Many potential students worry about the all-in cost of nursing education. To demystify the process, we explain below the major costs required to pursue a nursing degree or certificate, as well as the potential return on this investment.

Obviously, the most significant cost of enrollment is tuition. Nursing tuition depends on two critical factors. The first is type of program. A certificate program is shorter; most can be completed in a matter of weeks or months. Even a licensed practical nurse (LPN) certificate requires just 12-18 months of fulltime enrollment. Degree programs require lengthier study. For example, an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) runs for two years, while a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree requires four years of study.

The second critical factor is type of school. A public institution, like a community college or public university, subsidizes the tuition of local residents. Private colleges and universities thus carry a significantly higher “sticker price,” although many have extensive financial aid to close the gap for students in need.

Other costs
Room and board costs range from a few thousand dollars to ten thousand dollars per semester, depending upon location. Students who live off-campus can often save significantly on this expense. In addition, all students should budget about one thousand dollars per semester for books, school supplies, and miscellaneous fees.

Nursing pay
Nursing compensation increases substantially at higher levels of education. Mississippi’s LPNs, who typically hold a certificate, earn a median annual salary of $35,150. The state’s registered nurses, who must hold a degree, receive an average of $55,000 in annual pay. BSN-educated nurses typically receive top-quartile pay of $66,320 or more per year. Mississippi’s aspiring nurses should consider this return on their investment before selecting their educational pathway.

To help potential students learn more about the costs of nursing education, we have compiled below expense data for several of Mississippi’s nursing programs.