Top 10 Most Affordable Traditional Nursing Degree Programs

In recent years, there has been a lot of hype about the shortage of nurses and the need for them, as the population continues to age rapidly. However, there has been much less discussion about how these future nurses are supposed to pay for their education. Sure, there are grants and scholarship options for the few, but many students do not qualify.

Finding an affordable nursing degree is no easy task. While there are plenty of options for those who are well-off, the rest of us struggle. Even though lots of ranking agencies and websites compile lists of the best nursing programs out there, few focus on the actual cost and value of the degree. As the education and associated fees keep rising, there are fewer and fewer options available for students who do not want to spend a fortune on their college degrees. So what is the solution?

One of the options you could try is an online college, but there are not that many accredited online nursing programs. On top of this, many end up being even more expensive than traditional nursing degrees. Even though many postgraduate degrees have started to offer parts of their programs online, this option tends to be less available for ADN and BSN programs. The reason is that all nursing degrees require some form of clinical experience. It is feasible for those already working as RNs or LPNs, but it is not an option if you have no prior experience working as a nurse.

Thankfully, we have made your life a whole lot easier! No need to spend hours and hours online creating your own spreadsheets to figure out what is the best option in terms of affordability when considering the quality of tuition. The “Top 10 Most Affordable Traditional Nursing Degree Programs” listed below has been compiled by taking these different factors into account- school reputation, retention and graduation rate, student-to-faculty ratio, and the cost of the degree.

Lamar University


4400 S M L King Jr Pkwy, Beaumont, Texas 77705

7,659 In-State Tuition

Lamar University takes pride in offering a traditional nursing degree program in the state of Texas. The Department of Nursing provides quality and innovative learning experiences, and they have partnered with more than 90 clinical agencies to expose students to various health care settings and help them gain confidence in addressing the many needs of the patients. Aside from the university’s high technology simulation equipment, they have a facility called “The Caring Place” which provides educational support services to students. This staffed nurse area allows students to ask different questions on a one-on-one basis, and additional assistance from their study. They can have access to laptops with supplemental software on various nursing topics.

The traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing program will enhance the student’s logical thinking by accumulating information from different disciplines and critically analyzing problems. The BSN graduates will be prepared to function as entry-level healthcare professionals who can practice in an evolving healthcare setting. They will be ready to provide quality healthcare services to individuals, families, significant others, communities, and societies, while incorporating research findings, pursuing graduate education and utilizing technology. Students pursuing the traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing meet the course requirements through laboratory assignments, didactic courses and clinical rotations in various hospitals and medical centers. They will be assigned to clinical experiences during the evening, day or weekend hours.

The faculty of Lamar University uses innovative teaching strategies to assist students in acquiring more knowledge and skills. They have two learning resources where students can benefit from- electronic medical record software and the use of ebooks. The two resources enable the students to learn the best ways to incorporate technology into nursing care and provide or manage relevant patient health information. Moreover, the newly-added interdisciplinary simulated learning experiences provide students with an opportunity to work with other healthcare providers, including paramedics.

Students in the traditional BSN program at Lamar University benefit from various scholarships for financial assistance. More than $70,000 is awarded to students with nursing majors, and these financial aid programs come from different sources and requirements. It is important to take note that the admission process of the traditional BSN program is competitive and requires applicants to meet the necessary qualifications of the university. Graduates of this program will gain not only a baccalaureate degree but also eligibility to take the NCLEX-RN licensing exam. Lamar University is among the universities in the country offering an affordable traditional BSN degree program. It is estimated that students will pay approximately $7,659 per year.

Farmingdale State College


2350 Broadhollow Rd, Farmingdale, New York 11735

6,470 In-State Tuition

Farmingdale State College has a traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing program that prepares students for entry into the nursing profession. Graduates of the program will obtain a Baccalaureate degree, making them eligible to take the National Council of State Board Licensing Exam for Registered Nurses, and the opportunity to advance their credentials through graduate studies.

