There’s never been a better time to begin or advance your nursing career, but financial pressures might make you hesitant to take the next step. Fortunately, there are a variety of nursing-related scholarships that can help you reach your career goals without added financial strain.
To help, we’ve put together a list of resources that make it easy to find the right scholarship for your nursing education.
How do scholarships really work?
Before you begin your scholarship search, it’s important to understand the different types of scholarships available and the benefits to each. The most common type of scholarship is one that is applied through the college or university you plan to attend. The organization awarding the scholarship works directly with your school to apply the scholarship funds toward your tuition and other expenses, making the process simpler and easier for you.
Some scholarship funds are awarded to the recipient directly. This could be in the form of a direct deposit into a personal banking account, or a check given to you from the awarding organization. Typically, the recipient will then need to sign off on what the money will be used for. The advantage is that you have more freedom to decide how you want to use your funds. For example, you could put money towards other educational expenses besides tuition, such as housing, fees and textbooks.
The terms of each scholarship are different, which is why it is critical to find the scholarship that is right for you.
Here are our tips for finding the perfect nursing scholarship:
1. Search online
There are many nursing-related websites that can be helpful for your scholarship search, including nurse.org, nursejournal.org, and allnursingschools.com. These sites allow you to sort through scholarships based on your education level, experience and the scholarship amount.
2. Work with your university
You can also apply for scholarships through your college or university. Herzing offers various scholarships for students, including several that are specific to nursing. For example, the Nurses Circle of Achievement scholarship is offered to students who are in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at various Herzing campuses. Additionally, the Nursing Pathway to Success scholarship is available for graduate students enrolled in an online Master of Science in Nursing program.
Herzing also offers a variety of other general scholarships and grants. Once you have found a scholarship that you want to apply to, Herzing’s financial aid advisors can also help you through the application process, including finding references, updating your resume and reviewing your written statements.
3. Research nursing associations
Many nursing and healthcare associations offer scholarships for those who are looking to begin or advance their healthcare careers. If you are new to the nursing field, you might be eligible for scholarships through the Health Occupations Students Association (HOSA). The American Nurses Association (ANA) also offers a variety of different scholarships for current and aspiring nurses. If you are a member of a minority or underrepresented group, the National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurse Associations (NCEMNA) group can help you identify scholarships offered by other minority nursing organizations across the country.
4. Look into local scholarships
Local nonprofits, businesses, churches and clubs are great places to look for scholarship opportunities. Be sure to tap your network of family, friends and colleagues for help. They might have ties to local organizations you’re not involved with, and they can help you find out about scholarship opportunities you might not have discovered otherwise. The library is another great resource, as it typically keeps a list of local scholarships that are available to community members.
5. Check with your employer
If you are currently employed, you could reach out to the human resources department at your company and ask if they offer any scholarships or tuition assistance for employees. Many hospitals aspiring to Magnet Status work with educational institutions to meet the rising demand for nurses with BSN degrees, and provide financial incentives for current nurses to advance their education. Talk with your manager or an HR representative to find out if your employer will cover or subsidize the tuition for your nursing degree.
6. Consider the Nurse Corps program
Nurse Corps is a federal scholarship program for nurses, nursing students and nursing faculty. Recipients are awarded funding for tuition, fees and other educational costs in exchange for their commitment to work at a Critical Shortage Facility (CSF) for a minimum of two years after graduation.
Many Americans in underserved areas go without preventive care and vaccines because there are not enough health care professionals to provide treatment in their communities. The Nurse Corps Scholarship program is designed to improve access to healthcare services in these areas, while empowering aspiring nurses to fulfill their passion for caring for others.
To be eligible for the Nurse Corps scholarship, you must be enrolled in a professional nursing degree program at an accredited nursing school. You can be enrolled in a diploma, associate, baccalaureate, or graduate nursing program.
Additionally, if you are already a licensed registered nurse, advanced practice registered nurse or a nurse faculty member with qualifying nursing debt, you may be eligible for the Nurse Corps loan repayment program. You also must work in a critical shortage facility or an eligible school of nursing in order to apply for the loan repayment program.
Need help getting started?
It’s always a good idea to get to know the financial aid staff at the college you plan to attend. At Herzing University, our financial aid advisors can help you find the scholarships that best fit your needs. Schedule an appointment with our Financial Aid Department to talk through your financial assistance options, and take the next step to invest in your future!