Charlotte Nursing Schools
Charlotte is home to several educational institutions offering undergraduate and graduate programs in nursing. This article highlights 3 of them, which are all within a 30-minute trip from downtown. Get information about each school's programs and requirements, and explore the table to find out about costs, enrollment figures, graduation rates and other characteristics. There are also two additional nursing schools mentioned at the end of the article.
- Nursing bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees, along with a post-master's certificate are available from the University of North Carolina - Charlotte, which is located about 9 miles from the city center.
- Central Piedmont Community College awards an associate's degree in the field. Its campus is located about a mile from central Charlotte.
- Situated around 25 miles from downtown Charlotte, Gaston College also offers an associate's degree in nursing.
Comparison of Schools
Tuition rates, financial aid and campus setting are just some of the potential deciding factors when it comes to selecting a college. The following table gives info on these and other attributes for the profiled institutions.
|University of North Carolina - Charlotte||Central Piedmont Community College||Gaston College|
|School Type||4-year, Public||2-year, Public||2-year, Public|
|Total Enrollment (2017)||29,317*||19,100*||5,172*|
|Campus Setting||Large city||Large city||Midsize suburb|
|Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2017-2018)|| $6,832 in-state;
| $2,792 in-state;
| $2,704 in-state;
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017)||76%*||60%*||67%*|
|Undergraduate Acceptance Rate (2017)||66%*||Open admissions*||Open admissions*|
|Retention Rate of First-Time Students (2017)||83% full-time*||55% full-time*||69% full-time*|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate||54%* (for students who began in 2011)||17%* (for students who began in 2014)||30%* (for students who began in 2014)|
Source: *NCES College Navigator
University of North Carolina - Charlotte
UNCC's School of Nursing offers undergraduate and graduate degrees. Students can benefit from the school's academic partnerships with local healthcare agencies. UNCC also partners with 3 regional schools in the Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses (RIBN) program, which provides an affordable pathway to a BSN degree through dual enrollment at UNCC and a 2-year college.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Students in the BSN program gain a general nursing education rather than focusing on a concentration area. The program's curriculum includes core nursing studies of anatomy, physiology, bacteriology, nursing practices across the life span, and mental health nursing. Clinical practice and labs are required. Graduates are equipped to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).
Bachelor of Science in Nursing - RN to BSN Completion
This program was created for students who have a nursing associate's degree or diploma and want to earn a BSN. Requirements for admission include current RN licensure and completion of nursing course prerequisites. Students learn about health assessment, nursing research, aging and health, leadership, and community health nursing. The program can be completed in 1 year.
Master of Science in Nursing
Master's students can choose from various major areas of study. Nurse anesthesia is an accredited, collaborative program between UNCC and Carolinas Medical Center; graduates are eligible for the national certifying exam. Courses include pharmacology, pathophysiology, and diagnostics, all as they pertain to anesthesiology. A clinical residency is required.
Another concentration option is advanced clinical nursing, which trains students to work as family nurse practitioners or adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioners. Students may also select the nursing systems/population concentration, which has tracks in nurse educator, nurse administrator, and community and public health nursing. All classes in the nursing systems/population concentration are available through distance learning.
Master of Science in Nursing - RN-to-MSN Early Entry
The RN-to-MSN early entry pathway is designed for registered nurses who hold an associate's degree or diploma. Applicants submit an application to the RN-BSN program and another application to the MSN program. The school recommends at least 1 year of nursing practice for all program applicants. Specialties available include community public health nurse, nurse educator, and nurse administrator. The latter 3 programs are offered online.
Post-Master's Certificates in Nursing
Post-master's certificate programs are available in advanced clinical nursing and nurse anesthesia. Advanced clinical nursing certificates include family nurse practitioner and adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner. Both of these options require about 20 credit hours. Graduates are prepared for both the American Nurses Credentialing Center and the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses Certification Corporation examinations.
The nurse anesthesia certificate program requires 52 credit hours, with specialty courses on the principles, physics, chemistry, and pathophysiology of nurse anesthesia. Required clinical experiences are offered at Carolinas Medical Center. Graduates are eligible for the national nurse anesthetist certification exam.
Doctor of Nursing Practice
The DNP is a clinical degree meant for students who already have a master's degree. The 5-semester program is offered jointly through UNCC and Western Carolina University. Theoretical courses explore policy, ethics, economics, justice, and technology as they relate to healthcare. Applied courses include biostatistics, epidemiology, and evidence-based practice; a clinical residency and project are also required. Program graduates are prepared for the highest level of nursing leadership, with the skills to analyze nursing care systems and improve the quality and safety of patient care.
Central Piedmont Community College
Central Piedmont Community College is a public institution that's home to almost 20,000 students. The school offers nursing degree programs in Charlotte through its Division of Health and Human Services. It is also a participant in the RIBN program with UNCC.
Associate of Applied Science in Nursing
The curriculum for this program includes nursing classes like anatomy, physiology, microbiology, and healthcare concepts. In addition to textbooks, students must also purchase equipment such as uniforms, lab coats, and stethoscopes. Graduates of the program are prepared to take the NCLEX-RN exam.
The Division of Health and Human Services at Gaston College offers a diverse selection of nursing and allied health programs that include a nursing aide certificate program and a licensed practical nurse (LPN) diploma program offered at the school's Lincolnton campus. Those seeking an RN degree, whether new to the field or already a practicing nurse, will find options as well. In addition, Gaston is part of the RIBN agreement with UNCC.
Associate of Applied Science in Nursing
The 5-semester, 2-year associate's program is for students who intend to take the NCLEX-RN examination upon completion. Applicants to the nursing program must have completed and passed a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) or NC Health Occupations class. The curriculum includes anatomy, physiology, family and holistic health, and nursing research. Clinical experience is also required. Those students who are already LPNs may work towards the degree and RN licensure by attending classes in the evening or on weekends. Online classes are also available.
Nursing degree programs are also offered at Carolinas College of Health Sciences located about 2 miles from downtown Charlotte, and at Queens University of Charlotte, situated about 3 miles away.