15 Best North Carolina LPN Programs – 2024

Written By: Editorial Staff @ NursingProcess.org

If you live in the state of North Carolina and would like to become a licensed practical nurse, we have good news for you. Graduates from LPN programs in North Carolina are more likely to pass the NCLEX-PN licensure exam than graduates from other states. Although overall pay may be slightly less than the national average, salaries are extremely competitive. With 40 North Carolina Board of Nursing approved LPN educational programs, it might be difficult to choose the training that is right for you. That is why we have ranked 15 of the best options to help you in making that decision.


LPN Program Length in North Carolina

It does not take all that long to get your diploma or certificate to become a PN in NC, just 12 to 18 months. For an associate degree, it can take two years.

Type Length
Certificate / Diploma 12 to 18 Months
Associate Degree 2 Years
(Source: In-House Research)

LPN Program Cost in North Carolina

Practical nursing programs in NC can cost as little as $2,300 in some cases for a certificate of diploma. Depending on the school you choose, it might cost up to $52,000 for an Associate Degree.

Type Cost
Certificate / Diploma$2,310 - $36,570
Associate Degree$7,060 - $52,510
(Source: In-House Research)

Why NCLEX-PN Pass Rate is an Important Factor While Selecting an LPN Program in this State?

Approximately 89 percent of those graduating from practical nurse training in this state pass the NCLEX-PN. This is much higher than the national average. However, because this is simply an average, it is important that you choose a specific institution with a very high pass rate so that you can receive a better education. Employers in North Carolina often prefer to hire graduates from schools with higher passing rates. By obtaining your education from a higher-rates school, you are more likely to be hired by the facility in which you wish to work.

NCLEX-PN Pass Rates
Year North Carolina National
Taken % Passed Taken % Passed
2013 1,039 92.69% 58,575 84.63%
2014 967 91.11% 55,491 82.16%
2015 936 89.53% 50,979 81.88%
2016 871 91.16% 47,345 83.70%
2017 839 94.04% 46,948 83.85%


Based on our Ranking Methodology, the following are the 15 best LPN programs in North Carolina (Online & Campus).

1) Gaston College - Dallas

Gaston College
Gaston College, one of the largest community colleges in the state of North Carolina offers personalized learning solutions to help LPN students learn, grow and succeed in their career.

This full-time diploma program with a maximum intake of 25 students begins each year in the fall and takes around two regular semesters and a summer semester to complete. The 44-credit-hour coursework is a mix of theoretical studies in the classroom, simulation lab practices, and clinical sessions conducted at prominent healthcare centers such as Carolina Care Center, Courtland Terrace, Caromont Regional Medical Center, and many others; conveniently located at nearby locations. Once you pass the course, you will be eligible to take the NCLEX-PN examination.

2) Davidson County Community College - Mocksville

Davidson County Community College
Located in Mocksville, Davidson County Community College provides personalized learning solutions to nursing students with its low student to faculty ratio. Backed with a high success rate on the NCLEX-PN, DCCC’s practical nursing program in North Carolina is sought after by students seeking an entry-level career in nursing.

The coursework, beginning in fall, equips you with the know-how of administering nursing care. The curriculum is designed with a combination of online courses and on-campus instruction, providing a convenient option for diverse learners. About 32 students are admitted in the diploma program each year. The clinical component of the course is conducted at various healthcare units where you can practice acquired nursing skills and knowledge during classroom and lab sessions. Upon completion of the course, you will be eligible for the national licensure exam in practical nursing and become a licensed practitioner.

3) Cape Fear Community College - Wilmington

Cape Fear Community College
Set in downtown Wilmington, Cape Fear Community College is committed to ensuring holistic development of LPN students through its qualified faculty, interactive classrooms and simulation labs. Also, you will benefit from individualized attention during your clinical sessions.

This full-time practical nursing diploma at CFCC will take you 12 months to complete. It begins in the fall each year and admits only 30 students. The 47-semester-hour curriculum is spread over two semesters and a summer term. Upon graduation, you will be prepared to sit for NCLEX-PN and be fully capable of providing nursing care to patients of all ages at in-patient or out-patient care facilities, acute centers or long-term care centers.

