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Why Do Us Nursing Regulatory Bodies Approve Nursing Programs

NC nursing board allowing graduates to get temporary license to work during pandemic

Licensure in nursing is a two-pronged system. In order for nursing graduates to be eligible to take the NCLEX, the U.S. nursing regulatory model dictates that the new nurse must show evidence of graduating from a nursing regulatory body that is an approved nursing program. By making students eligible to take the NCLEX, nursing faculty verify that nursing students are clinically competent to safely practice nursing. Therefore, nurse educators have enormous power in the licensure model in the U.S. nursing regulatory bodies rely on each other to make sound program approval decisions so that mobility across jurisdictions can be as seamless as possible.

Renewing Your North Carolina Nursing License

Nursing licenses expire on the last day of the nurseâs birth month every two years and the Board of Nursing mails reminders three months prior to the expiration date. License renewals must be completed online no more than three months prior to expiration. Continuing Competence requirements must also be fulfilled on time. These include:

  • 15 contact hours of continuing education and 640 hours of practice in the last two years
  • National certification or re-certification
  • 30 contact hours of continued education
  • Completion of a refresher course that is Board approved
  • Completion of at least two semester hours of post-licensure academic nursing education
  • 15 contact hours of CE and completion of a nursing project as principal investigator or co-investigator
  • 15 contact hours of CE and completion of CE education presentations that total at least five contact hours
  • 15 contact hours of CE and publication of an article, paper, book or book chapter as the author or co-author

All nurses must meet one of the above requirements and submit a $100 fee to renew their licenses.

Considering The Admission Process

Students should be aware that spots are limited. One limiting factor is faculty. The Board reported that as of October 1, 2012, there were 115 full-time vacancies and 125 part-time vacancies in pre-licensure nursing programs .

Another limiting factor for state-funded schools is the state budget. Nursing programs are always somewhat selective in admissions, but when supply and demand get too out of balance, they become more so. A 2011 article in the Charlotte Business Journal noted that the UNC-Charlotte nursing program had raised GPA minimum from 3.0 to 3.6 .

Students should recognize that the profile of the typical admitted student varies from school to school and should not get too discouraged. Some schools have advisors who can help them become more competitive.

Some North Carolina schools do have wait lists, but they do not necessarily carry over from year to year. In some cases, these represent a second tier of candidates: those who are qualified but not among the top contenders and who may be admitted if space becomes available.

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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

Masters In Nursing Programs

School Profile

East Carolina University East Carolina Universitys Master of Science in Nursing 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 concentrations requirements.

University of North Carolina at Charlotte The University of North Carolina at Charlotte confers the Master of Science in Nursing 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.

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North Carolina Schools For Nursing

With a projected shortfall in qualified nurses, nursing schools in North Carolina are stepping up to provide additional programs and more flexible opportunities for students. Entry-level, pre-licensure programs fall under the jurisdiction of the North Carolina Board of Nursing and are offered as both two-year and four-year programs. Registered nurses may earn an associate degree or a bachelor of science in nursing to meet the requirements for state licensure. The search tool below can help you narrow your school choices to those that meet your personal and professional needs.

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.

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Registered Nurse In North Carolina

Education: Completion of a board approved registered nurse education program.

Examination: NCLEX-RN

  • $75 Licensure by Examination, or
  • $150 Licensure by Endorsement
  • $200 Examination Free

Renewal: Upon license renewal or reinstatement, all RNs will be required to complete a self-assessment of practice, develop a learning plan, and complete one of the approved learning options during the preceding renewal cycle or prior to reinstatement of license. There is a $100 renewal fee.

Nursing Schools In North Carolina


Filled with tons of interesting things to do and see, the next stop is the beautiful state of North Carolina. Known for where the Wright Brothers first proved human flight possible, there are many nursing schools in North Carolina from which to choose. Additionally, the state has a rich history that dates all the way back to the Age of Conquest when settlers came to these very lands and founded the state.

