Nursing schools are making educational advancement opportunities that are readily available for registered nurses within the state. Obtaining an associate degree in nursing or a bachelors degree in nursing is very advantageous to a working nurse. In fact, many hospitals and healthcare settings prefer hiring a nurse who has obtained a bachelors degree. More than have of the registered nurses in North Carolina have a bachelor’s degree or higher, which makes North Carolina the best-educated state in the nation. Now is a better time than ever for nurses to seek out higher education to meet the needs of the constantly evolving profession. Nurses are encouraged to request information from multiple schools to improve chances of getting accepted into one.

In our North Carolina RN program guide, find rankings for both ADN and BSN Degree programs, tuition costs, NCLEX passing rates, and more. Research key North Carolina RN Program information to help you compare program metrics and to apply to best RN program for your career in nursing.

In the State of North Carolina, nurses are helping to change the face of healthcare. To ensure that they have the best education and preparation for future health care challenges, registered nurses need to graduate from a state-approved associate's degree in nursing program or a BSN degree program.

Nurses who graduate from an RN program can obtain certification in over 100 nursing specialties, go on to earn an RN to BSN or RN to MSN degree.

BSN degree holders have options to earn an Advance Practice Register Nursing (APRN) degree and become a Nurse Practitioner (NP), or earn an advanced degree for a career in any number of nursing leadership roles such Nurse Educator or Clinical Nurse Specialist.

North Carolina RN Program Comparisons: ADN vs BSN

Compare RN Programs ADN BSN
Number of Nursing Programs 58 20
Average NCLEX Passing Rate 86.84% 87.39%
NCLEX Passing Rate Range 22.50% to 98.75% 52.00% to 98.67%
Average Net Price $8,347.28 $13,929.65
Average Net Price Range $61.00 to $21,661.00 $5,914.00 to $24,751.00
Average Student Loan $7,010.69 $18,262.05
Average Student Loan Range $2,000.00 to $20,344.00 $6,569.00 to $25,000.00
See Additional Detail ADN Rankings for North Carolina State BSN Rankings for North Carolina State

Best Ranked RN Programs in North Carolina

Best Ranked RN Programs in North CarolinaTo help nursing students in their search for a top RN program, the education experts at RNCareers.org publish their annual findings of the best nursing schools for both North Carolina and the country. Schools ranked on our list have proven their ability to educate highly competent nurses.

To create our rankings, we evaluated 53 ADN degree programs and 19 BSN degree programs in North Carolina. We obtained each institution’s first-time NCLEX-RN passing rates, the number of students taking the test, the program nursing accreditation and more. We then compared the results against other nursing programs in North Carolina to provide our state rankings. View our methodology


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98.33 ADN Cape Fear Community College 1 21 Wilmington

Cape Fear Community College is located in Wilmington, North Carolina.  CFCC offers a practical nursing program, an RN program and a nursing transition option, which is an LPN to RN option.  They are proud to announce that their 2015 NCLEX-RN pass rate was 100%.

Public Campus ACEN See School Details
98.33 ADN Robeson Community College 1 21 Lumberton

Robeson Community College is located in Lumberton, North Carolina.  RCC offers an 2 ADN options – a general ADN option and a premajor nursing option.  The premajor option allows the student to take university credits in preparation for a BSN degree after graduation from RCC, which will transfer to a variety of North Carolina universities.

Public Campus See School Details
97.70 ADN Johnston Community College 2 33 Smithfield Public Campus ACEN See School Details
97.63 ADN College of the Albemarle 3 35 Elizabeth City

College of the Albemarle is located in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.  They offer an LPN program an LPN to ADN program and an ADN program.  They also offer a pre-BSN nursing pathway, which is for students who would like to obtain their general education credits but have not yet been admitted to a nursing program.  They also have an RN to BSN Step Center, which helps students who have recently graduated with their ADN assistance in selecting an RN to BSN/RN to MSN program.

