First, you will have to select the type of program you are interested in.
An associate’s degree in nursing takes about two years, is ultimately cheaper, and can get you your RN degree the quickest.
A bachelor’s of nursing degree is typically four years, much more expensive, requires college level courses, and makes you eligible for supervisory roles.
Of course, you don’t have to become an RN to become a nurse. You could become a licensed practical nurse, or LPN, in about 18 months, but you will have restrictions on what you are able to do for your patients.
Dollars by the degree
The average cost of these programs depends on many factors.
Which program you choose, where you are located, and the school you select can all factor into how much money you spend on your nursing education.
Unfortunately, due to these variables, it is difficult to find a hard and fast number. Some LPN students may spend $20,000 while BSN students can spend well over $100,000.
The important thing to remember is that nursing school costs thousands of dollars, and you need to make your decision to go to school very carefully. You need to examine your goals, your needs, and what is available to help you make the decision about what course to take and how to pay for it.
The acceptance to schools varies with program and region. In some regions, the competition is very tight due to the nursing shortage, and you may have to wait years to get into even an LPN program.
However, some places have more than enough room in any program you choose. It is generally easier to get into an LPN program because there are so many of them around.
The road to choosing schools
ADN programs are getting more difficult to find, and due to the quickness of the class, you may find that these are the most competitive programs. BSN programs can be competitive, too, depending on how many colleges or universities in your area offer nursing programs.
Complicating the matter is the availability of clinical sites, and this often restricts the amount of students any nursing program can take. If you live in an area with few hospitals, clinics, or nursing homes, you may have more of a wait to get into a program.
Once you are in nursing school, the amount of time you will need to complete classwork usually takes up a great deal of time. Many students have successfully juggled school, family, and work while taking classes, but it is by no means an easy road.
If you want to pursue nursing, you are going to have to set aside time in your schedule regardless of which program you choose. You will need time for the classes themselves, but studying and clinicals will also take up a large portion of your time.
These are just a few of the logistics to think about when approaching the possibility of nursing school. Talking over these points with a counselor at the school will help you understand the logistics that are in play in your area.