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Southwest’s 30 Best Affordable Nursing Programs

Southwest's 30 Best Affordable Nursing Programs

It can be difficult to decide where to go nursing school to earn your Bachelor of Science in Nursing. You have to take a lot of things into account. How effective is the program? Will it actually get you ready for nursing life? What is the price? Is the cost justified?

Even though we might not have all the answers, we can at least point you in the right direction. Our team examined more than a hundred nursing programs in the southwest part of the country and came up with a list of the top 30 most reasonably priced nursing programs there.

How the Rankings Were Determined

We looked at three variables—graduation rate, NCLEX pass rate, and, of course, tuition—to determine how each institution performed. Based on how each factor stacks up against other schools, a value was given to each one.

What Exactly Is a Cheap School?

Aside from having children, paying for college in the US is one of the most costly things most of us will ever do. Particularly if you’re the first person in your family to attend college, it might be challenging to determine how much you should pay for your degree. Here are some statistics about the average cost of American universities from for your reference.

According to the research, a school that costs less than about $10,000 year is an excellent deal.

How to Maximize the Benefits of Your School

Your money will automatically go further if you stay in-state. You can save a ton of money on college expenses by attending in-state and staying at home or in less expensive accommodation. For that reason, we examined in-state tuition for the institutions on this list.

Here is the Mo Metrix 2023 ranking of the top 30 cost-effective nursing programs in the Southwest.

Chamberlain College

  • Place: Phoenix, Arizona
  • NCLEX success rate: 92%
  • Schooling (12 hours): $8,388
  • Offerings in Nursing: RN to BSN and BSN

There is no backlog and no prerequisites at Chamberlain’s nursing school in Phoenix. A BSN degree can be obtained in as little as three years of full-time study, or three semesters for an RN to BSN. Over 90% of Chamberlain students receive financial help in the form of federal, private, or grant money. There are certain to be lessons that match your schedule with the online options offered. For 130 years, Chamberlain University has produced great nursing graduates and healthcare professionals.

Grand Canyon University

  • Location: Phoenix, AZ
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 98%
  • Tuition (12-18 hrs): $8,250.00
  • Nursing Degrees Offered: RN to BSN, BSN                                                                                
    Located in Phoenix, Arizona, Grand Canyon University has a 98% NCLEX pass rate. For 12 to 18 hours per semester at this nursing school, the typical tuition fee is $8,250.00 for both in-state and out-of-state students. Grand Canyon University offers institutional scholarships and has not raised campus tuition since 2009 as part of its commitment to offering an affordable education. Their commitment to ensuring all students have access to a high-quality education is reflected in the tuition freeze.


New Mexico State University

  • Location: Las Cruces, NM
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 92%
  • Tuition (12 hrs): $3,648.00
  • Nursing Degrees Offered: RN to BSN, BSN

In Las Cruces, New Mexico, New Mexico State University has a top-notch nursing program. Because El Paso, Texas, and the Mexican border are so close to the Las Cruces campus, there are lots of possibilities for students to engage in multicultural activities. Both residents and non-residents can receive an affordable education at the university. Even the “Roadrunner” option of their BSN program allows qualifying candidates to complete their studies in just 19 months.

University of New Mexico

  • Location: Albuquerque, NM
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 93%
  • Tuition (Yearly): $9,228.00
  • Nursing Degrees Offered: RN to BSN, BSN

The University of New Mexico, which is one of the most costly colleges on our list and is located in Albuquerque, has received accolades from numerous organizations for its significant research activities and ethnic variety. The expected cost of tuition and fees for the academic year 2021–2022 is $9,228. The University of New Mexico also awards around $70 million in scholarships annually. Their BSN program has a 93% licensing pass rate. Due to its excellent reputation, this university is definitely worth the tuition.

Western New Mexico University

  • Location: Silver City, NM
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 94.5%
  • Tuition (12 hrs): $3,279.00
  • Nursing Degrees Offered: LVN, AS, RN to BSN, BSN

Western New Mexico University has excellent student-to-faculty ratios and short class sizes. This university provides online courses in addition to in-person ones to accommodate your scheduling needs. A football field, a swimming pool, a big fine arts center theater, and 40 buildings make up the 80-acre campus. A separate exercise center and a movie theater are also available to students.


Langston University

  • Location: Langston, OK; Tulsa, OK; Oklahoma City, OK; Ardmore, OK
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 73% (Tulsa) 89% (OKC)
  • Tuition (12-18 hrs): $3,250.00
  • Nursing Degrees Offered: BSN, RN to BSN, LPN to BSN

The sole historically black university in Oklahoma is Langston University, which was established in Langston, Oklahoma, in 1897. There are Langston University Centers in Tulsa (on the same site as the OSU-Tulsa location), Oklahoma City, and an Ardmore nursing program that just started in 2019. This university is worth considering because it has a student-to-faculty ratio of 17 to 1, various accessible campuses, and tuition that is under $3,250 per semester.

