What Is the Average Cost of Nursing School?May 4, 2021
Many people decide to pursue a career in nursing because of the rewarding experience. Helping people, especially when they’re vulnerable, can make a significant difference.
But the cost of becoming a nurse can be high, so it’s important to consider what you’ll be expected to pay versus what you’ll earn after you graduate. If you’re wondering, how much is nursing school? This is what you need to know.
The Average Cost of Nursing School
The average nursing school cost can vary depending on the type of program and the school you choose. Depending on what you want your career to look like, you could complete just a two-year program through your local community college, or you can become a doctor of nursing practice.
According to NurseJournal, here’s what to expect to pay for each type of nursing program:
|Type of Program||Cost Range|
|Associate degree in nursing||$6,000 to $20,000|
|Bachelor of science in nursing||$40,000 to $100,000+|
|Master of science in nursing||$35,000 to $100,000|
|Doctor of nursing practice||$40,000 to $70,000|
It’s important to keep in mind that if you want to pursue a graduate degree in nursing, that cost is in addition to the cost of your undergraduate degree. So if you get a bachelor of science in nursing then pursue a master’s degree in nursing, your total cost could be as much as $200,000 or more.
What’s more, while the cost of a bachelor’s and master’s degree in nursing are similar, the former is a four-year program while the latter normally lasts two years.
Also, the costs can range wildly depending on the school. Private universities, for instance, tend to charge much higher tuition and fees than public universities.
So how much does it cost to become a nurse in tuition and fees? That can range from under $10,000 to multiple six figures. Before you enroll, it’s crucial that you make sure you understand the costs associated with your program and how you’ll pay for them.
What Are the Additional Costs of Nursing School?
How much nursing school costs extends beyond tuition and tuition and fees. You’ll need to also pay for books, supplies, housing and other living expenses.
These expenses can vary based on the school you attend and the cost of living in the area. But those costs can add up fast, so it’s important to plan in advance.
You’ll also need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in order to receive your nursing license. The exam costs $200, but your state may add extra fees on top of that for the state licensing process.
How Much Do Nurses Earn?
Registered nurses earn a median salary of $73,300, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you’re an advanced practice nurse — including nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives and nurse practitioners — the median salary jumps to $117,670, says BLS.
But when you’re just starting out, and your student loan payments start coming due, you likely won’t earn those salaries. RegisteredNurseRN.com says the starting salary for a registered nurse can range from $28,000 to $50,000.
As a result, it may be a struggle to keep up with your student loan payments when you first graduate. Over time, however, it will become easier.
How Student Loan Refinancing Can Help Repay Nursing School Loans
Now that you understand how much nursing school costs and the salary you may be able to expect when you’re starting out and throughout your career, it’s important to come up with a plan to pay back the debt you’ll incur for your education.
Depending on your situation, student loan refinancing can be an excellent way to find the right repayment plan and potentially even save money.
Student loan refinancing involves replacing one or more existing loans with a new one through a private lender like ELFI.* If your credit history and income are in good standing, you may be able to qualify for a lower interest rate than what you’re currently paying.
Refinancing can also give you more flexibility with your repayment plan. While federal student loans can qualify for longer repayment periods, most of the plans are tied to your income, so your payment will increase as your income does.
With student loan refinancing, though, you may be able to extend your repayment plan, which can reduce your monthly payment.
If you’re on the fence, you don’t have to commit to anything just yet. Student loan refinancing companies typically allow you to prequalify before you submit an official loan application. This process involves a soft credit check, which won’t impact your credit score and can give you an idea of whether you’re eligible and what the loan terms might look like.
If you decide to move forward with refinancing, you can submit an application and get a final offer from the lender you’d like to work with.
Is the Nursing School Cost Worth It?
The cost of becoming an RN can be high, but getting into the profession of nursing can be well worth the expense if a career in medicine is your goal. Take some time to talk to nurses in your area to get an idea of what their experience has been like, both in the profession and with the cost of nursing school.
To cut your costs, take some time to compare multiple programs and schools to find the best value for the type of career you want to have. It likely won’t completely get rid of your need for student loans, but it can ultimately save you a lot of money in the long run.