Public Campus ACEN See School Details
97.26 ADN Mitchell Community College 4 41 Statesville

Mitchell Community College is located in Statesville, North Carolina.  They offer an associate’s degree RN.  MCC has a collaboration with Lenoir-Rhyne University called the Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses (RIBN), which allows a seamless transition for students after graduation in competing their BSN degree.

Public Campus ACEN See School Details
97.04 ADN Wake Technical Community College 5 46 Raleigh

Wake Technical Community College is located in Raleigh, North Carolina.  They offer an ADN degree and an advanced placement option for LPNs.  The WTCC Department of Nursing is “proud of our reputation in the community for preparing excellent, well-qualified nurses.”

Public Campus ACEN See School Details
96.85 ADN Brunswick Community College 6 50 Bolivia

Brunswick Community College is located in Bolivia, North Carolina.  BCC offers a practical nursing program and an ADN program.  Their ADN program requires that its students complete a certified nursing aide (CNA) certification or have their LPN prior to enrollment in the program.

Public Campus See School Details
96.81 ADN Western Piedmont Community College 7 52 Morganton

Western Piedmont Community College is located in Morganton, North Carolina.  WPCC offers an associate’s degree in nursing.  They are proud to note that in 2008, they were one of seven North Carolina community colleges to be designated an “exceptional” community college.

Public Campus ACEN See School Details
96.74 ADN Gaston College 8 54 Dallas

Gaston College is located in Dallas, North Carolina.  They offer a variety of nursing options – a practical nursing program, an ADN program, an LPN to ADN program and an RN to BSN program.  The RN to BSN program is a pathway program that is designed in conjunction with various local universities, which makes the program more affordable to the student.

Public Campus ACEN See School Details
95.59 ADN Surry Community College 9 81 Dobson

Surry Community College is located in Dobson, North Carolina.  They offer a practical nursing program, an ADN program, and a separate LPN to ADN program.  The programs uses a points system to determine entrance in the program.

Public Campus See School Details
95.52 ADN Forsyth Technical Community College 10 84 Winston-Salem

Forsyth Technical Community College is located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  They offer a practical nursing an associate’s degree program.  They also offer an LPN to RN transition option.  Annually, they offer 144 students admission into their ADN programs.  Students are accepted in the fall and spring semesters, with LPN to RN students gaining entrance during the fall semester only.  The LPN to RN program has classes in a traditional pattern on-campus, with the clinical portion during the evenings and weekends.

Public Campus See School Details
95.33 ADN Davidson County Community College 11 90 Thomasville Public Campus ACEN See School Details
94.44 ADN James Sprunt Community College 12 120 Kenansville

James Sprunt Community College is located in Kenansville, North Carolina.  They offer both a practical nursing degree and an associate’s RN degree.  Students are accepted into the ADN program based on a points system; students can earn more points based on having a prior bachelor’s degree or healthcare experience, such as working as an LPN, paramedic, nurses aide, or a surgical tech.

Public Campus See School Details
94.26 ADN Carolinas College of Health Sciences 13 131 Charlotte

Carolinas College of Health Sciences is located within the Carolinas HealthCare System. Their college is devoted entirely to educating healthcare professionals.  They offer an associate’s degree program and an LPN to ADN program.  They like to brag that 80% of their graduates choose to take a position with Carolinas HealthCare System after graduating.

Public Campus ACEN See School Details
93.67 ADN Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute 14 151 Hudson

Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute has two campuses – Hudson and Boone, North Carolina.  They offer an associate’s degree program.  They also offer the Hickory RIBN Program, which is basically a collaborative program between CCC & TI and Lenoir-Rhyne University that allows a simultaneous transition for students to earn their BSN degree.

Public Campus ACEN See School Details
93.48 ADN Central Piedmont Community College 15 159 Charlotte Public Campus ACEN See School Details
92.81 ADN Wayne Community College 16 184 Goldsboro Public Campus ACEN See School Details
92.56 ADN Sandhills Community College 17 197 Pinehurst

Sandhills Community College is located in Pinehurst, North Carolina.  They offer an ADN program.  They have very specific requirements for their nursing program and everything must be completed according to their stages.  In addition, they require that their students obtain their certified nurses aide (CNA) certification prior to enrollment in the program.

