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Well over 150,000 nurses are employed in North Carolina. These nurses fill a variety of roles in both the private and public sectors. For example, consider two of the state’s largest nursing employers: Tenet Health and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Tenet Health delivers high-quality healthcare in a hospital setting, while the Department of Veterans Affairs focuses on veteran welfare and benefits administration.

Nursing roles
North Carolina’s most popular nursing profession is registered nurse (RN). The state is home to 88,000 RNs, constituting over half of the nurses employed in the state. North Carolina also has 50,000 certified nursing assistants (CNAs), 16,000 licensed practical nurses (LPNs), and almost 6,000 advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs).

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Nursing schools
To fill this robust employment demand, North Carolina has a broad range of nursing schools. One of the most important decisions facing an aspiring nurse is choosing public versus private education.

Private colleges are typically small in size. Their enrollment numbers are usually comparable to those of community colleges. However, they are often better-funded due to private donations and higher tuition payments. Therefore, private schools have the resources to offer smaller class sizes and more personalized teaching.

On the other hand, it is not unusual for a large public university’s enrollment to number tens of thousands of students. For example, East Carolina University boasts a diverse population of nearly 30,000 students. Since public schools receive government subsidies, their students typically benefit from significantly lower tuition.

North Carolina certainly has a wide variety of options for aspiring nurses. To help organize these options, we have listed below the state’s top nursing schools in each major city, organized from largest to smallest.

Featured Schools

Asheville

Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 73 students during the 2016 period
Blue Ridge Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 35 students during the 2016 period
Region A Nursing Consortium
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 35 students during the 2016 period
School Program Class size
Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 73 students
Blue Ridge Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 35 students
Region A Nursing Consortium Associate's Degree in Nursing 35 students

Charlotte

Carolinas College of Health Sciences
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 124 students during the 2016 period
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 100 students during the 2016 period
Cabarrus College of Health Sciences
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 88 students during the 2016 period
Queens University of Charlotte
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 73 students during the 2016 period
Gaston College - Dallas
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 67 students during the 2016 period
Gaston College - Lincoln
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 59 students during the 2016 period
ECPI University - Charlotte
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 58 students during the 2016 period
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 25 students during the 2016 period
Central Piedmont Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 55 students during the 2016 period
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 44 students during the 2016 period
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 10 students during the 2016 period
Mitchell Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 33 students during the 2016 period
South Piedmont Community College - Monroe
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 25 students during the 2016 period
Wingate University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 10 students during the 2016 period
School Program Class size
Carolinas College of Health Sciences Associate's Degree in Nursing 124 students
University of North Carolina at Charlotte Bachelor of Science in Nursing 100 students
Cabarrus College of Health Sciences Associate's Degree in Nursing 88 students
Queens University of Charlotte Bachelor of Science in Nursing 73 students
Gaston College - Dallas Associate's Degree in Nursing 67 students
Gaston College - Lincoln Diploma in Practical Nursing 59 students
ECPI University - Charlotte Diploma in Practical Nursing 58 students
Associate's Degree in Nursing 25 students
Central Piedmont Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 55 students
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 44 students
Diploma in Practical Nursing 10 students
Mitchell Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 33 students
South Piedmont Community College - Monroe Associate's Degree in Nursing 25 students
Wingate University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 10 students

Durham / Chapel Hill area

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 167 students during the 2016 period
Duke University
Accelerated Second Degree BSN: 142 students during the 2016 period
Durham Technical Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 65 students during the 2016 period
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 8 students during the 2016 period
North Carolina Central University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 57 students during the 2016 period
Watts School of Nursing
Diploma in Nursing: 53 students during the 2016 period
Piedmont Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 21 students during the 2016 period
School Program Class size
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Bachelor of Science in Nursing 167 students
Duke University Accelerated Second Degree BSN 142 students
Durham Technical Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 65 students
Diploma in Practical Nursing 8 students
North Carolina Central University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 57 students
Watts School of Nursing Diploma in Nursing 53 students
Piedmont Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 21 students

