Introduction to Nursing Schools in South Carolina

An associate’s degree in nursing or diploma will provide you with the educational requirements need for a nursing license and a rewarding career in healthcare. When ready, obtaining a Bachelor’s of Science in nursing degree will set you apart from your colleagues and open up more job opportunities. Baccalaureate prepared nurses will find that they have more career mobility and more access to specialty areas of certification and licensure. South Carolina is in the midst of a shortage of nurse educators. Nurses who have obtained a BSN degree will be qualified to teach entry-level nursing courses as well as clinical rotations at select colleges and teaching hospitals.

In our South Carolina RN program guide, find rankings for both ADN and BSN Degree programs, tuition costs, NCLEX passing rates, and more. Research key South 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 South 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.

South Carolina RN Program Comparisons: ADN vs BSN

Compare RN Programs ADN BSN
Number of Nursing Programs 16 15
Average NCLEX Passing Rate 89.57% 88.96%
NCLEX Passing Rate Range 74.10% to 97.08% 74.54% to 94.69%
Average Net Price $7,718.06 $16,068.50
Average Net Price Range $4,798.00 to $15,003.00 $11,300.00 to $24,087.00
Average Student Loan $7,914.47 $18,326.36
Average Student Loan Range $3,500.00 to $20,966.00 $9,500.00 to $25,940.00
See Additional Detail ADN Rankings for South Carolina State BSN Rankings for South Carolina State

Best Ranked RN Programs in South Carolina

Best Ranked RN Programs in South 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 South Carolina and the country. Schools ranked on our list have proven their ability to educate highly competent nurses.

To create our rankings, we evaluated 15 ADN degree programs and 13 BSN degree programs in South 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 South Carolina to provide our state rankings. View our methodology

#1

University of South Carolina-Columbia

  • Columbia-Campus, Columbia, SC - 29208
  • (803) 777-7000
  • Grade: (A) 99.36%
  • Programs: Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor, BSN to DNP, BSN to PhD, MSN, MSN to DNP, Post Master's NP Certificate

University of South Carolina is located in Columbia, South Carolina.  USC has been rated #1 in the nation by US News and World Report for their online education Master's programs.  They offer a BSN program and an RN to BSN program, in addition to a wide variety of post-graduate options.

#2

Lander University

  • 320 Stanley Avenue, Greenwood, SC - 29649-2099
  • (864) 388-8000
  • Grade: (A) 97.90%
  • Programs: CNL, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor, MSN

Lander University is located in Greenwood, South Carolina.  The William Preston Turner School of Nursing offers a pre-licensure BSN program, an online RN to BSN program and an MSN for Clinical Nurse Leader program.

#3

York Technical College/USC Lancaster

  • 452 S Anderson Rd, Rock Hill, SC - 29730
  • (803) 327-8000
  • Grade: (A) 97.72%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

York Technical College is located in Rock Hill, South Carolina.  They  offer a DAS (diploma) for practical nursing, a AAS degree - Gen Tech Nursing - Practical, an AAS - Nursing (ADN) and an AAS - Gen Tech to Nursing (ADN).  Their program is a collaboration with University of South Carolina Lancaster, and students (even LPN students earning AAS degree) ready themselves for advanced degrees at University of South Carolina Lancaster.

#4

Anderson University

  • 316 Boulevard, Anderson, SC - 29621-4035
  • (864) 231-2000
  • Grade: (A) 96.78%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Accelerated BSN, APRN Certificate, Bachelor, MSN, MSN to DNP

Anderson University is located in Anderson, Texas.  Anderson University is a Christian university.  They offer a traditional BSN program, an accelerated BSN program and an RN to BSN program. The RN to BSN program is offered online and can be completed at the student's pace.  The students with at least 59 college credits, or a previous bachelor's degree, are eligible for the ABSN degree.

#5

Greenville Technical College

  • 738 S Pleasantburg Dr, Greenville, SC - 29607-2418
  • (864) 250-8000
  • Grade: (A) 96.53%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

Greenville Technical College is located in Greenville, South Carolina.  They are one of the largest ADN programs in South Carolina and have been in operation since 1971.  Their program is an ADN program and they also have a BSN transfer option with USC Upstate.

#6

Spartanburg Community College

  • 107 Community College Drive, Spartanburg, SC - 29303
  • (864) 592-4500
  • Grade: (A) 95.90%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

Spartanburg Community College is located in Spartanburg, South Carolina.  They offer an ADN program.  They no longer have an LPN to RN transition program; however, students are admitted to their program on a :"points system" and LPNs can earn more points based on their nursing experience.

#7

Clemson University

  • 201 Sikes Hall, Clemson, SC - 29634
  • (864) 656-4636
  • Grade: (A) 95.89%
  • Programs: Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Accelerated BSN, Bachelor, MSN, Post Master's NP Certificate

Clemson University is located in Clemson, South Carolina.  Clemson's School of Nursing is among only 35 nursing programs nationwide to be recognized since 2004 as a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education by the National League for Nursing. They offer a BSN program, an accelerated BSN, which is a 16-month curriculum for second-degree learners, and an online RN to BSN program.

#8

University of South Carolina-Aiken

  • 471 University Pkwy, Aiken, SC - 29801
  • (803) 648-6851
  • Grade: (A) 95.80%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor
#9

Aiken Technical College

  • 2276 Jefferson Davis Highway, Graniteville, SC - 29829
  • (803) 508-7263
  • Grade: (A) 95.75%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

Aiken Technical College is located in Graniteville, South Carolina.  They offer a practical nursing program, an ADN program and an LPN to ADN transition option.  LPNs take a transition semester, then join the RN students for the final two semesters.

