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Attending nursing school can be a powerful investment in your future. When choosing a school and degree program, prospective nursing students must consider the cost of nursing school so they can anticipate when their investment might pay off.
This article overviews the average cost of nursing school at each degree level. We also outline a few key financial aid resources to help alleviate costs. Finally, we discuss the potential return on investment for degrees in nursing.
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How Much Does Nursing School Cost?
The cost of nursing school can vary significantly depending on several factors, including the degree you choose, whether you attend part or full time, whether you attend an in-state or out-of-state institution and whether you enroll in a private or public school.
Associate degrees in nursing (ADNs) tend to cost less, with some programs totaling as little as $3,000, while more advanced degrees can cost up to $100,000 if you attend a private school.
Cost of Nursing School by Degree
The cost of nursing school can vary considerably depending on the school and degree level you choose. Below we break down typical nursing school costs for each degree level, ranging from an ADN to a doctorate of nursing practice (DNP).
Associate Degree in Nursing
Aspiring nursing students looking for a time- and cost-effective avenue into nursing may consider an associate degree in nursing. ADN programs typically last two years and are generally among the most affordable educational options for nursing students. With that said, tuition and program costs can vary considerably by school.
Several factors can impact the cost of an ADN degree, including whether you choose to attend an institution in or out of state and whether it’s a public or private university. Enrolling in an out-of-state public program can cost over double the tuition of an in-state public program.
Generally, the cost of ADN programs at public universities can range from $3,000 to $10,000 per year. Since most ADNs are two-year degrees, this amounts to $6,000 to $20,000 in total. Private universities generally charge higher tuition rates; private school students can spend more than $40,000 for their ADN.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
On average, a bachelor of science in nursing takes four years of full-time study to complete and typically comprises 120 credits. Like with an ADN, the total cost of a BSN degree varies widely depending on whether it’s a public or private university and whether you attend in or out of state. Students can pay between $20,000 to over $100,000 in total for a BSN degree.
In most cases, out-of-state tuition costs significantly more than in-state tuition. For example, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reported that the average undergraduate tuition and required fees for full-time students in the 2020-21 school year were $9,375 at in-state institutions and $27,091 at out-of-state institutions.
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
MSN programs take one to two years to complete. The total cost of a master’s in nursing ranges between $24,000 and $80,000 depending on similar factors to those affecting ADN and BSN costs. Some MSN programs, including out-of-state and private universities or colleges, can cost $100,000 or more.
Program length also impacts the cost of an MSN, and the number of required credits varies considerably by program. Students may need to complete anywhere between 30 and 70 credit hours depending on the program they choose.
An MSN typically costs more for part-time students since part-time enrollment often increases overall program length. Students who attend out-of-state or private universities often pay more as well.
Doctor of Nursing Practice
The total cost of a DNP degree can vary significantly depending on several factors, including your highest education level since this impacts program length. If your highest degree is a bachelor’s, you can expect a BSN-to-DNP program to take three to four years. Alternatively, an MSN-to-DNP program takes around two years to complete.
DNP programs can range in cost from around $10,000 to over $100,000. Attending part time or enrolling in a private university can raise your costs.
Additional Nursing School Expenses
Aside from tuition and fees, prospective nursing students should consider additional nursing school expenses when determining the total cost of nursing school. These expenses can include the following:
- Background checks
- Childcare for students with families
- Immunizations, drug tests and lab tests
- Lab supplies
- Lost or reduced wages for students who quit their jobs or reduce their working hours
- National licensure exam prep and registration
- Physical exams
- Transportation costs and parking fees for commuters
NCLEX Prep and Fees
To obtain licensure and begin practicing, nursing students must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). Candidates seeking to practice in the U.S. must pay a $200 registration fee to take the NCLEX.
Once you pay the registration fee and schedule your exam, you can look into prep courses and other resources to start preparing. NCLEX prep courses can cost anywhere from $25 to over $500. Students can browse various prep materials and courses to choose one that suits their budget, learning style and scheduling needs.
How to Pay for Nursing School
Students must submit the FAFSA to qualify for federal student aid, including loans. For more information, check out our guides explaining what the FAFSA is and how to apply for financial aid using the FAFSA.
Nursing students can look into scholarships, grants and tuition reimbursement programs to help reduce the cost of nursing school. The American Association of Colleges and Nursing updates a list of aid resources for nursing students. Below we explore various means of financial aid to help offset and alleviate nursing school costs.
