Becoming an LPN in North Carolina

North Carolina takes great pride in staying on top of cutting-edge nursing policy, education, and practice. To meet a growing demand for nurses, individuals can apply for a licensed practical nurse (LPN) license in the state by completing coursework and taking an exam or by endorsement. North Carolina is also part of the Nurse Licensure Compact which allows nurses from other NLC states to practice nursing in the state without additional licensure. By 2024, The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that LPN jobs will increase by 18% per year in North Carolina.

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    2017 Best LPN Programs in North Carolina

    Are you interested in becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse in the state of North Carolina? If so, you should put some thought into deciding which approved nursing school you're going to attend. The state of North Caroling offers almost 35 LPN programs from private nursing schools, community colleges, and vocational learning centers. We've done some digging and reviewed several years of pass-results from the NCLEX-PN first time test takers and put together a list of North Carolina of the top 10 offerings.

    For more information on school rankings, see our Methodology Page (


    Cape Fear Community College

    4500 Blue Clay Road, Castle Hayne, NC 28429 - (888) 720-0575 - Visit Homepage

    Cape Fear Community College (CFCC) is an open-door, comprehensive community college located in Castle Hayne, North Carolina, with additional campuses located in Wilmington and Burgaw. CFCC focuses on vocational, technical, associate degrees, and continuing education programs, as well as workforce development.

    Overall Score: 100.00

    Brunswick Community College

    50 College Road, Bolivia, NC 28422 - (910) 755-7300 - Visit Homepage

    Brunswick Community College is located in Bolivia, North Carolina, with additional locations in Leland and Carolina Shores. Brunswick Community College provides opportunities for success through accessible, quality programs and services, preparing students for professional technical careers or transfer programs, utilizing traditional and distance learning, as well as providing quality programs for workplace advancement.

    Overall Score: 100.00 - Request Info on Brunswick Community College

    Wilson Community College

    902 Herring Avenue, Wilson, NC 27893 - (252) 291-1195 - Visit Homepage

    The Practical Nursing curriculum at Wilson Community College prepares individuals with the knowledge and skills to provide nursing care to children and adults. Students will participate in assessment, planning, implementing, and evaluating nursing care. Graduates are eligible to apply to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) which is required for practice as a Licensed Practical Nurse.

    Overall Score: 100.00 - Request Info on Wilson Community College

    College of The Albemarle

    1208 N. Road St, Elizabeth City, NC 27909 - (252) 335-0821 - Visit Homepage

    At College of The Albemarle, practical nursing students are provided with the knowledge and skills to integrate safety and quality into nursing care to meet the needs of the holistic individual which impact health, quality of life, and achievement potential.

    Overall Score: 100.00 - Request Info on College of The Albemarle

    Surry Community College

    630 South Main St, Dobson, NC 27017 - (336) 386-8121 - Visit Homepage

    The Practical Nursing program at Surry Community College prepares nursing students to enter the field with the knowledge and skills needed to provide nursing care to children and adults. Upon completion, students are prepared to sit for the NCLEX-PN. Once licensure is obtained, graduates can find employment in hospitals, rehabilitation/long term care/home health facilities, clinics, and physicians’ offices.

    Overall Score: 100.00 - Request Info on Surry Community College

    Cleveland Community College

    137 South Post Rd, Shelby, NC 28152 - (704) 669-6000 - Visit Homepage

    Cleveland Community College (CCC) is a comprehensive, community college located in Shelby, North Carolina, providing diverse and accessible learning opportunities to meet the community's educational and training needs. CCC provides a variety of career certifications, associate degrees, transfer education programs, and workforce development, ensuring student success in the workplace.

    Overall Score: 100.00 - Request Info on Cleveland Community College

    Sampson Community College

    1801 Sunset Ave, Clinton, NC 28329 - (910) 592-8081 - Visit Homepage

    Sampson Community College is located in Clinton, North Carolina. Their top-notch practical nursing program prepares students to care for children and adults. Students are instilled with the knowledge and skills necessary to assess, plan, implement, and evaluate nursing care. Upon completion of the program, students are ready to take the NCLEX-PN.

