Charlotte Finance

May 17 2018

Top nursing schools in Illinois: Most expensive to least expensive

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Top nursing schools in Illinois: Most expensive to least expensive

Cost is one of the top concerns for making education decisions. There are many expenses in nursing school beyond the simple cost of tuition, fees, room, board, and books. Other expenses include the up-front costs of moving in, including apartment furniture and additional school supplies. The total cost of attending nursing school also depends on the type of school and length of program. Broadly speaking, the less time spent in school, the less expensive it will be. That said, it is important to remember that more time spent in school often correlates with a higher salary. Below you can find a brief description of the major types of nursing programs, as well as their respective levels of compensation.

Certified nursing assistant (CNA) programs
CNA programs are offered at career, vocational, and community colleges, all of which cost significantly less than attending a traditional university. CNA programs only take several weeks to a few months to complete, making them the quickest and most affordable route to a career in nursing. In Illinois, CNAs can expect to earn close to $25,000 per year.

Licensed practical nurse (LPN) programs
LPN programs are also offered at career, vocational, and community colleges, making these programs more affordable than attending a traditional university. LPN programs usually take 12 to 18 months to complete, so they are more expensive than CNA programs. However, this increased cost means more extensive training, more responsibility in the workplace, and higher pay. In Illinois, LPNs can expect to earn approximately $45,000 per year.

Associate’s degrees in nursing (ADN)
An ADN program typically takes two years to complete. Associate’s degree programs are the fastest and least expensive way to become a registered nurse (RN), and they are offered at a number of accessible and affordable community colleges in Illinois. The state’s RNs can expect to earn nearly $65,000 per year, making this investment well worthwhile.

Bachelor of science in nursing (BSN)
BSN degree programs require four years of study. There are accelerated tracks available for RNs with associate’s degrees and for students who are new to nursing but already hold bachelor’s degrees in other fields. Earning a four year-degree in nursing is the most expensive way to become an RN, but it’s also the best way to remain competitive on the job market. In Illinois, the high-end salary for RNs is well over $65,000 annually.

To help you find a school in your desired price range, the following is a comprehensive list of nursing schools in Illinois, organized from most to least expensive.

Ambria College of Nursing

Associate s in Registered Nursing (24-month program): tuition and fees $31,760, books and supplies $2,775

Certificate in Licensed Practical Nursing (13-month program): tuition and fees $25,400, books and supplies $1,999, room and board $13,247

Northwestern Institute of Health and Technology

Certificate in Licensed Practical Nursing (12-month program): tuition and fees $24,875, books and supplies $1,300, room and board $12,924

J Renee Career Facilitation

Certificate in Licensed Practical Nursing (10-month program): tuition and fees $22,215, books and supplies $3,735, room and board $7,000

Illinois School of Health Careers – Chicago Loop

Certificate in Nursing Assistant (8-month program): tuition and fees $15,750, books and supplies $650, room and board $5,600

Illinois School of Health Careers – Chicago O Hare

Certificate in Nursing Assistant (8-month program): tuition and fees $15,750, books and supplies $650

The College of Office Technology

Certificate in Nursing Assistant (9-month program): tuition and fees $12,748, books and supplies $1,100

Certificate in Nursing Assistant (2-month program): tuition and fees $995, books and supplies $85

State Career College

Certificate in Nursing Assistant (2-month program): tuition and fees $850, books and supplies $50


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