We've organized a comprehensive list of South Carolina nursing schools. Below you'll find information on specific nursing programs such as LPN certificates and ADN, BSN, and MSN degrees. You'll also find a profile of nursing education and careers in each major South Carolina city.

An associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) is the most common method for entering the nursing profession. According to the Health Resources and Services Administration, over 45% of all nurses in the U.S. initially obtained an associate’s degree. The ADN programs in South Carolina are designed to prepare students with the skills and knowledge to become a registered nurse (RN).

Benefits of the ADN pathway

Registered nurses (RNs) play a critical role in providing and coordinating patient care. A registered nurse has a broad range of healthcare responsibilities. These include performing physical exams and health histories; administering medications, treatments, and wound care; consulting with physicians and other healthcare personnel; supervising licensed practical nurses and certified nursing assistants; and providing health advice and emotional support to patients and their families.

A licensed practical nurse (LPN) provides basic patient care and can perform all of the duties within the scope of a certified nursing assistant. However, an LPN also fills a number of more advanced healthcare roles. For example, LPNs often insert and remove catheters, dress wounds, insert feeding tubes, administer medicine, give injections, and start intravenous drips. The exact responsibilities of an LPN vary somewhat by state and training.


Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) attend to basic quality-of-life needs. A CNA’s primary function is helping patients perform daily living activities such as feeding, bathing, dressing, grooming, or moving. CNAs operate under the supervision of licensed practical nurses or registered nurses, providing a line of communication between these senior healthcare professionals and the patient.

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

The primary difference between private and public schools lies in their sources of funding. While public colleges or universities receive the bulk of their funding from the state government, private schools depend on tuition, endowment, and donations from family, friends, corporations, and other outside sources. Although this generally translates into higher tuition costs, private schools tend to be more generous with financial aid to help bridge the gap.

A public college or university is primarily funded by taxes and subsidies from the state government. There are many benefits to attending a public college or university. Perhaps the biggest draw is the considerably lower tuition costs for in-state residents compared to private schools, which depend mainly on tuition and private donors for funding. In addition, public colleges and universities tend to be less selective in admitting students than their private counterparts, making them more accessible.

Vocational, career, and community colleges are popular postsecondary education alternatives to four-year colleges and universities. A vocational or career school is specifically designed to prepare students to enter the workforce. Coursework is streamlined to teach the hands-on skills and practical knowledge required to perform a particular job. Many community colleges also have occupational programs and offer certifications in technical fields, although these programs are a bit broader in scope.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nursing (RN) jobs are projected to increase by 19% through 2022. South Carolina’s aspiring nurses must decide whether to enter the job market directly with an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) or to further their education with a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree. An ADN program requires a two-year commitment, while a BSN takes four years to complete and includes coursework in a wider variety of disciplines like nursing theory, research, and clinical field practice.