How Much Does Nurse Practitioner School Cost?

Written By: Jennifer Schlette MSN, RN

So, you have just concluded that being a nurse practitioner is your true calling in life. That is great! Now, you just need to choose a program. One factor that may affect your decision is how much does a nurse practitioner school cost. So, how much does nurse practitioner school cost? Not really sure of the answer? Well, let me help you out. Keep on reading to see what the cost is for some of the top nurse practitioner programs in the nation.

How Much Does A Nurse Practitioner Program Typically Cost?

Well, that is a bit of a loaded question. To start, there is a range depending on the degree you already have and what type of degree you are hoping to pursue. Another factor that will impact your cost in choosing a program is whether you choose to attend a program as an in-state or out of state resident. Some programs will provide a discount to students who live in the same state as the program.

If you already have a BSN and you wish to pursue an MSN your tuition cost can be anywhere from $81,810 to $185,280. Now, let’s say you directly want to go from a BSN to a DNP. Well, for a BSN to DNP you are looking at a price tag ranging from $26,490 to $254,260. If you have already earned your MSN and you are going to be pursuing your DNP, you can expect to pay anywhere from $17,660 to $169,510.

Type of NP Program Tuition Cost
BSN to MSN $18,810 - $185,280
BSN to DNP $26,490 - $254,260
MSN to DNP $17,660 - $169,510

How Much Does The Nurse Practitioner School Cost For The Top 15 MSN-NP Programs?

Below let’s take a quick look at how much some of the nation’s top MSN-Nurse Practitioner programs cost.

1. University of Pittsburg: The University of Pittsburg has the reputation of being one of the country's best public universities. The only caveat to their nurse practitioner program is that they only offer a Neonatal nurse practitioner degree. You can complete this degree in 2 years full time. This nurse practitioner school costs around $89,000 for out of state students and $66,000 for in-state students.

2. Boston College: Boston College is a private institution that offers students 5 different nurse practitioner specialties. Their nurse practitioner program is around 56 credits depending on which specialty you choose. To complete your degree with laboratory fees, you are looking somewhere in the ballpark of about $87,000.

3. Duke University: Duke has consistently been ranked as one of the top universities nationally and internationally. This University offers students 7 different specialties as a nurse practitioner. Depending on the specialization you choose, the minimum number of credits required for degree completion ranges from 42 to 49 credit hours. Tuition at Duke will be about $90,000 for the program. Make sure you check out the page of their fees to figure out which fees you will be paying in addition to your credit cost.

4. The University of Texas at Austin: The University of Texas at Austin is a public university and is a flagship of Texas University. This University offers three nurse practitioner specialties. Their program length is anywhere from 1.5-2 years. Your degree will be about 48 credits and will cost you around $44,000 per year for non-residents. This includes housing, books, and fees. For resident of Texas, and who do not need housing, the cost will be around $23,000 per year.

5. University of Virginia: The University of Virginia is a top-ranked public institution. This University offers students a variety of nurse practitioner specialties. If you decide to attend this program, you will have to complete a minimum of 30 credits to earn your degree with an average program completion length of 21 months full-time and 33 months part-time. This nurse practitioner school costs around $18,500 per year for a state resident and about $30,000 per year for an out of state resident. Please take into account there will be additional fees associated with this cost.

6. University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus: This school was the first College of Nursing to institute and confer nurse practitioner degrees in the country. They offer students four nurse practitioner specialties. Most students can complete their coursework in 2-3 years. If you were to take 12 credits per term, CU Anschutz’s nurse practitioner program costs about $10,500 per year for Colorado residents and for non-residents $31,500 per year.

7. Yale University: Yale University is one of the oldest institutions out there. This IVY league school offers five different nurse practitioner programs for their students to choose from. If you choose to pursue your degree at Yale University, you will find yourself paying a total of around $67,000 for 3 semesters. If your program requires additional semesters, you will incur further costs. Also, keep in mind that this price tag does not include additional fees.

8. University of Pennsylvania: This University is known as a very prestigious ivy league university. The University of Pennsylvania offers its prospective students’ different specialties in pursing the nurse practitioner degree. The cost per year at this nurse practitioner school includes tuition and fees. If your program takes you 12 months to complete, you are looking at $76,020. If it takes you 14 months, you will be in the area of $88,690 for your education. An 18-month program costs $107,695 and a 36-month program costs $218,595.

