Most Affordable Online Nursing Programs for 2021

Find low-cost, accredited online RN programs that fit your budget and schedule, plus learn about ways to save even more on nursing school.

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Written By
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last updated

Last Updated: 10/04/2021
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If you want to become a registered nurse or are an RN interested in earning a bachelor’s degree to advance your career, cost and time are likely the biggest factors affecting your decision to move forward. Fortunately, there are dozens of accredited colleges offering quality online nursing programs at surprisingly affordable prices. That means you can limit your student debt and potentially keep working while you advance your nursing education.

This guide will introduce you to this year’s most affordable online nursing programs and show you additional ways to lower the cost of college. Keep reading to find a budget-friendly, convenient online nursing program that meets your career goals and how to emerge with the RN degree you want without breaking the bank.

Most Affordable Online Nursing Programs in 2021

Factors impacting your choice of an online nursing program likely include school and program reputation, curriculum focus and comprehensiveness, study convenience, and proper accreditation. Trumping all of these, though, is likely affordability, which is more than just the tuition cost.

To help you find a quality online nursing program at a reasonable price, our team analyzed hundreds of programs from across the nation. We then ranked them on several key metrics of affordability and quality to come up with the following best-in-class list of most affordable online nursing programs. Click on the “About the Ranking” button below for more details about how we scored schools and calculated the rankings.

or
About the ranking

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Methodology for EduMed’s 2021 Most Affordable Rankings

1. Create List of Eligible Schools and Programs

To be eligible for this ranking, schools were required to meet the following criteria based on government data provided by The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

  • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • At least one program in subject area offered partially or fully online.

 

2. Assign Weightings

After creating the list of eligible schools, EduMed data scientists assigned weights and ranked schools based on a mix of affordability, support services, and online program availability metrics. Affordability metrics received the heaviest weightings.

Affordability

  • Cost Relative cost of attendance compared to peer schools on the list. Based on tuition and fees per academic year.
  • Students w/ Institutional Aid Percentage of students who receive financial aid from the school itself.

Support Services

  • Academic Counseling Existence of this service on campus or online.
  • Career Placement Existence of this service on campus or online.

Online Program Availability

  • Number of online programs in subject area reported by school to the U.S. Department of Education.

 

About Our Data

EduMed’s rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Most recent data pull: July 2021

# School Name Type Cost Online Programs More Details School Information Online Students Academic Counseling Career Placement Students w/Institutional Aid Median Earnings 10yrs After Entry Accreditation
1 Fort Hays State UniversityHays, KS Public $ 1

Current registered nurses seeking to expand their knowledge and skills base, particularly in the areas of critical thinking and leadership, can earn their nursing bachelor’s degree through Fort Hays State University’s Online RN to BSN program. The RN to BSN curriculum combines the substantial general education coursework typical of bachelor’s degree programs with advanced nursing courses in areas like health promotion, healthcare policy, and leadership and management. All degree requirements are completed entirely online through asynchronous coursework except for a nursing practicum with face-to-face participation in preceptor direct care hours at a program-approved clinical facility.

FHSU’s RN to BSN program requires 120 credit hours. At least 30 of those must be earned through FHSU’s RN to BSN program, and those with associate degrees can transfer at least 45 general education credits. Applicants with a nursing diploma and less than 45 transferable credits make up the deficit with additional courses during the RN to BSN program. Advanced Standing Credit is awarded with proof of passing the NCLEX-RN exam.

Program Highlights:

RN to BSN

  • Credits: 120
  • Length: As few as three semesters.
  • Cost: $226.88/credit
  • Mode: Fully-Online Coursework / In-Person-Clinicals
  • Accreditation: HLC (school); Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
71%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
2 Florida Atlantic UniversityBoca Raton, FL Public $ 1

Study convenience and flexibility are major features of Florida Atlantic University’s Online RN to BSN program. The program offers four program length options (three, four, five, or six semesters), and students can begin their programs in any semester. All didactic coursework is accessed and completed 100% online. However, students must participate in an in-person “Nursing Practice Immersion” at a program-approved clinical site typically near where students live.

Admission requirements for FAU’s Online RN to BSN program include a nursing diploma or associate degree and an unencumbered RN license in the applicant’s state of residence. Prerequisite courses in several subjects are also required and may be satisfied through an accredited Florida AA degree program. They can be completed either before or after acceptance into the RN to BSN program or during the BSN course of study.

FAU is authorized to offer this program in Florida and many other states. Its State Authorization page provides additional details.

