On this page

Back to top

Most Affordable Online Nursing Programs for 2024

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

Search hundreds of schools
for the degree you want ......

I want my
In

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 2024

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

X

Base Methodology for EduMed’s Most Affordable Online College Rankings for the ’23-’24 school year.

One: Create list of Eligible Schools and Programs

To be eligible, schools were required to meet the following criteria based on data pulled from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), which was self-reported by the schools themselves.

  • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • At least 1 online component in a program within the ranking-subject area.

Two: Assign Weighting

After creating the list of eligible schools, EduMed data scientists assigned weights and ranked schools based on a mix of metrics, which were all self-reported by the schools themselves to the U.S. Department of Education and IPEDS.

The metrics are listed below in order of most- to least-heavily weighted.

Tuition – The average in-state tuition for undergraduate students studying full-time, as self-reported by the school.

Institutional Aid – Percent of full-time undergraduate students who are awarded institutional grant aid, as self-reported by the school.

Following metrics were all equally weighted.

Online Programs – Number of online programs in the relevant subject area.

Online Student % – Number of total students who are enrolled in at least 1 distance-learning course in the relevant subject area.

Academic Counseling – Existence of this service on campus or online.

Career Placement Services – Existence of this service on campus or online.

Student/Faculty Ratio

About Our DataEduMed’s rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Most recent data pull: July 2023

# School Name Type Tuition Institutional Aid More Details School Information Online Students Academic Counseling Career Placement Students w/Institutional Aid Median Earnings 10yrs After Entry Accreditation
1 Ohio UniversityZanesville, OH Public $ 99%

Ohio University offers a variety of programs within its College of Health Sciences and Professions. Students can choose from online RN to BSN, online MSN, and online DNP degree programs as well as traditional on-campus BSN programs throughout five regional campuses. Whether taking classes online or on-campus, all programs require in-person clinical experiences in hospitals and clinics in the region. The on-campus bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program takes four years to complete, while the online RN to BSN program can be completed in as little as one year.

Program Highlights:

The School of Nursing

  • Credits: 31-120
  • Length: 1-4 years
  • Cost: $639-$1,148/credit
  • Mode: Online, hybrid, in-person
  • Accreditation: CCNE
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
92%
2 New Mexico State University-Main CampusLas Cruces, NM Public $ 97%

Nurses who want to get their MSN while working full time should consider the online degree from the New Mexico State University. This MSN was designed for those who want to learn more about successful nursing leadership and administration in a variety of healthcare settings. For added flexibility, students can choose either a full-time or part-time option, which allows them to graduate in two or three years, respectively.

Program Highlights:

Master of Science in Nursing

  • Credits: 32
  • Length: 2-3 years
  • Cost: $444.40/credit
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
2
Online
Student %
76%
3 Arkansas State UniversityJonesboro, AK Public $ 93%

Arkansas State University offers its RN-to-BSN degree entirely online. Students must have up-to-date immunizations and a CPR certification before applying and will need to keep liability insurance and an unencumbered nursing license throughout the program. To enroll in the capstone course, students must have logged 1,000 work hours as a registered nurse. The program has multiple start dates throughout the year and offers several courses in an accelerated format. Students can graduate in as few as 12 months.

Program Highlights:

