How Much Does A Nursing Degree Cost?


The answer to how much does a nursing degree cost depends on your nursing career path.  There are different levels of education in the field of nursing, making it unique among professions.  The more in depth of an education you choose, the more it is going to cost.  If you are unsure about your nursing career, you can take a six to twelve week course at a junior college and become a Certified Nursing Assistant for as little as $200.

There are one year vocational programs that can qualify you as a Licensed Practical Nurse.  Or, you can earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree and get a job as a Registered Nurse.  If you want to pursue your education even further for more lucrative job prospects, then you can get a post graduate degree as an Advanced Practical Registered Nurse.  The cost of education and earning potential both increase significantly with the higher levels of nurse training.

Certified Nursing Assistant Certificate

Becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant requires a six to twelve week course of study.  The range of costs for Certified Nursing Assistant school is from $200 at some local community colleges to as high as $1200 at a nursing assistant school.  A high school diploma or its equivalent is a prerequisite.  Some hospitals offer this training for free.  If your local hospital does not offer free Certified Nursing Assistant Training, then you will find this nursing training available at high schools, vocational centers, and community college.  CNA’s work under the direct supervision of a hospital’s nursing staff and perform basic tasks such as taking temperatures, monitoring blood pressures, and helping the patients with grooming, bathing, and feeding.

Licensed Practical Nurse Training

If you are concerned with the question of how much does a nursing degree cost, but being a CNA is not enough for you, then you can find a nursing school that provides licensed practical nurse training. Tuition for a nine to twelve month LPN course averages $10,000, but can be significantly different regionally.  They are offered by vocational schools and community colleges.  LPN’s are licensed by the state in which they work.  You can contact your state’s board of nursing to find approved LPN programs in your area.  Once you have gained experienced as an LPN, you can go back to school for further education or enter into a LPN-to-RN training program.

Becoming A Registered Nurse

Most Registered Nurses enter the nursing profession with either an associate’s degree in nursing or a bachelor’s degree in nursing.  After receiving your nursing degree, you will need to pass a national licensing exam to get your nursing license.  The average in-state tuition for an associate’s degree in nursing is $4600.  Out of state tuition can run from $10,000 to $30,000.  In-state tuition for a bachelor’s degree in nursing runs from $20,000 to $30,000.  Out of state tuition can range from $35,000 to $99,000.  The next step above RN is the APRN, or Advanced Practical Registered Nurse.  Becoming an APRN requires a master’s degree.

Additional Nursing School Costs

There are other costs associated with nursing school.  Books and supplies for a Certified Nursing Assistant can cost $100, but you can cut that cost in half by buying lightly used books.  Books for Registered Nurse might cost from $1000 to $3000 a year.  Nursing uniform costs run about $50.  Nursing exams also have associated fees.  Nursing assistant exam fees range from $50 to $300.  The National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses is required and costs just under $200.

Financial Aid

The nursing field is growing, so there are a number of financial aid opportunities available to those who might be overwhelmed by the question of how much does a nursing degree cost.  The US Department of Health And Human Services recognizes that there is a critical shortage of nurses, so they have developed a Nursing Scholarship Program.  The scholarship program pays for tuition, fees, books, supplies, uniforms, and provides a monthly stipend of about $1300.  In return, the nursing student agrees to work for two years in a health care facility that has a critical nursing shortage.  Eligibility requirements and an on line application are available on the US Department of Health And Human Services website.  The American Association of Colleges of Nursing and The National Student Nurses Association also have lists of sourced of financial aid.  The US Department of Education also has work study programs in place for prospective nursing students who can establish a financial need. 

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