Scholarships for Nursing Students

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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.

Financial Assistance for Nursing Students

FAFSA

Also known as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, students and/or their parents must complete the 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.

Scholarships

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

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

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.

Federal Work-Study

After submitting financial information as part of the FAFSA, some students may qualify for federal work-study, which 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.

Loans

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 more quickly. Check out these top programs below.

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

Nursing grants provide support for nursing professionals seeking funding for educational and/or research activities. So long as nurses meet the terms of the grant, these funding sources do not require repayment.

Nursing Scholarships

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 groups, graduate learners, and other specific populations. We break these down and provide examples in the following sections.

Featured Nursing Scholarships

Undergraduate Scholarship Program

Who is 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

Deadline: January

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Jane Delano Student Nurse Scholarship

Who is 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

Deadline: May

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Association of periOperative Registered Nurses Foundation Scholarship

Who is 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

Deadline: June

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Caroline E. Holt Nursing Scholarship

Who is eligible? TheDaughters of the American Revolution provide this award to undergraduate students attending an accredited program who can demonstrate financial need. They must also provide a current transcript.

Award amount: $2,500

Deadline: February

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Hurst Review Services AACN Nursing Scholarship

Who is eligible? Undergraduate nursing students enrolled at a member school of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing can apply for this biannual award.

Award amount: $2,500

Deadline: January and July

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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.

American Indian Nurse Scholarship Program

Who is eligible? Native American students who are members of a tribe or village can apply for this award if attending an accredited nursing program. They must also maintain good academic standing while enrolled.

Award amount: $1,500

Deadline: February

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Hispanic Scholarship Fund Award

Who is eligible? Hispanic undergraduate and graduate nursing students can apply for this award by demonstrating academic excellence, community involvement, and financial need. They must also have a 3.0 minimum GPA and submit the FAFSA.

Award amount: Up to $5,000

Deadline: February

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Exceptional Nurse Scholarship

Who is eligible? Students managing a documented disability working toward a nursing degree can apply to 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

Deadline: June

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M. Elizabeth Carnegie African American Scholarship

Who is eligible? The Nurses Educational Fund provides this award to African American nurses working toward a doctoral degree at an approved institution.

Award amount: $2,000

Deadline: June

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National American Arab Nurses Association Scholarship

Who is eligible? Nursing students of Arab heritage can apply for this award if they attend an accredited nursing program with a 3.0 minimum GPA. They must possess demonstrated leadership qualities and evidence of engaging in the healthcare of the Arab American community.

Award amount: Up to $1,000

Deadline: September

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Male Nursing Scholarships

With less than 13% 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 is eligible? Male nursing students who are members in the American Association for Men in Nursing can apply for this role if they have held a leadership position and are pursuing an advanced practice degree.

Award amount: $5,000

Deadline: Varies

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Gender Inclusion Scholarship

Who is eligible? Male students who maintain an American Association for Men in Nursing membership can apply for this award if they attend an accredited nursing program and plan to work in a historically underrepresented gender service area of the discipline after graduating.

Award amount: $2,500

Deadline: Varies

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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 MSN programs below.

ENA Graduate Scholarships

Who is 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

Deadline: June

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Dr. Francis Anthony Beneventi Medical Scholarship

Who is 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

Deadline: Varies

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Kathryn Suggs Chance Leonard Scholarship

Who is 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

Deadline: July

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Nursing Economics Foundation Scholarship

Who is eligible? Students working toward a master's or doctoral degree in nursing can apply for this award if their studies focus on administration or management in nursing. They must plan to work in nursing administration, management, leadership, or education after graduating.

Award amount: $5,000

Deadline: May

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Nurses Educational Funds Scholarship

Who is eligible? Master's and doctoral nursing students can apply for this award if they hold a current RN license, are members in a national professional nursing organization, and submit proof of citizenship.

Award amount: Up to full tuition

Deadline: February

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Additional Financial Aid Resources

For many learners, completing an online nursing degree makes sense when balancing outside personal and professional responsibilities. Financial aid for online nursing students can help ease their monetary burden and let them focus on their education. Students with disabilities working toward a nursing education can receive financial aid and support through a variety of scholarships and grants. Some of these awards support students managing specific disabilities while others are more generic in nature. Completing a nursing degree while also parenting a child creates unique challenges and hurdles to education. That said, many foundations and organizations provide awards for these determined and focused learners. Nursing students who actively serve in the military or hold veteran status may take advantage of specialized scholarships and funding opportunities. Students can learn more about military financial aid on this page.

Explore Nursing Degree Programs

Frequently Asked Questions About Scholarships for Nursing Students

How do you get a nursing scholarship?

Prospective and current nursing students can get a scholarship by researching scholarships offered by colleges and universities, professional associations, nonprofits, and healthcare facilities; reading the application instructions; and applying for the scholarship if they are eligible.

Are there scholarships for children of nurses?

Yes. Awards like the Joan M. Finegold Scholarship at Texas Children's Hospital prioritize providing funding to students whose parents practiced nursing.

How competitive is the Nurse Corps scholarship?

Many consider Nurse Corps scholarships highly competitive because there are more applicants than available funding.

Are nurses eligible for student loan forgiveness?

Yes. Programs like Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Federal Perkins Loan Cancellation offer loan dischargement for qualified applicants.


Reviewed by:

Mary Louis is a Brooklyn native who currently resides in Nashville, where she works at a state community college. She has worked in financial aid and recruitment as a registrar and bursar at city, state, for-profit, and Ivy League institutions, as well as at HBCUs. Louis's financial aid experience includes writing policies and procedures; overseeing satisfactory academic progress, state and federal aid, scholarships, private education lending, and federal verification; and assisting families with completing the FAFSA.


Mary Louis is a paid member of the Red Ventures Education freelance review network.

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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.

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