RN to BSN

  • Credits: 30
  • Length: 12+ months
  • Cost: $8,280 total cost
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: ACEN
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
2
Online
Student %
69%
4 Westfield State UniversityWestfield, MA Public $ 75% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
52%
5 New Mexico Highlands UniversityLas Vegas, NM Public $ 80% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
88%
6 California State University-East BayHayward, CA Public $ 91% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
85%
7 Fayetteville State UniversityFayetteville, NC Public $ 69% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
2
Online
Student %
91%
8 The University of Texas Permian BasinOdessa, TX Public $ 89% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
81%
9 Western Carolina UniversityCullowhee, NC Public $ 64% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
4
Online
Student %
54%
10 State College of Florida-Manatee-SarasotaBradenton, FL Public $ 74% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
72%
11 Southern Illinois University-EdwardsvilleEdwardsville, IL Public $ 99% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
81%
12 The University of West FloridaPensacola, FL Public $ 73% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
2
Online
Student %
88%
13 Fort Hays State UniversityHays, KS Public $ 81% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
57%
14 Oklahoma Panhandle State UniversityGoodwell, OK Public $ 77% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
70%
15 University of Southern MainePortland, ME Public $ 90% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
4
Online
Student %
68%
16 North Carolina Central UniversityDurham, NC Public $ 77% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
61%
17 Auburn University at MontgomeryMontgomery, AL Public $ 96% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
2
Online
Student %
60%
18 Lock Haven UniversityLock Haven, PA Public $ 93% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
72%
19 Northwest Missouri State UniversityMaryville, MO Public $ 89% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
50%
20 Western Illinois UniversityMacomb, IL Public $ 94% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
79%
21 Oklahoma State University-Main CampusStillwater, OK Public $ 85% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
52%
22 University of Northern ColoradoGreeley, CO Public $ 95% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
53%
23 California University of PennsylvaniaCalifornia, PA Public $ 82% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
5
Online
Student %
80%
24 SUNY College of Technology at CantonCanton, NY Public $ 83% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
81%
25 Texas A&M University-Central TexasKilleen, TX Public $ 78% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
90%
26 Northern Kentucky UniversityHighland Heights, KY Public $$ 95% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
3
Online
Student %
75%
27 Angelo State UniversitySan Angelo, TX Public $ 77% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
2
Online
Student %
49%
28 California State University-Dominguez HillsCarson, CA Public $ 72% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
4
Online
Student %
94%
29 Florida International UniversityMiami, FL Public $ 76% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
2
Online
Student %
65%
30 University of Louisiana at MonroeMonroe, LA Public $ 81% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
2
Online
Student %
53%
31 Jacksonville State UniversityJacksonville, AL Public $ 98% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
2
Online
Student %
68%
32 University of New Mexico-Main CampusAlbuquerque, NM Public $ 83% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
53%
33 Fitchburg State UniversityFitchburg, MA Public $ 52% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
63%
34 Montana State University BillingsBillings, MT Public $ 71% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
63%
35 University of Virginia’s College at WiseWise, VA Public $ 78% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
52%
36 Florida Atlantic UniversityBoca Raton, FL Public $ 61% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
2
Online
Student %
65%
37 SUNY College at PlattsburghPlattsburgh, NY Public $ 82% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
71%
38 Idaho State UniversityPocatello, ID Public $ 75% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
2
Online
Student %
59%
39 SUNY College of Technology at DelhiDelhi, NY Public $ 80% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
71%
40 Mayville State UniversityMayville, ND Public $ 77% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
68%
41 Southern Utah UniversityCedar City, UT Public $ 83% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
57%
42 Kent State University at KentKent, OH Public $$ 90% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
5
Online
Student %
89%
43 Minot State UniversityMinot, ND Public $ 79% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
62%
44 University of North Carolina at GreensboroGreensboro, NC Public $ 65% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
82%
45 University of North AlabamaFlorence, AL Public $ 88% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
4
Online
Student %
77%
46 Arkansas Tech UniversityRussellville, AK Public $ 76% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
64%
47 Southeast Missouri State UniversityCape Girardeau, MO Public $ 87% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
60%
48 University of North FloridaJacksonville, FL Public $ 63% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
2
Online
Student %
76%
49 University of Central MissouriWarrensburg, MO Public $ 86% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
2
Online
Student %
50%
50 Northern Illinois UniversityDekalb, IL Public $ 90% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
70%
or
About the ranking

X

Base Methodology for EduMed’s Most Affordable Online College Rankings for the ’23-’24 school year.

One: Create list of Eligible Schools and Programs

To be eligible, schools were required to meet the following criteria based on data pulled from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), which was self-reported by the schools themselves.

  • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • At least 1 online component in a program within the ranking-subject area.

Two: Assign Weighting

After creating the list of eligible schools, EduMed data scientists assigned weights and ranked schools based on a mix of metrics, which were all self-reported by the schools themselves to the U.S. Department of Education and IPEDS.

