How Much Does it Cost to Go to Nurse Practitioner School?

nurse practitioner costIf you’re a registered nurse (RN) who wants to advance in your career and provide a high level of individualized care, start training to become a nurse practitioner. Want to know how much nurse practitioner school costs will set you back? Find out here.

Nurse Practitioner Programs
First, understand that most states require nurse practitioners to hold a master of science in nursing (MSN) degree. To gain entrance to an MSN degree program for this advanced practice specialty, you’ll need a bachelor of science degree in nursing (BSN) and/or at least one or two years of clinical RN experience. If you have a diploma or associate degree in nursing (ADN), you can enroll in a BSN-to-MSN program.

Once you complete an MSN degree, you may also choose to enroll in a post-graduate certificate program that will enable you to specialize in a particular area of nurse practitioner care (e.g., acute care, neonatal, women’s health, etc.).

Nurse Practitioner School Costs
Let’s break those degree program requirements into dollars and cents. A nurse practitioner master’s degree consists of about two years of full-time study, which translates into 40 to 60 credits. Post-graduate certificate programs consist of about 40 credits and charge tuition comparable to MSN degree costs.

Nurse practitioner tuition at a state university averages about $200 per credit for state residents and jumps to $500 per credit for out-of-state students. Total nurse practitioner tuition for a 60-credit program would then be $12,000 for in-state students and $30,000 for out-of-state students.

If your heart is set on a private university, be aware that these schools charge as much as $1,000 per credit – amounting to $60,000 for total nurse practitioner tuition.

Nurse Practitioner School Fees
That’s not all. Additional nurse practitioner school fees often include lab, library, student services, activity, and clinical placement fees. Plus, you need to factor liability insurance (on top of regular health insurance) as well as textbooks into your budget for each semester. And nursing textbooks tend to be pricier than liberal arts books.

Remember that you’ll be paying these nurse practitioner school costs on top of your BSN degree tuition. On the other hand, you may have fulfilled some of your MSN degree requirements during the course of your BSN program, in which case you’ll be able to save some money on nurse practitioner tuition.

Nurse Practitioner Financial Aid
Given the never-ending nursing shortage, nurse practitioner financial aid is widely available. Academic nurse practitioner scholarships are usually available through nursing schools and may be based on your standardized test scores and/or undergraduate GPA. Nurse practitioner scholarships based on financial need are available as well. Professional organizations such as the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners also offer a number of nurse practitioner scholarships.

Employer tuition assistance is another common source of nurse practitioner financial aid. In light of the nationwide demand for skilled nursing care, many employers will bear the brunt of nurse practitioner school costs so that their RNs can put their training to use in their health care organization.

Finding money to pay nurse practitioner school costs can be as simple as talking to your boss or applying for a scholarship online. And the personal and professional fulfillment you’ll experience as a nurse practitioner will make your investment worthwhile.