Becoming a nurse practitioner is a costly decision (but it will be worth it). Avoiding unnecessary expense in getting your NP education prevents the headache of paying off a chunk of loans once you graduate leaving you free to enjoy your new career. If you wish to go about getting your nurse practitioner degree in a financially savvy manner, which schools will offer you a quality education at an affordable price?
We have surveyed over 200 nurse practitioner programs regarding their quality and cost of education. Which schools came out on top?
1. University of Central Arkansas
At just $179/ credit hour (about $7,340 total) for Arkansas residents, University of Central Arkansas‘ nurse practitioner program is a steal. The University keeps things affordable for out-of-state students as well. Non-resident students pay just $358/ credit hour (about $14,680 total). But is quality sacrificed by this inexpensive education? No. University of Central Arkansas nurse practitioner program graduates boast a 99% pass rate on the national certification exam. 90% of NP grads from UCA hold a job as a nurse practitioner within six months of finishing the NP program. We think these statistics speak well about the quality of education delivered at UCA. An added bonus: the FNP and ANP specialty programs can be completed online.
2. Indiana Wesleyan University
Indiana Wesleyan University offers an excellent education for the price. Charging $495/ credit hour, students can complete a nurse practitioner degree for under $25,000. Graduating with just $25,000 in educational expenses is not bad considering as a nurse practitioner you can expect to make an average salary of over $90,000 per year. Does Indiana Wesleyan’s affordable degree adequately prepare students to find work after graduation? Yes. IWU NP program grads have a 100% pass rate on the national certification exam allowing 100% of them to find work within six months of graduation. The FNP program at IWU is offered at three locations throughout Indiana providing added convenience.
3. Husson University
Although $1 more per credit hour than our previous Best Value pick, Husson University requires fewer credit hours to graduate from their nurse practitioner program. Husson University allows aspiring NP’s to complete a degree at just under $22,000. What does Husson offer at this oh-so-affordable price? Husson NP students complete coursework online giving them flexibility and allowing them to earn an income while they complete their education. Students must attend on campus courses Friday afternoons or every other Saturday in addition to their online coursework. Husson’s pricing does not sacrifice educational quality. All of Husson’s nurse practitioner program graduates pass the national certification exam and find employment as NP’s within six months of graduation.
4. Louisiana State University
Priced almost as well as our top pick, Louisiana State University is one of the most cost effective nurse practitioner programs in the country. At just $255/ credit, Louisiana residents can complete a NP degree for a total of $12,240 (primary care specialty). What if you don’t live in Louisiana? You are still in luck. LSU offers their NP program to out-of-state residents for $372/ credit allowing nurse practitioners-to-be to complete the program for around $17,850. Completing your nurse practitioner education at these prices is an excellent value considering your post-graduation earning potential. But what about the dreaded national NP certification exam? Not to worry- 100% of NP graduates from LSU pass.
5. Clarkson College
Clarkson College finishes our Best Value list priced at $477/ credit hour. Nurse practitioner students studying at Clarkson can earn their NP degree at a total cost of $22,420. Does Clarkson College offer any advantages to its NP program besides the price? Yes! Clarkson’s MSN program can be completed online requiring students to visit campus just a few times throughout the program. Upon completing their education, Clarkson NP graduates excel in the working world. 90-100% (depending on year) of Clarkson’s nurse practitioner graduates pass the national NP certification exam and 90% hold employment as nurse practitioners within six months of graduation.
Have you found an affordable nurse practitioner program? What about any scholarships or helpful financial aid options? Share with the rest of us by commenting below!