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How to Become a Nurse in North Carolina, NC

Becoming a nurse in North Carolina can lead to a rewarding career—both financially and personally. But just how to become a nurse in North Carolina?

First, you must choose from one of three professional nursing programs: Associate Degree (ADN) or Bachelor’s Degree (BSN) Registered Nursing (RN) programs, which take two and four years, respectively, or a one year Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) diploma. While an LPN is the shortest program, it also leads to a lower level of licensure and lower wages and job options. As far as RN programs, an ADN is quicker and qualifies one to work a number of jobs, but a BSN allows for extra time to learn advanced nursing theory and take numerous electives that can lead to a much wider variety of occupations and, ultimately, the opportunity for a more interesting career and higher wages.

Most LPN programs don’t require prerequisites, but BSN and ADN programs do—usually around five classes in undergraduate arts and sciences, like English and math. The first year of training for all programs covers essential patient care and assessment skills, while the second year of BSN and ADN programs moves on to nurse management, theory and more. Then in the third and fourth year, BSN students take electives in any number of topics, which vary from college to college, and also learn advanced research skills and more.

Upon graduation, aspiring North Carolina nurses become a licensed nurse by passing the NCLEX exam. With both LPN and RN versions, it is the same for students nationwide, and is the last step to licensure.

To learn more about becoming a nurse in North Carolina, please visit our North Carolina nursing page, where you will find in-depth education and occupation information pertaining to all areas of North Carolina nursing.