10 Best Accredited ABSN Programs in North Carolina

Are you looking to fast-track your nursing career in NC? We’ve researched & compiled a list of the best ABSN programs in North Carolina…for you.

These accelerated nursing programs in North Carolina will get you a BSN degree in a shorter timeframe than traditional programs.

Read: Guide to Accelerated Nursing Programs: What are they?

Some of the programs are offered by highly-rated universities such as UNC Chapel Hill & Duke. Also, the average ABSN program duration on our list is about 16 months, with a few, like East Carolina’s ABSN program, taking just 12 months!

10 Best ABSN Programs in North Carolina

1. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Accelerated BSN

Program Overview

This UNC accelerated nursing program is designed to fast-track your nursing education, enabling you to earn your nursing degree swiftly, in about 16 months. The program spans 4 semesters, providing a rapid route for you to obtain your nursing degree.

Unlike other programs, this is not an online course. It offers in-person instruction and clinical practice.

Duration: 16 months

Format: In-person

Real-World Experience: Clinical Rotations

Part of your learning journey will involve clinical rotations. These are held at various healthcare locations in Orange County, where UNC at Chapel Hill is based, and neighboring counties. This hands-on experience is crucial to your development as a future nurse.

UNC Nursing Acceptance Rate: Standing Out in Your Application

UNC Chapel Hill is highly competitive.

Typically, the UNC Accelerated BSN program receives between 200-300 applications each year, with 104 students being admitted each summer. This competitive nature makes it all the more important for you to ensure your application stands out from the crowd- your application needs to shine!

Consider highlighting your community service history, unique skills, and abilities that could contribute to the nursing profession. An articulate descriptive essay and a robust academic history, particularly in required science courses, are also vital.

Demonstrating your commitment to the ideology of nursing and service to others can also give you an edge.


To apply for the ABSN program, you need to have completed courses in Anatomy, Physiology, Microbiology, Statistics, and Introduction to Psychology.

You should have a GPA of at least 3.0 in key science courses and a grade of B- or better in specific Biology courses and a C or better in specific Psychology and Statistics courses.

Completion of a full Anatomy and Physiology sequence is also required. More about prereqs here.

Cost of Attendance

The total cost of attendance for in-state students is $25,039. For out-of-state students, the cost rises to $66,961.

Check out a past student’s UNC ABSN experience:

2. Duke University ABSN Program

Program Overview

The Duke ABSN program is a full-time, campus-based course designed for students who already hold a bachelor’s degree or higher. In just 16 months, you can earn your nursing degree.

The program consists of 58 total credit hours, including 6 elective credits. It also boasts small class sizes that enhance your learning experience.

Duration: 16 months

Format: In-person

Clinical Placements: Practical Experience

As part of your education, you will participate in clinical placements. These are assigned based on a variety of factors, including the learning objectives of the course, site characteristics, and availability.

Be prepared to travel up to an hour from campus to these sites, and you will likely have schedules in the evenings, nights, and weekends.

Duke ABSN Prerequisites

These include Human Anatomy and Physiology, Microbiology, Basic Statistics, and Human Growth and Development or Developmental Psychology. For all these courses, a minimum grade of C is required.

However, for Human Anatomy and Physiology, and Microbiology, a B- or higher grade is necessary.

Although not mandatory, undergraduate coursework in Nutrition is strongly recommended.

Duke Nursing Acceptance Rate: A Competitive Landscape

Duke University’s ABSN program is highly competitive, with acceptance rates estimated to range from 20% to 40%. We’ve reached out to Duke University’s School of Nursing for more precise figures and will update you once we have this information.

Licensure Requirements: Good News!

One of the great benefits of Duke’s ABSN program is that it meets the educational requirements for professional licensure as a registered nurse across ALL U.S. states, territories, and the District of Columbia. This broad acceptance gives you the flexibility to practice nursing anywhere in the U.S. Yay!


The tuition cost for the Duke ABSN program is $25,258.

3. Northeastern University Charlotte ABSN Program

Program Overview

If you already hold a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, or you’re a transfer student with at least 62 college credits, the online Northeastern Charlotte ABSN could be your perfect fit.

This ABSN program is designed to be completed in as few as 16 months, offering you a quick transition into a new nursing career. It provides a blend of online and onsite curriculum, making it a flexible choice for many students.

