Last updated Apr 30 '14 at 02:17
It all depends what kind of nurse you want to be. Deciding what kind of nurse you want to be depends on how long you want to be in school - and how many years you can afford to be in school for - and also, what kind of future salary you're hoping to make. Here's a chart to help you out.
- Certified nurse assistant (CNA): 2 years at a community college + certification exam; salary range is $25,000-30,000/year
- Registered nurse (RN): 4 years in an undergraduate bachelor's program + licensing exam; salary range is $65,000-75,000/year
- Nurse practitioner (NP): 4 years in an undergraduate bachelor's program and 2 additional years in a master's program; can do more things that doctors can do; salary range is $65,000-75,000/year
In terms of how much you'd be paying for a school out of pocket, it depends on whether you go to a state/community school or a private university. Private universities can cost $60,000/year in tuition alone - this doesn't even take into account books, room and board, etc. A more cost effective route is to check out state schools within the state where you live - most places have an in-state tuition discount for residents. If you do your homework, you can probably find a place that'll charge $5,000-10,000 per year. Also, lots of people take out loans to pay for nursing school, which they pay back in their first few years of nursing. Since RNs usually don't have a problem finding jobs, this is a fairly safe (and common) route to go.