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Students can attain a variety of nursing qualifications at accredited schools in Wilmington. Each type of qualification prepares students for a particular nursing role. Some nursing roles also require successfully passing a national standardized exam. The time and financial investment required varies widely by nursing role.

Certified nursing assistant
Students can qualify as certified nursing assistants (CNAs) through a certificate program available at many community colleges. Since these courses only take a few weeks to complete, they are a popular option with many first-time nursing students.

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Licensed practical nurse
North Carolina’s licensed practical nurses (LPNs) must complete a 12- to 18-month certificate program. They must also pass a national examination, the NCLEX-PN, before beginning work. LPNs in Wilmington are paid a median annual salary of $39,300, which is in line with state averages.

Registered nurse
Registered nurses (RNs) make critical decisions regarding the medical treatment of their patients, and they often lead teams of more junior LPNs and CNAs. North Carolina’s RNs can follow one of three education pathways: hospital diploma, associate’s degree, or bachelor’s degree. They must also pass a national exam, the NCLEX-RN, before practicing. Registered nurses are well-compensated in Wilmington: the metro area’s 3,200 RNs earn an average salary of almost $56,000 per year. Major local healthcare employers include New Hanover Regional Medical Center and GENEX.

To help Wilmington’s aspiring nurses explore their career possibilities, we have compiled below a complete list of the city’s nursing schools and programs.

Featured Schools

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Wilmington nursing schools by NCLEX score

Cape Fear Community College
411 North Front Street | Wilmington, North Carolina 28401
  • Diploma in Practical Nursing: 100.0% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2016)
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 98.8% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2016)
University of North Carolina at Wilmington
601 South College Road | Wilmington, North Carolina 28403
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 94.2% NCLEX pass rate (2010 through 2016)
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Post-Master's Certificate: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
School Program NCLEX score Time period
Cape Fear Community College Diploma in Practical Nursing 100.0% 2009 to 2016
Associate's Degree in Nursing 98.8% 2009 to 2016
University of North Carolina at Wilmington Bachelor of Science in Nursing 94.2% 2010 to 2016
Doctor of Nursing Practice
Master of Science in Nursing
Post-Master's Certificate: Family Nurse Practitioner
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion