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LPN to BSN Programs in North Carolina: Online & On-Campus

Ready to level up your nursing career? Learn how traditional and partially online LPN to BSN programs in North Carolina can help you quickly earn your bachelor’s degree and become a registered nurse.

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If you’re an experienced practical nurse with aspirations for career advancement, LPN to BSN programs in North Carolina provide a convenient path to a new role as a registered nurse. These bridge programs build upon your LPN experience and give you the skills needed for advanced patient care. As an RN in North Carolina, you’ll enter one of the most in-demand job markets in the state and command a higher salary than LPNs.

This guide to North Carolina’s LPN to BSN programs provides key details on top-rated programs, what you’ll learn, and how much you can expect tuition to cost. We’ll also show you just how much moving from an LPN to BSN nurse in North Carolina can boost your salary and job security. Begin your LPN to BSN journey with our list of the best programs below.

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Best LPN to BSN Programs in North Carolina for 2024

Ready to start your search for an LPN to BSN program in North Carolina? We’ve highlighted three outstanding programs to help you find a quality option. The affordable, accredited programs listed below offer the education and support you’ll need to confidently make your move.

Winston-Salem State University

Winston-Salem State University’s (WSSU) in-person LPN to BSN program prepares LPNs to move into careers as nursing generalists. Ranked as the number-one nursing program in the nation at a historically black college or university, the WSSU program focuses on addressing health inequities and preparing students to care for underserved communities while showing cultural sensitivity and compassion. Low student-to-teacher ratios in both classroom and clinical settings ensure that you’ll receive plenty of individual attention and training as you build skills in therapeutic intervention, health promotion and disease prevention, and evidence-based practice strategies. WSSU students also gain clinical experience and networking opportunities in the area’s major healthcare systems. The program is accredited by the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

To apply, students must hold an active state license to practice in North Carolina, have one year of direct patient care experience, and have worked at least 1,560 hours as an LPN in the last calendar year. Depending on previous work experience, applicants may earn credits for up to four courses toward their degree. This program’s average NCLEX-RN pass rate in 2022 was 85.71%.

Chamberlain University

At Chamberlain University in Charlotte, students can earn a BSN in as few as three years of year-round study. Since there are no enrollment waitlists or prerequisites, this program is highly accessible to applicants who want to start on their degree as soon as possible. Chamberlain offers six start dates each year—January, March, May, July, September, and November. Students in this LPN to BSN program in North Carolina participate in simulated diagnostic nursing and care experiences at the university’s Simcare Center before proceeding to real-world patient experience during clinical rotations.

While this program is not exclusively targeted toward LPNs preparing for careers as RNs, Chamberlain provides qualifying LPNs the opportunity to earn credit for their career experience. After passing proficiency and skills validation tests, licensed LPNs can receive up to nine proficiency credits toward their BSN. Chamberlain’s average NCLEX-RN pass rate in 2022 was 89.47%. The program is accredited by the CCNE.

Lees-McRae College/Surry Community College

Lees-McRae College (LMC) and Surry Community College (SCC) have partnered to provide LPNs with an affordable opportunity to earn a BSN in just three years. Lees-McRae/Surry’s LPN to BSN students gain the knowledge and skills to practice nursing with safety and care as they meet individual patient needs.

In this hybrid in-person and online program, students spend the first two years of study enrolled at both SCC and LMC. During this time, they take courses on the SCC campus and attend additional classes through LMC online. At the end of the second year, students take the NCLEX-RN exam and are eligible to work as RNs while they complete their final year of BSN degree courses online with LMC. SCC’s 2022 NCLEX-RN average pass rate was 95%.

FAQs About LPN to BSN Programs in North Carolina

What additional nursing skills and knowledge will I gain in an LPN to BSN program in North Carolina?

