Most Affordable Online Nursing Programs of 2022

Save money while pursuing a nursing degree with one of these affordable online nursing programs.
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Nurses play a key role in the healthcare system. As the first point of contact for patients, they must possess exceptional patient care skills in addition to healthcare skills. A bachelor's degree in nursing helps RNs take on greater responsibilities at work and increase their earning potential.

Completing an online bachelor's in nursing takes 1-4 years, depending on your prior experience. RNs can complete a BSN in less time with flexible online programs.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Pursuing a bachelor's degree helps nurses advance their skills. With a BSN, nurses move into specialized roles like critical care nurse or pediatric nurse. Professionals interested in leadership positions like nurse supervisor often must have a bachelor's degree. BSN nurses can also apply to graduate programs to move into advanced practice roles.

Many of the top online schools offer affordable nursing degrees. Our list ranks the most affordable online bachelor's in nursing programs. Prospective students can use the ranking to find the best fit for their budget, schedule, and career goals.

How Much Does an Online Bachelor's in Nursing Cost?

The cost of an online bachelor's in nursing varies depending on the school and program. In general, public universities charge the lowest tuition rates. However, some private schools offer tuition discounts for online learners.

The most affordable online bachelor's in nursing programs cost less than $200 per credit. Thanks to in-state tuition discounts, distance learners can often find programs that cost around $120 per credit. More expensive programs can cost over $800 per credit.

When researching programs, consider the total cost of the degree. The number of credits required, fees, and book costs all affect the cost of a BSN program.

What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Nursing Program?

An online nursing program trains learners in patient care, evidence-based practice, and nursing leadership. Earning an online degree differs from earning an in-person degree in key ways. During an online BSN program, nursing students take classes in a virtual learning environment. Learners complete clinical requirements in their local area. Programs work with online students to identify appropriate clinical sites and preceptors.

Online nursing schools often offer four-year BSN programs and RN-to-BSN programs designed for registered nurses. The four-year programs admit students with no prior nursing experience. During the program, learners train for the NCLEX-RN exam and their nursing license. RNs can earn a bachelor's degree in less time with an RN-to-BSN program. Most of these programs take 1-2 years to complete.

The online format prioritizes flexibility, which appeals to working RNs seeking a higher degree. Many programs use an asynchronous format, meaning that students complete coursework on their schedule with no required meeting times. Some programs use a hybrid format, where learners attend some on-campus classes.

Popular Online Bachelor's in Nursing Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Degree Programs.

What Courses Will I Take in an Online Bachelor's in Nursing Program?

Fundamentals of Nursing Practice

In this class, nursing students explore core elements of nursing, including concepts, skills, and decision-making. The course introduces incoming students to the theoretical and practical sides of nursing. Learners prepare for advanced nursing courses.

Comprehensive Health Assessment

Nurses conduct health assessments in a variety of settings in this course. This class trains students to consider physical and psychological aspects of health during an assessment. Topics include data collection, interpreting information, and communicating assessment data.

Evidence-Based Practice

The course examines nursing research and clinical literature to teach nurses how to apply research in practice. The course covers the research process and strengthens analytical skills. Students develop evidence-based practice skills.

Nursing Leadership

BSN nurses strengthen their leadership skills by studying health policy, information management, and leadership skills. The course emphasizes improving patient outcomes and care delivery as a nurse leader.

Clinical Nursing Practice

Online nursing students strengthen their clinical skills during practicums. Learners work with the program to choose a preceptor and a care setting to gain clinical practice. The course prepares graduates for nursing roles.

What Are Admission Requirements for an Online Bachelor's in Nursing Program?

Online nursing programs evaluate applicants on their experience and preparation for bachelor's-level study. The admission requirements vary depending on the type of nursing program. For example, most RN-to-BSN programs require applicants to possess a current RN license, while four-year BSN programs do not. Applicants should carefully review the requirements to make sure the programs they're interested in match their needs and circumstances.

Application

Prospective nursing students submit an application that outlines their prior education and experience. Many nursing programs ask about healthcare experience or whether the applicant holds an RN license. Many online programs use a brief, online application that prospective students can quickly fill out.

