Scholarships for Nursing School Students

October 13, 2021

Scholarships for Nursing School Students

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Scholarships and Resources for Nursing Students

Nursing degrees open doors to professional advancement, increased salary, and the opportunity to make a vital difference in people's lives. Nursing school demands not only time and dedication, but also a significant financial commitment. With college costs on the rise, 86% of U.S. students relied on financial aid to help finance their education in 2018. To avoid unmanageable debt, nursing students should prioritize scholarships before accepting loan offers. For more information on financial aid, check out our resource center.

With a national nursing shortage driving high demand in the field, motivated students can find an abundance of nursing scholarship opportunities. This guide highlights some of the best scholarships for nursing students and provides tips for crafting successful scholarship applications. Students can also consult our nursing student resource guide to discover additional strategies for making the most of a nursing degree program.

 
 
How do you get nursing scholarships?

High school counselors, college financial aid offices, and online resources can help students identify nursing scholarship opportunities. Grades, financial need, and work or volunteer experience may contribute to a strong application.

How much does it cost to get a BSN?

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, average annual tuition at four-year colleges in 2018 reached $43,139 among private institutions and $20,050 at public institutions.

How can I become a nurse fast?

ADN programs require only about two years of study. Completing a BSN typically takes four years, but RN-to-BSN and second degree programs can accelerate students' timelines.

Who will pay for me to become a nurse?

Many organizations sponsor nursing scholarships, including nonprofit foundations, religious or community groups, businesses, and professional associations. Colleges and universities may offer institutional scholarships.

Nursing scholarship applications seek typical criteria: transcripts, resumes, essays, personal statements, and letters of recommendation. Financial need and proof of acceptance or enrollment in an accredited program also form part of many applications.

Essay topics for nursing scholarship applications frequently invite applicants to reflect on their nursing career goals or experience. Telling an engaging story, tailored to the prompt, helps application committees understand applicants' unique personal qualities.

Some scholarships require applicants to have healthcare experience. Whether mandatory or not, discussing any previous volunteer or professional healthcare experience demonstrates applicants' commitment to the field.

While students should highlight their healthcare skills and knowledge, they should remember to include their soft skills as well. Make your application stand out with specific experiences or anecdotes demonstrating field-relevant qualities such as leadership or perseverance.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Nurse - Time of Completion

A typical nursing degree can take 2-4 years to complete. Each level of nursing has its own timeline, and that timeline can vary depending upon factors like part-time vs. full-time enrollment, certification, and the type of program. 

Below is an overview of the typical amount of time it takes to complete a nursing degree, keep in mind that the length provided is for the amount of time it takes to complete that segment of the degree, not the entire academic path overall:

Nursing Degree LevelTime of Completion
Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) 2-3 years
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)1-2 years
Registered Nurse (RN)4 years
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) 4-5 years
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)1.5-3 years
Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP)1-3 years

Scholarships


The following list features some of the many scholarships available to nursing students of all levels and backgrounds. Students can use this list as a starting point to begin their own research, learn about the financial aid process, and identify the most advantageous scholarships for their personal circumstances and goals.

A Nurse I Am

Cherokee Uniforms administers this scholarship supporting nursing students currently enrolled in bachelor's, associate, certificate or diploma programs within the United States. Applicants may attend classes full time or part time.

Award: $2,000
Deadline: To be scheduled

AACN Scholarship

Hurst Review Services partners with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing to sponsor this scholarship benefitting prelicensure students attending AACN member schools. Four students receive scholarships each year.

Award: $2,500
Deadline: Mid-January and mid-July

American Association of Nurse Practitioners Scholarship

AANP accepts scholarship applications from registered nurses with at least one semester of a master's or doctoral program completed. Applicants must submit their program of study, transcripts, resume, and references.

Award: $2,500 - $5,000
Deadline: Late March

American Nephrology Nurses Association Career Mobility Scholarships

Comprising several named awards, these scholarships provide funding for ANNA members pursuing a BSN or graduate-level nursing degree. Applicants must currently work in the field and hold nephrology nursing certification.

Award: $1,000 - $4,000
Deadline: Mid-October

Army Nurse Corps Association Scholarship

U.S. Army service members and veterans, as well as their spouses and children, can apply for this scholarship. Applicants may attend a bachelor's or graduate nursing or nurse anesthesia program.

Award: $3,000
Deadline: Late March

Association for Radiologic & Imaging Nursing Scholarships

ARIN's scholarship program includes the Dorothy Budnek Memorial Scholarship, open to association members enrolled in nursing programs. Applicants need a 3.0 GPA. Other scholarships provide funding for certification, membership, and conference expenses.

Award: $600
Deadline: Late October

Association of Rehabilitation Nurses Scholarship

ARN awards scholarships to active association members currently pursuing a bachelor's or graduate-level nursing degree. Certified rehabilitation registered nurses with at least two years of professional experience receive preference.

Award: $1,500
Deadline: Early July

American Indian Nurse Scholarship

This scholarship supports individuals of American Indian, Alaska Native, or Native Hawaiian descent. Applicants may study nursing or other healthcare disciplines and must plan to work in Native American communities after graduation.

Award: $1,500
Deadline: Early December

Caroline E. Holt Nursing Scholarship

Applicants must demonstrate financial need and submit proof of acceptance or enrollment in an accredited nursing program. The Daughters of the American Revolution also offers other nursing scholarships with additional criteria.

