South Carolina Nursing Schools with Degree Program Overviews

Jul 31, 2019

South Carolina has about thirty colleges and universities that offer nursing programs. Learn about the degree programs, tuition info and program options for the ten largest schools to make an informed education decision.

Essential Information

There is a wide range of nursing degree programs offered throughout South Carolina. Students may choose from certificate, diploma, associate's, bachelor's, master's, and even doctoral degree programs. There are different kinds of nurses and some require minimum education requirements. All nursing programs incorporate practicum and clinical experiences into the curriculum. Because of this, application requirements may include background checks and drug screenings prior to student interaction with patients.

Career Requirements

South Carolina requires all nurses to be licensed to practice within the state. All the colleges and programs below prepare students for the appropriate licensure exams. Practical nursing diploma programs prepare students to take the National Council Licensure Exam for practical nurses (NCLEX-PN), while associate's degree programs are available for students who plan to take the NCLEX-RN exam. At 4-year schools, students can prepare for licensure or enroll in graduate programs to prepare for certification as advanced practice nurses.

There are about 30 college and university options, the ten largest of which are outlined below.


Clemson University

Located in Clemson, South Carolina, Clemson University's School of Nursing offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees in nursing. These programs prepare students for careers in nursing leadership, research and practice. The bachelor's degree program in nursing allows students to earn a 4-year degree while preparing to take the NCLEX-RN exam. Students who already have an RN license can enroll in the RN-BS program. A master's program is available for students interested in advance practice nursing, or students can earn a doctoral degree. Both undergraduates and graduates regularly exceed normal pass rates on licensure and certification examinations.

Coastal Carolina University

Coastal Carolina University in Conway has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing completion program for applicants with a diploma or associate's degree in nursing. A nursing license in South Carolina, North Carolina or Georgia is required for admission. Students are required to complete 33 credits over three semesters. Students can complete up to three core or foundation courses at Coastal Carolina, but all other core and foundation courses should be completed before enrolling in the program. In addition, 30-35 credits of major courses must be completed before entering the completion program. Major classes include nursing leadership, community health nursing, transition to professional nursing and primary nursing across the life span.

Florence-Darlington Technical College

Located in Florence, Florence-Darlington Technical College is a 2-year school offering diplomas, certificates and associate's degrees. Aspiring nurses are required to have CPR certification and have specific immunizations prior to attending classes. They may choose between a diploma program in practical nursing and an Associate in Applied Science in Nursing. A Nursing Resource Center is available for all students to practice for NCLEX exams for RNs and practical nurses.

Greenville Technical College

In Greenville, South Carolina, Greenville Technical College has an associate's degree program for aspiring nurses. Students receive hands-on training in this program, and graduates regularly achieve pass rates for the NCLEX-RN exam at or above national and state percentages. General education courses and clinical work are required. The nursing department also offers a patient care technician certificate for students interested in supervised, unlicensed positions in hospitals and health care facilities.

Horry-Georgetown Technical College

This East Conway college offers a diploma and associate's degree option to aspiring nurses through its Health Science Technology Department. Both programs combine laboratory practice, clinical experience and classroom learning to prepare students for NCLEX-RN or NCLEX-PN examinations. An advanced placement program for Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) allows licensed nurses to bypass the foundational education requirements in the associate's degree program.

Midlands Technical College

Located in Columbia, Midlands Technical College offers diploma and associate's degree programs to prepare students to become practical or registered nurses. Students in the diploma program complete just three semesters of coursework and prepare for the NCLEX-PN, while students in the associate's degree program complete five semesters and prepare for the NCLEX-RN exam.

Piedmont Technical College

The School of Nursing at Piedmont Technical College in Greenwood offers a diploma program for aspiring practical nurses and an associate's degree program for prospective registered nurses. Students will receive both classroom learning and clinical experience. In the diploma program, students can learn about infant and child nursing, pharmacology and nursing of older adults. Clinical studies in the associate's program cover mental health nursing, childbearing family care and nursing fundamentals.

Tri-County Technical College

Located in Pendleton, this college offers two certificates, a practical nursing diploma and an associate's degree in nursing through the Health Education Division. Before enrolling in these programs, students must submit to a background check. Associate's degree students are also required to complete an NCLEX-RN review course prior to graduation to prepare for the exam.

Trident Technical College

Trident Technical College in North Charleston is a 2-year college offering diplomas and certificates in nursing-related disciplines, as well as an Associate in Applied Science in Nursing. As a result, there are many different entry and exit points for students to begin and complete their nursing studies. Students have the option to start with the certificate program and continue through the associate's degree program. Students who have earned Certified Nursing Assistant credentials can enroll in the CNA to practical nursing or CNA to associate's in nursing programs. All applicants must have CPR certification and complete a physical examination, including a drug screen. All programs prepare students for the appropriate certification and licensure exams. For example, the practical nursing certificate program trains students for the NCLEX-PN examination.

University of South Carolina - Columbia

One of eight, the Columbia campus of the University of South Carolina has many offerings for students who wish to study nursing. The College of Nursing is home to over 1,200 undergraduate and graduate students and has a 96%-100% pass rate on the NCLEX-RN and nurse practitioner certification exams. A simulation lab is available for students to experience real-life situations and patient interaction.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Nursing Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)*
Clemson University 4-year, public; distant town Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
Bachelor of Science for RNs,
Master of Science in Nursing,
PhD in Healthcare Genetics
$15,374 (in-state)
$37,128 (out-of-state)
Coastal Carolina University 4-year, public; small city Bachelor of Science in Nursing Completion Program $11,716 (in-state)
$26,828 (out-of-state)
Florence-Darlington Technical College 2-year, public; rural Diploma in Applied Science in Practical Nursing,
Associate in Applied Science in Nursing
$4,462 (in-district)
$4,726 (in-state)
$6,598 (out-of-state)
Greenville Technical College 2-year, public; small city Patient Care Technician Certificate in Applied Science,
Associate in Applied Science in Nursing
$4,566 (in-district)
$4,974 (in-state)
$9,078 (out-of-state)
Horry-Georgetown Technical College 2-year, public; small city Diploma in Practical Nursing,
Associate in Applied Science in Nursing,
LPN Advanced Placement
$4,252 (in-district)
$5,212 (in-state)
$8,380 (out-of-state)
Midlands Technical College 2-year, public; large suburb Diploma in Practical Nursing,
Associate in Health Science,
LPN Advanced Placement
$4,530 (in-district)
$5,610 (in-state)
$13,074 (out-of-state)
Piedmont Technical College 2-year, public; distant town Diploma in Practical Nursing
Associate Degree in Nursing
$4,421 (in-district)
$5,165 (in-state)
$6,413 (out-of-state)
Tri-County Technical College 2-year, public; rural Certificates in Health Sciences or Nursing Preparation,
Diploma in Practical Nursing,
Associate in Applied Science in Nursing
$4,326 (in-district)
$5,670 (in-state)
$9,750 (out-of-state)
Trident Technical College 2-year, public; small city Certificate in Nursing Assistant or Pre-Nursing,
Diploma in Practical Nursing,
Associate in Applied Science in Nursing
$4,551 (in-district)
$5,033 (in-state)
$8,484 (out-of-state)
University of South Carolina - Columbia 4-year, public; midsize city Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
Master of Science in Acute Care or Primary Care,
Doctor of Nursing Practice,
PhD in Nursing,
Post-master's certificates
$12,616 (in-district)
$12,618 (in-state)
$33,298 (out-of-state)

Source: *NCES College Navigator

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