Program Highlights:

RN to BSN

  • Credits: 120 (a minimum of 60 must be earned in the RN to BSN program)
  • Length: As few as three semesters.
  • Cost: $203.29/credit (Florida resident); $721.84/credit (out-of-state residents). Rate includes tuition and fees.
  • Mode: Fully-Online Coursework / In-Person-Clinicals
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) (school); CCNE (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
30%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
3 Fayetteville State UniversityFayetteville, NC Public $ 1

The online RN to BSN program from Fayetteville State University in North Carolina gives registered nurses the leadership skills for advancing their careers through coursework in the areas of health assessment, community care, emergency care, evidence-based practices, and current trends and issues in nursing. Admission requirements include an unencumbered RN license and a hospital diploma in nursing or a nursing associate degree. Program starts are in the fall and spring.

A total of 120 credits are required for the degree with a minimum of 32 upper-division nursing courses completed as part of the RN to BSN program. All coursework is entirely online in an asynchronous format, but students must complete clinical practice hours as part of their Community Health and Senior Practicum courses. Clinical hour options are available in virtual learning, service learning, and project-based settings. Most non-nursing courses must be completed before starting the program’s nursing curriculum. A maximum of four non-nursing courses can be taken during the RN to BSN course of study.

Program Highlights:

RN to BSN

  • Credits: 120 (includes all non-nursing and other previously-completed transferable coursework)
  • Length: As few as 2.5 semesters (full-time) or 5 semesters (part-time)
  • Cost: $124.25/credit (North Carolina resident); $310.63/credit (non-North Carolina residents living outside NC); $607.92/credit (non-North Carolina residents living in NC). Rates are for tuition only.
  • Mode: Fully-Online Coursework / In-Person-Clinicals
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC (school); CCNE (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
12%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
4 The University of West FloridaPensacola, FL Public $$ 1

The University of West Florida’s RN to BSN Online program gives working RNs the opportunity to earn a nursing bachelor’s degree while maintaining their current jobs. Students can transfer up to 92 credits into this 124-credit program, allowing them to complete all degree requirements in a few as 12 months. All coursework is completed online with students attending required clinical hours in-person at approved practice facilities typically in their local communities. UWF’s RN to BSN program is authorized by the State of Florida, and students residing outside of Florida are advised to check program authorization status by their state of residence before enrollment.

Admission requirements for this program include an ASN degree with an overall GPA of 2.75 or higher. Applicants must also possess a current unencumbered RN license in the state where they reside while completing any part of their nursing coursework. Additionally, applicants must have no more than 12 outstanding credit hours of required non-major coursework.

In addition to its RN to BSN, UWF offers an RN to MSN degree program in a flexible, 100% online format.

Program Highlights:

RN to BSN

  • Credits: 124 (a minimum of 32 major credits must be completed in the RN to BSN program)
  • Length: As little as one year.
  • Cost: $282.13/credit
  • Mode: Fully-Online Coursework / In-Person-Clinicals
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC (school); CCNE (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
14%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
5 The University of Texas of the Permian BasinOdessa, TX Public $$ 1

The University of Texas Permian Basin’s online RN to BS in Nursing offers one of the most flexible programs available to current RNs wanting to earn their BSN degrees. The program features 100% online classes in an asynchronous format with no campus visits required. Students complete three in-person clinical courses at program-approved practice sites normally within the student’s local area. Earning the RN to BS in Nursing degree requires 120 credit hours, including 55 credits of general education and nursing prerequisite courses and 31 RN to BSN program nursing courses. In addition, students are awarded 34 advanced placement credits for their prior nursing education. Six program start dates are available each year.

Applicants to the RN to BS in Nursing program must possess a current and unencumbered RN license from Texas or another Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) state. Additional admissions requirements include graduation from a nursing program that is nationally accredited and approved by the Texas State Board of Nursing or similar board in another state.

In addition to their degrees, graduates of UT Permian Basin’s RN to BS in Nursing are awarded a Nurse Manager Certificate from the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.