Scholarships are often awarded to students based on academic achievement or financial need. Scholarships are available through both public and private resources, and they do not need to be repaid. For example, Johnson & Johnson and the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration offer scholarships to nursing students.
Grants are need-based awards typically issued by companies, organizations, foundations and government organizations. Like scholarships, grants do not require repayment. Several government and private agencies offer grants for nursing students. For example, the California Department of Health Care Access and Information provides grants to nursing students who commit to practicing in underserved areas.
Program applicants may also seek student loans to pay for nursing school. Unlike scholarships and grants, students must repay loans. Nursing students can choose from two primary loan types: federal loans and private loans. For suggestions, check out our list of the best nursing school loans.
To apply for federal financial aid, including federal loans, students must submit the FAFSA. Generally, federal loans incur less interest than private loans. There are three main types of federal loans students can apply for:
- Direct subsidized loans
- Direct unsubsidized loans
- Direct PLUS loans
Federal loans come with annual borrowing caps. For example, direct subsidized loans are capped at $5,500 to $12,500 per year. Students who max out their federal loan offers and need additional financial assistance may need to look into private loans.
Student loan forgiveness programs are available to nursing graduates and offer a chance to eliminate student loan debt. For more information, see our guide on the different ways to get student loan forgiveness for nurses.
Make sure you thoroughly understand the specifications, requirements and terms of a prospective loan program before accepting a loan or loan forgiveness.
Tuition Reimbursement Programs
Employers often offer tuition reimbursement programs, which are becoming increasingly common in the health care industry to address the national shortage of nurses in hospitals and healthcare facilities. A tuition reimbursement program may look like an employer reimbursing a portion, or the total, of a graduate’s tuition as long as the graduate commits to working as a nurse in a specific place or for a certain number of years.
Common reimbursement programs may include the following conditions:
- Successful completion of the degree program
- Maintaining a specified grade point average
- Agreeing to work for a specific hospital or another healthcare facility for a specified amount of time
- Agreeing to work in a specific geographic area, such as a rural region
For example, the federal Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program repays student loans for qualifying nurses who commit to working in nonprofit clinics or hospitals.
Nursing School Return on Investment
The return on investment is the profit you’ve earned on your investment (in this case, your salary after finishing nursing school) divided by the cost of your investment (the cost of nursing school), multiplied by 100 to give you a percentage.
Let’s say you spend $50,000 earning a BSN, and you go on to become a registered nurse (RN). According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, RNs earn a median annual salary of $77,600 per year, meaning you would recoup your investment (and then some) within one year of working as an RN. Let’s break it down:
$77,600 / $50,000 x 100 = 155.2
After one year of working as an RN, you could see an ROI of 155.2%.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About the Cost of Nursing School
How much is the tuition for nursing?
Tuition rates for nursing school vary considerably depending on your desired degree level and the school you choose. Looking at ADN, BSN, MSN and DNP programs, nursing school can range in cost from around $3,000 to over $100,000.
Is becoming a nurse worth it?
Yes, for many people, nursing is a worthwhile career. Nursing can be physically and emotionally demanding and generally entails long working hours. On the other hand, nursing offers opportunities to engage in meaningful work that provides essential care and support to others. Nursing provides job security, boasts a high earning potential and can offer variety in your day-to-day work. After one year of work as an RN, you could recoup more than 100% of your investment in nursing school.
What Is The Cost Of Nursing School? ›
A four-year BSN program at a public school can range from $40,000 - $80,000, while attending a private school could cost anywhere between $60,000 to $120,000. Overall costs can substantially increase for out-of-state students.How much is nursing school fees? ›
A four-year BSN program at a public school can range from $40,000 - $80,000, while attending a private school could cost anywhere between $60,000 to $120,000. Overall costs can substantially increase for out-of-state students.How much is student loan for nursing? ›
The average cost of a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) is between $8,000 and $55,000. The average student loan debt for a BSN is $23,711.How much is nursing school in AZ? ›
University of Arizona Nursing School Overview
University of Arizona is a public school. The College of Nursing has an application fee of $85 for U.S. residents. Tuition for the master's program at the College of Nursing is Full-time: $36,000 per year (in-state) and $51,000 per year (out-of-state).
- Columbia University.
- University of Washington. ...
- New York University. ...
- Vanderbilt University. ...
- Johns Hopkins University. Located in Baltimore, Maryland, JHU offers one of the most expensive nursing programs in the country. ...
