Students in South Carolina have plenty of options for nursing degree programs. Undergraduate programs include diplomas in practical nursing as well as associate's and bachelor's degree programs in this field. These programs typically contain practical experience and prepare graduates for licensing exams. Some may require licensure or previous experience for admission.
There are also graduate degree programs available, although nurses typically only have to earn undergraduate degrees or diplomas to obtain state licensure as an RN. Some programs are designed specifically for already licensed nurses who want to further their education.
Below is a review of nursing programs that meet licensing criteria, and these programs are available at 10 of the largest schools in the state.
One of the largest nursing schools in the state is housed at this Clemson-based university. In the College of Health, Education and Human Development, the School of Nursing offers undergraduate and graduate programs, including two bachelor's degree options in nursing - one of which is for registered nurses - and a Master of Science in Nursing degree. Clemson University's undergraduate nursing program trains students for the NCLEX examination and boasts consistent pass rates.
Coastal Carolina University
Located in Conway, Coastal Carolina University offers a Bachelor of Science completion program in nursing. This program is meant for those students who already have a diploma or associate's degree in nursing and who are licensed as RNs, so the NCLEX is not a consideration. Instead, this 3-semester program prepares students for graduate school.
Florence-Darlington Technical College
Located in Florence, this technical college is a 2-year school with an Associate in Applied Science in Nursing degree. This 5-semester program prepares students for entry-level nursing careers. Coursework includes nursing across the lifespan, drug classification and clinical practice. Aspiring nurses are prepared for the NCLEX examination.
Greenville Technical College
Based in Greenville, this school offers an Associate Degree Nursing (ADN), which provides students with hands-on learning experiences. Graduates regularly pass the NCLEX-RN examination at or above national and state pass rates. Coursework includes anatomy and physiology, microbiology, pharmacology and risk reduction. This degree program also prepares students for transfer to a 4-year college to complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
Horry-Georgetown Technical College
This technical college is a 2-year school located in Georgetown. Students may pursue an Associate in Applied Science in Nursing, which prepares them for the NCLEX-RN examination. Students must complete courses in topics such as microbiology, fundamentals of nursing, chronic health problems and advanced nursing concepts.
Midlands Technical College
In Columbia, the 2-year Midlands Technical College offers diploma and degree programs for aspiring nurses. Individuals who wish to become practical nurses may complete a diploma program that prepares them for the NCLEX-PN examination. The Associate in Health Science, on the other hand, readies students for the NCLEX-RN examination. Additionally, there is an LPN (licensed practical nurse) to RN program for those nurses who wish to advance in their careers. Both PN and ADN students are required to take clinical coursework prior to graduation.
Piedmont Technical College
Greenwood-based Piedmont Technical College offers a Diploma in Practical Nursing and an Associate Degree Nursing. The ADN program prepares individuals for the NCLEX-RN examination and includes courses such as mental health nursing, nursing concepts, nursing care of children and nursing management. Practical nursing students are prepared for the NCLEX-PN. There is also an LPN to ADN program for those practical nurses who wish to work toward becoming registered nurses.
Tri-County Technical College
Tri-County Technical College in Pendleton offers an Associate in Applied Science in Nursing. This 2-year program prepares students to take the NCLEX-PN exams. It includes courses such as general psychology, clinical applications, health promotions for families and advanced nursing concepts. There is also an LPN to RN program available for standing nurses.
Trident Technical College
Located in North Charleston, Trident Technical College has a 2-year Associate in Applied Science in Nursing program. Graduates are prepared to sit for the NCLEX-RN examination. In addition to general education courses, students must complete nursing classes, including nursing care management, pharmacology for nurses, mental health promotion and health promotion for families.
University of South Carolina - Columbia
As South Carolina's flagship nursing college, the University of South Carolina's College of Nursing in Columbia offers both undergraduate and graduate programs. The University of South Carolina's nursing school is also home to the Center for Nursing Leadership, which provides students with opportunities for leadership development. Combining liberal arts coursework and professional nursing education courses, the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program prepares students for the NCLEX-RN. Master's students may choose to focus on acute care or primary care, while doctoral students may pursue a DNP or a PhD, depending on their intended career track.
To become a nurse in South Carolina, an individual must have first graduated from an approved nursing education program, and then he or she must pass the appropriate National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). This exam is available for both aspiring registered nurses (RNs) and practical nurses (PNs).
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Nursing Degree Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)|
|Clemson University||4-year, public; large suburb|| Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
RN to BSN,
Master of Science in Nursing
|Coastal Carolina University||4-year, public; small city||Bachelor of Science in Nursing completion program||$11,716 (in-state),
|Florence-Darlington Technical College||2-year, public; small suburb||Associate in Applied Science in Nursing||$4,462 (in-district),
|Greenville Technical College||2-year, public; small city||Associate Degree Nursing||$4,566 (in-district),
|Horry-Georgetown Technical College||2-year, public; small city||Associate in Applied Science in Nursing||$4,252 (in-district),
|Midlands Technical College||2-year, public; large suburb|| Diploma in Practical Nursing,
Associate in Health Science,
LPN to RN
|Piedmont Technical College||2-year, public; distant town|| Diploma in Practical Nursing,
Associate in Applied Science in Nursing,
LPN to ADN
|Tri-County Technical College||2-year, public; large suburb|| Associate in Applied Science in Nursing,
LPN to RN
|Trident Technical College||2-year, public; small city||Associate in Applied Science in Nursing||$4,551 (in-district),
|University of South Carolina - Columbia||4-year, public; midsize city|| Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
Master of Science in Nursing,
Doctor of Nursing Practice,
PhD in Nursing
Source: *NCES College Navigator.