Northwestern Oklahoma State University

  • Location: Alva, OK
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 88.46%
  • Tuition (12 hrs): $2,985.00
  • Nursing Degrees Offered: BSN, RN to BSN

Northwestern Oklahoma State University’s Charles Morton Share Trust Nursing program is among the top in the state with an NCLEX pass rate of 88.46%. Located near both the Kansas and Texas borders, Northwestern Oklahoma State University’s nursing program was established in 1981 and provides a very affordable education for both residents and non-residents.

Oklahoma Wesleyan University

  • Location: Bartlesville, Oklahoma
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 92%
  • Tuition (12 hours): $5,760.00
  • Nursing Degrees Offered: BSN, LPN to BSN, RN to BSN

The Wesleyan Church established Oklahoma Wesleyan University to offer higher education in a religious setting. This university is near to the borders of Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas and is located just north of Tulsa, Oklahoma. At this university, tuition is equally reasonable for both residents and non-residents. Students at this university must hold beliefs that are in line with those of the Wesleyan Church.

Rogers State University

  • Location: Claremore, OK
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 87.5%
  • Tuition (12 hrs): $3,228.00
  • Nursing Degrees Offered: BSN, LPN to BSN, RN to BSN

Students in Oklahoma can expect a very individualized education at Rogers State University. This university, which has small classes and a reasonable tuition, is conveniently situated northeast of Tulsa, Oklahoma. All the opportunities found at the top universities are available at Rogers State University in a setting that values the uniqueness of each student. For more than 40 years, the university has produced outstanding nurses who graduate.

Southwestern Oklahoma State University

  • Location: Weatherford, OK
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 88%
  • Tuition (12 hrs): $4,080.00
  • Nursing Degrees Offered: BSN, LPN to BSN, RN to BSN

West of Oklahoma City is where Southwestern Oklahoma State University is situated. They started their nursing program in 1976. They achieve the 88% national average for NCLEX pass rates. Three different undergraduate nursing degrees are offered by Southwestern Oklahoma State University, which also provides online learning opportunities. This university appeals to prospective students because of its reasonable tuition and low student-to-faculty ratio.

University of Central Oklahoma

  • Location: Edmond, OK
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 91%
  • Tuition (12 hrs): $3,456.00
  • Nursing Degrees Offered: BSN, RN to BSN

Edmond, Oklahoma, a location that is a northeast suburb of Oklahoma City, is where the University of Central Oklahoma is situated. The University of Central Oklahoma’s nursing program graduated its first nursing class in 1972. Since then, more than 3,500 nurses have completed their programs and been employed. The university also provides a Fast Track program for those with previous degrees who want to enter the nursing field right away.

University of Oklahoma

  • Location: Oklahoma City, OK
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 93.8%
  • Tuition (12 hrs): $6,825.00
  • Nursing Degrees Offered: BSN, RN to BSN, LVN to BSN

The Oklahoma Health Center is a larger complex with the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center at its center, which is located in Oklahoma City. The university was established in 1890, which was 17 years before Oklahoma became a state. The university’s NCLEX pass percentage is 93.8%. For Oklahoma residents, it is definitely worth looking into given the scholarships and financial aid available. There are undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs available at the Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing.


Angelo State University

  • Location: San Angelo, TX
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 92%
  • Tuition (12 hrs): $4,093.00
  • Nursing Degrees Offered: BSN

Five guiding principles serve as the foundation for education at Angelo State University: integrity, diversity and inclusion, significance, community, and commitment. The award-winning nursing program at Angelo State, which has a 92% NCLEX pass rate, is shaped by these beliefs. This university is a fantastic alternative to finish your Bachelor of Science in Nursing because of its central Texas location, low tuition of $4,093.00 for 12 credit hours, and affordable tuition (BSN).

Galen College of Nursing

  • Location: San Antonio, TX
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 90%
  • Tuition (12 hrs): $5,160.00
  • Nursing Degrees Offered: BSN, RN to BSN, LVN, LVN to ADN

It’s easy to obtain your BSN, RN to BSN, LVN, or LVN to ADN at the Galen College of Nursing. This college is conveniently situated close to many lovely locations, including the famed San Antonio River Walk, in San Antonio, Texas. The BSN program at Galen College has an on-time graduation rate of 82%. This university is worth looking into because it has over 35,000 successful alumni and a faculty to student ratio of 1 to 12.

