Scholarships for Nursing Students

The demand for educated nurses has been on the rise since the early 2000s. From 2008 to 2010 alone, the RN workforce grew by one quarter, while the LPN workforce grew by 15.5%. The need for skilled nurses will only continue to increase as large numbers of professionals start reaching retirement age — about one-third of nurses today are aged 50 or older.

The need for skilled nurses will only continue to increase as large numbers of professionals start reaching retirement age — about one-third of nurses today are aged 50 or older.

Graduates can enter the healthcare field with an associate degree in nursing, but those holding a bachelor’s degree will have greater job prospects, as today’s nurses need more training to care for ill patients and work with sophisticated new technology. The number of nurses holding at least a bachelor’s degree has risen about 5% in recent years, and many nurses pursue additional education after entering the RN workforce. There are a variety of nursing scholarships available to help professionals pay for the education they need in order to land the best jobs and advance their careers.

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The Federal Student Loan Program helps nursing students pay for college with grants, work-study, and low-interest student loans. To apply for aid, students must fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form. Completing FAFSA is free, simple, and fast. The government gives out a variety of student loans, including subsidized (meaning the government pays for some interest), unsubsidized, Perkins Loans (for high-need students), and PLUS loans, which can be used to pay for expenses not covered by other aid.

A number of loan forgiveness plans exist to help graduates. With these plans, some or all debt is paid off, usually in exchange for a set amount of work service.

  • NURSE corps loan repayment program – The NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program helps RNs pay off student loans in exchange for a two-year commitment to work in an area with a nurse shortage.
  • Federal Perkins loan cancellation – Full-time nurses can have up to 100% of their Federal Perkins Loans forgiven.
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program – Full-time nurses may qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which forgives the remaining balance on direct loans after 120 payments if the borrower works for a qualified employer (hospitals qualify).

There are a variety of nursing grants — a type of financial aid that does not need to be repaid — available to help students pay for their education while they are in school. Nursing grants are usually awarded based on financial need and cost of attendance, and the federal government offers a number of grant programs that nursing students may be eligible for. Students can also apply for grants from state and local governments, as well as other private and public organizations.

Working nurse grants are awarded in exchange for a term of service. Those eligible for these grants have already completed their degrees and typically use the funding to pay off student loans. Recipients are sent to work in high-demand/underserved areas for a certain amount of time, and in exchange for this service, the program pays off an agreed-upon percentage of their total student loan debt. The NURSE Corps is a working nurse grant program that places registered nurses in underserved areas and then pays up to 60% of their unpaid student loans in two years.

Numerous scholarships are available to help male_nurse_scholarships nursing students pay for their education. Scholarships, typically academic merit or need based, also do not need to be repaid. Scholarships are offered by schools, businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and individuals. Many scholarships have specific requirements for eligibility, and may be awarded based on race, religion, national origin, gender, attendance of a specific school, or state residency.

Nursing school scholarships are also awarded based on a candidate’s specialization in the field. To be eligible for most nursing scholarships, students must also meet certain academic standards. Some scholarships for nurses focus on recruiting more minorities and men to the field, and are available at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Below we have compiled an extensive list of the best scholarships for nurses, including those specifically targeted towards undergraduates, graduate students, minorities, and men.

Featured Nursing Scholarships

Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) Foundation Nursing Student Degree Scholarship

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Who’s Eligible? AORN’s Nursing Student Degree Scholarship provides financial assistance to students pursuing a career in perioperative nursing. Eligible applicants are nursing students in an accredited program with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Award amount: Varies
Deadline: June 15

ANNA-American Nephrology Nurses Association Career Mobility Scholarships

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Who’s Eligible? The ANNA Career Mobility Scholarships support students accepted to or enrolled in a BSN or advanced degree nursing program. Candidates must have been ANNA members for the last two years and must be actively involved in nephrology nursing related health services.
Award amount: $1,000-$2,500
Deadline: October 15

TYLENOL Future Care Scholarship

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Who’s Eligible? The TYLENOL Future Care Scholarship awards financial support to students who have completed at least one year of undergraduate study in a health-related program, including nursing, at an accredited college. Applicants must have at least one year of school remaining.
Award amount: $500-$5,000 (multiple awards available)
Deadline: June 30

American Addiction Center's (AAC) Behavioral Health Academic Scholarship Program

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Who’s Eligible? AAC’s scholarships support students pursuing careers in behavioral health and addiction-related studies. Full-time or part-time nursing students focusing on mental health and/or substance abuse are eligible.
Award amount: $5,000 (1st place) and $2,500 (2nd and 3rd place)
Deadline: May 31

