10 Best ADN Programs in North Carolina – (2-Year RN Programs)


Written By: Pattie Trumble, MPP, MPH (Introduction), and Editorial Staff @ NursingProcess.org (School Profiles)

ADN programs in North Carolina typically take two years or less to complete. You’ll enter the nursing workforce and start earning a comfortable salary more quickly than students who pursue more extended nursing programs. Your curriculum will impart the knowledge and hands-on skills that will prepare you to take the NCLEX-RN exam and earn your nursing license in the Tar Heel State. Plus, shorter programs mean lower tuition costs! ADN-educated RNs in North Carolina make $77,420 annually on average, and their employment opportunities are projected to increase by 12 percent within the next 10 years. Interested in learning more? Keep your eyes on this page to find out about the 10 best ADN programs in North Carolina.


What Are The Best ADN Programs In North Carolina (Online And Campus)?

Based on our Ranking Methodology, the following are the 10 best nursing schools for ADN programs in North Carolina. You can complete most of these programs in 2 years.


1. Central Piedmont Community College - Charlotte


Program Details: Among the best ADN programs in North Carolina is the nursing program offered by Central Piedmont Community College. The program is designed to prepare for the rewarding field of nursing through a rigorous curriculum. The curriculum combines didactic training with ample clinical experiences to ensure graduates are prepared to work in a variety of healthcare settings. Grounded in interdisciplinary collaboration, the program emphasizes holistic nursing care.

The ADN program requires the completion of 69 credits in general education and nursing courses. The coursework covers topics such as anatomy & physiology, general psychology, healthcare concepts, complex health concepts, and professional communication.


Why Choose This Program

• Central Piedmont Community College’s ADN is one of the most affordable ADN programs in North Carolina. Here, you can complete your nursing education without a huge burden of debt.
• Central Piedmont Community College’s ADN is taught by faculty members who have several years of practice experience.
• Central Piedmont Community College’s ADN students are provided with a wide variety of clinical experiences across sites in Charlotte.
• Central Piedmont Community College’s ADN program allows you to complete the general education courses entirely online.


2. Cape Fear Community College - Wilmington


Program Details: Cape Fear Community College’s associate degree in nursing equips aspiring nurses with the knowledge and skills to offer safe and compassionate care to individuals across the lifespan. Leading to the NCLEX-RN exam, the ADN program requires completion of 69 to 73 credits, depending on the general education you may have completed earlier.

The coursework is well-rounded, consisting of the art and science of nursing. The program emphasizes critical thinking, clinical decision-making, and evidence-based practice. The coursework covers topics such as family health concepts, holistic health concepts, complex health concepts, general psychology, and nursing care of individuals and families across the lifespan. This ADN program in North Carolina ends with a clinical practicum.


Why Choose This Program

• As one of the best 2-year nursing programs in North Carolina, graduates of the program are desired by local healthcare employers. Graduates have an edge because of their thorough professional preparedness and job-ready skills.
• Cape Fear Community College’s ADN program reports an excellent pass rate on the NCLEX-RN exam. Graduates consistently exceed the national averages on the licensure exam.
• Cape Fear Community College has been offering high-quality education for more than 60 years. In all these years the college has built strong partnerships with industry leaders who provide students with enriching learning opportunities.


3. Cabarrus College of Health Sciences - Concord


Program Details: Whether you want to work in a clinical setting or a non-clinical setting in nursing, at Cabarrus College of Health Sciences, you’ll obtain the training to embark on a successful career in the nursing field. One of the affordable 2-year nursing programs in North Carolina, the ADN program prepares you to play a variety of roles in nursing such as staff nurse, pediatric nurse, nurse manager, and nurse informatics, to name a few.

The program comprises a total of 72 credits, including courses in general education and nursing. You’ll be taught a range of topics such as mental health nursing, human growth development, nutrition, and the basic and advanced concepts in registered nursing.


Why Choose This Program

• Among all the other ADN programs in North Carolina, the ADN program offered by Cabarrus College of Health Sciences stands out for offering students unparalleled clinical experiences. The school is not only a health sciences center but also maintains an affiliation with Atrium, which is one of the country’s largest healthcare systems. Moreover, here ADN students start their clinical training from the first month onwards.
• At Cabarrus College of Health Sciences, ADN students study in small classes where the student-to-faculty ratio does not exceed 7:1.
• The ADN program at Cabarrus College of Health Sciences, not only reports an excellent pass rate on the NCLEX-RN exam but also takes pride in the impressive placement rate of its graduates.


4. Wake Technical Community College - Raleigh


Program Details: Wake Technical Community College is one of the well-known community colleges in North Carolina that offers high-quality nursing education. The college offers an excellent ADN program that fully prepares graduates for the complex challenges of patient care. This 2-year nursing program in North Carolina covers several topics such as anatomy & physiology, health illness concepts, holistic health concepts, family health concepts, health system concepts, and complex health concepts. Upon completion of the program, you’ll be eligible to take the NCLEX-RN exam. To graduate, you must complete 72 semester credit hours.


Why Choose This Program

• Wake Technical Community College’s ADN is not only one of the affordable options but also offers students financial aid and scholarship opportunities.
• Wake Technical Community College is one of the largest community colleges in North Carolina. The college maintains strong partnerships with leading community healthcare centers where ADN students obtain diverse clinical experiences.
• Wake Technical Community College’s ADN program partners with the Perry Health Sciences campus. The campus is equipped with state-of-the-art simulation technology, providing ADN students with excellent practice training.