The nursing curriculum of Farmingdale State College provides students with the necessary nursing skills to care of individuals, families, and groups in various healthcare settings, as well as the leadership skills required to supervise the nursing services provided in communities. The curriculum offers a good balance of courses between nursing and general education. Students are provided with the theoretical knowledge and clinical practice experience to administer nursing care for clients throughout their lives. Learning experiences will take place in the university’s classrooms, nursing laboratory, and several clinical settings. Every nursing student will be assisted by the school’s faculty who have broad nursing experience as well as academic preparation. They will have the chance to participate in the Student Nurse Association and the Department’s Student Nurse Outreach Program.

Individuals who want to take the traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at Farmingdale State College must submit an evidence of satisfactory physical, and mental health and a list of appropriate immunization like titers for measles, rubella, mumps, varicella and Hepatitis B. A Mantoux test for tuberculosis is also necessary every year. Students have to test negative for Hepatitis B and should receive the appropriate vaccines. A waiver of responsibility will be required of those who refuse the vaccination.

All matriculated students should have a CPR certification for healthcare providers. They have an obligation to submit a liability insurance policy that has malpractice coverage applicable to the entire nursing program. It is important for students to have their own transportation to access clinical sites easily. Dressing according to the agency’s protocol should be observed in all field experiences. The state of New York requires nursing students to be of good moral character. Individuals convicted of a crime or have committed an act that raises questions about his/her moral character will not be accepted into the course.

The nursing program at Farmingdale State College is approved by the state Board of Nursing. As one of the most affordable schools with a traditional nursing program, this state college admits only a selection of all applicants every year. Scholarships are available for students who seek financial assistance and who qualify for a study grant or aid.

Stony Brook University


100 Nicolls Rd, Stony Brook, New York 11794

6,470 In-State Tuition

The School of Nursing at Stony Brook University is one of five professional schools in the Health Sciences Center. They have full- and part-time educational programs that prepare students for a professional nursing practice, whether at the undergraduate, graduate or even postgraduate level. The traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program is designed to equip students in their chosen field of study. The curriculum puts more emphasis on the upper division leading to a Bachelor of Science Degree major in Nursing.

Students in the baccalaureate program will undergo pre-requisite and nursing core subjects. Aside from the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, nursing subjects are incorporated in the program to provide learning experiences that focus more on the changing healthcare environment, communication, and leadership. Students are exposed to different health care and professional nursing models.

The admission process of Stony Brook University is competitive as the School of Nursing only accepts a few students every semester. Although the state is in need of nurses, the University limits the number of students to ensure that all are monitored properly, especially in the early learning phase of the profession. The minimum requirements of the program is a cumulative GPA of 2.5, a criminal background check, a high school diploma or equivalent, and a record of immunization. Students in the nursing program do not only have to be mentally prepared, but they should also be physically free from communicable diseases to provide safe, quality care among a diverse group of patients.

Stony Brook University uses state-of-the-art facilities to develop the necessary knowledge and skills that every student should have. Since the traditional BSN program involves a clinical rotation in various health care facilities, students will be trained and taught several skills in the school’s nursing laboratory. They will be guided by their studies, particularly during the clinical rotation, so that they can provide quality nursing services while maintaining safe and efficient procedures. The faculty and staff of the university are experienced; they are licensed professionals and experts in the nursing field.

Nevertheless, Stony Brook University is one of the most affordable schools for a traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. Residents of the state will pay $6,470 for the undergraduate program, and non-residents pay $21,550. Scholarships and financial assistance are available to lessen the cost of the program and provide an opportunity for financially-needy individuals to finish the BSN program without creating huge debts from student loans.

University of Michigan


500 S State St, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109

14,400 In-State Tuition

The University of Michigan offers a traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing program that prepares aspiring nurses to work in various clinical settings. The Nursing Department of the University meets the educational needs of individuals wanting to earn a Baccalaureate degree, whether in a traditional way or through a bridge program. Graduates develop critical thinking and leadership skills that make them some of best in the profession.

The University of Michigan is one of the top-performing nursing schools in the country with a curriculum that integrates nursing courses with social and biological sciences, as well as humanities. They have an honors program for high-achieving students, a distinguished faculty well versed in teaching and research, a low student-faculty ratio and an ideal environment for success. Nursing is a changing profession, and the university aims to develop individuals who are highly skilled in providing excellent bedside care across the care spectrum.