National Association of Directors of Nursing Administration in Long Term Care - Stephanie Carroll Memorial Scholarship

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Who’s Eligible? The NADONA/LTC Stephanie Carroll Memorial Scholarship is given to a nursing student enrolled in an accredited program who commits to spending two years after graduation in long-term care or geriatrics.
Award amount: Varies
Deadline: May 20

U.S. Army Specialized Training Assistance Program

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Who’s Eligible? The U.S. Army’s Specialized Training Assistance Program is available to associate degree/diploma nurses currently pursuing a bachelor’s in nursing. In exchange for a monthly stipend, participants must serve one year in the Army Reserve for each six months or less of financial assistance received.
Award amount: Monthly stipend of more than $2,000
Deadline: TBA

Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing (BCEN) Undergraduate Scholarships

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Who’s Eligible? BCEN Undergraduate Scholarships are awarded to nurses with a BCEN credential who are currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Applicants must have been an ENA member for 12 months, have a minimum 3.0 GPA, and be attending a NLN, AACN, or CCNE accredited school.
Award amount: $2,000
Deadline: April 29

Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nurses (WOCN) Society Accredited Nursing Education Scholarships

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Who’s Eligible? WOCN Society Scholarships are awarded to undergraduate students seeking education in the wound, ostomy, and continence nursing specialty. Applicants must also be accepted to, enrolled in, or have completed within three months of graduation a WOCN-accredited Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing Education Program (WOCNEP) or Specialty Course.
Award amount: Varies
Deadline: May 1 and November 1

Geraldine Polly Bednash Scholarship

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Who’s Eligible? The Geraldine “Polly” Bednash Scholarship provides financial support to nursing students at AACN member institutions. Applicants must have a 3.2 GPA and be admitted to or enrolled in a school affiliated with CertifiedBackground.com or have submitted an application through NursingCAS.
Award amount: $5,000
Deadline: January 31, April 30, July 31, and October 31

OSHPD Bachelor of Science in Nursing Scholarship

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Who’s Eligible? The OSHPD Bachelor of Science in Nursing Scholarship provides financial aid to students pursuing a BSN in California. Applicants must be willing to work in a medically underserved area in California for two years in exchange for receiving the scholarship.
Award amount: Up to $13,000
Deadline: March 6

Association of Rehabilitation Nurses (ARN) BSN Scholarship

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Who’s Eligible? ARN’s BSN Scholarship supports nurses working towards a BSN degree. Applicants must be involved members of ARN, enrolled in a BSN program and in good academic standing, and have at least two years of experience in rehabilitation nursing, including current practice.
Award amount: Up to $1,500
Deadline: July 1

eQuality Nursing Scholarships

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Who’s Eligible? eQuality Nursing Scholarships financially support nursing students who have demonstrated service to the LGBTQ community. Applicants must be in good academic standing and enrolled in an accredited nursing program in California. RN to BSN and diploma programs are not eligible.
Award amount: $6,000
Deadline: November 1

Nurses Make a Difference Scholarship

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Who’s Eligible? The Nurses Make a Difference Scholarship from Cascade Healthcare Solutions provides financial aid to an undergraduate nursing student with a 3.0 GPA who wins their essay contest.
Award amount: $1,000
Deadline: August 1

Frances L. Moore Scholarship

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Who’s Eligible? The Courtney Owens Educational Foundation presents the Frances L. Moore Scholarship to an outstanding nursing student. Applicants are chosen based on academic standing and financial need, as well as their ability to serve as a role model for other nursing students.
Award amount: Varies
Deadline: May 31

Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) Bachelor's in Nursing Scholarship

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Who’s Eligible? The ONS Bachelor’s in Nursing Scholarship supports students committed to a career in oncology nursing. Applicants must be enrolled in their senior year of a BSN program at an NLN or CCNE accredited school of nursing.
Award amount: $3,000-$5,000
Deadline: February 1

Nursing Scholarships for Minorities

National Black Nurses Association (NBNA), Inc. Cynthia J. Hickman Pay It Forward Nursing Scholarship

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Who’s Eligible? The Pay It Forward Scholarship provides funding for an African American student enrolled in a nursing program who is in good academic standing. The applicant must have at least one full year of school left and be a member of NBNA and a local chapter, if one exists.
Award amount: Up to $2,000
Deadline: April 15