Unlike typical BSN programs, LPN to BSN programs in North Carolina allow you to earn credit for your previous practical nursing experience. You’ll expand on existing knowledge of the field with courses like anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, and health assessment, similar to the curriculum offered by WSSU. Specialized courses in concentrated areas of nursing allow you to explore different aspects of the field, such as pediatric or geriatric care. Through clinical requirements you’ll gain new skills in real-world, evidence-based practice and graduate well-prepared to meet patients’ needs at a higher level.

How long does it take to complete an LPN to BSN program in North Carolina?

On average, LPN to BSN programs in North Carolina take three years to complete. However, depending on your individual circumstances, this timeframe may vary. For instance, a program that offers credit for your LPN experience may take less time to complete. Likewise, studying full time and choosing a school that offers consecutive, year-round semesters also shortens your time to graduation.

How much do LPN to BSN programs in North Carolina cost?

Tuition rates vary by school and are subject to change each year, but the following tables give you an idea of the typical per-credit costs of an LPN to BSN program in North Carolina. In general, your residential status has the most significant potential to affect your estimated cost of tuition. For example, at most schools, North Carolina residents pay a per-credit rate several hundred dollars lower than out-of-state students.

What are the admission requirements for LPN to BSN programs in North Carolina?

Each individual school maintains unique admission requirements, but most programs have the following criteria in common:

  • Provide proof of high school graduation
  • Submit standardized test scores, such as from the SAT, ACT, or Health Education Systems, Inc., assessment
  • Hold an active, unencumbered LPN license in North Carolina
  • Complete drug, background, and fingerprint screenings
  • Pass proficiency examinations to earn credits for previous work as an LPN

LPN to BSN students in North Carolina may also be required to provide letters of recommendation. For an example of typical minimum admission requirements, refer to SCC/LMC’s LPN to BSN program application procedures.

What should I look for in an LPN to BSN program in North Carolina?

It’s imperative that you enroll in a program approved by the North Carolina Board of Nursing and accredited by either the CCNE or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). The North Carolina Board of Nursing sets statewide requirements for licensure and maintains a list of programs that meet their criteria. Programs accredited by CCNE or ACEN have been evaluated and found to comply with industry-wide educational requirements.

You should also research a school’s NCLEX-RN pass rate for first-time test takers. While high pass rates are not a guarantee of success, they’re a good indication that a school prepares students well through coursework, clinical experience, and instructor mentorship.

Can I get financial aid to help pay for my LPN to BSN program in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, students of LPN to BSN programs are eligible for financial aid to help pay for their education costs. In addition to federal financial aid, individual schools offer needs-based and merit scholarships. Some schools even offer exclusive grant and scholarship opportunities for students enrolled in BSN programs.

Beyond school-based opportunities, several North Carolina organizations offer financial assistance to nursing students. The North Carolina Nurses Association offers scholarships and the state of North Carolina’s Nurse Scholars Program awards merit-based scholarships to students who commit to work as nurses or nurse educators in the state. If you’re already working in the healthcare field as an LPN, your employer may also provide funds to pay for part of your education.

Check out our nursing scholarship guide and financial aid guide for more information about paying for your education.

Inside Look at Online LPN to BSN Programs in North Carolina

LPN to BSN programs in North Carolina are most commonly conducted entirely in person. One exception is the hybrid program offered in partnership by SCC and LMC in which students take some courses online and others in person. All programs require students to gain hands-on experience and fulfill clinical requirements on site at a medical facility.

Whether you join an in-person or hybrid LPN to BSN program in North Carolina, studying for a BSN degree is a big commitment and requires hours of study in addition to required class meetings. Visit our main online LPN to BSN programs page for more information on what to expect.

Common Questions About Online LPN to BSN Programs in North Carolina

Are hybrid and online LPN to BSN programs more affordable than campus programs in North Carolina?

Generally, students pay lower tuition rates by attending a hybrid or online LPN to BSN program in North Carolina. Plus, students who choose to complete some of their coursework online save additional money on commuting or relocating compared to students who pursue their BSN in a traditional on-campus setting.

Can I complete my LPN to BSN program in North Carolina more quickly by taking coursework online?

