Patient Care

UR School of Nursing Cuts Tuition of Degree-Completion Program for Nurses

Aug. 17, 2018
UR School of Nursing RN to BS students in the skills lab.

In an age of skyrocketing tuition hikes, the University of Rochester School of Nursing is going against the grain and cutting the cost of its bachelor’s degree program for registered nurses.

Responding to New York State’s landmark “BS in 10” legislation requiring future nurses to obtain a baccalaureate degree in nursing within 10 years of their initial licensure, the UR School of Nursing is dropping the overall cost of its RN to BS completion program by 18 percent. The school also offers a number of substantial scholarships to bolster the strength of the nursing workforce by easing the financial burden to be faced by registered nurses who graduate with an associate degree or nursing diploma.

Beginning with the fall 2018 semester, UR Nursing is reducing the sticker price of its RN to BS program from $1,456 to $1,200 per credit hour, though the school already offers big discounts to nurses throughout a wide swath of the state. Through its Finger Lakes Regional Scholarship, UR Nursing offers eligible nurses who live or work in an 18-county region surrounding the Greater Rochester area a 50 percent scholarship. The school also provides a 55 percent discount to nurses working at a University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) affiliate organization through the Affiliate Professional Development Grant, while University of Rochester employees are eligible for a tuition waiver of up to 95 percent, dropping the cost of the RN to BS program to as little as $60 per credit hour.

UR School of Nursing RN to BS students in the skills lab.

“The University of Rochester School of Nursing fully embraces New York’s BS in 10 legislation – it is a move that we have championed for a long time,” said Dean Kathy H. Rideout, EdD, PPCNP-BC, FNAP. “As nationwide leaders in nursing education, we feel that it’s imperative to make a commitment to ensuring that our nursing workforce has realistic and open access to programs that help deliver better patient outcomes, prepares nurses to meet the demands of an increasingly complex health care environment, and provides hard-working nurses with the crucial foundation they need to pursue additional education to advance their career.”

In December, New York became the first state to enact legislation requiring future RNs who graduate from an associate degree or nursing diploma program to complete a baccalaureate degree program within 10 years after being licensed to practice. Diploma and associate degree nursing programs are maintained as entry points into the nursing profession and all currently licensed RNs and students enrolled in a nursing program are excluded from the mandatory requirement.

Research shows that additional education makes a difference in the skill and competence of RNs and results in better quality care for patients. While affordability is a key factor for nurses in choosing where to pursue their baccalaureate degree, the quality of education they receive at that institution and how nurses are able to apply those lessons to their clinical practice is ultimately the biggest takeaway.

The UR School of Nursing’s RN to BS program is built on technology and uses the latest research to deliver a highly interactive, enhanced learning experience to students. The hybrid-online program mixes online coursework with in-person classroom settings and access to the unparalleled resources of an academic medical center. The program can be completed in as little as 16 months of part-time study. Graduates of the program are equipped to pursue advanced degrees, such as nurse practitioner, or pursue a wider range of nursing leadership or educator roles.

“This is not about nurses going back to school, it’s about moving the profession forward through transformative education,” said Lydia D. Rotondo, DNP, RN, CNS, associate dean for education and student affairs at the UR School of Nursing. “We are preparing nurses for a future that they will create for themselves.”

For more information about the University of Rochester School of Nursing RN to BS program, visit: