How to Become an LPN in South Carolina

LPN Programs, License Requirements, Salary, and Job Outlook

Licensed practical nurses are often considered as the backbone of health industry due to their continuous engagement with patients from all spheres- from bedside care to psychiatry and ambulance support. Be it the noble cause, high learning curve (under the constant supervision of registered nurses and physicians), decent salaries, or a combination of all three, it remains a popular choice for talents looking for a bright career in the medical field.

Before you choose practical nursing as your primary career objective, you should know a few things about this profession. LPN programs- admissible after high school or equivalent certification- are, in general, considered to be demanding as they require extra efforts and are certainly not to be pursued as part-time. The LPN programs in South Carolina generally ranges from 12-18 months, have a very rigorous coursework requiring you to master a wide spectrum of subjects like Algebra, Psychology, Physiology, Pharmacology, and a host of other practicals.

If you have decided to make your career in practical nursing, South Carolina being one of the highest paying states is a fine place to start. It is due to this reason that the state is also home to a large number of institutions offering LPN courses. Depending on your location, budget, and time you have, you can choose to pursue your degree, certificate, or diploma in any community or technical college, or even some vocational center. One thing that must be kept in mind while choosing your course or institution is their accreditation from South Carolina Nursing Board, if not, even after you complete your LPN program, you won’t be issued a license and hence, abstain from practicing as a practical nurse. To know in detail about all the aspects of licensed practical nursing, read the information given below –

After a detailed review of the colleges based on the NCLEX pass rates, we have prepared a list of top nursing schools in California, including technical institutes, open-door community colleges, and private career schools. Students, who look forward to getting a certificate or degree in vocational nursing and are having trouble in choosing the best LVN programs in California, should take a look at this list.

LPN Schools in South Carolina

Below is the list of schools with finest of infrastructure that offers LPN programs in South Carolina:

1
Rank

Trident Technical College

Type of Course:Practical Nursing Diploma

Offering one of the finest LPN programs in the state, Trident Technical College is located in Charleston with 6 other campuses in various parts of South Carolina. This two-year community college offers a wide range of courses in an even wider range of fields. With more than 15,000 enrollments every year, the college aims not only to promote academics but also critical thinking and industry-level skills to ensure all-round progress of its students and community.

  • NCLEX-PN Pass Rate:

    100.00%
  • Address:

    7000 Rivers Avenue, North Charleston, SC 29406
  • Contact Number:

    (843) 574-6111
  • Official Website:

    http://www.tridenttech.edu
  • Type of Course:

    Practical Nursing Diploma
  • Fee:

    • In-State Tuition and Fees: $7,621
    • Out-of-State Tuition and Fees: $7,839
    • Books and Supplies: $2,540
  • Financial Aid:

    yes
  • Number of Students:

    15,043 (all undergraduate, Fall 2015)
2
Rank

York Technical College

Type of Course:Practical Nursing Diploma Program

Located in Rock-Hill, this two-year college was established in 1964 and has since been a trusted name in academics. Offering a wide array of diploma, degree, and certificate programs in different fields, it also claims a staggering 93% placement record. With an open admission policy for qualified students, the college has an annual intake of around 5000 and is credited as one of the top nursing schools in South Carolina.

  • NCLEX-PN Pass Rate:

    99.60%
  • Address:

    452 S Anderson Road, Rock Hill, SC 29730
  • Contact Number:

    (803) 327-8000
  • Official Website:

    http://www.yorktech.edu
  • Type of Course:

    Practical Nursing Diploma Program
  • Fee(Full Time- 24 Credits)

    • Tuition and Fees: $4,805
    • Books and Supplies: $1,800
  • Financial Aid:

    yes
  • Number of Students –

    4,753 (all undergraduate, Fall 2015)
3
Rank

Piedmont Technical College

Type of Course:Diploma

Accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, this two-year college has a history of imparting quality education for over 50 years. Working on the ethos to provide practical knowledge at an affordable cost, the college has a wide range of programs to offer. Also, being a part of a strong student transfer program to over 40 colleges in the state and having more than 80 courses, the college ensures to match your expectations with the ideal programs and environment that will land you to your dream job.