Fayetteville

Fayetteville Technical Community College
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 52 students during the 2016 period
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 35 students during the 2016 period
Methodist University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 22 students during the 2016 period
Fayetteville State University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 21 students during the 2016 period
School Program Class size
Fayetteville Technical Community College Diploma in Practical Nursing 52 students
Associate's Degree in Nursing 35 students
Methodist University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 22 students
Fayetteville State University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 21 students

Greensboro / High Point area

University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 93 students during the 2016 period
Guilford Technical Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 77 students during the 2016 period
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 19 students during the 2016 period
ECPI University - Greensboro
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 70 students during the 2016 period
Randolph Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 29 students during the 2016 period
North Carolina A&T State University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 25 students during the 2016 period
Rockingham Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 10 students during the 2016 period
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 7 students during the 2016 period
School Program Class size
University of North Carolina at Greensboro Bachelor of Science in Nursing 93 students
Guilford Technical Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 77 students
Diploma in Practical Nursing 19 students
ECPI University - Greensboro Diploma in Practical Nursing 70 students
Randolph Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 29 students
North Carolina A&T State University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 25 students
Rockingham Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 10 students
Diploma in Practical Nursing 7 students

Raleigh

Wake Technical Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 112 students during the 2016 period
ECPI University - Raleigh
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 75 students during the 2016 period
Johnston Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 37 students during the 2016 period
School Program Class size
Wake Technical Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 112 students
ECPI University - Raleigh Diploma in Practical Nursing 75 students
Johnston Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 37 students

Wilmington

University of North Carolina at Wilmington
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 87 students during the 2016 period
Cape Fear Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 58 students during the 2016 period
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 22 students during the 2016 period
School Program Class size
University of North Carolina at Wilmington Bachelor of Science in Nursing 87 students
Cape Fear Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 58 students
Diploma in Practical Nursing 22 students

Winston-Salem

Forsyth Technical Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 141 students during the 2016 period
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 48 students during the 2016 period
Winston-Salem State University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 105 students during the 2016 period
Davidson County Community College - Thomasville
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 52 students during the 2016 period
Davidson County Community College - Mocksville
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 16 students during the 2016 period
School Program Class size
Forsyth Technical Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 141 students
Diploma in Practical Nursing 48 students
Winston-Salem State University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 105 students
Davidson County Community College - Thomasville Associate's Degree in Nursing 52 students
Davidson County Community College - Mocksville Diploma in Practical Nursing 16 students

