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CostHelper > Schools & Job Training  > Becoming a Registered Nurse

Becoming a Registered Nurse Cost


How Much Does Becoming a Registered Nurse Cost?

 
average costADN Degree (2-3 Years): $6,000-$100,000+high costBSN Degree(4 Years): $40,000-$200,000+

Registered nurses provide and coordinate patient care, educate patients and the public about health conditions, and provide advice and emotional support to patients and their family members. An RN must complete the required educational programs -- an associate of nursing degree (2-3 years), a bachelor of science in nursing (4 years) or a diploma from an approved nursing program (2-3 years) in a hospital setting -- and then pass the national NCLEX-RN exam and satisfy state licensing requirements.

Typical costs:

  • Tuition, fees, books and supplies for an associate degree in nursing (ADN) can cost $6,000-$40,000 or more at a public college and $30,000-$100,000 or more at a private school, depending on location, the length of the program, the status of the school, and state residency status of the student (for public schools). Living, transportation and personal expenses will vary.
  • Tuition, fees, books and supplies for a traditional four-year bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) typically cost $40,000-$200,000 or more, depending on whether it is a public or private school and the reputation of the school. Tuition, fees, books and supplies for an accelerated BSN program -- designed for students who have already earned a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing subject -- can cost $17,000-$90,000 or more.
  • Diploma programs are the oldest and most traditional form of nursing education in the United States, and are still offered by a few hospitals. Tuition, fees, books and supplies for a nursing diploma at the RN level can cost $18,000-$40,000 or more, depending on the hospital offering the program, length and location. For example, at Lutheran School of Nursing[1] at St. Alexius Hospital is St. Louis, MO, tuition and fees are estimated at $20,484 for a full-time student in the 28-month diploma program; and at St. Margaret School of Nursing[2] at UPMC in Pittsburgh, PA, tuition, fees, books and supplies for the six-semester (22 month) diploma program are estimated at $35,035.
  • Similar to ADN programs, RN-level diploma programs take about 2-3 years, but graduates receive a diploma instead of a college degree (and course credits earned do not necessarily translate to non-nursing fields of study). Diploma program graduates eligible to take the NCLEX-RN exam and get a state license as a registered nurse.
Additional costs:
  • Taking the NCLEX-RN license exam typically costs about $200, and state license fees can add another $75-$200 or more, depending on the state. However, many schools include these costs in their estimated fees for completing the program.
Discounts:
  • There are a variety of nursing scholarship, grant and loan programs available. Filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid[3] is required before receiving most scholarships or financial aid.
  • Information is also available online for federal student aid grants[4] (which do not need to be repaid) and federal work-study programs[5] , which are designed for students with financial need.
  • The American Association of Colleges of Nursing lists potential financial aid resources[6] .
  • The National Student Nurses Association offers scholarships[7] and grants[8] .
  • The Department of Health Resources and Human Services Administration's Nurse Corps scholarship program[9] pays tuition, fees, related costs and a monthly stipend, in exchange for a commitment to work two years at an eligible Critical Shortage Facility after graduation.
Shopping for becoming a registered nurse:
  • Search for ADN, BSN or diploma programs at DiscoverNursing.com[10] , or contact the state board of nursing[11] for a list of schools in that state.
  • Ask about the school's accreditation, the sites where clinical practice is offered, the total number of clinical hours that students attend (and how that compares to other programs), the NCLEX-RN pass rate and percentage of students placed in jobs or continuing their nursing education. The Kansas Association of Nurse Leaders lists questions to ask a potential nursing program[12] .
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External Resources:
  1.  www.nursingschoollmc.com/
  2.  www.upmc.com/locations/hospitals/st-margaret/careers/nursing-school/pages/default....
  3.  www.fafsa.ed.gov/
  4.  www.fsa4counselors.ed.gov/clcf/grants.html
  5.  www.fsa4counselors.ed.gov/clcf/workstudy.html
  6.  www.aacn.nche.edu/students/financial-aid#undergraduate
  7.  www.nsna.org/FoundationScholarships/FNSNAScholarships.aspx
  8.  www.nsna.org/FoundationScholarships/FNSNAGrants.aspx
  9.  www.hrsa.gov/loanscholarships/scholarships/nursing/
  10.   www.discovernursing.com/schools#no-filters
  11.  www.ncsbn.org/contactbon.htm
  12.  www.konl.org/knepcommission/higherdegreesinnursing/questionspotentialstudentsshoul...
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