Aug 21 2017

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Nursing School Cost

Nursing duties depend on the individual’s level of education and licensing. Licensed Practical Nurses (called Licensed Vocational Nurses in some states) provide basic, entry-level nursing care; LPN/LVN programs offer the shortest and least expensive nursing training. Registered Nurses provide and coordinate patient care, educate patients and the public on health issues, and provide advice and emotional support to patients and their families. To work, LPNs/LVNs must past the national NCLEX-PN exam and satisfy state license requirements; Registered nurses must: earn an associate or bachelor of science degree or a nursing diploma, then pass the NCLEX-RN exam and satisfy state license requirements.

  • Tuition, fees, books and supplies for LPN/LVN training in a state-approved program typically costs $5,000-$25,000 at a public college and $20,000-$40,000 or more at a private school, depending on location, length of program (typically 12-18 months) and state residency status (for public schools).
  • 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, length, school status, and the student’s state of residency (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 its reputation. Tuition, fees, books and supplies for an accelerated BSN program — 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 nursing education in the United States, and are still offered by a few hospitals. Tuition, fees, books and supplies can cost $18,000-$40,000 or more, depending on the hospital, length and location.

Related articles: Nursing Assistant School. Physician Assistant Program. Medical Assistant School

  • Taking the NCLEX license exam (either -PN or -RN) 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 their program.


  • There are a variety of nursing scholarship, grant and loan programs available. Filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid [1 ] is required before receiving most scholarships or financial aid.
  • Information is also available online for federal student aid grants [2 ] (which do not need to be repaid) and federal work-study programs [3 ]. which are designed for students with financial need.
  • The American Association of Colleges of Nursing lists potential financial aid resources [4 ] .
  • The Department of Health Resources and Human Services Administration’s Nurse Corps scholarship program [5 ] 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 nursing school:

  • Search for nursing schools at [6 ]. or contact the state board of nursing [7 ] for a list of schools in that state.
  • Ask about the school’s accreditation, sites where clinical practice is offered, total number of clinical hours students attend (compared 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 [8 ] .
  • Scrubs magazine lists questions to consider before entering nursing school [9 ] .

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