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program provides a four-year undergraduate experience, combining theoretical classroom study and hands-on clinical experience. It is designed to help students become eligible for the NCLEX-RN licensing exam. The application process is quite competitive as the university accepts only a select few for each program. Direct applicants, as well as sophomore transfers from other colleges or universities, are welcome to apply provided they meet the requirements and eligibility to become a BSN student.

The University of Michigan offers ample opportunities to students. They have a Population Health in Global Context Minor that provides opportunities for nursing students to explore the global health through various courses and required field experience. The university offers global opportunities to students who want to study abroad. Moreover, the Undergraduate Honors Program of the University of Michigan provides exceptional opportunities to students who want to go further in the undergraduate educational and research experience. It is offered to support those students who possess excellence in leadership, research and service. The benefits of the program include financial assistance, connections with faculty on research projects and collaboration with health science leaders in various professions at meetings and conferences.

The tuition cost of the traditional BSN program is $14,400 which does not include other miscellaneous fees like books, uniforms, and other related supplies. Scholarships and financial assistance options are available to deserving students. Studying at the University of Michigan provides significant opportunities for growth in the nursing profession.

The University of Nevada at Las Vegas


4505 S Maryland Pkwy, Las Vegas, Nevada 89154

6,943 In-State Tuition

The University of Nevada at Las Vegas has an undergraduate program under the School of Nursing. This traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree places patient care at the center of the curriculum. This demanding and intense course requires students to complete the pre-requisite courses for four consecutive 15-week semesters before taking the core nursing subjects. Finishing the Bachelor of Science in Nursing equips students for an entry-level nursing practice and future graduate study. They can be employed in various healthcare settings like hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, long-term care units and many others.

One of the learning objectives of the BSN program is to integrate leadership skills, concepts and decision-making with the provision of quality nursing services. The University aims to develop students who demonstrate sound clinical judgment in assessing, implementing and evaluating evidence-based nursing care to individuals, groups, and community levels. Since nurses must be flexible, skillful and knowledgeable with nursing concepts, the faculty and staff of the School of Nursing use various teaching strategies to make this possible. The state-of-the art facilities, and the smaller class size, also help students achieve their educational goals. Only a few are admitted to the traditional BSN program so that individualized learning can be promoted.

The aim of the undergraduate nursing program is to prepare students become clinical practice generalists. Students obtain the necessary knowledge, competencies as well as the right attitude to practice the profession safely, efficiently and effectively. Graduating from the program allows them to become eligible for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses, required to practice as a licensed nurse in the state. Graduates are expected to demonstrate culturally competent care and competencies as effective communicators and managers of healthcare.

The School of Nursing follows a different tuition model. All students in the nursing courses under the 100 to 200 level pay the traditional per-credit fee of the university. Those under the 300 to 400 level will pay an additional $156.75 per credit, and students in the nursing courses 500 to 700 will pay an additional $239.50 per credit. Scholarships are available for qualified students. The University of Nevada at Las Vegas is one of the nursing schools with an affordable tuition cost, and finishing the traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree allows graduates to become qualified nursing professionals.

University of North Carolina


Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27514

8,374 In-State Tuition

The School of Nursing at the University of North Carolina offers a traditional nursing degree program designed to provide students with the necessary knowledge, skills, and understanding needed to function effectively in any area of the nursing profession. The curriculum leading to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree can be obtained in two ways.

The first option is the traditional four-year BSN course which has two years of upper division courses and another two years of lower division courses. The second option is an accelerated second-degree program offered to students with an ADN or an Associate degree. Students who want to study at the University of North Carolina have to take note that the admission process is competitive. Applicants must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.8, although it is not assured that first-year students will secure admission as juniors. The admissions committee of the University will critically evaluate every applicant based on his/her academic performance, community service history, descriptive essays, as well as special skills and abilities that give him/her a potential in providing excellent nursing services.

The Baccalaureate program in nursing prepares graduates to use critical thinking and caring in using a systematic approach to evaluating human responses to potential health problems and understanding various health issues. It helps graduates provide and manage competent care while employing interpersonal processes as well as therapeutic communication skills. Nursing courses are obtained at the upper division level. The classes build a strong foundation in humanities and sciences to develop the knowledge and skills required to practice nursing in contemporary society. Clinical experiences will take place in various settings, providing numerous opportunities for students to enhance their empathetic care, technical skills, critical thinking, clinical judgment, and the interdisciplinary collaboration and management of care.