Asian American/Pacific Islander Nurses Association (AAPINA) Scholarship

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Who’s Eligible? The AAPINA Scholarship gives financial aid to one of its members pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree. Applicants must have been AAPINA members for two years, currently enrolled in an accredited nursing program, and have a GPA of 3.5 or higher.
Award amount: $1,000
Deadline: February 16

Johnson & Johnson/AACN Minority Nurse Faculty Scholarship

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Who’s Eligible? The Minority Nurse Faculty Scholarship Program provides financial support to minority graduate nursing students who commit to teaching in a school of nursing upon graduation. Applicants must be full-time students, with preference given to doctoral students.
Award amount: $18,000
Deadline: May 1

American Indian Nurse Scholarship Award Program

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Who’s Eligible? The American Indian Nurse Scholarship provides financial assistance to American Indian nursing students. Recipients must return to work with the American Indian community upon graduation. Students must be enrolled in an accredited nursing program, in good academic standing, and in need of financial assistance.
Award amount: $1,500 (students can reapply each semester)
Deadline: June 1 and December 1

National Association for Hispanic Nurses (NAHN) Nursing Scholarships

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Who’s Eligible? NAHN’s Nursing Scholarships are awarded to NAHN members who are enrolled in accredited nursing programs. Applicants must be Hispanic nursing students and are selected based on need, academic standing, and for their potential as role models for other nursing students.
Award amount: Amount Varies
Deadline: April 1

Kaiser Permanente Health Care Career Scholarship

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Who’s Eligible? Kaiser’s Health Care Career Scholarship provides support for diverse and/or economically or socially disadvantaged students in Oregon and Southwest Washington to become healthcare professionals, including nurses. Scholarships are given to at least one student from each of the 133 eligible public high schools in the Kaiser Permanente Northwest area.
Award amount: $2,000-$10,000
Deadline: January 13

Dr. Lauranne Sams Scholarship

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Who’s Eligible? The National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) presents the Dr. Lauranne Sams Scholarship to a student currently enrolled in a nursing program and in good academic standing. The applicant must be a member of NBNA, black, and have at least one year of school left.
Award amount: $2,000
Deadline: April 15

Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) at the American Nurses Association (ANA)

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Who’s Eligible? The ANA’s Minority Fellowship Program provides financial support to increase the number of nurses with PhDs from underrepresented ethnic minority groups.
Award amount: Varies
Deadline: April 30

Philippine Nurses Association of San Diego County Scholarship

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Who’s Eligible? The PNASD Scholarship provides financial aid to current undergraduate and graduate nursing students who are members of PNASD. Applicants must be a resident of Imperial County, North County, or San Diego County of California and have 20 hours of documented community involvement.
Award amount: Varies
Deadline: May 13

A.T. Anderson Memorial Scholarship

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Who’s Eligible? The A.T. Anderson Memorial Scholarship provides funding to an undergraduate and graduate student with an American Indian, Alaskan, or Native Hawaiian background who is pursuing a degree in medical sciences, among other subjects.
Award amount: $1,000-$2,000
Deadline: May 2

Nursing Scholarships for Men

American Assembly for Men in Nursing (AAMN) Foundation Johnson & Johnson Pre-Licensure Nursing Student Scholarship

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Who’s Eligible? AAMN’s Pre-Licensure Nursing Student Scholarship provides funding for a male nursing student pursuing an associate’s degree, BSN, or master’s entry to practice. Applicants must be an AAMN member enrolled in an accredited nursing program and have completed at least one academic term.
Award amount: $5,000
Deadline: June 1

AAMN Murse World Academic Progression in Nursing: RN to BSN Student Scholarship

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Who’s Eligible? AAMN’s Murse World RN to BSN Student Scholarship awards financial aid to a male nursing student who is an associate or diploma RN and currently pursuing a BSN at an accredited nursing program. The applicant must be a current member of AAMN and have completed at least one academic term.
Award amount: $1,000
Deadline: June 1, 2016

AAMN Johnson & Johnson Graduate Student Men's Health Scholarship

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Who’s Eligible? AAMN’s Graduate Student Men’s Health Scholarship is awarded to a male RN student pursuing a master’s in nursing and working on men’s health research. Applicants must be current members of AAMN, enrolled in an accredited program, and have completed at least one academic term.
Award amount: $5,000
Deadline: June 1