Today, the states total population is estimated at a little over 10 million and the economy is the core driver for many of the remaining industries throughout the state. Because North Carolina has such a thriving economy the cost of living for any nurse will be one that is comfortable and affordable.

In This Article

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Overview Of Nursing Schools In North Carolina

  • There are 77 nursing schools in North Carolina. The CCNE accredits 18 nursing schools and the ACEN accredits 30 schools in North Carolina.
  • On average, attending an RN program in North Carolina will cost you between $61.00 and $24,751.00 per year.
  • In North Carolina, the average undergraduate student borrows between $4,725.00 and $14,000.00 per year.
  • Typically, an Associate Degree in Nursing will take between 18 to 24 months to complete, and a Bachelor Degree in Nursing will take about 4 years to complete.
  • The average, the NCLEX passing rate range for North Carolina ADN students is between 22.50% and 98.75%.
  • On average, the NCLEX passing rate range for North Carolina BSN students is between 52.00% and 98.67%.
  • The average annual salary for a registered nurse in North Carolina is between $52,080 to $111,220 a year.
  • Registered Nurses throughout the country and in North Carolina can expect a favorable job growth of 15 percent from 2016 to 2026 which much faster than the average for all occupations.

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, its advisable to consider accreditation as a factor in your decision. If you are considering education beyond the associates level, know that a degree from a school that holds accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education is a common requirement for admission to masters 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 .

123 $8,746

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Becoming An Advanced Practice Nurse In Nc

Advanced practice nurses are able to work in a specialized area of health care and often with minimal supervision. They are essentially registered nurses who have completed formal, advanced training to become certified nurse midwives, nurse anesthetists, clinical nurse specialists, and nurse practitioners. Licensure requirements for these nurses are similar to the above, but also include a few additional steps:

  • Complete a masterâs or higher degree program in a nursing specialty
  • Hold national certification in the specialty
  • Submit an application for licensure in the field

The North Carolina Board of Nursing website has more information about advanced practice licensing and renewal.

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse In North Carolina

WCC Nursing Program Earns Top Ranking

Education: Completed graduate-level education nursing program within an APRN role

Examination: Varies for different APRN careers and specialties.

Certification: Nationally recognized board certification within your APRN role.


  • Nurse Practitioner: Registration $25 and Initial Approval to Practice $100 for Non-Volunteer Status or $20 for Volunteer Status
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist: Initial Recognition $25
  • Certified Nurse Midwife: Registration and Initial Approval to Practice $100
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist: No Fees

Additional Information: An active registered nurse license is required for application.

Renewal: All APRNs in North Carolina must maintain their national certification as the renewal process is determined by the board of nursing. Nurse practitioners must also pay a $10-$50 fee depending on position status, Cenas have a renewal fee of $25 and CNMs pay a $50 renewal fee.

Information for the above APRN careers in North Carolina was retrieved from the North Carolina Board of Nursing APRN General Information as of March 2020.

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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

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

Nursing Scholarships & Loans In Nc

The Nurse Education Scholarship Loan Program funds some of North Carolinas nursing students . There is additional scholarship money available through the NC Foundation for Nursing .

North Carolina currently has 119,442 RNs and 21,658 LPNs, according to the National Nursing Database. The North Carolina Board provides additional licensing information by county, including how many people hold licenses and how many are currently working in the field .

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Financial Aid Opportunities For Nursing Students In North Carolina

Even though nurses earn ample salaries in North Carolina, you dont want to spend years paying back student loans. In addition to finding an affordable program, its important that you line up as much financial aid as possible. Since grants and scholarships dont have to be repaid, these tend to be popular options for nursing students. The North Carolina Foundation for Nursing offers several meaningful awards at various academic levels. Besides looking for individual schools and nursing departments that offer awards, check with other professional associations, nursing organizations, and private foundations to learn about scholarship and grant opportunities

Tuition And Costs Of Bsn Programs In North Carolina

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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.

