7 Accelerated Nursing Programs in North Carolina (BSN & MSN) – 2023

Written By: Editorial Staff @ NursingProcess.org

If you are currently living or working in North Carolina and you’re looking for a change of pace in your career, becoming a registered nurse or a nurse practitioner is a great choice. There are numerous accelerated nursing programs in North Carolina that can help you reach these career goals, and they are designed to help you make the switch quickly and efficiently by giving you credit for what you’ve already learned. In just a fraction of the typical time, you can earn your nursing degree and enter the growing NC workforce to enjoy a lucrative salary and above-average job security.


How Many Schools are Currently Offering North Carolina Board of Nursing Approved and CCNE Accredited Accelerated Nursing Programs in North Carolina?

Accelerated BSN 7
Accelerated MSN/Entry Level Masters/Direct Entry MSN0
Total 7

Typical Accelerated BSN Programs in North Carolina Information

Accelerated BSN programs in North Carolina are designed to provide you with credits for general education and other courses you have already taken as part of another baccalaureate degree, thus saving you time and money when you make your career shift. The program readies you for a lifelong career in nursing by preparing you for the NCLEX-RN examination. This exam will allow you to become licensed in NC, which is a requirement to practice as an RN here. An accelerated BSN program in NC is also a solid foundation for future masters or doctoral degrees in health.

Admission Requirements: Admission requirements vary depending on the school you choose in North Carolina, but you will need to have a bachelor’s degree in any field. Aside from this, it may help to take a look at one of the best programs in the state to better understand these requirements. At Duke University, for example, which is a highly competitive nursing school, you will need:

• Physical strength and emotional stability to provide safe and effective patient care;
• English language fluency (speaking, reading, and writing);
• A minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale as an undergraduate;
• A letter grade of C or higher in nursing prerequisite courses with the exception of Human Anatomy, Physiology, and Microbiology in which you must have a B- or better;
• All college and university transcripts;
• Three professional or academic letters of recommendation; and
• Answers to personal questions on the application form.

Tuition Costs: Tuition costs can vary a great deal from one school to the next. While you will pay $26,002 for your accelerated BSN at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, you will pay $47,500 at Queens University of Charlotte.

College Name Tuition
Queens University of Charlotte$47,500
The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill$26,002

Length: Program length varies on numerous factors such as the number of courses you need to take, the number of credits you can transfer. You can complete the Duke University program in 16 months, but if you choose North Carolina A&T State University, you can finish in one year.

College Name Program Length
Duke University16 - Months
North Carolina A&T State University12 - Months
North Carolina Central University15 - Months

Classes: Though all accelerated nursing programs in the state of NC are different to a degree, the courses you will take focus on several areas of study. These include pharmacology, disease processes, age-based patient care, nursing management and leadership, nursing ethics, and community healthcare, among others.

Clinical Training: Clinical training is a requirement for program completion, and it involves hands-on experience under supervision at one of several partner health facilities in the state. In most schools, clinicals occur concurrently with classroom courses. For example, during the day, you may learn about pediatric care, and in the evening, you will visit a pediatric hospital to work with infants and children under the supervision of faculty.

Coursework Example - Duke University
Health Assessment and Foundations for Nursing Practice Across the Lifespan, Wellness/Health Promotion Across the Lifespan, Professional Nursing: Past, Present & Future, Physiologic Homeostasis and Principles of Pharmacology, Professional Nursing: Evolution as an Evidence-Based Clinician, Nursing Care of the Childbearing Family, Nursing Care of Infants, Children and Adolescents, Community and Public Health Nursing, Pathophysiology and Pharmacology, Professional Nursing: Evolution as an Effective Team Member, Nursing Management of the Adult Patient with Health Problems, Gerontological Nursing: Caring for Older Adults and their Families, Professional Nursing: Evolution as a Leader, and Nursing Care of Patients with Complex Health Problems

Following is the List of 7 Accelerated BSN Programs in North Carolina for 2023

1. Duke University, Durham

Established in 1931, the Duke University School of Nursing today, is one of the leading nursing schools in the country. In its endeavor to provide the best education to students, it continuously strives towards the development of its faculty and staff, little wonder that 95 percent of them are doctorally prepared. With a diverse student population coming from different parts of the country and world, the learning environment is culturally enriched, providing its students an exciting academic experience.

