Finding a way to pay for nursing school can seem overwhelming, and may put off students who would make excellent nurses. However, funding is available from many sources for nursing students who truly need the assistance. Federal money for grants and scholarships, state grant and scholarship money, and private scholarships and grants are all available to nursing students and prospective students.
Scholarships for Nursing Students
Scholarships can be based on either academic merit or financial need, and do not need to be repaid after graduation. Some scholarships are tied to military service or to future health care service in needy areas. The National Health Service Corps offers scholarships to students willing to serve in areas where health care is in short supply.
Scholarship opportunities may be based on ethnic background, disability status or gender. The American Assembly for Men in Nursing Foundation offers scholarships to men in nursing school or seeking graduate nurse education. Many scholarships, such as the Women in Healthcare Scholarship, require applicants to write an essay in addition to meeting grade point average requirements.
Most nursing specialties, such as pediatric or emergency room nursing, have professional associations that sponsor nursing school scholarships. The Emergency Nurses Foundation Association offers multiple scholarships each year to nursing school students nation-wide.
The National Student Nurses Association is a major pre-service nursing group that offers scholarship and grant opportunities nation-wide. Other organizations offering nursing school scholarships are geared toward certain locations. The Midwest Alliance for Nursing is one such example. Most states offer scholarship programs for nursing students.
Private foundations often offer scholarship awards. The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution offers the Caroline E. Holt Nursing Scholarship to ten recipients annually.
Grants for Nursing Students
Grants also do not require repayment after graduation, and can help meet the costs of attending nursing school. As with scholarships, grants are often targeted towards specific groups of people such as minorities. The Indian Health Service Scholarship Program provides grants for Native American and Alaska Native tribe members who agree to work for the HIS for a time after they graduate. Thirty-eight states have established state-funded nursing education grant programs to encourage qualified nursing students to attend state schools.
There are many options for new nursing students as well as graduate nurses furthering their education. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration sponsors several nursing school grants. These include grants for financially needy or disadvantaged students, grants for nurses who agree to work in needy areas, and grants for military personnel, veterans or those in an ROTC program.
Professional nursing organizations may offer grants for nursing students. The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, and the Gerontological Society of America all offer grants to nursing school students. Many other such associations exist and offer funding assistance for nursing school. ExceptionalNurse.com offers grants for nursing students with disabilities, and who commit to work with disabled patients.