Top North Carolina RN To MSN Programs

by NurseJournal Staff

Advance your career by going from your RN to an MSN degree, explore top programs for this in the rapidly growing state of North Carolina.

Are you ready to earn your online nursing degree?

It is a great idea to study towards an MSN program if you are currently a registered nurse (RN). It is an opportunity to advance your own career and make a meaningful difference on the lives of people in North Carolina. Additionally, it means that you will get a far greater salary as well. You do, however, have to think about the specialization you are most interested in and spend some time researching the different schools that offer these programs.

Before reviewing some of the school options you have, let's take a look at the career prospects and salaries of MSN holders in North Carolina.

Top RN-to-MSN Programs in North Carolina

Rank School Location
1 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC
2 University of North Carolina Charlotte Charlotte, NC
3 Queens University of Charlotte Charlotte, NC
4 Gardner Webb University Boiling Springs, NC
5 Western Carolina University Cullowhee, NC

Salaries and Job Outlook for MSN Degree Holders in North Carolina

North Carolina has very stringent requirements before somebody can practice as a nurse in the state. As a nurse anesthetist, nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist, you must first register with the North Carolina Board of Nursing. This is because you will be expected to perform more expanded and significant duties. Additionally, nurse practitioners must enter into a collaborative agreement with a physician.

The job growth rate for MSN degree holders in North Carolina tend to be above the national average. This is because there is a significant nursing shortage in the state, which is currently getting worse. According to O Net, job growth for nurse anesthetists is around 23%. At the same time, nurse practitioners can see an increase of around 37% between 2012 and 2022.

It is quite difficult to determine an average salary for nurses in North Carolina. This is because there are great variations depending on experience, career choice and seniority. For nurse educators, the average salary across the entire state is $59,300 per year. This is the lowest advanced practice nurse salary. By comparison, the highest is experienced by nurse anesthetists, who can earn as much as $147,800 per year.

Top North Carolina MSN Degree Programs

If you want to enroll in an RN to MSN degree program, you must start by doing some research into the different programs that are on offer. The program must meet your personal career goals, and also your time availability and your budget. It is advisable to contact a number of schools before making your final decision.

Below are what we believe to be the best RN to MSN degree programs available in North Carolina at the moment.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill View School Profile Chapel Hill, NC

The RN to MSN program offered by the University of North Carolina has recently cancelled its GRE requirements for admissions. This means that admissions have become far easier, making this is a very interesting program.

  • Campus: Chapel Hill, NC
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: Varies depending on residency and chosen track
  • Degree requirements: Prerequisite courses, GPA of 3.0 minimum, RN license
  • Minimum time commitment: Varies depending on chosen track
  • Programs: RN to MSN – Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner – Primary Care, Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner – Oncology – Primary Care, Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner – Primary Care, Psych-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Health Care Systems – Clinical Nurse Leader, Health Care Systems – Nurse Educator, Health Care Systems – Informatics, Health Care Systems – Outcomes Management, and Health Care Systems – Administration
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial Aid
University of North Carolina Charlotte View School Profile Charlotte, NC

The School of Nursing at the College of Health and Human Services at the University of North Carolina Charlotte offers a comprehensive RN to MSN program for ADN students who have demonstrated exceptional and outstanding skills in their work. All RN to MSN programs are offered in a distance learning format.

  • Campus: Charlotte, NC
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: Varies, please inquire
  • Degree requirements: ADN, RN license, GPA of 3.0, GRE
  • Minimum time commitment: 36 to 45 credit hours
  • Programs: RN to MSN – Community Public Health Nursing, Nurse Educator, Nurse Administrator
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial Aid
Queens University of Charlotte View School Profile Charlotte, NC

Queens University of Charlotte offers an RN to BSN track that can be continued on to a transition in MSN. The courses taken during the BSN track can be applied to the MSN, meaning it can be completed more quickly. However, students do have to apply for admission during their final BSN semester, at which point they must meet all the relevant MSN requirements. The program is designed to move seamlessly into the other, so that students can complete both elements of their degree through one school. They are also encouraged to do so.

  • Campus: Charlotte, NC
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: $490 per credit hour
  • Degree requirements: RN license to enter BSN track. Then BSN, GPA of 3.0, statement of purpose, transcripts
  • Minimum time commitment: Varies depending on chosen track
  • Programs: RN to BSN to MSN – Health Systems Management, Clinical Nurse Leader, Nurse Educator
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial Aid
Gardner Webb University View School Profile Boiling Springs, NC

At Gardner Webb University, students who are enrolled in the RN to BSN program can progress seamlessly into the MSN program. Because they can substitute courses at BSN level, they will only need to complete 30 semester hours of courses at MSN level to graduate, making this a much quicker option. The degree program is highly popular and graduates are in great demand across the state for their knowledge and experience. Additionally, while a private university, Gardner Webb offers some very affordable tuition rates.

  • Campus: Boiling Springs, NC
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: ACEN
  • Tuition: $433 per credit hour
  • Degree requirements: ADN, RN license, one year’s experience, GPA of 2.5 minimum, immunizations, criminal background check. When transitioning to the MSN track – GPA of 2.75, GRE, three letters of reference, statistics course
  • Minimum time commitment: Varies depending student’s abilities
  • Programs: RN to MSN Nurse Educator
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial Aid
Western Carolina University View School Profile Cullowhee, NC

The program offered by Western Carolina University is designed for outstanding RNs who want to obtain a BSN and follow straight on to an MSN. However, students must enroll into the RN to BSN program first. Once completed, they can choose an MSN in Nurse Anesthesia, MSN in Nurse Leadership or an MSN with a Nurse Educator specialization. The school prides itself not just in its high quality education, but also in its affordable tuition rates.

  • Campus: Cullowhee, NC
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: $4,334.50 per semester for in state students and $9,538 per semester for out of state students
  • Degree requirements: Statistics course, RN to BSN course, GRE, MAT, GPA of 3.0 minimum, resume, professional statement, three letters of recommendation, interview
  • Minimum time commitment: Varies depending on chosen track and students learning pace during RN to BSN program
  • Programs: MSN Early Entry Option – Nurse Educator, Nurse Leadership or Nurse Anesthesia
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial Aid

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