4) Durham Technical Community College - Durham

Durham Technical Community College
Conveniently located near the Raleigh-Durham International Airport and equipped with the latest facilities, the Durham Technical Community College offers the LPN program at its main campus in Durham. DTCC’s faculty ensures you are professionally trained and ready to take up challenges as reflected in their successful NCLEX-PN licensure exam pass percentages and high placement rates. This program is also offered at the Orange County campus as well as Online.

This day-time program begins in the fall and admits 60 students each year with an average class of about 16 students. The coursework is spread over two semesters and a summer session and can be completed in about 10-11 months. You will learn about anatomy, physiology, and psychology to gain a basic understanding about the human structure and behavior; whereas your core practical nursing courses will train you to provide holistic patient care to the sick and injured effectively. You should complete a minimum of 41 credit hours of study to obtain the diploma successfully.

5) Lenoir Community College - Kinston

Lenoir Community College
Located at Kinston, Lenoir Community College ensures the professional success of its LPN students by providing excellent nursing education, while also focusing on individual development.

If you want to foray into this fulfilling career, then choosing the 12-month LCC practical nursing diploma can be a significant step. The 45-credit coursework is comprehensive and rigorous and is divided into 14 credit hours of general education, 30 credit hours of core nursing courses, and 1-credit hour course of either college student success or college transfer success. During the coursework, you will undergo classroom learning, lab training, and clinical experience. The clinical component of the program will build the confidence in you to perform effectively when you actually start working in a medical setting as a practical nurse.

6) Edgecombe Community College - Rocky Mount

Edgecombe Community College
Aimed at setting high benchmarks in imparting job-ready education, Edgecombe Community College has recently laid the foundation for a state-of-the-art simulation hospital that provides nursing students an ideal opportunity to extensively hone the skills and knowledge gained during their classroom learning sessions.

The one-year practical nursing diploma at ECC is spread across three semesters-fall, spring, and summer. Once your application is submitted, April to July is the interim period during which 20 successful candidates will be handed out a conditional acceptance letter. As part of the curriculum, you will undergo 44 credits of rigorous learning in the classroom, skill development in the labs and real-world experience at clinical settings, all of which will help you prepare for the NCLEX-PN examination. Subject areas that will be covered in this course include anatomy, physiology, psychology, writing, and core practical nursing courses.

7) Montgomery Community College - Troy

Montgomery Community College
Committed to accommodating all kinds of learners, Montgomery Community College provides convenient scheduling option with its hybrid LPN program. You can take most of the classes online and devote only a few hours attending classes on-campus. Additionally, you also get to choose from day or evening/weekend classes.

You should keep in mind that this one-year diploma entails completing 44 credit hours of theory learning and clinical experience. Smaller class size encourages a learning-centered environment, wherein you will be occupied with class/ clinical work for about 3-8 hours in a day. As part of the curriculum, you will receive extensive 480-hour clinical experiences under expert supervision, which may take place for more than two days per week.

8) ECPI University - Charlotte

ECPI University
With a host of fast-track nursing courses, ECPI University provides a strong foundation within a short time, utilizing state-of-the-art technology and simulation mannequins to train students. It also offers opportunities to hone your skills at various health care clinical sites within the community.

ECPI College of Nursing offers a PN diploma course to help you find your footing in this thriving profession. With a rigorous schedule spanning 15 months, the curriculum is offered with a combination of core nursing subjects and practical experiences in clinical settings. The coursework takes three semesters to complete, typically 1,736 contact hours and a total of 48.5 credit hours. Small-sized classes and one-on-one learning with a dedicated faculty contribute to your professional growth.

9) James Sprunt Community College - Kenansville

James Sprunt Community College
James Sprunt Community College began offering practical nursing courses in the year 1962, the very first group of students graduated with excellent results on the licensure exam.

