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Best 15 MSN Programs in North Carolina in 2021

March 23, 2021 | Staff Writers

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If you are looking for a career that offers financial stability, job security, opportunity and satisfaction, then a career in nursing is a good choice. Like every profession, the more degreed and educated you are, the farther you can go in your chosen field of study, or area of medical studies. If you are a student or working-graduate looking to pursue a Masters of Science in Nursing and you live in North Carolina, you are also in luck because there are many excellent programs to choose from.

To help students find the top programs we have composed a list of the best programs for continuing students or working graduates looking to earn an MSN. Using considerations such as the all-important question of tuition costs, and the important factor of student-to-faculty or teacher ratio, we ranked the top MSN programs in NC to help you find the right program for your goals. So without further delay, here are North Carolina’s top MSN programs.

Best 15 MSN Programs in North Carolina

1. Catawba College (96 points)     

Leading off our list of the top MSN programs in NC is the tuition-friendly program at Catawba College in Salisbury. In addition to list-leading tuition rates, this strong nursing program also offers students a solid student-to-faculty ratio helping Catawba College to earn the top spot on our list.

  • Tuition rate: $2,280 per year                  
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 12 to 1                 

2. Lees-McRae College (93 points)

Another program that may not carry as much name recognition as some other programs on our list of the top MSN programs in NC is Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk. In addition to offering competitive tuition rates, this program affords students strong student-to-faculty numbers too, earning it the number two spot on our list of the top programs.

  • Tuition rate: $9,000 per year        
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 11 to 1 

3. Appalachian State University (92 points)

Students seeking affordable MSN programs should give the nursing program at Appalachian State University in Boone some strong consideration. As one of the most affordable MSN options on our list, this well-recognized North Carolina program is another great choice for students pursuing a top MSN program. 

  • In-State Tuition rate: $3,137 per year    
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 16 to 1 

4. Gardner-Webb University (91 points)

At Gardner-Webb University, continuing students and working graduates will find another top MSN program in NC. This Boiling Springs institution offers students competitive tuition rates to complement a solid student-to-faculty ratio.

  • In-State Tuition rate: $9,000 per year  
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 13 to 1

4. Barton College (91 points)

Making a strong showing on our list of the top MSN programs in NC is Barton College located in Wilson. This nursing program delivers an excellent nursing program supported by good student-to-faculty numbers to go along with competitive tuition rates.

  • Tuition rate: $9,960 per year                
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 12 to 1

4. Mars Hill University (91 points)

Students at Mars Hill University will enjoy smaller class sizes, emphasized by this Mars Hill program’s strong student-to-faculty ratio. This solid program also affords students manageable tuition rates, also helping it to earn a good showing on our list of the top MSN programs in NC.

  • Tuition rate: $10,999 per year                    
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 9 to 1                        

7. Lenoir-Rhyne University (90 points)

The nursing program at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory offers continuing students and working graduates another good opportunity to earn a Master of Science in Nursing degree. Manageable tuition rates and solid student-to-faculty ratios also help this good program to earn a place on our list of the top MSN programs in NC.

  • Tuition rate: $10,980 per year              
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 12 to 1             

7. Western Carolina University (90 points)

Students can earn a Master of Science in Nursing degree at Western Carolina University’s nursing program while enjoying excellent tuition rates too. Only higher student-to-faculty numbers keep this Cullowhee nursing program from ranking higher.

  • In-State Tuition rate: $4,435 per year    
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 17 to 1       

9. North Carolina A & T State University (88 points)

A University that has more name recognition and that is recognized for academic excellence is the North Carolina A & T State University. This Greensboro college offers students affordable tuition rates too, which helps this nursing program to earn a place on our list of the top MSN programs in NC. 

  • In-State Tuition: $4,745 per year     
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 18 to 1    

10. Cabarrus College of Health Sciences (87 points)

For students who can manage its stout tuition rates, the Cabarrus College of Health Sciences in Concord offers an excellent nursing program and the opportunity to earn an MSN. Students should also be encouraged by excellent student-to-faculty numbers that also help this good program to earn a spot on our list of the top schools.

  • Tuition rate: $27,090 per year               
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 7 to 1            

10. Duke University (87 points)

If any school on our list of the top MSN programs in NC needs no introduction, it’s Duke University. This exceptional college also offers students a list-leading student-to-faculty ratio, helping this storied program to earn a spot on our list despite the type of tuition rates that can be expected from a school with a pedigree like Duke’s. 

  • Tuition: $55,680 per year                           
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 6 to 1              

12. Pfeiffer University (86 points)

The nursing program at Pfieffer University offers students the opportunity to earn an MSN at solid tuition rates, while also providing solid student-to-faculty ratios. That also makes this Misenheimer, NC University another good choice for students and earns this program a place on our list of the top MSN programs in NC.

  • Tuition: $12,600 per year                            
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 13 to 1     

13. Wingate University (85 points)

Located in Wingate, the school of the same namesake, Wingate University is another solid option for students seeking a good MSN program. Manageable tuition rates help to offset somewhat larger student-to-faculty numbers and to also earn this college a place on our list.

  • In-State Tuition rate: $11,430 per year       
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 16 to 1    

14. Campbell University (83 points)

Helping to round out our list of the top MSN programs in NC is Campbell University. This Buies Creek college offers students the opportunity to earn a Master of Science in Nursing degree at solid tuition rates, and only comparably larger student-to-faculty ratios prevent this program from a stronger showing.

  • Tuition rate: $13,330 per year                               
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 16 to 1     

14. University of Mount Olive (83 points)

Closing out our list is the University of Mount Olive. This excellent nursing program located in Mount Olive is a great option for students seeking a respected and well-regarded MSN degree. 

  • Tuition: $17,850 per year                        
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 15 to 1     

The System Used to Rank the Programs

The schools on our list were ranked on a selected set of criteria. Each program was assigned points based on the ranking of that criteria. The point totals were then assigned to the corresponding schools and ranked accordingly.

Questions, Comments, or Corrections

If you notice an error or information regarding the programs on our list that needs to be updated, please feel free to let us know. We work hard to provide accurate and helpful information, but this data is changing constantly. Readers should be aware that the information we provide can only be viewed as approximations as a result of the ever-changing nature of each program’s data.

Please contact us if you have any questions regarding any of the programs on our list or would like more information. Good luck in all your educational endeavors and on your pursuit of a career in nursing. 

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