9. Pennyslvania State University: This University has designed its program to be completed in 2 years. They offer students three different specialties to choose from when pursuing becoming a nurse practitioner. Penn State has many campuses, so depending on what degree you are pursuing, it may change to the campus you will attend. The MSN-nurse practitioner program will cost you anywhere from $38,000 to $42,000, depending on your specialty.

10. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Chapel Hill offers prospective students four different nurse practitioner specialties. The cost for a nurse practitioner degree is about $9,600 a semester for a North Carolina resident and $18,500 a semester for a non-North Carolina resident. Like other programs, you will still be responsible for additional fees.

11. Vanderbilty University: Here, you can choose from five different concentrations as a nurse practitioner. You can expect to be paying anywhere from about $69,000 for your degree to $92,600. This cost is program dependent and does not include associated fees.

12. New York University: New York University offers multiple nurse practitioner options to their prospective students. The cost of tuition and fees per semester at NYU is around $24,000.

13. Ohio State University: Like other Universities, Ohio State University offers multiple specialties that you can pursue on the road to becoming a nurse practitioner. Your tuition, not including fees, will range from $49,000 to $59,000 for your degree for Ohio residents. Now, if you are not a resident of Ohio, then you can be looking at paying anywhere from $125,000 to $151,000, not including fees to earn your degree.

14. Georgetown University: Georgetown offers students full time and part-time options for their various nurse practitioner programs. Depending on the specialization you choose, the program will be 40-49 credits. This university's price tag will run you from $47,000 to $60,000 for tuition and fees.

15. Emory University: Emory offers acute and primary care specialty options to its prospective students. The cost of Emory University is about $23,000 a semester for 4 semesters.

How Much Does The Nurse Practitioner School Cost For The Top 15 DNP-NP Programs?

Below let’s take a quick look at how much some of the nation’s top DNP-Nurse Practitioner programs cost.

1. Columbia University: Columbia University is a private school located in New York City. They offer students three different specializations to achieve their DNP. If you choose to complete the program on a full-term track, your nurse practitioner school cost will be around $66,000 for the first year. This amount does not include additional fees. So, depending on the program length, you are looking at paying around $132,000-$264,000 for your degree.

2. University of Washington: The University of Washington is a public institution. There are four different roles that you can pursue as a DNP student at this school. The quarterly nurse practitioner program cost for in state residents is around $9,700, and for out of state residents, the quarterly tuition is around $13,800. Again, this does not include additional fees and incidental costs. Your total nurse practitioner school cost will depend on the program you choose.

3. John Hopkins University: This University offers two different paths in achieving your DNP. One is for nurses with an earned BSN or MSN pre licensure and the other for nurses with an earned MSN in a specialty area such as NP, CNS, Management. The cost of tuition at this university will run anywhere from $40,000 to around $50,000 per year. As with other programs, this does not include additional fees and costs and total degree tuition is program dependent.

4. Duke University: This program is around 35 credits and is offered on a part-time basis. The average part-time tuition is around $13,400 per semester. The total nurse practitioner school cost at Duke, however, will be more once you include fees and additional costs.

5. Vanderbilt University: Vanderbilt University offers multiple ways to enter their program. The cost per credit is $1,716. The total cost of attendance at this university is around $68,197 to $73,345 per year.

6. University of Illinois—Chicago: This university offers 12 different specialties that you can pursue. You can enter this program with a BSN or MSN. The nurse practitioner school cost at UIC is $975 per credit hour for in-state tuition; $1,440 per credit hour for out of state tuition. Per year you can expect to be paying somewhere in the area of $22,000 if you live in-state and $35,400 for out of state per year.

7. University of North Carolina--Chapel Hill: You can enroll for this DNP-NP with either a BSN or an MSN. For the MSN to DNP track, you can expect to pay anywhere from $11,000 to $12,000 per semester for in-state students. For out of state students, you can expect to pay $19,000 to $21,000 per semester. This does not include fees and additional costs. For the cost of BSN to DNP, it is best to contact the institution.

8. Emory University: As with other Universities, you can choose either to enter the DNP program with a BSN or an MSN. The nurse practitioner program cost at the DNP level of education at Emory University starts at $19,500 per semester.

