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Nearly four million nurses are currently employed in the U.S. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost 70,000 nurses are employed in the state of South Carolina alone. These include 18,400 certified nursing assistants (CNAs), 9,340 licensed practical nurses (LPNs), and 41,950 registered nurses (RNs). A 24% shortage is predicted in South Carolina’s nursing workforce over the coming years, making this an ideal time to consider an investment in nursing education.

Nursing education options
There are several nursing education tracks available. The profession itself can be broadly segregated into the three roles cited above, with differing educational requirements by role. Registered nurses must earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, while LPNs and CNAs need only complete a shorter certificate program. Nursing education programs are offered at a wide array of schools including community colleges, public universities, and private colleges.

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Advantages by program and school type
Vocational, career, and community colleges offer an affordable, rapid path to nursing employment with specialized coursework. However, as the nursing profession changes and places greater responsibility on nurses, there is a growing employer preference for bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Although these longer degree programs cost significantly more, they translate to higher compensation and greater potential for career advancement. These advanced degree programs can be found at many of South Carolina’s nursing schools, both large public universities and small private colleges that offer more personalized attention.

To help aspiring nurses select the best program from these options, we’ve listed below South Carolina’s nursing schools and organized them from largest to smallest in each major city.

Featured Schools

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Charleston

Trident Technical College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 232 students during the 2012 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 36 students during the 2012 period
Medical University of South Carolina
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 108 students during the 2012 period
ECPI University - Charleston
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 26 students during the 2012 period
Charleston Southern University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 24 students during the 2012 period
School Program Class size
Trident Technical College Associate's Degree in Nursing 232 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 36 students
Medical University of South Carolina Bachelor of Science in Nursing 108 students
ECPI University - Charleston Certificate in Practical Nursing 26 students
Charleston Southern University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 24 students

Columbia

University of South Carolina
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 214 students during the 2012 period
Midlands Technical College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 114 students during the 2012 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 47 students during the 2012 period
South University - Columbia
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 22 students during the 2012 period
School Program Class size
University of South Carolina Bachelor of Science in Nursing 214 students
Midlands Technical College Associate's Degree in Nursing 114 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 47 students
South University - Columbia Bachelor of Science in Nursing 22 students

Greenville

Greenville Technical College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 208 students during the 2012 period
Tri-County Technical College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 162 students during the 2012 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 57 students during the 2012 period
Clemson University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 97 students during the 2012 period
ECPI University - Greenville
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 58 students during the 2012 period
Bob Jones University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 44 students during the 2012 period
School Program Class size
Greenville Technical College Associate's Degree in Nursing 208 students
Tri-County Technical College Associate's Degree in Nursing 162 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 57 students
Clemson University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 97 students
ECPI University - Greenville Certificate in Practical Nursing 58 students
Bob Jones University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 44 students

Myrtle Beach / Conway area

Horry-Georgetown Technical College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 128 students during the 2012 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 30 students during the 2012 period
School Program Class size
Horry-Georgetown Technical College Associate's Degree in Nursing 128 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 30 students

Spartanburg

University of South Carolina Upstate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 199 students during the 2012 period
Spartanburg Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 30 students during the 2012 period
School Program Class size
University of South Carolina Upstate Bachelor of Science in Nursing 199 students
Spartanburg Community College Associate's Degree in Nursing 30 students

Other South Carolina cities

Florence-Darlington Technical College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 107 students during the 2012 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 19 students during the 2012 period
Central Carolina Technical College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 85 students during the 2012 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 19 students during the 2012 period
University of South Carolina Aiken
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 77 students during the 2012 period
Francis Marion University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 73 students during the 2012 period
Piedmont Technical College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 61 students during the 2012 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 50 students during the 2012 period
Aiken Technical College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 59 students during the 2012 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 17 students during the 2012 period
Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 50 students during the 2012 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 47 students during the 2012 period
Lander University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 49 students during the 2012 period
Technical College of the Lowcountry
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 46 students during the 2012 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 4 students during the 2012 period
South Carolina State University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 40 students during the 2012 period
York Technical College / USC Lancaster
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 37 students during the 2012 period
University of South Carolina Beaufort
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 32 students during the 2012 period
York Technical College
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 26 students during the 2012 period
Denmark Technical College
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 24 students during the 2012 period
Academy for Careers and Technology
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 20 students during the 2012 period
Northeastern Technical College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 20 students during the 2012 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 17 students during the 2012 period
Williamsburg Technical College
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 19 students during the 2012 period
Newberry College
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 17 students during the 2012 period
Cherokee Technology Center
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 16 students during the 2012 period
School Program Class size
Florence-Darlington Technical College Associate's Degree in Nursing 107 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 19 students
Central Carolina Technical College Associate's Degree in Nursing 85 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 19 students
University of South Carolina Aiken Bachelor of Science in Nursing 77 students
Francis Marion University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 73 students
Piedmont Technical College Associate's Degree in Nursing 61 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 50 students
Aiken Technical College Associate's Degree in Nursing 59 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 17 students
Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College Associate's Degree in Nursing 50 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 47 students
Lander University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 49 students
Technical College of the Lowcountry Associate's Degree in Nursing 46 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 4 students
South Carolina State University Bachelor of Science in Nursing 40 students
York Technical College / USC Lancaster Associate's Degree in Nursing 37 students
University of South Carolina Beaufort Bachelor of Science in Nursing 32 students
York Technical College Certificate in Practical Nursing 26 students
Denmark Technical College Certificate in Practical Nursing 24 students
Academy for Careers and Technology Certificate in Practical Nursing 20 students
Northeastern Technical College Associate's Degree in Nursing 20 students
Certificate in Practical Nursing 17 students
Williamsburg Technical College Certificate in Practical Nursing 19 students
Newberry College Bachelor of Science in Nursing 17 students
Cherokee Technology Center Certificate in Practical Nursing 16 students