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North Carolina Nursing Schools and Programs

As one of the largest cities in the United States, Charlotte has a vibrant economy, because of its banking sector. Charlotte also stands out in the field of academics and many well known schools, colleges and universities are located here. Charlotte’s healthcare sector is thriving and therefore many students pursue health related studies here, especially nursing studies.

Why study nursing in Charlotte?

Healthcare is one of the hottest sectors in the United States and the state of North Carolina has also felt the effects of its expansion. According to O*NET OnLine statistics on North Carolina, nursing jobs are expected to grow at the rate of 19% from 2010 to 2020. Registered nursing professionals in the state earned a median yearly salary of $58,500 in 2013. Pursuing nursing studies in North Carolina may therefore be the right career choice.

Nursing career choices in Charlotte, NC

Those interested in becoming a nurse may explore career options in:

  • Nurse Aide
  • Licensed Vocational or Practical Nurse
  • Registered Nurse

Becoming a registered nurse, however, requires the academic training being offered by many nursing schools in Charlotte. Registered nurses also earn more than nurse aides and licensed vocational and practical nurses.

Where to study nursing in Charlotte?

The following is not an exhaustive list of nursing schools in Charlotte, NC. However, prospective students may take their first step into nursing by looking into nursing programs offered by these schools.

  • Central Piedmont Community College
  • School of Nursing, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • Presbyterian School of Nursing, Queens University of Charlotte

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, for example, offers a variety of degree programs in nursing. These include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
  • PhD in Nursing

How to become a registered nurse in Charlotte, NC?

Registered nurses need to either hold an associate degree in nursing which is offered by the abovementioned community colleges or a BSN degree. MSN, DNP and PhD degrees are not required to become a registered nurse. These advanced degrees are for those nursing professionals who are interested in management-level positions in hospital, long-term medical care facilities, etc. or want to enter academia.

Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)

Generally a 2-year program, an ADN curriculum provides knowledge, skills and strategies required to assimilate quality and safety into nursing care. Knowledge and skills acquired may further help a student to work in a dynamic and challenging environment, meeting patients’ medical needs. After completing the program, graduates may take the mandatory National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN), required for obtaining registered nurse license.

Some of the courses taught in an ADN degree are:

  • Health Systems Concepts
  • Complex Health Concepts
  • General Psychology
  • Microbiology
  • Family Care Concepts
  • Health Care Concepts
  • Professional Research and Reporting
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Holistic Health Concepts
  • Health Illness Concepts

Admission requirements for an ADN degree may vary with colleges but at the very minimum, an applicant needs to hold a high school diploma or its equivalent. Additional admission requirements may include scholastic tests scores, specific courses taken at high school level, etc.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

BSN’s curriculum emphasizes on clinical nursing practice along with classroom and laboratory instruction. Graduates are eligible to take the mandatory National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN).
There are three academic pathways leading to a BSN:

  • Traditional
  • Accelerated
  • RN to BSN

BSN (Traditional)

This is typically a 4-year program in which students study:

  • Generalist nursing education
  • Sciences
  • Liberal arts

After graduation and getting licensed, BSN graduates may qualify to apply for various nursing positions in hospice and long term care facilities, home health, public health, clinics and hospitals in North Carolina.
Admission is competitive and the selected few may take courses in:

  • Seminar in Professional Licensure
  • Research in Nursing Practice
  • Design and Coordination of Care
  • Practicum in Population Focused Nursing
  • Practicum in Complex Illness and Disease Management
  • Practicum in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing
  • Nursing Care of the Aging Adult
  • Nursing Care of Children
  • Health Assessment
  • Concepts of Professional Nursing

BSN (Accelerated)

This is for motivated applicants with a bachelor’s degree in any field. They may earn a BSN degree in as many as 3 consecutive semesters, upon successful completion of 60 credit hours.

Courses offered in the program may be titled as:

  • The Art & Science of Nursing
  • Health Informatics
  • Pharmacological Nursing
  • Concepts of Mental Health
  • Gerontological Nursing
  • Concepts of Professional Nursing
  • Pathophysiology
  • Health Assessment Across the Lifespan


This program is for those registered nurses with either a diploma or associate degree in nursing. It is designed to advance and enhance the student’s professional nursing career. This is also an accelerated pathway to holding a BSN, where an applicant is admitted on his/her strong likelihood for success in the BSN curriculum.

The degree may be awarded upon successful completion of 30 credit hours and may offer courses in:

  • RN-BSN Synthesis
  • Nursing Perspectives
  • Public Health and Community Health Nursing
  • Leadership Development
  • Health Informatics
  • Gerontological Nursing
  • Research and Evidence
  • Nursing: A Practice Discipline
  • Health Assessment Across Lifespan

The nursing profession has a great future in the state of North Carolina, as reported in statistics published by O*NET OnLine. It may therefore be the right career move for many who are interested in joining the health care sector.

Frequently Asked Question(s)

Q:Can you tell me about nursing schools in Charlotte NC, and do they have clinical arrangements with health care centers for practical experience?

A:Nursing schools in Charlotte NC offer various programs for nursing students. Some require hands on experience and for that the nursing schools often have arrangements at hospitals, healthcare centers and clinics to help students gain practical knowledge. The requirement for clinical rotations has to be completed under supervision as specified by the school.

Q:What entry level nursing programs are offered by nursing schools in Charlotte?

A:Entry level programs are aimed at equipping candidates with the basic knowledge of nursing practice. However, the depth of knowledge and practical training given greatly varies across these programs. Some of the entry-level nursing programs offered in Charlotte include LPN/LVN programs, diploma or associate degrees in nursing, four-year BSN programs, second degree BSN programs and direct MSN programs.

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