#10

Central Carolina Technical College

  • 506 N Guignard Dr, Sumter, SC - 29150-2499
  • (803) 778-1961
  • Grade: (A) 94.16%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

Central Carolina Technical College is located in Sumter, South Carolina.  They offer an ADN program and an LPN to ADN program.  The LPN to ADN program allows for advanced placement into the ADN program.

#11

Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College

  • 3250 Saint Matthews Rd, Orangeburg, SC - 29118-8299
  • (803) 536-0311
  • Grade: (A) 93.79%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College is located in Orangeburg, South Carolina.  OCtech offers a practical nursing program, an ADN program and an ADN FLEX program; the FLEX program is the LPN to ADN program operates from January to December, with classes being offered on-campus and online.  Clinicals are offered on weekends.

#12

Trident Technical College

  • 7000 Rivers Avenue, Charleston, SC - 29423-8067
  • (843) 574-6111
  • Grade: (A) 93.45%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Associate

Trident Technical College is located in Charleston, South Carolina.  They offer several degree options for students looking to break into nursing; they offer a practical nursing and an ADN program.  In addition, they offer an LPN-ADN program, which begins each summer.  They also offer an accelerated ADN program, which is designed for students holding a prior bachelor's degree; it is completed in 15 months.

#13

Bob Jones University

  • 1700 Wade Hampton Boulavard, Greenville, SC - 29614-0001
  • (864) 242-5100
  • Grade: (A) 92.66%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor

Bob Jones University is located in Greenville, South Carolina.  BJU is a Christian college and they offer a biblical approach to nursing education.  Their education is largely focused on clinicals - they have a 3-year Clinical Program.  Students also have the opportunity to serve on mission trips, such as in Peru or Africa.  They offer a BSN program.

#14

Medical University of South Carolina

  • 179 Ashley Ave, Charleston, SC - 29425
  • (843) 792-2300
  • Grade: (A) 91.67%
  • Programs: Adult Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Accelerated BSN, Bachelor, BSN to DNP, BSN to PhD, MSN, MSN to DNP

The Medical University of South Carolina is located in Charleston, South Carolina.  MUSC is unique because it offers only the classes needed for the degrees - students must earn their prerequisites elsewhere.  They offer an accelerated BSN and an RN to BSN program.  The accelerated BSN is available to all students - all students require a minimum of 60 prerequisite credits for entrance.

#15

Charleston Southern University

  • 9200 University Blvd, Charleston, SC - 29406-9121
  • (843) 863-7000
  • Grade: (A) 91.11%
  • Programs: Registered Nursing
  • Award Levels: Bachelor

Charleston Southern University is located in Charleston, South Carolina.  The College of Nursing offers a BSN program and an online MSN program (Nurse Educator emphasis or Nursing Leadership and Healthcare Administration emphasis).


Become an Advance Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) in South Carolina

RNs who wish to become advanced practice registered nurses will want to pursue any number of avenues to earn Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. Earning a Master of Science in Nursing consists of graduate-level coursework and clinical practice for those nurses who wish to direct patient roles such as a nurse practitioner. You can also pursue indirect patient roles such as teaching or leadership roles, or become involved in policy, state-wide health initiatives or community engagement. There are many clinical and non-clinical avenues that an RN with MSN can pursue.

Become a Nurse Practitioner (NP) in South Carolina

Learn how to become a Nurse Practitioner (NP) and research schools in South Carolina offering the following high paying nurse practitioner specialties:

Learn about Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degree.

Online NP Programs Liked by South Carolina Nurses

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

South Carolina  RN Licensing Requirements

RN Licensure by Exams

The candidate will need to apply to the South Carolina board and register with Pearson VUE, the company that administers the NCLEX exam. The candidate may apply prior to graduation and must include a passport photo with the application. There is a $90 fee that the candidate will be responsible in order to apply by examination. There is also a $200 fee to take the NCLEX exam. Candidates may be issued a temporary permit while waiting for their NCLEX results. If the candidate does not pass on the first attempt, there will be a 45-day waiting before he/she can test again. The exam can be attempted for up to a year and will require remediation after that point. There is a $65 fee that is owed to the board for re-examination.

RN Licensure by Endorsement

Nurses who have obtained licensure in one of the other 50 states will be able to obtain licensure in South Carolina by endorsement. South Carolina accepts both the NCLEX and the SBTPE. There are two cases in which an out of state nurse may be granted a temporary permit. One is when the initial screening proves that the candidate is eligible for licensure. In this scenario the permit is good for up to 60 days. The second scenario will grant the nurse a 90-day permit. In order to obtain a permit in this case, the nurse must complete a refresher course. The endorsement application itself costs $100 and there is an additional $10 fee for the temporary license.

RN License for Nurses Educated Abroad

Nurses who completed a nursing program in a foreign country must demonstrate English proficiency. Their credentials must also be evaluated through a professional service.

RN Salaries in South Carolina

Sixty percent of the registered nurses in the state of South Carolina work in hospitals and the demand for new registered nurses is growing every day. It has been reported that 36% of the registered nurses in South Carolina have pursued higher education outside of associates. The RN to BSN programs in South Carolina are designed with the intention of increasing the number of Bachelor’s prepared nurses state-wide. Some opportunities that will be available to a baccalaureate-prepared nurse include (but are not limited to):

  • Wound, ostomy, and continence
  • Psychiatrists
  • Nurse educators
  • Critical care
  • Health policies

South Carolina Registered Nursing Salaries

The Charleston metropolitan area has the highest employment rate of registered nurses along with the highest hourly mean wage and annual median wage.
Source: BLS, Department of Education, State Board of Nursing, Nursing School Websites.

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