Nursing is an exciting and rewarding career path, but there is cost
associated with getting the required education. All nurses must attend
a training program that can vary in length depending on the level of
education and degree awarded. Options range from diploma nursing
programs to baccalaureate degree programs. Students should be aware
of the costs associated with obtaining a nursing education as they
can be significant. No matter what nursing program
is chosen, there
are many types of financial aid that can offset the cost. Smart
nursing students will be well aware of the cost of their education
and take advantage of the available resources to help make their
education as affordable as possible.
What Does Nursing School Cost?
The cost of nursing school is dependent on several factors. The length of the program,
type of program and location of the program all impact the cost of a nursing education.
Students may also be charged a higher tuition rate if they are attending an out-of-state
school. In addition to tuition costs, schools often charge required fees to cover administrative
services, student health services and laboratory supplies.
Diploma nursing programs are the oldest form of nursing education in the United States.
Programs are typically affiliated with a hospital and instruction is generally one to
two years in length. No degree or academic credits are awarded, but students earn a
diploma and are eligible to sit for the NCLEX exam. The cost of a diploma program
ranges from $20,960 to $24,375.
Associate degree programs are generally two years in length and can be found at community
colleges across the country. An associate degree is awarded and students earn academic
credits that can be applied toward a baccalaureate degree at a later time. Tuition rates
vary based on residence status and geographic location. Associate degree nursing school
tuition ranges from $12,992 to $41,395, with higher rates charged for non-resident
RN to BSN programs allow nurses holding an associate's degree or a diploma in nursing
to earn a baccalaureate degree while getting credit for their previous academic credits.
Tuition varies based on the number of transferring credits, type of school and geographic
location. Programs are offered through private and public universities, many of which are
available online. Tuition ranges from $10,176 to $31,020.
Baccalaureate degree programs are found at private and public universities. Programs are
generally four years in length. Graduates are awarded a bachelor's degree on completion
and are poised to pursue an advanced nursing degree should they desire. Tuition is variable
depending on the type of school, geographic location and student residence status. Tuition
at private universities for a baccalaureate degree in nursing ranges from $158,800 to $251,760.
Tuition at public universities ranges from $24,420 to $71,304 for in-state tuition versus
$67,644 to $121,712 for out-of-state tuition.
How To Pay For Nursing School
Nursing school can be a substantial cost. Fortunately, nursing students have many
options to help offset the cost of a nursing degree. Options range from scholarships
and grants to federal loans and work-study opportunities. Financial aid is available
from both private and public sources. Scholarships are offered by the financial institutions
themselves, as well as businesses, private foundations and governmental agencies. Some
nursing schools have scholarships to provide specifically to nursing students.
Scholarships can come from a variety of sources. Online databases like www.fastweb.com
and www.finaid.org can aid students in finding scholarships. Scholarships may be awarded
based on financial need or other criteria specified by the donor. The Ann Ford and
Allegra Ford scholarships are offered to students with documented learning disabilities
who are interested in pursuing higher education. RN-BSN scholarships are for nurses
wanting to earn a baccalaureate degree. Scholarships are available to students who
have a number of other qualities including those that have participated in community
service or who have a special interest or talent. The Common Knowledge Scholarship
Foundation offers a unique way to award scholarships to students. Students can take
quizzes on a wide variety of topics. The students with the highest scores in the shortest
amount of time are awarded a scholarship.
Grants, loans and work-study opportunities can also be used to pay for nursing school.
Students must fill out a FAFSA application that is used to assess financial need. Some
grants are provided without a repayment provision, while others must be repaid. Loans
must be repaid, but interest is not accrued on the loan until the student graduates.
Work-study opportunities provide students with employment that is flexible around
school schedules and allows the students to earn money to apply toward education
expenses. The United States Armed Forces offers loan repayment, tuition assistance
and employment opportunities for students willing to serve in the military.
Nursing school cost can be a significant expense on the road to a nursing career.
Being aware of the costs and fees associated with getting a nursing education will
allow the potential nursing student to plan and prepare for the expense. Scholarships,
loans, grants and work-study opportunities can aid students in paying for school.
Students who graduate with little to no debt will be able to reap the financial rewards
of a nursing school right from the start. With a wide range of schools to choose from
and many financial aid options, a nursing education is within reach for anyone wanting
to become a nurse.