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Whether you’re a first-time nursing student or a registered nurse returning to school, the cost of nursing school is likely one of your top concerns – and you’re not alone. The cost of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree is similar to any four-year degree, which doesn’t come cheap. According to U.S. News, the average cost of tuition at a public, in-state college was $10,338 for the 2021-22 school year. While pursuing an RN to BSN or similar program can typically cut these expenses in half, the cost to attend nursing school is a major obstacle for many aspiring nurses. Affording your college education will require seeking funds from many different sources, including nursing scholarships.
Finding nursing scholarships to pay for your education can be a time-consuming task. Between requesting transcripts, begging for letters of recommendation, hunting down financial statements, and drafting endless 1,200-word essays, the scholarship application process is exhausting. But don’t fret! There are plenty of scholarships for nursing students with easy applications and big awards. We break down our top picks for nursing scholarships that require the least amount of time and effort. Read on to learn how to apply for these scholarships, plus discover quick tips and other ways you can pay for nursing school.
Deadline: April 15, 2022
This nursing scholarship, provided by Cherokee Uniforms, awards $3,000 to ten eligible applicants. This scholarship is ideal for both part-time and full-time students. To be eligible for this scholarship, you must be a nursing student at the high school or college level and currently enrolled in a nursing program in the United States. The application for this scholarship is simple! To apply, you will supply information about your school and program, as well as answer a short prompt in 300 words or less.
Our tip: Check out the A Nurse I Am documentary before you apply and learn more about the organization.
Deadline(s): April 30; July 31; October 31
If you go to one of these schools or have submitted your nursing school application through NurseCAS, this scholarship is right for you. Four times each year, CastleBranch awards $5,000 to two eligible applicants – meaning you have eight chances to win! This scholarship is open to nursing students pursuing either a bachelor’s or advanced nursing degree. Your school must be an American Association of College of Nursing (AACN) member institution affiliated with CastleBranch. The good news? Many schools are! To apply, simply answer some short questions about you, your academic history, and your goals in 250 words or less.
Our tip: Take a look at these previous scholarship winners to get inspired!
Deadline(s): September 1; February 1
If you’ve hit the books and studied hard, this nursing school scholarship will reward you for your hard work. Each year, the Hurst Review, in partnership with the AACN, awards two $2,500 scholarships to entry-level nursing students. Similar to the above, your school must be an AACN member for you to be eligible to apply.
Our tip: Is the school you’re applying to an AACN member? Consider this and other factors before choosing a nursing school.
Deadline: December 31, 2022
Nitro helps students and parents find solutions to pay for their college education – and they’ve made it easier than ever with this no-essay scholarship! Each month, they award $2,000 to one lucky applicant. This scholarship is open to high school, undergraduate, and graduate students who are enrolled or planning to enroll at a college in the United States.
The Patsy Mink Education Foundation was established in 2003 to assist low-income women pursuing higher education. The Education Support Award provides up to $5,000 to five applicants who demonstrate financial need. This scholarship can go toward tuition, education expenses, or childcare, making this a great nursing school scholarship for older students and working mothers. To qualify, you must be over 17 and actively pursuing post-high school education, including vocational, associate’s, bachelor’s, or advanced degrees. Information about the 2022-23 application will be posted to their website this spring, giving you plenty of time to track down the required documents.
Deadline: February 2023
The Foundation of the National Student Nurses Association offers over $500,000 in scholarships each year to students pursuing nursing education for the first time. This $10,000 scholarship is ideal for pre-nursing students and college-level nursing students, as well as those enrolled in an RN to BSN, RN to MSN, or LPN/LVN to RN program. The NSNA Foundation also offers Career Mobility scholarships for nurses returning to school. The application opens in September 2022 – check out our guide and learn how you can apply for this scholarship.
Typically, the committee reviewing your scholarship application will look at factors such as your academic history, future goals, and general “fit” for nursing.
Excellent grades, challenging coursework, and high test scores may help increase your chances of earning a scholarship. However, academic prowess is only one part of the equation. The reviewer will also consider your personal history, extracurricular activities, and future aspirations. This is a great opportunity to showcase what makes you unique.
As you work through your scholarship application, ask yourself the following questions:
Succeeding as a nurse requires solid interpersonal and communication skills, so be sure to let your personality shine through your application.
If you are a current or future undergraduate student, you may already be familiar with the Federal Pell Grant. This form of financial aid is given to students based on financial need and does not need to be repaid. You can receive up to $6,495 for the 2022-23 school year. The amount of money you receive will depend on several factors, including the yearly cost of your education and whether you are a full-time or part-time student. Start by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to find out if you qualify. Remember: you will need to fill out a new FAFSA form every school year.
The nursing school you plan to attend may also award school-specific grants and scholarships. Most schools will list scholarship and funding opportunities on their website, so be sure to check those out as you review your options. Some nursing schools offer free tuition through various programs and grants. The New York University College of Nursing, for example, covers 100% of tuition, fees, and school-related expenses in exchange for 2 years of service at a healthcare facility. Not only will you go to school for free, but you’ll also gain some valuable nursing experience while you’re at it!
This list has some of the best scholarship options available, but there are even more opportunities to explore. Ready to get a head start on funding your education? Check out our nursing school scholarship resources and get matched!