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 ProgramsADNBSN
Number of Nursing Programs1615
Average NCLEX Passing Rate89.57%88.96%
NCLEX Passing Rate Range74.10% 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 DetailADN Rankings for South Carolina StateBSN 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


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97.72 ADNYork Technical College/USC Lancaster146 Rock Hill

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.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
96.53 ADNGreenville Technical College287 Greenville

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.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
95.90 ADNSpartanburg Community College3112 Spartanburg

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.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
95.75 ADNAiken Technical College4119 Graniteville

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.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
94.16 ADNCentral Carolina Technical College5187 Sumter

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.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
93.79 ADNOrangeburg Calhoun Technical College6207 Orangeburg

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.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
93.45 ADNTrident Technical College7223 Charleston

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.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
90.33 ADNFortis College8348 ColumbiaPrivate For-ProfitCampusSee School Details
87.65 ADNMidlands Technical College9452 West Columbia

Midlands Technical College is located in West Columbia, South Carolina.  They offer an ADN degree program and an LPN to ADN advanced placement option, where the LPN can have advanced placement into the nursing program.  MTC has been in existence since 1974, when three schools came together to form MTC.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
86.90 ADNTri-County Technical College10481 PendletonPublicCampusACENSee School Details
85.61 ADNFlorence-Darlington Technical College11516 FlorencePublicCampusACENSee School Details
84.46 ADNPiedmont Technical College12538 Greenwood

Piedmont Technical College is located in Greenwood, South Carolina.  They offer ADN degrees and an LPN to RN degree.  They offer two ADN degrees – one generic ADN degree and one designed for transfer to four-year degree programs.  They also offer a nursing care certificate, which is an aide program designed for students who seek to become aide’s in preparation for the ADN program.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
84.43 ADNHorry-Georgetown Technical College13540 ConwayPublicCampusACENSee School Details
84.37 ADNTechnical College of the Lowcountry14542 Beaufort

Technical College of the Lowcountry is located in Beaufort, South Carolina.  They offer a practical nursing program and an ADN program.  Students enrolled in the ADN program are eligible to take the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program Exam after completion of NUR102 “Basic Nursing Skills”.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
62.22 ADNNortheastern Technical College15709 CherawPublicCampusSee School Details
99.36 BSNUniversity of South Carolina-Columbia14 Columbia

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.

PublicCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
97.90 BSNLander University238 Greenwood

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.

PublicCampus, OnlineCCNESee School Details
96.78 BSNAnderson University377 Anderson

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.

Private Not-For-ProfitCampus, OnlineCCNESee School Details
95.89 BSNClemson University4110 Clemson

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.

PublicCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
95.80 BSNUniversity of South Carolina-Aiken5111 AikenPublicCampus, OnlineCCNESee School Details
92.66 BSNBob Jones University6244 Greenville

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.

Private For-ProfitCampusACME, COASee School Details
91.67 BSNMedical University of South Carolina7279 Charleston

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.

PublicCampus, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
91.11 BSNCharleston Southern University8299 Charleston

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).

Private Not-For-ProfitCampus, OnlineACME, COASee School Details
88.52 BSNFrancis Marion University9362 Florence

Francis Marion University is located in Florence, South Carolina.  They offer a traditional BSN program.  They also offer several RN to BSN options – they offer an online program, a hybrid program a their Mount Pleasant campus, and also an RN to BSN Veterans program.  The veterans program is for honorably or generally discharged veterans to complete their nursing education; not only does this program give credit for nursing experience, but also military experience.

PublicCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, ACME, CCNE, COASee School Details
87.04 BSNNewberry College10407 NewberryPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampusCCNESee School Details
86.67 BSNUniversity of South Carolina-Upstate11415 SpartanburgPublicCampus, OnlineCCNESee School Details
85.67 BSNSouth University-Columbia12431 ColumbiaPrivate For-ProfitCampusACME, COASee School Details
79.63 BSNUniversity of South Carolina-Beaufort13491 BlufftonPublicCampusCCNESee School Details

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.

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.
Area nameEmploymentHourly mean wageAnnual median wage
Anderson, SC1,710$26.88$56,000
Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville, SC9,440$31.98$64,180
Columbia, SC8,140$27.11$55,970
Florence, SC3,000$29.07$62,710
Greenville-Mauldin-Easley, SC5,160$28.63$58,020
Myrtle Beach-North Myrtle Beach-Conway, SC1,660$27.47$55,760
Spartanburg, SC2,690$26.78$53,430
Sumter, SCEstimate not released$26.56$54,570
Low Country South Carolina nonmetropolitan area2,390$30.33$60,240
Upper Savannah South Carolina nonmetropolitan area2,070$27.56$55,310
Pee Dee South Carolina nonmetropolitan area720$27.09$55,590
Lower Savannah South Carolina nonmetropolitan area1,150$21.87$40,380
Source: http://www.dol.gov/, 2014 Data