What is the Cost of an Associate’s Degree in Nursing?
The cost of an associate’s degree in nursing program is typically very affordable. The length of the program, type of college you attend and any financial assistance all affect the program’s overall cost. Before enrolling in any nursing program, ensure that you will be attending an accredited program that will let you sit for the NCLEX-RN to become a registered nurse.
Related Resource: Demand for Associate’s Degree Nurse
Tuition Costs: Public vs. Private
Many associate degree programs in nursing are offered at local community colleges. According to The Washington Post, the tuition at a community college is typically more affordable than the tuition at a technical school and four-year college or university, especially if you live in or near the county the school.
Associate degree programs are also offered at technical or trade schools. These programs typically cost more, as they are considered private schools instead of public state schools. Programs at technical schools do not always include a lengthy amount of general education courses found in community college programs. Instead, they focus more on nursing courses and hands-on skills labs. Many technical schools actively help students find jobs, while community colleges may only offer suggestions of where to seek employment after graduation.
Additional Program Fees
In addition to paying tuition costs, students are responsible for fees such as maintaining health insurance throughout the program, textbooks, lab fees, purchasing equipment such as scrubs and a stethoscope and fees associated with traveling to local clinical sites like hospitals and nursing homes. Students who live in campus dorms are responsible for housing costs and meal plans associated with the college.
To compare a community college to a technical college, we researched a few accredited programs. According to Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, located in North Carolina, the total cost of an Associate’s Degree in Nursing is $7,455.25. Chippewa Valley Technical College, located in Wisconsin, estimated that the total cost of an Associate’s Degree in Nursing would be $12,365. Richland Community College, in Illinois, estimates the total cost of their program to average $13,971, which seems to cover a more in-depth and broader associate’s degree background.
Not everyone can afford to go to school full-time. If you attend an associate’s degree in nursing program part-time, you will pay the same tuition costs per class as someone going full-time. However, because you are taking longer to do the classes, you fees may cost more than that of a full-time student. For example, you’ll need to hold health insurance coverage or pay for campus housing for a longer period of time than a full-time student.
Paying for community college out of pocket is reasonable with the right work schedule, study habits and determination. Many students seek federal financial assistance such as grants and loans, while some use private loans. It is also common to pick up a nurse assistant job at a hospital or nursing home and work there while the establishment supplies tuition assistance. Keep in mind that not all health care establishments offer tuition assistance. Another route to help pay for an associate’s degree in nursing is to join the armed forces.
As the field of nursing continues to grow, it requires the services of more and more educated nurses. One of the quickest routes to becoming a registered nurse is to attend a two-year program at a community college. The cost of an associate’s degree in nursing is typically very affordable, especially if you attend a program at a community college or receive any form of financial assistance.