North Carolina RN to BSN Programs

Before getting into the meat of this article, it is important that the difference in a BSN and a RN certification is clear. Earning a BSN does not let you skip past the certification exams to become an RN, and you can become an RN without holding a BSN. The question, then, is what is the point of earning a BSN if you are already working as a RN, or could be with an associate’s degree? The short answer is your likelihood of earning more income and holding higher level positions once you earn your BSN. While the BSN will take you longer to earn, the payoff is probably going to be worth it. You are more likely to enter supervisory nursing roles with a BSN and you are likely going to command a higher income because of your additional education. You will also see that by earning a BSN, you put yourself on the fast track to continuing your education to a point that you can earn a master’s or doctorate with just a few more years in school. Of course, the BSN is a great place to settle, and many students are happy working through to retirement with the designation as a RN with a BSN, so don’t worry too much about where you could go in the future, and just focus on earning a BSN to start.

North Carolina is in need of more nurses every day. This is partly due to the growth of our population, but even more impacted by the aging baby boomers that need more medical care now than ever before. Aging leads to a variety of reasons to visit a doctor and as a RN, you will often be able to help with some of the issues that arise, or at least expedite your patients care so that a doctor can assist them even quicker. With only 443 medical school graduates last year, the percentage of those that were nursing students is not near enough to cover the growth in the state. There are currently 91,000 RNs working in North Carolina, but that number is still short of what is needed by a large margin.

Employment and Income

North Carolina registered nurses can expect to see an average income of almost $60,000 a year. That average does not take education level and time in a position into account, it is a generalized number, and so with experience and a BSN, you should move to the higher end of the average income. You will find that Durham, Greenville and Goldsboro have the highest percentage of RNs relative to the local population while Raleigh, Greensboro and Charlotte are on the opposite end of that scale. You will also want to explore employers in Raleigh, Jacksonville and Durham as they offer the highest average salaries in the state.

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston Salem, Moses H Cone Memorial Hospital in Greensboro, Mission Hospitals in Asheville, Behavioral Health Services in Winston Salem and Vidant Medical Center in Greenville rank amongst the top 10 employers in the state regardless of industry. Explore these employers for your best chance to get started early on in your education. In addition, they may help offset some of the costs of your education with tuition assistance.

Financials

You will find that there are two great resources for assistance in figuring out how to offset the investment of your education as you explore the two following sites. The HRSA (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration) offers a wide range of scholarships and loan repayment programs that will go a long way in offsetting, or paying for, your educational costs. As medical care is becoming more important and more needed, they have an interest in ensuring that students interested in the field of nursing have the resources they need to succeed.

The North Carolina Nurses Association will also have a wide range of resources that you can take advantage of as you start to make your way into this career. In addition to helping you find ways to pay for your education, you will find practice exams, continuing education, political action meetings, employment assistance and a wide array of additional resources that will let you make the most of your education and career.

Colleges

University of North Carolina Wilmington

The School of Nursing at UNCW is focused on educating students to become empathetic leaders in nursing by putting an emphasis on scholarship, service and community engagement. The goal is to educate individuals to improve the health outcomes and quality of life in a diverse population. Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, you can rest easy knowing that your education will hold up to scrutiny of all levels and you will be able to practice where and when you want.

UNC Charlotte School of Nursing College of Health and Human Services

The School of Nursing aims to prepare a diverse and highly competent group of nursing professionals to serve as leaders in the nursing field. This is accomplished by focusing on excellence through a commitment to community partnerships, service, educational advances and knowledge generation with a translation into nursing practice. Also accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, you know that your education will take you where you want to go as soon as you graduate.