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How much did your nursing education cost you? Worth it?


Specializes in Med/Surg, International Health, Psych. Has 8 years experience.


i would just like to get a general idea of how much nursing school debt average rns bsn- or apn-prepared are carrying in educational debt? i studied nursing as a second career having left journalism. the entire bsn cost me about $13,000 (books and uniforms included), not having to take any general education credits only nursing courses. worth every penny of it!i was never so marketable as a journalist. i can quit a job one morning and be working another by 3:00pm the same day.

however, i am now interested in a msn np psych program that is $18,000 per year and am leery about this debt. just hoping to get some feedback on justifiable debt. any insight and information will be greatly appreciated. thank you.

i took my master's a hunnert years or so ago, and most all of the cutting-edge clinical stuff in my field then is old news now (not all, though, for sure). but it still opens doors, because it says i was willing to take the risk to do that cutting-edge stuff; learn how to read, conduct, and evaluate research; integrate all that into my daily practice (whatever it was/is); and keep life-long learning in my life. good things to communicate to potential employers or clients. mine was, oh, hell, i wanna say around $6k, but that was when florence was a probie. has repaid me many, many times over. do it.

Medic/Nurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in Flight, ER, Transport, ICU/Critical Care.

My initial ASN nursing degree via EC was approx 10K - I did it quickly. The investment paid for itself many times over.

Overall with a BS and other college experiences - less than another 10K and never had any debt.

Money spend on an education, though an investment, is still real money.

Spend wisely and carefully.

Good Luck.


joanna73, BSN, RN

Specializes in geriatrics.

It cost me around 35 000 for my 4 year BSN program. Well worth it.

I'm just getting started (in August) as a second degree BSN student. The 5 semester program will cost around 15K give or take. I'll only be taking nursing core courses. I'm praying I'll be able to get a job when the program is over.

kythe, LPN

Specializes in LPN. Has 14 years experience.

I paid out of pocket for prereqs that I took individually (usually 1 class per semester), and I never totalled what that cost. Once I entered nursing school full time, my loans totalled $12,000 for the two semesters I went before earning my LPN in 2007. Tuition itself was a fraction of that cost, but as the sole financial provider for my family, I needed loans to cover living expenses as well. It was completely worth it, since I have more than doubled my salary and have a real career.

My career mistake was becoming a Medical Assistant many years ago. I went to a private vocational school for only 9 months and wracked up $12,000 in debt that I still haven't entirely paid off yet. The only thing I had to show for it was a $9.50/hr job, no different in pay than many careers that do not require "college" education at all.

I've been a FNP for 14 years(RN for 19) & I would advise to pay for as much as you possibly can out of pocket, go to the program that delivers best education for a reasonable price. The most important thing I realized over my first few years as a NP is the learning only truly begins after you get that first terrifying job and it is a much easier transition when you don't owe thousands in school debt!!!

demylenated, BSN, RN

Specializes in Addiction, Psych, Geri, Hospice, MedSurg. Has 18 years experience.

Yikes :( I went to an ECPI private vocational nursing school that only offered the LPN classes. This was 12 years ago. It was almost $13,000. I was young, naive, and wanted to go to school THEN!!! And, it was the one I could get into within 2 weeks. All the rest had waiting lists. I STILL have my loans. My ADN is costing me a total of about $5,000. Mt BSN will probably be an additional $7,000 if I go that route (I may go straight to MS or DR). This time I am PAYING AS I GO! No more loans, at least, not yet.

Worth it? ABSO-FREAKING-LUTELY!!! I made the 13,000 extra the first year I worked!

BUT, I am actually VERY glad that I did go to the LPN school I did. I am finding the LPNs that I am in transition with are STRUGGLING with the program (and they only graduated, on average, 5 years ago), and passing with 2 points above what is needed. I have an almost 100% average (and I haven't studied nearly as hard as they have - and it is not because I am *that* smart, it is because my education was *that* good)!! At the school I went to, there was NO REST and they POUNDED the stuff into my brain. We started with 28 students, and only graduated with 6!!

Good luck.

KeepItRealRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in CVICU. Has 28 years experience.

Over 30,000/ year

30k/yr????? That's 120k total! That is complete insanity.


Specializes in ICU, ED, Trauma, Transplant. Has 8 years experience.

I went through an ADN program at a CC right after high school (graduated HS in 2000 and then nursing school in 2003). I was really lucky; my parents let me live at home as long as I wanted and all I was responsible for was my tuition, books, car expenses, clothing and helping out with the grocery bill. I worked 20 hrs a week through the school year, and then full time in the summers. I managed my money well and took advantage of my school's payment plan. I paid about 5k for my ADN, and I ended up having a few thousand in savings when I graduated. Now, with shift differentials, charge nurse differentials, mandatory on-call shifts and some overtime shifts every once in a while, I can make in the very low 100k range a year. So I think my $5k degree is worth it's weight in gold and then a few pounds more, but I know that if I was completely responsible for myself monetarily while in school, I would have had to take out loans to survive. I was able to finance a house and buy a couple cars with cash sooner than I would have if I had any student loans to pay, so I'm utterly grateful for my parent's support to this day.

Now, I'm currently taking classes towards my BSN, and I'm paying $50 per credit because I'm employed at my university's hospital. I don't know if I want to pursue NP or CRNA eventually, but I think if I were to stop at a BSN, my entire education will cost me a little under 10k. That's still an incredibly low price tag, especially for this day and age.

Five&Two Will Do

Specializes in cardiology/oncology/MICU. Has 3 years experience.

I am an ADN. In NC there ae great incentives to aid nursing students. Between pell grants that I received (single parent) and those incentives, I actually came out ahead about $6000 after the five semesters were over. I have been looking at some of the online rn-bsn programs. I am probably going to pay out the yang for those so in the end I may be out $10K.


What state do u work in? Hows the cost of living there? I am trying to relocate...Thanks

It took 5 years of my life, getting shot at, enduring ambushes, mosquitos, living in the jungle, eating cold mre's. Getting malaria and being paid pootly for all if it. Monetarily it cost me nothing for my BSN....i would do it all over again except this time I would take Physical Therapy.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 15 years experience.

I attended a private nonprofit school to become an LVN: $20,000 in debt. I graduated in 2005 and paid off the student loan in 2007.

I also attended a private, for-profit school's LPN-to-RN completion program: $12,700 in debt. I graduated last year, the student loans were due for repayment in October, and my current balance is $10,600. I'm currently repaying $300 monthly instead of the minimum payment of $170 to get it paid off sooner.

Was it worth it? For me, it was very much worth it. A nursing degree has greatly enhanced my earning potential, and my nursing experience has enriched my marketability in the local job market.


Specializes in Med-Surg.

so far 3rd year... 25,000 CAN. estimated is around 32,000 canadian by the end for the 4 year BSN program (which is actually in 3 years but we just have an extra semester through summer).

Worth it? Yes... i am working as an ESN right now and getting paid quite well for it... worth every bit of experience

Halfway through an ADN program, but with tuition waivers I haven't spent a dime on tuition ever. Books and supplies at the beginning of the program were around $800 and included books for all 4 semesters. Extra fees like ATI fees, parking, CPR certification will be around $300 in the end. My parents have paid for everything including gas, so I will graduate with no debt.

Tuition would have been around $1,200 without the waivers and the extra stuff cost $1,100, so $2,300 for my whole program (in California).

I do plan on getting my BSN in the future and through online programs it shouldn't cost over 5-8k. I do agree that even if you stop at a BSN, every penny is worth it.

I think it cost me more socially than monetarily. I was either busy studying or too tired from studying to go do anything with my friends.