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Today’s Top BSN Programs in North Carolina: Online & Campus

BSN programs in North Carolina allow you to develop the necessary skills and knowledge to work as a nurse. Whether you’re applying to college, changing careers, or building on existing knowledge, this guide will help you find the best BSN program for you.

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WRITTEN BY: James Mielke
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REVIEWED BY: Edumed Editing Staff

Last Updated: 09/06/2023

Editorial Values and Practices

Are you a high school student, healthcare worker, or current practical nurse looking to upgrade your credentials? Or perhaps you’re interested in changing careers and pursuing a well-paying, high-demand profession. If you enjoy helping others and performing essential healthcare duties, earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and becoming a registered nurse in North Carolina offers a pathway to fulfilling work and above-average earnings.

Aside from these perks, you can also look forward to job stability and opportunities for growth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ O*Net database projects that jobs for North Carolina registered nurses will expand by an impressive 12% between 2020 and 2030, which is twice the national average. With opportunities to work in urban and rural settings abounding, it’s a great time to consider whether a career as a registered nurse in North Carolina makes sense for you.

Keep reading, because throughout this page, you’ll find all the necessary information to make an informed and confident decision. To get started, take a look at our rankings for the top online BSN programs in North Carolina for the ’23-’24 school year.

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About the ranking

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Base Methodology for EduMed’s Best Online College Rankings for the ’23-’24 school year.

One: Create list of Eligible Schools and Programs

To be eligible, schools were required to meet the following criteria based on data pulled from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), which was self-reported by the schools themselves.

  • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • At least 1 online component in a program within the ranking-subject area.

Two: Assign Weighting

After creating the list of eligible schools, EduMed data scientists assigned weights and ranked schools based on a mix of metrics, which were all self-reported by the schools themselves to the U.S. Department of Education and IPEDS. 

The metrics are listed below in order of most- to least-heavily weighted. 

Online Programs – Number of online programs in the relevant subject area.

Online Student % – Number of total students who are enrolled in at least 1 distance-learning course in the relevant subject area.

Tuition – The average in-state tuition for undergraduate students studying full-time, as self-reported by the school.

Institutional Aid – Percent of full-time undergraduate students who are awarded institutional grant aid, as self-reported by the school.

Academic Counseling – Existence of this service on campus or online.

Career Placement Services – Existence of this service on campus or online.

Student/Faculty Ratio

About Our DataEduMed’s rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Most recent data pull: July 2023

# School Name Type Tuition Online Programs More Details School Information Online Students Academic Counseling Career Placement Students w/Institutional Aid Median Earnings 10yrs After Entry Accreditation
1 Fayetteville State UniversityFayetteville, NC Public $ 1

Fayetteville State University's School (FSU) of Nursing has many program choices, including an accelerated BSN program, an RN to BSN program, an MSN program, and even a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program. According to the FSU website, the School of Nursing is also described as having a strong Student Nursing Association that can offer support, community involvement, mentoring, and networking opportunities. Although FSU offers online nursing programs, some courses will need to be completed in person, along with capstone projects and practicum hours.

Program Highlights:

Registered Nurse (RN) to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Program

  • Credits: 39
  • Length: 1-2.5years
  • Cost: $264.22 per credit
  • Mode: Fully online
  • Accreditation: CCNE
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
15/1
Online
Student %
91%
2 University of North Carolina at GreensboroGreensboro, NC Public $ 1

The online RN to BSN program at UNC Greensboro is designed to be a flexible way for North Carolina nurses to complete their bachelor's in nursing. You will be able to take your classes whenever suits your schedule, as classes are offered through an asynchronus online format. Applicants should have an unrestricted North Carolina nursing license. UNC Greensboro has specifically designed the program to meet North Carolina's requirements and standards, and cannot guarantee that it will fulfill the requirements for nurses residing in other states.

Program Highlights:

RN-BSN Program

  • Credits: Varies
  • Length: Varies
  • Cost: $7,498/year (in-state); $22,657/year (out-of-state)
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
17/1
Online
Student %
82%
3 North Carolina Central UniversityDurham, NC Public $ 1

If you have an active RN license and a degree or diploma in nursing, you may be eligible for the RN to BSN program at NC Central University. This program offers fully online classes, although you will also be required to complete some practical courses at a site near you. Your nursing courses will prepare you for career opportunities in both patient care and research, and introduce you to the managerial aspects of a nursing career. Applicants should have a GPA of 2.5 or higher from their first degree or diploma.

