Education
Nursing Programs
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The North Carolina Board of Nursing establishes the standards for nursing education programs preparing for nursing licensure. These standards are designed to ensure that graduates have the necessary education to safely and competently practice nursing.

Registered Nurse Programs-(independent practice)

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN): A nursing program leading to a bachelor degree is generally 4 years in length and is offered by a college or university that awards baccalaureate degrees. Typically the first two years of the program are spent fulfilling general education requirements, while the last two years are spent on nursing courses. The nursing curriculum includes classroom and clinical experiences for patients across the lifespan in hospital and community/public health settings. There is also a special focus on community health, research and leadership skills. The program prepares a competent, independent nurse for these settings. Graduates of approved BSN programs earn a college degree and are eligible to apply to take NCLEX-RN. A Registered Nurse license is awarded upon successful "Pass" on NCLEX-RN and satisfaction of other licensure requirements.

Associate Degree (AD): A nursing program leading to an associate degree is generally 2 years in length and is offered by a college that awards associate or applied science degrees. The nursing curriculum includes classroom and clinical experiences for patients across the lifespan in hospital and community settings. The program prepares a competent, independent nurse for these settings. Graduates of approved associate or applied science programs earn a college degree and are eligible to apply to take NCLEX-RN. A Registered Nurse license is awarded upon successful "Pass" on NCLEX-RN and satisfaction of other licensure requirements.

Practical Nurse Programs-(dependent practice)

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN): A nursing program leading to a diploma is generally 1 year in length. The nursing curriculum includes classroom and clinical experiences for patients across the lifespan. Clinical practice settings are primarily long-term care or outpatient clinics upon graduation. The program prepares a competent, dependent nurse who functions under the supervision of a registered nurse or other qualified health care provider for these settings. Graduates of approved diploma programs earn a diploma and are eligible to apply to take NCLEX-PN. A Practical Nurse license is awarded upon successful “Pass” on NCLEX-PN and satisfaction of other licensure requirements.

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Last Changed 2-Aug-2022

North Carolina Board of Nursing

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