Nursing is one of the fastest-growing fields in the United States, and it is projected to grow by 15% by 2026. However, the projected need for nurses is also expected to continue growing as baby boomers retire.
Many organizations, colleges, and universities are looking to close the gap by offering scholarships to help students afford the costs of attending nursing school and becoming licensed to practice.
Check in with your chosen school to see if they have any scholarships for aspiring nurses. The school’s financial aid office can help.
The federal government and many state governments are also addressing the shortage and offering grants and free money opportunities for health professionals. Fill out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to qualify for federal, school, and university (institutional) financial aid.
Local and national organizations also offer nursing scholarships to help you with tuition, school fees, testing fees, room and board, and living expenses while you attend school. Scholarships can be based on academic achievement, financial need, demographic characteristics, military involvement, specific fields of interest or study, and cultural identities.
Scholarships can be a great way to help you afford nursing school by providing you with funds you don’t have to pay back.
- American Red Cross Jane Delano Student Nurse Scholarship: Applicants can be either undergraduate or graduate-level nursing students who have provided volunteer service or been employed by an American Red Cross unit. Scholarships can cover tuition, school fees, and books. Click here for more information on applying.
- A Nurse I Am Scholarship: Provided by Cherokee Uniforms, this scholarship provides nursing students with gift aid. To apply, you will need to submit a 300-word essay based on the annual prompt.
- DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) Nursing Scholarships: Several options are available to nursing students. Eligibility criteria are generally based on financial need and enrollment (or acceptance) in an accredited school of nursing.
Recipients can receive between $2,000 and $2,500 toward costs associated with nursing school. Some of the scholarship opportunities require membership (or parental membership) in the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR).
You will need to include a personal goals and career statement of up to 1,000 words, as well as a 100-word statement on why you should be considered, your most recent transcripts, proof of U.S. citizenship, and a listing of your achievements and extracurricular activities along with your online application.
- Foundation of the National Student Nurses Association (FNSNA) Scholarships: This scholarship awards up to $7,500 to promising nursing students who are matriculated and currently enrolled in a state-approved nursing program. You will need to be a U.S. citizen that can document financial need and academic achievement, as well as involvement with community health activities and/or student nursing organizations.
To apply, you will need to pay a $10 submission fee and include your current nursing and college transcripts. If you are a member of NSNA, you’ll need to provide proof of membership.
- Cascade Healthcare Nurses Make a Difference Scholarship: This program awards $1,000 each year to high school students aspiring to study nursing or students currently enrolled in an undergraduate nursing program. You will need to provide a 200- to 300-word essay on the specified topic and have a cumulative GPA of at least a 3.0. Fill out and submit the Google doc along with the requested documentation to apply.
- Coursey Enterprises Student Scholarships: This scholarship awards both a fall and spring award of $250 each to first-year RN and first-year PN students who are U.S. citizens. You will need to submit a 200-word essay on why you wish to be a nurse as well as a picture of yourself.
- American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Scholarships: AACN offers multiple scholarship opportunities to both graduate and undergraduate nursing students. Each scholarship has specific eligibility requirements, such as minority representation or enrollment in an AACN member institution. Visit each individual scholarship page to find application instructions and details.
- HRSA Nurse Corps Scholarship Program (NCSP): To qualify, you will need to be a U.S. citizen currently enrolled (or accepted) at an accredited school of nursing in a professional nursing degree program and begin classes no later than September 30.
If accepted into the program, you can have all your tuition, school fees, and educational costs covered with the agreement to enter into a term of service in a Critical Shortage Facility (CSF) after graduation.
Apply through the Bureau Health Workforce (BHW) customer service portal.
- TravelNurseSource Future U.S. Nurse Scholarship Program: This program awards $2,000 to a nursing student who wins a selfie video contest. You must have a 2.5 or better GPA and create a two-minute video mentioning TravelNurseSource and what inspired you to become a nurse.
Submit your video with your name, school, transcripts, proof of enrollment, letter of recommendation, and clear headshot of yourself.
- Nursing.org Scholarships: There are several scholarships, including one specifically for aspiring male nurses, open to students pursuing a nursing education.
You will need to be actively enrolled in an accredited nursing program, have a minimum GPA of 3.5, be at least 18 years old, and submit a 500- to 1,000-word essay on the given prompt.
Select the application form that applies to you for information on how to apply.