Program Highlights:

Nursing RN to BSN

  • Credits: 30
  • Length: 1 Year
  • Cost: $183.67/credit (in-state) $726.84 (out-of-state)
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
15/1
Online
Student %
61%
4 University of North Carolina WilmingtonWilmington, NC Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
16/1
Online
Student %
75%
5 East Carolina UniversityGreenville, NC Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
18/1
Online
Student %
74%
6 Western Carolina UniversityCullowhee, NC Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
15/1
Online
Student %
54%
7 Cabarrus College of Health SciencesConcord, NC Private not-for-profit $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
7/1
Online
Student %
77%
8 University of North Carolina at CharlotteCharlotte, NC Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
20/1
Online
Student %
69%
9 Barton CollegeWilson, NC Private not-for-profit $$$$$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
13/1
Online
Student %
71%
10 North Carolina A & T State UniversityGreensboro, NC Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
19/1
Online
Student %
58%
11 Appalachian State UniversityBoone, NC Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
17/1
Online
Student %
60%
12 Gardner-Webb UniversityBoiling Springs, NC Private not-for-profit $$$$$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
11/1
Online
Student %
44%
13 North Carolina Wesleyan CollegeRocky Mount, NC Private not-for-profit $$$$$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
12/1
Online
Student %
44%
14 Lees-McRae CollegeBanner Elk, NC Private not-for-profit $$$$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
11/1
Online
Student %
23%
15 William Peace UniversityRaleigh, NC Private not-for-profit $$$$$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
11/1
Online
Student %
30%
16 Carolinas College of Health SciencesCharlotte, NC Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
6/1
Online
Student %
43%
17 Campbell UniversityBuies Creek, NC Private not-for-profit $$$$$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
14/1
Online
Student %
28%

Inside Look: Popular BSN Programs in North Carolina

Finding the right BSN program for you likely starts with several important considerations. You’re probably interested in programs offering affordability, flexibility, accreditation, and student support, among other factors. To help you start your search, we’re spotlighting three popular BSN programs in North Carolina, diving into detail about precisely what makes them great. All three of these quality programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

University of North Carolina Wilmington

The University of North Carolina at Wilmington is an appealing option for current RNs who are looking to upgrade to a BSN, as the school provides a fully online RN to BSN program that requires as little as one year to complete the required 29 credits. As a bonus, North Carolina Residents pay just over $6,000 in tuition and fees to complete the entire program.

At UNCW, you can select from five different start dates. After being admitted, you’ll study contemporary challenges facing the nursing practice that’ll prepare you to master core concepts and take on leadership and management roles. The program concludes with a capstone project. Admission requirements include a minimum 2.5 GPA, a minimum of 24 transferrable credits, an ADN or graduation from a diploma registered nurse program, and a current and unrestricted RN license. Prospective learners must also submit official high school and college transcripts.

Northeastern University

The Bouvé College of Health Sciences at Northeastern University offers an accelerated BSN that can take as few as 16 months for students with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree or at least 62 qualifying transfer credits. This program provides an automatic $26,000 scholarship for every admitted student, making your total tuition just under $60,000 to earn your BSN. You can choose to start in January, May, or September — so you won’t have to wait long to start nursing school.

Hybrid in nature, NU’s program consists of online coursework, in-person nursing labs, and clinical rotations. This means you’ll have an opportunity to gain experience in a clinical setting before entering the workforce. You can also choose from five specializations: women’s care, family care, adult care, mental health, and public health. Newly admitted students enter the program as part of a cohort, providing a built-in support system along the way.

Western Carolina University

Western Carolina University provides a popular online RN to BSN that takes just four semesters to complete. The program builds upon the basic nursing education of current RNs, broadening their clinical perspective, enhancing leadership potential, and preparing them for possible graduate study. Tuition costs just $500 per fall and spring semester for North Carolina residents, and $2,500 for non-resident students. This means students living in North Carolina pay just $2,800 (including fees) to complete the entire program. All classwork occurs online, making it easier for working students to balance degree requirements with other day-to-day responsibilities.

WCU’s curriculum covers topics such as community health, nursing leadership, and nursing research. Applicants should possess a minimum 2.5 GPA, an unrestricted and active registered nursing license, and at least 60 transferrable credits unrelated to nursing. The department hosts several virtual information sessions via Zoom to help interested students learn more about the program.

Main Benefits of BSN Programs in North Carolina

Earning your BSN in North Carolina offers many benefits, which is why so many students choose to pursue this popular degree each year at one of the state’s many noteworthy universities. If you need more convincing about why BSN programs in North Carolina can help you succeed, review our list of top benefits below.

