Top 10 Nursing Schools in South Carolina

nursing schools in south carolina

South Carolina (SC) is one of the largest employers of healthcare workers in the United States. With the high competition among nurses to get into top healthcare facilities there, graduating from one of the top nursing schools in South Carolina will make you stand out. 

Are you a high school graduate looking to start your nursing career? Or are you a registered nurse looking to acquire a bachelor’s degree in nursing to take your career to the next level? Do you reside in SC or wish to pursue a nursing career in the beautiful coastal southeastern state of the United States?

If you answered “yes” to the questions above, then you’ve arrived at the right page. In this article, you’ll learn all you need to know about nursing schools in South Carolina and how you can position yourself to tap into the many opportunities available to healthcare workers in the state.

But, is South Carolina even a good place to pursue a nursing career? Let’s find out.

Why Should I Study Nursing in South Carolina?

According to a report by Becker’s Hospital Review, South Carolina is the 2nd state on the list of states that will need nurses the most by 2030. The report states there will be a 16.6% shortage of registered nurses in the state by 2030.

It’s important to know that South Carolina, with a population of over 5 million people, is the 24th most populous state in the United States, with about 1.1 million of those being senior citizens.  

That makes it one of the highest consumers of healthcare services in the nation. Studying nursing in the state of South Carolina makes it easier for you to secure one of these opportunities available to nurses in the state.

How Do I Become a Registered Nurse in South Carolina?

To become a registered nurse in South Carolina, you have to:

  • Graduate with a BSN or an ADN from an accredited nursing school in the state
  • Write and pass the NCLEX licensure examination for registered nurses and
  • Meet other state requirements for a nursing license in the state.

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Top 10 Nursing Schools in South Carolina

Here are the top nursing schools in South Carolina:

1. University of South Carolina, Columbia

LocationColumbia, South Carolina
Tuition$6144 (resident)/semester and $16,764 (non-resident)
NCLEX Pass Rate100%
AccreditationCCNE
ProgramsBSN, MEPN, RN-to-BSN, MSN, DNP, PhD, Post-Master’s Certificate

The University of South Carolina (UofSC) is the largest producer of BSN graduates in the state and is a great school to acquire your nursing degree.

As a result of its great contributions to clinical research, the University of South Carolina has received over $17 million in grant funding in the past five years. This affords the students the opportunity to participate and improve their clinical research skills.

Furthermore, in the past year, UofSC has sent 101 students and faculty to about 20 countries through its study abroad program.

This program affords students the opportunity to interact with clinical researchers to expand their nursing knowledge and make new discoveries.  

UofSC has an acceptance rate of 68%, which makes it fairly easy to get into.

Click here to visit the school website.

2. Anderson University

LocationBoulevard, Anderson, South Carolina
Tuition$5,520
NCLEX Pass Rate92%
AccreditationCCNE
ProgramsBSN, ABSN, RN-to-BSN, DNP, Post-Masters Certificate

For obvious reasons, Anderson University School of Nursing ranks among the top nursing schools in South Carolina.

Being the only school with a cadaver lab designed exclusively for nursing education in SC, Anderson University gives its students an important edge over others. Students learn through dissection how human anatomy functions.

That’s not all. As a student at Anderson University, you’ll get a deep knowledge of how technology is used in modern medicine. In fact, it is said that when colleges ask how they can integrate the iPad into nursing education, Apple sends them to Anderson University.

Furthermore, you’ll get first-hand clinical experience from one of its 13 clinical training sites. Anderson simply prepares you for nursing practice better than every other school.

Click here to visit the school website.

3. Clemson University

LocationClemson, South Carolina
Tuition$36,210
NCLEX Pass Rate96%
AccreditationCCNE
ProgramsBSN, ABSN, RN-to-BSN, MSN, DNP, PhD

Clemson University School of Nursing has national recognition for its awesome programs. The recognition as a center of excellence in nursing education by the National League of Nursing (NLN) makes it one of the best places to attain your nursing degree.

Clemson trains you in clinical research and practice in hospital-like research centers with high-tech equipment. You’ll acquire hands-on clinical skills by working on patient-like manikins in the simulation labs.

