Nursing school can open a new pathway for your future. If you are interested in serving others, this is the best choice for you. It is a career that pays well and has a bright future. The best thing about a career in nursing is that it will never go out of demand. The average salary for a registered nurse is $71,730. However, it is important to consider the cost of nursing school and then decide whether the salary is enough. The salary should be enough to cover the cost of living expenses and the student loan debt.
According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, about 50% of the nursing graduates said that their major concern was the ability to pay the loan back. Education comes at a cost and with a heavy student loan burden. The program you take will make a significant difference in the amount of debt you will take on.
Becoming a registered nurse
A registered nurse should have a two-year associate’s degree but there are many who choose to pursue a four-year bachelor’s degree as it helps increase the salary. You can also earn a diploma and work while you complete the degree. You must be licensed in the state and pass the RN exam.
There are three options for the RN program:
- Diploma program– You can take a diploma program to enter the field by Licensed Vocational Nursing and Licensed practical nursing. Several schools, hospitals, community colleges, and vocational schools offer it.
- Associate of Science in Nursing (ADN)– The two-year program is offered at various schools and community colleges. It is ideal for those who want to work their way to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)– This four-year program has a high salary and is offered at universities. It includes general education requirements with the clinical experiences.
For those who want to advance their career in nursing, there is a master’s programs you should pursue.
Which nursing school program pays well?
The location and program are the main factors which have an impact on the cost of nursing school and how much you will get paid when you complete the program. Many nurses make from $48,690 to $104,100 a year and the average salary of a nurse at the national level is $75,510. Further, the highest-paid nurses in the world make more than $104,100.
A diploma program will cost between $5000 to $25,000 in a public college and between $20,000 to $40,000 in a private university. The average income for a diploma holder is $45,030.
The ADN program is an affordable program that can allow for a higher salary and the program takes two years. It will cost around $6,000 to $40,000 at a public college and between $30,000 to $100,000 at a private school. After completing the program, the average salary is the same as RN which stands at $71,730.
The BSN program has a wide range and it starts at $40,000 which can go as high as $200,000 for a private school. It will take four years to complete but offers a higher salary.
If you have the funds and want to make a higher income, you should pursue a BSN at college. It has better opportunities in the long-term. In 2018, the highest paying state for nurses was California and the average RN salary was $106,950. The highest paying state for BSN nurses was also California with an annual salary of $125,430, followed by Hawaii at $117,370.