10 Best Nursing Schools in Charlotte for 2021

As one of the nation’s fastest-growing, top cities on the rise, Charlotte, NC offers an enormous amount of opportunity for nurses. Between hospitals, nursing facilities, and academic institutions, Charlotte is rapidly becoming one of the best cities in the US for nurses. There are several nursing schools in Charlotte, North Carolina, providing educational opportunities for nurses at every level and in every specialization.

Choose a nursing school in Charlotte NC with the level of education you desire. With a bachelor’s degree from nursing schools in Charlotte North Carolina, you can make more money, but you can also elect to attend a school of nursing in Charlotte NC that confers an associate’s degree that you can earn in two years. The great thing about nursing is that you can always improve your credentials while you’re working. There are other nursing schools in Charlotte NC to consider that have online and on-campus options. Choose the nursing school in Charlotte that’s right for you.

How We Ranked the Best Nursing Schools in Charlotte, NC

Charlotte nurses and prospective nurses can trust TopRN to feature only accredited, respected institutions. Schools are ranked according to real criteria that indicate value, including tuition cost, student satisfaction, and the breadth of their programs.

1. University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Leading the best nursing schools in Charlotte, NC is the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The school offers nursing programs from the bachelor’s level to the doctoral level. There is a traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing, an RN to BSN program, a Master of Science in Nursing with two specialties to choose from (family nurse practitioner and adult-gerontology acute care practitioner), and a BSN to DNP program in nurse anesthesia. All of these programs prepare nursing students to be successful in their nursing careers.

The UNC Charlotte School of Nursing prepares nursing students to fill positions in local and regional healthcare settings and around the country. Graduates practice nursing in acute care settings, clinics, home health care, community health agencies, hospitals, and more.

HIGHLIGHT: In 2019, the UNC Charlotte School of Nursing had a 100% pass rate for the AGACNP, FNP, and nurse anesthesia exams.

Programs: BSN – DNP

2. Queens University of Charlotte

Another of the best nursing schools in Charlotte, NC is Queens University of Charlotte. The school offers three pathways to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing: the traditional BS, the accelerated BSN, and the RN-BSN. The online Master of Science in Nursing has four tracks to choose from. They are nurse administrator, nurse educator, nursing informatics, and clinical nurse leader. There is an RN to MSN option for the MSN degree. Applying to the MSN program is free, and there is no GRE required.

The Presbyterian School of Nursing at Queens University of Charlotte is committed to developing the next generation of nurses for the workforce. The school emphasizes service, leadership, and scholarship. Students have a variety of valuable opportunities to learn from leaders in the nursing industry and there are many professionals in the area they can interact with and learn from. The Hunt Nursing Simulation Center provides opportunities for hands-on practice and learning.

HIGHLIGHT: The RN-BSN and the MSN are online programs.

Programs: BSN – MSN

3. Cabarrus College of Health Sciences

Cabarrus College of Health Sciences offers an Associate of Science in Nursing, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN), and a Master of Science in Nursing. There are two tracks for the MSN program. They are clinical research and leadership. The school offers a low/no cost BSN for Atrium Health teammates and alumni of Cabarrus College of Health Sciences, Mercy School of Nursing, or Carolinas College of Health Sciences. The main themes of the MSN program are innovation in systems, transformation in others, and discovery of self.

The Louise Harkey School of Nursing is dedicated to lifelong learning and providing outstanding nursing education. Students at the school learn to advocate for patients, to demonstrate compassion, to respect the patient’s condition, and to integrate evidence-based protocols.

HIGHLIGHT: The RN to BSN and MSN programs are online. There is a practicum required for the MSN program.

Programs: ASN – MSN

4. Carolinas College of Health Sciences

As one of the best nursing schools in Charlotte, NC, Carolinas College of Health Science offers nursing degrees at the associate and bachelor’s levels. The Associate Degree in Nursing features small class sizes along with hands-on learning experiences and clinical training to prepare students to work as nurses and to pass the NCLEX. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program is an RN to BSN program. This program is online and is designed to be flexible in order to meet the needs of working nurses. The program takes 12-18 months to complete.

