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Best 15 Nursing Schools In North Carolina (NC) in 2021

August 19, 2021 | Staff Writers

Nursing Schools in North Carolina
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Do you have a desire to help people? Are you interested in the medical profession? If so, nursing would be an excellent career for you. Nursing is a very popular major among students in North Carolina. In fact, it is the 12th most popular state for students studying nursing.

If you are planning to attend nursing school in North Carolina, you are going to want to choose the best program. Graduating from one of the best nursing schools means more money and better job opportunities.

Looking into every college in North Carolina with nursing programs can be very time-consuming and even a bit frustrating. This list of schools with the best nursing programs was compiled to make choosing a school less complicated.

Rank School Location
1Duke UniversityDurham, North Carolina
2University of North CarolinaChapel Hill, North Carolina
3University of North CarolinaGreensboro, North Carolina
4University of North CarolinaWilmington, North Carolina
5University of North CarolinaCharlotte, North Carolina

Best Nursing Schools In North Carolina (NC)

1

Duke University

  • Durham, North Carolina
  • Graduation Rate: 95%

Most people have heard of Duke University because it is one of the top private schools in the area. It is also an excellent choice for students who want to continue their nursing education beyond the four-year program. Duke is nationally recognized for their Master’s Degree in Nursing and their Doctor of Nursing Practice. Many students who earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at Duke continue on. Because Duke has a bridge program, the school is also popular with students who have earned their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at another school and want to further their education at a nationally recognized nursing program.

The annual tuition for in-state students is the highest on this list, which most North Carolina residents will expect. It costs $58,198 per year to attend Duke, but it is well worth the cost.

The percentage of students who pass the National Council Licensure Exam is 97 percent, which is excellent. If students are looking to attend a prestigious school in North Carolina, Duke is it.

Finally, Duke is the third most popular school in North Carolina. Students who graduate from Duke report earning a median starting salary of $62,700.

According to U.S. News Education, Duke ranks at number two in the country for their Master’s in Nursing program, second to Johns Hopkins University.

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2

University of North Carolina

  • Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • Graduation Rate: 91%

If you have no doubt that nursing school is for you, you should seriously consider attending the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. It is one of the most well-known research schools in the United States.

Nursing students can benefit from attending this school due to the doors that it can open after graduation. The University of North Carolina is part of a very extensive alumni network. The school also has connections with plenty of local hospitals, which makes finding a job after graduation easy.

University of North Carolina Chapel Hill offers both traditional and online courses. They also have a bridge program, which is great for current nurses looking to further their education. If a student is looking to complete their education in half the time, this might not be the best college as they don’t have an accelerated program.

In-state students will pay around $6,883 per year, making this school one of the most affordable on this list.

Students who have attended the nursing program at Chapel Hill have been very successful. The percentage of students who pass the National Council Licensure Examination the first time is 96 percent, which is very impressive.

When it comes to any career in the medical or research fields, Chapel Hill has a reputation of being one of the best. This is the seventh most popular school in North Carolina, and graduates report earning a median starting salary of $58,200.

According to accreditedschoolsonline.org, this is the top-ranked school in the state.

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3

University of North Carolina

  • Greensboro, North Carolina
  • Graduation Rate: 54%

One of the main reasons students choose the University of North Carolina Greensboro out of all the other UNC system options is the location. Greensboro is also known as the Tournament Town due to all of the sporting tournaments that take place there. It is also known for its water park, museums, golf courses, and various other attractions.

Another thing that draws students in is the cost of in-state tuition. It will cost around $7,331 per year to attend UNC Greensboro, which is very reasonable for a nursing program.

Nursing students have the option of traditional in-class learning, or they can take advantage of the online courses, which has been named one of the top online nursing programs in the United States. Students who are already nurses and want to further their education often choose the University of North Carolina Greensboro for their bridge program. Finally, students have a choice between the traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree or the RN/BSN program.

The percentage of students who pass the National Council Licensure Exam is 91 percent, which isn’t the highest on this list, but it isn’t bad either.

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4

University of North Carolina

  • Wilmington, North Carolina
  • Graduation Rate: 72%

This is one of the youngest schools in the University of North Carolina system, but in a very short time, the school has earned an excellent reputation. Some students might look down at a young university, but they shouldn’t. This just means that this school isn’t afraid to be innovative.

Students who attend UNC Wilmington can choose traditional in-class learning, or they can choose the online option. If a North Carolina resident is looking for a top online school, the University of North Carolina Wilmington is one of the top online schools in the United States. They also offer a bridge program, which is great for nurses who want to further their education.

One of the biggest selling points of this school is the tuition. Students can expect to pay around $4,400, which is one of the lowest of all the schools on this list.

If students need more proof that this is one of the best schools in the state, they simply have to look at the percentage of students who pass the National Council Licensure Exam, which is 97 percent.

Of all the nursing schools in North Carolina, UNC Wilmington is the most popular. Students who have graduated from this school report earning $57,800 a year to start.