  • NCLEX-PN Pass Rate:

    97.81%
  • Address:

    620 North Emerald Road, PO Box 1467, Greenwood, SC 29648
  • Contact Number:

    1(800) 868.5528
  • Official Website:

    http://www.ptc.edu
  • Type of Course:

    Diploma
  • Fee- (Full Time- 12 Credits)

    • Tuition and Fees: $9,503
    • Books and Supplies: $5,100
  • Financial Aid:

    yes
  • Number of Students:

    5,216 (all undergraduate, Fall 2015)
4
Rank

Midlands Technical College

Type of Course:Practical Nursing Program

Located in Columbia, this college is proud to offer some of the best-in-class infrastructures to ensure a practical hands-on experience to the students. Equipped with expert faculties and strong support staff, the college has a variety of degrees, diplomas, and certificate programs in fields. Claiming an annual intake of over 10,000 students, the college has some decent LPN programs that offer seamless practical training as well.

  • NCLEX-PN Pass Rate:

    97.75%
  • Address:

    316 South Beltline Boulevard, Columbia, SC 29205
  • Contact Number:

    803.738.8324
  • Official Website:

    http://www.midlandstech.edu/
  • Type of Course:

    Practical Nursing Program
  • Fee:

    $7,040
  • Financial Aid:

    yes
  • Number of Students-

    10,946 (all undergraduate, fall 2015)
5
Rank

Northeastern Technical College

Type of Course:Practical Nursing program

This Cheraw campus, a part of South Carolina Technical College System, is a 2-year college accredited by Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to offer courses in the fields of Computer Technology, Business, Nursing, Arts, etc, and award corresponding diploma, certificates, and associate degrees. Featuring viable financial aid programs and strong student exchange programs, it one of the finest college in the region to pursue your LPN course.

  • NCLEX-PN Pass Rate:

    96.99%
  • Address:

    1201 Chesterfield Hwy., Cheraw, South Carolina 29520
  • Contact Number:

    (843) 921-6900
  • Official Website:

    www.netc.edu
  • Course:

    Practical Nursing program
  • Fee-

    • Tuition and fees: $7,632
    • Books and supplies: $3,685
  • Financial Aid:

    yes
  • Number of Students –

    1,054 (all undergraduate, Fall 2015)
6
Rank

Williamsburg Technical College

Type of Course:Practical Nursing Program

Located in Kingstree, the college since its inception has aimed at offering accessible, affordable, and quality education with the goal to convert their student’s potential into achievements. Accredited to award certificate, diploma, and associate degree, this two-year college also welcomes students looking to resume their studies after a long break. Along with various courses in fields like Technology, Business, Public services, etc., the LPN programs at the college have gained much popularity in the region.

  • NCLEX-PN Pass Rate:

    95.62%
  • Address:

    601 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, Kingstree, SC 29556
  • Contact Number:

    (843)355-4110
  • Official Website:

    http://www.wiltech.edu/
  • Type of Course:

    Practical Nursing Program
  • Fee(Full Time- 12 Credit Hours)

    • Tuition and fees: $6,192
    • Books and supplies: $4,200
  • Financial Aid:

    yes
  • Number of Students:

    693 (all undergraduate, Fall 2015)
7
Rank

Aiken Technical College

Type of Course:Practical Nursing Diploma Program

Dedicated to providing a perfect launchpad to the students, the college also takes its role towards local community very seriously. Comprising of high-quality infrastructure, qualified faculties, and a host of diverse courses, the college works as an incubator to nurture local talents and impart practical skills to help aspirants make their mark in any desired field. The college also has a strong health and science department that offers accredited LPN programs for the aspirants of practical nursing.

  • NCLEX-PN Pass Rate:

    94.95%
  • Address:

    2276 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Graniteville, SC 29829
  • Contact Number:

    (803) 593-9231
  • Official Website:

    http://www.atc.edu/
  • Type of Course:

    Practical Nursing Diploma Program
  • Fee- (Per Credit Hour)

    • Tuition and fees: $8,664
    • Books and supplies: $1,982
  • Financial Aid:

    yes
  • Number of Students:

    2,359 (all undergraduate, Fall 2015)
8
Rank

Tri-county Technical College

Type of Course:Practical Nursing Diploma Program

Located in Pendleton, this college is focused on providing quality education to students without imposing the troubles of relocation. The college offers a number of programs for a degree, diploma, certification, etc. in a wide range of fields to nurture the local talent. Aspiring to be one of the best community colleges in the nation, the college is taking large leaps in terms of innovation and student support.

