A career in nursing can be rewarding and lucrative. However, it is not cheap to get into nursing school. Students can avail of financial assistance.
There are several options for young individuals who are determined to finish a nursing degree. One is a three-year diploma program. Another is a two-year associate degree in nursing or four-year bachelor of science degree in nursing or BSN. You can select from different registered nursing schools in the state. The associate course is the least expensive but it does not entitle the graduate to the same career prospects and specialization that one can gain from a bachelor’s degree. However, you have the choice to work and take the Registered Nurse to BSN degree later.
Breakdown of Costs
The average costs of tuition and fees for nursing school programs are from $800 to $30,000 for each semester depending on the institution that you select. Textbooks and other supplies range from $200 to $1,000 per 18 week period. Miscellaneous expenditures inclusive of required medical insurance and living expenses are from $2,500 to $10,000. Transportation and fuel can be estimated at several thousand dollars for two years. State board nursing examinations and licenses can be from $200 to $500. This will be needed towards the student’s scheduled graduation.
Private nursing schools usually charge a maximum of $500 per credit while two-year degrees will take roughly $75 for each nursing credit. The distinction between public and private school nursing tuition for four-year degrees can go up to $75,000. In addition to the expenses indicated above, you also need to prepare for registration and enrollment fees, uniforms, laboratory fees, additional medical textbooks which can be from $1,000 to $3,000, and other special equipment.
Availing of Financial Assistance
These expenses can be very steep particularly for students who lack the financial resources. Fortunately, there are nursing school scholarships that deserving students can apply for. Some registered nurses opt to work in hospitals, nursing homes or health-care facilities which can reimburse the whole or a fraction of nursing tuition. In return, the nurse must render work in that institution for a minimum of six months. Scholarship programs are also extended by some professional organizations for male or female students or residents of specific states.
In case you decide to obtain a loan for nursing school, you can apply for the Nurse Education Loan Repayment Program. The NELRP is an $8 million government-sponsored program which will pay back at least 60 percent of the nursing loan balance for 100 registered nurses. You must work full time for two years at a critical shortage facility in the event that you are granted this loan. It is possible to work for another year and receive an extra 25 percent which will be deducted from your nursing loan balance. With nursing school grants, you will find the education costs more manageable.
Possible Sources of Grants
Nursing students who wish to attend the best nursing schools can look forward to the following options:
- Federal financial assistance
- Grants from federal or state governments
- Private student loans
- Nursing school scholarship grants
- Federal work study programs
- Tax credits which include Lifetime Learning and Hope Scholarship tax credits
- Tuition reimbursement, reduction, and waivers
- Different forms of scholarships