7 Scholarships for Nursing School That Could Lessen Your Student Debt

 April 8, 2020
How Student Loan Hero Gets Paid

How Student Loan Hero Gets Paid

Student Loan Hero is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). Student Loan Hero does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero is an advertising-supported comparison service. The site features products from our partners as well as institutions which are not advertising partners. While we make an effort to include the best deals available to the general public, we make no warranty that such information represents all available products.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the financial institution.

nursing scholarships

We’ve got your back! Student Loan Hero is a completely free website 100% focused on helping student loan borrowers get the answers they need. Read more

How do we make money? It’s actually pretty simple. If you choose to check out and become a customer of any of the loan providers featured on our site, we get compensated for sending you their way. This helps pay for our amazing staff of writers (many of which are paying back student loans of their own!).

Bottom line: We’re here for you. So please learn all you can, email us with any questions, and feel free to visit or not visit any of the loan providers on our site. Read less

Nursing scholarships are a key way to deal with a recurring problem: Almost three in four aspiring nurse students will graduate with loans.

Although the cost of college and graduate programs don’t appear to be going down anytime soon, you can lower the price tag with nursing school scholarships. There are all sorts of other financial aid for nursing school, including grants, too.

The seven nursing scholarships below are available at the undergraduate or graduate levels. With these grants or others like them, you could seriously cut down the cost of your degree.

1. ENA Foundation scholarships
2. A Nurse I Am Scholarship
3. FNSNA scholarships
4. NURSE Corps Scholarship Program
5. Nurses Educational Funds
6. Tylenol Future Care Scholarship
7. Nurses Make a Difference Scholarship

Plus: Seek out grants for nursing school, too

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 additional scholarships for nurses who want to attend the annual ENA conference. Eligibility requirements vary by award, and award amounts span $1,000 to $10,000.

Here are just a few examples of scholarships you can win through the ENA Foundation:

  • Charles Kunz Memorial Scholarship: For a registered nurse pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
  • Anita Dorr Graduate Scholarship: For an emergency nurse studying for a master’s degree in nursing with a focus in administration.
  • Pamela Stinson Kidd Memorial Doctoral Scholarship: For an emergency nurse pursuing a doctoral degree.

The ENA Foundation supports emergency nurses whose educational levels range 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.

Application deadline: April 28, 2020

2. A Nurse I Am Scholarship

Cherokee Medical Uniforms has awarded scholarships totaling $200,000 since 2007. With its A Nurse I Am Scholarship, the company grants $2,000 to a nursing student every year.

The application for the 2020 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 you want to be a nurse. Who or what inspired you?”

Who’s eligible: Part- or full-time students who are currently enrolled in a VN/LPN, RN degree (ADN or BSN), diploma or RN-to-BSN program

Application deadline: April 15, 2020

3. FNSNA scholarships

The Foundation of the National Student Nurses Association (FNSNA) has awarded $5 million worth of nursing scholarships since 1969. Scholarships range in value up to $7,500, and they’re available for both undergrad and grad students.

The awarding committee looks at your academic achievements, involvement in your community health activities and financial need. For one 2019 FNSNA recipient, winning the Johnson & Johnson Nurses Change The World Scholarship was a crucial part of her education.

“Receiving this scholarship alleviates a tremendous amount of financial burden and stress from my life and will allow me to concentrate on my studies,” she told the foundation.

Who’s eligible: Students pursuing any approved nursing degree type as well enrolled in an RN-to-BSN, RN-to-MSN or LPN/LVN-to-RN program

Application deadline: January 2021

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 nursing 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 2019-2020 year, the stipend was $1,383 per month.

This program gives over 200 awards every year, but spots are competitive.

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.

Who’s eligible: Students accepted or enrolled in programs pursuing a(n):

  • Diploma School of Nursing
  • Associate Degree School of Nursing (ADN)
  • Collegiate School of Nursing (BSN, graduate degree)
  • Graduate Level Nurse Practitioner
  • Nursing Bridge Program (RN to BSN, RN to MSN-NP, Direct Entry MSN-NP)

Application deadline: May 2020

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.

Eight master’s candidates and 21 doctoral students won scholarships from NEF for the 2019-2020 cycle. One winner, in the midst of studying asthma and obesity, plans to cater her career to children. Another aspires to become a nurse scientist.