Other North Carolina cities

East Carolina University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 247 students during the 2016 period
Pitt Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 81 students during the 2016 period
Western Carolina University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 73 students during the 2016 period
Sandhills Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 60 students during the 2016 period
Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 57 students during the 2016 period
Foothills Nursing Consortium
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 54 students during the 2016 period
Vance-Granville Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 50 students during the 2016 period
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 22 students during the 2016 period
Gardner-Webb University
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 48 students during the 2016 period
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 26 students during the 2016 period
Catawba Valley Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 47 students during the 2016 period
Beaufort County Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 45 students during the 2016 period
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 15 students during the 2016 period
Nash Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 43 students during the 2016 period
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 9 students during the 2016 period
Craven Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 41 students during the 2016 period
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 13 students during the 2016 period
Southeastern Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 40 students during the 2016 period
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 30 students during the 2016 period
Appalachian State University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 39 students during the 2016 period
University of North Carolina at Pembroke
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 37 students during the 2016 period
Central Carolina Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 36 students during the 2016 period
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 19 students during the 2016 period
Edgecombe Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 35 students during the 2016 period
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 13 students during the 2016 period
Sampson Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 33 students during the 2016 period
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 16 students during the 2016 period
Wayne Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 33 students during the 2016 period
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 15 students during the 2016 period
Barton College
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 32 students during the 2016 period
McDowell Technical Community College
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 32 students during the 2016 period
College of the Albemarle
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 31 students during the 2016 period
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 19 students during the 2016 period
Richmond Community College - Hamlet
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 31 students during the 2016 period
Stanly Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 31 students during the 2016 period
Isothermal Community College
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 30 students during the 2016 period
Lenoir-Rhyne University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 30 students during the 2016 period
Wilkes Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 30 students during the 2016 period
Coastal Carolina Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 28 students during the 2016 period
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 18 students during the 2016 period
Mayland Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 28 students during the 2016 period
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 21 students during the 2013 period
Western Piedmont Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 27 students during the 2016 period
Surry Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 26 students during the 2016 period
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 9 students during the 2016 period
Wilson Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 26 students during the 2016 period
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 10 students during the 2016 period
Montgomery Community College
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 23 students during the 2016 period
Southwestern Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 23 students during the 2016 period
Brunswick Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 21 students during the 2016 period
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 15 students during the 2016 period
Lenoir Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 21 students during the 2016 period
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 10 students during the 2016 period
Bladen Community College
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 20 students during the 2016 period
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 20 students during the 2016 period
Robeson Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 18 students during the 2016 period
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 15 students during the 2016 period
Pfeiffer University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 17 students during the 2016 period
Alamance Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 16 students during the 2016 period
James Sprunt Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 15 students during the 2016 period
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 12 students during the 2016 period
Halifax Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 14 students during the 2016 period
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 7 students during the 2016 period
Roanoke-Chowan Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 14 students during the 2016 period
Carteret Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 13 students during the 2016 period
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 7 students during the 2016 period
Cleveland Community College
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 11 students during the 2016 period
Richmond Community College - Laurinburg
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 10 students during the 2016 period
South Piedmont Community College - Polkton
Diploma in Practical Nursing: 10 students during the 2016 period
School Program Class size
East Carolina University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 247 students
Pitt Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 81 students
Western Carolina University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 73 students
Sandhills Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 60 students
Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute Associate's Degree in Nursing 57 students
Foothills Nursing Consortium Associate's Degree in Nursing 54 students
Vance-Granville Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 50 students
Diploma in Practical Nursing 22 students
Gardner-Webb University Associate's Degree in Nursing 48 students
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 26 students
Catawba Valley Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 47 students
Beaufort County Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 45 students
Diploma in Practical Nursing 15 students
Nash Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 43 students
Diploma in Practical Nursing 9 students
Craven Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 41 students
Diploma in Practical Nursing 13 students
Southeastern Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 40 students
Diploma in Practical Nursing 30 students
Appalachian State University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 39 students
University of North Carolina at Pembroke Bachelor of Science in Nursing 37 students
Central Carolina Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 36 students
Diploma in Practical Nursing 19 students
Edgecombe Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 35 students
Diploma in Practical Nursing 13 students
Sampson Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 33 students
Diploma in Practical Nursing 16 students
Wayne Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 33 students
Diploma in Practical Nursing 15 students
Barton College Bachelor of Science in Nursing 32 students
McDowell Technical Community College Diploma in Practical Nursing 32 students
College of the Albemarle Associate's Degree in Nursing 31 students
Diploma in Practical Nursing 19 students
Richmond Community College - Hamlet Associate's Degree in Nursing 31 students
Stanly Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 31 students
Isothermal Community College Diploma in Practical Nursing 30 students
Lenoir-Rhyne University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 30 students
Wilkes Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 30 students
Coastal Carolina Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 28 students
Diploma in Practical Nursing 18 students
Mayland Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 28 students
Diploma in Practical Nursing 21 students
Western Piedmont Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 27 students
Surry Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 26 students
Diploma in Practical Nursing 9 students
Wilson Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 26 students
Diploma in Practical Nursing 10 students
Montgomery Community College Diploma in Practical Nursing 23 students
Southwestern Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 23 students
Brunswick Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 21 students
Diploma in Practical Nursing 15 students
Lenoir Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 21 students
Diploma in Practical Nursing 10 students
Bladen Community College Diploma in Practical Nursing 20 students
Associate's Degree in Nursing 20 students
Robeson Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 18 students
Diploma in Practical Nursing 15 students
Pfeiffer University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 17 students
Alamance Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 16 students
James Sprunt Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 15 students
Diploma in Practical Nursing 12 students
Halifax Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 14 students
Diploma in Practical Nursing 7 students
Roanoke-Chowan Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 14 students
Carteret Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 13 students
Diploma in Practical Nursing 7 students
Cleveland Community College Diploma in Practical Nursing 11 students
Richmond Community College - Laurinburg Diploma in Practical Nursing 10 students
South Piedmont Community College - Polkton Diploma in Practical Nursing 10 students