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Employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 7 percent over the next decade, faster than the overall job market. Many aspiring RNs choose to enroll in an associate’s degree in nursing program so that they can enter the workforce quickly. An ADN curriculum is less time-consuming than a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree, and it adequately prepares students for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) and subsequent employment.

For students who are new to the nursing sector, ADN programs require approximately two years of fulltime study. Some of North Carolina’s nursing schools offer an evening or weekend option, allowing students to balance education, work, and family responsibilities. Many colleges also offer a one-year LPN-to-ADN bridge program. This pathway enables a licensed practical nurse with an unencumbered license to become a registered nurse through an accelerated and streamlined course of study.

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North Carolina’s nurses can expect strong employment prospects. The state employs almost 100,000 RNs at an average annual salary of $66,440, according to recent data (May 2019) from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Major healthcare providers throughout the state have frequent job openings for registered nurses, including Atrium Health, WakeMed Health and Hospitals, and UNC Health.

To help aspiring nurses evaluate their options, the research team at Nursing Schools Almanac has compiled an extensive database of student performance on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam. We analyzed this data over a lengthy period of time, typically the past seven years, to calculate each program’s NCLEX pass rate among first-time test-takers. We then used this metric to rank North Carolina’s ADN programs, from the strongest NCLEX-RN performance (Cape Fear Community College) to the weakest (Region A Nursing Consortium). You can find the detailed results of our analysis below.


#1: Cape Fear Community College
411 North Front Street | Wilmington, NC 28401
https://www.cfcc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 98.8%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 60
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#2: Johnston Community College
245 College Road | Smithfield, NC 27577
https://www.johnstoncc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 97.9%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 34
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#3: College of The Albemarle
1208 North Road Street | Elizabeth City, NC 27906
https://www.albemarle.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 97.9%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 27
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#4: Mitchell Community College
500 West Broad Street | Statesville, NC 28677
https://www.mitchellcc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 97.2%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 31
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#5: Forsyth Technical Community College
2100 Silas Creek Parkway | Winston-Salem, NC 27103
https://www.forsythtech.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 96.1%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 111
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#6: Wake Technical Community College
9101 Fayetteville Road | Raleigh, NC 27603
https://www.waketech.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 96.1%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 129
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#7: Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute
2855 Hickory Boulevard | Hudson, NC 28638
https://www.cccti.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 95.7%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 33
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#8: Gaston College
201 US Highway 321 South | Dallas, NC 28034
https://www.gaston.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 95.3%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 67
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#9: Carolinas College of Health Sciences
2110 Water Ridge Parkway | Charlotte, NC 28217
https://www.atriumhealth.org/education/carolinas-college-of-health-sciences

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 95.0%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 112
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#10: Central Piedmont Community College
1201 Elizabeth Avenue | Charlotte, NC 28204
https://www.cpcc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 95.0%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 66
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#11: Brunswick Community College
50 College Road | Bolivia, NC 28422
https://www.brunswickcc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 94.3%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 20
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#12: Cabarrus College of Health Sciences
401 Medical Park Drive | Concord, NC 28025
https://www.atriumhealth.org/education/cabarrus-college-of-health-sciences

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 93.8%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 70
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#13: Stanly Community College
141 College Drive | Albemarle, NC 28001
https://www.stanly.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 93.8%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 34
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#14: Carteret Community College
3505 Arendell Street | Morehead City, NC 28557
https://www.carteret.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 93.4%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 17
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#15: Robeson Community College
5160 Fayetteville Road | Lumberton, NC 28360
https://www.robeson.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 93.4%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 19
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#16: Randolph Community College
629 Industrial Park Avenue | Asheboro, NC 27205
https://www.randolph.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 93.1%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 25
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#17: Sandhills Community College
3395 Airport Road | Pinehurst, NC 28374
https://www.sandhills.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 93.0%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 57
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#18: Surry Community College
630 South Main Street | Dobson, NC 27017
https://www.surry.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 92.7%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 41
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#19: Western Piedmont Community College
1001 Burkemont Avenue | Morganton, NC 28655
https://www.wpcc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 92.3%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 30
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#20: Wayne Community College
3000 Wayne Memorial Drive | Goldsboro, NC 27534
https://www.waynecc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 92.0%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 34
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#21: Sampson Community College
1801 Sunset Avenue | Clinton, NC 28329
https://www.sampsoncc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 91.4%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 33
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#22: Foothills Nursing Consortium
134 Maple Street | Rutherfordton, NC 28139
https://www.isothermal.edu/fnc

