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Key Infor­ma­tion:

  • The Uni­ver­si­ty of Washington’s School of Nurs­ing is the #1 most afford­able bach­e­lor’s in nurs­ing.
  • It is impor­tant to choose pro­grams accred­it­ed by orga­ni­za­tions like ACEN or CCNE, ensur­ing the degrees are rec­og­nized and respected.
  • Pro­grams list­ed offer flex­i­bil­i­ty in terms of entry points and for­mats, includ­ing accel­er­at­ed and online options to accom­mo­date dif­fer­ent stu­dent needs.

An afford­able BSN pro­gram can make the dif­fer­ence between get­ting ahead in your nurs­ing career and get­ting stuck in a low­er-pay­ing posi­tion. Many Bachelor’s of Nurs­ing stu­dents are pay­ing their own way, so it makes sense to search for the eas­i­est and cheap­est BSN pro­gram, as there are wide vari­ances in price from one pro­gram to another.

This arti­cle was orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished in April 2023 and last updat­ed in Feb­ru­ary 2024.

Small col­leges and pub­lic uni­ver­si­ties often offer some of the cheap­est BSN pro­grams that are still rig­or­ous, high qual­i­ty, and well respected.

When search­ing for the eas­i­est and cheap­est BSN pro­gram, be sure to choose a pro­gram that’s accred­it­ed by ACEN or CCNE. Both of these accred­i­ta­tions will help you rest assured that the cheap­est BSN pro­grams you’re con­sid­er­ing will be accept­ed as legit­i­mate by future employ­ers, and ensure that you’re receiv­ing the edu­ca­tion you need to best serve your future patients.

Relat­ed Rankings:

Methodology: Ranking the Most Affordable BSN Programs in America

For the most afford­able BSN rank­ing, Bachelor’s Degree Cen­ter edi­tors present pro­grams in order of tuition rate, accord­ing to cur­rent IPEDS data. How­ev­er, to make sure stu­dents can count on their degree to pay off, we fea­ture only accred­it­ed pro­grams rec­og­nized for quality.

1. University of Washington

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Washington’s School of Nurs­ing offers two of the most afford­able BSN pro­grams in the nation with its Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence degree (BSN) in Nurs­ing and its accel­er­at­ed Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence in Nurs­ing degree programs. 

US News has ranked the Uni­ver­si­ty of Washington’s BSN degree as the sec­ond-best pro­gram offered by a pub­lic high­er learn­ing insti­tu­tion. In addi­tion, one of Seattle’s most afford­able nurs­ing schools pro­vides an ear­ly entry into a doc­tor­al nurs­ing pro­gram for stu­dents enter­ing the accel­er­at­ed BSN degree from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Washington.

Found­ed in the 1860s before the state joined the Union, the Uni­ver­si­ty of Wash­ing­ton is the flag­ship school for the state. In addi­tion, UW is a space, land, and sea-grant insti­tu­tion of high­er edu­ca­tion with mul­ti­ple cam­pus­es in Wash­ing­ton serv­ing a stu­dent enroll­ment that exceeds 47,350 each year.

What We Like: The Uni­ver­si­ty of Wash­ing­ton holds the dis­tinc­tion of being one of the old­est schools on the West Coast.

Degree: BSN and Accel­er­at­ed BSN

2. University of North Carolina at Greensboro

The Uni­ver­si­ty of North Car­oli­na at Greens­boro School of Nurs­ing is rec­og­nized among the state’s most afford­able nurs­ing schools offer­ing sev­er­al bac­calau­re­ate nurs­ing pro­grams. In addi­tion to a BSN — a Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence in Nurs­ing (as a sec­ond degree), the Uni­ver­si­ty of North Car­oli­na offers a pre-licen­sure BSN degree for stu­dents enter­ing the nurs­ing field. 

