What You Need to Know About Nursing Scholarships

The healthcare industry continues to expand, as do the number of jobs for nurses. With so many people seeking nursing degrees, the number of nursing scholarships are plentiful

By Neil Johnson
Posted 2012

Nursing School Scholarships and Grant Programs
Nursing School Scholarships and Grant Programs

America needs nurses. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the country is facing a shortage of nurses as people age and other factors turn healthcare into the country’s most fertile job field through the rest of the decade.

Nearly a quarter of the jobs in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 30 fastest growing are in healthcare with registered nurses topping the list at 26% growth.

Even a 5.4% increase in nursing school enrollment during 2011 isn’t on pace to produce enough potential nurses, according to the college association website.

Scholarships Abound for Nursing Students

Fortunately for nursing students, the need for nurses spawned an array of nursing scholarships and grants to help with education. They come from a variety of sources, including the federal government, fraternal groups, trusts, companies, religious groups and other organizations.

Some focus on helping minority students or require applicants to work someplace, such as a medical clinic, for a few years after graduating. Still others focus on a nursing specialty. Many scholarship programs are small and give out one or just a few scholarships each year.

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Also, each state has nursing scholarships as do individual colleges. These are good places to look for BSN nursing scholarships and LPN scholarships.

Scholarships for BSN and LPN students

As nursing increases in importance and complexity, the need for a BSN degree is going up, too. While there are BSN scholarships tailored to the degree, general tuition aid also will cover the education and those scholarships are more plentiful.

Some, though, like the Harold B. & Dorothy A. Snyder Scholarships, include BSN students in a small list of qualifying majors, according to the Nursing Scholarship U.S. website.

States and colleges themselves are also worth a look for scholarships aimed at a BSN degree.

Like those seeking a BSN, LPN students can find help through many general tuition scholarships. The Nursing Scholarship site also includes a list of scholarships from members of the Health Occupations Students of America.

Federal Government Nursing Scholarships

A major source for a wide range of scholarships is the federal Health Resources Services Administration that includes its Nursing Scholarship Program that gave out 395 scholarships in 2011, the administration website said.

The administration also has scholarships that cover education costs of nursing programs and give a cost of living stipend in return for work at clinics that need nurses for at least two years after graduation. Also, working in an area short of nurses may qualify students for the federal agency’s loan repayment program.

The federal agency also administers millions in health grants each year including about a baker’s dozen directed at nursing and enhancing education. They’re not specifically directed at tuition but can be used to pay for college.

States, organizations, charities and groups focused on a nursing specialty are among the many sources of nursing grants. The site nursingscholarships.org lists several areas to begin your hunt for nursing education grants such as the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

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Organizations supporting nursing specialties are another source, not just for grants, but also for scholarships and other financial aid. One example is the Oncology Nursing Society, which offers scholarships on its website. The society reports that it offers a total of $500,000 in scholarship, research grants and awards.

Another example from the nursingscholarships.org site is the Bertha P. Singer Nurses Scholarship that requires attending college in Oregon.

Scholarships are also tailored for men seeking a nursing degree, such as from the American Assembly for Men in Nursing that gave out six $500 scholarships in essay contests in 2012. It also gave $500 scholarships to schools selected as the 10 best for male nursing.

Men can also seek scholarships without a gender requirement from any source.

Organizations also focus financial aid toward nurses looking to specialize in area ranging from hospice to pediatric nursing.

Examples for pediatric nursing students are $35,000 awarded each of five recipients through the Christy-Houston Foundation Scholarship Program or the McNeil Rural Scholarship program which awards two to four scholarships a year. The awards range from $10,000 to $20,000.

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