While their post-graduation plans are different, all NEF scholarship recipients have clear professional goals in the field of nursing.

Who’s eligible: Students pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree (PhD, DNP, EdD)

Application deadline: February 2021

6. Tylenol Future Care Scholarship

With the Future Care Scholarship, Tylenol helps 35 to 40 health care students each year pay for their education. The company has awarded over $8 million in scholarship money to students, judging applicants based on their academic achievement, community involvement and a commitment to caring for others.

Tylenol awards $5,000 scholarships to 25 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.

Who’s eligible: Students accepted or enrolled in graduate school

Application deadline: June 2020

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 2020 award was, “Who has been the greatest influence in your decision to pursue nursing and why?”

The 2019 winner, Shaquilla Gracien, hoped to become a neuroscience nurse practitioner. The 2018 winner, Savannah Winters, intended to pursue her nurse practitioner’s license in neonatology.

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.”

Who’s eligible: Current or future students at an undergraduate nursing program

Application deadline: August 1, 2020

Seek out grants for nursing school, too

In the quest for extra funding for nursing students, don’t limit yourself to the seven scholarships listed above. There are other avenues for financial aid.

If you’re wondering how to get nursing school paid for, also consider:

  • Reevaluating your school choice: Avoid having to scrounge in the first place by applying or transferring to a nursing program within your budget. If attending a school close to home is possible, for example, it could eliminate or reduce the expense for your room and board.
  • State and federal nursing grants: Beyond merit-based scholarships, seek out need-based aid in the form of state grants. Nursing students in Massachusetts, for example, can receive between $200 and $2,500 per year in assistance via the Gilbert Matching Student Grant Program. Look to the federal government, as well: The Department of Health and Human Services, for instance, provides nursing grants to native Hawaiian students willing to work in their home state. Look for opportunities that fit your situation or background, whether they be grants for women going to nursing school, grants for male nurses or another category entirely.
  • Employer scholarships: Check with the human resources department of your employer (if you have one) about its ability to help support you through school. The Veterans Affairs Administration, the nation’s largest employer of nurses, for example, offers three types of VA scholarships. Your employer just might provide grants for nursing school, too, particularly if it’ll increase your value in the workplace.

Nursing grants and 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 for nursing grants and scholarships. Beyond the list above, you can find additional opportunities using scholarship search tools.

If borrowing becomes necessary, read up on the nursing school loans available to you.

Andrew Pentis contributed to this report.

Need a student loan?

Here are our top student loan lenders of 2021!
LenderVariable APREligibility 
0.99% – 11.98%1Undergraduate

Visit College Ave

1.13% – 11.23%*,2Undergraduate

Visit SallieMae

0.99% – 11.44%3Undergraduate

Visit Earnest

1.85% – 11.35%4Undergraduate

Visit Ascent

2.20% – 6.17%5Undergraduate

Visit EdvestinU

1.12% – 11.23%6Undergraduate

Visit SoFi

1.15% – 11.01%7Undergraduate



Visit FundingU

3.80% – 9.36%9Undergraduate

Visit CommonBond

* The Sallie Mae partner referenced is not the creditor for these loans and is compensated by Sallie Mae for the referral of Smart Option Student Loan customers.

1 Important Disclosures for College Ave.

CollegeAve Disclosures

College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.

Rates shown are for the College Ave Undergraduate Loan product and include autopay discount. The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as a valid bank account is designated for required monthly payments. Variable rates may increase after consummation.

This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a freshman borrower who selects the Deferred Repayment Option with a 10-year repayment term, has a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in one disbursement and a 8.35% fixed Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $179.18 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $21,501.54. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary. This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a first year graduate student borrower who selects the Deferred Repayment Option with a 10-year repayment term, has a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in one disbursement and a 7.10% fixed Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $141.66 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $16,699.21. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary.

Information advertised valid as of 8/9/2021. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation. Approved interest rate will depend on the creditworthiness of the applicant(s), lowest advertised rates only available to the most creditworthy applicants and require selection of full principal and interest payments with the shortest available loan term.

2 Sallie Mae Disclaimer: Click here for important information. Terms, conditions and limitations apply.

3 Rate range above includes optional 0.25% Auto Pay discount. Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

  1. Rates include 0.25% Auto Pay Discount
  2. Explanation of Rates “With Autopay” (APD)
    Rates shown include 0.25% APR discount when client agrees to make monthly principal and interest payments by automatic electronic payment. Use of autopay is not required to receive an Earnest loan.