Duration: 16 months

Format: Coursework is online

The program begins 3 times a year, in January, May, and September, offering the flexibility to start at a time that suits you best.

Clinical Rotations: Real-world Exposure

As a part of this program, you’ll complete clinical rotations in the Charlotte metro area. These take place in diverse healthcare facilities, including teaching and community hospitals, as well as outpatient and community healthcare settings.

Regardless of the size or location of the facility, these clinical placements should provide valuable patient care experiences and exposure to potential employers.

Northeastern ABSN Prerequisites

Before you start the ABSN program, you’ll need to complete a series of prerequisite courses. You must pass each with a grade of “C” or higher. The courses include Microbiology, Human Anatomy & Physiology I and II, Introduction to Chemistry, Statistics, Social/Behavioral Sciences, Developmental Psychology (lifespan), and Nutrition.

Note that the science-based prerequisites need to have been completed within 10 years of your ABSN program start date.

Scholarship Opportunities

Great news Here!

Every student admitted into the Charlotte ABSN program automatically receives a $20,000 scholarship from Northeastern University. This funding is distributed as $5,000 per semester over 4 semesters, helping you to finance your nursing education- how cool!


The Northeastern Charlotte ABSN tuition is $1,222 per credit hour, with the program consisting of 67 credit hours in total.

4. East Carolina University ABSN Program

Program Overview

The ECU ABSN program is a 12-month, full-time campus-based option that starts in the spring semester each year. Designed specifically for students who already hold a degree, this program offers the chance to earn a BSN and become eligible for licensure as an RN within a year.

Duration: 12 months

Format: In-person

Attendance Requirements: On-Campus Learning

One of the key things to note about this program is that it requires on-campus attendance. That means you need to be prepared to commit to a year of full-time, in-person study at the Greenville ECU campus.

ECU ABSN Prerequisites

You’ll need to complete several prerequisite courses.

For Anatomy and Physiology I & II (including Lab), Microbiology (including Lab), Introduction to Chemistry for the Allied Health Sciences, Organic and Biochemistry for the Allied Health Sciences, and College Algebra, you must earn a grade of “B-” (2.7) or above.

For Nutrition Science, Introduction to Ethics, Developmental Psychology, Introduction to Sociology, and an approved Statistics Course, a grade of “C” (2.0) or above is required.

Admission Process: A Competitive Landscape

Admissions to the ECU ABSN program are competitive, with a minimum of 20 students accepted each year. If you’re among the top applicants, you’ll receive an invitation for a personal interview- a key step before final admission decisions are made.


The tuition per credit hour for residents is $305.25, while for non-residents, it stands at $983.46.

Our Thoughts

If you’re keen on a quicker transition into the nursing field, and you’re ready for the commitment of a full-time, campus-based program, the East Carolina University ABSN is an excellent match. It is among the shortest ABSN programs in North Carolina.

However, with its small class size, it is quite competitive. So be ready to put your best foot forward in the application process.

5. The University of North Carolina at Pembroke Accelerated BSN Program

Program Overview

The UNCP ABSN program is designed to provide you with a swift transition into the nursing profession. The program spans 3 full semesters plus a summer term. You’ll start in January and, if all goes as planned, you’ll be ready to graduate by May of the following year.

Duration: 16 months

Format: In-person

Clinical Placements: A Variety of Experiences

When it comes to gaining hands-on nursing experience, you’ll be assigned clinical sites in Robeson and surrounding counties. These locations are typically within a 90-minute drive of the campus.

Be prepared for a flexible schedule, as rotations may occur during the day or evening, with the possibility of nights and weekends.


All prerequisites must be completed with a grade of “C” or higher. The prerequisites include:

  • Introduction to Biology or General Biology (BIO 1000)
  • Chemistry I with Lab
  • Selected Math Courses (MAT 1050, 1070, 1080, 1090, 2150 or 2210)
  • Introduction to Psychology (PSY 1010)
  • Microbiology (BIO 3150)
  • Anatomy I (BIO 2110)
  • Statistics (MAT 2100, PSY 2080, SOC 3600, CRJ 3600, SWK 3600, or HON 2520)
  • Anatomy II (BIO 2120)
  • Critical Thinking in Nursing (NUR 2020)
  • Pathophysiology (NUR 3250)

Cost of Attendance

Use this tool to estimate your cost of attendance.