Program Highlights:

RN to BS in Nursing

  • Credits: 120 (a minimum of 31 credits of nursing major courses must be earned in the RN to BS in Nursing program)
  • Length: As few as three semesters.
  • Cost: $319.02/credit for tuition only
  • Mode: Fully-Online Coursework / In-Person-Clinicals
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC (school); CCNE (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
7%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
6 College of Central FloridaOcala, FL Public $$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
4%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
7 Nevada State CollegeHenderson, NV Public $$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
77%
AccreditationNorthwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
8 Ohio University-Eastern CampusSaint Clairsville, OH Public $ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
59%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
9 University of Florida-OnlineGainesville, FL Public $$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
93%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
10 Florida State College at JacksonvilleJacksonville, FL Public $$ 2
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
83%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
11 Pensacola State CollegePensacola, FL Public $$ 3
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
81%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
12 Saint Johns River State CollegePalatka, FL Public $ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
27%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
13 Eastern Florida State CollegeCocoa, FL Public $$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
76%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
14 State College of Florida-Manatee-SarasotaBradenton, FL Public $ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
50%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
15 Florida International UniversityMiami, FL Public $ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
28%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
16 University of Houston-VictoriaVictoria, TX Public $ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
11%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
17 Daytona State CollegeDaytona Beach, FL Public $ 2
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
18%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
18 Utah Valley UniversityOrem, UT Public $ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
29%
AccreditationNorthwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
19 Indian River State CollegeFort Pierce, FL Public $ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
12%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
20 Great Basin CollegeElko, NV Public $ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
18%
AccreditationNorthwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
21 Seminole State College of FloridaSanford, FL Public $$ 2
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
76%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
22 Santa Fe CollegeGainesville, FL Public $$ 2
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
84%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
23 St Petersburg CollegeClearwater, FL Public $ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
16%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
24 Florida Gateway CollegeLake City, FL Public $$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
39%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
25 Sentara College of Health SciencesChesapeake, VA Private, Not-for-Profit $ 2
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
13%
AccreditationAccrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools
26 University of North FloridaJacksonville, FL Public $ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
18%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
27 North Carolina Central UniversityDurham, NC Public $ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
16%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
28 Kent State University at TrumbullWarren, OH Public $ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
4%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
29 University of South Florida-Main CampusTampa, FL Public $ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
19%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
30 Montana State University-BillingsBillings, MT Public $ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
29%
AccreditationNorthwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
31 Florida SouthWestern State CollegeFort Myers, FL Public $ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
32 Northwest Florida State CollegeNiceville, FL Public $$ 2
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
49%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
33 South Florida State CollegeAvon Park, FL Public $$ 2
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
83%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
34 Dixie State UniversitySaint George, UT Public $$ 2
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
50%
AccreditationNorthwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
35 Mississippi University for WomenColumbus, MS Public $$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
62%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
36 California State University-Dominguez HillsCarson, CA Public $$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
59%
AccreditationWASC Senior College and University Commission
37 Winston-Salem State UniversityWinston-Salem, NC Public $ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
15%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
38 Chipola CollegeMarianna, FL Public $ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
16%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
39 Pasco-Hernando State CollegeNew Port Richey, FL Public $ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
18%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
40 Minot State UniversityMinot, ND Public $$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
29%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
41 Georgia Southwestern State UniversityAmericus, GA Public $$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
84%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
42 Missouri Western State UniversitySaint Joseph, MO Public $$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
69%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
43 Polk State CollegeWinter Haven, FL Public $$ 2
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
68%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
44 Northeastern State UniversityTahlequah, OK Public $ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
14%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
45 New Mexico Highlands UniversityLas Vegas, NM Public $ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
7%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
46 University of Central FloridaOrlando, FL Public $$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
73%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
47 East Georgia State CollegeSwainsboro, GA Public $$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
32%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
48 Montana State University-NorthernHavre, MT Public $$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
69%
AccreditationNorthwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
49 Eastern New Mexico University-Main CampusPortales, NM Public $ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
7%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
50 University of North GeorgiaDahlonega, GA Public $$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
55%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
or
About the ranking

x

Methodology for EduMed’s 2021 Most Affordable Rankings

1. Create List of Eligible Schools and Programs

To be eligible for this ranking, schools were required to meet the following criteria based on government data provided by The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

  • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • At least one program in subject area offered partially or fully online.

 

2. Assign Weightings

After creating the list of eligible schools, EduMed data scientists assigned weights and ranked schools based on a mix of affordability, support services, and online program availability metrics. Affordability metrics received the heaviest weightings.

Affordability

  • Cost Relative cost of attendance compared to peer schools on the list. Based on tuition and fees per academic year.
  • Students w/ Institutional Aid Percentage of students who receive financial aid from the school itself.

Support Services

  • Academic Counseling Existence of this service on campus or online.
  • Career Placement Existence of this service on campus or online.

Online Program Availability

  • Number of online programs in subject area reported by school to the U.S. Department of Education.