These most afford­able BSN pro­grams include a pre­li­cen­sure degree that can be com­plet­ed in four years and com­prised of four aca­d­e­m­ic com­po­nents – a core, a nurs­ing cog­nate, upper-divi­sion class­es, and elec­tives for a total of 120 bach­e­lor-lev­el semes­ter hours.

The Uni­ver­si­ty of North Carolina’s Greens­boro cam­pus was found­ed in the 1890s as a state-run school for teach­ers and indus­tri­al edu­ca­tion. The urban cam­pus in Greens­boro is home to near­ly 20,000 stu­dents and the Weath­er­spoon Art Muse­um, with one of the nation’s mod­ern Amer­i­can art collections.

What We Like: UNCG began as an all-woman col­lege offer­ing teach­ing, domes­tic sci­ence, and busi­ness programs.

Degree: BSN Pre-Licensure

3. University of New Mexico

The Uni­ver­si­ty of New Mexico’s Col­lege of Nurs­ing is one of the state’s most afford­able nurs­ing schools, with a CCNE-accred­it­ed pre-licen­sure Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence in Nurs­ing degree pro­gram – ranked first in New Mex­i­co. The Uni­ver­si­ty of New Mexico’s most afford­able BSN pro­grams offer­ing a path to pre­li­cen­sure include: 

  • two cam­pus loca­tions (Albu­querque or Rio Rancho)
  • a dual BSN degree (asso­ciate and bachelor’s degrees)
  • a direct entry pro­gram for first-year students

Each of these BSN pro­gram options offers stu­dents a skills lab and a state-of-the-art sim­u­la­tion cen­ter to gain hands-on expe­ri­ence. The Uni­ver­si­ty of New Mex­i­co is a space-grant school and the flag­ship cam­pus of New Mexico’s high­er edu­ca­tion system.

What We Like: Found­ed in the 1880s, UMN now oper­ates as a mul­ti-cam­pus uni­ver­si­ty that serves more than 25,150 stu­dents on its cam­pus­es in Albu­querque, Los Alam­os, Taos, Los Lunas Rio Ran­chos, and Gallup.

Degree: Pre-Licen­sure BSN

4. University of Utah

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Utah Col­lege of Nurs­ing offers one of Utah’s best and most afford­able BSN pro­grams with its Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence in Nurs­ing degree pro­gram (BSN) offered as a pre­li­cen­sure track, an ear­ly assur­ance to degree entrance, and an RN to BSN track that can be com­plet­ed entire­ly online. 

In addi­tion, as one of Utah’s most afford­able nurs­ing schools, the uni­ver­si­ty offers an RN to BS express pro­gram. U of U’s world-renowned nurs­ing cen­ter offers CCNE-accred­it­ed pro­grams and is the only Ph.D. pro­gram in the state.

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Utah (U of U) is a pub­lic, space-grant school that oper­ates as the state’s flag­ship cam­pus. Found­ed in the 1850s – before Utah became a state, U of U now serves near­ly 33,000 stu­dents each year.

What We Like: The Uni­ver­si­ty of Utah holds the dis­tinc­tion of being Utah’s old­est school.

Degree: BSN

5. University of Illinois at Chicago

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Illi­nois at Chica­go offers two of Chicago’s most afford­able BSN pro­grams offer­ing a tra­di­tion­al Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence degree in Nurs­ing pro­gram, plus an RN to BSN com­ple­tion pro­gram. As one of Chicago’s most afford­able nurs­ing schools, UIC’s BSN requires appli­cants to have earned a min­i­mum of 57 cred­it units to be eli­gi­ble for this four-semes­ter pro­gram that pre­pares stu­dents to sit for the NCLX-RN exam­i­na­tion. Fea­tured class­es include Foun­da­tions of Nurs­ing and Con­cepts in Patho­phys­i­ol­o­gy and Phar­ma­col­o­gy, to name a few.

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Illinois’s Chica­go cam­pus was found­ed in the 1980s and now oper­ates as a space-grant, mul­ti-cam­pus school that is rec­og­nized as an Asian-serv­ing and His­pan­ic-serv­ing insti­tu­tion of high­er education.

