Nursing School Scholarships

Financial Aid for Nursing Schools – Part 1 Nursing School Scholarships
Thankfully for the prospective nursing student, nursing is a field that has an abundance of scholarships and grants available. This article covers one specific avenue available to prospective nursing students and that is the nursing school scholarship. Subsequent articles cover grants and other forms of financial aid available to nursing students.

To begin, scholarships basically fall into three main categories: need-based, merit-based or what is referred to as “service-based”.

Luckily there quite a few nursing school scholarships available. Government scholarship funding is generously allocated to nursing programs across the country. Nearly every state has some kind of grant or nursing school scholarship program available for prospective and continuing nursing students.

There is also an ample source of private foundations that offer one-time and continuing nursing school scholarships. Private and professional organizations often offer scholarship support as well. Even the five military branches offer scholarships for enlisted personnel (sometimes even their immediate families) who wish to obtain a degree in nursing.

Need-based Scholarships
Need-based nursing scholarships are awarded based on the financial need of the prospective or continuing student or to members of social groups that have poor representation (in numbers of enrolled students) in colleges and universities. Some need-based scholarships focus on specific ethnic groups, such as Hispanic, Arabic, Japanese or African American. These nursing scholarships are also available to people with disabilities.

Merit-Based Scholarships
Merit-based nursing scholarships are awarded by a either a college or university or sometimes a private group or foundation. These scholarships often require a lengthy essay or an in-person interview with their scholarship committee that is in charge of selecting the scholarship recipients. Prospective nursing students are often required to submit a reference letter from an employer or past (or current) teacher to the scholarship committee. Recipients are determined by the scholarship committee based on student’s past and current academic achievements sometimes considering the student’s participation in a type of community service.

Service-Based Scholarships
Th United States government often sponsors nursing scholarships to students. The U.S. government also has various nursing scholarships in the Veterans Affairs Health Careers and the National Health Service Corps. After graduation, recipients of nursing school scholarships are then required to fulfill their contract with the U.S. government and serve between two and eight years in one of the five military branches, depending on the agreed upon arrangement when the scholarship was obtained.

Nursing school scholarships can be found in:

  • Professional Scholarship Associations
  • Government and Military Scholarship programs
  • Private foundations

Professional Association Scholarships
Many professional groups have an interest in producing and hopefully obtaining well educated graduates in the nursing field. Often professional organization hopes the nurse they invested in will return their investment by studying research, current trends and advancements in various technologies that could positively affect their patient holdings. With this methodology, professional associations often encourage the best qualified candidates to reach their nursing school goals.

Professional associations can also be based on educational history. They often draw upon or consult The American Association of Colleges of Nursing who connect professionals in colleges and universities.

Organizations of this nature can also emphasize certain locations to special experiences. Their financial aid awards can be limited in scope.

Government and Military Scholarships
The United States government offers nursing scholarships to students across the nation. The National Health Service Corps encourages students to serve in struggling locations in return for financial aid. The Us Department of Health also sponsors several forms financial aid to nursing students.

Any of the five U.S. military branches may also offer financial aid for nursing students. Most often, students must be ROTC members. The Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy all offer financial aid to assist with nursing schools.

While this list has only cursively discussed the opportunities available to those interested in getting a degree in nursing, there are many more avenues and combinations of scholarships that can be explored. In subsequent articles we will discuss nursing grants and repayable financial aid.