Although nursing is an in-demand career with projected growth and opportunities for advancement, nurses may be hesitant to enroll in an online Registered Nurse (RN) to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program due to the financial commitment. However, a BSN is often a solid investment.
Not only do 88% of employers express a strong preference for BSN-prepared nurses, per data from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), but the U.S. Department of Education reports that individuals with a bachelor’s degree earn 66% more than high school graduates and experience lower rates of unemployment. For nurses interested in furthering their education, Northwest Missouri State University has one of the most budget-friendly BSN options.
What Factors Contribute to the Cost of a Nursing Degree?
Several factors contribute to the cost of a nursing degree, including:
- Tuition and fees: Tuition varies widely by school and program and might be a standard fee applied per semester, course or credit hour, as well as adjusted based on the state of residence. Miscellaneous fees are also heavily dependent on the nursing program but usually include application, graduation and technology fees.
- Books and supplies: Books and course materials are typically paid separately from tuition and other fees. Students can lower these costs by renting textbooks or purchasing them used.
- Room and board: Students enrolled in an online degree program do not need to factor in these expenses.
- Transportation: An online degree program minimizes commuting time and travel expenses.
What Is Nebraska’s Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Program?
Given the variability in how schools calculate the cost of their programs, prospective students must ensure they understand the total investment required to complete the degree. While the cost per credit hour is a common metric, it represents just a portion of the actual expenses. Additional fees are common and frequently are not clearly disclosed, though they can greatly increase the overall investment.
For students interested in an RN to BSN degree, the tuition and fees of four Nebraska-area programs are outlined below and ranked from least to most expensive. With total tuition under $9K, the RN to BSN online program at Northwest Missouri State University is the most cost-effective option. With pay-by-the-course tuition and the same pricing structure for both in- and out-of-state students, the online format provides the flexibility and affordability working nurses need.
- Northwest Missouri State University: Tuition per credit hour is $299, or $8,970 for 30 credit hours. Additional fees include an application fee ($50), a per-course fee ($30) and a graduation fee ($56).
- Nebraska Methodist College: Tuition per credit hour is $308, or $9,240 for 30 credit hours. Additional fees include a compliance check ($35), a technology fee ($100-$200 per semester), a background check ($55) and computer software ($104).
- Nebraska Wesleyan University: Tuition per credit hour is $348, or $10,440 for 30 credit hours. Additional fees include a matriculation fee ($120), nursing evaluation ($50) and computer software ($40).
- Clarkson College: Tuition is $300 per credit hour, and the cost per semester is $2,761 (part-time students taking six credit hours) or $5,395 (full-time students taking 12 credit hours). Additional fees include an online technology fee ($35 per credit hour), application fee ($35), first-time enrollment fee ($100), background check and drug screen (up to $140) and computer software ($40).
Affordable RN to BSN
It is challenging to find an affordable online RN to BSN program that provides a quality experience and a flexible schedule. At Northwest, students can complete their degree in as few as 12 months and for less than $9,000 in tuition, with total out-of-pocket costs often further reduced through employer-sponsored tuition reimbursement plans.
Learn more about Northwest Missouri State University’s online RN to BSN program.
American Association of Colleges of Nursing: Nursing Fact Sheet
College Board: Quick Guide – College Costs
U.S. Department of Education: College Affordability and Completion: Ensuring a Pathway to Opportunity