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5 Most Affordable Top Nursing Schools

Education is a huge indicator of compensation and career options in any field, and nursing is no exception. There are so many levels and types of expertise in the nursing profession, and education opens doors to a plethora of career options. Though some nursing programs are upwards of $100,000, nursing school doesn't have to be expensive. If you are ready for a bigger paycheck, a more engaging or specialized area of work, or just something new, here are the most affordable top programs.

Methodology: We took the top US BSN programs (which employers are increasingly requiring of RNs and will make securing a job as a Registered Nurse much easier) and identified the top 5 most affordable. For public universities, state tuition was considered.

1. University of Washington–Seattle: $9,443

The BSN program at University of Washington at Seattle builds professional experience into every student's education, so that by the time they graduate, students have done over 1,000 hours of patient care experiences. Students gain work experience at over 700 community sites, including the Washington Medical Center and the Seattle Children's Hospital. The Nursing School's graduation rate is 98%.

2. University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill: $11,100

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers two options to BSN candidates: a traditional Bachelor's in Nursing, and an accelerated program which can be completed in two years. The former option is great for students who want an extensive and thorough nursing education. These students will take both prerequisite and nursing-specific courses, and finish with a capstone course. The accelerated program is ideal for RNs who already hold an Associate's Degree and want to open themselves up to other job opportunities, and secure their place in the nursing profession.

3. West Virginia University: $11,486

Hailing from Charleston, West Virginia, WVU is ideal for students who already have some education under their belts, whether it be in nursing or other fields. The BSN program offers an accelerated track which is ideal for students who already hold a Bachelor's of Science or Bachelor's of Arts, as well as an RN to BSN program. Students who need them are provided with laptops, and nursing students benefit from hands on learning with WVU's two simulation facilities.

4. University of Illinois at Chicago: $11,884

U of Illinois at Chicago has a specialized track for students who enter the program already having their RN, making it the perfect university for nurses who already have Associate's Degrees to advance their careers. Hands-on learning is emphasized here, and students can learn through clinical simulations at the Clinical Learning Resource Center. Students can also partake in the many organizations, including Student Nurses for Social Justice and the Student Nurses' Organization.

5. Rutgers University–Newark: $12,020

Located in Newark, New Jersey, Rutgers University at Newark provides extensive student support, including tutoring and counseling, and excellent teaching. In an effort to provide equity in education, Rutgers established the Educational Opportunity Fund, which provides students with financial, academic, and counseling services. Qualified sophomores can take advantage of the Honors Program, which helps prepare passionate students for advanced studies in nursing.