Test Scores

Nursing programs often ask for test scores. Depending on the program, applicants may need to provide SAT or ACT scores. RN-to-BSN programs that require a nursing license may also ask for NCLEX scores. Prospective students should review the test score requirement for their program to make sure they complete the tests before application deadlines.

Letters of Recommendation

Many colleges ask for 1-3 letters of recommendation during the admissions process. These letters should come from former faculty or supervisors who can speak to your ability to succeed in a BSN program. Current RNs should ask their supervisors for letters. Make sure to ask for a letter of recommendation at least three weeks before the deadline.

Essays

Applicants often submit essays or personal statements to gain admission to nursing programs. Typically, the essay asks students about their prior nursing experience and their goals with a BSN. Applicants can stand out by mentioning program strengths in their essays and customizing their statements for each program.

Official Transcripts

Nursing programs ask for transcripts showing all prior degree programs or nursing training an applicant has participated in. This requirement varies by program. Four-year BSN programs ask for high school transcripts, while RN-to-BSN programs ask for transcripts from RN education. BSN programs also accept transfer credits, which can shorten the length of the program.

What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Nursing Degree?

Career Outlook

Health disciplines, including nursing, remain some of the most popular majors. And registered nurses benefit from a strong career outlook.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), registered nurses earned a median annual salary of $77,600 in May 2021. The BLS projects 9% growth for these occupations from 2020-2030, resulting in 194,500 new RN jobs every year.

However, nurses do not need a bachelor's degree to enter the profession. RNs can hold an associate degree in nursing or a nursing diploma. So does a bachelor's program pay off for nurses? A high number of employers want to hire nurses with a BSN degree. According to a 2021 survey by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, over 40% of hospitals require a BSN for new hires, while over 77% report a strong preference for nurses with a BSN.

See where a bachelor's in nursing can take you. Learn more about nursing careers.

Career Paths

NICU Nurse

NICU nurses, also known as neonatal nurses, work in neonatal intensive care units. They care for newborns with health issues, including those born prematurely. NICU nurses provide short-term and long-term care for infants. Related specialties include pediatric nurse or labor and delivery nurse.

Average Annual Salary (June 2022): $71,620

Critical Care Nurse

Critical care nurses, also known as ICU nurses, care for critically ill patients. They typically work in a hospital setting, where they assess patients, administer treatments, and communicate with family members. Critical care nurses bring knowledge of intensive care equipment and strong patient assessment skills.

Average Annual Salary (June 2022): $77,810

ER Nurse

ER nurses work in the emergency room, where they provide triage services and offer emergency medical treatments. These nurses must quickly identify the patients who require immediate assistance and communicate with patients throughout their ER experience. ER nurses need strong assessment skills and good communication abilities.

Average Annual Salary (June 2022): $73,000

Primary Care Nurse

Primary care nurses typically work in doctor's offices, where they conduct health assessments and assist family care doctors. These nurses advise patients on minor illnesses and medical conditions. Within primary care, nurses may specialize in pediatric primary care or geriatrics. This career path includes plenty of patient interactions.

Average Annual Salary (June 2022): $68,660

RN Supervisor

RN supervisors lead teams of nurses. They play a key role in the quality of patient care and efficient nursing practice. Supervisors create schedules, implement new procedures, and monitor compliance with regulations. RN supervisors typically need a bachelor's degree and experience as a registered nurse.

Average Annual Salary (June 2022): $76,810

Nursing Not For You? Check Out These Related Careers.

Continuing Education

Nurses with a bachelor's degree increase their earning potential. Specialty certifications can also help nurses demonstrate expertise and move into specialized roles. Organizations like the American Nurses Credentialing Center offer certifications.

After earning a bachelor's degree, nurses can also pursue their master's degree in nursing. With an MSN, graduates work as nurse educators, nurse supervisors, and advanced practice registered nurses. Many programs offer online options for nurse practitioners and other specialty roles. Nurses can also earn their doctorate in nursing online.

A graduate degree can lead to greater responsibilities in the healthcare field and higher earning potential.

How Do I Choose an Online Bachelor's in Nursing Program?