- Niche Nursing Scholarship: This scholarship awards $500 to college and high school students interested in studying nursing. Funds will go toward tuition, fees, or related education expenses. Create an online account to apply.
- Nurses Education Funds (NEF) Scholarships: Several opportunities are open for nursing students in masters and doctoral programs who have completed a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
There is a $20 fee to apply. You will need to complete the online scholarship application and upload a personal essay and goal statement. You will also need to supply your unofficial transcripts and email addresses for three people you have selected to provide reference forms.
Scholarships for Nurses Based on Specialty
- AORN (Association of periOperative Registered Nurses) Scholarships: Nursing students with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0, who are pursuing a career in perioperative/surgical nursing, can apply for this scholarship.
You will need to demonstrate financial need and academic excellence, and submit an essay for consideration.
- American Addiction Center’s (AAC) Behavioral Health Academic Scholarship Program: Open to students pursuing a career in the fields of addiction and mental health, including nursing students, these prizes are awarded to both graduate and undergraduate students.
Submit your application to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN) Scholarships: These scholarships are intended to further the education of occupational and environmental nurses, awarding between $1,500 and $2,500 to eligible applicants.
There are multiple opportunities for funding, some of which require AAOHN membership. Download the 2020 Foundation Scholarship packet for more information on how to apply.
- ANNA (American Nephrology Nurses Association) Scholarships: This program features multiple scholarship opportunities for members of ANNA to seek career advancement through education. Each scholarship or grant has its own eligibility and application criteria.
- Nursing Economics Foundation Scholarships: Up to four $5,000 scholarships are awarded each year to registered nurses (RNs) in a doctoral or master’s program, with a career plan to enter the field of nursing administration or management.
Use the scholarship application to apply.
- ARN (Association of Rehabilitation Nurses) Scholarship: This program provides ARN members with scholarship opportunities to obtain a BSN (bachelor of nursing), a master’s of science in nursing (MSN), or a doctorate in nursing (DNP, Ph.D., DNS/DNSc). You must be currently enrolled in a qualified program, be practicing rehabilitation nursing, and have at least two years of experience in rehabilitation nursing.
The window will reopen for applications in January 2020.
Nursing Scholarships for Specialty and Minority Populations
- American Indian Nurse Scholarship Program: These scholarships are awarded to students of American Indian descent pursuing a career in nursing or health care, who intend to return to work among their people.
Awards are up to $1,500 per semester for tuition and educational expenses. Submit the application to be considered.
- AAPINA (Asian American/Pacific Islander Nurses Association) Scholarship: You will need to be a current AAPINA member, have been a member for at least two years, have a GPA of at least 3.5, and be currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate nursing program to apply.
You will need to submit an essay that details your leadership potential as well as future commitment to serve AAPINA along with two letters of recommendation. Use this form to apply.
- B4 Brands Barbara Rhomberg Nursing Scholarship: Nontraditional students (those who do not enter college directly after high school or have college careers interrupted) are eligible to apply for the $1,000 nonrenewable scholarship toward an undergraduate nursing degree.
You will need to be a full-time undergraduate nursing student pursuing either a bachelor’s or associate’s degree with at least a three-year gap between high school and college enrollment.
Send in your application along with a typed essay, two letters of recommendation, and verification of enrollment in a nursing program to apply.
- Stephen Bufton Memorial Education Fund Scholarships: This program provides scholarships to women in a variety of higher educational pursuits, including nursing. Scholarships are awarded to female nursing students in their first or second year of school.
The application window closes on May 15, 2020.
- Army Nurse Corps Association Scholarships: If you are currently serving in any branch of the U.S. Army, or you are a U.S. Army veteran (or the spouse or child of a service member or veteran), currently enrolled in a bachelor’s or advanced nursing or nurse anesthesia degree program, you can apply for this scholarship.
- National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) Scholarships: This program awards scholarships between $1,000 and $6,000 to members of NBNA currently enrolled in a nursing program and in good academic standing. If you have a local NBNA chapter, you will need to be a member of that, as well.
You will need to supply your official transcript from nursing school, two letters of recommendation, a two-page essay, a clear professional headshot, and any information on participation in student nurse activities and involvement in the African American community to apply.
State nursing associations often have scholarship opportunities to recruit students into the nursing field. You can also look into scholarships aimed at STEM and general healthcare-related fields.