Related: Accelerated Nursing Programs in Georgia

6. North Carolina Central University Accelerated BSN

Program Overview

For an aspiring nurse with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, the NCCU ABSN program offers you a fast-paced full-time program that takes 14 to 15 months. Remember to mark your calendar: the deadline for fall entry applications is May 1 each year.

Duration: 15 months

Format: In-person

Admission Process: Double-Step Journey

Gaining admission to the NCCU ABSN program involves a two-step process. Your journey begins with applying to the university itself. Once accepted, you can then proceed to apply for the Accelerated Nursing option.

Clinical Rotations: Immersive Learning Experiences

In the NCCU ABSN program, you’ll embark on numerous clinical rotations, assigned by the program itself. These could be located up to an hour from NCCU’s campus. Please note that these rotations are conducted only through official sites associated with the program.


Before diving into the ABSN program, you’ll need to complete a series of prerequisite courses with a minimum grade of “C”. The prerequisites include:

  • College Algebra and Trigonometry (MATH 1100)
  • Molecules and Cell Functions (BIO 1300)
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology I (BIO 1610)
  • Physical Science Related to Chemistry (CHEM 1000)
  • Chemistry and Human Life (CHEM 1500)
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology II (BIO 1620)
  • Introduction to Human Nutrition (FOOD 2200)
  • General Psychology (PSY 2100)
  • Introduction to Microbes and Disease (BIO 2510)
  • Elementary Statistics

What We Don’t Like

Since the NCCU ABSN program requires a full-time commitment and follows a pre-set schedule, you’ll not be able to customize your schedule after admission. So, if you are looking for some flexibility, this program will not offer that.

Related: Pros and Cons of Accelerated Nursing Programs

7. Western Carolina University Accelerated BSN

Program Overview

At Western Carolina, the ABSN curriculum is similar to the Traditional BSN. The key difference is in its time frame. The program is delivered over 4 continuous semesters (Fall, Spring, Summer, Fall), which means you can secure your BSN in an accelerated timeline.

Duration: 16 months

Format: In-person

Where and When?

The Western Carolina ABSN courses take place at the university’s Biltmore Park Instructional site in Asheville, NC. A new cohort kicks off every Fall (in August), with graduates earning their degrees by December of the following year.

You can expect a blend of classes and clinical practice throughout the week, with the schedule typically including classes 2 days a week and clinical 1-2 days a week.

Clinical Experiences

Many of your clinical rotations will be held in Buncombe County and the surrounding areas. However, to achieve a more comprehensive clinical experience, you may occasionally need to travel to more distant sites.

Western Carolina ABSN Prerequisites

Before enrolling in the ABSN program, you will need to complete certain prerequisite courses, all with a grade of “C” or higher:

  • Introductory Chemistry with Lab (CHEM 132)
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology I with Lab (BIO 291)
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology II with Lab (BIO 292)
  • Etiology of Infectious Disease with Lab (ENVH 260/261) – a Microbiology course
  • Human Nutrition (ND 330) or Normal & Therapeutic Nutrition (ND 338)
  • Pathophysiology for Nursing (NSG 346)
  • Applied Statistics (MATH 170)
  • General Psychology (PSY 150)

The Good News: Flexibility in Your Hands

One of the standout features of this ABSN program is the flexibility it provides. The format of the curriculum allows you to hold a part-time job alongside your studies, making it a convenient choice for those juggling multiple responsibilities.

Western Carolina ABSN Acceptance Rate

This program typically receives about 75 applications and accepts around 45 students, at about a 60% acceptance rate- not too bad, right?


Western Carolina ABSN tuition stands at approximately $13,000 for residents and roughly $21,000 for non-residents.

8. Gardner Webb University Accelerated BSN

Program Overview

The Gardner Webb ABSN is a compact, 16-month program held on campus. It starts every year in January, offering an accelerated path to transform your previous bachelor’s degree into a valuable BSN.

The program achieves this by combining your earlier study with 60 credit hours of nursing courses, creating a comprehensive 120 credit hours of study. Make sure to apply by the October 15th deadline.