Cost

The cost of online BSN programs varies depending on the school. According to 2019-2020 data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), undergraduates can expect to spend around $9,350 per year in tuition and fees at an in-state public institution. Private institutions charge an average of $32,770 per year in tuition and fees, according to NCES. However, many nursing schools offer lower tuition rates for online students.

Program Format

Nursing programs offer several enrollment options, including part-time and full-time course schedules. Some schools offer an accelerated option. Many RN-to-BSN programs expect nurses to work while earning their degree, so they prioritize flexibility by offering asynchronous classes. Students can check with specific programs to learn more about the format and enrollment options.

Location

Nursing students who choose an online program may benefit from a local option. Some nursing schools restrict access to RNs licensed in the state. In other cases, distance learners can complete in-person requirements at the school. When weighing online vs. on-campus options, consider whether choosing a nearby program adds benefits.

Accreditation

Accreditation is especially important for nurses. Only graduates from accredited nursing programs qualify for nursing licenses and certifications. In addition to choosing an accredited program, students also benefit from attending an accredited college. These institutions qualify for federal financial aid programs. Learn more about the benefits of accreditation in our accreditation guide.

Student Support

The best online programs support learners throughout their learning. Key student services include academic advising, career counseling, and tutoring. Prospective nursing students should also research the school's internship, clinical, and practicum policies. Some programs may also offer mentorship opportunities, placement programs, and alumni networking. These support services can make a big difference in your educational experience.

How Do I Pay for an Online Bachelor's in Nursing?

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Nursing students can submit the FAFSA to qualify for federal grants, loans, and work-study programs. The free application helps nurses pay for a bachelor's degree at an accredited school. Check out our FAFSA guide for more information on federal financial aid.

Loans

Federal and private loans help students cover degree-related costs. Nursing students qualify for college loans at low interest rates by submitting the FAFSA. Private loans, which typically charge higher interest and offer fewer repayment options, are another way to pay for school.

Grants

Undergraduates pursuing their first bachelor's degree qualify for numerous grants. Federal grants like the Pell Grant support enrollees who meet income requirements. Many states offer grants for nurses to encourage students to pursue in-need healthcare roles. Check for nursing grants in your state.

Work-Study Programs

In a work-study program, students work part-time at an on-campus or nonprofit job to cover school costs. The federal work-study program connects undergraduates with opportunities through their campus. Students must meet income eligibility requirements.

Scholarships

Nursing students qualify for many scholarships. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing lists many nursing scholarships on its website, with multiple options for BSN students. Check out our resources on finding scholarships to begin your scholarship search.

2022 Most Affordable Accredited Online Bachelor's in Nursing Programs

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#1 Most Affordable Online Nursing Programs of 2022

University of North Florida

  • Jacksonville, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $285
Out of State | $285

Credits to Graduate
30

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | Yes
Program Accreditation | Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

In UNF's RN-to-BSN bridge program, students complete 30 credits of coursework to complement their RN licensure and previous training. The program includes courses in health assessment and community nursing practice. All BSN courses are certified by Quality Matters.

New cohorts start at the beginning of every eight-week term. Online students typically complete two courses in each accelerated session. Prospective students need a valid nursing license and a minimum 2.8 GPA for admission.

Average Tuition
In-state
$3,996
Out-of-state
$16,799
Retention Rate
83%
Admission Rate
72%
Students Enrolled
17,117
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
57% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#2 Most Affordable Online Nursing Programs of 2022

South Florida State College

  • Avon Park, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online| Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $120
Out of State | $451

Credits to Graduate
48

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | Yes
Program Accreditation | Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing

Students in the online RN-to-BSN program at SFSC complete 48 credits to earn their degree. The training includes courses in public and community health and informatics. Participants also complete a nursing capstone and nursing practice course.

Enrollees can start in the fall or spring, and classes may run synchronously or asynchronously. Prospective students need a valid nursing license and a minimum 2.0 GPA for admission. They also need the appropriate prerequisites from their previous nursing training.

Average Tuition
In-state
$3,135
Out-of-state
$11,829
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
2,809
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
42% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#3 Most Affordable Online Nursing Programs of 2022

The University of Texas at Tyler

  • Tyler, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $330
Out of State | $330

Credits to Graduate
30

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | Yes
Program Accreditation | Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Students can complete UT Tyler's online RN-to-BSN program in less than one year or pursue part-time studies for a slower schedule. Learners complete courses in pathophysiology and care coordination, as well as clinical experiences. 

