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 ProgramsADNBSN
Number of Nursing Programs5820
Average NCLEX Passing Rate86.84%87.39%
NCLEX Passing Rate Range22.50% 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 DetailADN Rankings for North Carolina StateBSN 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 ADNCape Fear Community College121 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%.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
98.33 ADNRobeson Community College121 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.

PublicCampusSee School Details
97.70 ADNJohnston Community College233 SmithfieldPublicCampusACENSee School Details
97.63 ADNCollege of the Albemarle335 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.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
97.26 ADNMitchell Community College441 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.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
97.04 ADNWake Technical Community College546 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.”

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
96.85 ADNBrunswick Community College650 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.

PublicCampusSee School Details
96.81 ADNWestern Piedmont Community College752 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.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
96.74 ADNGaston College854 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.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
95.59 ADNSurry Community College981 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.

PublicCampusSee School Details
95.52 ADNForsyth Technical Community College1084 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.

PublicCampusSee School Details
95.33 ADNDavidson County Community College1190 ThomasvillePublicCampusACENSee School Details
94.44 ADNJames Sprunt Community College12120 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.

PublicCampusSee School Details
94.26 ADNCarolinas College of Health Sciences13131 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.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
93.67 ADNCaldwell Community College and Technical Institute14151 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.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
93.48 ADNCentral Piedmont Community College15159 CharlottePublicCampusACENSee School Details
92.81 ADNWayne Community College16184 GoldsboroPublicCampusACENSee School Details
92.56 ADNSandhills Community College17197 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.

PublicCampusSee School Details
92.52 ADNRichmond Community College18198 HamletPublicCampusSee School Details
92.00 ADNStanly Community College19217 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.

PublicCampusSee School Details
91.85 ADNCatawba Valley Community College20223 HickoryPublicCampusACENSee School Details
91.30 ADNRockingham Community College21247 WentworthPublicCampusSee School Details
91.00 ADNSouth Piedmont Community College22257 PolktonPublicCampusSee School Details
90.93 ADNCoastal Carolina Community College23262 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.

PublicCampusSee School Details
90.74 ADNCarteret Community College24269 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.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
90.48 ADNAsheville-Buncombe Technical Community College25279 AshevillePublicCampusSee School Details
90.22 ADNFayetteville Technical Community College26288 FayettevillePublicCampusACENSee School Details
89.44 ADNRowan-Cabarrus Community College27311 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.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
89.30 ADNCabarrus College of Health Sciences28314 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-ProfitCampus, OnlineACEN, CCNESee School Details
89.07 ADNLenoir Community College29325 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.

PublicCampusSee School Details
89.00 ADNVance-Granville Community College30326 HendersonPublicCampusSee School Details
88.89 ADNBladen Community College31330 DublinPublicCampusSee School Details
88.67 ADNPitt Community College32339 WintervillePublicCampusACENSee School Details
86.22 ADNWilson Community College33439 WilsonPublicCampusSee School Details
86.07 ADNHalifax Community College34447 WeldonPublicCampusSee School Details
86.00 ADNSampson Community College35450 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.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
84.26 ADNCraven Community College36505 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.

PublicCampusSee School Details
83.96 ADNRandolph Community College37511 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

PublicCampusSee School Details
83.44 ADNAlamance Community College38525 GrahamPublicCampusSee School Details
83.22 ADNMayland Community College39536 Spruce PinePublicCampusSee School Details
83.11 ADNGardner-Webb University40537 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-ProfitCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, CCNESee School Details
82.63 ADNBlue Ridge Community College41550 Flat RockPublicCampusSee School Details
82.37 ADNNash Community College42553 Rocky MountPublicCampusSee School Details
81.78 ADNWilkes Community College43568 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.

PublicCampusSee School Details
79.41 ADNEdgecombe Community College44600 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.

PublicCampusACENSee School Details
79.41 ADNGuilford Technical Community College44600 JamestownPublicCampusSee School Details
79.07 ADNSouthwestern Community College45609 SylvaPublicCampusSee School Details
79.04 ADNPiedmont Community College46610 RoxboroPublicCampusSee School Details
77.22 ADNRoanoke-Chowan Community College47637 AhoskiePublicCampusSee School Details
75.52 ADNSoutheastern Community College48653 WhitevillePublicCampusSee School Details
71.70 ADNDurham Technical Community College49686 DurhamPublicCampusACENSee School Details
71.56 ADNBeaufort County Community College50688 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.

PublicCampusSee School Details
67.78 ADNCentral Carolina Community College52702 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.

PublicCampusSee School Details
98.52 BSNGardner-Webb University112 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-ProfitCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, CCNESee School Details
97.67 BSNWestern Carolina University222 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.

PublicCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, CCNESee School Details
97.48 BSNDuke University328 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-ProfitCampus, HybridACEN, CCNESee School Details
96.48 BSNEast Carolina University455 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.

PublicCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, CCNESee School Details
96.00 BSNUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill567 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.

PublicCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, CCNESee School Details
95.44 BSNAppalachian State University677 BoonePublicCampus, OnlineCCNESee School Details
94.63 BSNLenoir-Rhyne University7108 HickoryPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampusCCNESee School Details
94.63 BSNUniversity of North Carolina Wilmington7108 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.

PublicCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, CCNESee School Details
92.56 BSNUniversity of North Carolina at Greensboro8187 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.”

PublicCampus, HybridACEN, CCNESee School Details
90.96 BSNUniversity of North Carolina at Charlotte9243 CharlottePublicCampus, Hybrid, OnlineACEN, CCNESee School Details
90.48 BSNFayetteville State University10260 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.

PublicCampus, OnlineCCNESee School Details
90.19 BSNQueens University of Charlotte11265 CharlottePrivate Not-For-ProfitCampusCCNESee School Details
86.63 BSNUniversity of North Carolina at Pembroke12361 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.

PublicCampusCCNESee School Details
85.56 BSNWinston-Salem State University13385 Winston-SalemPublicCampus, OnlineACEN, CCNESee School Details
80.33 BSNBarton College14472 WilsonPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampusCCNESee School Details
77.52 BSNPfeiffer University15489 MisenheimerPrivate Not-For-ProfitCampus, OnlineCCNESee School Details
75.44 BSNNorth Carolina A & T State University16501 GreensboroPublicCampusSee School Details
71.85 BSNNorth Carolina Central University17517 DurhamPublicCampus, OnlineSee School Details