Students today are graduating with more student debt than ever before, and nursing students are no exception. Almost three in four nursing students will graduate with loans, according to a 2014 analysis by Nursing Economics.
Although the cost of college and grad school don’t appear to be going down anytime soon, you can lower the price tag with scholarship money. Organizations around the country offer scholarships for nursing students.
The seven nursing scholarships below are available at the undergraduate or graduate level. With these grants or others like them, you could seriously cut down the cost of your degree.
1. ENA Foundation scholarships
The Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) Foundation awards dozens of nursing school scholarships every year to undergrad and grad students. Plus, it offers an additional 43 scholarships for nurses who want to attend the annual ENA conference. Eligibility requirements vary by award, and amounts range from $2,000 to $10,000.
Here are just a few examples of scholarships you can win through the ENA Foundation:
- Charles Kunz Memorial Scholarship: $3,000 award to a registered nurse pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
- Anita Dorr Graduate Scholarship: $5,000 to an emergency nurse studying for a master’s degree in nursing with a focus in administration.
- Pamela Stinson Kidd Memorial Doctoral Scholarship: $10,000 to an emergency nurse pursuing a doctoral degree.
The ENA Foundation supports emergency nurses whose educational level ranges from associate to doctoral. Working as an emergency nurse is stressful; one of these scholarships for nursing students can at least ease the stress of student loans.
2. A Nurse I Am Scholarship
Cherokee Medical Uniforms has awarded 95 scholarships totaling $190,000 since 2007. With its A Nurse I Am Scholarship, the company grants $2,000 to a nursing student every year.
The application for the 2017 scholarship asked nursing students to watch the educational film “A Nurse I Am” before writing a 150-word essay in response to the prompt, “Why do you want to be a nurse?”
The 2017 winner, Linda Hansoul Yoo, wrote about how her own health issues taught her compassion for her future patients. “As a nursing student with ulcerative colitis, I understand the true meaning of compassion,” Yoo wrote. “Now two years into remission, I am ready to give back to those who need my support.”
Like Yoo, you could win $2,000 to put toward your education.
3. FNSNA scholarships
The Foundation of the National Student Nurses Association (FNSNA) has awarded nursing scholarships every year since 1969. Scholarships range from $1,000 to $7,500, and they’re available for both undergrad and grad students.
The scholarship committee looks at your academic achievements, involvement in your community health activities, and financial need. For one 2017 FNSNA scholarship recipient, the award was a crucial part of her education.
“Small acts of generosity such as yours will be the pieces that make up the story of how I became a nurse,” she told the foundation.
4. NURSE Corps Scholarship Program
The NURSE Corps Scholarship Program is a federal program that provides financial support in exchange for qualifying service.
If you are chosen as a recipient and pledge to work full time for two years in an underserved area after graduation, the program will fully cover one or more years of tuition and eligible fees.
A three-year contract could result in a three-year scholarship, and a four-year contract could mean financial support for four years of school.
Beyond covering tuition, the Nurse Corps Scholarship Program also gives a monthly stipend for living expenses. For the 2017-2018 year, the stipend was $1,344 per month.
This program gives over 200 awards every year, but spots are competitive. In 2016, for instance, the program received 2,472 eligible applications for its 230 awards.
Applicants with the greatest financial need are given preference for awards. The program committee also considers other selection factors, such as your academic performance, resume, application essays, and letters of recommendation.
5. Nurses Educational Funds
Nurses Educational Funds (NEF) has provided nursing school scholarships over the past century to help students pay for their education. The organization awards a number of grants ranging in amounts, but all of them go to master’s and doctoral students.
To apply, you must write a 750- to 850-word personal statement about the contribution you’d like to make to the nursing profession.
Six master’s candidates and 17 doctoral students won scholarships from NEF last year. One winner plans to work with underserved communities after graduation. Another aspires to promote tropical disease treatments and prevention efforts in sub-Saharan Africa.
While their post-graduation plans are different, all NEF scholarship recipients have clear professional goals in the field of nursing.
6. Tylenol Future Care Scholarship
With the Future Care Scholarship, Tylenol helps 40 health care students each year pay for their education. The company has awarded over $9 million in scholarship money to students, judging applicants based on their academic achievement, community involvement, and a commitment to caring for others.
It doesn’t matter if you’re an undergrad or grad student, as long you’re going into a career where you plan to actively help others. Tylenol awards $5,000 scholarships to 30 students, along with $10,000 scholarships to 10 students every year. You can use the money for tuition, fees, books, or any other materials you need for school.
7. Nurses Make a Difference Scholarship
Cascade Healthcare Solutions gives a $1,000 scholarship every year to a current or aspiring nursing student at the undergraduate level. You’ll need to maintain at least a 3.0 GPA, as well as provide a thoughtful response to an essay question.
The prompt for the 2017 award was, “What are some of the challenges nurses face today and how do you/will you take on those challenges?”
The 2016 winner, Grace Buzas, plans to work in an intensive care unit following graduation. The 2015 winner, Allison Smith, intends to pursue her Master of Science in nursing and become a nurse practitioner.
Whatever your goal as a nurse, Cascade Healthcare Solutions “is excited to support individuals who have the goal to pursue one of the most essential professions in our society.”
Nursing scholarships ease the cost of school
Taking out student loans is easy; paying them back, not so much. To reduce your debt, apply far and wide to nursing scholarships. Beyond these seven scholarships, you can find additional opportunities using scholarship search tools.
Once you get your nursing degree, you could even be eligible for student loan forgiveness. Most programs forgive loans in exchange for service. Not only can you care for a community in need, but you can also get rid of your student loans in the process.
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