Carolinas College of Health Sciences has outstanding faculty and offers the support you would expect from a small school. The school is part of Atrium Health, which provides opportunities for hands-on learning for students and potential employment opportunities after graduation.

HIGHLIGHT: 98% of Carolinas College of Health Sciences students pass the NCLEX on the first try.

Programs: ADN – BSN

5. Gaston College

Gaston College offers an Associate Degree in Nursing and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The ADN program trains students to provide care as nurses and prepares them to take the NCLEX exam. The BSN program is an RN to BSN program, which is designed for students who are already registered nurses and want to earn their bachelor’s degrees. Students learn the skills and knowledge they need to be effective and successful in their careers as nurses.

Gaston College was founded in 1963 and started offering classes in 1964. The school now has three campuses and serves around 20,000 students every year. Gaston College offers more than 100 programs that lead to certificates, diplomas, and degrees. The main campus is in Dallas, NC, and it also has campuses in Lincolnton and Belmont. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

HIGHLIGHT: The ADN program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

Programs: ADN – BSN

6. Chamberlain University College of Nursing

As one of the best nursing schools in Charlotte, NC, Chamberlain University College of Nursing offers a three-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The school’s accelerated program allows students to enter the nursing profession sooner than they could if they attended another school. Chamberlain offers experienced faculty and state-of-the-art nursing labs. The BSN program helps students apply, memorize, and understand essential nursing knowledge. The program focuses on theory and concepts, and helps students understand how to put those concepts and theories into practice.

The Chamberlain University College of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. There are no prerequisites for the three-year BSN. The program requires year-round attendance in order to graduate in three years. There are 122 credits required, 56 in general education and 66 in nursing.

HIGHLIGHT: The Chamberlain Charlotte campus had a 90% first-time pass rate for the NCLEX for 2019.

Programs: BSN

7. Northeastern University – Charlotte

Next on the list of the best nursing schools in Charlotte, NC is Northeastern University Charlotte. The school offers an accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing that is designed for students who already have a bachelor’s degree in another discipline. It is a hybrid program, and there are 67 credits required for graduation. Students who complete the program will participate in clinical experiences in health management and leadership, public health, acute and critical care, mental and behavioral health, pediatrics, obstetrics and women’s health, and adult health.

The Bouvé College of Health Sciences offers flexibility and convenience through its online coursework. The school provides a risk-free simulation environment where nurses can practice their skills until they are ready to tend to real patients. There are also clinical experiences available through partnerships with local healthcare facilities. Students learn about evidence-based practice, nursing informatics, cultural diversity, and more.

HIGHLIGHT: This accelerated program takes 16 months to complete.

Programs: BSN

8. Wingate University

Wingate University offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing that prepares students to serve as generalists in the field of nursing. The curriculum covers a broad range of arts and sciences that prepare students to take the NCLEX-RN exam, which is required to gain licensure as a Registered Nurse. There are prerequisite courses that must be taken during the first two years before entering the nursing program. The program has a capacity of 40 students each year, so the students will get to know each other throughout the course of the program.

Wingate University provides students with opportunities to work with local hospitals for hands-on experience. Students may work with CHS-Northeast, Novant Presbyterian Medical Center, Novant Matthews Medical Center, or CHS-Union. Nursing graduates work in many different settings and in a variety of fields.

HIGHLIGHT: Students must have a 3.0 GPA or higher, a TEAS score of at least 68, and a grade of 80 or higher in HETH 200 to be accepted into the program.

Programs: BSN

9. Central Piedmont Community College

One of the best nursing schools in Charlotte, NC for students who want an Associate Degree in Nursing is Central Piedmont Community College. The Christa A. Overcash Associate Degree in Nursing provides students with the knowledge and skills they need to practice quality and safety in nursing, practice nursing in a rapidly-changing environment, and help individuals achieve their potential, enrich their quality of life, and impact their health positively. The program focuses on the whole individual as it relates to nursing practice and healthcare. Students learn to communicate in a professional manner with all types of individuals.

Central Piedmont Community College prepares nursing students to practice professionally as nurses. Students learn to make individual-centered assessments and use evidence-based practice, health informatics, and critical thinking to make strong decisions and judgments.

HIGHLIGHT: Graduates are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN exam.