Studying at the University of North Carolina allows students to gain a meaningful experience from their BSN degree. The university has supportive faculty and staff who will guide students in meeting their educational goals. The cost of the program starts from $8,374 for in-state students and $33,634 for out-of-state candidates. This does not include other costs like uniforms, books, and supplies. Financial assistance can be obtained to lessen the cost of the program. Students have to meet the requirements of the scholarship program to be considered for financial aid.

City University of New York

CUNY Hunter College

217 E 42nd St, New York City, New York 10017

6,330 In-State Tuition

The flagship nursing school of the City University of New York is the Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing. This school is situated on the Brookdale Health Sciences Campus of Hunter College, which is also adjacent to the Bellevue Hospital, VA Hospital, and NYU Medical Center. The clinical education at Hunter – Bellevue School of Nursing takes place in a wide variety of healthcare settings in the New York City metropolitan area.

The institution offers several undergraduate programs that combine professional education and liberal arts with a humanistic and comprehensive approach to healthcare to gain a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. The curriculum provides a solid foundation for graduate studies at the Masters and Doctoral levels.

The undergraduate programs of Hunter – Bellevue School of Nursing include a Generic Program on Bachelor of Science in Nursing, RN to BSN program and Accelerated Secon Degree Nursing program. The traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing program is designed for individuals who aspire to become Registered Nurses after four years of studying in liberal arts and sciences, as well as professional nursing. Students who complete the program will be eligible to take the NCLEX-RN exam, a licensing examination for BSN graduates who want to be registered with the state Board of Nursing.

The traditional BSN program of Hunter – Bellevue School of Nursing has two parts. The first part is meeting and completing the general education and pre-requisite subjects in the liberal arts and sciences. This usually takes place in the first year of study. The second part consists of advanced professional nursing courses that start the second year onwards. Students are expected to complete the first part to proceed to the second.

The entire BSN program combines classroom lectures, laboratory training, and clinical rotations. The lectures and laboratory training take place within the School of Nursing, while clinical rotations are held in various healthcare facilities in the New York City metropolitan areas. Classes can either be during the day, evening or online. Students have to be able to deal with the demands and challenges of the BSN program. They must be physically and psychologically ready for a four-year course that allows them to become Registered Nurses in New York.

The university is a tax-supported public institution that keeps tuition rates and fees affordable. Students who want to finish their Bachelor of Science in Nursing through this higher learning institution have to pay about $560 per credit hour. This does not include laboratory fees, textbooks, health and liability insurance, medical equipment, standardized exam fees, uniforms, criminal background checks and other miscellaneous fees charged by the university. Scholarships can be availed to lessen the cost of the program. Students under a financial aid program should make sure they maintain good grades throughout the BSN course to continuously obtain support from the school.

Chamberlain College of Nursing


3005 Highland Pkwy, Downers Grove, Illinois 60515

17,280 In-State Tuition

Chamberlain College of Nursing offers a traditional, yet affordable Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program that enables students to earn a Baccalaureate degree in three years, instead of the usual four-year course. This kind of program allows students to enter the healthcare workforce sooner than their peers studying at other higher education institutions. The BSN program is accredited by CCNE and is available at 20 locations all over the country, with high technology nursing laboratories and well-experienced faculty and staff.

The curriculum of Chamberlain College of Nursing is different from other nursing schools. It is designed to advance the ability of students to retain and make essential knowledge applicable. It places more emphasis on conceptual learning, which gives students the skills needed to translate theory into practice. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program consists of a minimum of 122 credit hours, divided by 56 credit hours in the liberal arts and sciences, and 66 credit hours for core nursing subjects.

Students in Chamberlain College of Nursing will benefit from a student-centric learning environment. The institution has a small class size and individualized instruction for aspiring nurses, which enables them to learn and remember the concepts necessary for the profession. The college provides diversified clinical learning opportunities. Students in the program will be exposed to different healthcare facilities in the area and will be guided by the school’s faculty and staff. The curriculum places emphasis on learning over teaching. Thus, students will become equipped for the nursing profession, in particular the NCLEX-RN licensing exam.