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Nursing Programs In North Carolina

Registered Nurse
Private Costs:$30k-100k

To get a better estimate of what your Cost of Attendance will be for certain programs, your first step should be to file your FAFSA®. Once youve submitted your FAFSA® to the schools youre applying to, they will send you a financial aid award letter.

This letter will outline all the grants, work-study programs, and loans that are available to you. With this information in hand, you can compare the cost of attendance to your award package and see which schools are going to help you most financially. Before making a decision, we suggest waiting for this information.

Best Online Nursing Programs In North Carolina

East Carolina University

If youre looking for plenty of online nursing degree offerings, East Carolina University has you covered. In addition to an RN-to-BSN bridge program, the school provides an MSN, DNP, and PhD in nursing. The certification options are also comprehensive, with offerings covering psychiatric-mental health NP, nursing leadership, nursing education, and nurse-midwifery.

The online RN-to-BSN takes 16-18 months to complete and costs as little as $5,491 for resident learners. The program holds accreditation through CCNE, and the National League for Nursings Center of Excellence also recognizes the degree. Student support services include scholarships, career support, academic counseling, tech support, and a robust online community of learners. Designed for working students, the online program is taught on a part-time basis.

ECUs College of Nursing looks to support all students by providing several student organizations, study abroad opportunities, concept integration labs, continuing education, and chances to participate in research studies conducted by faculty and graduate students.

Western Carolina University

The MSN programs require 38-41 credits, exist fully online, and can be completed in 18 months on a part-time schedule. All practicums are completed locally. As of 2021, the School of Nursing maintains 100% pass rates for the NCLEX-RN, FNP board, and CRNA board.

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

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Additional Information & Awards

  • JCC ranked #2 in the state for its Associate’s Degree in Nursing program.
  • 2019 NCLEX-RN first time pass rate is 100%! to See NC Board of Nursing NCLEX Report for all NC nursing schools.
  • JCC ranked #2 out of the 88 nursing schools in North Carolina, for its Registered Nursing Program. .
  • JCC’s NCLEX passing rate is 99% over the past 3 years . The state average 2018 for 3 years was 91% and the 2019 is TBA.The 2019 national average is 88.18% and over 3 years 88%.
  • Nursing Salaries In North Carolina: How Much You Could Make As An Rn

    Accredited Programs

    Although registered nurses in North Carolina earn slightly less than the national average, its important to remember that many cities in NC maintain lower costs of living than other metropolitan areas. As the table demonstrates, RNs working in some locales such as Durham-Chapel Hill, Greensboro-High Point, Goldsboro, and Winston-Salem earn closer to the national average. While registered nurses earning the median salary bring home ample wages, theres still more money to be had, with those in the 90th percentile commanding substantially higher salaries.

    Annual Earnings for Registered Nurses in North Carolina

    10th Percentile

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    How Much Does Nursing School In North Carolina Cost

    Tuition for a nursing school in North Carolina will cost between $2,000 to $3,000 per year for state residents seeking a two year Associate degree, an ADN or ASN, for example. The larger public four year colleges and universities in North Carolina cost more between $5,000 to $9,000 per year for state residents seeking their Bachelor Degree in Nursing, a BDN or BSN.

    To help reduce the cost of nursing school in North Carolina, a student can generally take their pre-nursing courses at a smaller two year college. Then, transfer those credits into the larger four year college or university of your choice. Each college has their own method of awarding transfer credits for pre-nursing coursework. You will need to plan ahead and question the receiving school before you start your first pre-nursing class.

    Build Your Foundation At Our Nursing Program In Charlotte Nc

    At our accredited nursing school in Charlotte, there are no waitlists nor prerequisites. You can get your BSN degree in as few as three yearsa year faster than traditional bachelor nursing programs.

    Our BSN program has no prerequisites and is designed to be completed in three years of year-round study giving you the opportunity to earn your degree faster than at a traditional four-year institution.

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