 

About Our Data

EduMed’s rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Most recent data pull: July 2021

# School Name Type Cost Online Programs More Details School Information Online Students Academic Counseling Career Placement Students w/Institutional Aid Median Earnings 10yrs After Entry Accreditation
1 Western Oklahoma State CollegeAltus, OK Public $$ 1

Primarily serving residents in southwest Oklahoma, Western Oklahoma State College offers a full-time online option for its Associate of Applied Science LPN to RN program. The program is open exclusively to advanced standing students (i.e., currently licensed and working practical and vocational nurses) who have completed certain prerequisite courses in English and STEM subjects and successfully passed HESI PN-ADN mobility testing. Other admission requirements include a minimum 2.25 pre-nursing GPA, two professional references, and an Academic Success Entrance Essay.

Students in the advanced standing AAS LPN to RN program begin at the sophomore level. Didactic courses are held synchronously on weekdays or evenings via Zoom and co-taught from WOSC’s Altus, Lawton, and Elk City campuses. Students participate in face-to-face clinical rotations at one of WOSC’s clinical sites typically near the school’s three campuses. Graduates receive an AAS degree and are eligible for RN licensure in Oklahoma. If you want to work outside of Oklahoma, contact your state’s licensing board to confirm the program meets all requirements for licensure in that state. The NCSBN also provides state licensing board information.

Program Highlights:

Associate of Applied Science LPN to RN

Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
52%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
2 University of Arkansas Community College-BatesvilleBatesville, AR Public $$ 1

The University of Arkansas Community College Batesville’s AAS LPN to RN Online Track program prepares Arkansas LPNs for RN licensure in Arkansas. The 11-month, three-semester program commences each spring and continues through the summer and fall. Students must complete 31 credits that include online didactic nursing courses and 144 preceptorship clinical hours each semester attended in-person at sites in and around Batesville. Students complete the same general education coursework required for the two-year standard (on-campus track) LPN to RN program before starting the online track. Students are strongly advised to consider this a full-time program and avoid working during their degree studies.

The online track is available only to Arkansas residents with an unencumbered Arkansas LPN license. Admission requires a criminal background check and successful completion of the HESI Entrance Assessment A2 Exam. A 3-day HESI Review Course is available online or on-campus.

Program Highlights:

Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
41%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
3 Arapahoe Community CollegeLittleton, CO Public $ 1

Arapahoe Community College, located in Littleton, Colorado, features a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Completion Program (RN to BSN) that provides current RNs and nursing students with dual enrollment in a Colorado Nursing AAS program the opportunity to earn their BSN in a convenient, online format. The 48.5 credit curriculum includes six general education and nine nursing major courses. All coursework is completed online except for the Leadership and Community Health courses, which include a 20-hour practicum attended in-person at a clinical site with a preceptor. Online coursework is primarily asynchronous with some presentations and group projects having specific online meeting times. Both full-time and part-time formats are available.

Admission requirements include 71.5 associate degree credits and proof of unencumbered RN licensure. Upon acceptance of their program application, an applicant must submit official college transcripts, immunization records, criminal background check, and a drug screen.

Program Highlights:

BSN Completion Program (RN to BSN)

  • Credits: 48.5 (total of 120 including prerequisite coursework)
  • Length: Varies (three to six semesters) depending on full-time or part-time study and previously completed general education courses.
  • Cost: $350/credit (Colorado resident with College Opportunity Fund stipend); $444 (Colorado residents without COF, WUE non-residents, and non-Colorado residents). Rates only include tuition.
  • Mode: Partially-Online
  • Accreditation: HLC (school); ACEN (program, currently in candidacy stage)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
11%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
4 John A Logan CollegeCarterville, IL Public $$ 1

John A. Logan College in Centerville, Illinois, offers a hybrid AAS in Nursing-ADN degree program for current LPNs that builds upon the skills developed in practical nursing programs and work experiences. The program qualifies graduates to take the NCLEX-RN exam to become fully licensed RNs. The curriculum consists of online didactic courses, typically taken one at a time, along with in-person preceptor clinical rotation hours at program-approved facilities. Students should expect to meet Tuesday evenings on the JALC campus during the second, third, and fourth weeks for ADN nursing labs.

Admission requirements for the AAS Nursing-ADN program include completion of a fully accredited practical nurse program, a current unencumbered LPN license, and previous LPN or equivalent work experience as evidenced in a letter from the applicant’s employer. Applicants must also pass the PSB Registered Nursing School Aptitude Examination (RNSAE) and have completed seven prerequisite courses in science and healthcare-related subjects. Admission is competitive and limited to 10 students annually.

Students may be eligible for financial aid resources, including JALC Foundation scholarships, Illinois State Map Grants, and work-study opportunities.