Award: $2,500
Deadline: Mid-February

CastleBranch-GNSA Scholarship

Applicants must attend an AACN-accredited graduate nursing program, maintain a 3.5 GPA, and submit essays and references. They must also hold Graduate Nursing Student Academy membership and can join for free.

Award: $2,500
Deadline: Late September and late December

Catching the Dream Scholarships

This scholarship funds American Indian students enrolled in baccalaureate or graduate programs, including nursing students. Applicants must submit documentation of tribal enrollment and write an essay discussing their heritage, achievements, and career goals.

Award: $500 - $5,000
Deadline: Mid-March, late April, and mid-September

DiversityNursing.com Scholarship

Open to nursing students and practicing nurses at all levels, this scholarship requires applicants to create a user account with the sponsoring organization. The sponsor chooses one annual winner by drawing.

Award: $5,000
Deadline: Early May

Emergency Nurses Association Scholarships

These scholarships support ENA members pursuing a bachelor's or graduate nursing degree. Non-members who work in rescue or emergency services may receive funding for BSN study. All scholarships require a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Award: To be announced
Deadline: Late April

The Foundation of the National Student Nurses' Association Scholarships

Nursing students at all levels, except for graduate student BSN degree-holders, may apply for FNSNA scholarships. The scholarship program encompasses multiple individual awards, which may set additional criteria.

Award: $7,500
Deadline: Mid-February

HOSA Scholarships

HOSA-Future Health Professionals, a student organization for aspiring health science professionals, administers this scholarship. Applicants may attend programs that lead to careers in a variety of fields, including nursing.

Award: To be announced
Deadline: Mid-April

Heart of Healthcare Nursing Scholarship

Nursing students at any level and in all specialties qualify for this scholarship. Applicants must write a 2,500-word essay and hold a minimum 3.5 GPA.

Award: $1,000
Deadline: Early September

March of Dimes Graduate Nursing Scholarships

The March of Dimes accepts scholarship applications from registered nurses pursuing a graduate degree in maternal-child nursing. Applicants must hold membership in specific professional organizations focused on women's and neonatal health.

Award: $5,000
Deadline: Late January

Mosaic Life Care Foundation Scholarships

This healthcare and nursing scholarship program includes graduate and undergraduate awards with varying criteria. Requirements may include residency within Mosaic Life Care's service region and current or future employment with the organization.

Award: Varies
Deadline: Mid-March, early April, mid-June, and mid-October

National American Arab Nurses Association Scholarships

This scholarship supports associate, bachelor's, and master's-level nursing students of Arab heritage. Applicants need a 3.0 GPA and must demonstrate a contribution to healthcare in Arab American communities.

Award: $500 - $1,000
Deadline: Late September

National Association of Directors of Nursing Administration in Long Term Care Scholarships

Graduate and undergraduate nursing students can apply for a NADONA nursing scholarship. Some awards require that applicants work in long-term care nursing or plan to pursue a career in the field.

Award: Varies
Deadline: Late January, early May, and late December

National Association of Hispanic Nurses Scholarships

NAHN members enrolled in full-time nursing programs at all levels can apply. Individual scholarships maintain varying criteria, such as a minimum GPA. Specific awards cater to male applicants and aspiring nurse educators.

Award: $1,000 - $5,000
Deadline: Early November

National Black Nurses Association Scholarships

The NBNA nursing scholarship program includes awards for nursing students at all levels. Some scholarships cater to students pursuing specific specialties or attending historically Black colleges and universities.

Award: $1,000 - $5,000
Deadline: Mid-April

National Health Service Corps Scholarships

NHSC scholarships provide tuition funds and monthly stipends for graduate students pursuing primary healthcare careers, including prospective nurse practitioners and nurse midwives. Recipients commit to practicing in areas with a healthcare professional shortage.

Award: Varies
Deadline: Varies

Oncology Nursing Foundation Scholarships

ONF sponsors several scholarships for nursing students pursuing careers in oncology. Applicants may attend bachelor's, master's, or doctoral programs. BSN candidates must be entering their senior year.

Award: $3,000 - $7,500
Deadline: Late January

StraightForward Media Nursing School Scholarship

Students attending full-time or part-time undergraduate nursing programs at two-year, four-year, and vocational institutions may qualify. Applicants must submit an essay. Four students receive this scholarship annually.

Award: $500
Deadline: Mid-April, mid-July, mid-October, and mid-January

U.S. Air Force Health Professions Scholarship Program

The Air Force provides financial assistance for graduate nursing students. Nursing scholarship recipients commit to serving 45 days of active duty while in school and a minimum of three years after graduation.

Award: Full ride plus stipend
Deadline: Rolling

Vohra Wound Care Scholarship for Nursing Education and Nursing Certifications

Open to practicing nurses as well as students enrolled in physician assistant, nursing assistant, or nursing programs, this scholarship awards the recipient free access to Vohra's wound care certification course.

Award: $650
Deadline: Late March

William K. Schubert Minority Nursing Scholarship

Open to Cincinnati Children's employees, this scholarship supports pediatric nursing students from underrepresented populations, including male and racial minority applicants. Applicants must attend a prelicensure program and hold a minimum 2.75 GPA.

Award: $2,750
Deadline: Late April

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