9. Ohio State University: Ohio State University offers two separate tracks to the DNP. You can either enter the program with a BSN or an MSN. The nurse practitioner school cost at OSU can run you around $980.00 per credit if you live in the state and around $2,700 per credit if you live out of state. The BSN to DNP program is 72 credits, and the MSN-DNP is a minimum of 36 credits.

10. Rush University: Rush University offers full and part time NP programs that will take you anywhere from 2-3 years to complete. The nurse practitioner program cost at Rush is $1,166 per credit. The BSN-DNP program takes 71 credits to complete, and the MSN-DNP program requires you to earn a minimum of 62 credits to complete.

11. University of Pittsburg: The University of Pittsburg offers multiple DNP tracks. They offer both BSN entry and MSN entry into their program. If you live in the state, you will be charged $1,122 per credit, and for out of state, you will be charged $1,345 per credit.

12. Rutgers University-Newark: At Rutgers School of Nursing, you can earn a DNP degree along two tracks: post-bachelor’s, which takes around 85 credits to complete, and post-master's, which takes around 38 credits to complete. This all depends on the specialty you decide to pursue. If you are a resident of New Jersey, you will be charged $943.00 per credit, and if you are not a resident of New Jersey, you will be charged $1,367 per credit.

13. University of Iowa: The University of Iowa offers various NP programs with entry into the program possible with a BSN or an MSN. Tuition at this school is $1,250.25 per credit hour. If you enter the program with an MSN, you will have to complete 72 semester hours. If you enter with a BSN, you can expect to complete anywhere from 73-104 semester hours.

14. University of Maryland-Baltimore: At this University, there are multiple ways to enter their DNP program. You will be paying $824.00 a credit if you live in Maryland and $1,461 for an out of state student. If you have a BSN when you enter the program, you will need to complete anywhere from 80-93 credits. If you enter with a master's degree, you must complete anywhere from 37-93 credits.

15. Yale University: Yale University is not only home to one of the best MSN programs but is also home to one of the best DNP. The nurse practitioner degree cost at the DNP level at Yale will run you $31,475 a year. You can expect five semesters of the program, six to nine credits per semester.


As you can see, there are many outstanding programs out there for you to pursue your Nurse practitioner degree. There are also many ways you can enter these programs. You can also see that there are many factors that can impact the cost of nurse practitioner school. What it truly will come down to is your finances and comfort level of these different programs.

Frequently Asked Questions Answered By Our Expert

How To Offset Nurse Practitioner Program Tuition Costs?

I know that nurse practitioner school can cost a good amount of money. However, there are some tactics you can employ to offset the cost. You could continue to work either full-time or part-time. You may also want to look into working per-diem. Some schools will have an option for a student to purchase health insurance through them. You could also see if you could get your books for school used. This can save quite a bit of money. You can also sell old textbooks. If you have the option, you could change your living situation, such as moving home or getting a roommate. You can always apply for scholarships and financial aid as well.

Other Than Tuition What Other Costs Are Associated With Pursuing a Nurse Practitioner Program?

Besides tuition, you may end up paying fees for the program, such as technology fees and lab fees to name a few. You may have an application fee associated with applying to the program. Your books will also cost you money.

As a Nurse Practitioner Student What are the Common Unanticipated Costs, You Should Plan for?

You will find that you will have transportation fees in pursuing your degree, especially when you begin the clinical portion of the program. Let’s also not forget about your cost of living. Your cost of living can be greatly affected by your employment situation.

Are Online Nurse Practitioner Programs Cheaper than On-Campus Programs?

Due to the pandemic, many nurse practitioner programs have moved to a fully remote program. This means that there really is no differentiation between in-person learning and online learning. Some institutions have given students a break in tuition due to these circumstances, where others have not.

Will Hospitals Pay for Nurse Practitioner School?

Yes, some hospitals will pay for you to go back to school and earn an advanced practice degree. They will allow you a certain amount of credits per semester. Now, this is definitely not out of the goodness of their heart. Usually, in exchange for them paying for your degree, you will have to agree to work for them for a designated amount of time. If you leave before that designated time, you will have to pay the hospital back the remainder of the time.

Jennifer Schlette MSN, RN
Jennifer Schlette is a registered nurse in pediatric critical care in New York City. She is the former Director of Undergraduate Nursing at a college located in New York. After obtaining her BSN from the College of Mount Saint Vincent, she went on to complete her MSN.