Lamar University

  • Location: Beaumont, TX
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 80%
  • Tuition (12 hrs): $4,547.00
  • Nursing Degrees Offered: BSN, RN to BSN

Lamar University, which is near Louisiana in Southeast Texas, provides a highly regarded nursing program at a reasonable cost. To help you achieve the degree you need, the JoAnne Gay Dishman School of Nursing offers both an RN to BSN track and a BSN track. The nursing school at Lamar University collaborates with over 90 clinical agencies to offer top-notch learning opportunities in a range of healthcare settings. The Dishman School of Nursing also offers cutting-edge educational opportunities for students through the use of cutting-edge simulation technology and a 90% on-time graduation rate.

Midwestern State University

  • Location: Flower Mound, TX; Wichita Falls, TX
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 88%
  • Tuition (12 hrs): $3,634.00
  • Nursing Degrees Offered: BSN, RN to BSN

There are two locations for Midwestern State University: one close to the Oklahoma/Texas border and one just outside of Dallas, Texas. A wonderful option for your BSN or RN to BSN degree is this one. The BSN program at Midwestern State is completed in just 36 months by 89% of its students. 255 acres and 70 buildings make up the campus of the state university Midwestern, which attracts a diverse group of students with various interests. Their 88% NCLEX pass rate is comparable to the national average, and in-state residents pay relatively low tuition.

Sam Houston State University

  • Location: Huntsville, TX
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 99%
  • Tuition (12 hrs): $5,334.80
  • Nursing Degrees Offered: BSN, LPN to BSN, RN to BSN

With a location just north of Houston, Texas, Sam Houston State University was founded in 1879. Though on the pricier side of our list, tuition is reasonable for Texas residents, and the university enrolls more than 20,000 students. Sitting on 316 acres of land, the university has a teaching and research farm, a rodeo arena, a planetarium, an observatory, a body farm, and an 18-hole golf course. With all those features, plus an astounding 99% NCLEX pass rate, this school should definitely be on your list!

Southwestern Adventist University

  • Location: Keene, TX
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 92%
  • Tuition (12 hrs): $3,000.00
  • Nursing Degrees Offered: BSN, LPN to BSN, RN to BSN

Southwestern Adventist University was established and is owned by Seventh-day Adventists. It is situated not far from Fort Worth, Texas. The largest Adventist settlement in the Southwestern Union, which consists of Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and New Mexico, is where the university is situated. The university’s 150-acre campus is home to about 800 students. Both residents and non-residents can attend Southwestern Adventist University for a typical cheap tuition fee, and 92% of its students pass the NCLEX.

Stephen F. Austin State University

  • Location: Nacogdoches, TX
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 97.25%
  • Tuition (12 hrs): $5,300.00
  • Nursing Degrees Offered: BSN, RN to BSN

Stephen F. Austin State University, which is near to the northern Louisiana border in the eastern Piney Woods region of Texas, has an astounding 97.25% NCLEX pass rate. The campus at the rural school is bustling, and there are plenty of students for every teacher. The university’s mascot, a lumberjack, symbolizes the institution’s setting in an extensive forest in eastern Texas. The nurses at Stephen F. Austin State University are so well-known that the majority of their students land jobs before they graduate.

Tarleton State University

  • Location: Fort Worth, TX
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 84%
  • Tuition (12 hrs): $3,983.00
  • Nursing Degrees Offered: BSN, LPN to BSN, RN to BSN

With a student-to-faculty ratio of 19 to 1, Tarleton State University offers small class sizes and personal attention. Their RN to BSN program can be completed in just 10 to 15 months! Their BSN program has an emphasis on community health and family care, and 90% of successful graduates have a nursing job within three months of graduation. Upper-level course electives include exciting topics such as genetics, virology, histology, child development, criminology, forensic science, food and culture, sports nutrition, transcultural nursing, rural sociology, and gender in society.

Texas A&M University – Commerce

  • Location: Commerce, TX
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 93%
  • Tuition (12 hrs): $4,231.00
  • Nursing Degrees Offered: BSN, RN to BSN

The Texas A&M campus at Commerce, which is close to Dallas, Texas, offers an excellent nursing school at a reasonable cost. More than 12,000 students are enrolled at the university, which was founded in 1889. This university not only offers 50% to 80% of its courses online to give you the flexibility you require, but also has an NCLEX pass rate of 93%, which is significantly higher than the national average.

Texas State University

  • Location: San Marcos, TX
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 100%
  • Tuition (12 hrs): $4,851.00
  • Nursing Degrees Offered: BSN, RN to BSN

There isn’t a more picturesque or accessible institution in Texas than this one, which is positioned midway between San Antonio and Austin. The lovely San Marcos River, which flows through the Texas Hill Country, is a well-liked location for river rafting, tubing, and other exciting outdoor sports. Texas State University has ten colleges, fifty schools, and departments, totaling 245 buildings on 492 riverside acres, to accommodate its student body of over 38,500. And to top off all of Texas State’s wonderful advantages, they boast a 100% average NCLEX pass rate!

