Best North Carolina RN-to-BSN Programs icon

Best North Carolina RN-to-BSN Programs

| NurseJournal Staff

Best North Carolina RN-to-BSN Programs mini logo

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 Appalachian State University Boone, NC
2 Catawba College Salisbury, NC
3 East Carolina University Greenville, NC
4 University of North Carolina at Greensboro Greensboro, NC
5 Gardner-Webb University Boiling Springs, NC
6 Fayetteville State University Fayetteville, NC
7 University of North Carolina at Pembroke Pembroke, NC
8 Winston-Salem State University Winston-Salem, NC
9 Cabarrus College of Health Sciences Concord, NC
10 Barton College Wilson, NC

Featured Online Programs

Appalachian State University View School Profile $$ Boone, NC 72% 48% 20% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Appalachian State offers an online RN-to-BSN program for registered nurses. The three-semester curriculum covers professional practice concepts, informatics, theory, older adult care, health assessment, and community-based nursing. Applicants must already hold an associate degree or diploma in nursing, and the core curriculum consists of 64 credits.

Graduates complete a total of 120 undergraduate credits between the core, cognate, and electives. Courses are presented using an array of online instructional methods such as forums, quizzes, projects, papers, case study analyses, and lectures.

  • Program(s): Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Campus: Boone, North Carolina
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $177 per credit for North Carolina residents, $827 per credit for out-of-state students
  • Admission Requirements: Minimum 2.5 GPA, RN license, and associate in nursing or diploma in nursing
  • Minimum Time Commitment: Three semesters
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 100%
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Catawba College View School Profile Salisbury, NC 46% 68% 12% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Catawba's 100% online RN-to-BSN program features a curriculum rooted in liberal art studies and emphasizes real-life work experience. Students can enroll at five different start dates for the eight-week block structure of coursework and take two classes at a time.

Faculty members come from a diverse range of careers, including geriatrics, mental health, maternity and pediatric care, and medical surgical nursing. Students benefit from one-on-one advising from faculty, along with numerous scholarships and financial aid programs. Catawba offers an articulation agreement with North Carolina community colleges, making it easier to transfer credits for students.

  • Program(s): Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Campus: Salisbury, North Carolina
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $199 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: Associate degree in nursing or diploma in nursing, CPR and liability insurance, active RN license
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 1 year
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 88%
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
East Carolina University View School Profile $$ Greenville, NC 65% 55% 45% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

ECU offers an affordable, 16-month RN-to-BSN program with the National League for Nursing Center of Excellence designation. Designed for working professionals, the program allows students to enroll in courses covering nursing research, clinical scholarship, evidence-based practice, community health nursing, and nursing leadership and finance. The program culminates in a capstone course and requires the completion of certain prerequisites.

Prospective students benefit from the opportunity to meet with faculty and staff for pre-advising to review prerequisites and transcripts. Additional courses include critical thinking, nursing in a global society, and professional communication in nursing.

  • Program(s): Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Campus: Greenville, North Carolina
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $150 per credit for North Carolina residents; $700 per credit for out-of-state students
  • Admission Requirements: Associate degree in nursing or diploma in nursing, RN license, 2.5 GPA, "C" grade in all math and science courses
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 16 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 98%
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
University of North Carolina at Greensboro View School Profile $$ Greensboro, NC 53% 60% 46% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

UNCG offers an RN-to-BSN program for students interested in furthering their nursing education. Coursework includes six required classes in topics such as nursing health assessment, community health nursing concepts and care, and a writing-intensive nursing concepts course.

UNCG offers two different articulation agreements for students transferring in from North Carolina community colleges. All students in UNCG's RN-to-BSN program must complete at least 31 semester hours in residence at UNCG for the degree and a total of 120 credits. Nursing electives include courses in global perspectives, health informatics, pharmacology, and health-care culture.

  • Program(s): Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Campus: Greensboro, North Carolina
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: Varies
  • Admission Requirements: Varies but general education courses and an RN certification must be completed prior to acceptance
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 3 semesters
  • On-Campus Requirements: Online or hybrid
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 93%
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Gardner-Webb University View School Profile Boiling Springs, NC 53% 67% 49% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

The Davis RN–to-BSN program at Gardner-Webb prepares nurses for leadership roles within their careers as registered nurses. The flexible programming allows students to begin in the fall, spring, or summer semesters.

Students learn about providing patient-centered care, evidence-based practice, and interdisciplinary collaboration as part of the Davis curriculum. Transfer applicants benefit from an articulation agreement with North Carolina community colleges. Graduates meet the expectations of the program's mission to make an impact on the health of the global community by being prepared professionals practicing nursing from a holistic, value-centered mindset.

  • Program(s): Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Campus: Boiling Springs, North Carolina
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
  • Tuition: Varies based on semester and whether full-time or part-time student
  • Admission Requirements: ADN or diploma in nursing, minimum 2.5 GPA, RN license, one year of experience within last five years
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 30 hours in the major, varies based on articulation agreements
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 100%
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Fayetteville State University View School Profile $ Fayetteville, NC 35% 60% 66% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

A historically black university, FSU offers an RN-to-BSN degree that prepares students for careers in other areas of nursing beyond clinical care. The program emphasizes science-based learning and nursing skills education. Students learn about health assessment, evidence-based techniques and practices, community health, current issues and trends in nursing, and emergency nursing care.