The hands-on experience for BSN students takes place at the Chamberlain Simcare Center, one of the on-site clinical settings. Clinical rotations allow nursing students to work with faculty, mentors, peers, as well as experienced professional nurses, who collaborate to provide direct patient care. They will be taught various nursing skills in technical proficiency and those listed by the National Student Nurses’ Association necessary for practicing professional nursing. Students have to have an eagerness to learn, confidence, determination, acceptance, caring and an unbiased compassion for everyone.

The Simcare Center of Chamberlain College of Nursing replicates hospital and clinical settings. It features state-of-the art training equipment including patient-monitoring equipment, high-fidelity human simulators, and physical assessment exam tables and birthing simulators. Using the computer control center allows the faculty and students to alter the simulated vitals of patients, and produce different symptoms to evaluate or assess response. These high technology laboratories provide a conducive and safe environment to practice nursing skills and receive feedback.

The tuition fee of Chamberlain College of Nursing is $675 per credit hour. This does not include miscellaneous fees and other related expenses of the traditional BSN program.

Texas Woman’s University


304 Administration Dr, Denton, Texas 76204

7,836 In-State Tuition

Texas Woman’s University has a four-year curriculum that leads to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. This affordable and traditional BSN program is made up of academic and clinical studies that provide students with a solid knowledge of nursing concepts and a wide variety of clinical experiences. The Texas Woman’s University has been consistently producing graduates who successfully pass the licensure examination on the first attempt, and they exceed both the state and national average passing rates.

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree prepares nursing students to work in various settings like hospitals, public schools, preventive care services, home health agencies and clinics. The curriculum builds on the foundation of the liberal arts, sciences, and nursing core subjects, allowing students to deliver quality nursing care services to a diverse group of the population.

The first two years of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program consist of pre-requisite courses taught at the Denton Campus. These non-nursing subjects are an essential foundation for the nursing courses. After completing the pre-requisite courses, the last two years of the degree program will cover upper division nursing courses taught on the Dallas campus or the Houston Center.

Applicants for upper division nursing classes are require to complete 46 hours of nursing prerequisites that include an introduction to nutrition, developmental psychology, elementary statistics, anatomy and physiology, microbiology and chemistry. The admission process is based on a GPA of 3.0 or higher and a TEAS score of 64% or above. The university has a competitive and tough selection process which is why students must possess good grades to be considered.

Texas Woman’s University uses state-of-the art facilities and personalized teaching strategies for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. They make sure that students are transformed into well-rounded healthcare professionals who are knowledgeable, skillful and have the right attitude. Moreover, the tuition costs of this university are affordable. You can check the school’s admission office to find the latest per credit hour rate of the traditional nursing program. Scholarships and financial aid programs can be availed to lessen the cost of the BSN degree program.

University of Massachusetts – Amherst


Amherst, Massachusetts 01003

14,171 In-State Tuition

The University of Massachusetts – Amherst is one of the most affordable institutions offering a traditional nursing degree program in the country. The program prepares the students for an entry level position in any healthcare setting, as they are exposed to a combined theoretical learning and diverse clinical practice. The College of Nursing at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst offers the best experience for students wanting to work in the healthcare field. They have small classes, a caring faculty, and staff, a sense of community and state-of-the art classrooms and laboratories for students to take advantage of.

The university prepares aspiring students to achieve success in their nursing career, pursue graduate studies and assume professional leadership roles. Students will benefit from the expertise of renowned professors who widely publish research papers and have gained an outstanding experience in a clinical field. They will have the opportunity to collaborate with fellow students through team learning environments. Since the university uses state-of-the art equipment, students will become proficient in current technology, especially in providing efficient and quality care services to patients. Graduates of the program will gain valuable clinical experience useful for the licensing exam and future employment in various healthcare facilities.

The tuition cost of the traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst is $14,171 annually. With quality instruction and an affordable tuition fee, students will get their money’s worth in this four-year course. Scholarships are available for those who qualify. Consequently, the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at UM provides countless opportunities for graduates. Whether they choose to work in hospitals, nursing homes or clinics, UM BSN degree holders usually get employment right away. They receive higher salaries compared to other healthcare professionals. Studying at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst requires full attention to complete the program successfully. This may take four years of commitment and dedication, but it allows graduates to become qualified and registered nurses in the state, but only if the licensing exam is passed.