10 Best South Carolina Nursing Schools

10 Best South Carolina Nursing Schools

The best South Carolina nursing schools offer a variety of programs for new nurses and working nurses interested in career advancement. There are several solid choices in deciding which of the best nursing programs in South Carolina is right for you. A lot will depend on the level of degree you want, and the job you want to become qualified for. Most educational experts also agree accrediting nursing schools in South Carolina are preferable to those that are not accredited. Some employers weigh accreditation heavily.

South Carolina nursing jobs are plentiful, and it is expected to stay that way for the foreseeable future.  In a list of the top 10 growing jobs in South Carolina, five were in the medical field. Home health aid was No. 1 and nurse practitioner was No. 2. Nurse jobs in South Carolina are readily available and are expected to only increase. As the medical profession changes, and the population changes, the job outlook shifts. That shift is especially bright for nurse practitioner jobs in South Carolina.

How We Ranked the Best Nursing Schools in South Carolina 

Featured Programs

Nursing School Hub is designed to give nurses and nursing students the most helpful information about degree programs. That’s why we feature only reputable, accredited colleges. Programs are ranked by their cost, student satisfaction, and breadth of offerings. 

1. Lander University

Students looking for the best nursing schools in South Carolina often choose Lander University. The school’s curriculum it includes a strong liberal arts base combined with the scientific knowledge needed to succeed in nursing. Students get hands-on practice with the latest technology used in medicine and emerge ready to handle patients or pursue a higher degree. Besides nursing, general education courses include biology, chemistry, mathematics, and electives.

Lander University is a small public institution with 2,800 undergraduates. Located in Greenwood, SC, the school has a highly competitive admissions process with just 43% of students being accepted. Popular majors for those lucky enough to get in include nursing, kinesiology, and business.

Highlight: 100% of students who attend Landers receive some form of financial aid.

Visit the school

2. University of South Carolina

Another one of the best nursing schools in South Carolina, the nursing program at the University of South Carolina features skilled educators, researchers, and clinicians eager to pass on their skills to the next generation of patient advocates. By choosing South Carolina, students join a team of devoted professionals and focus on developing leadership skills along with the fundamentals of nursing.

South Carolina is a large public school with 26,000 undergraduate students. The school only accepts 63% of those who apply, so students should take great care in filling out their applications. Popular majors include business, finance, and marketing. The school graduates 77% of students, comparing well with similarly sized schools.

Highlight: South Carolina is ranked #2 among the state’s top public universities.

Visit the school

3. University of South Carolina Aiken

The University of South Carolina Aiken has one of the best nursing schools in South Carolina. The School of Nursing has dedicated faculty members who work with students to ensure they understand the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the rapidly changing field. Staff members work to ensure online and offline students can enjoy a caring learning environment that includes actual practice at health care facilities via clinical hours.

Excellent teaching staff, uncommon scholarship, and student goodwill make this a thriving environment for students of all ages. The University of South Carolina understands that you trust your future to our care. Our faculty members work hard to make sure that you’re ready for the challenges that follow graduation.

Highlight: The University of South Carolina Aiken is ranked #2 among the state’s top public universities.

Visit the school

4. Clemson University

Clemson University has one of the best nursing schools in South Carolina. Hosted by the Center for Research on Health Disparities, the university’s nursing program advocates for the dissemination and advancement of research and health disparities among underserved populations. Students who graduate from the program become transformational leaders and health care advocates committed to advancing patients quality of life.

Clemson is a large institution of 19,000 undergraduate students. This public rated college has an acceptance rate of 47%, meaning that students who apply put forth their best effort to ensure their place on campus. Students choose majors such as business, industrial engineering and marketing. The school graduates an impressive 84% of students.

