Top North Carolina Nursing Schools, Colleges & Degree Programs
North Carolina is seeing a significant growth in the demand for nurses, which has led to a nursing shortage. At the same time, barriers that prevent people from getting the education they need to become a nurse are being encountered. All of this must be addressed if the 19% growth in the demand for nurses, as predicted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is to be addressed.
Most hospitals in North Carolina only accept nurses who hold a four-year bachelor’s degree, going above and beyond the associate’s degree. Unfortunately, some 1,615 students had to be turned away from the 20 American Association of Colleges of Nursing accredited schools because they simply didn’t have the space or capacity to teach them.
The nursing requirement in this state seems to be facing difficulty after difficulty. When the Affordable Care Act was put into place on January 1, an additional 32 million Americans were suddenly insured, many of which live in North Carolina. The answer, it seems, is for North Carolina hospitals and colleges to start working together to create a viable solution.
The world of healthcare is changing rapidly as well. Hospitals, in the future, will be the last resort place for seriously ill people to turn to. Instead, nurses are needed to treat illnesses and chronic problems in other settings. Their role is changing as well, as more and more will be required to prescribe medication as well.
In order to become a licensed nurse in North Carolina, students can either enroll for a four-year bachelor’s degree when they are unlicensed, or they can take part in a community college associate’s degree program. However, with both programs, only about 50% of applicants are given a place. This is why there is now a stronger focus on the RN to BSN degree program. This is designed for those who are already registered nurses, allowing them to earn their bachelor’s degree in just two years of study. North Carolina is following the recommendations of the National Institute of Medicine, released in 2010, which said that 80% of nurses should be at least bachelor’s degree certified by 2020.
A report by the North Carolina Board of Nursing showed, however, that there are 115 vacancies for Nurse Educators. Unfortunately, those nurses who are already employed are reluctant to leave their current work to become a nurse educator as they often have to take a pay cut in doing so. The current average annual salary for an RN in North Caroline is $63,000.