What We Like: UIC is among Chicago’s largest schools with a stu­dent enroll­ment that exceeds 34,060 students.

Degree: BSN, RN to BSN

6. Purdue University

Pur­due Uni­ver­si­ty offers two Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence in Nurs­ing degree pro­grams, con­sid­ered among Indiana’s most afford­able BSN pro­grams. A direct-admit and a 15-month sec­ond-degree BSN pro­gram are avail­able from one of Indiana’s most afford­able nurs­ing schools. 

Stu­dents enrolled in Pur­due University’s BSN degree pro­grams will have the option of clin­i­cal com­po­nents from more than 200 agen­cies part­ner­ing with Purdue’s nurs­ing pro­gram. Sam­ple class­es include nurs­ing prac­tice foun­da­tions lead­er­ship, and pub­lic health nurs­ing, to name a few.

Pur­due Uni­ver­si­ty is Indiana’s flag­ship school, found­ed in the late 1860s by John Pur­due. In addi­tion, Pur­due is a land, sea, and space-grant uni­ver­si­ty with a stu­dent pop­u­la­tion of about 49,450 under­grad­u­ate and post­grad­u­ate students.

What We Like: Pur­due University’s alum­ni include more than two dozen astro­nauts sev­en mem­bers of Con­gress, and three governors.

Degree: BSN

7. University of North Carolina at Charlotte

The Uni­ver­si­ty of North Car­oli­na at Char­lotte School of Nurs­ing is one of North Carolina’s most afford­able nurs­ing schools, offer­ing two Bach­e­lor’s of Sci­ence degrees in Nurs­ing pro­grams with its tra­di­tion­al BSN degree and a BSN to RN com­ple­tion program. 

These most afford­able BSN pro­grams from UNC Char­lotte require the com­ple­tion of 120 semes­ter cred­its in class­es that include com­mu­ni­ty health nurs­ing research in nurs­ing prac­tice, human growth and devel­op­ment, health assess­ment, and appli­ca­tion, plus a practicum, to name a few.

The Uni­ver­si­ty of North Carolina’s Char­lotte cam­pus is a pub­lic high­er learn­ing insti­tu­tion that was found­ed in the 1940s as an exten­sion cen­ter for the uni­ver­si­ty. UNC Char­lotte serves more than 30,000 stu­dents on its three cam­pus­es locat­ed through­out the greater Char­lotte region.

What We Like: The Char­lotte cam­pus is orga­nized into nine schools offer­ing pro­grams in archi­tec­ture, lib­er­al arts, busi­ness, com­put­ing, edu­ca­tion, engi­neer­ing, health, and hon­ors coursework.

Degree: BSN

8. Indiana University Bloomington

Indi­ana Uni­ver­si­ty Bloom­ing­ton offers Indiana’s most afford­able BSN pro­grams with its Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence degree (BSN) in Nurs­ing, its RN to BSN pro­gram, and its accel­er­at­ed Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence in Nurs­ing as a sec­ond-degree pro­gram option. 

The RN to BSN degree pro­gram, offered by one of Indiana’s most afford­able nurs­ing schools, is offered entire­ly online to meet work­ing nurs­es’ need for flex­i­bil­i­ty and con­ve­nience. Fea­tured course­work for these BSN degree options includes: 

  • pro­mot­ing health populations
  • com­pre­hen­sive health assessments
  • data analy­sis for practice
  • plus a practicum

In Bloom­ing­ton, Indi­ana University’s cam­pus is the flag­ship cam­pus of the state’s uni­ver­si­ty sys­tem and is con­sid­ered a ‘pub­lic ivy.’ This research high­er learn­ing insti­tu­tion is also a space-grant school that serves more than 45,100 stu­dents online and on the Bloom­ing­ton campus.

What We Like: UI at Bloom­ing­ton is orga­nized into 16 schools.

