Nursing Degrees in North Carolina
We all know that health care is an important aspect of life in the United States, but there are some parts of the country where it is an even more crucial part of life. North Carolina is one of those areas. North Carolina has a large rural population that has little to no access to timely health care. To solve this problem, nursing schools in North Carolina and nursing employers in North Carolina are attempting to boost the number of RNs and LPNs throughout the state.
Everyone looks for different traits in a career. If you’re looking for the opportunity to work in a growing industry that makes a difference, nursing may be the career path for you. Skilled nurses have an eye for detail, the ability to work well with all sorts of people, and an uncanny ability to remain calm in any situation.
While education is important in any type of career, it is especially crucial in a career path like registered nursing. Your decisions can have a serious impact on patients’ lives, and you need the right training and knowledge to make those decisions. At nursing programs in NC, you may learn the skills needed for each level of licensure in nursing.
In-home care is a growing area of nursing in North Carolina. With many aging and ill patients that have difficulty leaving home for medical appointments, it’s incredibly helpful to have nurses who are willing to travel to patients’ homes and meet their health care needs.
North Carolina’s legislators and politicians realize how important nurses are. Every year, they celebrate nurses and their knowledge of clinical leadership, patient care, and research.
Funding is often a major issue in education, but funding is on the rise in nursing research. A local institution recently received a $500,000 grant for its nursing program. This may give you more scholarship and grant opportunities.
Nursing Schools in North Carolina
You may wish to look into different types of nursing degrees to find the program that best fits your educational goals. Some student choose to earn an LPN certificate or diploma. This program, which lasts one year, may allow you to prepare for an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree program. Associate’s and Bachelor’s degree programs lead to licensure as a registered nurse.
It’s important to meet the graduation requirements of your school and the licensure requirements of North Carolina. To begin preparing for licensure, you may take core classes like Nursing Role in Nutrition, Pathophysiology, Discipline of Nursing, and Health Assessment. High-level courses in your curriculum may include Nursing Inquiry, Evidence-Based Practice, Nursing Care of Adults, Skills for Evidence-Based Practice, Public Health Nursing, and Maternal/Newborn Nursing.
Nursing Education & Career Information in your City
Spending some time looking into nursing scholarships every year can really pay off, particularly if you’re willing to write essays and network with nursing professionals. The Nurse Education Scholarship Loan Program offers low interest loans that may be repaid through service in North Carolina. The North Carolina League for Nursing Academic Scholarships is another option to consider. Consider turning to the North Carolina Foundation for Nursing for your academic funding needs.
Nursing Degree Programs in North Carolina
Links for specific programs in North Carolina are below. The list of links is followed by a high level overview of the most popular programs.
Transition programs for nurses:
Graduate programs for nurses:
- All Masters in Nursing Programs in NC
- All DNP and PhD in Nursing Programs in NC
- All Nurse Practitioner Programs in NC
Entry level nursing programs:
- All LPN/LVN Programs in NC
- All Associate Degree Nursing Programs in NC
- All Four-Year Bachelor of Science in Nursing Programs in NC
- All Second Degree Bachelor of Science in Nursing Programs in NC
- Direct Entry Master of Science in Nursing Programs in NC
North Carolina LPN Programs
- Admissions requirements: High school diploma, CNA license, and a clear health check
- Credits: Average of 39 credits required for graduation
- Online training options: No fully online training options are available, due to required clinical hours
- Licensing test: NCLEX-PN is required for licensure in North Carolina
Licensed practical nurses are between CNAs and registered nurses in terms of education and scope of practice. Many schools require a CNA license, since the experience you get as a certified nursing assistant may help you get used to the demands of nursing. From start to finish, an LPN program may last just one year. If you choose to advance your education at a later date, you may be able to transfer credits to an RN or BSN program.
BSN Programs in North Carolina
- Admissions requirements: A high school diploma, CNA licensure, and a high school GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
- Credits: At least 120 credits required for graduation
- Online training options: Unavailable, although blended programs do allow you to do some of your training online
- Licensing test: NCLEX-RN required for licensure in North Carolina
The BSN is one of the most popular nursing degrees across the country. It is extremely versatile, allowing graduates to work in almost any healthcare setting or specialty. It also paves the way for future graduate or doctorate study, if that’s one of your goals. The standard BSN takes four years to earn, during which time you spend close to 1,000 hours working with patients in different care environments.
North Carolina MSN Schools
- Admissions requirements: A Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a current nursing license; many schools require one or two years of full-time nursing experience
- Credits: Up to 50 credits required for graduation
- Online training options: Online programs are available in many areas of specialized study
- Licensing test: Licensure requirements are set by the national accreditation agency for each clinical specialty
When you decide to earn an MSN at one of the best nursing schools in NC, you have to decide which nursing role suits you. Some students choose to go into clinical work as a nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist, nurse midwife, or clinical nurse specialist. Others choose more administrative paths, like nurse informatics, administration, or education. The average MSN lasts two years, although some programs last up to five semesters.