Programs: ASN

10. South Piedmont Community College

South Piedmont Community College offers an Associate Degree in Nursing and a diploma in Practical Nursing. The practical nursing program prepares students to take the NCLEX-PN, which leads to licensure as a licensed practical nurse. The Associate Degree in Nursing provides the knowledge and skills students need to safely practice quality nursing care. Students learn to use informatics to make better decisions, how to develop teaching plans for families and individuals, and how to work together with the interdisciplinary healthcare team.

South Piedmont Community Colleges provides nurses with the training they need to communicate effectively, both personally and professionally. Students learn patient care skills, how to administer medicine and calculate dosages, and how to consider the needs of the patient as a whole. They also learn how to use cost-effective strategies to manage an individual’s healthcare.

HIGHLIGHT: Graduates of the ADN program are qualified to take the NCLEX-RN and become Registered Nurses.

Programs: ADN

How Is the Job Market for Nurses in Charlotte?

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, demand for nurses in North Carolina is not as high as in neighboring states such as South Carolina. However, nursing jobs in Charlotte North Carolina may exceed those expectations in light on the global pandemic, an aging workforce and an increased number of nurses seeking other careers. Nursing jobs in Charlotte NC include RN, LPNs and MSN instructors and leaders. To obtain a nursing job in Charlotte NC, you have to pass the state board exam and get your license.  

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurse jobs in Charlotte NC are not as numerous as those in Greenville and Durham-Chapel Hill areas. However, as nurse practitioner jobs in Charlotte NC certified nursing assistant jobs in Charlotte North Carolina are specialty fields that enjoy higher demand. If you are looking for registered nurse jobs in Charlotte North Carolina, you can expect competitive salaries. Before settling on registered nurse jobs in Charlotte NC, consider the area’s higher housing costs compared to the rest of the state. It’s worthwhile to consider travel nurse jobs in Charlotte NC and other cities to see if you can find more lucrative opportunities in areas with a lower cost of living than Charlotte.

Some travel nursing jobs in Charlotte NC include free housing and from $4,000 to $10,000 a month in salary, commensurate with experience and education. Nursing jobs in Charlotte North Carolina still pay competitively, as seen in the next section.

Nursing jobs in Charlotte NC require the right education, so ensure that the nursing job in Charlotte NC you apply for accepts your nursing school’s accreditation. For nurse jobs in Charlotte NC, you will need to show successful completion of a program certified by the ACEN or the CCNE or another regional or national certification organization.

Nurse practitioner jobs in Charlotte NC are more in demand than ever as the shortage of physicians continues. Certified nursing assistant jobs in Charlotte North Carolina are also in high demand thanks to any aging population. Registered nurse jobs in Charlotte North Carolina provide compelling and financially rewarding careers for those new to the field or moving here from elsewhere in the state. Registered nurse jobs in Charlotte NC include unique opportunities including travel nurse jobs in Charlotte NC. You can find travel nursing jobs in Charlotte NC on major jobs boards and dedicated job sites that connect travel medical professors with institutions that need their services.

How Much Do Nurses Make in Charlotte?

Nurses salary in Charlotte NC depends on your experience and education. According to glassdoor.com, nurse salary in Charlotte NC averages nearly $51,000 per year for an RN. However, nursing salary in Charlotte NC ranges from $36,000 to $63,000 for RNs. Besides looking at an average nurse salary in Charlotte NC, consider the prospective nurse practitioner salary in Charlotte NC, if you plan to continue your education. Your registered nurse salary in Charlotte NC can jump to $104,000 once you obtain your NP credentials.

According to the BLS, nurses salary in Charlotte NC and the rest of the state average around $66,000. That means that nurse salary in Charlotte NC is likely to be higher than in South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Nursing salary in Charlotte NC, therefore, is highly competitive.

Whether you plan to eventually seek a nurse practitioner salary in Charlotte NC or will remain at the registered nurse salary in Charlotte NC, this is a great place to work and live. The average nurse salary in Charlotte NC can provide a comfortable living and great satisfaction in helping others retain and regain their health.

Related Rankings:

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RN to BSN Programs in North Carolina

Top 10 States in Most Need of Nurses

Top 10 Highest Paying States For Registered Nurses

Top 25 Highest-Paying Cities for Nurses