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The first step towards a career as a licensed practical nurse is enrolling in an LPN diploma program at one of North Carolina’s community colleges or vocational schools. These programs are fairly brief, typically requiring twelve months of fulltime study. The North Carolina Board of Nursing has approved nearly forty LPN diploma programs across the state, providing students a broad menu of options from which to choose.

Indeed, aspiring LPNs can find approved programs in all of the state’s major metropolitan areas. For example, Charlotte residents have three local options, while the Piedmont Triad boasts five schools with an LPN diploma. All approved programs prepare students for the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN), a prerequisite for licensure in the state of North Carolina.

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After passing the NCLEX-PN exam, LPNs are ready to begin employment. They will measure and record vital signs, dress wounds, prepare and give injections, monitor catheters and medical equipment, and collect samples for testing. They must also possess good communication skills, since they will tend to the needs of patients and report to more senior nursing staff. Nearly 17,000 practical nurses are employed across North Carolina at an average annual salary of $45,880, according to recent data (May 2019) from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Local healthcare providers like Cone Health and Duke LifePoint are frequently hiring newly minted LPNs onto their teams.

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-PN 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 LPN programs, from the strongest NCLEX-PN performance (six schools with a perfect pass rate!) to the weakest (Nash Community College). Among the top six schools, we used program size as a final ranking tiebreaker. 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-PN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 100.0%
Average number of LPN students graduating annually: 23
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


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

NCLEX-PN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 100.0%
Average number of LPN students graduating annually: 16
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


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

NCLEX-PN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 100.0%
Average number of LPN students graduating annually: 15
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


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

NCLEX-PN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 100.0%
Average number of LPN students graduating annually: 11
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


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

NCLEX-PN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 100.0%
Average number of LPN students graduating annually: 11
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


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

NCLEX-PN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 100.0%
Average number of LPN students graduating annually: 9
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


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

NCLEX-PN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 99.2%
Average number of LPN students graduating annually: 51
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019; reflects the performance of students on the Lincolnton campus


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

NCLEX-PN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 98.3%
Average number of LPN students graduating annually: 17
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


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

NCLEX-PN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 98.3%
Average number of LPN students graduating annually: 8
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


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

NCLEX-PN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 98.0%
Average number of LPN students graduating annually: 14
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


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

NCLEX-PN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 97.8%
Average number of LPN students graduating annually: 13
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


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

NCLEX-PN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 97.7%
Average number of LPN students graduating annually: 25
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


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

NCLEX-PN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 97.7%
Average number of LPN students graduating annually: 18
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


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

NCLEX-PN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 97.5%
Average number of LPN students graduating annually: 6
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


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

NCLEX-PN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 97.3%
Average number of LPN students graduating annually: 16
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#16: Cleveland Community College
137 South Post Road | Shelby, NC 28152
https://www.clevelandcc.edu

NCLEX-PN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 96.6%
Average number of LPN students graduating annually: 13
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#17: McDowell Technical Community College
54 College Drive | Marion, NC 28752
https://www.mcdowelltech.edu

NCLEX-PN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 96.3%
Average number of LPN students graduating annually: 31
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


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

NCLEX-PN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 95.5%
Average number of LPN students graduating annually: 22
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


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

NCLEX-PN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 95.1%
Average number of LPN students graduating annually: 12
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


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

NCLEX-PN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 95.0%
Average number of LPN students graduating annually: 17
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019; reflects the performance of students on the Mocksville campus


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

NCLEX-PN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 94.3%
Average number of LPN students graduating annually: 60
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


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

NCLEX-PN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 94.2%
Average number of LPN students graduating annually: 22
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


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

NCLEX-PN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 94.1%
Average number of LPN students graduating annually: 12
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


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

NCLEX-PN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 93.7%
Average number of LPN students graduating annually: 18
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


#25: Montgomery Community College
1011 Page Street | Troy, NC 27371
https://www.montgomery.edu

NCLEX-PN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 92.8%
Average number of LPN students graduating annually: 30
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


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

NCLEX-PN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 90.5%
Average number of LPN students graduating annually: 18
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


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

NCLEX-PN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 89.6%
Average number of LPN students graduating annually: 18
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


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

NCLEX-PN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 88.9%
Average number of LPN students graduating annually: 13
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019; reflects the performance of students on the Laurinburg campus


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

NCLEX-PN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 88.6%
Average number of LPN students graduating annually: 38
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


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

NCLEX-PN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 88.3%
Average number of LPN students graduating annually: 48
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


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

NCLEX-PN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 87.9%
Average number of LPN students graduating annually: 17
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


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

NCLEX-PN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 86.9%
Average number of LPN students graduating annually: 188
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019; includes the Charlotte, Greensboro, and Raleigh campuses


#33: Isothermal Community College
286 ICC Loop Road | Spindale, NC 28160
https://www.isothermal.edu

NCLEX-PN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 86.3%
Average number of LPN students graduating annually: 26
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


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

NCLEX-PN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 85.5%
Average number of LPN students graduating annually: 18
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


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

NCLEX-PN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 83.3%
Average number of LPN students graduating annually: 9
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019


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

NCLEX-PN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 79.8%
Average number of LPN students graduating annually: 13
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2019