It’s possible to complete your BSN more quickly by opting for some online courses, but the time it takes to complete your degree will ultimately depend on several factors. The biggest impact will come from your course load and the total number of credits awarded based on your LPN career or transfer from another institution.

Will earning my LPN to BSN degree online or through a hybrid program affect my ability to get licensed?

No. As long as you’re taking courses from a CCNE- or ACEN-accredited program, there is no distinction between coursework completed online versus in-person. Even if you take classes for your LPN to BSN online in North Carolina, you’ll still be eligible for licensure, provided you pass the NCLEX-RN exam.

Will employers care if I took some of my nursing classes online?

No. Employers are most interested in hiring well-qualified licensed nurses who are capable of performing their duties well. As long as you have passed the NCLEX-RN exam and obtained your licensure, an employer in North Carolina won’t view online LPN to BSN coursework any differently than credits completed in person.

How to Go from Being an LPN to a BSN Nurse in North Carolina

To become an RN in the state of North Carolina, you must follow the steps outlined by the Board of Nursing. You’ll have plenty of guidance from your nursing school as you approach graduation, but it can also be helpful to know the requirements beforehand. To become an RN in North Carolina, you must:

  • Graduate from an approved and accredited nursing program
  • Submit transcripts from your BSN program (typically, these are forwarded to the Board of Nursing by your BSN program director)
  • Apply to take the NCLEX-RN exam and pay the fees
  • Pass the NCLEX-RN exam
  • Submit to a criminal background check

After passing the NCLEX-RN exam and obtaining initial licensure, you’ll also need to stay up-to-date with periodic licensure renewals.

Completing an LPN to BSN program in North Carolina increases your job security, potential career growth, and annual earnings. This section takes a closer look at the job markets and salary trends North Carolina RNs can expect over the next decade.

How much more can I make going from an LPN to BSN in North Carolina?

Throughout North Carolina, RNs earn 53% more than the median annual income for LPNs, though depending on the area, that figure can be as high as 62%. As reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, LPNs earn $49,210 per year. That’s slightly less than the average annual wage for all occupations statewide, which is $53,100. The same data shows that RNs earn an average yearly salary of $71,200, which is well above the state average. For more information on the current median earnings of LPNs and RNs in your geographical area, consult the table below.

LPN Median Annual EarningsRN Median Annual
Earnings
Annual % Earnings
Increase
North Carolina$47,340$72,22053%
Asheville, NC$48,070$62,81031%
Burlington, NC$46,430$70,88053%
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC$48,940$75,51054%
Durham-Chapel Hill, NC$49,270$62,71027%
Fayetteville, NC$47,440$77,00062%
Goldsboro, NC$46,420$62,39034%
Greensboro-High Point, NC$47,000$75,00060%
Greenville, NC$46,670$67,99046%
Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC$46,640$61,03031%
Jacksonville, NC$45,840$61,99035%
New Bern, NC$45,130$60,53034%
Raleigh, NC$50,160$75,38050%
Rocky Mount, NC$45,720$61,99036%
Wilmington, NC$47,000$61,77031%
Winston-Salem, NC$47,670$75,44058%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2021

What’s the job market like for BSN nurses in North Carolina vs. LPNs?

LPN jobs in North Carolina are expected to grow 9% by 2030, while RN jobs are expected to grow by 11.5% in the same amount of time. Looking at the raw number of average annual job openings, RNs are expected to see more than four times as many open positions each year.

North Carolina faces an estimated shortage of 12,459 RNs in the next decade, though some sources project that shortage to be as high as 21,000 by 2033. Graduates can expect to be highly in demand to meet the statewide need for more registered nurses. In fact, the College Foundation of North Carolina reports nursing as the top in-demand career for the future.

New Jobs
(2020-2030)
Job Growth Rate
(2020-2030)
Average Annual Openings
(2020-2030)
LPNs in North Carolina1,5409.2%1,480
RNs in North Carolina11,77011.5%6,780

Source: Projections Central