Funding Your Nursing Degree


If you plan to go to nursing school, you need to think ahead. Attending college or university is expensive. As it is an investment in your future, consider the matter carefully. You will require the following fees:

  • Tuition
  • Other cost, including required textbooks, clinical supplies, laboratory expenses, etc.
  • Rent, food, etc.

Figure out exactly how much you will need to pay for your tuition then double it. Your costs will always exceed your original estimate. Moreover, this allows you some leeway for unexpected expenses.

With this larger figure in mind, consider where you can obtain scholarships to lower or even eliminate the cost. Examine all your financial sources, keeping your maximum in mind. No amount of money is too small. Every little bit helps. Only after this process is completed should you start looking for sources of funding.

The first place to start is your school. Does your school offer scholarships or bursaries? These do not have to be nursing specific. They can refer to the students with the highest overall average, who show the greatest promise or excel in a subject. Your guidance office can help you discover what scholarships exist, what you can apply for and how the process works.

Another area to consider is your community. Local service organizations often support promising students. Is there a Lions Club in your area? Does your community have a March of Dimes, American Legion or other community-oriented group? Check your phone book, the internet or local centers for possibilities. Clubs might offer a scholarship program to fulfill your needs.

Next, expand your search. Consider regional and state sources. These governments may offer scholarships, some specifically designated for nursing. Look under the Department of Education or seek information from the Office of Health Policy and Planning.

Keep in mind, however, that a state scholarship frequently has strings attached. In many state-directed funding departments, there are very specific rules and regulations governing the receipt of scholarships. The mandates restrict who can apply. Some actually work in favor of the economically- challenged, dictating only people of low-income may apply. At the same time, however, the state also imposes the terms. Many states include a clause affirming that, in exchange for the scholarship, you will serve for a specified time at a health care facility in an under serviced area. The minimum time is usually two years. You will be obliged to sign a non-negotiable and binding contract. Are you prepared to serve wherever the state decides you need to go?

The next level, the federal government, is another possible funding source. Check your local constituency office, go online and search, or write or e-mail the Federal Department of Education for information. This office will supply you with specifics regarding possible scholarships, the terms involved and application forms. Most forms and information are available on line. This simplifies and speeds up the search process. Keep in mind, whether searching locally, statewide or federally, all scholarships have deadlines. You must be on time and supply all the required information. If you neglect even one area, you can lose-out on a scholarship through default.

There are two other probable sources of funding. Competition is fierce in these two areas. It will require high marks and dedication on your part to obtain a scholarship. The most obvious resource is the school itself. You can plan your attack in two areas. If the educational facility you plan to attend caters to nursing and other scholastic fields, there are probably scholarships directed to the general student population as well as towards specific fields. Apply in as many categories as possible. This broadens your chances of obtaining a scholarship.

If your marks are extremely high, and more than one school wants you, use it to your advantage. Mention the schools to one another. Say you are not sure which school is best for you at this time. Indicate your financial situation. Note what the other school is prepared to offer you. This may help you the most obtain the best deal possible.

The second obvious choice is within the nursing profession. There are many different nursing associations. Some specialize in specific fields of study. Check out the various options they offer. Add the information to the rest you have compiled, apply to as many as possible and, who knows, you may not have to pay a cent to obtain the education you want.

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About Author
Grant Eckert is a writer for Tafford Uniforms. Tafford is a leading provider of Nursing Uniforms | Nurse Uniforms.

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