Nursing Schools in South Carolina – SC | Colleges | Degree | Education

Nursing Schools in South Carolina – SC

Nursing schools in South Carolina are helping to meet the ongoing need for more nurses in the state. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, South Carolina is expected to need 62,500 nurses by 2030 — a huge increase over the 46,860 registered nurses reported to be working in 2019 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

While early career entry typically begins with an associate degree in nursing, over 50 percent of the current nurses in South Carolina hold at least a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). The Institute of Medicine, however, encourages all states to increase that number to 80 percent. Or course, nurses can also pursue higher academic credentials levels in the field either at the master's level or to earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) or the Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (Ph.D.). Nurses may choose to specialize in particular fields through certifications.

Read on to learn more about nursing education options in South Carolina as well as the career outlook and nursing salaries in South Carolina. For more on what to look for in a nursing school, visit Nursing Education, Schools and Career Overview.

What nursing schools are there in South Carolina?

Those interested in nursing have a wide choice of nursing degree programs in South Carolina, as more than 30 South Carolina nursing schools offering nursing degree programs.

Here are a few schools that can demonstrate to prospective nursing students the kind of variety they may find in nursing degree programs in South Carolina.

  • College of Nursing University of South Carolina offers a BSN that allows students to begin hands-on patient care through their stimulation lab with clinical experience ranging from study abroad options to honing leadership skills in student organizations on campus. The college has an online RN-BSN program as well as a master's program for non-nurse baccalaureates — the Master's Entry to Practice Nursing (MEPN). Traditional MSN tracks include Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Nursing Administration, and Nursing Informatics. For those who want a terminal degree, the Doctor of Nurse Practice (DNP) is offered in a flexible weekend-format.
  • Lander University has built its curriculum on a strong liberal arts foundation. Junior year students of the BSN program may gain clinical experience in a variety of settings such as maternal-child, surgical, and mental health. Registered nurses (RNs) may complete their BSN through an online RN-BSN. Their MSN in Clinical Nurse Leader can equip nurse generalists to be leaders who can advocate for nurses, patients, and their profession.
  • Newberry University has a partnership with Lexington Medical Hospital where students can gain clinical experiences. It offers a 100 percent online RN-BSN program. The four-year pre-licensure BSN track offers a number of majors, minors, and concentrations such as emergency department nurse, ambulatory care nurse, home health nurse, and occupational health nurse.
  • Piedmont Technical College offers the Associate of Applied Science in Nursing (AAS), which can prepare students to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Those who wish to pursue a BSN may transfer to Lander University, University of South Carolina at Aiken, University of South Carolina Upstate's Mary Black School of Nursing and Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). The college also offers an LPN-Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) — a transition program for active LPNs who desire to earn a degree.

What financial aid can I get for nursing programs in South Carolina?

Students may apply for nursing scholarships in South Carolina to help cover some of the cost of their nursing education. Financial aid may be available in other forms as well such as federal grants, like the Pell Grant. Students are encouraged to explore state, institutional and private financial aid options. Here are a few examples of scholarships you may be able to apply for:

  • Mary Ellen Hatfield School Nursing Scholarship may be awarded to two students annually — one to a LPN and the other to an RN.
  • The Ruth A. Nicholson Research Grant can be awarded to a nurse researcher within the state and the Evelyn Johnson Entrekin Scholarship to those who are pursuing a BSN. Both of these scholarships are managed by the South Carolina Nurses Foundation.

What do I need to know about South Carolina nursing certifications?

The state of South Carolina recognized the following categories of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs):

  • Nurse practitioner
  • Certified nurse-midwife
  • Clinical nurse specialist
  • Certified registered nurse anesthetist

According to the South Carolina Nursing Board, APRNs must hold a minimum of a master's degree that includes advanced education made up of didactic and supervised clinical practice in a specialty area. Nursing certification in South Carolina must be obtained through a national Board-approved third-party certifying agency. Depending on the specialty of your choice, certifying bodies may include the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) for certification in Adult, Family, Gerontological, Acute Care, Pediatric Primary Care, or the National Board of Certification & Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA) for nurse anesthetists.

Do I need a nursing license in South Carolina? How do I apply for it?

Nurses in South Carolina need to have a current or temporary license to practice nursing. After successfully completing an accredited nursing program, applicants can apply for licensure by registering with the NCLEX. This can be done online at the PearsonVue website. Applications may need to be accompanied by a passport-size photograph, birth certificate/valid passport, the completion date of nursing coursework, among other items.

South Carolina is a member of the Nurses License Compact (NLC) which means nurses from other NLC states may practice in the state without having to obtain a separate license.

Renewal and continuing education (CE) requirements

South Carolina nursing licenses need to be renewed by April 30, every even year. Renewal of licenses requires demonstration of competency which may require nurses to undergo 30 contact hours of continuing education from an education provider recognized by the South Carolina Nursing Board, maintenance of national certification, or verification by an employer.

What can I do with a degree in nursing in South Carolina?

Aspiring nurses: Take a look at the tables below with facts and data that may help you as you charter a nursing path to meet your career goals. Nursing careers in South Carolina are versatile, with opportunities typically found in a number of different healthcare settings such as hospitals, nursing facilities, and clinics.

CareerTotal Employment
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses9,930
Nurse Anesthetists1,020
Nurse Midwives30
Nurse Practitioners2,450
Nursing Assistants19,380
Registered Nurses46,860
2019 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2018-28 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics,

CareerAnnual Mean WageBottom 10% Annual WageTop 10% Annual Wage
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses$42,190$29,950$55,270
Nurse Anesthetists$165,940$59,520>$208,000
Nurse Midwives$99,590$73,940$130,880
Nurse Practitioners$100,680$80,820$127,530
Nursing Assistants$26,560$19,970$33,350
Registered Nurses$64,840$46,830$82,310
2019 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2018-28 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics,


  • May 2019 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, South Carolina, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,
  • Code of Laws, Title 40 Professions and Occupations, South Carolina Legislative Services Agency,, accessed March 2020
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  • College of Nursing, University of South Carolina,, accessed March 2020
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  • Degree Programs, Lander University,, accessed March 2020
  • Entry to Practice Nursing, Master's Programs, Doctor of Nurse Practice, College of Nursing University of South Carolina,, accessed March 2020
  • Nursing, Newberry College,, accessed March 2020
  • Nursing, Piedmont Technical College,, accessed March 2020
  • School Nursing Awards, Scholarships South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control,, accessed March 2020
  • South Carolina Board of Nursing Approved Advanced Practice Certification Organizations (CNP, CRNA, CNM, CNS),, accessed March 2020
  • South Carolina Labor, Licensing, and Regulation,, accessed March 2020
  • South Carolina Nurses Foundation, — scholarships.html, accessed March 2020
  • USC College of Nursing Leads the Way to Meet Demand for South Carolina Nurses, November 2018, University of South Carolina,
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