Becoming an LPN in South Carolina

South Carolina strives to offer the highest quality healthcare while focusing on educational development and continued personal growth of healthcare staff.  With practical nursing programs available in the state, students can be on their way to a nursing career in as little as one year. Licensed practical nurse (LPN) jobs are on the rise and slated to increase by 12% by 2026, per the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

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2018 Best LPN Programs in South Carolina

Are you looking to become a licensed practical nurse in South Carolina? The school you choose is important when it comes to getting your license. Approved programs in South Carolina are offered at community colleges, technical centers, and private career schools - we list 16 schools across the state. After careful review of NCLEX-PN exam first-time pass rates over the past several years, we have ranked the top 5 programs. For more information on our LPN program rankings, see our Methodology page.

To see all the top ranked LPN programs in South Carolina click here.

Details on South Carolina LPN Schools & Classes

With around 15 schools in the state offering practical nursing programs, prospective students in South Carolina have plenty of educational options. The community colleges and trade schools that offer practical nursing programs typically design them to be completed in around one year of full-time study. Those who choose to attend part-time will take longer to finish the program. In some cases, students may be able to choose whether they attend daytime or evening courses.

Throughout the course of the program, students will take a mix of basic nursing courses, labs, and even participate in hands-on clinical experiences. Common course titles include:

  • Fundamentals of Nursing
  • Pharmacology
  • Medical-Surgical Nursing
  • Medical Calculations
  • Maternal, Infant, and Child Nursing
  • Anatomy & Physiology

Accreditation

Students are strongly advised to choose practical nursing programs that are accredited by national organizations such as the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Accredited programs are held to high academic standards, and are continually re-evaluated to ensure that they are up to par. It’s also of great importance to make sure that any potential program is approved by the South Carolina Board of Nursing.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements will vary from school to school, but most consist of some version the following:

  • High school graduate or possess a GED
  • Cumulative GPA of 2.5
  • SAT/ACT scores
  • Official transcripts from all high schools/colleges attended
  • Completion of prerequisite courses
  • Satisfactory score on TEAS exam

Tuition and Costs

Costs and expenses are some of the most important considerations of deciding whether to attend a practical nursing program. While expenses will vary depending on location, type of school, and many other factors, students can expect to pay for tuition, fees, and supplies. For those worried about being able to afford these costs, most schools offer financial aid options, and scholarship opportunities exist as well.

As an example on costs, the LPN program at Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College costs approximately $5,742 in its entirety. This includes tuition and all additional fees.

South Carolina LPN Licensing Requirements

South Carolina requires the intensive study via state-approve nursing course and examination. The applicant must pass the NCLEX-PN to be considered for licensure.

To apply for licensure, the applicant must submit an application, criminal background check, and fingerprinting card to the board, as well as the following:

  • Recent headshot (passport-style) photo that is signed and dated.
  • Copy of birth certificate of valid passport.
  • Copy of social security card (or equivalent).
  • Official transcript with completion date of all coursework.

South Carolina LPN licenses expire April 30th every even year and require 30+ contact hours of continued education.

NCLEX Exam Information

Students are required to pass the NCLEX-PN examination once they have completed their practical nursing educational program. This exam tests many aspects of the LPN curriculum, and is needed in order to gain licensure. Our comprehensive guide on the examination can be found here. Additionally, this NCLEX-PN practice test can be utilized in order to study for this important examination.

LPN Reciprocity and eNLC

As one of the states included in the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC), South Carolina allows LPNs from other eNLC states to work in its hospitals, clinics, etc., without additional licensing. For nurses outside of the eNLC area to work within its borders, they must apply for South Carolina licensing by endorsement and provide the following:

  • Proof of current license and official transcripts from their state-approved nursing program.
  • Submitting a passport-style photo.
  • Submit copies of birth certificate and social security card.
  • Proof of residence.
  • Evidence of continued competence.
  • Criminal background check.

South Carolina will issue licenses to foreign educated and licensed individuals as long as he or she submits approval from the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) after they have evaluated the official transcripts and completed a full course-by-course review. They must also prove their English proficiency by taking the Test for English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam. If the applicant has yet to take the NCLEX-PN exam, it will need to be taken once the application for licensure is submitted.

LPN Salary in South Carolina By Area

The table below lists career information organized by the BLS for licensed practical nurses in South Carolina. The table is sorted by total employment, with the largest metropolitan areas listed first.