The classes for PN diploma commence every fall and are spread over three terms. This 42-credit-hour coursework covers the basics of nurse care, psychology and physiology to prepare you for entry-level nursing positions in various clinics and healthcare centers. Classrooms are a close-knit environment with only 20 students being enrolled each year. Once you complete the course, you can appear for the licensure exam for practical nursing.

10) Brunswick Community College - Supply

Brunswick Community College
If you are seeking an LPN program in North Carolina, Brunswick Community College can be considered as a decent option. BCC’s Practical Nursing diploma program has earned a name for itself because of its excellent NCLEX-PN pass rates in the last decade.

The 43-credit program is offered with two flexible options. The 3-semester day program starts in summer and it is suitable for the full-time students, while the 5-semester evening/weekend program begins in the fall and is apt for working student population. Both the programs have coursework of 43 credits and provide you extensive training in core nursing concepts. Graduates can take NCLEX-PN and look for entry-level positions in the nursing field.

11) Robeson Community College - Lumberton

Robeson Community College
Robeson Community College under the guidance of experienced faculty offers a well-rounded nursing education to LPN students at its campus in Lumberton; equipped with modern facilities and state-of-the-art laboratories.

To become an LPN in North Carolina you can consider the practical nursing diploma program at Robertson which begins once every year in fall. While pursuing this 12-month nursing program, you will learn how to provide nursing care to adult and infant patients. The 44-credit course contains 14 credits in general education, and 30-credits focused on core nursing concepts. When you graduate, you will be ready to take the NCLEX-PN exam after which you can be employed as a Licensed Practical Nurse in hospitals, health facilities, and physician offices.

12) Forsyth Tech Community College - Winston Salem

Forsyth Tech Community College
Initiating a reform in the education sector has earned FTCC an honorable mention and visit from the former President Barack Obama. If working in a healthcare organization as a nurse seems like an exciting prospect, then you will find a suitable diploma and associate degree option at FTCC to kickstart your career.

Beginning every fall, FTCC offers a Practical Nursing Diploma with an option of either the day classes at the Winston-Salem campus or the evening/weekend classes at their Stokes County Center. If you are a working professional, the evening/weekend classes could help you balance your study and work commitments. The 42-credit-hour curriculum is delivered over two semesters and a summer session with comprehensive classroom instruction, lab practical and clinical training, culminating into preparation for the NCLEX-PN examination and employment as a Licensed Practical Nurse.

13) McDowell Technical Community College - Marion

McDowell Technical Community College
Operating out of Marion, McDowell Technical Community College is committed to providing skills-based training to LPN students. The college is equipped with the latest technology, spacious classrooms, and a simulation lab room, setting up an excellent learning platform for aspiring nurses to kick start their career.

The MTCC Practical Nursing diploma begins every fall and continues through spring and summer, totaling up to 3 semesters of theoretical coursework, lab sessions, and clinical experience. It is required for you to complete the Nurse Aide I Training Program, without which you will not be eligible to apply for this diploma. For those of you who want to balance work and study, you can choose your convenient schedule with the day program (annually enrolls 24 students) or evening/weekend classes (annually enrolls 20 students). The program begins with an orientation and ends with a preparation course to take the NCLEX-PN examination.

14) Wayne Community College - Goldsboro

Wayne Community College
Wayne Community College incorporates technologically advanced applications in learning, and thus prepares LPN students for a promising career in the nursing field.

The LPN program starts each Fall and can be completed in a year’s time. To graduate you must complete the 42-credit hour curriculum delivered through classroom learning, laboratory work, and clinical experience sessions. Each class instruction, provided to a class of 15-20 students, will focus on the development of various skills and abilities directly related to your scope of practice as a licensed practical nurse in various healthcare organizations.

15) Fayetteville Technical Community College - Fayetteville

Fayetteville Technical Community College
If you are looking for an LPN school in NC, Fayetteville Technical Community College can be a good option. It provides excellent educational facilities with its simulation laboratories and modern classrooms to prepare students for a flourishing career in the nursing field.