Norway. Norway comes in first as the cheapest in the world to pursue a nursing degree since most Norwegian public institutions do charge tuition fees. The best part? All international students qualify for this benefit.How much is the cheapest nursing school in the USA? ›
Utah Tech University is among the most affordable American nursing school offering quality nursing education, the tuition fee of its nursing program is around $7,250 to $10,200.How long do nurses pay off student loans? ›
Experts expect students who graduated in 2021 to pay off their student loans between 8-19 years while paying $669 per month. Ultimately, how long it takes to pay off nursing school loans depends on the amount of money borrowed, the interest rate, and repayment habits.Can nurses get their student loans paid off? ›
Registered nurses who work at least 32 hours a week at a qualified facility can get 60% of their student loans paid off over two years of employment. Borrowers have the option of getting an additional 25% of their loans paid off by the Nurse Corps program for a third year. Applications are only accepted once a year.Do hospitals pay off nursing student loans? ›
You may be wondering: “Can hospitals pay off student loans for nurses?” While hospitals do not typically directly pay nursing loans, nurses who work in non-profit hospitals may possibly qualify for student loan forgiveness. Find out what Public Service Loan Forgiveness is.
How much is RN license in AZ? ›
|INITIAL EXAM AND ENDORSEMENT APPLICATIONS:||FEE:|
|RN/LPN Exam Fee and Licensure Fee||$300|
|RN/LPN Re-Exam Fee||$100|
|RN/LPN Fingerprint Fee||$50|
Registered nurses in Arizona earn an average of $81,600 per year (or $39.23 per hour).How do I become an RN in AZ? ›
- RN applicants hold a Diploma, Associate Degree or Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing from an approved program. ...
- Passing score on NCLEX exam.
- Graduates of out of state schools – Transcripts, including graduation dates and type of degree, sent by your school to Arizona State Board of Nursing.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
The minimum requirement for many nursing positions these days is a BSN. The BSN is the best degree for those who want to prepare for future higher education and career advancement opportunities and launch a career as a: Registered Nurse.
After acceptance into the nursing program, each student must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for coursework in the nursing major to remain in the nursing program.Which state has the cheapest nursing programs? ›
The most affordable nursing schools in the US are Oklahoma City University, Florida State University, and University of West Georgia. Our list of affordable nursing programs covers bachelor's, master's, and doctorate programs that will help advance your career in nursing or healthcare.What is the lowest GPA for nursing? ›
While most nursing schools set their minimum GPA requirements at 3.0, there are accelerated nursing programs out there that accept students with 2.7 and 2.8 GPAs. Keep in mind that this doesn't mean you'd receive a lesser nursing education with these programs.Where is it easiest to become a nurse? ›
- Maine: 1-2 weeks.
- Maryland: 2-3 days.
- Missouri: 2 weeks.
- Nevada: 1-2 weeks.
- North Carolina: 1-2 weeks.
- North Dakota: 1-2 weeks.
- Texas: 2 weeks.
- Vermont: 3-5 business days.
One of the easiest nursing jobs to get into is in the field of occupational health. Occupational health nurses work in large industries, HMOs, and factories to treat work-related injuries and onsite illnesses. This type of nurse is employed to keep the workers on the job.
The median annual salary for registered nurses is $81,220, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This number includes nurses with an Associate Degree of Nursing (ADN) and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).
How much is a nurse paid in USA? ›
In the United States overall, the average registered nurse salary is $82,750 and the median (50th percentile) is $77,600. California, with RN salaries averaging $124,000, is the highest-paying state for nurses as of May 2021 (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics).How much is RN per hour in USA? ›
|Years of experience||Per hour|
|1 to 2 years||$42.71|
|3 to 5 years||$44.83|
|6 to 9 years||$46.44|
|More than 10 years||$51.93|
National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Loan Repayment Program
The Health Resources and Services Administration offers a student loan repayment program (among other assistance programs) to eligible health care professionals. To qualify for forgiveness, you'll need to be licensed and work in an eligible discipline.
Nurses who work for the government or a nonprofit may qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program through the Department of Education. To be eligible for PSLF, you must make 120 eligible monthly payments on your federal direct student loans while working full-time for a qualifying employer.How do I pay off nursing school? ›
- Graduated Repayment Plan. ...
- Extended Repayment Plan. ...
- Income-driven repayment (IDR) plans. ...
- Direct Consolidation Loan. ...
- Refinancing nursing school loans. ...
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) ...
- Federal Perkins Loan cancellation. ...
- Military repayment programs for nursing loans.
