when we should have gotten it right. I felt that there was a lot of clinical paperwork with no grade so it ended up being a lot of wasted time. It was only satisfactory or unsatisfactory which is not worth the hours of time put into the paperwork or the stress the clinical instructors put on students for perfection on it.” – Student at Wake Technical Community College

    Student Review: “Wake Tech offers a comprehensive, albeit highly competitive nursing program. The Perry Health Sciences campus is basically brand new and has state of the art simulation technology. Because Wake county is a fairly renowned medical research base, the opportunities for clinical experience are fantastic, and the rotating clinical hours allow for all students to work in a diverse range of settings. One downside that I will mention is that as of yet, the school only offers an Associates level nursing program- and with the hospital regulations that are in the process of passing, any student that completes the program will still need to follow up with an associates to bachelor’s degree to be able to find lucrative employment. The course is rigorous, and the hours somewhat unrelenting- this is not a program that you can do while working full time. The obvious goal of the program is to produce HIGH-quality nursing associates, and I think it is unavoidable to make it through the program without being just that.” – Student at Wake Technical Community College

    1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
    2. Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges: https://www.kiplinger.com/tool/college/T014-S001-best-college-values-college-finder/index.php#Tile
    3. The Princeton Review. The Best 382 Colleges, 2018 Edition. New York, Penguin Random House, 2018.
    4. US News Top Graduate Nursing Schools: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-nursing-schools
    5. Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN): http://www.acenursing.us/accreditedprograms/programSearch.htm
    6. Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE): https://directory.ccnecommunity.org/reports/accprog.asp
    7. North Carolina Board of Nursing: https://www.ncbon.com/news-publications-statistics-statistics-statistics-for-nclex