Students can start in the fall, spring, or summer, taking courses in seven-week sessions. For admission, prospective students need an associate degree in nursing and valid licensure, plus a minimum 2.75 GPA. Applicants must also have completed prerequisite coursework.

Average Tuition
In-state
$6,540
Out-of-state
$20,760
Retention Rate
71%
Admission Rate
83%
Students Enrolled
9,617
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
62% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#4 Most Affordable Online Nursing Programs of 2022

University of Louisiana at Monroe

  • Monroe, LA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $292
Out of State | $292

Credits to Graduate
30

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | Yes
Program Accreditation | Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

ULM's 30-credit online RN-to-BSN pathway features courses in computing for nurses and gerontology, plus practica in nursing management and public health. Learners with the appropriate prerequisites can complete their BSN in 14 months.

This nursing program starts five times each year, and students complete courses in asynchronous eight-week sessions. For admission, prospective students need a valid RN license and a minimum 2.0 GPA.

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,788
Out-of-state
$17,888
Retention Rate
73%
Admission Rate
80%
Students Enrolled
8,673
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
43% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#5 Most Affordable Online Nursing Programs of 2022

Indiana University-Kokomo

  • Kokomo, IN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online and Hybrid | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $350
Out of State | $455

Credits to Graduate
33

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | Yes
Program Accreditation | Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

The online RN-to-BSN at IU Kokomo runs in online and hybrid formats. Full-time students can complete their degree in 12 months, while part-time learners can finish in 18-24 months. The curriculum includes courses in health policy and data analysis, plus clinical experiences and practica.

Students can enter the program in the fall, spring, or summer. They take courses in 6- to 8-week sessions. Prospective students need an associate degree or diploma in nursing, a valid nursing license, and a minimum GPA of 2.5.

Average Tuition
In-state
$6,895
Out-of-state
$19,346
Retention Rate
64%
Admission Rate
74%
Students Enrolled
3,164
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

#6 Most Affordable Online Nursing Programs of 2022

Santa Fe College

  • Gainesville, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $126
Out of State | $429

Credits to Graduate
30

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | Yes
Program Accreditation | Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

The 30-credit online BSN completion program at SF includes courses in nursing culture and globalization of healthcare. Learners also complete an online lab and two clinical practice courses. Students can choose from full-time or part-time options. 

SF's nursing courses run asynchronously throughout seven-week sessions. Degree-seekers can start in the fall, spring, or summer. Prospective students need an associate degree in nursing, a valid nursing license, and a minimum 2.5 GPA for admission.

Average Tuition
In-state
$1,872
Out-of-state
$7,418
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
14,915
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
38% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#7 Most Affordable Online Nursing Programs of 2022

The University of Texas at Arlington

  • Arlington, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $425
Out of State | $425

Credits to Graduate
51

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | Yes
Program Accreditation | Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

UTA's online BSN program can be completed in about 15 months. The training features courses covering topics like nursing of older adults and nursing of children and adolescents. The school also offers a 35-credit online RN-to-BSN for applicants with a valid nursing license; this option can be completed in nine months. 

UTA offers multiple starts throughout the year, with class sessions running for 5-14 weeks. For admission, pre-licensure applicants need a minimum of 24 credits and a GPA of 2.75 or higher. They must also complete a Test of Essential Academic Skills exam.

Average Tuition
In-state
$8,624
Out-of-state
$25,713
Retention Rate
75%
Admission Rate
83%
Students Enrolled
48,635
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
54% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#8 Most Affordable Online Nursing Programs of 2022

McNeese State University

  • Lake Charles, LA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $233-$300
Out of State | $233-$300

Credits to Graduate
30

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | Yes
Program Accreditation | Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

McNeese's 30-credit online RN-to-BSN features courses in patient care technology and the business of healthcare. Students also take a clinical capstone course. Degree-seekers can complete their training in as little as 10 months with a full-time schedule. 

Online classes at McNeese start in the spring, fall, and summer. Classes run through seven-week sessions. For admission, prospective students need an associate degree or diploma in nursing, a minimum 2.35 GPA, and a valid nursing license.

