Top Nursing Schools in South Carolina

Rank School Name Score Tuition Student/Teacher ratio Program count Graduation Rate
1 Aiken Technical College 97.25 $$$$$ 16:1 1 11%
2 Northeastern Technical College 97.25 $$$$$ 17:1 1 12%
3 Tri-County Technical College 96.25 $$$$$ 20:1 1 19%
4 Horry-Georgetown Technical College 94.50 $$$$$ 21:1 1 15%
5 Greenville Technical College 94.00 $$$$$ 16:1 1 10%
6 Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College 94.00 $$$$$ 16:1 9 11%
7 Central Carolina Technical College 93.50 $$$$$ 17:1 1 11%
8 Spartanburg Community College 93.25 $$$$$ 17:1 9 12%
9 Piedmont Technical College 93.00 $$$$$ 20:1 9 16%
10 University of South Carolina-Lancaster 92.75 $$$$$ 17:1 9 19%
11 Midlands Technical College 92.50 $$$$$ 20:1 1 8%
12 Technical College of the Lowcountry 91.50 $$$$$ 17:1 9 10%
13 York Technical College 91.00 $$$$$ 18:1 1 9%
14 Trident Technical College 89.50 $$$$$ 21:1 9 10%
15 Florence-Darlington Technical College 88.50 $$$$$ 26:1 9 8%
Rank School Name Score Tuition Student/Teacher ratio Program count Graduation Rate
1 Francis Marion University 97.00 $$$$$ 15:1 2 41%
2 Lander University 96.50 $$$$$ 15:1 3 45%
3 University of South Carolina-Aiken 95.50 $$$$$ 15:1 7 39%
4 Clemson University 95.00 $$$$$ 16:1 3 82%
5 South Carolina State University 94.75 $$$$$ 15:1 7 38%
6 University of South Carolina 94.50 $$$$$ 18:1 1 73%
7 Coastal Carolina University 94.25 $$$$$ 17:1 7 45%
8 Newberry College 94.00 $$$$$ 12:1 7 41%
9 Charleston Southern University 93.75 $$$$$ 15:1 3 34%
10 University of South Carolina-Upstate 93.50 $$$$$ 17:1 3 38%
11 University of South Carolina-Beaufort 93.25 $$$$$ 17:1 7 26%

Comparing Nursing Schools in South Carolina

With 30 state-approved undergraduate programs for individuals looking to become registered nurses, prospective students have no shortage of options available in South Carolina. Nurses who have been working in the field and are now considering an advanced role can also choose from several master’s and doctoral degree programs. Use the search tool below to locate an approved nursing school and program in South Carolina that’s matched to your specific needs.

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South Carolina Licensure: How to Apply

The South Carolina Board of Nursing is the state’s Department of Labor agency charged with overseeing the licensing of registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and advanced practice nurses. The board is also responsible for licensing renewals and overseeing the Nurse Licensure Compact agreement that allows nurses from other member states to transfer their licenses to South Carolina. Here you’ll find a list of requirements for those seeking a nursing license for the first time in South Carolina, as well as how to renew it when it is time.


  • Complete a state-approved nursing education program
  • Submit an application form along with the following items:
    • Recent 2” x 2” passport-type photo that is signed and dated
    • Copy of birth certificate or valid passport
    • Copy of social security card, permanent resident card, or resident alien identification card
    • Copy of documents for changes in name (if applicable)
    • Provide dates of completion for all coursework completed at a nursing school in South Carolina
  • Request official transcripts be sent directly from the awarding institution to the Board
  • Register to take the NCLEX exam via Pearson VUE and pay a fee of $200
  • Pay the $90 fee
  • Once an Authorization to Test has been received from Pearson VUE, applicants must sign up for a testing time
  • Submit to a criminal background check conducted by the State Law Enforcement Division and the FBI
  • Applicants hailing from a member-state of the National Licensure Compact (NLC) must apply for multistate licensure in their state. Those from a state that is not part of the NLC must apply for a single-state license.

Renewing A South Carolina License

South Carolina-based nurses are required to renew their license on every even-numbered year by midnight on April 30. Candidates for renewal must show they have completed 30 hours of approved continuing education credits during the previous two years. The fee to renew an RN license is $75.

If a nurse needs to reinstate or reactive his or her license, he or she must complete the appropriate application and pay $60 for reinstatement or $50 for reactivation. They will also need to complete a new criminal background check.

Advanced Practice Nurse Licenses in South Carolina

Many RNs in South Carolina choose to go back to school and earn additional certifications or licenses to work in a specialized area. These steps allow them to move into roles as nurse anesthetists, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, or certified nurse-midwives. In order to be licensed as an APRN, nurses must meet the following criteria:

  • Hold a current license in South Carolina
  • Have a master’s degree or higher from an accredited nursing program in the specialty for which they are applying
  • Hold national certification in the specialty

More information about earning and renewing an advanced practice nursing license is available at the South Carolina Board of Nursing.

South Carolina Salaries for RNs

According to the Office for Healthcare Workforce Analysis and Planning, the number of registered nurses in South Carolina has consistently grown since 1996, and this isn’t expected to change anytime soon. Nurses in the state are part of a flourishing industry, with attractive salaries and options for advancement. Review the following statistics to learn about the range of salaries and positions throughout the state.

Top-Paying Areas for RNs in South Carolina

Area Hourly Median Wage Annual Median Wage
Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville $30.86 $64,180
Florence $30.15 $62,710
Low Country South Carolina nonmetropolitan area $28.96 $60,240
Greenville-Mauldin-Easley $27.90 $58,020
Anderson $26.92 $56,000
Columbia $26.91 $55,970
Myrtle Beach-North Myrtle Beach-Conway $26.81 $55,760
Pee Dee South Carolina nonmetropolitan area $26.73 $55,590
Upper Savannah South Carolina nonmetropolitan area $26.59 $55,310
Sumter $26.23 $54,570

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014

South Carolina vs. National Numbers

  • South Carolina
  • National
  • Annual Salary (25th percentile)
  • Annual Salary (median)
  • Annual Salary (75th percentile)

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014

Total Employment (2014)
2022 occupational outlook
Avg. annual openings (2012 – 2022)

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014 and Projections Central

Resources in South Carolina

South Carolina Association of Nurse Anesthetists

Founded to promote continuing education among CRNAs in South Carolina, this organization also provides legal support and a voice in the legislature for nurses and their patients.

South Carolina Association of School Nurses

The South Carolina Association of School Nurses is a member organization for school nurses in South Carolina. Its mission is to promote and advance the quality of school health services and health education throughout the state.

South Carolina Nurses Association

The South Carolina Nurses Association is an affiliate of the American Nurses Association and is dedicated to furthering the careers of nurses in South Carolina and advocating for better health care policy.

South Carolina Organization of Nurse Leaders

SCONL is an affiliate of the South Carolina Hospital Association and is open to all registered nurses in the state. The organization aims to improve nursing practices and create networking opportunities for its members.

Student Nurses’ Association of South Carolina

This pre-professional organization for nursing and pre-nursing students provides leadership experience, educational opportunities, networking events, and information about careers in nursing.