The metrics are listed below in order of most- to least-heavily weighted.

Tuition – The average in-state tuition for undergraduate students studying full-time, as self-reported by the school.

Institutional Aid – Percent of full-time undergraduate students who are awarded institutional grant aid, as self-reported by the school.

Following metrics were all equally weighted.

Online Programs – Number of online programs in the relevant subject area.

Online Student % – Number of total students who are enrolled in at least 1 distance-learning course in the relevant subject area.

Academic Counseling – Existence of this service on campus or online.

Career Placement Services – Existence of this service on campus or online.

Student/Faculty Ratio

About Our DataEduMed’s rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Most recent data pull: July 2023

# School Name Type Tuition Institutional Aid More Details School Information Online Students Academic Counseling Career Placement Students w/Institutional Aid Median Earnings 10yrs After Entry Accreditation
1 Panola CollegeCarthage, TX Public $ 41%

Panola College offers an associate degree in nursing as well as a program specifically for LVN/LPNs to transition to an RN position. The ADN program is a closed program, meaning it requires additional application and acceptance into the program in addition to acceptance into the school. It involves in-person clinicals three to four days each week on weekdays either on campus or within 70 miles of Carthage, Texas. This program takes four semesters after all prerequisites are completed.

Program Highlights:

Associate Degree of Nursing

  • Credits: 60
  • Length: 2 years
  • Cost: About $95 per credit
  • Mode: On campus
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
2
Online
Student %
72%
2 Holmes Community CollegeGoodman, MS Public $ 53%

Holmes Community College's Associate Degree in Nursing allows students to choose from two tracks, a Full-time Day Track or an Evening & Weekend Track. The curriculum focuses on training nurses who have competency in nursing which includes the knowledge, abilities, and understanding to provide excellent nursing care. Graduates are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses and licensing from the Mississippi State Board of Nursing.

Program Highlights:

Associate Degree Nursing

  • Credits: 48
  • Length: 2 years
  • Cost: $150 per credit
  • Mode: In person
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
63%
3 Mesa Community CollegeMesa, AZ Public $ 47%

Mesa Community College's Associate in Applied Science in Nursing program prepares students with the fundamental skills necessary to be successful nurses in a variety of acute, long-term, and community-based healthcare settings. Students complete clinical experiences offered in a variety of healthcare settings. Graduates are eligible for the national exam for the registered nurse license.

Program Highlights:

Associate in Applied Science in Nursing

  • Credits: 62-75
  • Length: 6 semesters
  • Cost: $97 per credit (resident); $518 per credit (non-resident)
  • Mode: In person
  • Accreditation: Arizona State Board of Nursing (ASBN) and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
2
Online
Student %
60%
4 Central Community CollegeGrand Island, NE Public $ 48% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
72%
5 Mississippi Gulf Coast Community CollegePerkinston, MS Public $ 51% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
59%
6 National Park CollegeHot Springs, AK Public $ 43% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
68%
7 Bossier Parish Community CollegeBossier City, LA Public $ 49% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
76%
8 Cerritos CollegeNorwalk, CA Public $ 33% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
78%
9 Lakeshore Technical CollegeCleveland, WI Public $ 39% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
66%
10 Hinds Community CollegeRaymond, MS Public $ 39% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
44%
11 Allegany College of MarylandCumberland, MD Public $ 52% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
50%
12 CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community CollegeNew York, NY Public $ 32% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
88%
13 Kansas City Kansas Community CollegeKansas City, KS Public $ 26% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
43%
14 Northwood Technical CollegeShell Lake, WI Public $ 25% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
73%
15 CUNY Queensborough Community CollegeBayside, NY Public $ 27% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
81%
16 Missouri State University-West PlainsWest Plains, MO Public $ 25% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
62%
17 James A. Rhodes State CollegeLima, OH Public $ 34% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
35%
18 Davidson-Davie Community CollegeThomasville, NC Public $ 9% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
66%
19 Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell CampusRoswell, NM Public $ 5% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
71%
20 Central Georgia Technical CollegeWarner Robins, GA Public $ 6% Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Online
Programs
1
Online
Student %
45%

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.

  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.