Highlight: Clemson University is rated #1 among the Best Colleges in South Carolina

Visit the school

5. Medical University of South Carolina

One of the best nursing schools in South Carolina is the Medical University of South Carolina. MUSC has helped nurses prepare for their careers for 136 years. Graduates of this program care and cure their patients thanks to the knowledge received from our experienced faculty and staff members. This broad program covers the care of individuals, communities and families. Nearly 600 nurses earn their BS, MSN and nursing doctoral degrees at this institution. Students who graduate from the program go on to make a difference in their patients’ lives and the entire health care profession.

Medical South Carolina has more than 300 undergraduate students and is located in Charleston. other popular majors include health services and cardiovascular technician.

Highlight: Of students surveyed, 88% say professors put a lot of time and care into their courses.

Visit the school

6. Newberry College

Newberry College is one of the best nursing schools in South Carolina because it offers a collaborative environment for students and professional faculty members. Nurses are part of the largest group of professionals in the world. Therefore, it’s important that students choose a quality baccalaureate program when studying for their profession. Newberry college prepares students to provide care in hospitals, clinics, communities, homes, and jails. Students emerge understanding that their care can make the difference in the lives of a diverse patient population. Many graduates go on to work in the Carolinas, Florida and Georgia. Others go on to become nurse practitioners and other specialists.

This private, Christian college has 1,200 undergraduate students. About two-thirds of those who apply make the cut and become students at Newberry. Popular majors include sport and fitness management and business.

Highlight: About 99% of students receive financial aid at Newberry.

Visit the school

7. Francis Marion University

Francis Marion University is among the best nursing schools in South Carolina. FMU believes in a holistic education that produces competent, caring nursing professionals. This program focuses on the value of learning for a lifetime. Nurses continually have to update their skillset and be open to learning new information that can help them serve their clients better.

This large public university has nearly 3,000 undergraduate students. It’s a relatively small institution with a very competitive acceptance rate. Just 64% of those who apply go on to study at Francis Marion University in majors such as biology, nursing and psychology. Compared to a national average of 83%, 93% students at Francis Marion find employment in their field within two years of graduation. Meanwhile, 88% of surveyed students felt confident in their education and look forward to getting a job in their field quickly after graduation.

Highlights: All students who attend Francis Marion University receive financial aid. Additionally, 76% of students believe that professors give their all to their students. Graduate emerge confident in their coursework and prepared for state exams and graduate school.

Visit the school

8. University of South Carolina Beaufort

The University of South Carolina Beaufort has another one of the best nursing schools in South Carolina. the program aligns to the six goals of the AACN. Core values of the school include The University of South Carolina Beauford has one of the best nursing schools in South Carolina. Students learn to exercise sound clinical judgment in treating patients and advocate for patient rights. Graduates emerge ready to sit for their state exams or go on to achieve higher levels of education. Information technology has become increasingly important to the science of nursing. It plays a big role in the program’s coursework.

USC Beaufort has 1,800 students. This public university accepts 63% of students who apply. Other popular majors include hospitality, social Sciences and business.

Highlight: 93% of students attending USC Beafort receive student aid.

Visit the school

9. University of South Carolina Upstate

At the University of South Carolina Upstate, students can find one of the best nursing schools in South Carolina. The Mary Black School of Nursing features coursework accredited by the CCNE. this is one of the highest regarded programs in the southeast. This four year program has a rich legacy of excellence. Founded in 1969, it continues to add educational opportunities for nurses and perspective nurses.

The University of South Carolina Upstate enjoys top ranking among the country’s public universities. While it started as a way to address nursing shortages, the school has expanded to include many other majors. Located in Spartanburg County, the school is close to job opportunities in Charlotte and Atlanta.

Highlight: With its long history of nursing education, the school offers 6,000 students, including 1,300 freshmen, a high-quality education. South Carolina Upstate is a solid school and a great place to begin your nursing career.

Visit the school

10. Anderson University

Anderson University South Carolina has one of the best nursing schools in South Carolina. nursing can be incredibly rewarding as a career and it all starts with the highest quality education you can get. Nurses meet people’s needs by managing care and advocating for their patients’ well-being. They continue to be in high demand as the country’s population ages. Nurses can continue their education to obtain certifications and licenses that enrich their practice and their paycheck.