    Available Terms
    For Cosigned loans – 5, 7, 10, 12, 15 years. 
    Primary Only – 10, 12, 15 years

    In school deferred payment is not available in AL, AZ, CA, FL, MA, MD, MI, ND, NY, PA, and WA).

4 Important Disclosures for Ascent.

Ascent Disclosures

Ascent loans are funded by Bank of Lake Mills, Member FDIC. Loan products may not be available in certain jurisdictions. Certain restrictions, limitations; and terms and conditions may apply. For Ascent Terms and Conditions please visit: AscentFunding.com/Ts&Cs

Rates are effective as of 09/01/2021 and reflect an automatic payment discount of either 0.25% (for credit-based loans) OR 1.00% (for undergraduate outcomes income-based loans). Automatic Payment Discount is available if the borrower is enrolled in automatic payments from their personal checking account and the amount is successfully withdrawn from the authorized bank account each month. For Ascent rates and repayment examples please visit: AscentFunding.com/Rates.

1% Cash Back Graduation Reward subject to terms and conditions, please visit AscentFunding.com/Cashback. Cosigned Credit-Based Loan student borrowers must meet certain minimum credit criteria. The minimum score required is subject to change and may depend on the credit score of your cosigner. Lowest APRs are available for the most creditworthy applicants and may require a cosigner.

5 Important Disclosures for EdvestinU.

EdvestinU Disclosures

EDvestinU is a product of the nonprofit New Hampshire Higher Education Loan Corporation (dba The NHHEAF Network) NMLS ID#1527348.

APR range and repayment rates displayed assume a $10,000 loan disbursed in two equal disbursements. APR low assumes immediate repayment and 7 year repayment. APR high assumes deferred repayment and 15 year repayment. APR’s presented include a .50% interest rate reduction for electing to have payments automatically deducted from a bank account. The interest rate reduction for authorizing our servicer to automatically deduct monthly payments from a savings or checking account will not reduce the monthly payment, but will reduce the monthly finance charge, resulting in a lower total cost of loan. All examples are provided for educational purposes and actual terms may vary based on credit history, loan amount, applicable repayment term, and chosen repayment plan and method. Please note that the interest rate on variable rate programs may increase or decrease over time. The variable rate example assumes the same standard rate for the life of the loan. The NHHEAF Network reserves the right to modify or cancel its program at any time.  

Eligibility: Dependent and independent U.S. citizen students. Currently residents of Washington and California are not eligible for EDvestinU programs.
Students must be enrolled at least half-time at a U.S.-based Title IV, degree-granting college or university.
The borrower or cosigner (if applicable) must have a minimum adjusted gross income of $30,000.

Loan Limits: Minimum loan amount of $1,000.
Maximum loan amount is cost of education less aid received.

Repayment: Standard or graduated repayment options available during repayment; 7, 10, or 15 year term selected by the borrower.
6-month grace period available to borrowers electing a full in-school deferment. 
No prepayment penalty.
Payments may be postponed during repayment by qualifying for an economic hardship deferment.

Cosigner Release: Cosigner release allowed if an account is in current standing, after 36 months of consecutive & on-time payments with a borrower FICO >749 for EDvestinU Private Student Loans and minimum income requirement of $30,000 with no foreclosures, repossessions, wage garnishments, unpaid tax liens, unpaid judgments or other public records having an open balance exceeding $100 during the last 7 years. The borrower must not currently be involved in bankruptcy proceeding or had any bankruptcy filings during the past 10 years and cannot have any defaults on education loans.