Access to Strong Professional Network

When it comes time to find a job, one of the most important resources available to new graduates and experienced veterans alike is their professional network. Attending one of the best North Carolina BSN programs provides access to experienced professors, helpful mentors, and BSN alumni working in healthcare settings in North Carolina and beyond.

Broad Range of Clinical Opportunities

Given the vast number of healthcare facilities, research labs, hospitals, medical centers, long-term care facilities, clinics, physicians’ offices, and other healthcare settings, you can choose from a variety of clinical opportunities. If your interest lies in mental health nursing, for instance, you could potentially complete a clinical rotation at Broughton Hospital in Morgantown.

Wide Array of Prestigious Nursing Schools

North Carolina is home to a larger-than-average number of four-year colleges and universities based on its size, providing you with an extensive number of prestigious nursing schools and programs to choose from. Whether you want the small private college experience provided by Elon University or the large state school environment offered by UNC-Chapel Hill, North Carolina offers many options.

Program Checklist: What to Look for in a North Carolina BSN Program

Deciding where to complete your BSN is a big commitment, so you want to make sure you consider all essential factors before choosing a school. Once you narrow down choices based on program location and cost, you can use this checklist to ensure you make a great choice.

Accreditation

If you pursue a non-accredited BSN program, it can result in issues with transferring credits, seeking licensure, and finding a job. The primary programmatic accrediting agencies for nursing are the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the Accrediting Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Attending a school with CCNE or ACEN accreditation ensures you receive a quality education and helps prospective employers feel confident in the rigor of your academic background.

Format That Fits Your Needs

With many programs available either online or in person, take time to consider which format of a BSN program in North Carolina best fits your needs. If you enjoy face-to-face interaction, you may find that a campus-based version works best. Conversely, some learners may need the flexibility provided by an online BSN.

Student Support Resources

Earning a BSN can challenge you at many different levels, making it essential that you have the student support resources needed not only to survive, but thrive. When looking at prospective BSN programs in North Carolina, carefully review whether each offers adequate academic counseling, career guidance, financial aid support, and mental health services.

Types of BSN Programs in North Carolina

The type of BSN you choose to attend will depend on several factors, including whether you have previous nursing education or experience, if you already completed general education courses, and how you plan to use the degree after graduating. We review the most common types of BSN programs in North Carolina below.

Accelerated BSN Programs

Accelerated BSN programs provide a pathway if you already graduated with a four-year degree in an unrelated subject and want to move into nursing. Because you already completed the general education requirements of a bachelor’s degree, these programs allow you to meet all graduation requirements in an accelerated timeline. Most accelerated BSN degrees require about two years of full-time study.

Examples of North Carolina Nursing Schools with This Program

Direct Entry BSN Programs

Direct entry BSN programs provide a pathway toward becoming a registered nurse for first-time college students with no previous higher education or nursing experience. These programs require four years of full-time study and appeal to learners who want to move directly into a bachelor’s degree rather than completing general education courses at a community college first and earning an associate degree in nursing. With direct entry programs, you’ll be admitted into the nursing school upon acceptance, meaning you don’t have to wait to take nursing courses.

Examples of North Carolina Nursing Schools with This Program

LPN to BSN Programs

If you’re currently working as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), you can typically choose from part-time or full-time LPN to BSN programs, with timelines ranging from 18 months to four years. Because LPNs have a robust clinical background, many LPN to BSN programs exist entirely online, which allows working LPNs the opportunity to further their education without stepping away from work. Applicants must hold a current and unrestricted LPN license to qualify for admission.

Examples of North Carolina Nursing Schools with This Program

Online BSN Programs

While no fully online BSN programs exist for students who haven’t already gained clinical experience, some schools provide hybrid BSN programs that allow you to complete all practical coursework online and clinical experiences in person. These programs may appeal to you if you need flexibility in your learning schedule or live far away from the university you want to attend.

Examples of North Carolina Nursing Schools with This Program

RN to BSN Programs

RN to BSN programs support registered nurses who have already earned an associate degree in nursing but now want to update their credentials and increase the likelihood of commanding a higher salary. Most of these programs take between one and two years to complete, depending on the specific requirements of your chosen school. Many RN to BSN degrees can also be completed online or in person, making it easy for working RNs to balance work and school.

Examples of North Carolina Nursing Schools with This Program

Traditional BSN Programs

A traditional BSN program may be the right option if you do not already possess an associate or bachelor’s degree and want to complete all components of your study at a four-year college rather than transferring from a community college. These programs require four years of full-time study and prepare you to take and pass the NCLEX-RN and gain licensure in your state after graduating.

