According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, America will experience a critical nursing shortage by 2025. This reality forced the creation of funding opportunities to help nursing students pay for their studies and become licensed professionals. The sources of this funding include the federal government, several states, private organizations, and nursing schools. If you plan on pursuing a nursing degree, you must consider the scholarship and grant opportunities provided by these groups.
In an effort to increase the number of professional nursing staff across the country, the federal government created scholarship opportunities for nursing students. One such program is the Health Resources and Services Administration Nursing Scholarship Program, which is available to citizens and legal permanent residents. It provides money for tuition, books and room and board. Recipients also get a monthly stipend of $1,326. In exchange for this financial assistance, all recipients must work at a federally approved health facility that is understaffed. Their work commitment must last a minimum of two years and all recipients must work on a full-time basis.
Several states actively support the education of nurses because they already have nursing shortages or seek to prevent a shortage. As such, they are a key source of financial aid. Virginia, for example, only had 624 nurses for every 10,000 residents, as compared to the national average of 746 in 2010. Consequently, the state provides financial aid to residents attending nursing school. The Nurse Practitioner/ Nurse Midwife Scholarship Program gives financial aid to recipients who must later teach at a state nursing school after graduating from nursing school. Applicants must be residents for at least a year and must be enrolled in an in-state nursing program to qualify. Similarly, Indiana provides the Indiana Nursing Scholarship to residents. Applicants can be full-time or part-time students at an accredited in state school and must have a minimum 2.0 grade point average. Applicants must be state residents and must be enrolled in state at an accredited nursing program. They must also demonstrate financial need.
The majority of scholarships for nursing students come from private organizations. These include honorary nursing societies, groups that work to improve the nursing practice and even nursing sororities. One such group is the Foundation of National Student Nurses’ Association (FNSNA). Founded in 1952, the group assists student nurses pursuing an undergraduate nursing degrees. It administers the annual FNSNA Scholarship that gives between $1,000 and $2,500 to recipients to put toward their educational expenses. Another organization is the American Nurses Foundation, which administers the ANF Nursing Research Grants Program. It provides between $3,000 and $25,000 to researchers who focus on advancing nursing science and patient care.
Another source of scholarship money is the very schools that train professional nurses. A nursing degree from a private nursing school can costs upwards of $80,000, which is no small amount for the average student. The School of Nursing at the University of Virginia provides the Roy C. Beazley Undergraduate Merit Scholarship, which gives $2,500 to three nursing students every year. Additionally, the University of California at San Francisco has several scholarship opportunities for nursing students. These include the Fecheimer Memorial Scholarship, which is available to students in financial need.