Scholarships for Nursing Students
Scholarships for nursing students can help offset the costs of education. Keep reading to learn about scholarships and financial aid for nursing students.
Updated July 27, 2022
Our Review Network
BestColleges is committed to delivering content that is objective and accurate. We have built a network of industry professionals across healthcare and education to review our content and ensure we are providing the best information to our readers.
With their first-hand industry experience, our reviewers provide an extra step in our editing process. These experts:
- Suggest changes to inaccurate or misleading information.
- Provide specific, corrective feedback.
- Identify critical information that writers may have missed.
Our growing Review Network currently consists of professionals in fields like business, nursing, social work, and other subject-specific industries; professionals in higher education areas such as college counseling and financial aid; and anti-bias reviewers.
Reviewers typically work full time in their industry profession and review content for BestColleges as a side project. Our reviewers are members of the Red Ventures Education Freelance Review Network and are paid for their contributions.
Nurses make up more than half of all health professions students. Still, attending nursing school can be expensive, sometimes prohibitively so. Taking advantage of scholarships for nursing students can make the difference in whether a learner pursues their nursing aspirations or not.
On this page, we explore financial assistance available to nursing students, including a variety of nursing scholarships.
www.bestcolleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
Ready to start your journey?
Financial Aid for Nursing Students
Students and/or their parents must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year of enrollment to qualify for grants, federal work-study funds, and federal loans provided by the U.S. Department of Education. Pay close attention to the FAFSA deadline since the government awards funding on a rolling basis.
Many nursing students favor scholarships since they do not need to be repaid as long as learners meet the terms of the award. Learners can find scholarships through colleges and universities, professional associations, nonprofits, and healthcare facilities.
Grants function similarly to scholarships in that students do not need to repay them as long as they follow the award terms. Degree-seekers can find these awards through federal, state, and local government agencies, colleges and universities, and foundations.
Fellowships provide paid opportunities for graduate nursing students to gain on-the-job experience at participating healthcare facilities in exchange for a stipend and networking opportunities. Some government agencies also provide fellowships.
After submitting financial information as part of the FAFSA, some students may qualify for federal work-study. It allows them to work part time at their university in exchange for an hourly wage paid by the federal government and disbursed by the school.
After exhausting all other funding options, some learners take out student loans from the federal government to help cover extenuating costs. These must be repaid with interest, so students should think carefully about when to accept loans and how much funding to accept.
Student Loan Forgiveness for Nurses
Federal and state governments, along with military branches, provide a variety of student loan forgiveness, repayment, and dischargement programs to help qualified nurses pay off their loans in less time. Check out these top programs:
- Health Professions Loan Repayment Program: Nurses with qualifying federal loans can apply as active members of the military. The military will repay up to $40,000 per year.
- Federal Perkins Loan Cancellation: Nurses with Federal Perkins Loans can incrementally get up to 100% of their loans discharged after working full time for five years.
- National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment: In exchange for working two years as a nurse practitioner or certified nurse-midwife in a Health Professional Shortage Area, nurses can qualify for $37,000-$100,000 in loan dischargement.
- Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program: In exchange for working at a facility supporting underserved communities, participating nurses get 60% of their loans paid off after two years and an additional 25% after three years.
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program: After working full time in the public sector for a decade and making monthly loan payments, qualifying nurses can have the remainder of their loans forgiven.
State-Level Student Loan Forgiveness for Nurses
In addition to federal programs highlighted in the previous section, many state governments offer student loan forgiveness for nurses. Check with your state board of nursing or health department to learn more. Rhode Island provides an example of what may be available.
Nursing grants provide support for nursing professionals seeking funding for educational and/or research activities. As long as nurses meet the terms of the grant, these funding sources do not require repayment.
- ANNA Research Grants: The American Nephrology Nurses Association provides grants to support research projects of up to $15,000, based on project needs.
- Sigma Nursing Research Grants: Students can select from both research and educational grants provided by Sigma Nursing, which provides grants throughout the year with varied eligibility requirements.
- Promise of Nursing Regional Faculty Fellowship: These fellowships provide up to $7,500 per academic year for nurse educators seeking further training. They must attend a school in California.
- Sigma/American Nurses Credentialing Center Evidence-Based Practice Implementation Grant: Nurses working in clinical settings can receive up to $20,000 from this grant if they maintain membership in one of the two grant-providing organizations and propose an evidence-based practice project.
Nursing scholarships provide funding for nursing students at every academic level and specialization area. In addition to general awards, there are also scholarships for minority applicants, graduate learners, and other specific populations. We break these down and provide examples in the following sections.
Featured Nursing Scholarships
Undergraduate Scholarship Program
Who's eligible? Undergraduate nursing students can apply for this award offered by the Foundation of the National Student Nurses' Association if they demonstrate academic achievement and financial need.
Award amount: Up to $7,500 per academic year
Jane Delano Student Nurse Scholarship
Who's eligible? Undergraduate nursing students who volunteered with or were employed by the American Red Cross can apply after completing at least one year of college.