Program Highlights:

AAS Nursing-ADN

  • Credits: 33.5
  • Length: 12 months (not including prerequisite courses)
  • Cost: $146.00/credit for tuition
  • Mode: Partially-Online
  • Accreditation: HLC (school); ACEN (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
45%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
5 Northwest Technical CollegeBemidji, MN Public $$ 1

Northwest Technical College

Located in Bemidji, Minnesota, Northwest Technical College offers two online associate degree options for prospective RNs. The partially online Generic Track AS Nursing degree is open to students with no previous nursing experience, starts each fall semester, and requires two years of full-time study. The primarily online LPN Step-in Track AS Nursing program takes three semesters and starts each spring. Both programs are in a hybrid/online format that includes online didactic courses, on-campus labs, and in-person clinical rotation hours typically attended during the day at practice facilities in and around the Bemidji area. Online classes are primarily synchronous via virtual class platforms such as Skype and Zoom. Graduates of either program are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN exam for RN licensure.

Application requirements for both programs include completing prerequisite college courses with a GPA of 2.76 or higher and passing the TEAS test. Students applying to the Step-in program must also possess a current, unencumbered LPN license.

Program Highlights:

AS in Nursing

  • Credits: 64 (both tracks)
  • Length: Two years (Generic Track); Three semesters (Step-in Track)
  • Cost: $201.90/credit
  • Mode: Partially-Online
  • Accreditation: HLC (school); ACEN (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
45%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
6 Minnesota West Community and Technical CollegeGranite Falls, MN Public $$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
9%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission

What Makes an Online Nursing Program Affordable?

There are many things that can affect the affordability of your online nursing program. It’s crucial to identify all that impact a program’s bottom line in terms of cost, regardless of their size before you enroll. Here are five of the biggest factors to consider.

How much financial aid you can secure for your online nursing program

Financial aid plays a crucial role for most college students. Types and amounts of financial aid available vary significantly among programs. Consult with the financial aid office for each school under consideration as early as possible in your program search process.

If the RN program has a class schedule that allows you to continue working

Most students work at least part-time while pursuing their degrees. If you’re one of them, pay careful attention to the specific curriculum requirements of any program you consider, especially if you’re required to attend classes synchronously. A program that conflicts with your work schedule significantly impacts its affordability.

If the college is private or public

In general, private colleges charge substantially higher tuition rates than public colleges. Don’t dismiss private colleges out of hand, though, since there are exceptions. You may even find a private school program or two with lower costs than their public school counterparts.

Whether you live in-state or-out-of-state

Another general rule is that public colleges and universities charge a higher – sometimes substantially – tuition rate to students residing outside state borders. All else being equal, consider online nursing programs from public schools in your state first. Note that some public schools charge the same in-state tuition rates to all online students regardless of residence.

How much of the nursing coursework is offered online

Online degree programs save you money in large part by eliminating many of the transportation costs associated with commuting. The more of your degree program that’s online, the more you’ll save. Fortunately, many online nursing programs feature all or most of their classes and other activities online. In fact, some programs don’t have any on-campus requirements.

How expensive application fees are

Tuition is usually the biggest cost, but it won’t be the only one. Expect additional fees for any number of things, the most common being application fees. While these likely won’t be the excluding factor for a school, in some cases they might. Remember to consider all the costs related to a program when determining its affordability.

How to Lower the Cost of Your Online Nursing Degree

No matter how affordable your online nursing degree program there are likely ways to make it even less of a financial burden. Your school’s financial aid office and nursing department are great places to ask about how to save on your education. The three suggestions below can help you get started lowering your nursing program total costs as much as possible.

  1. Search for scholarships and grants designed specifically for nursing students.

The most popular of college funding resources is scholarships and grants because they’re essentially free money you don’t pay back. There are countless programs available, each with its own target population and award requirements. While many are merit-based, many are not. Start with your school’s financial aid office or nursing department, and check out EduMed’s list of scholarships for RN students.

  1. Employer Tuition Reimbursement

Tuition reimbursement, sometimes called tuition assistance, refers to employment benefits programs where an employer reimburses an employee some or all the tuition costs for a degree or other education program that advances them in their current field. Employees typically commit to continuing their employment with their benefits provider for a stated length of time in exchange for reimbursement. Examples include programs at Mission Health and Wentworth-Douglas Hospital.

  1. Nursing Student Discounts

Tuition and other program fees are not, of course, the only expenses you’ll incur in pursuit of your online nursing degree. Fortunately, lots of great organizations and merchants offer valuable discounts to nursing students. Visit our 50 Dynamite Discounts for Nursing Students guide to give you an idea of what’s available.