The diploma program in PN is three-semesters long and begins every fall. With the availability of flexible day and evening classes, the program is apt for the working student population. The coursework, consisting of 42 credits, covers the areas of healthcare, pharmacology, anatomy, and physiology along with the evidence-based practice and core nursing concepts. Upon graduation, you can look for a wide range of employment opportunities at healthcare centers, hospitals or patient care facilities.


How to Obtain My LPN License in North Carolina?

Once you obtain your diploma, certificate, or degree, you will have to complete several steps to get your PN license in NC.

• From 4–6 weeks before you successfully complete your training courses, you should apply with the North Carolina Board of Nursing to sit for your licensure examination.
• Make sure your program verification is received by the Board.
• At least two weeks before you finish your training, you will want to register with the testing centers from Pearson VUE and pay the fees.
• Wait for your authorization to test, then schedule your exam.
• Complete the appropriate criminal background check.
• Obtain your practical nursing license.

How Much Will I Earn?

LPN salary in North Carolina may be a little less than the national average, but so is the cost of living here. You can still expect to earn from around $21 to $29 per hour based on your knowledge and experience as well as on where you choose to work. If you work full time, average annual pay is expected to be around $53,010.

Type Salary Range Average Salary
Hourly$21.00 - $29.70$25.49
Monthly$3,640 - $5,150$4,420
Annual$43,670 - $61,780$53,010
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

LPN Earnings in this State vs National Average

North Carolina National Difference
Number %
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Job Outlook for LPN Graduates in North Carolina

The national nursing shortage is definitely felt at facilities all throughout the state of NC, making for an incredible job outlook for those who become LPNs. There is always a need for practical nurses in the larger metropolitan areas, but the demand for licensed professionals also extends to outlying areas as well. The need for competent nurses is so great, that many facilities, such as hospitals, physician offices and home health care services offer higher pay rates and scheduling flexibility to draw in and maintain licensed professionals. Some employers will offer educational benefits and even a reimbursement of a portion of your student loans to sign up.

Employment 10 Year New Job Growth
Projection (2020-2030)
2020 2030 Number %
(Source: careeronestop)

Projected LPN Annual Job Openings in North Carolina (2023-2027)

Year New Jobs Replacement Jobs Annual
Job Openings
(New + Replacement)
2023 154 1,326 1,480
2024 196 1,368 1,564
2025 220 1,392 1,612
2026 250 1,422 1,672
2027 280 1,452 1,732
Total Job Openings in the Next 5 Years 8,060
(Source: In-House Research)

6 Best Metro Areas in North Carolina to Work as an LPN

If you are near the Charlotte metropolitan area, there are more than 3,500 LPN positions in this region. This includes places like Novant Health Hemby Children's Hospital and Carolinas ContinueCARE Hospital at University. If you would rather work in home health care, you may wish to join the ranks of other qualified LPNs at places such as Personal Home Care of North Carolina or BrightStar Care.

While Charlotte is certainly the largest employer of LPNs in this state, other metropolitan regions hire more than 1,000 LPNs each. Those looking for work in the Winston-Salem region might want to think about facilities like Novant Health Medical Park Hospital or Wake Forest Baptist Health. If home health care sounds more appealing to you, you could look into working at Griswold Home Care or Home Instead Senior Care.

The Raleigh and Fayetteville regions often provide a slightly higher rate of pay than the other metropolitan areas. Here you could consider working at facilities such as Duke Raleigh Hospital or Cape Fear Valley Medical Center.

Rank Metro Area Current Employment Average Salary
Hourly Monthly Annual
1 Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia 3,500 $26.52 $4,600 $55,160
2 Raleigh 1,600 $26.69 $4,630 $55,520
3 Greensboro-High Point 1,300 $25.19 $4,370 $52,400
4 Fayetteville 1,100 $25.25 $4,380 $52,520
5 Winston-Salem 1,060 $25.36 $4,400 $52,750
6 Asheville 980 $26.15 $4,530 $54,380
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

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