Cost of Nursing School: The Price Tag of Becoming a Nurse

The cost of nursing school is a major factor to consider in your quest to become a nurse. After all, education in general, is getting more expensive these days, and it isn’t any different in the field of nursing.

Before we go to the actual figures however, it’s important to know that there are factors that play a significant role in how much you will be spending for a nursing education.

First, if you intend to study in an Ivy League university, then expect to be shelling out tens of thousands more than what you would otherwise need in a local community college. Secondly, it would also depend on the route you will take in obtaining a nursing degree – an associate’s degree (ADN) or a bachelor’s degree (BSN).

For these two key factors, you have three options for traditional nursing schools: earn a 2-year associate’s degree in nursing from a community college, get a 4-year bachelor’s degree from a state or public university, or earn the same 4-year BSN degree from a private college. Being the least expensive option, going to a community college is by far the most popular choice for nursing student applicants.

Of course, there are other considerations to think about when determining the best type of nursing degree for you, i.e. associate degree versus bachelor degree, but for now, let’s simply focus on the actual cost of nursing school. That said, let’s get down to business.

Two-year Associate Degree. According to the American Association of Community Colleges, an associate degree in nursing will cost an average of $4,600 for in-state students. For students from outside the area however, the expense could rise significantly. Tuition for the two-year program could be anywhere in the range of $10,000 to $21,600.

Four-year Bachelor’s Degree. At a public university, a BSN degree could run to about $20,000 to $27,000 for students within the state. For out of state students, the costs could balloon to between $36,000 and $99,200. In the school year 2006-2007, it was reported that the total cost of nursing school for a 4-year BSN degree at a private college or university averaged $80,000.

These figures are pretty steep by any standards, but on the other hand, universities and large colleges also have the best programs that can assist students in being able to afford nursing education.

These figures may be enough for an aspiring nurse to get discouraged and just forget about a nursing career. The truth is though, there are many ways to meet the cost of nursing school if one has enough determination and desire to become a nurse.

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