At a point in your nursing education, you’ll be assigned to hospitals and other medical centers to acquire real life clinical experience. Every detail about the Clemson School of Nursing is structured to make you a great asset to any organization you choose to work with after graduation.

Click here to visit the school website.

4. Medical University of South Carolina

LocationCharleston, South Carolina
Tuition$7,811/semester (in-state) and $14,902/semester (out-of-state)
NCLEX Pass Rate98%
AccreditationCCNE
ProgramsABSN, RN-to-BSN, DNP, PhD, Graduate Certificates

The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) is one of the best nursing schools in SC with awesome programs for students. It currently has an award as the 3rd best RN to BSN nursing program in the nation.

Its dedication to research has made it acquire over $4.9 million in research funding from the National Institute of Health (NIH). MUSC assigns students to world-class researchers who are willing and eager to introduce them to the world of clinical research.

MUSC has unique ways of preparing you for the evolving role of nurses in the modern age.

Click here to visit the website.

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5. Lander University

LocationGreenwood, South Carolina
Tuition$5,850 (in-state) and $10,650 (out-of-state) per semester
NCLEX Pass Rate95%
AccreditationCCNE
ProgramsBSN, RN-to-BSN, MSN

Using the Neuman Systems Model, Lander University’s William Preston Turner School of Nursing introduces its students to an innovative, holistic approach to health care.

Though it offers only three nursing programs, the school ranks as one of the best nursing schools in South Carolina. The Lander School of Nursing exposes you to both theoretical and clinical knowledge in a way that sets you apart from the crowd.

You’ll get hands-on experience in hospitals and community medical centers that have special affiliations with Lander.

The MSN program prepares students to be leaders in the healthcare system. To give working nurses the flexibility they need, the Lander School of Nursing offers this program online.

Click here to visit the school website.

6. University of South Carolina, Aiken

LocationAiken, South Carolina
Tuition$5199 (resident) and $10,428 (Non-resident) per semester
NCLEX Pass Rate93.7%
AccreditationCCNE
ProgramsBSN, RN-to-BSN

Though it is part of the University of South Carolina school system, the University of South Carolina, Aiken is an independent institution. It offers its programs independently of other campuses.

The University of South Carolina, Aiken offers two nursing programs – the traditional BSN and the RN-to-BSN Bridge. It structures these programs to give students the best learning experience.

Throughout the program, students go through four simulation lab sessions to develop top-notch clinical skills and experience. In the first semester, the school introduces you to the health assessment lab, where you learn how to assess patients with varying conditions.

In the second semester, students fulfill their clinical requirements by attending high-fidelity labs, where they learn more advanced nursing practices. This continues until their final semester when they get to learn more about life support clinical skills.

They also start to develop their teaching skills at this stage as they go to the assessment and high-fidelity labs to offer guidance to the junior students.

Aiken School of Nursing doesn’t just prepare you to be a qualified nurse, it also prepares you to be an educator in your field.

Click here to visit the school website.

7. Charleston Southern University, Charleston

LocationNorth Charleston, South Carolina
Tuition$14,745 per semester
NCLEX Pass Rate94%
AccreditationACEN
ProgramsBSN, ABSN, MSN

Charleston Southern University (CSU) offers two undergraduate nursing program options to its students. There is the traditional BSN program for students who have no previous college degree, while the accelerated program is for those who have acquired a bachelor’s degree in another field.

The master’s programs at CSU are structured to prepare registered nurses to become leaders and educators in their chosen nursing fields.

CSU ranks among the top nursing schools in South Carolina because of the quality of its programs and the consistently excellent performance of its graduates.

Click here to visit the school website.

8. Francis Marion University

LocationFlorence, South Carolina
Tuition$8,118 per semester
NCLEX Pass Rate90.57%
AccreditationCCNE
ProgramsBSN, RN-to-BSN, MSN, DNP

Francis Marion University (FMU) offers awesome nursing programs to prepare its students to function as caring, competent nurses in any healthcare setting.