Its 16-month full-time Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program is a full-time campus-based program that focuses on a nursing practice that is evidence based along with patient care that is culturally relevant. Its students get to practice their nursing skills in its state of art Center for Nursing Discovery, the only accredited health care simulation facility in the state. A clear advantage that the nursing school students enjoy is the clinical experiences at the Duke University Health System, which is one of the top-ranking health organizations in the nation.

2. North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro

Founded in 1953, A&T ‘s College of Health and Human Sciences School of Nursing, part of the university, offers a number of nursing programs that prepare students to become professional nurses. The school provides a conducive learning environment where a supportive faculty alongwith state-of -art technology enables students to achieve academic excellence. Small size classes, furthermore, add to the comfort and ease of mentorship, providing students with ample learning opportunities, gaining from their professors as well as peers.

The Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) Entry Option is a 12-month program that is offered at the school’s new Union Square Campus facility. The curriculum is delivered in a block format, where students take one class at a time, completely gaining thorough understanding of a course before moving on to the next one. Classes are held Monday through Friday and may include nights and weekends. Recording a 92% success rate on the NCLEX RN exam and with all of its licensed graduates getting employed within the first 6 months, it is one of the sought after ABSN programs in NC.

3. North Carolina Central University, Durham

The department of nursing, a part of the North Carolina Central University, started in 1945 by offering a certificate in public health nursing. In 1961 it was one of the first few universities in the nation to offer a baccalaureate in nursing. The department has since been committed to nursing education that prepares nurses of tomorrow to take up significant roles in this profession.

The Nursing, Accelerated Option, B.S.N. is a traditional BSN that is compressed to a duration of 15 months. This makes it a rigorous full-time study program leaving hardly any room to pursue a part-time job. The program focuses on preparing professional nurses that are competent in critical thinking, communication, modern day nursing procedures and evidence-based practice. The Eagle General Hospital, its clinical resource learning center is where nursing students are given ample opportunities to practice their nursing skills. It’s an environment where students learn through trial and error, without having to worry about jeopardizing a patient’s health.

4. Queens University of Charlotte, Charlotte

The Presbyterian School of Nursing at Queens University of Charlotte is one of its most popular departments. It produces the third largest number of new registered nurses amongst the higher education institutions in the state. Being near to two premier healthcare systems, its students get unparallel exposure where they learn changing nursing trends from industry leaders, Additionally, on campus too, students can enhance their knowledge and skills by practicing at its Hunt Nursing Simulation Center, all this, under the expert guidance of its award-winning faculty.

One of the acclaimed second-degree nursing programs in North Carolina, its accelerated track is a one-year program, starting in May. It takes nursing aspirants through an intensive curriculum, where they complete basic and advanced courses in medical-surgical nursing, maternity, pediatrics and community health nursing. Its graduates are known to find employment in a variety of setting that includes caring for newborns, elderly and working with advanced technology.

5. The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill

The UNC School of Nursing has been synonymous with shaping the profession of nursing in the "Tar Heel" state. Upon graduation, its nursing students have employment options that open up to nursing practice, research, teaching and administration. Apart from striving to give its students quality education and an environment of research and discovery, the school stays ahead in service towards community with its many initiatives, where students can participate and also gain valuable experience.

The ABSN at UNC is a 15 months program that starts in May. The program takes students through clinical instructions from the first semester itself. The college is highly selective in its admission policy; hence interested candidates must apply well before the deadline. Once enrolled, you can be rest assured of receiving nursing education that is accompanied by its dynamic coursework and well complemented by clinical rotations held at various health care settings in and around the Orange County.

6. Western Carolina University, Cullowhee

The School of Nursing at Western Carolina University has been around since 1969 and it’s over 2000 alumni practice in clinical and leadership roles all across the nation. Its dedicated faculty works towards preparing a work force of skilled nurses that practice with care and compassion and focus on improving health outcomes. Students enhance their skills by engaging in clinical experiences at different kinds of health care institutions in urban as well as rural settings in NC.