  • NCLEX-PN Pass Rate:

    94.48%
  • Address:

    7900 Highway 76, Pendleton, SC 29670
  • Contact Number:

    (864) 646-8361
  • Official Website:

    http://www.tctc.edu/
  • Type of Course:

    Practical Nursing Diploma Program
  • Fee- (Full Time- 21 Credit Hours)

    • Tuition and fees: $8,878
    • Books and supplies: $1,180
  • Financial Aid:

    yes
  • Number of Students-

    6,128 (all undergraduate, Fall 2015)
9
Rank

Horry Georgetown Technical College

Type of Course:Diploma Program

  • NCLEX-PN Pass Rate:

    92.50%
  • Address:

    2050 Highway 501 East Conway, SC 29528-6066
  • Contact Number:

    (855) 544-4482
  • Official Website:

    https://www.hgtc.edu/
  • Types of Course:

    Diploma Program
  • Fee- (Full Time- 15 or more Credit Hours)

    • In County- $2,355
    • Out of County- $2,940
    • Out of State- $4,800
  • Financial Aid:

    yes
  • Number of Students:

    7,097 (all undergraduate, Fall 2015)
10
Rank

Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College

Type of Course:Practical Nursing Diploma Program

  • NCLEX-PN Pass Rate:

    92.39%
  • Address:

    3250 St. Matthews Road, Orangeburg, SC 29118
  • Contact Number:

    (803) 536-0311
  • Official Website:

    http://www.octech.edu/
  • Course–

    Practical Nursing Diploma Program
  • Fee–

    • Tuition and fees: $6,880
    • Books and supplies: $4,971
  • Financial Aid:

    yes
  • Number of Students –

    2,774 (all undergraduate, Fall 2015)
11
Rank

Florence-Darlington Technical College

Type of Course:Practical Nursing Certificate Program

  • NCLEX-PN Pass Rate:

    88.50%
  • Address:

    2715 West Lucas Street, Florence, SC 29502-0548
  • Contact Number:

    (843) 661-8324
  • Official Website:

    https://www.fdtc.edu/
  • Course–

    Practical Nursing Certificate Program
  • Fee-

    • Tuition and fees: $7,669
    • Books and supplies: $3,347
  • Number of Students –

    6,007 (all undergraduate, Fall 2015)
12
Rank

ECPI College of Technology

Type of Course:Practical Nursing Diploma

  • NCLEX-PN Pass Rate:

    88.23%
  • Address:

    7410 Northside Drive, #100 North Charleston, SC 29420
  • Contact Number:

    (843) 606-5902
  • Official Website:

    https://www.ecpi.edu/locations/charleston-sc
  • Course–

    Practical Nursing Diploma
  • Fee–

    $8,964 (Full Time- 12-18 Credit Hours)
  • Financial Aid:

    yes
13
Rank

Denmark Technical College

Type of Course:Practical Nursing Diploma Program

  • NCLEX-PN Pass Rate:

    85.46%
  • Address:

    1126 Solomon Blatt Boulevard, Denmark, SC 29042-0327
  • Contact Number:

    (803) 793-5176
  • Official Website:

    http://www.denmarktech.edu/
  • Course–

    Practical Nursing Diploma Program
  • Fee-

    • Tuition and fees: $4,848
    • Books and supplies: $3,000
  • Financial Aid:

    yes
  • Number of Students –

    1,043

License Requirements for LPN in South Carolina

Before you start practicing as a practical nursing professional, you have to obtain a license from South Carolina Nursing Board. This license includes your name in South Carolina Nurse Aide Registry that in turn certifies you to work as a practical nurse anywhere in the state. Also, South Carolina is a part of Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) that enables you to practice in any of the 25 member states without furnishing any additional licensing procedures. To obtain your nursing license in the state, you have to go through some/all of these procedures depending upon your current academic status-
1. Completing an LPN Program

The first step is, of course, to complete an LPN program from any of the accredited nursing schools in South Carolina. You can choose to pursue a degree or a diploma as long as the course is approved by South Carolina Board of Nursing.
2. Qualifying Exam

After you have completed your course, the state requires you to clear the NCLEX-PN exam to be considered for licensure. Due to the difficulty level of the exam, the board allows aspirants to appear multiple times (with a minimum gap of 45 days) during the first year. If you fail to clear the exam in the 1st year, a reasonable explanation has to be submitted to the board for further attempts. Failing to qualify within 3 years renders your LPN certificate null, and you have to re-enroll in any nursing program approved by the board.
3. Application

Once you have passed the NCLEX-PN exam, you are then eligible to apply for licensure. The application form along with your official transcript of course completion, proof of exam clearance, and other general documents supporting your eligibility to work as a practical nursing professional have to be sent to the board. You can get the application form for licensure by examination, here.
4. Verification

The board upon receiving the application starts the verification of documents, conducts background checks, and furnishes other formalities. If all goes well, your name is added to the South Carolina Nurse Aide Registry, and a license is issued. After this point, you can start working as a practical nurse, and your credentials can be verified by any client or institution even if you are practicing in other states.