FMU Nursing currently holds a designation from the National League of Nursing (NLN) as a center of excellence in nursing education. This is mainly because of how it has structured its programs to give you the best nursing education.

Through its international study program, the university partners with 13 other international universities to give their students learning experiences in other countries.

FMU has the right systems in place to offer you the best nursing education and prepare you for real-life nursing experience.

Click here to visit the school website.

9. Newberry College

LocationNewberry, South Carolina
Tuition$26,350 per year
NCLEX Pass Rate100%
AccreditationCCNE
ProgramsBSN, RN-to-BSN

The Newberry Department of Nursing offers two nursing programs to prepare you to meet the demands of the healthcare sector.

The traditional program is for students who have no nursing experience, while the RN-to-BSN track is for registered nurses who are looking to advance their careers.

The school has state-of-the-art facilities and a competent faculty that wants to see you reach great heights as a nurse. The faculty give their time and resources to make sure students receive the best education they need.

Newberry Nursing also partners with Lexington Medical Center and other world-class medical centers to give you the best clinical experience.

Click here to visit the school website.

10. Trident Technical College

LocationNorth Charleston, South Carolina
Tuition$5,112 (in-state) and $8,736 (out-of-state) per semester
NCLEX Pass Rate94%
AccreditationACEN
ProgramsADN, LPN

Trident Technical College ranks as one of the top nursing schools in South Carolina. It is also the largest producer of nurses in the Lowcountry.

With its state-of-the-art facilities, students participate in clinical activities to build competencies in various nursing practices. To further equip them for the real world, students are sent to local healthcare settings to acquire real-life experience.

Trident Technical College offers two nursing programs to prepare you to be either a practical or a registered nurse.

Click here to visit the school website.

What is the Cost of Studying Nursing in South Carolina?

The cost of studying nursing in South Carolina ranges from $5000 to $40,000. However, this depends majorly on the type of program you are offering and its duration.

As a resident of South Carolina, you have a chance of getting an almost free education in the state. This is because there are professional bodies that have offered to reduce the cost of nursing education for SC residents to almost zero.

What are the Highest Paying Cities for Nurses in South Carolina?

According to Indeed, these are the 5 highest paying cities for nurses in South Carolina, with their hourly rates:

  1. West Columbia – $86.68 per hour
  2. Greenville – $77.50 per hour
  3. Spartanburg – 72.01 per hour
  4. Florence – $63.00 per hour
  5. Myrtle Beach – $62.42

Which Schools Offer Online Nursing Programs in South Carolina?

Here are the top 12 schools that offer accredited online nursing programs in South Carolina:

  1. University of South Carolina, Columbia
  2. Anderson University
  3. Clemson University
  4. Charleston southern university
  5. Newberry College
  6. Lander University
  7. Medical University of South Carolina
  8. Francis Marion University
  9. University of South Carolina, Aiken
  10. University of South Carolina, Upstate
  11. University of Phoenix
  12. Claflin University  

Conclusion on Top Nursing Schools in South Carolina

South Carolina is one of the nation’s largest employers of nurses. However, securing a nursing job in the state requires you to be licensed by the state.

And one of the easiest ways to obtain this state license is by attending one of the top nursing schools in SC.

I hope this article has made it easier for you to choose the perfect nursing school that matches your preferences in SC.

And I hope you’ve learned other useful tips that will help you in studying and securing a nursing job in the beautiful coastal city.

You might also want to read about The 8 Best Nursing Schools in Dallas, Texas

Frequently Asked Questions about Nursing Schools in South Carolina

How Much Do Registered Nurses Earn in South Carolina?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean wage of registered nurses in South Carolina is $69,580.

What is the Best Nursing School in South Carolina?

The University of South Carolina, Columbia is ranked as the best nursing school in the state.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Nursing Degree in South Carolina?

An Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) takes two years to be completed in South Carolina.

What Does it Take to Get a Nursing License in South Carolina?

To get a nursing license in South Carolina, you need to hold a nursing degree or diploma from an accredited nursing school, write and pass your NCLEX licensure exam, and meet the state’s nursing license requirements.  

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