AreaTotal EmploymentAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Columbia2,060$19.49$40,530
Greenville, Anderson, Mauldin1,390$17.86$37,150
Charleston, North Charleston1,250$19.97$41,540
Florence670$18.73$38,960
Spartanburg590$19.38$40,300
Myrtle Beach, Conway, North Myrtle Beach540$18.61$38,700
Hilton Head Island, Bluffton, Beaufort340$18.74$38,970
Sumter170$19.37$40,280

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

Top Ranked South Carolina LPN Programs

1

York Technical College

452 S Anderson Rd, Rock Hill, SC 29730 - (803) 327-8000 - Visit Homepage

York Technical College (YTC) is a public, two-year institution located in Rock Hill, South Carolina, with additional locations in Chester and Kershaw. YTC offers associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates, as well as non-credit programs that lead to personal and professional advancement and workforce development.

Overall Score: 99.42 - Request Info on York Technical College
2

Trident Technical College

7000 Rivers Ave, North Charleston, SC 29406 - (843) 574-6111 - Visit Homepage

Trident Technical College (TTC), located in North Charleston, South Carolina, serves as a catalyst for development by empowering students through education and training. TTC is a public two-year community college, providing quality education that promotes economic development in the area.

Overall Score: 99.17
3

Williamsburg Technical College

601 Martin Luther King Jr Ave, Kingstree, SC 29556 - (843) 355-4165 - Visit Homepage

Williamsburg Technical College, located in Kingstree, offers an in-demand practical nursing program that combines 48 credit hours of nursing and general ed courses. The curriculum weaves classroom and clinical experiences in areas such as medical/surgical, obstetrics, pediatrics, geriatrics, and more.

Overall Score: 98.37 - Request Info on Williamsburg Technical College
4

Aiken Technical College

2276 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Graniteville, SC 29829 - (803) 593-9231 - Visit Homepage

The practical nursing program at Graniteville’s Aiken Technical College trains students to provide safe and efficient healthcare to patients in an array of settings. Both theory presentation and supervised clinical practice at off-site locations are provided through the curriculum so that students are given a full and robust educational experience.

Overall Score: 97.65 - Request Info on Aiken Technical College
5

Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College

3250 St Matthews Rd, Orangeburg, SC 29118 - (803) 536-0311 - Visit Homepage

Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College’s practical nursing program trains tomorrow’s LPNs to become leaders in nursing care. This ACEN-accredited program consists of in-person courses and a variety of clinical experiences that span over 3 semesters. They also offer a PN Flex program for those who have experience as a CNA or other healthcare provider.

Overall Score: 96.11 - Request Info on Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College

Continued List of All Programs in South Carolina

RankedProgramScoreDetails
#6 Academy for Careers and Technology
2697 East Highway 76, Marion, SC 29571
(843) 423-1941 Visit Homepage
95.43Request Information
#7 Midlands Technical College
316 S Beltline Blvd, Columbia, SC 29205
(803) 738-8324 Visit Homepage
95.04Request Information
#8 Piedmont Technical College
620 Emerald Road North, Greenwood, SC 29648
(800) 868-5528 Visit Homepage
94.28Request Information
#9 ECPI University - Charleston
7410 Northside Dr, Charleston, SC 29420
(866) 708-6166 Visit Homepage
92.95Request Information
#10 Horry Georgetown Technical College
2050 U.S. 501, Conway, SC 29526
(843) 347-3186 Visit Homepage
92.42Request Information
#11 Tri-County Technical College
7900 Highway 76, Pendleton, SC 29670
(864) 646-1500 Visit Homepage
91.96Request Information
#12 ECPI University - Greenville
1001 Keys Drive #100, Greenville, SC 29615
(864) 288-2828 Visit Homepage
90.73Request Information
#13 Technical College of the Lowcountry
921 Ribaut Rd., Beaufort, SC 29902
(843) 525-8211 Visit Homepage
84.50Request Information
#14 Denmark Technical College
1126 Soloman Blatt Blvd, Denmark, SC 29042
(803) 793-5176 Visit Homepage
82.83Request Information
#15 Northeastern Technical College
1201 Chesterfield Hwy, Cheraw, SC 29520
(843) 921-6900 Visit Homepage
78.25Request Information

Programs Not Included In Rankings

ProgramDetails
ECPI University - Columbia
250 Berryhill Rd. #300, Columbia, SC 29210
(803) 610-4111 Visit Homepage
Request Information

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