6 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

Sofi Disclosures

UNDERGRADUATE LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.13% to 10.66% annual percentage rate (“APR”) (with autopay), variable rates from 1.12% to 11.23% APR (with autopay). GRADUATE LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.13% to 10.90% APR (with autopay), variable rates from 1.10% to 11.34% APR (with autopay). MBA AND LAW SCHOOL LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.08% to 10.86% APR (with autopay), variable rates from 1.05% to 11.29% APR (with autopay). PARENT LOANS: Fixed rates from 4.23% to 10.66% APR (with autopay), variable rates from 1.20% to 11.23% APR (with autopay). For variable rate loans, the variable interest rate is derived from the one-month LIBOR rate plus a margin and your APR may increase after origination if the LIBOR increases. Changes in the one-month LIBOR rate may cause your monthly payment to increase or decrease. Interest rates for variable rate loans are capped at 13.95%, unless required to be lower to comply with applicable law. Lowest rates are reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. If approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, the repayment option you select, the term and amount of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. The SoFi 0.25% autopay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. Information current as of 4/1/2021. Enrolling in autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi. SoFi Lending Corp., licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. NMLS #1121636 (>www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org).

7 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

Undergraduate Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 1.15% – 11.01% (1.15% – 10.24 APR)Fixed interest rates range from 4.18% – 11.70% (4.18% – 10.83% APR).

Graduate Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 1.89% – 10.66% (1.89% – 10.41% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.64% – 11.23%% (4.64% – 10.95% APR).

Business/Law Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 1.89% – 9.22% (1.89% – 8.50% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.38% – 10.44% (4.38% – 9.72% APR).

Medical/Dental Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 1.89% – 8.02% (1.89% – 7.72% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.28% – 9.24% (4.28% – 8.94% APR).

Parent Loan Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 1.97% – 7.06% (1.97% – 7.06% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 4.94% – 8.58% (4.94% – 8.58% APR).

Bar Study Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 4.44% – 9.58% (4.44% – 9.52% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 7.39% – 12.94% (7.40% – 12.83% APR).

Medical Residency Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 3.53% – 7.03% (3.53% – 6.76% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 6.99% – 10.49% (6.98% – 10.09% APR).

Variable Rate Disclosure: Variable Rates are based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of June 1, 2021, the one-month LIBOR rate is 0.09%. Variable interest rates will fluctuate over the term of the loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer. The maximum variable rate is the greater of 21.00% or Prime Rate plus 9.00%. 

Fixed Rate Disclosure: Fixed rate ranges are based on applicable terms, level of degree, and presence of a co-signer.

Lowest Rate Disclosure: Lowest rates require a 5-year repayment term, immediate repayment, a graduate degree (where applicable), and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Rates are subject to additional terms and conditions, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.

Federal Loan vs. Private Loan Benefits: Some federal student loans include unique benefits that the borrower may not receive with a private student loan, some of which we do not offer.  Borrowers should carefully review federal benefits, especially if they work in public service, are in the military, are considering possible loan forgiveness options, are currently on or considering income based repayment options or are concerned about a steady source of future income and would want to lower their payments at some time in the future. When the borrower refinances, they waive any current and potential future benefits of their federal loans. For more information about federal student loan benefits and federal loan consolidation, visit http://studentaid.ed.gov/. We also have several resources available to help the borrower make a decision on our website including Should I Refinance My Student Loans? and our FAQs. Should I Refinance My Student Loans? includes a comparison of federal and private student loan benefits that we encourage the borrower to review.

Eligibility Criteria: Applicants must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or eligible non-citizen with a creditworthy U.S. citizen or permanent resident co-signer. For applicants who have not attained the age of majority in their state of residence, a co-signer is required. Citizens Bank reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at any time. Citizens Bank private student loans are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application/Promissory Note, verification of application information, and if applicable, self-certification form, school certification of the loan amount, and student’s enrollment at a Citizens Bank participating school.

Loyalty Discount Disclosure: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower or their co-signer (if applicable) has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower and their co-signer (if applicable) have submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, or other student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, and VT and some products may have an associated cost. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate disclosed in the Loan Approval Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.

Automatic Payment Discount Disclosure: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. Discount is not available when payments are not due, such as during forbearance. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account three or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.

8 Important Disclosures for Funding U.

Funding U Disclosures

Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are made by Funding University which is a for-profit enterprise. Funding University is not affiliated with the school you are attending or any other learning institution. None of the information contained in Funding University’s website constitutes a recommendation, solicitation or offer by Funding University or its affiliates to buy or sell any securities or other financial instruments or other assets or provide any investment advice or service.

9 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

Offered terms are subject to change and state law restriction. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900), NMLS Consumer Access. If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown.  If you choose to complete an application, we will conduct a hard credit pull, which may affect your credit score. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 0.15% effective Jan 1, 2021 and may increase after consummation.