Duration: 16 months

Format: In-person

Gardner Webb ABSN Prerequisites

You will need to complete prerequisite courses, all with a minimum grade of “C”:

  • Microbiology (BIO 105)
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology I (BIO 203)
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology II (BIO 204)
  • General Psychology (PSY 201)
  • Developmental Psychology (PSY 206)


Gardner Webb ABSN’s tuition stands at $740 per credit hour.

What do We like?

One exciting aspect of the Gardner Webb ABSN is the seamless transition it offers into advanced nursing programs. After successful completion of the BSN program and passing the NCLEX-RN exam, you may have the opportunity to be directly admitted into either the MSN or the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program.

9. Elon University Accelerated BSN

Program Overview

Elon University’s ABSN program is another intensive track designed for those like you who want to make a swift, yet comprehensive, entry into the nursing profession.

In just 16 short months, starting in the fall and culminating the following December, you’ll complete 65 credit hours and 540 clinical hours. This program offers a balanced, high-quality education, mixing theoretical knowledge with practical, hands-on experience.

Duration: 16 months

Format: In-person

Elon University’s ABSN Prerequisites

To ensure you’re ready for the demands of the ABSN program, you need to complete the following prereqs:

  • Human Anatomy & Physiology (6-8 credits)
  • Microbiology (3-4 credits)
  • Basic Statistics (3-4 credits)
  • Human Growth and Development or Developmental Psychology (3-4 credits)
  • Nutrition (3-4 credits)

Understanding the Financial Commitment

In terms of cost, the ABSN program at Elon University is billed in four-semester cycles, spanning the entire 16-month duration of the program. The tuition per semester is $16,079.75- which is quite on the expensive side of the fence 🤨 especially when you compare that with other options above.

10. North Carolina A&T State University Accelerated BSN

Program Overview

If you’re looking for one of the shortest ABSN programs in North Carolina, then this is it! North Carolina A&T’s ABSN program offers a highly concentrated curriculum delivered full-time over 12 months, running from January to December each year.

This rigorous program runs Monday through Friday, and sometimes requires additional night and weekend study.

Duration: 12 months

Format: In-person


Before you can dive into the NCAT ABSN program, you must first complete certain prerequisite courses, achieving at least a grade of ‘C’ on your first attempt:

  • General Microbiology: 4 credits
  • Intro to Human Nutrition: 3 credits
  • Intro to Human Development: 3 credits
  • Healthcare in a Global Society: 3 credits
  • General Psychology: 3 credits
  • Statistics I: 3 credits
  • General Chemistry IV: 3 Credits
  • General Chemistry Lab: 1 credit
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology I: 4 credits
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology II: 4 credits

Please note that for General Chemistry & Human Anatomy & Physiology courses, they must have been taken within the previous 5 years at the time of application.


If you’re a resident of North Carolina, your tuition will be about $120 per credit hour. However, if you’re a non-resident, the tuition will rise to about $576 per credit hour.

Why Consider Accelerated Nursing Programs in North Carolina?

These ABSN programs in North Carolina present a remarkable opportunity for individuals eager to swiftly transition into a nursing career in the state.

Importantly, these programs do not merely offer an academic route, but they also serve as an immediate response to a pressing societal need.

A recent survey from the North Carolina Nurses Association painted a stark picture, with 80% of respondents reporting a current staff shortage at their facilities, and 37% categorizing the shortfall as severe.

This makes the availability and uptake of ABSN programs even more crucial. They enable you to join the nursing workforce promptly, providing a practical solution to meet the escalating demand.


  • Information on these programs may change without notice. So, we cannot guarantee their authenticity and accuracy. You’d have to check with the school and do further research. Our review list is simply for guidance and cannot be relied upon exclusively without research on your part.
  • Before enrollment, check with your state regarding licensing rules or whether your desired program meets your home state’s certification requirements and licensure.

FAQS- Answered

How long is ABSN at UNC?

The UNC ABSN program is structured to expedite your nursing education and is typically completed in approximately 16 months, spread over 4 semesters.

What is the acceptance rate for UNC accelerated Nursing?

It fluctuates based on the number of applications, which usually ranges from 200-300 annually. However, each summer sees about 104 students gain admission.

Related Nursing Programs:

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10 Accelerated Nursing Programs in Georgia

The 10 Best Accelerated BSN Programs in Texas

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Guide to Accelerated Nursing Programs: What are they?

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