Students must hold a 2.8 GPA before being approved to the pre-nursing major. Students may opt to join the Omega Psi, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society or earn one of the many nursing scholarships offered at FSU.

  • Program(s): Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Campus: Fayetteville, North Carolina
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: Varies
  • Admission Requirements: Acceptance into the university, associate degree in nursing or diploma in nursing, RN license
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 2.5 semesters
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 98%
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
University of North Carolina at Pembroke View School Profile $$ Pembroke, NC 41% 67% 51% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

UNCP offers an RN-to-BSN program for registered nurses who are ready to take the next step to earn a bachelor's degree. The program builds upon current knowledge, skills, and foundations to expand nursing career opportunities. Students take courses in eight-week sessions and may complete the accelerated track within 12 months or part-time route within two years.

The UNCP program follows the North Carolina uniform articulation agreement for transfer students from any North Carolina community college and allows entry in the summer, fall, or spring semesters.

  • Program(s): Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Campus: Pembroke, North Carolina
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: Varies
  • Admission Requirements: Acceptance into UNCP, ADN or diploma in nursing, RN license, 2.5 GPA, "C" grade in prerequisite courses
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months (accelerated) to 2 years (part-time)
  • On-Campus Requirements: None if general education courses are complete
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 98%
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Winston-Salem State University View School Profile $$ Winston-Salem, NC 48% 74% 50% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

The HBCU Winston-Salem State University offers an affordable, flexible online RN-to-BSN program. The 100% online program allows for spring, summer, or fall entry, making it flexible for working professionals in the field. Those who opt into the accelerated track may complete the degree within one year. Prospective candidates must complete prerequisites in statistics, developmental psychology, and anatomy and physiology.

Major courses include the dynamics of professional nursing, adult health nursing, clinical reasoning, and health assessment. Further higher-level coursework explores mental health nursing, content synthesis for nursing practice, and care for the older adult. Students may opt for the independent study elective.

  • Program(s): Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Campus: Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: Varies
  • Admission Requirements: 24 transferable credits with 2.0 GPA, 51 total transferable credits outside nursing, an ADN or diploma in nursing, RN license
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 3 semesters
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 91%
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Cabarrus College of Health Sciences View School Profile Concord, NC 69% 66% 62% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Cabarrus College offers a 100% online RN-to-BSN program. Students may enroll in the program in spring or fall semesters and must complete a satisfactory community assessment activity prior to graduation. The school's Atrium Health Loan Forgiveness program provides scholarship funds in exchange for their work in a sponsored facility.

The five-week nursing courses cover topics such as applied statistics, coping with grief and loss, health policy, and legal and ethical issues in contemporary society. Graduates further their nursing careers by becoming an advocate, clinician, coordinator, educator, and leader while promoting the health of different populations.

  • Program(s): Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Campus: Concord, North Carolina
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition: Varies
  • Admission Requirements: ADN or diploma in nursing, minimum 2.5 GPA, RN license, two professional references
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 1.5 years for full-time students
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 95%
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Barton College View School Profile Wilson, NC 52% 75% 46% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Barton's RN-to-BSN program prepares nurses and students to become collaborative members of multidisciplinary health-care teams in a variety of professional environments. The 100% online program requires 126 credits for completion. Curriculum covers several general education courses and core nursing classes. Students complete coursework in legal and ethical issues in healthcare, confronting poverty, nursing leadership, and health maintenance through the lifespan.

The program, designed for one-year completion, allows students to enroll in spring, summer, or fall and provides smaller groups and one-on-one discussions with professors. Degree completion requires 35 semester credits over 2.5 semesters.

  • Program(s): Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Campus: Wilson, North Carolina
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $450 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: Associate degree in nursing, minimum 2.0 GPA, RN license
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 1 year
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 92%
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Pfeiffer University View School Profile Misenheimer, NC 43% 79% 45% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

The 100% online RN-to-BSN program at Pfeiffer features a curriculum for students to advance their careers. The 120-credit program provides courses in health assessment, health and aging, and health promotion. Additional classes involve nursing leadership, perspectives in community nursing, and nursing synthesis and research.

Graduates receive an experiential learning credit upon successful completion of a course in professional nursing practice and communications. The 30-hour residency and electives students take are customizable, and 52 hours of courses include the 26 credits for nursing experience.

  • Program(s): Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Campus: Misenheimer, North Carolina
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: Varies based on part-time or full-time enrollment
  • Admission Requirements: Associate degree in science or nursing or diploma in nursing, minimum 2.0 GPA, RN license, "C" grade in prerequisites
  • Minimum Time Commitment: Not specified
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 100%
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Carolinas College of Health Sciences View School Profile $$$$$ Charlotte, NC 56% 40% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

The Carolinas College of Health Sciences offers a 120-credit RN-to-BSN program. The college boasts a 6-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio in the nursing program and an 89% job placement rate within six months of graduation.

The RN-to-BSN program includes core nursing content, lower-level and upper-level general education classes, and 32 credits focused on upper-level nursing content. The curriculum features classes such as health promotion, health informatics, and cultural aspects of health and illness.

  • Program(s): Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Campus: Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accreditation pending
  • Tuition: $382 per credit hour
  • Admission Requirements: Minimum 2.25 GPA, RN license, general studies prerequisites
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 12 to 18 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 99%
  • School Site: Tuition | 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.

Popular Resources

Resources and articles written by professionals and other Nurses like you.