10 Cheapest Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Programs in 2023

Obtaining a BSN opens many doors for your future and doesn't have to be expensive. Here are 10 of the most affordable BSN programs available in 2023.

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10 Cheapest Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Programs in 2023

Pursuing a career as a nurse can be exciting, especially considering all the program options. Among them is the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, one of the best for prospective students to consider.

After completing this program, graduates can expect to work in any nursing and healthcare field, from public to community health, bedside nursing, and beyond. 

Regardless of where a nursing career may take you, most graduates can agree they do not want to graduate with a great deal of debt. To help avoid that, we've put together information on some of the costs involved in obtaining a BSN while also detailing the 10 most affordable programs in the country.

What Is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)?

BSNs programs teach students patient care, nursing knowledge, leadership, evidence-based practice skills, and critical thinking skills they can apply to their future careers as registered nurses (RNs).

RNs use their knowledge to provide excellent hands-on care to patients in the hospital or community setting.

You may pursue various career paths with a BSN degree beyond the bedside, including legal nurse consulting, health informatics, occupational health nursing, school nursing, and more. 

Many BSN programs offer various types and modes of education, allowing students to choose whichever type fits their lifestyle best. This includes education being offered on-campus, hybrid, accelerated, or online.

BSN Prerequisites and Requirements

BSN program requirements can be rigorous to ensure that applicants and eventual students can handle the workload of nursing school. A list of required prerequisite courses or education levels will always be needed before admission to any program.

Students must usually complete these prerequisites within the past five years to be eligible. You may also need a minimum GPA on certain prerequisite classes for admission consideration. 

While the course requirements needed before application will vary from program to program, there are some standard courses that most programs will require. Some of the usual course requirements include:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Microbiology
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Lifespan growth and development
  • Nutrition
  • Psychology
  • Statistics
  • Growth and development

Related: 10 Best Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Programs in 2023

In addition to the course prerequisites listed above, many programs have other admission requirements, including a minimum overall GPA, references, community service, and more.

It's also worth noting that some programs accept transfer credits from a community college or other institutions, but it is always crucial to research these factors before beginning an application.

Traditional BSN Program

A traditional BSN program follows the same track expected from any other bachelor's program. This track typically takes four years, includes general education credits and nursing-specific courses, and is usually offered on campus.

Accelerated BSN Program

As the name suggests, students can complete an accelerated BSN program in less time than a traditional one. Accelerated programs typically require the applicant to have a prior non-nursing Bachelor's degree, allowing them to focus solely on nursing-focused education.

Bridge Program 

A bridge program is for those who already hold a nursing degree but want to advance their education. For example, an ADN-BSN bridge program or an RN-BSN is for a student with an Associate Degree in Nursing who wishes to obtain a BSN. These programs are typically completed in less time than traditional ones and focus solely on nursing courses.

Cheapest BSN Programs in 2023

Choosing the best school will look different for each applicant, as students' values will differ. Below, we've compiled the top 10 BSN programs available to students who require the most affordable education possible, in reconciliation with allnurses' methodology of considering NCLEX pass rates, graduation rates, student-faculty ratio, mode, duration, and admission rates of hundreds of the most prominent nursing schools in the United States.

1. University of North Carolina at Wilmington

Founded in 1984, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington has a simulation learning center and their newly created FuseCR, which help students apply their learnings to real-life scenarios and beyond. 

  • Cost: $6,089.13
  • Duration: 12 months
  • CCNE accreditation

2. The University of Texas at Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington is the largest producer of Baccalaureate-prepared nurses in Texas and offers various BSN pathways. Among them is their accelerated RN-BSN that can be taken online for affordable and fast education.

  • Cost: $8,995.00
  • Duration: 9 months
  • CCNE accreditation

3. University of Utah

The University of Utah offers various Baccalaureate programs, including an online RN-BSN track and an SLCC RN-BS Express Pathway for second-semester Salt Lake Community College nursing students. 

  • Cost: $9,000.00
  • Duration: 12-24 months
  • CCNE accreditation

4. Aspen University

Aspen University offers a traditional BSN and an RN to BSN program. Their nursing tracks all provide flexible scheduling and online courses to accommodate students who are also working full-time. 

  • Cost: $9,750
  • Duration: 12 months
  • CCNE accreditation

5. Ohio University

Ohio University offers many different BSN pathways, including an online RN to BSN that offers affordability and speed, enabling students to kickstart their careers. 

  • Cost: $10,000
  • Duration: 12 months
  • CCNE accreditation

6. Mississippi University for Women

Mississippi University for Women offers two BSN tracks, a generic option to be completed as part of a 4-year degree plan, and an RN-BSN option with both part-time and full-time paths. For affordability, the RN-BSN is best, providing students have the necessary prerequisites and requirements.

  • Cost: $10,000.00
  • Duration: 18 months
  • CCNE accreditation

7. University of New Mexico

The University of New Mexico offers a pre-licensure BSN program for those becoming a nurse for the first time and a most affordable option for already licensed nurses, an RN-BSN online option.  

  • Cost: $10,864.80
  • Duration: 20 months
  • CCNE accreditation

8. Western Governors University

Western Governors University charges students every six months, allowing them to take as many courses as possible in that period. 

  • Cost: $3,998 per semester
  • Duration: 24 months
  • CCNE accreditation

9. East Tennessee State University

East Tennessee State University offers many BSN programs, including a traditional BSN, accelerated BSN, RN-BSN, LPN-BSN, and a dual degree program. 

  • Cost: $4,837 per semester
  • Duration: Varies depending on program type
  • CCNE accreditation

10. Texas Tech University Health and Sciences Center

Texas Tech University Health and Sciences Center allows students to travel to developing nations to provide healthcare and various BSN tracks, including an accelerated BSN and a second-degree BSN.

  • Cost: Estimated $22,230.00
  • Duration: 12-24 months
  • CCNE accreditation

Salary Expectations of a BSN in 2023

Upon graduation from an accredited BSN program, the ultimate goal is to land a job. Many job opportunities exist for RNs, in various fields, and locations, aligned with levels of education and experience, all of which affect salaries.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average annual salary for an RN is $77,600, with the highest-paid working in California, Hawai'I, and Oregon, while the lowest-paid nurses come from South Dakota, Alabama, and Mississippi. 

In addition to bedside nursing, other nursing fields that can vary in salary include nursing informatics, public health nursing, nursing research, insurance industry jobs, working with pharmaceutical and medical supply companies, and more.

FAQ and Additional Readings

Q: Is obtaining a BSN worth it?

Obtaining a BSN opens many doors for your future. Not only can you work as an RN, a great career in and of itself, but you can further your education to obtain a master's degree or beyond, opening up more career doors and opportunities.

Q: Is financial aid available for nursing students?

Almost all nursing degree programs offer some financial aid. You can contact the financial assistance office of the program or university you plan to attend to learn about your options.

Related: 10 Fastest Registered Nurse (RN) Programs in 2023

Q: Is there an accreditation process for BSN programs?

Yes, common accreditations you will see are CCNE (Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education) and ACEN (Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing).

Q: Are all programs full time or can I work during my program?

There are many different options when it comes to BSN programs. While many require you to be a full-time student, there are options for part-time programs and some online and distance learning. Again, this will vary significantly from program to program, so looking at all options before selecting a nursing program is essential.


Lauren is a Registered Nurse with 8+ years of nursing experience.

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