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5

University of North Carolina

  • Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Graduation Rate: 56%

The University of North Carolina Charlotte is another school in the UNC system, which is connected with plenty of local hospitals, making it easier to connect with employers after graduation.

The University of North Carolina Charlotte is located in busy Charlotte, North Carolina, and is the most urbanized school in the UNC system. This is a great school for students who enjoy faced paced city life.

The University of North Carolina Charlotte provides an all-around education for Bachelor of Science in Nursing students, which makes this school great for students who know they want to be a nurse but aren’t sure what field they want to work as a nurse.

This school offers traditional and online courses, which is great for working students or nurses looking to further their education. They also have bridge programs for current nurses. This school isn’t the best option for students who are looking to get out of school as quickly as possible because they don’t offer accelerated courses.

The tuition to attend the University of North Carolina Charlotte isn’t the lowest in the state for in-state students, but with an annual cost of around $7,044, it is still very affordable.

The percentage of students who pass the National Council Licensure Exam is around 92 percent. It may not be the highest in the state, but it is still very impressive.

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6

Winston-Salem State University

  • Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  • Graduation Rate: 71%

Winston-Salem State University is a popular school for North Carolina residents who want a well-rounded education. Their Bachelor of Science in Nursing program teaches everything that students would learn at any other nursing school. They also focus on niche areas, including:

  • Mental health
  • Newborn care
  • Pediatrics
  • Geriatric care

Thanks to the focus on these niche areas, graduates say that finding a job after completing their degree is relatively easy. These niche areas also give students an idea of where they want to work in the future. If a student is especially interested in one part of the curriculum, they will have a better idea of what they want to do after graduation.

Another selling point about Winston-Salem State University is the different learning options. Students can choose traditional in-class learning, or they can choose the online option. Students who want to complete their degree quickly to get into the workforce can take advantage of Winston-Salem’s accelerated programs. Finally, this nursing school has a bridge program for nurses who want to further their education.

One of the biggest selling points of Winston-Salem State University is the tuition. In-state students can expect to pay around $3,401 per year, which is one of the lowest on this list.

The average of students who pass the National Council Licensure Exam is 91 percent, which is pretty impressive.

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7

East Carolina University

  • Greenville, North Carolina
  • Graduation Rate: 60%

East Carolina University is very popular among students who are looking for a big school college experience. There are around 28,000 students attending the school, but this hasn’t had an effect on the students’ ability to learn. Each year and average of 97 percent of the students who attend nursing school at East Carolina University pass the National Council Licensure Exam, which is very impressive.

Students can choose traditional in-class learning or opt for the accelerated program, allowing them to enter the workforce a lot sooner. Thanks to their bridge program, this school is top-rated among nurses who want to further their education.

The in-state tuition at East Carolina University is around $7,239, which is very reasonable and affordable.

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8

Fayetteville State University

  • Fayetteville, North Carolina
  • Graduation Rate: 57%

Future nursing students might look at the cost of tuition to attend Fayetteville State University and think that it is a sub-par school, but they would be wrong. The quality of teaching and classwork at Fayetteville matches most other nursing programs in the United States. The in-state tuition of $2,982 is just an added bonus.

Students who attend this school can enjoy the small class sizes. Around 6,500 undergraduate students are attending Fayetteville State University, which allows teachers to give students the attention they need to succeed.

This is an excellent school for students who would like to one day be a nursing education. Fayetteville State University puts a great deal of emphasis on education, making this a great school for future teachers.

Fayetteville State offers traditional in-class learning and online courses, making learning convenient regardless of the student’s situation. They also offer an accelerated program for students who are looking to finish school as quickly as possible.

Finally, the percentage of Fayetteville graduates who take the National Council Licensure Exam is 94 percent, which is relatively high.

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9

Western Carolina University

  • Cullowhee, North Carolina
  • Graduation Rate: 56%

Western Carolina University Cullowhee is one of the lesser-known schools for students who live outside North Carolina, but it is really worth considering. Each year, it is ranked one of the top public undergrad programs in the nation for students looking to earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.

Western Carolina University Cullowhee has state-of-the-art facilities, which creates an excellent learning environment.

One of the biggest draws for students is that there are multiple ways they can earn a degree. Western Carolina University Cullowhee offers traditional in-school courses and online courses, allowing the students to choose the best method for their lifestyle and needs. The school also offers a bridge program for students looking to further their education. Finally, this is a great school for students who are in a hurry to graduate and get into the workforce because Western Carolina University Cullowhee has an accelerated program. With all of these different programs available, this school is great for students from different educational backgrounds and who have specific needs.

The annual in-school tuition is $6,904, which is very affordable. One of the biggest selling points about this school is the percentage of students who pass their National Council Licensure Exam, which is currently at 98 percent. This is one of the highest on this list and is proof that the students who attend Western Carolina University Cullowhee grasp the information that is taught to them.