5. Wayne Community College - Goldsboro


Program Details: Wayne Community College’s ADN program is a great launchpad to a career as a registered nurse. The 2-year nursing program in North Carolina provides you with the necessary skills to provide excellent care to patients across various types of settings. Students complete didactic classes, lab, and clinical training. The program comprises a total of 72 hours and includes courses in family health concepts, health system concepts, microbiology, psychology, holistic health concepts, health illness concepts, and pharmacology.


Why Choose This Program

• Wayne Community College’s ADN program is a patient-focused program that prepares graduates for holistic patient care.
• Wayne Community College’s ADN program is taught by a qualified faculty that is committed to the success of its students.
• Wayne Community College’s ADN program emphasizes clinical training. The program provides students ample training in the simulation lab, after which they transition to real-world clinical experiences at partner healthcare sites.


6. Beaufort County Community College - Washington


Program Details: Beaufort County Community College’s associate degree in nursing is a stepping-stone to an in-demand healthcare career. By offering one of the best ADN programs in North Carolina, the college prepares graduates for high-quality patient care. Graduates are fully prepared to explore employment options in a variety of work settings, including acute, chronic, and community healthcare facilities. Students complete well-rounded coursework that includes general education and nursing core courses. The core nursing courses teach you concepts in health & illness, family health, holistic health, health systems, and complex health concepts.


Why Choose This Program

• Beaufort County Community College’s ADN program provides students the opportunity for one-on-one learning in its small-sized classes.
• Beaufort County Community College offers students several opportunities to engage in outside-the-class activities. The activities are not only fun but also help in developing leadership and networking skills.
• Beaufort County Community College’s ADN program boasts of an excellent pass rate on the NCLEX-RN exam. The program also reports an impressive placement rate.


7. Alamance Community College - Graham


Program Details: Another one of the well-known 2-year nursing programs in North Carolina is offered by Alamance Community College. Grounded in the art and science of nursing, the program emphasizes critical thinking and clinical decision-making. Leading to the NCLEX-RN exam, the program prepares graduates to work in various types of clinical and non-clinical settings, including hospitals, clinics, pharmaceutical companies, and insurance companies, to name a few.


Why Choose This Program

• Alamance Community College has agreements with the University of North Carolina. ADN students can seamlessly transfer their ADN credits to advanced degrees in nursing.
• Alamance Community College’s ADN offers day and evening classes. However, students must note that the evening class option is made available every 2.5 years. While the day option takes five semesters to complete, if you opt for the evening option, you’ll graduate within seven semesters.
• Alamance Community College’s ADN program is taught in small-sized classes under the mentorship of an experienced faculty.


8. College of The Albemarle - Elizabeth City


Program Details: The College of Albemarle’s ADN program should be on your list if you are keen on obtaining high-quality skills in patient care. As one of the reputable 2-year nursing programs in North Carolina, the program is known for achieving positive student outcomes. The program comprises a total of 71 credits, including courses in general education and nursing core courses. The associate degree in nursing is a comprehensive curriculum that covers a range of topics such as anatomy & physiology, health illness concepts, health system concepts, developmental psychology, holistic health concepts, and health system concepts.


Why Choose This Program

• College of The Albemarle’s ADN program is grounded in interprofessional collaboration to prepare graduates to work in a variety of healthcare settings.
• College of The Albemarle’s ADN program has articulation agreements with several four-year colleges to allow a seamless transition to a BSN program.
• College of The Albemarle’s ADN program offers several financial aid and scholarship opportunities to make your nursing education affordable.


9. Randolph Community College - Asheboro


Program Details: Another one of the best 2-year nursing programs in North Carolina is offered by Randolph Community College. The program produces high-quality professionals who play an integral role in a healthcare team. The program focuses on critical thinking and clinical reasoning skills to improve patient outcomes. Students complete 72-credit coursework that includes topics such as anatomy & physiology, health illness concepts, holistic health concepts, pharmacology, general psychology, general microbiology, family health, and health care concepts.


Why Choose This Program

• Randolph Community College’s ADN students are provided training in its state-of-the-art simulation lab that provides students with ample clinical experiences.
• Randolph Community College’s ADN program provides students with several funding opportunities. Eligible students may avail of financial assistance and earn an ADN at an affordable tuition cost.
• Randolph Community College’s ADN program focuses on clinical training, ensuring students gain a wide range of clinical experiences in diverse healthcare environments.


10. Central Carolina Community College - Sanford


Program Details: Central Carolina Community College’s associate degree in nursing successfully prepares you to practice as a professional registered nurse. The program is developed to integrate interdisciplinary learning and holistic nursing care practices. Upon completing the five semesters of coursework, you’ll earn an associate degree in nursing and gain eligibility to take the NCLEX-RN exam. This 2-year nursing program in North Carolina comprises a 70-credit coursework, requiring students to complete courses, including healthcare concepts, complex health concepts, anatomy & physiology, health system concepts, and developmental psychology.


Why Choose This Program

• Central Carolina Community College’s ADN can seamlessly be transferred to a BSN program at any of the partner four-year institutions.
• Central Carolina Community College’s ADN is an affordable option, offering competitive tuition costs compared to other ADN programs in North Carolina.
• Central Carolina Community College’s ADN students enjoy excellent clinical learning opportunities, initially at the simulation lab and later in diverse clinical settings.


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