    Overall Score: 100.00 - Request Info on Sampson Community College

    Wayne Community College

    3000 Wayne Memorial Drive, Goldsboro, NC 27534 - (919) 735-5151 - Visit Homepage

    At Wayne Community College, graduates of the practical nursing program are prepared to find employment in hospitals, rehabilitation and long-term care, home health facilities, clinics, and physicians’ offices. Preparation includes classroom, laboratory, and clinical practice. Once students complete the program, they are prepared to sit for the NCLEX-PN.

    Overall Score: 100.00 - Request Info on Wayne Community College

    South Piedmont Community College

    3509 Old Charlotte Highway, Monroe, NC 28110 - (704) 290-5100 - Visit Homepage

    The highly revered Practical Nursing Diploma curriculum at South Piedmont Community College prepares nursing students with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide exceptional and ethical nursing care to children and adults. Graduates are eligible and prepared to apply to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN), which is required for practice as a licensed practical nurse.

    Overall Score: 100.00

    Lenoir Community College

    231 Hwy 58 South, Kinston, NC 28502 - (252) 527-6223 - Visit Homepage

    Lenoir Community College is a comprehensive, two-year institution located in Kinston, North Carolina, with additional locations in Snow Hill, Trenton, and LaGrange. Lenoir offers associate degrees, diplomas, certifications, transfer programs, continuing education, and workforce development programs accessible through traditional coursework as well as distance learning options.

    Overall Score: 100.00 - Request Info on Lenoir Community College

    Continued List of All Programs in North Carolina

    #11 Edgecombe Community College
    225 Tarboro St., Rocky Mount, NC 27801
    (252) 823-5166 Visit Homepage
    100.00Request Information
    #12 Rowan-Cabarrus Community College
    1333 Jake Alexander Blvd. South, Salisbury, NC 28146
    (704) 216-7222 Visit Homepage
    100.00Request Information
    #13 Gaston College
    201 Highway 321 South, Dallas, NC 28034
    (704) 922-6200 Visit Homepage
    98.60Request Information
    #14 Forsyth Technical Community College
    2100 Silas Creek Parkway, Winston-Salem, NC 27103
    (336) 723-0371 Visit Homepage
    97.95Request Information
    #15 Coastal Carolina Community College
    444 Western Boulevard, Jacksonville, NC 28546
    (910) 455-1221 Visit Homepage
    97.30Request Information
    #16 James Sprunt Community College
    133 James Sprunt Drive, Kenansville, NC 28349
    (910) 296-1429 Visit Homepage
    96.15Request Information
    #17 Durham Technical Community College
    1637 Lawson Street, Durham, NC 27703
    (919) 536-7200 Visit Homepage
    95.90Request Information
    #18 ECPI University - Charlotte
    4800 Airport Center Parkway, Charlotte, NC 28208
    (704) 399-1010 Visit Homepage
    95.65Request Information
    #19 McDowell Technical Community College
    54 College Dr., Marion, NC 28752
    (828) 652-6021 Visit Homepage
    95.60Request Information
    #20 Montgomery Community College
    1011 Page Street, Troy, NC 27371
    (910) 576-6222 Visit Homepage
    95.50Request Information
    #21 Carteret Community College
    3505 Arendell Street, Morehead City, NC 28557
    (252) 222-6000 Visit Homepage
    95.00Request Information
    #22 Vance-Granville Community College
    200 Community College Road, Henderson, NC 27536
    (252) 492-2061 Visit Homepage
    94.90Request Information
    #23 Halifax Community College
    200 College Drive, Weldon, NC 27890
    (252) 536-2551 Visit Homepage
    94.80Request Information
    #24 Bladen Community College
    7418 NC Hwy 41W, Dublin, NC 28332
    (910) 879-5500 Visit Homepage
    94.25Request Information
    #25 Craven Community College
    305 Cunningham Blvd, Havelock, NC 28532
    (252) 444-6005 Visit Homepage
    93.30Request Information
    #26 Southeastern Community College
    4564 Chadbourn Highway, Whiteville, NC 28472
    (910) 642-7141 Visit Homepage
    93.20Request Information
    #27 The College of Davidson and Davie Counties
    297 DCCC Road, Thomasville, NC 27360
    (336) 249-8186 Visit Homepage
    92.45Request Information
    #28 Robeson Community College
    5160 Fayetteville Rd, Lumberton, NC 28360
    (910) 272-3700 Visit Homepage
    92.20Request Information
    #29 Fayetteville Technical Community College
    2201 Hull Rd., Fayetteville, NC 28303
    (910) 678-8400 Visit Homepage
    89.95Request Information
    #30 Beaufort County Community College
    5337 HWY 264 East, Washington, NC 27889
    (252) 946-6194 Visit Homepage
    89.10Request Information
    #31 Isothermal Community College
    134 Maple Street, Rutherfordton, NC 28139
    (828) 286-2218 Visit Homepage
    87.85Request Information
    #32 Central Carolina Community College
    1105 Kelly Dr, Sanford, NC 27330
    (919) 775-5401 Visit Homepage
    87.60Request Information
    #33 Guilford Technical Community College
    601 High Point Road, Jamestown, NC 27282
    (336) 334-4822 Visit Homepage
    86.45Request Information
    #34 Nash Community College
    522 N. Old Carriage Road, Rocky Mount, NC 27804
    (252) 443-4011 Visit Homepage
    85.25Request Information
    #35 ECPI University - Greensboro
    7802 Airport Center Drive, Greensboro, NC 27409
    (336) 665-1400 Visit Homepage
    82.45Request Information
    #36 Rockingham Community College
    215 Wrenn Memorial Road, Wentworth, NC 27375
    (336) 342-4261 Visit Homepage
    81.85Request Information
    #37 ECPI University - Raleigh
    4101 Doie Cope Road, Raleigh, NC 27613
    (919) 571-0057 Visit Homepage
    76.90Request Information
    #38 Richmond Community College
    1042 West Hamlet Avenue, Hamlet, NC 28345
    (910) 410-1700 Visit Homepage
    74.05Request Information