The ABSN program starts in August each year and concludes the following year in December. The curriculum is spaced in a manner, allowing flexibility for those students who want to take up part time jobs. Typically, classes are held two days per week and clinicals one or two days per week. Starting with nursing fundamentals, the curriculum goes on to advance nursing courses such as concepts of adult and geriatric nursing, maternal-child nursing and mental health nursing. Normally students are offered clinical training at sites in Buncombe County and the surrounding areas.

7. Winston-Salem State University, Winston-Salem

The nursing division of the school of Health Sciences at the Winston-Salem State University serves a diverse population of students and believes in providing them an educational experience that is life transforming. It’s noteworthy that Winston-Salem State University is the third largest producer of traditional nurses in the state and 90 percent of its students pass the NCLEX-RN on the very first attempt.

The 13 months Accelerated BSN Path gives students an opportunity to earn a nursing degree in a short duration. With a January start date, it is a full-time rigorous plan of study where students are encouraged to engage in an array of clinical and interprofessional experiences. The program allows students to explore various aspects of nursing such as mental health, child and adult health, maternal and newborn and community health, thereby preparing them to work in any field of nursing.

What Next After Completing My Accelerated Nursing Program in NC?

Get My RN License: Before you can work as an RN, you will need to apply for your nursing license through the North Carolina Board of Nursing. After you apply, visit the Pearson Vue website to schedule and pay for your NCLEX-RN licensure exam. After passing this exam, you will be legally able to work as a registered nurse in North Carolina.

Where Will I Work: Most RNs in NC work in hospitals or nursing homes in highly populated areas like Charlotte, Raleigh, or Winston-Salem. Hours in hospitals can be rather long, and because these facilities never close, you may work overnight hours, even on weekends or holidays. Doctors and clinics are also big employers of RNs in North Carolina, and these hours are typically more predictable. Stress and physical strain will vary depending on your employer and your exact job duties.

Is the Career Change to Nursing Worth It in North Carolina?

Salary: Registered nurses who complete an accelerated nursing program in North Carolina earn anywhere from $59,580 to $100,430 a year depending on their experience, location, and employer. Those who go on to become nurse practitioners earn between $94,990 and $137,390 a year – much more than their RN counterparts, but with far more responsibility, too. These salaries are highly competitive, especially for such a rewarding career choice.

Occupation Hourly
Registered Nurse
with Accelerated BSN
$28.64 - $48.28$4,970 - $8,370$59,580 - $100,430
Nurse Practitioner with
Accelerated MSN / Entry Level Masters
$45.67 - $66.05$7,920 - $11,450$94,990 - $137,390
(Source: Compiled using data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Salary Compared to All Other Occupations in North Carolina: Another important consideration is the amount of money you will earn compared to other occupations across the state of NC. The average annual salary for RNs here is $77,420 and nurse practitioners earn an average of $114,450. The average annual salary for all other occupations across North Carolina is $37,030, which makes nursing highly lucrative.

Occupation Average Annual Salary
Registered Nurse $77,420
Nurse Practitioner$114,450
All Other Occupations $37,030
(Source: Compiled using data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Job Prospects & Security: Although your salary is very important to you, today’s professionals are just as concerned with job security. Fortunately, both registered nurses and nurse practitioners in North Carolina are in high demand and will remain so for many years to come. Between 2020 and 2030, the registered nursing field will grow some 12% with the addition of 11,770 new jobs. In the same time frame, the employment of nurse practitioners will climb 55.20% with the addition of 3,130 new NPs. This will continue to be driven by access to better health coverage and an increased demand for better quality care across NC.

Occupation Employment 10 Year New Job
Growth Projection
Annual Job Openings
(New + Replacement)
2020 2030 Number %
Registered Nurse 102,150113,92011,77011.52%6,780
Nurse Practitioner 5,6708,8003,13055.20%690
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Accelerated Nursing Programs in Nearby States
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