Nursing Student Loans are low-interest federal loans offered to eligible nursing students (undergraduate third and fourth year and eligible graduate students) who have filed a FAFSA. Students must be enrolled for at least 6 credit hours and demonstrate financial need to be eligible.How do I know if I qualify for student loan forgiveness? ›
The income limits are based on your adjusted gross income (AGI) in either the 2020 or 2021 tax year. People who earned less than $125,000 annually (or $250,000 if filing taxes jointly) are eligible. If you qualify in either of those years, you can get forgiveness.Does working at a nursing home qualify for loan forgiveness? ›
PSLF only applies if you work in the public sector. Student loan forgiveness for nurses is possible if you work as a registered nurse (RN) at the local county hospital, for example. However, if you work as an RN at a private nursing home facility, you would not qualify because it's a private company.Will student loans be forgiven for healthcare workers? ›
There are many pathways to student loan forgiveness for healthcare workers. In addition to programs designed specifically for healthcare professionals, there are also general student debt forgiveness programs that individuals in the healthcare industry can apply to.Can my student loans be forgiven if I work for a nonprofit? ›
If you are employed by a U.S. federal, state, local, or tribal government or not-for-profit organization, you might be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.
Are private student loans eligible for forgiveness? ›
Can you get private student loan forgiveness? Government and independent student loan forgiveness programs don't apply to private student loans. Only federal student loans can be forgiven. However, your private student loan lender may offer some kind of relief for borrowers in financial distress.How many times can I take the NCLEX in AZ? ›
7. How many times may I take the NCLEX®? In Arizona, you may take NCLEX® as many times as necessary to successfully pass. However, if at the time of licensure, has been more than 2 years since you completed the clinical portion of your nursing program, you will be required to take and pass a nurse refresher course.How long is AZ RN license good for? ›
RN/LPN Renewal of licensure is when you hold an Arizona license and apply to renew the license every 4 years.How long does it take to become an RN in Arizona? ›
Expect to spend between 2-4 years in a nursing degree program. These are typically full-time programs, which means that students are enrolled in 12 credit hours or more each semester.How much does a new grad RN get paid in Arizona? ›
|Level of Experience||Hourly||Annual|
|1-4 Years of Experience||$35.50||$73,830|
|5-9 Years of Experience||$37.63||$78,260|
|10-19 Years of Experience||$45.58||$94,800|
|Annual Salary||Hourly Wage|
What is the highest-paid nurse? Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists! Earning $195,610 annually, CRNAs earn significantly more than any other type of nurse or nursing specialty.How long is the nursing program in Arizona? ›
Earn your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) in as little as 3 years. To learn more about our BSN program or find a nursing school near you visit Campus Locations or click down below.How long is the waiting list for nursing school in AZ? ›
The nursing program has a placement waiting list of approximately 7-8 semesters. However, because this is a placement process, there is no way to tell applicants exactly when they can expect admission.How do I become a CNA in Arizona? ›
- Complete an approved CNA Program.
- Including at least 120 CNA training hours.
- Take and pass the state's written and manual skills exam.
- Submit proof of legal residency.
What type of nurse is most in demand? ›
What type of RN is most in demand? All RNs are in demand more than other occupations. The BLS projects 6% job growth for all RNs between 2021 and2031, compared to 5% job growth for all occupations. Some specialties that are in especially high demand are neonatal nursing, surgical nursing, and critical care nursing.Are nursing degrees worth it? ›
Becoming a Registered Nurse is a solid career choice when it comes to job security, salary potential, and fulfillment. For nurses who plan to work in California, the rewards and opportunities are even more promising. The average registered nurse salary in California is often higher than any other state!What degree is higher than an RN? ›
There are five levels of nursing: Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), Registered Nurse (RN), Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN), and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). Each level has different requirements, educational qualifications, and salary rates.Can an average student become a nurse? ›
To start nursing school, you don't need any prior nursing experience or healthcare education. All you need is a high school diploma or GED. Once you are accepted, your journey to RN begins! You can become an RN in 2 to 4 years by studying for an associate's degree (ASN) or bachelor's degree (BSN).Can I be a nurse with a 2.5 GPA? ›
Yes, it is possible to get into a nursing program with a 2.5 GPA. Many programs accept students with a lower GPA. It may take some extra work from you, though, especially if you are applying to a school that typically requires a higher GPA.Do grades matter in nursing? ›
Grades Do Matter, but They Aren't Everything
The most important thing is that you are able to graduate through the program and pass NCLEX. However, I would encourage nursing students to work hard to keep their grades as high as possible, as there are also many benefits to maintaining a high GPA.