Examples of North Carolina Nursing Schools with This Program

FAQs About BSN Programs in North Carolina

After reviewing the broad spectrum of BSN programs in North Carolina available, you probably still have a few questions about what to expect before deciding which program is right for you. In this section, we answer some of our readers’ most pressing questions so you can know what to expect.

Are there online or part-time options available for BSN programs in North Carolina?

Yes, both of these options exist at several schools in North Carolina, providing the flexibility you need to balance academics, work, and personal obligations. For instance, Winston-Salem State University provides part-time learning options for BSN learners.

While not all BSN programs can exist entirely online, those designed for students who previously completed nursing clinicals typically allow this option. Some examples include Western Carolina University and North Carolina Central University, among others.

Can I transfer credits from another institution?

The short answer: It depends. If you complete part of your BSN and decide to move to another college or university, you can typically transfer at least a portion of your credits. That said, it can depend on how well the curriculum at your former school aligns with the curricular requirements of the new school.

If your previous school does not hold proper institutional and/or programmatic accreditation, this will also lessen the likelihood of your credits transferring successfully.

Do online BSN programs in North Carolina require clinical experience?

Because online BSN programs cannot provide in-person clinical coursework, these programs require applicants to possess existing clinical experience.

At Appalachian State University, for instance, the online RN to BSN program requires applicants to have already completed an associate degree in nursing or a diploma in nursing from an accredited institution and hold a current and unrestricted registered nurse license. This is also true for students considering an online RN to BSN from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

What are my career prospects after finishing my BSN in North Carolina?

As we noted earlier, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ O*Net database projects that jobs for North Carolina registered nurses will expand by 12% between 2020 and 2030, which is twice the national average.

Registered nurses also earn above-average salaries, with those in North Carolina receiving median salaries of $77,420. Given the ongoing need for qualified nursing professionals throughout the state, your career prospects look great after finishing a BSN program in North Carolina.

2023 Job and Salary Outlook for North Carolina BSN Nurses

Before diving into a BSN program and registered nursing career, you likely want to know how much you can expect to make and if this field is still growing and expanding. In this section, we highlight salaries for RNs across the Tar Heel state and how these jobs will perform in the coming years.

How Much You Can Make with a BSN in North Carolina

In the following chart, we look at low, median, and high salaries for registered nurses. While we use RN data in this chart — which is the most popular career path for someone with a BSN — note that BSN graduates can pursue various roles.

The state-wide median salary currently sits at $72,220, though some locales pay more or less depending on the cost of living; typically, you’ll earn more in rural areas, less in urban locales. RNs in Asheville earn a median yearly wage of $62,810, while those in Fayetteville take home $77,000.

AreaOccupation10th PercentileMedian90th Percentile
North CarolinaRegistered Nurses$51,420$72,220$95,360
Asheville, NCRegistered Nurses$48,920$62,810$94,690
Burlington, NCRegistered Nurses$58,070$70,880$94,800
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SCRegistered Nurses$59,640$75,510$99,410
Durham-Chapel Hill, NCRegistered Nurses$60,820$62,710$98,680
Fayetteville, NCRegistered Nurses$47,450$77,000$98,000
Goldsboro, NCRegistered Nurses$47,960$62,390$79,360
Greensboro-High Point, NCRegistered Nurses$59,640$75,000$94,690
Greenville, NCRegistered Nurses$59,640$67,990$97,360
Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NCRegistered Nurses$47,390$61,030$79,360
Jacksonville, NCRegistered Nurses$48,590$61,990$79,730
New Bern, NCRegistered Nurses$47,310$60,530$77,000
Raleigh, NCRegistered Nurses$59,900$75,380$95,220
Rocky Mount, NCRegistered Nurses$48,190$61,990$78,870
Wilmington, NCRegistered Nurses$50,180$61,770$94,510
Winston-Salem, NCRegistered Nurses$59,910$75,440$98,030

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2021

Employment Opportunities After Graduation

Before investing significant time and money working towards a BSN degree in North Carolina, it’s natural that you want to make sure positions exist for you both at graduation and long after.

According to data collected and published by the BLS, the job market for RNs in North Carolina is robust — and expected to stay that way for a while. Jobs are anticipated to grow by 11.5% between 2020 to 2030, creating 11,770 new positions by the end of the decade. Additionally, 6,780 existing jobs are projected to open annually due to job turnover and retirements.

New Jobs (2020-2030)Job Growth Rate (2020-2030)Average Annual Openings (2020-2030)
RNs in North Carolina1177011.5%6780

Source: Projections Central