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RN Nursing Programs in North Carolina - NC

How to Become an RN in North Carolina

There are two common education programs for Registered Nurses in North Carolina: an Associate Degree, Nursing (ADN), which is a two-year program, and a Bachelor’s Degree, Nursing (BSN), which takes four years once enrolled. However, both programs require an additional six months to a year of study, with 10 prerequisite courses being typical. These courses cover introductory topics that introduce nurses to mental health through psychology and sociology, and also physiological processes through classes like biology and chemistry. Good grades and volunteer work help with acceptance—although the field of nursing is growing rapidly, there are a limited number of spots in North Carolina nursing education programs and entry is very competitive.

Once accepted into either an ADN or BSN, most of the classes cover nursing theory and practice, while also providing several general studies classes in areas like physiology, pharmacology, and psychology. Where the two educational streams are different, however, is that ADNs emphasize hands-on nursing procedures during the first two years of study, while BSNs have a bit more time and focus more on building blocks for advanced practice and theory in the first couple years. Indeed, the opportunity to target one's knowledge and learn advanced nursing skills is reason enough for half of the RN students in North Carolina to take a BSN, which it can proffer higher wages and more dynamic occupational opportunities once complete.

For both a BSN and an ADN, students take the same test Registered Nurse licensure exam: the NCLEX-RN. Students must apply to the North Carolina Board of Nursing at a cost of $70 and pass a criminal background check before taking the test through Pearson Vue at a cost of $200. The test is the final step to becoming a Registered Nurse and entering the biggest and fastest growing group of health care professionals in North Carolina.

RN Salary and Jobs in North Carolina

North Carolina Registered Nurses make about $62,000 on average (according to BLS.gov) per year. Although over half of them find a job in a hospital, there are numerous other opportunities from retirement homes and doctor’s offices to community health departments and the education system. As the largest group of health care professionals in the state, becoming a Registered Nurse can be a very rewarding career.