Cheapest NP Program...period.

  1. 1
    Hey Folks,

    Yeah I'm actually asking this question seriously.

    So here's the thing: I've been an RN (w/ a BSN and a prev. Bach.) in the ER for 1.5 years. It's awesome. I thoroughly enjoy it, but it's a 2nd (okay 4th career) for me and I've always known I would want to continue to become an NP after a short (albeit reasonable) amount of time. That being said, I already have WAY TOO MUCH student loan debt to gladly rack up another $50k - $80k for an MSN or DNP.

    Thus, I ask of you: What is the absolutely LEAST expensive NP (preferably FNP) program you know of?

    I've done quite a bit of web-research. When you google this idea, usual the results look like this:

    Which is fine but not exactly definitive or accurate. I've searched here on Allnurses about 40-ish times and read all kinds of dead-end threads from a couple years back.

    I prefer online or one with a strong online component but... I live in LA and having approval from the CA Board of Nursing is pretty much the only requirement.

    So what do you know folks? Annual tuition, total program cost, cost per credit? I need hard numbers please.

    Thanks for reading.

    ps. I know programs such as Frontier are very reasonable (about $30k) but it's also geared towards Women's Health NP (which is actually pretty cool, but just not really my thing).
    hopefullapass likes this.

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  2. 27 Comments...

  3. 2
    Hmmmm. NP schools are not cheap. One option to manage cost is to get an MSN online through western governor's (cheap as HELL if you are self motivated, because you can take as many classes as you want for a flat rate each term), then get a post-MSN cert in your specialty. It won't knock much off the cost, but it might help. I saved about $20,000 by doing that.
    hopefullapass and serenity1 like this.
  4. 0
    I agree with cayenne there, most all NP programs I've looked into run 30-50K period for the entire program...Frontier has a Family Nurse practitioner component, it's not just women's health or midwifery. University of Cincinnati is a good option although you would have to research the state issues, as I'm from FL so there aren't many schools that I have a problem with. UC is about $34K entirely online, plus clinicals in your hometown and no campus visits. I have looked at WGU for the the MSN in education, and then thought about doing the post masters' option if i do not get into one of the three NP programs I applied to. One lady on here said she took 11mo and 5 days total to complete her MSN, and I think each 6mo term costs around $4K??? so thats not bad at all, plus they have the advanced pharm, advanced patho and health assessment courses that some MSN education schools do not offer as part of the curriculum.
  5. 0
    I know someone on here posted that at South University she was paying $1700 every other month out of pocket to avoid having to take out student if a school has a payment plan and you can swing that payment you would leave with your degree and debt free =)
  6. 1
    here is WGU's tuition = ( a term is equal to 6months)
    Nursing Programs (MSN and BSN): $3,250 per term
    TarrieFranke likes this.
  7. 0
    Thanks for the quick responses. The WGU concept seems to be more than just a novel ideal - thanks for the info. Of course, it opens up the natural follow-up question of where to get a post-master's cert. for FNP but, I suppose, cheaper is cheaper.

    But what's up with the grad. gpa of 3.0 for everyone? Isn't that a lil sketchy when applying to more competitive post-master's or DNP programs?
  8. 2
    Cost should not be your top priority, there are many more important things to consider.
    Carrie RN and zmansc like this.
  9. 0
    USA is, I believe, around $430 per credit hour, and all online. Most semesters I saw for the FNP track were 6 credits each, with one being 9 credits, so it's usually under $3K per semester. It's one of the cheapest I've seen that doesn't require you to be in-state. I think University of Southern Illinois was comparable.
  10. 2
    Exactly. This is the type of response I honestly appreciate for all of about 8 seconds. I realize cost shouldn't be the TOP priority priority, which is why my original question takes up about 1/2 of a page. Boston, huh? So if you clicked on my link you might have seen how U. Mass (in Amherst) is right up there with err, well actually according to that specific list it IS the cheapest in-state tuition.

    The thing is, and I'm really not trying to sound utterly condescending or unappreciative of your feedback, cost is a deciding factor in where I can apply and in no small part because it wasn't such a concern of mine back when I was attending a very good (expensive) liberal arts school while earning my BA more than a decade ago; or whilst getting my BSN not too long ago as well. In fact, my disregard for mounting student loan debt is very much why I can't ignore the cost of any future NP school.

    I also understand this is where people might say, "Hey Nurse Oakley44, maybe lay off the whole idea until you finishing paying off your current mortgage of student loans then". I get that but if I were to be able to attend a school where I could actually kind of pay as I go, then I'd much prefer to do that; which leaves me to my original question. What is the cheapest NP (preferably FNP) program (that's recognized in all 50 states or at least CA) that you know of??

    I really can't stress enough the fact that I've been researching this very concept on Allnurses before I even finished my BSN but, much like the salary/wage inquiry threads, most of these type of posts dissolve into arguments about the quality of one program or another w/o ever mentioning any kind of hard numbers. For example, I've come to realize, if $ weren't a real issue, I would've already applied to UC Davis here in CA a couple months ago, or Drexel Univ., or Georgetown.

    Again, thanks for reading.
    Last edit by Oakley44 on Oct 25, '13 : Reason: 2:03am spelling time
    hopefullapass and Crux1024 like this.
  11. 0
    Have you looked into the possibility of your hospital flipping some of the bill as reimbursement? Cheaper is not always the best.

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