Licensed Practical Nurse
An LPN program prepares students to become practical nurses in as little as 54 weeks. After graduation and successful passing of the NCLEX-PN exam, students can enter the field and provide basic nursing care under the supervision of a registered nurse or doctor.
The highest-paid school nurses work in California and Hawaii where the cost of living is respectively 50 percent higher and 77 percent higher than it is throughout the U.S. as a whole.Can I study nursing at University of Free State? ›
The University of the Free State's (UFS) School of Nursing remains at the forefront of nursing education with their innovative simulation, teaching, and learning facilities.Is there any School of nursing in Oji River? ›
School of Nursing, Oji river,2023/2024 Admission/Application Form is out now.
How many years does it take to study nursing in unilag? ›
Our curriculum currently offers two types of admissions, one for the generic students and the second for direct entry students. This leads to the award of a Bachelor of Nursing Science (B.N. Sc) degree: A 5-year B.N.How much is nursing in Fountain University? ›
1 FULL PAYMENT OF SCHOOL FEES SCHOOL FEES 190,000.00 PART-PAYMENT OF SCHOOL FEES PAYABLE IN FIRST SEMESTER 2 SCHOOL FEES 120,000.00 3 ADMINISTRATIVE CHARGES 10,000.00 4 STUDIO FEE (FOR MASS COMMUNICATION STUDENTS ONLY) 15,000.00 5 ENTREPRENEURIAL LEVY (FOR 300 LEVEL STUDENTS ONLY) 10,000.00 NOTE: THE BALANCE OF N70, ...How much is nursing School fees in Lead City University? ›
|Human Nutrition & Dietetics, Human Kinetics & Sports Science/PHE||250,000|
|Education, Guidance & Counselling||150,000||310,000|
|Education (Sandwich Option)||100,000||150,000|
- New York. New York has come in as #1 among the best states for nurses. ...
- Colorado. Colorado was the fourth state in the nation to join the Nurse Licensure Compact. ...
- Maryland. ...
- 4. California. ...
- Texas. ...
- Arizona. ...
- Washington. ...
The UT Health - San Antonio acceptance rate is 80%. Popular majors include Nursing, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT Paramedic), and Dental Hygiene.What is the oldest nursing school in the US? ›
In 1872, New England Hospital for Women and Children was established as the first hospital nursing school in the United States, which became the beginning of modern nursing education in the United States.How long should a nursing student study? ›
How Many Hours Should A Nursing Student Study? One way of figuring the time necessary for each class is to go by the this rule of thumb. Set aside 2 hours of study time for every 1 hour of class. If you are a full time student, you will set aside around 24 hours per week dedicated for studying.How long are you a nursing student? ›
The majority of nurses attend nursing school for 2-4 years to become a registered nurse (RN). An associate degree in nursing (ADN) is a two-year program and a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) is a four-year program.What is the age limit to study Nursing in Nigeria? ›
The age requirement to study at any School of Nursing in Nigeria is a minimum of sixteen (16) years. However, the age requirement for some schools is eighteen (18) years. Also, some Nursing Schools may have a maximum age requirement say sixty (60) years.What is the cheapest private university in Nigeria? ›
|1||Achievers University, Owo||achievers.edu.ng|
|2||Adeleke University, Ede||adelekeuniversity.edu.ng|
|3||Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti – Ekiti State||abuad.edu.ng|
|4||African University of Science & Technology, Abuja||http://aust.edu.ng|
|5||Ajayi Crowther University, Ibadan||http://www.acu.edu.ng|
How much is Harvard Nursing? ›
The tuition cost will be $1,488 per-credit or $3,720 per course for September 2022 and February 2023 courses. The June 2023 course will be billed at the 2023-2024 per credit tuition rate of $1,540 or $3,850 for the June 2023 course. The program is over 10 months.What is the average college GPA for nursing? ›
Average GPA: 3.53
(Most schools use a weighted GPA out of 4.0, though some report an unweighted GPA.
|#||University Name||Price Range|
|9||Salem University, Lokoja||N800,000 - N900,000|
|10||Babcock University,Ilishan-Remo||N700,000 - N800,000|
|11||Gregory University, Uturu||N500,000 - N1,500,000|
|12||Igbinedion University Okada||500,000- N800,000|
School of Nursing Home. Welcome to the School of Nursing at the University of the Free State.Is Lead City still giving admission? ›
Come and study with us. September 2022/2023 Admission is open. Apply Online Now!