The pursuit of a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree is a significant milestone in the journey of a registered nurse (RN) towards becoming an advanced practice nurse. However, the cost of higher education can be a substantial concern for many aspiring nurse practitioners. Fortunately, several universities in the United States offer affordable BSN to DNP programs, making advanced nursing education accessible without breaking the bank. This article will explore some of the most cost-effective BSN to DNP programs, each designed to provide quality education while considering students’ financial well-being.

1. University of Central Arkansas

Total Tuition Cost: $15,285.60 (66 Credits)

The University of Central Arkansas offers an affordable BSN to DNP program that stands out for its excellent value. With a total tuition cost of $15,285.60 for 66 credits, this program ensures that aspiring nurse practitioners can advance their careers without incurring significant debt.

The program itself is located in Conway, Arkansas, and though most classes you’ll need to take will be held online, you’ll still need to fulfill clinical hours. In addition to these, you’ll be expected to spend at least 3-5 hours on campus per week to participate in lab and other in-person assignments. While it can be a great option for students trying to balance their work and home commitments with their schooling, it’s important to keep in mind that this is a rigorous and intense doctorate program for many.

Learn about the University of Central Arkansas’ program here.

2. New Mexico State University

Total In-State Tuition Cost: $17,006.20 (69 Credits)

Total Out of State Tuition Cost: $57,625.58 (69 Credits)

New Mexico State University offers an attractive option for those seeking a cost-effective path to becoming a nurse practitioner. In-state students can pursue the BSN to DNP program for a total tuition cost of $17,006.20 for 69 credits. While out-of-state tuition costs are higher at $57,625.58, this program provides accessible opportunities for local students to advance their nursing careers.

All classes will be held online, however, not all will be self-paced. There are around 1000 required clinical hours to graduate from this program. Students located out of state will be able to perform their clinical hours within their own community.

Learn more about NMSU’s program here.

3. University of Tennessee Chattanooga

Total In-State Tuition Cost: $26,733 (57 Credits)

Total Out of State Tuition Cost: $52,269 (57 Credits)

The University of Tennessee Chattanooga offers an in-state BSN to DNP program with a Nursing Administration Systems concentration at a total tuition cost of $26,733 for 57 credits. For out-of-state students, the price is $52,269. Despite its affordability, this program is committed to academic excellence and prepares nurses for advanced practice roles focusing on quality patient care.

One of the great things that set UTC’s BSN to DNP program apart is the ability to concentrate in Healthcare Administration. Students who complete their DNP a long with all of their required clinical hours will also be eligible to get their MBA in this concentration.

Learn more about UTC’s program here.

4. University of Southern Mississippi

Total In-State Tuition Cost: $27,770.46 (71 Credits)

Out of State Total Tuition: $32,503.79 (71 Credits)

Located in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, the University of Southern Mississippi offers an affordable BSN to DNP program, where students can choose to specialize in the Family Nurse Practitioner or Psychiatric Mental Health Practitioner concentrations. In-state students can pursue this path for a total tuition cost of $27,770.46 for 71 credits, while out-of-state students pay $32,503.79. With a strong emphasis on nursing leadership and evidence-based practice, this program equips nurses with the skills needed for advanced practice roles.

Learn more about USM’s program here.

5. University of Oklahoma

Total In-State Tuition Cost: $30,691.50 (79 Credits)

Total Out of State Tuition Cost: $50,757.50 (79 Credits)

Another great BSN to DNP program that allows its students to specialize in a variety of areas is offered at the University of Oklahoma. BSN to DNP students can choose from several concentrations, including:

  • Executive Leadership
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Nursing's Neonatal Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner

The University of Oklahoma provides a budget-friendly BSN to DNP program for in-state students at a total tuition cost of $30,691.50 for 79 credits. Out-of-state students pay $50,757.50. The program itself is offered mostly online, though some specializations will need to periodically travel to the Oklahoma City campus for clinicals and other obligations.

Learn more about the University of Oklahoma’s program here.

6. Radford University

Total In-State Tuition Cost: $43,992 (78 Credits)

Out of state Total Tuition Cost: $85,098 (78 Credits)

Radford University offers an in-state BSN to DNP program at a total tuition cost of $43,992 for 78 credits. Out-of-state students can pursue this program for a full tuition cost of $85,098. Located in Radford, Virginia, this program provides accessible education for nurses seeking to become nurse practitioners while maintaining academic excellence. Available concentrations include Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.

Learn more about Radford’s program here.

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