Award amount: $3,000
Association of periOperative Registered Nurses Foundation Scholarship
Who's eligible? Undergraduate nursing students who plan to work in perioperative nursing after graduating can apply. They must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and demonstrate financial need.
Award amount: Varies
Hurst Review Services AACN Nursing Scholarship
Who's eligible? Undergraduate nursing students enrolled at a member school of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing can apply for this biannual award.
Deadline: January and July
Award amount: $2,500
Minority Nursing Scholarships
Encouraging minority nursing students to complete their degrees and enter the profession ensures patients feel represented and provides a more diverse workforce. Check out these minority nursing scholarships.
Asian American / Pacific Islander Nurses Association Scholarship
Who's eligible? This award supports AAPINA members who have been part of the association for at least two years and are currently working toward an undergraduate or graduate nursing degree. They must possess a 3.5 or higher GPA and provide two recommendation letters.
Award amount: $1,000
Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium Board of Directors Scholarship
Who's eligible? Alaska Native or American Indian students who are permanent Alaska residents and are working towards a nursing degree. Students must be pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree.
Award amount: $5,000
American Indian Nurse Scholarship
Who's eligible? This award supports American Indian, Alaska Native, or Native Hawaiian students working toward nursing degrees.
National American Arab Nurses Association Scholarship
Exceptional Nurse Scholarship
Who's eligible? Students managing a documented disability working toward a nursing degree can apply for this award if enrolled on a full-time basis. They must provide three letters of recommendation, an essay, official transcripts, and a medical verification of disability form.
Award amount: $500
Male Nursing Scholarships
With low numbers of U.S. nurses identifying as men, more companies want to encourage them to enter the profession by providing financial support.
Luther Christman Fellows Scholarship
Who's eligible? Provided by the American Association for Men in Nursing, this award supports individuals who have been association members for at least two years and held a leadership position. They must also be working toward an advanced nursing degree.
Award amount: $5,000
Who's eligible? This award supports members of the American Association for Men in Nursing working toward a nursing degree who plan to work in an underrepresented gender service area.
Award amount: $2,500
Graduate Nursing Scholarships
Pursuing a graduate nursing degree helps learners earn higher salaries and take on advanced roles. Learn about scholarships that can apply to nursing programs below.
ENA Graduate Scholarships
Who's eligible? Nursing students working toward master's degrees in nursing administration, nurse practitioner, or nursing education can apply for this award if they possess a 3.0 minimum GPA.
Award amount: Varies
Dr. Francis Anthony Beneventi Medical Scholarship
Who's eligible? Graduate nursing students working toward an advanced degree at an accredited institution can apply. Applicants must have a 3.25 minimum GPA.
Award amount: $5,000
Kathryn Suggs Chance Leonard Scholarship
Who's eligible? Graduate nursing students can apply for this award if pursuing a master's or doctoral degree. They must possess a 3.0 minimum GPA.
Award amount: $500
Nurses Educational Funds Scholarship
Who's eligible? Master's and doctoral nursing students can apply for this award if they hold a current registered nurse license, are members in a national professional nursing organization, and submit proof of citizenship.
Award amount: Up to full tuition
Additional Financial Aid Resources
Explore Nursing Degree Programs
Frequently Asked Questions About Nursing Scholarships
How does a scholarship in nursing influence nursing education?
Scholarships for nursing students make it possible for more learners to earn an education and join the profession. As the costs of higher education continue to rise each year, more and more prospective degree-seekers must consider whether they can shoulder the financial burden of obtaining a degree.
Scholarships help these learners feel more confident pursuing a nursing degree, while also helping them avoid taking on more significant levels of student loan debt.
Are there scholarships for children of nurses?
Scholarships exist for many different types of nursing students, including those whose parent or guardian works as a nurse. While some awards set specific requirements (e.g., must be a minority student, pursuing a specific degree level, or attending a specific school), others set more open eligibility requirements.
Students should start researching scholarships early to find a suitable number for which they specifically meet the eligibility requirements. In addition to looking for awards provided by professional nursing associations, hospitals and clinics, and private foundations, learners should also review the scholarship offerings of prospective schools.
How competitive is the Nurse Corps scholarship?
Provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Health Resources and Services Administration, the Nurse Corps Scholarship Program is incredibly competitive. According to one source, the program regularly receives thousands of applicants from students attending more than 700 schools across the U.S. As of the most recent available data, less than 10% of applicants are awarded this scholarship.
Because of this, learners should carefully review eligibility requirements to make sure they meet each one. If not, they may want to bypass this award and spend their time on other scholarship applications.
Are nurses eligible for student loan forgiveness?
Nurses are eligible for several different student loan forgiveness programs at both the federal and state levels. The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program allows for individuals working for a government agency or nonprofit to receive forgiveness after making 120 qualifying payments.
Meanwhile, the National Health Service Corps offers a loan repayment program for candidates who agree to work in an approved setting for specific providers over a set amount of time after graduating. Students should also look into any programs provided specifically in their state.
RN License Requirements by State
6 Reasons to Pursue a Career in Nursing
BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
Compare your school options.
View the most relevant school for your interests and compare them by tuition, programs, acceptance rate, and other factors important to find your college home.