DNP and PhD Nursing Programs in North Carolina
- Admissions requirements: A Bachelor of Science in Nursing, several years of experience in nursing, and a current North Carolina nursing license
- Credits: Up to 95 credits at the graduate level
- Online training options: Few online training options are available, since research and teaching are important areas of focus
- Licensing test: Clinical licensure goes through national accreditation agencies
Earning a doctorate may open up many doors for your nursing career. With a doctorate degree, you may work as a leader in a clinic or hospital setting. Some go into work as nurse researchers, directing the future of this industry through the correlations they uncover. Others go into postsecondary teaching and educate the next generation of nurses.
Nursing Colleges in North Carolina with Nursing Bridge Programs
If you have already completed some postsecondary education, you may worry that going through a traditional NC state nursing program could cost you thousands of extra dollars in tuition. Bridge programs are the solution, saving nontraditional students time and money. The options available to you depend on what level of education you’ve reached and what degree you ultimately want to earn.
If you have an LPN diploma or certificate, you may choose a bridge program that leads to RN licensure. In an LPN to RN program, you complete the courses needed for an Associate’s degree in less than one year. If you go all the way with a Bachelor’s degree, you may be able to complete an LPN to BSN degree in three years or less.
At the Associate’s degree level, you may be interested in earning a BSN or MSN. Bridge BSN programs are very fast-paced, typically lasting just 18 months in North Carolina. At some schools in North Carolina, you may do most of your BSN coursework online and meet your clinical requirements in your RN job. Bridge MSN programs last roughly three years, often giving you a foolproof way to move up in your education and expand your scope of practice.
Tips for Choosing the Top Nursing Schools in North Carolina
As you explore some of the best nursing schools in North Carolina, you may wonder how you can make the right decision for your future. It takes time, so don’t try to rush your choice.
Take your time and request information from any schools that fit your criteria. As you get more information, you can rule out schools. Once you have a manageable list, you may want to start touring campuses and sitting in on nursing classes. Often, seeing a number of nursing schools is all it takes to decide which school you want to attend.
What to Consider While Comparing North Carolina Nursing Schools
- What is the average class size? Do you learn best in a small class or a large class?
- How much interaction do students have with professors? Are you a self-guided learner or do you want to have the freedom to ask for questions and help?
- What is the NCLEX pass rate? How does the school support students who are getting ready to take the NCLEX?
- How many graduates are working in the field of nursing within six months of graduation?
- What types of financial aid are available and how much does tuition cost?
- How soon do students start clinical rotations? Where do they go through clinical rotations?
2017 Career Outlook for Nursing Professions
All the work you put into attending nursing school in North Carolina may pay off when it’s time to start your career. Once you’ve graduated with a diploma, certificate, or degree, you need to get a license. This process goes through the North Carolina Board of Nursing. You may want to apply shortly before graduation; this may permit you to take the NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN as soon as possible.
The recent healthcare surge in North Carolina may benefit you when you’re ready to start applying for nursing jobs. Across the United States, healthcare jobs make up 9% of all employment (WRAL, 2017). In North Carolina, healthcare jobs comprise 10.1% of all jobs (WRAL, 2017). Even though this industry employs much of North Carolina’s workforce, there is still a nursing shortage. In particular, many rural counties of North Carolina suffer chronic healthcare provider shortages.
Job growth in North Carolina indicates that this may be an excellent time to jump into nursing and make a go of it. From 2014 through 2024, O*Net predicts an 18% boost in job openings for licensed practical nurses in North Carolina (2017). During the same time period, they hope to see a huge 22% increase in demand for registered nurses (O*Net, 2017). Since those who attend Master’s of Science nurse practitioner programs may provide independent care, they may enjoy the best job outlook. A 39% increase in job openings is expected by 2024 (O*Net, 2017).
Salaries in North Carolina are fairly competitive when compared to average salaries in surrounding states. If you attend a licensed practical nursing degree program in North Carolina, you may start working as an LPN. The average salary in this field is $42,510 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017). Graduates of Bachelor of Science degree programs and RN programs become registered nurses. The average annual salary for an RN is $61,330 (BLS, 2017). Nurse practitioners report a mean income of $103,090 per year (BLS, 2017).
Some of the top employers of Registered Nurses in North Carolina include Duke University Hospital, Forsyth Medical Center, North Carolina Baptist Hospital, The Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital, and Carolinas Medical Center.