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,147
Out-of-state
$13,185
Retention Rate
70%
Admission Rate
81%
Students Enrolled
7,295
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
56% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
#9 Most Affordable Online Nursing Programs of 2022

Northwestern Oklahoma State University

  • Alva, OK
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Credit
In State | $329
Out of State | $566

Credits to Graduate
27

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | Yes
Program Accreditation | Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

The online RN-to-BSN at NWOSU features courses in nursing leadership, professional issues in nursing, and research utilization. Full-time students with the appropriate prerequisites can graduate in 12 months. 

Degree-seekers can start in the fall, spring, or summer. Prospective students need an associate degree or diploma in nursing, a minimum 2.5 GPA, and a valid nursing license.

Average Tuition
In-state
$6,593
Out-of-state
$13,710
Retention Rate
57%
Admission Rate
63%
Students Enrolled
1,970
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
62% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#10 Most Affordable Online Nursing Programs of 2022

Delta State University

  • Cleveland, MS
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Avg. Cost per Semester
In State | $351
Out of State | $500

Credits to Graduate
27

Program Information
Degree Completion Program | Yes
Program Accreditation | Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

The online RN-to-BSN program at Delta State University features coursework in community health, health policy, and informatics. The program can be completed in as little as two semesters and requires learners to maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0. 

Applicants must be graduates of an accredited nursing program and hold a valid RN license. The program begins in the fall semester and offers both full-time and part-time options.

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,501
Out-of-state
$7,501
Retention Rate
67%
Admission Rate
94%
Students Enrolled
3,751
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
49% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Frequently Asked Questions About Nursing Programs

Is a bachelor's in nursing worth it?

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A bachelor's in nursing helps learners launch a healthcare career. RNs can also take on greater responsibilities and increase their pay with an RN-to-BSN program. Today, many employers prefer to hire nurses with a bachelor's degree. As a result, a BSN can pay off.

Many learners benefit from the flexibility of an online learning format. Nurses can fit classes around their work shifts by enrolling in an online program. By choosing an affordable bachelor's in nursing program, prospective and current nurses can increase their earning potential with less debt.

What can I do with a bachelor's in nursing?

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A BSN program can prepare nurses for entry-level healthcare careers. With a bachelor's degree, nurses work in many specialties like critical care, pediatrics, primary care, and emergency care. BSN nurses also take on increased responsibilities by working as nurse supervisors or team leaders.

A BSN boosts job opportunities for nurses since many employers prioritize hiring nurses with a bachelor's degree. Finally, a BSN prepares nurses for graduate-level education. A graduate degree helps nurses move into roles like nurse practitioner and nurse educator. These roles offer a significant salary increase over RN jobs.

Are nursing majors in demand?

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Nurses benefit from strong job demand. According to BLS data, the workforce will add 194,500 RN jobs annually from 2020-2030. With a high number of projected retirements in the near future, along with an aging population, nurses will likely benefit from high career demand for many years.

According to the BLS, the workforce will include around 3.35 million nurses by 2030. That number will include many current and future nursing students who decide to enroll in nursing school in the 2020s.

How much money can I make with a bachelor's in nursing?

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A bachelor's in nursing translates into higher salaries for nurses. According to the BLS, registered nurses earned a median salary of $77,600 per year in May 2021. Salaries vary based on experience, degree, industry, and location. Nurses with a BSN degree typically earn higher salaries than those with an RN license alone.

The BLS reports that the highest-paid registered nurses earned more than $120,000 per year in May 2021. The best-paying states for nurses include California, Hawaii, Oregon, and New York. Nursing salaries also vary based on specialty. Critical care nurses and nurse supervisors report above-average salaries.

What are the highest paying jobs with a bachelor's in nursing?

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A BSN program can prepare nurses for many high-paying specialties. Pharmaceutical nurses and informatics nurses, for example, report higher salaries than the median for RNs. Travel nurses also earn high salaries, with some travel nurses making as much as $7,000 per week.

Other in-demand, high-paying specialties include perioperative nurse and critical care nurse. When researching nursing specialties, consider both the earning potential and demand. Nursing students can seek out programs that specialize in particular areas of nursing.

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BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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