A Simple Guide on How to Become an RN in South Carolina

How to Become an RN in South Carolina featured image

Want to become an RN, but don’t know how to apply for a registered nurse license in South Carolina? 

Well, that’s a common dilemma. 

Sadly, many people can feel overwhelmed by the process, and they may even decide not to go through with it.

But we think becoming an RN is a great idea! And we’re here to help!

There’s a huge demand for RNs in South Carolina. If you’re planning to pursue nursing in this state, there are a lot of opportunities for you here. 

So, what exactly is the process? 

If you’re still reading this now, we will give you a simple step-by-step guide on how to become an RN in South Carolina. 

Plus, there’s a FAQ section below to help you with other questions you may have.

How to Become a Registered Nurse in South Carolina in 4 Steps

Becoming a registered nurse opens up a lot of doors in the future. But before you reap the benefits, you have to apply for a license first. 

Here are the steps to get your RN license in South Carolina:

1. Graduate from a state-approved nursing education program

2. Apply for a license online

3. Take a Criminal Background Check (CBC)

4. Pass the NCLEX-RN

It’s just four steps, so this will be easy. Let’s talk about each step in more detail below. 

How to Become an RN in South Carolina Step #1: Graduate from a State-Approved Nursing Education Program

The first step is to graduate from a nursing education program approved by the South Carolina Board of Nursing. 

There are two types of programs you can take, namely, ADN or BSN. 

ADN, short for Associate Degree in Nursing, is a two-year program that focuses on the technical aspects of nursing, such as record management and basic medical procedures. 

On the other hand, BSN, or Bachelor of Science in Nursing, is a four-year program that covers all the ADN courses plus courses on general science, management, public health, and research. 

But before we go into more detail about these two programs, we want to reiterate that you should enroll in either an ADN or BSN that is state-approved. You can find a list of approved programs here.  

What Should You Choose: ADN or BSN?

There are many differences between ADN and BSN, one of which is the length of time it takes to complete the program. But other than that, there are key differences you need to know. 

The first one is the career path. BSN graduates can apply for managerial positions while ADN graduates can not. Most managerial eligibility requirements look for BSN graduates. 

If you’re planning to take on managerial positions in the future, it would be best to take a BSN program. 

Another difference is the courses you take. If you noticed, the BSN curriculum also teaches you public health and research. This course allows you to carry out evidence-based studies even after graduating from the program. 

Of course, let’s not forget the costs. Since the ADN program is shorter and has a smaller coverage, it’s more affordable. You also get to apply for a license in just two years. 

How to Become an RN in South Carolina Step #2: Apply for a License Online

Once you graduate from your chosen program, you can now apply online for a license. 

You will need the following documents:

1. Copy of your driver’s license, passport, or any state-issued ID

2. Copy of your Social Security Card

3. Complete Notarized Affidavit and Passport Type Photo Form found here.

4. Proof of legal name (can be found on the birth certificate, driver’s license, passport)

5. Filled up Verification of Lawful Presence in the United States Form found here

6. There are a lot of documents that you need, so it’s best to accomplish them one by one for a seamless online application.

Once you have all the documents ready, follow these steps:

 1. Create an account at the Labor Licensing Regulation website.

2. Follow the instructions for a license application for registered nurses.

3. Pay the application fee of $90 online.

4. Request from your school of nursing to submit a Certificate of Endorsement to the South Carolina Board of Nursing.

The Certificate of Endorsement is only accepted if it came from the school where you graduated your nursing education program from. The Board will not accept endorsements mailed by the applicant. 

How to Become an RN in South Carolina Step #3: Take a Criminal Background Check

If there are no issues with the documents you submitted online, the South Carolina Board of Nursing will send you the instructions for taking the CBC. 

Keep in mind that you shouldn’t take the CBC on your own. Otherwise, this will not be accepted by the Board. 

Just follow the instructions sent in the email to accomplish the background check. 

How to Become an RN in South Carolina Step #4: Pass the NCLEX-RN

The last step is to take and pass the NCLEX. The NCLEX is a nationwide licensing exam that you can take any time of the year. 

Here are the steps to schedule a test date:

1. Go to NCLEX.com and create an account.

2. Choose your schedule and testing venue.

3. Pay the exam fee of $200 online via credit or debit card.

4. Wait for the email confirmation of your testing date and venue.

Go oo your scheduled testing date and take the exam. 

You will receive your results after a month or so via email. If you pass, you will receive your license. If not, you can retake the exam after 45 days. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a Registered Nurse in South Carolina

Now that you know how to become an RN in SC, let’s proceed to some questions.

How do I register for NCLEX in South Carolina?

After applying for a license online and passing the criminal background check, you can schedule a test at NCLEX.com.

How long does it take to get South Carolina RN license?

After passing the NCLEX, you will have to wait up to 10 business days to receive your license. 

How do I know if I passed the NCLEX?

You will receive an email with your test scores after a few weeks from taking the exam.

How do I become an RN in South Carolina?

You have to first graduate from an ADN or BSN program. Apply for a license online. If all your documents are complete, you will receive an email to take your criminal background check. 

After submitting a CBC, you can apply for an NCLEX. 

How much does an RN in South Carolina earn?

On average, RNs in South Carolina earn up to $50 per hour. So say you work 10 hours a day, 5 days a week. Your monthly salary will come up at $10,000.

How long is an RN license in South Carolina good for?

In South Carolina, an RN license stays active for 2 years. You’ll need to renew it by completing 30 contact hours of Continuing Education. 