Public Campus See School Details
92.52 ADN Richmond Community College 18 198 Hamlet Public Campus See School Details
92.00 ADN Stanly Community College 19 217 Albemarle

Stanly Community College is located in Albemarle, North Carolina.  They offer Annie Ruth Kelley Associate Degree nursing program.  They also offer a Nursing – Returning LPN program, which is a program that allows an LPN to earn their RN in two semesters.

Public Campus See School Details
91.85 ADN Catawba Valley Community College 20 223 Hickory Public Campus ACEN See School Details
91.30 ADN Rockingham Community College 21 247 Wentworth Public Campus See School Details
91.00 ADN South Piedmont Community College 22 257 Polkton Public Campus See School Details
90.93 ADN Coastal Carolina Community College 23 262 Jacksonville

Coastal Carolina Community College is located in Jacksonville, North Carolina.  CCCC offers a practical nursing program and an ADN program.  They also offer an ADN transition option, which allows LPNs to have advanced placement into the second semester of the program.

Public Campus See School Details
90.74 ADN Carteret Community College 24 269 Morehead City

Carteret Community College is located in Morehead City, North Carolina.  CCC offers a practical nursing program and an RN program.  They use a “points system” in deciding who gets in to their program and students with prior healthcare experience, such as LPNs, respiratory therapists, paramedics, and CNAs get extra points.

Public Campus ACEN See School Details
90.48 ADN Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College 25 279 Asheville Public Campus See School Details
90.22 ADN Fayetteville Technical Community College 26 288 Fayetteville Public Campus ACEN See School Details
89.44 ADN Rowan-Cabarrus Community College 27 311 Salisbury

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is located in Salisbury, North Carolina.  RCCC offers a practical nursing program and an ADN program.  ADN program participants are required to earn their certified nursing assistant (CNA) certification prior to enrollment in the program.

Public Campus ACEN See School Details
89.30 ADN Cabarrus College of Health Sciences 28 314 Concord

Cabarrus College of Health Sciences is located within Carolinas Healthcare System.  The school educates a variety of healthcare professionals, from nurses to pharmacy technicians to occupational therapists.  The Louise Harkey School of Nursing offers an ADN program and a BSN program; the BSN program is specifically an RN to BSN program, allowing for a seamless transition to a bachelor’s degree for its ADN graduates.

Private Not-For-Profit Campus, Online ACEN, CCNE See School Details
89.07 ADN Lenoir Community College 29 325 Kinston

Lenoir Community College is located in Kinston, North Carolina.  LCC offers a practical nursing program, an ADN program and they also offer an advanced placement option for LPNs.  They offer a traditional program and also an evening program, making it easier for the working nurse to further their education.

Public Campus See School Details
89.00 ADN Vance-Granville Community College 30 326 Henderson Public Campus See School Details
88.89 ADN Bladen Community College 31 330 Dublin Public Campus See School Details
88.67 ADN Pitt Community College 32 339 Winterville Public Campus ACEN See School Details
86.22 ADN Wilson Community College 33 439 Wilson Public Campus See School Details
86.07 ADN Halifax Community College 34 447 Weldon Public Campus See School Details
86.00 ADN Sampson Community College 35 450 Clinton

Sampson Community College is located in Clinton, North Carolina.  SCC offers several options for its nursing students; they offer a traditional ADN program.  They also offer an advanced placement option for LPNs into their ADN program.  Unique to their program is the LPN to RN program that is offered online.

Public Campus ACEN See School Details
84.26 ADN Craven Community College 36 505 New Bern

Craven Community College is located in New Bern, North Carolina.  Their nursing department offers an LPN program, an ADN program and a transition option, which allows LPNs to enter the ADN program with advanced standing.  CCC is a military friendly institution, meaning that their programs are designed to be flexible for those with a military career and their dependents.