 

Licensure by Endorsement

Since South Carolina is one of the members of Nurse Licensure Compact, the state allows the licensed practical nurses in other compact states to practice, without the need to obtain a license. In order to work as an LPN in SC, the professional need to move in the state and declare it as the new place of residence. You can get the list of the compact states from www.ncsbn.org. For an endorsement license you need to pay $100 whereas if you accompany it with the temporary license, the fee is $110. For more information regarding this kind of licensure and to download the application form, click here.

License Reinstatement

The license issued by the board is valid only for a certain period of time after which it lapses, and you are forfeited from practicing as a practical nurse. To get your license reinstated, you have to pay a small fee and file an application showing the causes of the lapse, the profession you pursued, experience, and your future aspirations from the field of nursing. The board will then examine and verify your application, and your license will be reinstated.

License Renewal

If you do not want to go through the cumbersome process of reinstating your license, then you must get your license renewed after every 2 years with a small payment and furnishing few formalities. If you wish to continue your career in practical nursing, you must apply to South Carolina nursing license renewal portal that checks if you meet the minimum work criteria over the last licensure period and other abnormalities. You can either apply for it online or can download the form. Fee for the application is $75.

Duplicate License

If you have misplaced or lost your license, obtaining a duplicate one is fairly simple. All you have to do is login to the e-service portal of South Carolina, enter your credentials, and take a printout of your license.

Salary of Licensed Practical Nurse in South Carolina

Practical nursing in itself is a very diverse field with a wide work environment and even wider range of specialties. Depending upon the two major factors, i.e., working environment and specialties, the salaries of Practical nurses also take a swing with the average annual salary being $50,000 as per statistics from indeed.com on 29 September 2016. On the other hand, the data from US Department of Labor states that annual mean wage of LPN professionals is $39,410 with a mean hourly wage at $18.95 in 2015. The table below shows the salary breakup of practical nurses according to their field of expertise-

LPN Job Titles and Their Respective Mean Annual Salary in South Carolina

Job Titles Salary
LPN Cma Rma $30,000
LPN Ambulatory $33,000
LPN Long Term Care $32,000
Renal Dialysis Nurse $52,000
LPN LVN $40,000
Long Term Care LPN $26,000
Correctional Prison Facility LPN $23,000
Medical Assistant Family Practice $29,000
Nurse RN LPN $48,000
Psychiatric Nurse $56,000
CNA Medical Surgical $27,000
Nar Nursing Assistant Hope $25,000
Patient Care Technician Student $17,000
LPN Primary Care $46,000
Clinical Nurse LPN $37,000

Information Source: indeed.com

As the above table shows, there is a wide difference between salaries of practical nurses by specialty with Psychiatric nurses making an average of $56,000 a year, while Patient Care Technician Students take home only $17,000 annually.

Annual Mean Salaries of LPN in different cities of South Carolina

Name of the City Annual Median Salary
Charleston $42,883
Sumter $41,591
Aiken $41,569
Mount Pleasant $42,833
Florence $41,163
Spartanburg $41,266
Greenville $43,677
Summerville $42,833
Myrtle Beach $38,633
Columbia $42,963
Hilton Head Island $40,269
Anderson $40,774
Goose Creek $42,833
Rock Hill $45,035

Information Source: salary.com

As per the above figures (30 September 2016), salaries of LPN professionals are fairly distributed across every city of South Carolina. Rock Hill claims highest annual salary at $45,035, while practical nurses in Myrtle Beach were paid least at $38,633 annually.

Job Outlook For LPN In South Carolina

With the current boom in the health industry, job prospects in the field of practical nursing are also on the rise. As per the statics by US Department of Labor, there were 9,090 licensed practical/vocational nurses in the state of South Carolina in May 2015. Even such a large workforce is not enough to meet the growing demand, and hence the number of jobs of practical nurses in the country is assumed to grow in future. Primarily fueled by ever expanding fields of nursing and diversified work environments, the sector looks promising for a long time to come.