Easiest Nursing Schools to Get into in North Carolina

Easiest Nursing Schools to Get into in North Carolina

Last Updated on June 1, 2024 by II Editor

Choosing a nursing school can be overwhelming, with many factors to consider. For those seeking an affordable option with accessible admission requirements, North Carolina offers some excellent choices. In this guide, we examine the nursing programs in NC that are generally considered the easiest to gain acceptance into based on minimum GPA and test score requirements. While program difficulty and competitiveness vary, these schools aim to give more applicants an opportunity to embark on a career in nursing.

Entering any nursing program requires diligence and hard work. However, the schools profiled here can provide a quality education and a smoother path into the rewarding nursing field. You stand a good chance of admission by doing thorough research, communicating well with admissions counselors, maintaining strong grades, and preparing thoroughly for entrance exams. Read on to learn about the top contenders for the easiest nursing schools to get into in North Carolina.

Defining Key Terms

Before diving into specific program details, it’s helpful to understand a few key terms related to nursing school admission requirements:

Minimum GPA Requirement – The minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA), usually on a 4.0 scale, is needed across all prior college coursework to be considered for admission. Programs may consider GPAs from the last 60 credits or specify prerequisite course GPAs separately.

Entrance Exam Requirement – Virtually all pre-licensure nursing programs require scores on either the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) or the Nursing Entrance Test (NET). Minimum scores in reading, math, science, and English/language usage are usually established.

Prerequisite Courses – Common prerequisites for nursing include biology, chemistry, anatomy, physiology, psychology, nutrition, math, and English. Grades in these specific courses often factor more heavily than overall GPA.

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Selective Admission – Refers to programs that only accept a limited number of qualified applicants each year, using a competitive process to select the highest scorers on required criteria like GPA, entrance exams, essays, and interviews.

Knowing key terms like these can help navigate different schools’ application processes and admission requirements.

Easiest Nursing Schools in North Carolina

The following nursing programs across North Carolina are generally considered among the most accessible to gain entry into based on published minimum admission standards:

1. Durham Technical Community College 

  • Minimum GPA Required: 2.5
  • Entrance Exam Required: TEAS – No minimum score required
  • Program Type: Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)

Durham Tech’s ADN program welcomes applicants with a relatively low minimum GPA and does not enforce a minimum TEAS score threshold. They consider grades, entrance exam scores, and a writing sample in holistic admission reviews. The two-year program often has immediate openings, and graduates can complete the RN licensure exam and enter the workforce.

2. Cape Fear Community College

  • Minimum GPA Required: 2.5
  • Entrance Exam Required: TEAS – No minimum score required
  • Program Type: Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)

Like Durham Tech, Cape Fear CC’s ADN program lists a 2.5 minimum GPA with no entrance exam score floor. They accept qualified applicants on a rolling basis until seats are filled. Small class sizes allow for individualized learning support. Students gain clinical experience with local healthcare partners.

3. Wake Technical Community College

  • Minimum GPA Required: 2.8
  • Entrance Exam Required: TEAS – No minimum score, uses composite score in the selection process
  • Program Type: Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)

With a slightly higher 2.8 GPA requirement, Wake Tech’s program is still considered accessible. They enroll students twice annually and evaluate applicants holistically, considering grades, exam scores, and healthcare experience. The highly structured curriculum prepares RN-bound graduates well.

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4. Wayne Community College

  • Minimum GPA Required: 2.5
  • Entrance Exam Required: TEAS – Scores of “Basic” or higher
  • Program Type: Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)

Wayne CC keeps requirements reasonable with a 2.5 GPA floor. Their only TEAS qualification is passing the “Basic” achievement level or above on the exam’s composite score. Class sizes are capped at 24 to promote engaged learning. Clinical sites are nearby to serve the local healthcare needs.

5. Mayland Community College

  • Minimum GPA Required: 2.5
  • Entrance Exam Required: TEAS – Scores of “Basic” or higher
  • Program Type: Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)

With identical admissions criteria to Wayne CC, Mayland’s ADN pathway can be a cost-effective option to begin a nursing career. Supportive faculty, daytime course scheduling, and clinical partnerships in surrounding counties help ensure student success in this “RN-to-work” option. The 2+2 bridge track also permits transferring to a BSN completion program.

The five programs highlighted above offer a higher probability of admission into nursing school in North Carolina with their specified minimum requirements. Of course, meeting or exceeding these published standards is still no guarantee of acceptance, and applicants must show competency across all evaluated criteria. Competition also varies between entry points. However, these public community college pathways aim to welcome as many qualified candidates as possible into the profession.

Comparing Bachelor’s Programs

While associate degree programs dominate the most access-oriented options, several public and private bachelor’s programs in NC also maintain fairly standard admissions prerequisites. Looking at a few:

  • UNC Pembroke lists a 2.5 minimum GPA for direct admission to their traditional BSN track. No entrance exam is required.
  • Winston-Salem State University seeks a 2.5 prerequisite GPA and minimum TEAS scores in the “Proficient” achievement range.
  • Western Carolina University sets the bar at a 2.7 GPA and uses TEAS scores holistically without strict cutoff benchmarks.
  • Gardner-Webb University (private, Baptist-affiliated) posts a 2.5 prerequisite GPA and flexibility on TEAS composite scores in screening applicants.
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While bachelor’s tracks tend to receive more applications and undergo more competitive review processes than ADN routes, the programs above demonstrate reasonable floor standards suited for dedicated students prepared to put in nursing program-level work. Multi-criteria application assessment helps determine the best overall candidates at this level.

Maximizing Your Chances of Admission

No matter the preferred school, certain best practices maximize any nursing applicant’s chance of acceptance:

  • Complete all prerequisites with A’s and B’s at a minimum before applying. Retake any C’s or lower grades if possible.
  • Study thoroughly for entrance exams using practice tests and prepare well in advance of test dates.
  • Request letters of recommendation from science professors or healthcare employers who know your work ethic and abilities.
  • Highlight any related experience, such as CNA or medical assistant duties, on your application. Volunteer work also favors applicants.
  • Proofread essays for proper structure and grammar and conveyed enthusiasm for nursing as a career.
  • If waitlisted, stay in contact with program directors and express continued strong interest. Consider reapplying in future cycles as needed.
  • For associate-level students, take advantage of dual enrollment, early college and Career and College Promise courses in high school to complete general education credits ahead of time.

With proactive preparation and by meeting every published requirement, aspiring nurses can maximize their chances of entering one of North Carolina’s access-oriented programs, leading to a fulfilling career in healthcare.


The nursing shortage presents opportunities across North Carolina and beyond. While admissions competition certainly exists, the schools profiled here welcome new talent through their established minimum standards. For qualified students seeking an affordable pathway into the profession, one of these associate or bachelor’s programs could open the door.

With diligent academic performance, strong standardized test-taking, clear career goals conveyed through essays and interviews, and any additional experiences to bolster applications, you stand a great shot at starting your nursing journey. 

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