Registered nurses who initially earned an associate’s degree may at some point wish to further their education. However, with sometimes erratic work schedules and family responsibilities, going back to school can seem all but impossible. But in recent years, all that has changed with the availability of online degree programs. In addition to the flexibility of scheduling classes around work and family, many programs offer students low tuition rates and fees.
One of the best and cheapest RN to BSN programs online is from Western Governors University. This program offers students many advantages, from low tuition rates to large numbers of transfer credits and short completion time. The school charges a flat fee of $3,250 per 6 month term, making this a very affordable option for those nurses who can transfer a large number of credits to the school. While this total does not include textbooks, uniforms, lab and other fees it is still a very good deal. Most employers offer tuition reimbursement, while schools offer loans, grants and scholarships. The completion time for the program can be as little as 18 months, which would bring the total tuition and fees close to $10,000.
Excelsior College offers an outstanding package. At $355 per credit, the school offers students the chance to test out of classes and transfer work hours in as credit. By doing so, a student will only need to complete 30 credit hours to be awarded a BSN degree. For a total cost of $10,650 it’s a deal that’s hard to beat.
There are many differences between online and traditional RN to BSN programs. One of the biggest is the cost. While tuition and fees are similar, costs can soar with traditional programs when personal costs such as transportation to and from class, child care expenses and other costs are added. Also, most traditional programs may not allow as much transfer credit or testing out of classes. Work experience is sometimes not seen as the equivalent of certain classes in traditional programs, forcing students to spend a longer time completing their degree while taking classes that may be unnecessary.
Ultimately it comes down to an individual’s preference as to which type of degree program is preferred. Both offer advantages and disadvantages, but one sure thing is that no matter which is selected, furthering one’s education is a choice that will pay off in the years ahead.