BSN to MSN Programs in North Carolina

Having a bachelor’s degree in nursing certainly opens many doors for employment. You can be a Registered Nurse, a researcher, or a health coach, to name a few options. However, you can open even more doors for future employment with a master’s degree in nursing.

North Carolina is a great location to pursue a graduate degree in nursing. Not only does North Carolina have some of the most prestigious universities in the nation, but it has some of the most beautiful landscapes, too. You can study for your degree during the week and head out to mountains, beaches, and locations in between during the weekend.

Additionally, North Carolina offers many employment opportunities. We’ll explore job opportunities and a few of the top BSN to MSN programs in the guide below.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Programs

The University of North Carolina

School Information

The University of North Carolina is one of the oldest universities in the United States. In fact, it was the first (and only) university to grant degrees to students in the U.S. in the Eighteenth Century.

Today, UNC is a sought-after school for students at all levels. The University offers nearly 100 bachelor’s degree programs, just over 100 master’s degree programs, and 65 doctoral degree programs. With nearly 20,000 undergraduate students, 12,000 graduate students, and more than 13,000 faculty and staff, UNC is a very large school.

However, as a student at UNC, you’ll get the individualized attention you need to develop the knowledge and skills to be an effective nurse. This is true regardless of your background or educational needs – UNC is a diverse campus that celebrates each student’s experience.

Program Information

The University of North Carolina offers various nurse practitioner options in its BSN to MSN program, allowing you to customize your education to your specific interests.

For example, you can specialize in Adult-Gerontology, Family Nurse Practitioner, or Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. There’s also a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner pathway if you want to work exclusively with patients with mental health needs.

Whatever path you choose, you’ll gain the necessary knowledge and skills in a hybrid-format program – approximately half of the degree requirements are done remotely, while the other half require your attendance on campus.

The program includes several groups of courses that you complete over four semesters of study, including:

  • Clinical Core
  • Research Core
  • Professional Core
  • Specialty Core

If you’re a full-time, in-state student, tuition and fees come to $9,667 per semester. Full-time out-of-state students pay $18,530 per semester.

Duke University

School Information

Duke University is quite young compared to other schools in North Carolina. It began in 1924 when James Buchanan Duke established it to honor his late father, Washington. However, what became Duke University got its start as Trinity College in 1838. With the financial support of the Duke family, the college expanded in the 1920s.

Today, Duke is one of the most prestigious universities in the United States. US News and World Report ranks Duke 10th among national universities and 13th among innovative schools. Many of its individual programs rank in the top ten in the nation, including its nursing program, which ranks third.

Duke’s nursing program was established in the School of Nursing in 1931. The nursing school is just one of ten academic colleges at Duke. Others include the School of Medicine, the Pratt School of Engineering, and the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences.

Program Information

With eight advanced practice majors and three non-clinical majors, the Master of Science in nursing program at Duke University gives you many choices for specialization. This includes:

  • Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (Acute Care or Primary Care)
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (Acute Care or Primary Care)
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Nursing and Healthcare Leadership
  • Nursing Education
  • Health Informatics

Each of the programs listed above is part of Duke’s online learning program. However, while your coursework is done online, on-campus intensive weekends are required at least once per semester.

In addition to traditional coursework and face-to-face instruction, Duke’s program requires that you complete 11 credits of clinical core courses. This includes a clinical residency in which you work with a mentor in a setting related to your area of specialization.

The number of required credits to graduate depends on the specialization you choose. In most cases, 42 to 49 credits are needed to graduate, which might take around two years to complete.

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte

School Information

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte began as a regional evening school in the state’s capital. It got its start to help educate throngs of students who sought training after the conclusion of World War II.

Over the years, UNC Charlotte has grown into a full-fledged university with more than 30,000 students. Today, it’s the third-largest school in the University of North Carolina system (which has 17 total schools) and is the largest university in the Charlotte region.

UNC Charlotte offers an average class size of 35 students and a student-to-faculty ratio of 19:1. With students from nearly all 50 states and more than 100 countries, UNC Charlotte has a diverse campus where you can learn with (and from) people from all corners of the globe.

Program Information

The 38-hour Master of Nursing program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte focuses on community health and public nursing. This online program is specifically designed for working nurses who need a flexible school schedule due to the demands of working in this field.

As part of your studies, you’ll explore topics like:

  • Health Promotion, Nutrition, and Wellness for Older Adults
  • Health Disparities and Nursing
  • Community/Public Health Nursing Theory and Practice
  • Theoretical Basis for Nursing Practice
  • Community Epidemiology

In addition to these and other courses, you’ll complete an internship in community health and public nursing. This fieldwork experience must include at least 360 clinical hours to graduate from the program.

North Carolina residents pay $280.34 per credit, while non-resident students pay $521.29 per credit.

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

School Information

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro is in one of the most beautiful parts of the state. Its location in the middle of the state also makes it easy to access the aforementioned recreational opportunities the Tar Heel State has to offer. Drive a couple of hours west to hike in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Drive a few hours east to swim in the Atlantic Ocean. Many other recreational activities are available closer to campus, too.

UNC Greensboro is a doctoral-granting institution, though most of its students are undergraduates. There is a healthy number of graduate students, too, with around 4,000 of the school’s 18,000 students enrolled in a graduate program.

The school’s programs are research-based and learner centered, and are arranged in eight colleges and schools, including education, business, and nursing, to name a few.

Program Information

If you want to expand your nursing knowledge while also learning healthcare management skills, the combined MSN/MBA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro might be the ideal fit for you.

Since it’s a dual-degree program, it’s longer than other MSN degrees. You need to complete 62 credits to graduate, which will likely take three years to complete. To apply, you need a bachelor’s degree. One year of full-time experience as a registered nurse is preferred, though not required.

This is a 100 percent online program. While there is a required clinical practicum component, UNC Greensboro works with you to find appropriate placements in or near your hometown.

Upon graduation, you’ll have the knowledge and skills for many different positions, from working as a clinical nurse to working in healthcare management. This program is also excellent preparation for continuing your education in a doctoral program.

Work Opportunities in North Carolina

Nursing is one occupational area that’s always in demand. Whether the economy is going gangbusters or it’s in the midst of a recession, the healthcare needs of the community never stop. That means that work opportunities for nurses in North Carolina abound today, and will be in abundance in the future, too.

With a master’s degree in nursing, you have more employment options than you do with just a bachelor’s degree. You can continue working as a registered nurse if you like, or you can specialize in any number of areas, including pediatrics, gerontology, and psychiatric health.

Some regions of North Carolina are among the best in the nation in terms of the number of nursing jobs, too. For example, the Piedmont region around Greensboro is third in the nation for nursing employment among non-metropolitan areas. The Southeast Coastal region of the state isn’t far behind at fifth in the nation.

So, whether you envision working in a big city, a small town, in the mountains, or near the coast, North Carolina offers many different nursing jobs for master’s-level workers.

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