Best North Carolina RN-to-BSN Programs

Advertisement NurseJournal.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Are you ready to earn your online nursing degree?

Whether you’re looking to get your pre-licensure degree or taking the next step in your career, the education you need could be more affordable than you think. Find the right nursing program for you.

Although nurses can earn a registered nursing (RN) license with an associate degree, many licensed RNs choose to return to school to pursue a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, more employers now require job candidates to hold a bachelor’s degree.

RN-to-BSN bridge programs allow students to pursue their bachelor’s degree without retaking foundational courses from previous schooling. These programs can take 1-2 years for full-time students and 3-4 years for part-time learners.

Of the more than three million RNs employed in the U.S., about 100,000 work in North Carolina, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS also projects the number of RNs to increase by 7% from 2019-29. Many students also choose to pursue online RN-to-BSN programs in North Carolina, which offer added flexibility and independence beyond traditional programs.

If you’re an RN interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree, you can find a list of the best RN-to-BSN programs in North Carolina below.

View ranking methodology here.

Best North Carolina RN-to-BSN Programs

Rank School Location
1 Duke University Durham, NC
2 University of North Carolina at Wilmington Wilmington, NC
3 Gardner-Webb University Boiling Springs, NC
4 University of North Carolina at Greensboro Greensboro, NC
5 Western Carolina University Cullowhee, NC
Advertisement NurseJournal.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Featured Online Programs

  1. Duke University
    Location

    Durham, NC

    Duke University is one of the best schools for Nursing Graduate Programs in the country, achieving 7th place. It also ranked 11th in the best NIH-Funding and Research list. Furthermore, it was named best nursing school for men as well. Ninety-four percent of those in the faculty are prepared for their doctoral, which is a very high percentage.

    Campus: Durham, North Carolina
    Type: Private
    Accreditation: AANA, CCNE
    Tuition: $1,358 per credit for all students
    Minimum Time Commitment: Between 39 and 60 credits
    Online Availability: Yes
    Degree Requirements: GPA of 3.0, GRE, Resume. Transcript, Letters of Recommendation and Personal Statement/Essays
    Programs: MSN, DNP, ABSN, Ph.D.
    School Website: Tuition and Financial Aid

  2. University of North Carolina at Wilmington
    Location

    Wilmington, NC

    The University of North Carolina School of Nursing is an exciting school that offers dynamic classes to prepare students for the dynamic profession they are aiming to achieve. They also help students who wish to work in clinical research. The school was initially founded in the 1960s and has always focused on offering state-of-the-art technology, as well as being at the forefront of developing distance learning programs. Their focus is on excellence in teaching, service, scholarship and community engagement. They also have a strong development towards preventative medicine and population diversity.

    Campus: Wilmington, North Carolina
    Type: Public
    Accreditation: CCNE, NLNAC
    Tuition: $18,237 per year for out of state students, and $6,335 per year for in state students
    Minimum Time Commitment: 35 to 47 credits
    Online Availability: Yes
    Degree Requirements: GRE, Letters of Recommendation, Transcript, Undergraduate Statistics Class and Interview
    Programs: BSN, RN to BSN, BS in Clinical Research
    School Website: Tuition and Financial Aid

  3. Gardner-Webb University
    Location

    Boiling Springs, NC

    Gardner-Webb is known to offer the most comprehensive programs for nursing in the country. It is one of only two North Carolina Universities that also offer a DNP program. Their nursing degree covers the full spectrum of the profession, which means all students are able to achieve their goals. They have a very strong relationship and partnership with healthcare facilities in the communities. Through this, they enable students to have great hands-on learning experience as well, focusing specifically on evidence-based practice, patient-centered care and interdisciplinary collaboration.

    Campus: Boiling Springs, North Carolina
    Type: Private
    Accreditation: NLNAC
    Tuition: $375 per credit for all students
    Minimum Time Commitment: 30 to 36 credits
    Online Availability: Yes
    Degree Requirements: GPA of 2.75, GRE, Letters of Recommendation, Transcript and Undergraduate Statistics Class
    Programs: BSN, RN to BSN, DNP
    School Website: Tuition and Financial Aid

  4. University of North Carolina at Greensboro
    Location

    Greensboro, NC

    The BSN program at the University of Carolina should be completed in four years, including a full summer. They have very stringent requirements for those who want to take part in the program, meaning students must be fully committed and keep up their grades. Indeed, students who have a private life that may infringe on their study commitment, such as long commuting hours or a requirement to spend a lot of hours with their family are asked to come up with a plan to manage both elements of their lives. The BSN consists of Nursing Cognate Requirements, General Education Core, major courses and a number of electives. A total of 122 study hours have to be completed in order to achieve the BSN.

    Campus: Greensboro, North Carolina
    Type: Public
    Accreditation: CCNE, CANAEP and NLNAC
    Tuition: $545 per credit for all students
    Minimum Time Commitment: 36 to 50 credits
    Online Availability: Yes
    Degree Requirements: GPA of 3.0, GRE, Letters of Recommendation and Transcript
    Programs: BSN
    School Website: Tuition and Financial Aid

  5. Western Carolina University
    Location

    Cullowhee, NC

    The Western Carolina University School of Nursing offers a unique opportunity for students, helping to prepare them for a healthcare career. Various specialties can be offered, as well as further graduate education. The school works with their students to achieve their personal goals, which is why all study pathways are unique. Every student is supported through one-to-one mentoring, which allows them to have special opportunities in terms of clinical experience. Furthermore, they offer very affordable programs, on 30% cheaper than similar programs.

    Campus: Cullowhee, North Carolina
    Type: Public
    Accreditation: CCNE, CANAEP
    Tuition: $17,325 per year for out of state students and $7,740 per year for in state students
    Minimum Time Commitment: 30 to 67 credits
    Online Availability: Yes
    Degree Requirements: GPA of 3.0, GRE, Resume, Transcript, Letters of Recommendation, Personal Statement/Essays and Undergraduate Statistics Class
    Programs: BSN
    School Website: Tuition and Financial Aid

Applying to an RN-to-MSN Bridge Program in North Carolina

Since institutions tailor RN-to-BSN bridge programs for RNs, each applicant must already possess an associate degree in nursing (ADN) and RN licensure. Other admission requirements vary among programs.

Schools typically expect applicants to hold nursing experience. Students should also submit recommendation letters from professional and academic references, and they may need to write personal essays outlining their goals. RN-to-BSN programs in North Carolina typically require applicants to meet a certain minimum GPA, ranging from 2.5-3.2.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What's the difference between a BSN and an RN license?

    BSNs educate nursing students in colleges and universities. In contrast, an RN license allows registered nurses to practice professionally. Your state government — usually a regulatory or licensure board — grants RN licenses. To obtain an RN license, you first need a BSN or an ADN.

  • What is accreditation and why is it important?

    Accreditation agencies assess higher education institutions and programs to ensure quality education. Accreditation is especially important for nursing students who cannot apply for an RN license without an accredited degree. Trustworthy accreditation agencies include the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

  • How long does it take to complete an online RN-to-BSN program?

    Online RN-to-BSN programs generally take 18-24 months to complete. Some accelerated programs allow students to graduate in 12 months. Degree-seekers who enroll part time, though, usually need a longer time to complete their degrees, typically taking 2.5-4 years to graduate.

  • What can I do with a BSN in North Carolina?

    A BSN in North Carolina qualifies nurses for RN licensure. RNs may also specialize in specific areas, such as pediatrics or neonatal care. Pursuing a specialization requires some experience and certification from a professional association or an independent credentialing agency.