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso

  • Location: El Paso, TX
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 87%
  • Tuition (12 hrs): $5,410.00
  • Nursing Degrees Offered: RN to BSN, BSN

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso has special opportunities and difficulties for nurses because of its location at the westernmost point of Texas and its intersection with both Mexico and New Mexico. The Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing (GGHSON) was founded to address a persistent nursing shortage and offer top-notch treatment to El Paso’s medically underprivileged community. For your convenience, this university offers flexible semesters and hours.

Texas Woman’s University

  • Location: Houston, TX; Denton, TX; Dallas, TX
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 94%
  • Tuition (12 hrs): $3,648.00
  • Nursing Degrees Offered: BSN, RN to BSN

The main campus of Texas Woman’s University, which welcomes both men and women, is situated in Houston’s museum and medical sector. This international university is a convenient place to complete your nursing degree ambitions because it also offers campuses in Denton and Dallas, Texas. The university also has a significant online presence and provides a wide range of classes at various times. Additionally, the Dallas school provides a night and weekend alternative, enabling older students to advance in a career change. This university should be taken into account with a 94% NCLEX pass rate.

UT Medical Branch at Galveston

  • Location: Galveston, TX
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 99%
  • Tuition (12 hrs): $4,291.00
  • Nursing Degrees Offered: RN to BSN, BSN

The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston has a per-semester tuition of $4,291.00 for in-state students, making it under $9,000 per year. This school has a graduation rate of 93.20% and an NCLEX pass rate of 99%! Students who attend this school can be sure they are being well prepared to pass the NCLEX and start their careers as nurses, without breaking the bank.

UT Rio Grande Valley

  • Location: Brownsville, Edinburg, Harlingen, McAllen, Rio Grande City, South Padre Island, TX
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 92.46%
  • Tuition (12 hrs): $4,770.00
  • Nursing Degrees Offered: RN to BSN, BSN

In reality, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley is a conglomeration of smaller colleges and universities that have banded together to aid the students of southern Texas. Although different campuses offer different curricula, all offer an excellent education. The schools continue to have a student body that is multilingual, multicultural, and international; in this setting, you can learn how to treat patients from various backgrounds.

UT Tyler

  • Location: Tyler, TX; Longview, TX; Palestine, TX
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 95%
  • Tuition (12 hrs): $3,744.00
  • Nursing Degrees Offered: RN to BSN, BSN

The student-to-faculty ratio at the University of Texas at Tyler is an impressive 19:1. This university has three locations and boasts a 95% NCLEX pass rate as well as reasonably priced tuition for Texans. At graduation, 98% of the nursing students there are employed. They also provide online courses so that you may fit your education around your schedule. This school is a must-visit for Texans due to its affordable tuition and high-quality instruction.

University of Houston

  • Location: Houston, TX
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 100%
  • Tuition (12 hrs): $5,295.00
  • Nursing Degrees Offered: AS, RN to BSN, BSN

The University of Houston has an outstanding 100% NCLEX pass rate! This university, which is situated in the fourth-most populous city in the country, provides top-notch health studies and job opportunities. Nursing students will gain practical experience in some of the best hospitals in the US thanks to the Medical Center’s proximity to the campus.

Wayland Baptist University

  • Location: Plainview, TX
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 93%
  • Tuition (12 hrs): $3,144.00
  • Nursing Degrees Offered: LVN to BSN, BSN

The foundation of Wayland Baptist University is the fusion of study and faith. This university, which is in the Texas Panhandle, offers equally reasonable tuition to both residents and non-residents. Three years ahead of the Supreme Court’s decision to outlaw school segregation, Wayland was the first four-year liberal arts institution in the former Confederate states to voluntarily integrate. Students at this university must uphold the Baptist General Convention of Texas’ theological principles. Wayland is a fantastic choice for students seeking an affordable, faith-based college education.

West Texas A&M University

  • Location: Canyon, TX
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 97%
  • Tuition (15 hrs): $4,831.00
  • Nursing Degrees Offered: RN to BSN, BSN

In Canyon, Texas, a little town west of Amarillo, West Texas A&M University offers affordable education of high caliber. Tuition and fees for 15 credit hours come to roughly $4,831, which places this institution below the national average and makes it a terrific deal for locals. With an 18:1 student to faculty ratio and a 97% NCLEX pass rate, this school is a great option for those looking to complete their education at an affordable cost.