Public Campus See School Details
83.96 ADN Randolph Community College 37 511 Asheboro

Randolph Community College is located in Asheboro, North Carolina.  They offer a ADN program.  They also offer an RN to BSN Outreach Option, which is offered in conjunction with Winston-Salem University.  This allows students to be a student of Winston-Salem University, but take their classes (at least a portion of them) at Randolph Community College

Public Campus See School Details
83.44 ADN Alamance Community College 38 525 Graham Public Campus See School Details
83.22 ADN Mayland Community College 39 536 Spruce Pine Public Campus See School Details
83.11 ADN Gardner-Webb University 40 537 Boiling Springs

Gardner-Webb University is located in Boiling Springs, North Carolina.  The Hunt School of Nursing has had an ADN program since 1965 and has expanded to include a traditional BSN program, an RN to BSN program, an MSN program, which includes either education, FNP, or administration, and a DNP program.

Private Not-For-Profit Campus, Hybrid, Online ACEN, CCNE See School Details
82.63 ADN Blue Ridge Community College 41 550 Flat Rock Public Campus See School Details
82.37 ADN Nash Community College 42 553 Rocky Mount Public Campus See School Details
81.78 ADN Wilkes Community College 43 568 Wilkesboro

Wilkes Community College is located in Wilkesboro, North Carolina.  They offer an ADN program.  Unique to their program is that students must complete their certified nursing assistant (CNA) certification prior to enrollment in the program.  They also offer a dual enrollment option with Lenoir-Rhyne University, through the Hickory Collaborative RIBN, which allows students to simultaneously earn their ADN and BSN degrees.

Public Campus See School Details
79.41 ADN Edgecombe Community College 44 600 Tarboro

Edgecombe Community College is located in Tarboro, North Carolina.  They offer a practical nursing program, an ADN program and an advanced placement option for LPNs.  ECC serves over 13,000 students on its 2 campuses; they received a national award in 2013 for preparing their students to be successful in the workplace.

Public Campus ACEN See School Details
79.41 ADN Guilford Technical Community College 44 600 Jamestown Public Campus See School Details
79.07 ADN Southwestern Community College 45 609 Sylva Public Campus See School Details
79.04 ADN Piedmont Community College 46 610 Roxboro Public Campus See School Details
77.22 ADN Roanoke-Chowan Community College 47 637 Ahoskie Public Campus See School Details
75.52 ADN Southeastern Community College 48 653 Whiteville Public Campus See School Details
71.70 ADN Durham Technical Community College 49 686 Durham Public Campus ACEN See School Details
71.56 ADN Beaufort County Community College 50 688 Washington

Beaufort County Community College is located in Washington, North Carolina.  They offer an associate’s degree program.  They also offer an advanced placement option for LPNs.  Students who enter the program under the advanced placement option must have been employed as an LPN within the past 12 months.  They also offer an ADN to PN option; this is available for students who are not successful with their studies in the ADN program.

Public Campus See School Details
67.78 ADN Central Carolina Community College 52 702 Sanford

Central Carolina Community College (CCCC) has multiple locations in various counties in North Carolina – Chatham County, Harnett County and Lee County.  The Louise L. Tuller School of Nursing offers a practical nursing program and an RN program.  CCCC also has an articulation agreement with the University of North Carolina, which allows students an affordable way to earn their BSN after graduation.

Public Campus See School Details
98.52 BSN Gardner-Webb University 1 12 Boiling Springs

Gardner-Webb University is located in Boiling Springs, North Carolina.  The Hunt School of Nursing has had an ADN program since 1965 and has expanded to include a traditional BSN program, an RN to BSN program, an MSN program, which includes either education, FNP, or administration, and a DNP program.

Private Not-For-Profit Campus, Hybrid, Online ACEN, CCNE See School Details
97.67 BSN Western Carolina University 2 22 Cullowhee

Western Carolina University is located in Cullowhee, North Carolina.  Their nursing department offers a pre-licensure BSN program, an accelerated BSN program (allowing a student with a prior bachelor’s degree to obtain a BSN degree) and an RN to BSN program, which is an online program.  Their programs are also offered at Biltmore Park Towne Square in Asheville, North Carolina; this location offers only a selection of majors, nursing being one of the few.