How can I apply for an RN license in South Carolina if I am already an RN in another state?

If you already have an RN license in another state, transferring it to South Carolina is pretty easy. All you need to do is apply by endorsement and pay all the fees. You no longer need to take an NCLEX exam. 

Aiken Technical College
2276 Jefferson Davis Highway Aiken SC 29802
Phone: (803) 593-9954 Ext. 1491

Central Carolina
Technical College
133 South Main Street Sumter SC 29150 Phone: (803) 778-1961

ECPI University
250 Berryhill Road, Suite 300 Columbia, SC 29210
Phone: (803) 772-3333

ECPI University
1001 Keys Dr, Suite 100 Greenville SC. 29615
Phone: (843) 414-0350

ECPI University
7410 Northside Drive, Suite #100 North Charleston, SC 29420
Phone: (843) 414-0350

Florence-Darlington Technical College
320 West Cheves Street Florence, SC 29502
Phone: (843) 661-8324

Fortis College
246 Stoneridge Drive Suite 101 Columbia, SC 29210
Phone: (803) 678-4800

Greenville Technical College 620 South Pleasantburg Drive PO Box 5616, MS 1171 Greenville, SC 29606
Phone: (864) 250-8382

Galen College of Nursing
920 Doug White Drive Myrtle Beach, SC 29572
Phone: 877-223-7040

Technical College
743 Hemlock Avenue Myrtle Beach, SC 29557 Phone: (843) 477-0808

Midlands Technical College 1260 Lexington Avenue, P O Box 2408 Columbia SC 29202
Phone: (803) 822-3334

Northeastern Technical College
1201 Chesterfield Highway Cheraw SC 29520 Phone: (843) 921-6900

Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College
3250 Saint Matthews Road Orangeburg SC 29118
Phone: (803) 535-1354

Piedmont Technical College 620 North Emerald
Road, P O Box 1467 Greenwood SC 29648
Phone: (864) 941-8724

Southeastern College (AAS) Aviation Business Park Charleston, SC
Phone: 1.888.522.4909

Southeastern College (AAS)
581 Columbia Mall Boulevard Columbia, SC
Phone: 1.888.522.4909

Spartanburg Community College
P O Box 4386 Spartanburg SC 29305 Phone: (864) 592-4600

Williamsburg Technical College (WTC)
601 MLK Jr. Ave
Kingstree SC, 29556
Phone (843)-355-4123

Technical College of
the Low Country
921 Ribaut Road
Beaufort SC 29902
Phone: (843) 525-8267

York Technical College
452 South Anderson Road Rock Hill SC 29730
Phone (803) 981-7067

Tri-County Technical College 7900 Highway 76 Pendleton SC 29670
Phone: (864) 646-1343

Trident Technical College 7000 Rivers Avenue Charleston SC 29423-8067 Phone: (843) 574-6138

Visit the South Carolina BON website for updates.

List of Baccalaureate Degree Programs (BSNs) in South Carolina

Here’s a list of BSN programs approved by the South Carolina BON:

Anderson University
316 Boulevard Anderson
SC 29621
Phone: (864) 231-2000

Arizona College of Nursing 150 Executive Center Dr, Greenville, South Carolina

Bob Jones University
1700 Wade Hampton
Blvd. Greenville SC 29614
Phone: (864) 242-5100 Ext. 2250

Charleston Southern University Derry Patterson Wingo School of Nursing 9200 University Blvd,
P O Box 118087
Charleston SC 29423
Phone: (843) 863-7075

The Citadel
171 Moultrie Street Charleston, SC 29409
Phone: (843) 953-5287

Clemson University
510 Edwards Hall
Clemson SC 29634
Phone: (864) 656-7622

Coker University
300 E. College Ave. Hartsville, SC 29550
Phone: (843) 383-8000

Columbia International University
7435 Monticello Rd. Columbia, SC 29203
Phone: (800) 777-2227

ECPI University
7410 Northside Drive,
Suite #100 North
Charleston, SC 29420
Phone: (843) 414-0350

Francis Marion University 4822 East Palmetto
Street Florence, SC 29501
Phone: (843) 661-1690

Galen College of Nursing
920 Doug White Drive
Myrtle Beach, SC 29572
Phone: 877-223-7040

Lander University
320 Stanley Avenue Greenwood SC 29649 Phone: (864) 388-8337

Limestone University
1115 College Drive
Gaffney, SC 29341
Phone: (864) 489-7151

Medical University
of South Carolina
99 Jonathan Lucas Street, MSC 160 Charleston,
SC 29425
Phone: (843) 792-3941

Newberry College
2100 College Street Newberry, SC 29108
Phone: (803) 321-5670

South University
9 Science Court Columbia, SC 29203
Phone: (803) 799-9082

University of South Carolina-Aiken 471 University Parkway Aiken SC 29801 Phone: (803) 641-3263

University of South Carolina – Beaufort 1 University Boulevard Bluffton,
SC 29909
Phone: (843) 208-8124

University of South Carolina 1601 Greene Street Columbia SC 29208
Phone: 803-777-3871

University of South Carolina - Upstate 800 University Way Spartanburg SC 29303 Phone: (864) 503-5444

Visit the South Carolina BON website for updates.

In Summary

Becoming a registered nurse in South Carolina only takes four steps. However, to get your license on the first attempt, you should have all the required documents ready and you need to pass the NCLEX. 

While the application process is long, it’s not that complicated.

It’s also a very rewarding job! Just think about all the career opportunities you can have once you receive your RN license. 

We hope this will help you achieve your goals!

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