University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) School of Nursing | 96% NCLEX Pass Rates

The focus of the School of Nursing at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill is a mission of excellence in nursing education, research and practice.

  • 3.2 Avg
    Avg Rating: 3.2
  • 96%
    NCLEX Pass Rates
  • On Campus
  • Public
  • Accreditation ccne Accredited
  • Programs RN-to-MSN, PhD, Entry-Level BSN, MSN-to-DNP, CNL, BSN-to-PhD, BSN-to-DNP, Accelerated BSN, BSN, DNP, MSN, Post-grad Certificate, MSN to PhD, NP, Other
  • Location Chapel Hill, NC
  • Telephone 1-919-966-4260
  • Website URL Visit Website

University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill is a public institution that was founded in 1789.

The School of Nursing at UNC-Chapel Hill has been the role model for "firsts" in North Carolina including:

  • 1950 - First in North Carolina to offer a four-year baccalaureate nursing degree
  • 1955 - First in North Carolina to offer a nursing master's degree
  • 1964 - First in North Carolina to start continuing education for nurses
  • 1970 - First in North Carolina to offer a nurse practitioner program
  • 1989 - First in North Carolina to offer a PhD in nursing

Academic Nursing Programs

Bachelor of Science in Nursing - traditional BSN

Accelerated BSN - for those with non-nursing bachelor's degrees

Hillman Scholars Nursing Innovation - joint BSN and PhD program

Master of Science in Nursing - MSN with advanced practice and healthcare systems specialties

Post-MSN option - in advanced practice specialties

Doctor of Philosophy - PhD program in nursing science

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Bachelor of Science in Nursing

The School of Nursing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill provides a bachelor of science in nursing program for students who want to become registered nurses. The courses are based upon the knowledge, skill, and understanding necessary to function effectively in all areas of professional nursing.

There are two options for students who want a BSN degree:

Four-year option that includes two years pre-nursing/general courses and then two years in the School of Nursing or for the student who has earned a bachelor's degree plus pre-requisites.

Those who have a previous bachelor's degree in a field other than nursing has an accelerated option available, the ABSN.


Currently, two Post-Master’s Certificate programs are offered: Health Care Systems and Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.

Programs are only available on campus but offer a hybrid-learning curriculum. The curriculum offers specific knowledge and practice opportunities in the advanced practice nursing specialization(s).

Clinical practice sites are in central North Carolina although some locations may be a 1.5-2 hour drive away.

Upon completion of the program, graduates are eligible to sit for the national certification examinations associated with their specialty area of practice.

Master of Science in Nursing

Entry pathways: BSN to MSN and RN to MSN (full-time study with limited availability for part-time study).

The MSN program builds upon the student’s baccalaureate nursing education and professional experience. In the end, the graduate will be prepared for a position in leadership.

Program options

Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (includes an Oncology option)

Family Nurse Practitioner


Clinical Nurse Leader



Outcomes Management

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Primary Care

Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Post-Master’s Certificate

Currently, the Post-master’s track offerings respond to the increased need for health care system specialists and Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioners in rural and underserved areas in North Carolina.

Upon program completion, graduates are eligible to sit for the national certification examinations for the specialty chosen. This includes:


Nursing Leadership

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Entry pathways - BSN to DNP (full-time study only) and MSN to DNP (full- or part-time study)

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program will prepare the nurse for the highest level of professional nursing practice. The focus of the program is to prepare graduates for leadership roles with a focus on administration and health policy.


All BSN to DNP students will take a full-time, 3-year in length program that includes 66 to 75 credit hours depending on the student’s designated area of advanced practice preparation. Those hours will include 1000 practice hours, required coursework for advanced practice, leadership, practice-based inquiry, and completion of a DNP Project.

BSN to DNP program options

Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner with an Oncology option

Family Nurse Practitioner



Outcomes Management

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner – Primary Care

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

MSN to DNP Pathway

The MSN to DNP pathway is for nurses who are already master’s-prepared Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN). APRNs interested may include:

  • Nurse Practitioner (NP)
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
  • Certified Nurse Midwive (CNM)
  • Nurse Administrators
  • Informaticists
  • Outcome Managers

MSN to DNP students who take the full time credit load will be required to complete 37 to 41 credit hours, approximately 500 residency hours, and the completion of an evidence-based practice project (DNP Project).

All DNP students, including MSN to DNP students, are required to complete a minimum of 1,000 post-baccalaureate practice hours.

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing

The Doctoral Admissions Committee will only accept and review completed applications that contain all required materials. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure the entire application is received by the posted deadline.

There are two enrolling options for PhD students for a full- or part-time study. Full-time usually takes 9 credit hours per semester.  Those students who are not supported by the T32 funding and employed by the University may work no more than 50 percent (20 hrs/week) while enrolled in the program. Students who are supported by the T32 funding may only work 10 more hours per week.

Part-time students take three to six credits per semester and may work while in the course.

Graduate Certificate in Nursing Education

This program is a 9-credit hour program that prepares graduate students to teach within the hospital, community or school setting. Registered nurses (RNs) who are enrolled as graduate or postgraduate students at UNC-CH School of Nursing are eligible. The length of program is one calendar year to complete.


US News & World Report (2018-2019)

  • #30 (tie) in National Universities
  • #10 (tie) in Best Colleges for Veterans
  • #9 in Best Value Schools
  • #14 (tie) in Best Nursing Schools: Master's
  • #13 (tie) in Best Nursing Schools: Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • #9 (tie) in Nurse Practitioner: Psychiatric / Mental Health, Across the Lifespan
  • #12 (tie) in Nurse Practitioner: Family Programs
  • #12 (tie) in Nursing Administration Programs

Forbes (2018)

  • #47 Top Colleges
  • #9 in Public Colleges
  • #29 in Research Universities
  • #8 in the South
  • #19 America's Best Value Colleges
  • #40 America's Best Employers

Ranked 9th in the 2016 QS Top Universities World Ranking of Colleges of Nursing.

Ranked #58 in MONEY'S Best Colleges For Your Money (2018-2019).

Ranked 80th in the world in the QS World University Rankings® 2018.

Accreditation and Approval

The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredited the School of Nursing through 2021. The DNP program has been accredited by CCNE through June 30, 2020.

The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

The Nursing programs are approved by the NC BON.

Latest Reviews (Max 10)

  1. Anonymous
    May 3, 2:02 pm by
    Overall: 3.2 Avg Rating
    Recommend: 2 stars
    Experience: 2 stars
    Staff: 3 stars
    Academics: 5 stars
    Costs: 3 stars
    Support: 4 stars

    Program: BSN
    Classes: On Campus

    My Experience

    UNC has some of the best students in the world, and some of the most knowledgable and thoughtful individual professors. However, the administration is ineffective, unorganized, and makes the program chaotic and kind of a nightmare. I think they're revamping the program, so the curriculum and leadership is being changed (hopefully) because they quality of students they receive deserve better frankly. UNC is wonderful, and the name recognition has been great for me being able to get a job, but the experience and education of the actual program was mostly subpar compared to the rest of the school's programs.

    About The Staff

    Some of the best professors I have ever had. Some of the worst. Mixed bag. Administration's leadership is lacking. I have seen them take scholarship money away from deserving candidates and give it to people who ended up withdrawing from the program for cheating. They don't really have a clue what's going on I think

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