Public Campus, Hybrid, Online ACEN, CCNE See School Details
97.48 BSN Duke University 3 28 Durham

Duke University is located in Durham, North Carolina.  The Duke University School of Nursing (DUSON) is unique in that their only BSN program is an accelerated BSN (ABSN) – it is designed for adult learners with a prior bachelors degree.  DUSON’s primary focus is on educating nurses to advanced degrees; in fact, aside from the ABSN degree students, they graduated their last BSN students in 1983.

Private Not-For-Profit Campus, Hybrid ACEN, CCNE See School Details
96.48 BSN East Carolina University 4 55 Greenville

East Carolina University is located in Greenville, North Carolina.  They offer several BSN degree options – a traditional BSN degree, an accelerated BSN degree (for second degree students), an an RN to BSN degree.  East Carolina University has been in existence since 1908, when it broke ground as a teachers training institution.

Public Campus, Hybrid, Online ACEN, CCNE See School Details
96.00 BSN University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 5 67 Chapel Hill

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is located in Chapel  Hill, North Carolina.  UNC offers a bachelor’s degree.  Unique to their program is the RN to MSN option that they offer, in addition to various other graduate and doctoral options.  UNC’s BSN program originated in 1950, and was the first baccalaureate nursing program in North Carolina.  They were also the first to offer an MSN program in North Carolina, in 1955.

Public Campus, Hybrid, Online ACEN, CCNE See School Details
95.44 BSN Appalachian State University 6 77 Boone Public Campus, Online CCNE See School Details
94.63 BSN Lenoir-Rhyne University 7 108 Hickory Private Not-For-Profit Campus CCNE See School Details
94.63 BSN University of North Carolina Wilmington 7 108 Wilmington

University of North Carolina Wilmington is located in Wilmington, North Carolina.  They offer a prelicensure BSN program and an RN to BSN program.  The RN to BSN program is offered online.  The RN to BSN program has six start-times throughout the year, making it a desirable option for the working nurse.

Public Campus, Hybrid, Online ACEN, CCNE See School Details
92.56 BSN University of North Carolina at Greensboro 8 187 Greensboro

University of North Carolina at Greensboro is located in Greensboro, North Carolina.  They have a traditional BSN option, BSN for second-degree students and an RN to BSN option.  Their nursing program “is recognized by the National League for Nursing as a Center for Excellence in Nursing Education—one of just three in North Carolina.”

Public Campus, Hybrid ACEN, CCNE See School Details
90.96 BSN University of North Carolina at Charlotte 9 243 Charlotte Public Campus, Hybrid, Online ACEN, CCNE See School Details
90.48 BSN Fayetteville State University 10 260 Fayetteville

Fayetteville State University is located in Fayetteville, North Carolina.  Fayetteville State University offers a BSN program and an RN to BSN program.  The RN to BSN program has two options – a full-time option that is 2.5 semesters and a part-time option that is 5 semesters.  The traditional program requires students to attend on a full-time basis.

Public Campus, Online CCNE See School Details
90.19 BSN Queens University of Charlotte 11 265 Charlotte Private Not-For-Profit Campus CCNE See School Details
86.63 BSN University of North Carolina at Pembroke 12 361 Pembroke

University of North Carolina at Pembroke is located in Pembroke, North Carolina.  UNC Pembroke was founded in 1887 as the Croatan Normal School and educated American Indian teachers.  Today, 62% of the student population is a minority.  They offer a BSN program and an RN to BSN program; they also partner with local community colleges in the RIBN program.

Public Campus CCNE See School Details
85.56 BSN Winston-Salem State University 13 385 Winston-Salem Public Campus, Online ACEN, CCNE See School Details
80.33 BSN Barton College 14 472 Wilson Private Not-For-Profit Campus CCNE See School Details
77.52 BSN Pfeiffer University 15 489 Misenheimer Private Not-For-Profit Campus, Online CCNE See School Details
75.44 BSN North Carolina A & T State University 16 501 Greensboro Public Campus See School Details
71.85 BSN North Carolina Central University 17 517 Durham Public Campus, Online See School Details