    Recent Articles

  • North Carolina LPN Licensing Requirements

    North Carolina, the applicant wishing to become an LPN must attend a board-approved nursing education program. After graduation, a copy of the official transcript needs to be sent directly to the North Carolina Board of Nursing and the graduate must register to take the NCLEX-PN. A criminal background check is also required.

    Other requirements to become an LPN may include physical strength requirements, including the ability to lift patients, pulling and pushing machinery, and extended periods of standing, squatting, walking, and running.

    North Carolina is one of 24 states that make up the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC - that allows nurses living in those states to practice in other NLC states without additional licensure.

    LPN's licensed outside of compact area states can apply for a North Carolina license by endorsement, but can obtain a temporary license to cover them for 6 months while seeking state licensure. In order to receive a license via endorsement the applicant must submit proof of the following:

    • Completion of a state-approved education program comparable to North Carolina’s.
    • Passing the NCLEX or SBTPE.
    • Mentally and physically healthy and able to perform LPN tasks.
    • Previous State Licensure.
    • Criminal background check.

    For those educated outside of the US, applicants can qualify to take the NCLEX by submitting educational documents and passing an English proficiency exam. They must also obtain a valid social security card and submit to a criminal background check.

    LPN licenses are only valid for 2 years and expire the last day of the individual’s birth-month. To renew the North Carolina LPN license the applicant must fulfill one of the following requirements within the 2 years prior to expiration:

    • 640 LPN hours plus 15 hours continued education
    • 30 hours continued education
    • National certification or recertification
    • Board-approved refresher course
    • 2+ semester hours of post-licensure nursing academics
    • 15 hours continued education AND completion of a nursing project as the principal or co-investigator
    • 15 hours continued education AND co-authoring a nursing-related published paper
    • 15 hours continued education AND 5 hours developing or teaching a nursing presentation.

    Learn more about North Carolina LPN Jobs, Salary, and Employment Outlook.

    Additional NC Nursing Resources

    North Carolina Board of Nursing

    3724 National Drive, Suite 201
    Raleigh, NC 27602
    Phone: (919) 782-3211
    Fax: (919) 781-9461

    1. North Carolina Nurses Association (

    For those interested in advancing their nursing career, see our North Carolina LPN to RN programs page.