The Unexpected Costs of Becoming a Nurse Practitioner

Gene Dofitas
Feb 7, 2019

Becoming a Nurse Practitioner undoubtedly entails a lot of expenses which are commonly associated with direct costs like school tuition fees or housing expenses. These costs depend on several different factors that depend on the educational course you take, the school you are enrolling into or even the state you currently live in. Financial expenditures are likely one of the most important considerations for anyone in the pursuit of a career as a nurse practitioner, but what are some other unforeseen costs that need to be acknowledged?

NP Board and Preparations

The board exam and the fees associated with it are inevitable and could set an aspiring nurse practitioner back hundreds of dollars. Registering for both Nurse Practitioner Boards through the AACN and the CNS Boards through the ANCC would cost almost 1000 dollars in total and that doesn’t yet account for expenses related to reviews. Board preparations whether it is in the form of take-home reviewers or live review sessions are an important consideration as well. Depending on what is locally available, these review alternatives could cost 500 dollars upwards. Live review sessions may even cost more because of any related travel and housing expenses needed to attend the classes.


Graduating isn’t where the costs end. For nurse practitioners there are three licenses that they must have in order to practice their profession. These include the Registered Nurse License which could cost 75 dollars, the Nurse Practitioner License for 115 dollars and the 731 dollar Drug Enforcement Agency license which is valid for three years. In some states, they will require nurse practitioners to complete a pharmacology CE before allowing them to operate. This on its own may cost around 100 dollars.

Handling Costs

Not everyone has access to resources that will allow them to handle these expenses on top of the already expensive direct costs of studying. What are the possible courses of action the one could take to help lessen the burden of these expenses? Being smart with your choice of school is a good place to start because there might be a local university that is close to where you live. Additionally, many schools now offer online or distance programs that will only require you to travel to campus a few times a year at the very least. These programs allow for more flexibility and make it easier to handle travel and living expenses. Above all this, financial aid made available through loans and scholarships is always a good option. Already employed nurses should make an effort to know if their employer has a policy in place that can help pay for part of their nurse practitioner program.

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