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10

Appalachian State University

  • Boone, North Carolina
  • Graduation Rate: 70%

If you are tired of the hustle and bustle of city life, this is the school for you. Appalachian State University is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in a rural area surrounded by nature’s beauty. This school is one of the 17 schools that are part of the University of North Carolina system.

Each year, over 20,000 students attend the school. This may seem like a lot, but there is still a very low student to teacher ratio, which is essential to get the amount of attention necessary to succeed in the nursing program.

Appalachian offers traditional in-class learning as well as programs for non-traditional students. They offer online courses for working students or students who are already nurses and looking to further their education. They also have a bridge program, which is also great for nurses looking to expand their education. Appalachian has accelerated courses, which is great for students who want to graduate as quickly as possible to enter the workforce.

In-state students can benefit from the low tuition at this school, which is around $7,651 per year.

After completing school, 94 percent of students who attend Appalachian State University pass the National Council Licensure Examination the first time, which is one of the highest in the state.

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11

Gardner-Webb University

  • Boiling Springs, North Carolina
  • Graduation Rate: 44%

If you are looking for faith-based education in nursing, the Hunt School of Nursing at Gardner-Webb could be the right program for you. This school offers a four-year, in-class learning to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. Tas

  • Christian caring
  • Critical thinking
  • Patient-centered care
  • Evidence-based practice

The in-state tuition at the Hunt School of Nursing is around $17,998. This is higher than others on this list, but it is worth it for the education that you will receive. If students want to combine their education with their faith in God, this school is an excellent choice.

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12

North Carolina Central University

  • Durham, North Carolina
  • Graduation Rate: 42%

North Carolina Central University has an excellent four-year nursing program. The school offers several programs including:

  • Traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Registered Nurse/Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing Veterans Option

The school also offers an accelerated option for students who want to earn their BSN quickly.

North Carolina Central University can provide clinical experience to their students because they work closely and collaborate with local hospitals, clinics, health departments and long-term care facilities.

The average tuition for in-state students is $13,000 which is a bit higher than some on this list. When you consider the level of clinical experience students get, it is worth the cost.

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13

Barton College

  • Wilson, North Carolina
  • Graduation Rate: 51%

Barton College is a relatively small college in Wilson, North Carolina, with a student body of around 1,200. Barton’s Bachelor of Science Nursing program is different than most schools in that it isn’t one teacher, but a faculty team of teachers who work together. During the first year, students take general courses. After, they begin taking the nursing courses. This is a great system because it allow students to get through their science requirements in their sophomore year.

Barton College students work internships to get their clinical experience, which gives them the hands-on experience necessary to excel in the nursing field.

Students can opt for online programs to earn their RN, ADN and BSN degree. Most students who choose this option earn their degree in half the time than students who choose the in-class learning experience. Also, there is no waiting list to get started.

The average tuition for in-state students is $450 per semester hour.

While around 44 percent of students graduate, 92 percent pass the National Council Licensure Exam, which is relatively high.

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14

Lenoir-Rhyne University

  • Hickory, North Carolina
  • Graduation Rate: 47%

Lenoir-Rhyne University is a relatively small liberal arts college, grounded by the Christian faith with a pretty great nursing program. Before starting the nursing program, students must be accepted to the university first. It is a very competitive nursing program, and not all pre-nursing students are accepted into the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program.

There is a simulation lab right on campus where nursing students can practice their skills before they need to work on real patients. There are a couple of programs available including:

  • Gateway Program: This program is designed for a Registered Nurse to earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
  • Master of Science in Nursing: For students who want to take their career to the next level, the Master of Science in Nursing is offered in Hickory and Asheville.
  • Online program: For students who are looking to get their LPN, RN, ADN, or BSN online, Lenoir-Rhyne University has the option. This is great for working students, or those who want to get their degree in half the time. There is no waiting list for the online option.

The average tuition is $52,920, regardless of where the student lives. This fee includes tuition, books, and room and board.

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15

University of Mount Olive

  • Mount Olive, North Carolina
  • Graduation Rate: 60%

Students who are looking for a college in a rural setting should consider University of Mount Olive. It is a relatively small school with a total enrollment of 2,805 students on a 110-acre campus.

The University of Mount Olive has a few nursing programs for students to choose from based on their individual needs. These include:

  • Online courses: The school’s 100 percent online course allows students to work and go to school at the same time. Students can get their RN to BSN or their Master of Science n Nursing online.
  • Master of Science In Nursing: students who choose this major can choose from Nursing Administration, Nursing Education or Nursing Administration and Nursing Education. The one that a student chooses would depend on the type of work they want to do in the future.

The tuition to attend is $21,194. Students who choose to live on campus would pay an additional $8,800.

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If you are still having trouble deciding which nursing school in North Carolina is best for you, visit BestValueSchools.com. It is our mission to help students find the best school to meet their needs. We understand that students are looking for more than just one thing from a school. Most students want a variety of learning options, low-cost tuition and to attend a school with an excellent reputation and track record. We use all of these needs to compile a list of the best schools based on the student’s needs. If you need some extra assistance in choosing the best school for you, visit us online today.

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