What’s the Real Total Cost of an Online RN to BSN Program?

The total cost is the bottom line, let’s face it. When deciding which college is the best fit, sure, you may want to compare a few different options. You might think of the impact of costs, such as tuition and fees, location, and what kind of experience you might have as a student there. When you are a working RN and are choosing between online schools to earn your BSN, the process of discernment is just as important. While with online schools the location question is out of the way, none of us are immune to the dreaded question of total cost. Just as you may have experienced while earning your RN, your BSN degree may require you to purchase certain items to make your educational experience even better than you thought, or other purchases that are essential to get the most out of your education. The following are a list of fees associated with your Online RN to BSN Program that you should be aware of before you start school shopping. When you are ready to choose your program, check out our 2017-2018 Top 50 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs currently available.

Online Technology Fees

As you probably know from paying for services and devices in this high-speed, technology era, convenience is not cheap. Between paying for your phone and computer, then further, the cost of internet, it’s associated hotspot fees, maybe even a Wi-Fi booster- you’ve now racked up quite the bill. Similarly, colleges and universities who have the capability of providing online services to make attending more convenient for students, have also invested a lot of money into the kinds of technology and IT services that make these services possible. In many cases, they have hired instructors and professors who are specifically trained in this unique methodology. The total cost to nursing students may include technology or distance learning fees as well as per credit hour tuition and miscellaneous material requirements. We feature this information in our Program Directory section of the Online RN to BSN website; there you will see how they range from something like $9.00 per credit hour plus additional required fees as in the case with the Broward College, to University of North Alabama’s students paying around a total of $225.00 for 3 hours 0f course work. Some schools, like UMass Amherst and Minot State University simply roll the technology fee into the cost of tuition. Be sure to familiarize yourself with your chosen programs total costs, and when comparing institutions- be mindful of what exactly is included in the published total cost amounts.

Initially, the thought of charging students for advanced computing and technology may seem unnecessary, but when you think about the massive infrastructure that goes into implementing and maintaining such a fast, convenient way to learn such important material, all without needing to come to campus, the value of an online RN to BSN program begins to stand out from their traditional on-campus counterparts.

Additional Nursing Fees

Other fees that apply specifically to nurses are things like text books, lab coats and scrubs for clinical instruction, medical tools such as stethoscopes, watches, proper shoes, and the coveted nursing pin that shows completion of a course of study, all have to figure in the total cost to the student. While the online course of study changes the amount of these types of materials needed—for instance not needing to wear scrubs into classes, not paying lab fees associated with on campus study, and not paying for immunization records that on campus students pay—text books and graduation materials are still required. Just like with the differences in amounts different schools charge for technology fees, these costs can vary greatly. Many students find that the option of second hand materials for items that can reduce some of the material total cost. Additionally, with the advent of eBooks and online publications, textbooks can be acquired at at a much lower price point, especially if you are willing to shop around and weigh all of your options.