Anderson’s nursing professors join a Christ-centered community where spiritual students enjoy communing with like-minded faculty members and peers. State of the art facilities, caring professors and a beautiful campus make Anderson University is a great place to become a nurse. Anderson encourages students to follow their faith and follow their heart throughout college and beyond. The college becomes a part of students’ spiritual journeys through encouraging great academics, great purpose, great hospitality and great faith.

Highlight: Students who wish to express their faith openly and attend courses anchored in traditional Christian values may find Anderson University to be a great fit. The University also offers rigorous academic coursework that prepares students for entry-level nursing positions or graduate work.

Visit the school

How Do I Choose a Nursing School in South Carolina?

How the program will fit into your life is also a great thing to consider. There are online courses, traditional classroom courses, and programs that have a combination of the two. Is the atmosphere important is another good question to ask. Do you want a college campus setting, or will you be living off-campus? It is just as important to understand your needs and situation as it is to understand the programs you are considering. Be sure to have a list of questions ready when you visit or talk with representatives of South Carolina nursing programs.

As far as nursing itself, one should consider the programs offered for the best nursing programs in South Carolina. An associate’s degree is a two-year program, and for some, a junior college is a good low-cost option. Junior college credits can also be transferred to four-year colleges in most cases. Your own personal learning style should also be considered. Many programs require clinical training, so it is important to see if specific programs will fit your lifestyle, or if you can adjust to fit them.

Of the accredited nursing schools in South Carolina, many offer specialties, and that could also be a consideration as you choose which school is best for you. A regular nursing degree requires a bachelor’s degree, while a specialty such as pediatrics, requires a master’s.

How is the Nursing Job Market in South Carolina?

According to Registered Nursing, nursing jobs in South Carolina are expected to continue to be available. The site says South Carolina will have the fourth greatest shortage of nurses through 2030. It is estimated the state will have 10,000 fewer nurses than jobs available by 2030. Officials say more nurses will be needed and they are concerned the need won’t be met. South Carolina nurse jobs trail only Alaska in the projected shortage expected to be met. Nurse jobs in South Carolina expected to be created in the coming years are seventh nationally.

According to the Registered Nursing website, nurse jobs in South Carolina are expected to increase more than any other state through 2030. The state is expecting to see a growth of 69 percent in the nursing field through 2030.

Nurse practitioner jobs in South Carolina are also expected to grow, and there are many openings now. Nationwide there is expected to be a 45 percent increase in nurse practitioner jobs, and a lot of those will be nurse practitioner jobs in South Carolina. An aging population, increase emphasis on preventative care, and a shortage of doctors, are the main reasons more nurse practitioners will be needed.

How Much Do Nurses Make in South Carolina?

The job outlook may be great in South Carolina, but nursing salaries in South Carolina still lag behind the national average. Nurse’s salary in South Carolina is not the lowest in the region, however, and once you figure in a lower cost of living, it may not be very much below the national average.

Nursing salaries in South Carolina average $30 per hour, or $63,000 per year. The national average is $73,000.The lowest metropolitan area averages $54,000 per year for a nurse salary in South Carolina, while the highest nurse salary in South Carolina is in Charleston at $74,000.  Charleston is the only area that is higher than the national average.

Nurse salaries in South Carolina are higher when you figure in specialties such as surgery or pediatrics, but that remains below the national average as well.

LPN nurses, which usually have an associate’s degree, average $19.42 per hour for a South Carolina nursing salary, while the national average is $24 per hour.

Nurse practitioners are closer to the national average but still lower than the national average. Nurse practitioners make $97,000 per year in South Carolina, while the national average is $107,000. Sumter has the highest nurse practitioner pay in the state at $110,000 and this is more a rural area. The lowest for practitioners is in the rural south area at $86,000.