When evaluating nursing schools, the all-in cost of education is definitely a major factor to consider. To help get you on your way, here are a few important points for consideration.

Tuition and fees. In general, you should budget significantly higher tuition cost at a private school than for the equivalent course offering at a public counterpart. This is due in large part to the state and local government subsidies that public schools enjoy. Despite the lower tuition, many public institutions provide a high-quality education on par with private schools. Nonetheless, some healthcare employers will show a preference for private school graduates come hiring time.

Books and supplies. Nursing education textbooks are numerous, thick, and rather expensive; some are as costly as the tomes used by doctors-in-training. On the upside, these textbooks will serve as lifelong reference materials throughout your professional career. In addition, several tools like dissecting kits will be required for the laboratory portions of your education.

Another important consideration is length of program. Certificate courses are less expensive because they run only 12-18 months (sometimes less). Associate's degree programs are typically two years in length, while a bachelor’s degree requires four years of study. A huge return on investment awaits the graduates of longer education programs; registered nurses can see their pay increase from $58,000 at a generalist level to $80,000+ for RN specialists with a master's degree.

If you’re ready to invest in your future, see our list below of Indiana's best nursing schools arranged from most to least expensive.