There is always a demand for nurses, but the education necessary is, for many, prohibitively expensive. This is especially true for those who don’t have the stellar academic records necessary to qualify for most scholarships. Luckily, there are many grants out there for nursing school students that are awarded not based on one’s past academic record, but based on need. These grants open the doors for many nursing students who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford college. But which grants are the best? On which ones should nursing students spend the most time preparing the applications?
Though the word scholarship appears in its title, this award is need-based, rather than merit-based. This award is funded by the federal government, and is awarded to full-time students in accredited health sciences programs, including nursing. The goal of this award is to give economically disadvantaged students the ability to attend school. They award thousands of dollars every year to students trying to build a better career and life for themselves. Students interested in applying must find out if their school participates in this program. If so, they will apply directly to their school’s financial aid office and the school will choose who will receive the funds.
This is another federally funded program. This one disburses over 200 scholarships and grants a year to qualified nursing students. This is an especially lucrative award because it pays for all of the student’s tuition and fees, as well as a monthly allowance of $1,000 a month. Preference is given to nursing students who are attending a four-year university full time. Though this is not a loan, the money must be repaid in service. Students who accept money from the Nursing Scholarship Program must agree to work for at least two years at a health care institution that is in need of nurses. These are usually high-risk, disadvantaged areas. However, the reward of a free education for a couple years of service is a fair trade for most people.
Professional nursing associations offer grants for students pursuing study in that particular field. If you know there is a specialty you would like to pursue, it is worth it to contact the professional organization that governs that subfield. Grants and scholarships are offered for students specializing in fields like gerontology, emergency room care, nurse practitioners, and nurse anesthetists, among others. You may need to be a member of one of these organizations to qualify, so it would be worth it to join.
These are only a few of the best grant opportunities for nursing students. If you are looking for need-based funding, be sure to exhaust all possible sources. While these are great places to find grants, the first place any student should begin is with the federal Pell Grant, which disburses money to thousands of need-based students every year, regardless of major. There are also grants and scholarships for minorities, women, and other underrepresented groups. These opportunities are great ways to supplement whatever federal funding you might get.