The cost of nursing school depends on the level of qualification desired by the student.
An associate’s degree in nursing is a two year program which focuses on technical skills, and it is one of the fastest ways to become a registered nurse. This program would benefit students who wish to quickly begin earning money, but it may not qualify a graduate for the same advancement opportunities as a bachelor’s degree. Many nurses with an associate’s degree return to school during their career to earn a more advanced degree that could lead to higher paying BSN degree jobs.
A bachelor of science in nursing is a four year degree from a college or university. It is a requirement for many professional nursing positions, and provides the best employment opportunities.
Also available are three year diploma programs, which are typically run through hospitals. They combine classroom and clinical instruction, and offer a middle ground between an associate’s and bachelor’s degree.
Students who do not wish to become full registered nurses may choose a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or licensed vocational nurse (LVN) program. These programs typically require 12-14 months of technical training at a community college, vocational school, or hospital. Licensed practical nurses must pass a separate nursing exam called the NCLEX-PN exam.
What Is the Cost of Nursing School?
The cost of nursing school depends on the program. Technical colleges may charge less than $100 per credit, while four year universities may charge up to $500 per credit. Textbook prices range from $1000-$3000 per year, depending on whether they were bought new or used. Nursing students will also need to buy uniforms, which cost between $160-$300. Additionally, students will need to pay for the licensing exam which is taken after completion of the nursing program. This exam costs about $200.
The University of North Carolina and the University of Washington both offer top-rated nursing degrees. The estimated out-of-state tuition for both is about $30,000, not including room and board, textbooks, dining, and insurance fees. This may sound expensive, but rest assured that plenty of financial aid is available for nursing students. Some hospitals and healthcare facilities will reimburse some or all of a nurse’s tuition, in exchange for a specified period of work with the organization. Additionally, a variety of scholarships are available from nursing organizations, companies, the government, and universities themselves. Scholarships are available for students of certain nationalities, residents of certain states, and many more. Students who plan to specialize in particular areas, such as neonatal or critical care, may also be eligible for scholarships. Additionally, federal work-study programs are available for students who wish to avoid accumulating debt.
The cost of nursing school may be more manageable than you think, and you may find that the fulfilling career you have in store is worth every last penny.