Guide to Financial Aid and Scholarships for Nurses
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 12% growth in nursing from 2018-28, thanks in part to an aging baby boomer population and a growing emphasis on preventive medicine and chronic illness management. Many nursing employers seek candidates with a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN), which allows nurses to access higher-paying positions and more diverse job opportunities.
However, nursing school tuition is on the rise, presenting a hurdle for prospective students. Learners may find financial assistance through scholarships, grants, or loans. Nurses who already hold an associate degree may benefit from RN-to-BSN scholarships and the flexibility afforded by online programs.
Prospective nursing students can secure scholarship and grant funding through a wide range of public and private providers. These include businesses, nonprofit organizations, professional associations, and community foundations, including institutional awards from colleges and universities offered to enrolled students.
Additionally, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Institute of Medicine recently launched an education initiative for professional nurses. One goal of this initiative is to ensure that 80% of RNs have earned a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) by 2020. As a result, more tuition funding has been made available to RNs seeking a BSN.
Grants and Scholarships Available for Nursing Students
In this section, we offer detailed information on a variety of grant and scholarship opportunities for nursing majors at all levels. Additionally, we point to appropriate funding opportunities for nursing students with diverse backgrounds and experiences, including master’s degree-seekers, minority students, and military members and veterans.
Who Can Apply: Undergraduate learners in their third or fourth year of BSN or ADN programs in Illinois may apply. Applicants should possess documented evidence of at least 20 hours of community service and a 3.0 or higher GPA.
Who Can Apply: High school students, and college students who previously received scholarship money through Kaiser, may apply. Applicants must live in Oregon or southwest Washington, known as the Kaiser Permanente Northwest service area, for consideration.
Who Can Apply: Students pursuing a master’s degree in nursing, nursing administration, nursing education, or public health may apply. ENA expects applicants to possess a 3.0 or higher GPA, two letters of recommendation, and hold a current ENA membership.
Who Can Apply: Undergraduate or graduate students with at least one year’s worth of college credits and current enrollment in a U.S. nursing program may apply. Applicants should have documented volunteer experience with the Red Cross.
Who Can Apply: Current or prospective students planning to pursue a degree in nursing or a closely related field may apply, except those in a pre-med program, physician assistant school, or veterinary school. Applicants should possess a 3.25 or higher GPA.
Who Can Apply: First-year students in an RN or LPN program may apply. Applicants must be a U.S. citizen and submit an application containing a 200-word essay, photograph, and required contact information.
Amount: $250 per semester
Who Can Apply: Nursing students of virtually any level and in any specialty nursing program may apply, including those in associate, bachelor’s, diploma, pre-licensure, RN-to-BSN, RN-to-MSN, and LPN/LVN-to-RN programs.
Amount: $7,500 per year
Who Can Apply: U.S. and international pre-licensure nursing students enrolled in schools with AACN membership may apply. Applicants must include an application form and a personal essay.
Who Can Apply: Students accepted or enrolled in an accredited nursing program in the U.S. may apply, as long as they do not have federal judgment liens, an existing service commitment, or overdue debts to the federal government.
Who Can Apply: Current undergraduate nursing students or high school learners with acceptance to an accredited college or university nursing program may apply. Applicants should possess a 3.0 or higher GPA.
Who Can Apply: Students pursuing a career in helping patients, enrolled in two- or four-year graduate programs at a college, university, or vocational school may apply.
Who Can Apply: ANTSHE reserves this merit-based award for students who are at least 23 years old and enrolled in a public two-year college or university. Applicants should also be a parent, veteran, low-income, or minority student.
Who Can Apply: Full-time learners who took at least three years off after high school before enrolling in an undergraduate nursing program may apply. Learners at the associate and bachelor’s levels are eligible.
Who Can Apply: Minority students pursuing a career in healthcare who are residents or students in Minnesota or western Wisconsin are eligible for this scholarship. Applicants need at least a 2.0 GPA and must demonstrate financial need.
Who Can Apply: Female U.S. citizens pursuing a degree in the medical field are eligible for this scholarship. Applicants need at least a 3.25 GPA. Interested learners may reapply each year.
Are you ready to earn your online nursing degree?
Whether you’re looking to get your pre-licensure degree or taking the next step in your career, the education you need could be more affordable than you think. Find the right nursing program for you.
RN-to-MSN online programs provide an accelerated route for registered nurses to earn their master of science in nursing degree. Our rankings highlight the top programs.
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Want to become a nurse practitioner but don't have a bachelor's degree? No problem. Check out these top RN-to-MSN bridge programs.