AAMN Caring Men Paying it Forward Scholarship

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Who’s Eligible? AAMN’s Caring Men Paying it Forward Scholarship supports a current AAMN member enrolled in an accredited nursing program. Applicants must be male, submit an essay on prostate cancer awareness, and commit to doing at least four community presentations on prostate cancer awareness.
Award amount: $1,000
Deadline: June 1

AAMN Pre-licensure Men in Nursing Video Scholarship Contest

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Who’s Eligible? The Pre-licensure Men in Nursing Video Scholarship supports a male pre-licensure nursing student. Applicants must be a member of AAMN and submit a 1-4 minute video about recruiting men into the nursing profession.
Award amount: $1,000
Deadline: July 1

Nursing Scholarships for Masters in Nursing

Judith C. Kelleher Memorial Scholarship

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Who’s Eligible? The Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) offers the Judith C. Kelleher Memorial Scholarship to nurses pursuing nurse practitioner careers. Applicants must have been an ENA member for 12 months, have a minimum 3.0 GPA, and be attending an NLN, AACN, or CCNE accredited school.
Award amount: $5,000
Deadline: April 29

After College/AACN $10,000 Scholarship Fund

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Who’s Eligible? The AfterCollege/AACN award supports students pursuing a degree in nursing, with special consideration given to graduate students with the goal of becoming a nurse educator, students in an RN-to-MSN program, and those enrolled in an accelerated program.
Award amount: $2,500
Deadline: March 31, June 30, September 30, December 31

Karen O'Neil Memorial Scholarship

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Who’s Eligible? The Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) awards the Karen O’Neil Memorial Scholarship to an emergency nurse pursuing a master’s degree in nursing. Applicants must have been an ENA member for 12 months before applying, have a minimum 3.0 GPA, and be attending a NLN, AACN, or CCNE accredited school.
Award amount: $3,000
Deadline: April 29

Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nurses (WOCN) Society Accredited Nursing Education Scholarships

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Who’s Eligible? WOCN Society Scholarships are for graduate students seeking education in wound, ostomy, and continence nursing. Applicants must be RNs, a member of WOCN, certified by WOCNCB in WOCN nursing, have current enrollment, acceptance, or graduation from an NLN accredited program, and been employed in the specialty for three of the past five years.
Award amount: Varies
Deadline: May 1 and November 1

Certified Background-GNSA Scholarship

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Who’s Eligible? The Certified Background-GNSA Scholarship is awarded to graduate nursing students who are committed to innovation, leadership, and mentoring. Applicants must be enrolled at an AACN member school of nursing, be a GNSA member, and have a 3.5 GPA.
Award amount: $2,500
Deadline: September 30 and December 30

Nursing Economic$ Foundation Scholarships

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Who’s Eligible? The Nursing Economic$ Foundation Scholarships are for registered nurses enrolled in an accredited master’s or doctoral nursing program that has an emphasis on administration or management.
Award amount: $5,000
Deadline: May 2

Alan Edgar Wurdeman Scholarship Fund

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Who’s Eligible? The Rhode Island Foundation awards the Alan Edgar Wurdeman Scholarship to RI residents pursuing nursing degrees, including at the graduate level. Applicants must attend school in Rhode Island or Northeastern University School of Nursing and maintain a GPA of 2.5. Preference is given to students committed to staying in Rhode Island after graduation.
Award amount: $2,000 (renewable)
Deadline: April 22

Hal and Jo Cohen Graduate Nursing Faculty Scholarship

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Who’s Eligible? The Hal and Jo Cohen Scholarship is dedicated to increasing the capacity of nursing schools in Maryland. Eligible applicants include part-time and full-time students with a 3.0 GPA enrolled at a Maryland nursing school in a graduate-level program.
Award amount: Equal to all tuition and fees (automatically renewed until graduation)
Deadline: July 1, December 1, and April 1

Association of Rehabilitation Nurses (ARN) Graduate Scholarship

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Who’s Eligible? The ARN Graduate Scholarship provides financial support to nurses working towards a master of science or doctorate degree in nursing. Applicants must be involved members of ARN, enrolled in a graduate level program and in good academic standing, and have at least two years experience in rehabilitation nursing, including current practice.
Award amount: $1,500
Deadline: July 1

Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) Master's Scholarship

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Who’s Eligible? The ONS Master’s Scholarship supports a master’s-level nursing student committed to oncology nursing. Applicants must be enrolled at an NLN or CCNE accredited school.
Award amount: $5,000
Deadline: February 1