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.
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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.

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Financial Aid for Nursing Students

FAFSA

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.

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. 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.

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 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

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.

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

Featured Nursing Scholarships

Undergraduate Scholarship Program

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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.

Deadline: February

Award amount: Up to $7,500 per academic year

Apply for Scholarship

Jane Delano Student Nurse Scholarship

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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.

Deadline: May

Award amount: $3,000

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Association of periOperative Registered Nurses Foundation Scholarship

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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.

Deadline: June

Award amount: Varies

Apply for Scholarship

Hurst Review Services AACN Nursing Scholarship

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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

Apply for Scholarship

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

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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.

Deadline: September

Award amount: $1,000

Apply for Scholarship

Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium Board of Directors Scholarship

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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.

Deadline: March

Award amount: $5,000

Apply for Scholarship

American Indian Nurse Scholarship

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Who's eligible? This award supports American Indian, Alaska Native, or Native Hawaiian students working toward nursing degrees.

Deadline: December

Award amount:$1,500

Apply for Scholarship

National American Arab Nurses Association Scholarship

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Who's eligible? Applicants must be working toward a BSN, MSN, or DNP and be of Arab heritage. They must also demonstrate a commitment and contribution to Arab American health initiatives.

Deadline: August

Award amount: Up to $1,000

Apply for Scholarship

Exceptional Nurse Scholarship

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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.

Deadline: June

Award amount: $500

Apply for Scholarship

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

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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.

Deadline: Varies

Award amount: $5,000

Apply for Scholarship

Gender-Inclusion Scholarship

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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.

Deadline: Varies

Award amount: $2,500

Apply for Scholarship

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

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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.

Deadline: Varies

Award amount: Varies

Apply for Scholarship

Dr. Francis Anthony Beneventi Medical Scholarship

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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.

Deadline: Varies

Award amount: $5,000

Apply for Scholarship

Kathryn Suggs Chance Leonard Scholarship

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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.

Deadline: July

Award amount: $500

Apply for Scholarship

Nurses Educational Funds Scholarship

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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.

Deadline: February

Award amount: Up to full tuition

Apply for Scholarship

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 Nursing Scholarships

How does a scholarship in nursing influence nursing education?

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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.

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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