How To Become A Nurse In South Carolina

A current South Carolina license or temporary license issued by the South Carolina Board of Nursing is required to practice nursing in this state. The nursing board, which operates under the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, also considers orientation to be the practice of nursing.

All nurses must possess a South Carolina license before beginning employment orientation, which includes classroom instruction and reading policies and procedures, as it is a violation of the state’s Nurse Practice Act to begin orientation without the proper license and can result in action by the nursing board.

Current predictions by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services indicate that South Carolina is expected to experience more than 12,000 nursing position vacancies by 2020. The shortage predicted for South Carolina corresponds with national projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that estimate more than 1 million new and replacement nurses will be needed to meet U.S. population demands by 2016.

Nursing Supply is Meeting Demand in South Carolina

At this time there are enough nurses working in South Carolina, according to surveys of hospital officials and others. However, there is a need for nurses in the rural areas of the coastal state. One Greenville hospital that has openings has a reward program for health care professional referrals, including nurses.

Nursing salaries are below the national average in South Carolina, which is known for its low wages, and average about $63,495 in places like Charleston and Greenville. Spartanburg RNs make about $60,900 a year.

The first step to getting a nursing license in South Carolina is to complete an approved nursing education program. The two types of programs that attract those interested in nursing are the ones to train RNs and licensed practical nurses (LPNs). A LPN license can be obtained through a one-year diploma program and it takes at least two years of education to become an RN.

South Carolina is Member of Nursing Compact

South Carolina is a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) which allows nurses to practice across state lines. South Carolina’s area Atlantic Coast states of Virginia and North Carolina also are members of the compact overseen by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

The NLC does not affect additional requirements imposed by states for advanced practice registered nursing. A multi-state licensure privilege to practice registered nursing granted by a party state must be recognized by other party states as a license to practice registered nursing if a license to practice registered nursing is required by state law as a precondition for qualifying for advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) authorization.

A current APRN South Carolina license or temporary license is required to practice advanced nursing in this state. A temporary license authorizes practice in South Carolina with the privilege of using title or abbreviation after the licensee’s name and is valid for sixty days.

South Carolina has 24 undergraduate RN programs, three master’s programs and two doctoral nursing programs.

Nursing Schools in South Carolina

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Nursing School Locations

Clemson University
School of Nursing
Clemson, SC 29634
(864) 656-3311

Coastal Carolina University
PO Box 261954
Conway, SC 29528
(843) 347-3161

Medical University of South Carolina
College of Nursing
99 Jonathan Lucas Street
Charleston, SC 29425
(843) 792-3281

University of South Carolina
College of Nursing
902 Sumter Street
Columbia, SC 29208
(800) 868-5872

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