Degree: BSN, Accel­er­at­ed BSN, RN to BSN

9. Arizona State University

Ari­zona State University’s Edson Col­lege of Nurs­ing & Health Inno­va­tion offers one of Arizona’s most afford­able BSN pro­grams with its Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence degree (BSN) in Nurs­ing which offers six nurs­ing specializations. 

One of the state’s most afford­able nurs­ing schools offers these BSN pro­grams and includes a tra­di­tion­al BSN, an accel­er­at­ed BSN (as a sec­ond degree), and an RN to BSN degree pro­gram. Ari­zona State University’s RN to BSN pro­gram requires stu­dents to com­plete at least ten class­es or 39 cred­it units.

Ari­zona State Uni­ver­si­ty is a mul­ti­ple-cam­pus insti­tu­tion of high­er edu­ca­tion that was found­ed before Ari­zona became a state in 1885. Cur­rent­ly, there are more than 140,000 stu­dents attend­ing class­es online and on the school’s campuses.

What We Like: Ari­zona State University’s oper­a­tions seek to become a nation­al leader in sustainability.

Degree: BSN with 6 specializations

10. University of Wyoming

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Wyoming’s Whit­ney School of Nurs­ing offers sev­er­al of Wyoming’s most afford­able BSN pro­grams with its Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence degree (BSN) in Nurs­ing pro­gram, an accel­er­at­ed BSN degree for those stu­dents who already hold a non-nurs­ing bachelor’s degree, and a BSN com­ple­tion program. 

As one of Wyoming’s most afford­able nurs­ing schools, UW’s BSN com­ple­tion pro­gram offers an online pro­gram and a pro­gram for those who hold an ADN degree or nurs­ing diploma.

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Wyoming is a land and space-grant high­er learn­ing insti­tu­tion that was estab­lished in the 1880s, sev­er­al years before Wyoming reached state­hood. The university’s small-city cam­pus serves approx­i­mate­ly 12,150 stu­dents each year.

What We Like: The Uni­ver­si­ty of Wyoming’s cam­pus is home to sev­er­al muse­ums cel­e­brat­ing anthro­pol­o­gy, geol­o­gy, and insects, among others.

Degree: BSN, BRAND, BSN Completion

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Can I Make with a BSN Degree?

In gen­er­al, reg­is­tered nurs­es earn a medi­an annu­al wage of $81,200 (BLS, May 2022). Reg­is­tered nurs­es with a BSN degree are more like­ly to earn high­er salaries than reg­is­tered nurs­es with an asso­ciate degree or diplo­ma in nurs­ing. How­ev­er, your earn­ing poten­tial with a BSN degree will depend on sev­er­al fac­tors, includ­ing your work expe­ri­ence, geo­graph­ic loca­tion, pro­fes­sion­al cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, type of indus­try, and employer.

What Jobs Can I Get with a BSN?

In addi­tion to being staff nurs­es, BSN degree hold­ers also qual­i­fy as occu­pa­tion­al health nurs­es, oper­at­ing room man­agers, organ trans­plant coor­di­na­tors, hos­pice nurs­es, infor­mat­ics nurs­es, clin­i­cal nurse edu­ca­tors, nurse mid­wives, and neona­tal nurses.

What is the tuition for a Bach­e­lor of Nurs­ing pro­gram?

The tuition for BSN pro­grams vary based on the type of insti­tu­tion, geo­graph­ic loca­tion, mode of deliv­ery, pro­gram length, and finan­cial aid options. For exam­ple, the BSN pro­grams at Duke Uni­ver­si­ty, Uni­ver­si­ty of Penn­syl­va­nia, and Emory Uni­ver­si­ty can cost upwards of $60,000, but the col­leges on our list charge a frac­tion of the price.

Can I Study Nurs­ing for Free?

Yes, but keep in mind that free nurs­ing pro­grams have selec­tive admis­sions, adopt rig­or­ous aca­d­e­m­ic stan­dards, and usu­al­ly require post-grad­u­a­tion ser­vice con­di­tions such as a work com­mit­ment agreement.