This field of study helps students gain a better understanding of medicine procedures and best practices while also preparing them to work in the private practice or hospital setting.

Degree Benefits:

  • Job growth rate (9%)
  • Median annual salary for Nurses is $75,330*
  • Opportunities for job advancement (nursing director, advanced practice, etc.)

Career Options Include:

  • Assistant Unit Manager
  • Chief of Nursing
  • Family Nurse Practitioner

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Registered Nurses, on the Internet at (visited March 24, 2022).

Find an online bachelor's or master's degree:


The Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing is a four-year program that students can complete with four to five years of full-time attendance. The curriculum for a Bachelor of Science in nursing has general education courses meant to provide a background of knowledge and sound basic skills in math, science, English, and communications. Today, the broad experience should include some computer science and an understanding of operating systems.

RN to BSN is a shortcut version of the four-year BSN program that takes advantage of the associate degree and RN nursing experience that an applicant may have. The RN to BSN path can be two-to-three years in length which can save time and finances when compared to a four-year BSN program at an accredited school.

Please note that almost all nursing programs which are meant to prepare you for a career in nursing require classes for practical skills. These will not be accessible in an online format.

Estimates for the costs of a nursing degree run from $40,000 to $100,000 per year depending on the university and its tuition charges. Community colleges and public universities charge lower rates for in-state students than out-of-state students. The difference can be remarkable.

Based on all schools and all majors, some estimates can help guide the student. Data from the College Board and the NCES provide ranges for costs that add tuition, living expenses, and fees into price ranges. Based on 2017 data, the costs of a four-year degree at a public school is in the range of $85,000 for in-state students, $150,000 for out-of-state students, and $190,000 for private school students. When projected to the year 2019 through 2020 one can anticipate an increase in the area of three to four percent.

University HQ considers the choice of major to be an important decision for students when selecting nursing education schools or programs. Nursing is a broad field, and it has a wide potential for developing specializations and expertise. The student should pause and study the situation carefully. It is important to connect the choice of school with the career goals and employment objectives. Students should be sure that the school is well-equipped to provide high-quality education in the subject areas of greatest interest.

Students must look at the curriculum to determine if the subject will be covered thoroughly and in the areas of study that will be most beneficial. Laboratory work and clinical supervision are important features. Students can look at the number of lab-based courses. Medical services work environments have become computerized, and students must be sure that their training meets the standards of the types of environments they will encounter in the real world of healthcare delivery.

The graduation rate is an important piece of information. It measures the performance of the entire student body, and it is a good predictor of the experience each applicant can expect. Time is money when it comes to education. The longer time for completion means more tuition and fee payments. Each year in addition to the expected four years, adds about 25% to the total costs of a degree.

National statistics measure on-time degree completion using four-year and six-year marks. Private schools across the US and for all majors have a range of 53% on-time graduation and 65.6% within six years. In these schools, students can expect to finish on time if they attend full time and within six years with some part-time attendance. Public schools show a 35% on-time rate at four years and 59% at the six-year mark. Students at these schools must plan carefully to ensure that they can complete requirements for on-time graduation.

There are two major types of accreditation. The national accreditation typically applies to specialized and vocational schools, and this includes nursing schools. Regional accreditation agencies provide assessments of the entire institution (institutional accreditation) or a specific school or program (programmatic accreditation).

The US Department of Education designates accreditation agencies for colleges and universities. These regional agencies perform a robust assessment and a continuous monitoring of the quality of instruction and education. In the field of nursing, the technical and medical requirements are important, and specialized education of this type also must have specialized accreditation. The leading program accreditation agency for nursing programs is the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing./p>

The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) was formerly known as the NLNAC. ACEN has authority and recognition through the Council on Higher Education and the Department of Education. This organization accredits all levels of nursing programs including diploma or certificate programs, associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and master’s degrees. ACEN can accredit schools that do not have regional accreditation. Schools with regional accreditation can also choose to have program accreditation for their nursing education program.

The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredits schools and colleges that offer baccalaureate and master’s level degrees. The CCNE focuses exclusively on master’s and bachelor’s programs. The CCNE has Department of Education recognition as a national accreditation agency. The Department of Education set the scope of its accreditation authority, and accredited schools may participate in Title IV funding programs such as federal student loans.

University HQ recommends that students make a specific inquiry about job placement assistance programs at any school they consider for a degree program. Advanced institutions incorporate career planning into the two or four-year course of study for a bachelor’s or master’s degree in nursing. The school may host job fairs, business community awareness communications, and host interviews for employers from across the region.

The school of nursing, college, or university is a broad community of alumni, business sponsors, and corporate partners. Both new and established schools often have extensive local, regional, and national networks. The overall resources of the nursing school and the larger nursing school community can potentially assist in producing high levels of job opportunities and hires for recent graduates.

Some schools pair students with advisers, career counselors, and job coaches at various stages of their academic careers. Observers can see the results in annual satisfaction surveys, and the numbers of students that get interviews and offers of employment.

Students should consider the overall national ranking of the schools under consideration. The national ranking can affect your salary after graduation and the range of career options you can achieve. National rankings include many factors that are important to employers. The rankings include graduation rates and indications of graduate’s successful employment. The factors assessed include awards and Ph.D. degrees achieved by alumni.

Graduates from highly ranked nursing schools and highly rated nursing programs have advantages in getting interviews, referrals, and hires. They can compete for high paying, competitive positions among the top graduates in their particular nursing fields. The overall ranking matters and University HQ recommends that students consider it when selecting a school or nursing program for an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree.

Accreditation is important to the value and usefulness of a degree. University HQ strongly recommends the selection of an accredited school and program. The nursing profession has accreditation through specialized agencies in addition to regional accreditation from the primary Department of Education-approved agencies. Accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) are favorable; they provide additional assurance of quality nursing education when combined with regional accreditation.