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 90.9%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 55
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#23: Lenoir Community College
231 Highway 58 South | Kinston, NC 28502
https://www.lenoircc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 90.7%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 25
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#24: ECPI University
4800 Airport Center Parkway | Charlotte, NC 28208
https://www.ecpi.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 90.1%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 34
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2014 through 2019


#25: Coastal Carolina Community College
444 Western Boulevard | Jacksonville, NC 28546
https://www.coastalcarolina.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 89.9%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 30
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#26: Pitt Community College
1986 Pitt Tech Road | Winterville, NC 28590
https://www.pittcc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 89.7%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 89
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#27: Gardner-Webb University
110 South Main Street | Boiling Springs, NC 28017
https://www.gardner-webb.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 89.6%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 38
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#28: Richmond Community College
1042 West Hamlet Avenue | Hamlet, NC 28345
https://www.richmondcc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 89.6%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 29
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#29: South Piedmont Community College
680 US Highway 74 West | Polkton, NC 28135
https://www.spcc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 88.8%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 27
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019; reflects the performance of students on the Monroe campus


#30: Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College
340 Victoria Road | Asheville, NC 28801
https://www.abtech.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 88.7%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 82
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#31: Rowan-Cabarrus Community College
399 Biotechnology Lane | Kannapolis, NC 28081
https://www.rccc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 88.1%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 46
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#32: Davidson-Davie Community College
297 DCC Road | Thomasville, NC 27360
https://www.davidsondavie.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 88.0%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 54
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#33: Wilkes Community College
1328 South Collegiate Drive | Wilkesboro, NC 28697
https://www.wilkescc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 87.9%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 25
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#34: Craven Community College
800 College Court | New Bern, NC 28562
https://www.cravencc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 87.9%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 48
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#35: Wilson Community College
902 Herring Avenue | Wilson, NC 27893
https://www.wilsoncc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 87.8%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 35
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#36: James Sprunt Community College
133 James Sprunt Drive | Kenansville, NC 28349
https://www.jamessprunt.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 87.7%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 15
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#37: Bladen Community College
7418 Highway 41 West | Dublin, NC 28332
https://www.bladencc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 87.2%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 21
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#38: Fayetteville Technical Community College
2201 Hull Road | Fayetteville, NC 28303
https://www.faytechcc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 87.0%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 54
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#39: Catawba Valley Community College
2550 US Highway 70 SE | Hickory, NC 28602
https://www.cvcc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 86.9%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 42
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#40: Blue Ridge Community College
805 Sixth Avenue West, Third Floor | Hendersonville, NC 28739
https://www.blueridge.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 86.6%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 33
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#41: Alamance Community College
1247 Jimmie Kerr Road | Graham, NC 27253
https://www.alamancecc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 86.6%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 35
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#42: Vance-Granville Community College
200 Community College Road | Henderson, NC 27536
https://www.vgcc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 86.5%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 42
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#43: Mayland Community College
200 Mayland Drive | Spruce Pine, NC 28777
https://www.mayland.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 86.5%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 24
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#44: Edgecombe Community College
225 Tarboro Street | Rocky Mount, NC 27801
https://www.edgecombe.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 85.4%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 33
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#45: Nash Community College
522 North Old Carriage Road | Rocky Mount, NC 27804
https://www.nashcc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 82.8%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 36
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#46: Beaufort County Community College
5337 US Highway 264 East | Washington, NC 27889
https://www.beaufortccc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 82.7%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 44
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#47: Rockingham Community College
215 Wrenn Memorial Road | Wentworth, NC 27375
https://www.rockinghamcc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 82.4%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 17
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#48: Guilford Technical Community College
601 High Point Road | Jamestown, NC 27282
https://www.gtcc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 81.4%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 91
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#49: Durham Technical Community College
1637 Lawson Street | Durham, NC 27703
https://www.durhamtech.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 81.0%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 60
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#50: Southeastern Community College
4564 Chadbourn Highway | Whiteville, NC 28472
https://www.sccnc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 80.9%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 37
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#51: Central Carolina Community College
1105 Kelly Drive | Sanford, NC 27330
https://www.cccc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 80.9%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 29
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#52: Southwestern Community College
447 College Drive | Sylva, NC 28779
https://www.southwesterncc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 80.2%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 27
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#53: Halifax Community College
100 College Drive | Weldon, NC 27890
http://www.halifaxcc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 80.0%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 15
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#54: Piedmont Community College
1715 College Drive | Roxboro, NC 27573
https://www.piedmontcc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 79.6%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 27
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#55: Roanoke-Chowan Community College
109 Community College Road | Ahoskie, NC 27910
https://www.roanokechowan.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 77.2%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 11
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#56: Region A Nursing Consortium
185 Freedlander Drive | Clyde, NC 28721
https://www.haywood.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 74.4%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 46
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019