Financial Aid Options for Nursing Students


According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nursing is expected to be the second fastest growing occupation in the country over the next ten years. A degree in nursing will practically guarantee that you will be able to find work and stay steadily employed throughout your adult life. If you need financial aid in order to pursue a nursing degree, there are many options available to you in addition to the standard sources.

Nursing Colleges and Schools

Contact the schools you are considering and ask about state-based scholarships. There may be special scholarships and aid available for out of state and international students, as well as scholarships that are available to all students. If you ask about available scholarships at the time you apply, you will have a head start on securing financial aid so that everything will be in place when you are ready to begin.

In addition, schools are the best source of information about nursing grants that may be available through national nursing grant award programs. You should also contact the admissions office each semester to find out about any new grants or awards that may have become available. Many national non-profit organizations are dedicated to providing funds for nursing students. These are most often available to grad students pursuing Masters and doctoral degrees.

Nursing Scholarships

In addition to government funded scholarships and those offered by national non-profit organizations, there are a number of grants and scholarships offered exclusively to nursing students through various organizations. The following paragraphs describe several specific scholarships and organizations that offer financial aid for nursing students.

Excellence in Academics Nursing Scholarship

In 2006, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing established the Excellence in Academics Nursing Scholarship. It is designated for nurses enrolled in bachelors' programs. The scholarship award provides $5,000 per semester, and is both needs-based and merit-based. Applicants must have a 3.5 GPA, and submit an essay describing their career aspirations and financial need. The application form can be downloaded at

Career Mobility Scholarship Award

The Career Mobility Scholarship is awarded to existing nurses who are pursuing a further degree in nursing, including LPNs and LNs who are pursuing certification as a Registered Nurse, and who are members of the American Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses. The scholarship award is $500. More information is available at

American Assembly for Men in Nursing Foundation Scholarship

The American Assembly for Men in Nursing has partnered with Johnson & Johnson to offer a special $1,000 scholarship for men who are pursuing a career in nursing. Learn more about this scholarship at the AAMN web site at

The Patricia Smith Christenson Scholarship

The Patricia Smith Christenson Scholarship is offered to graduate nursing students who are currently licensed and registered. Preference is given to Canadian applicants, but anyone can apply.

National Student Nurses' Association

The NSNA offers nursing scholarships and nursing grants to students pursuing an education in nursing. The usual award is for greater than $1,000.

Nurse Options USA

Nurse Options USA is a nursing employment sourcing agency that gives back to the community by offering scholarships to Registered Nurse students in their final six months of study and previous graduates who have not yet started working. The scholarships are offered with no strings attached, and no commitment to accept work through the agency. The number of scholarships and the amount per scholarship is decided on a percentage of the agency profits.

Department of Health and Human Services

The HHS offers the Nursing Student Loan Program, which must be repaid, but which offers extremely low interest rates and generous repayment terms. The loans are offered to financially needy students who are enrolled at least half time in an accredited nursing program pursuing an associates, bachelors or graduate degree in the nursing field.

National League of Nursing

The NLN offers over $40,000 in research grants and scholarships to nursing students who are researching subjects in nursing education. The grants are provided to help fund research that is relevant to the goals of NLN, namely providing for innovations and reform in education.

Employers and Others

Another place to turn for financial assistance with nursing school is to your employer. Many employers offer tuition reimbursement programs that will pay part or all of your tuition when you take courses that make you a more valuable employee. This can apply even to students who are only starting their nursing education. Before seeking other possible avenues for student loans and scholarships, check with your employer's personnel office to find out what education benefits are offered through your place of work.

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Craig Elliott is a writer for Tafford Uniforms. Tafford Uniforms is a leading provider of Nursing Uniforms

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