Nursing is one of the most challenging and rewarding careers there is. From the adrenaline rush of the operating room to the wisdom transferred while teaching in the classroom, today’s nurses are in higher demand. Despite being one of the fastest-growing occupations in the country, the demand for nurses is currently outpacing the supply. According to the National Institutes of Health, the number of senior citizens will increase by 75 percent in the next fifteen years. As these Baby Boomers age, the need for comprehensive, compassionate, and patient-focused care will need to increase as well.
The Call of Majoring in Nursing and Healthcare
Answering this call may be obvious for some, but where to start? When seeking a nursing school, whether for your associate’s degree, bachelor’s, master’s, or PhD/DNP, there are many factors to consider. What areas of focus or specialization the school offers might be one consideration. How prestigious the institution is, or how close it is to your home, may be other things to think about.
The Cost of Choosing Nursing
An important factor almost everyone must consider is how to cover the cost of tuition and supplies. Advanced degrees in nursing aren’t getting any less expensive, so a nursing degree needs to be seen as an investment, and a big one. You could save up, or scrimp and hustle every semester to make sure the tuition is paid out of your own pocket; you could take out loans and leave it for Future Me to figure out. But wouldn’t it be a lot less stressful to know you have a way to pay that doesn’t strain you or Future You?
The College Consensus is here to be your one-stop source of back-to-school information, including finances. The organizations, companies, and foundations we have highlighted here believe that breaking down the barriers for nurses to improve themselves and develop their profession can start by providing financial support to nursing students and nurses. This is an important part of how they give back to their community. By calling attention to the various scholarships, essay contests, and research grants, we hope to make finding financial help for nursing school easier than ever.
Note: While the deadlines for some of these scholarships has passed, we have included only those programs that appear to be long-standing and likely to continue, so if you’ve missed the deadline, look again in a few months.
AfterCollege and AACN Scholarship Fund
AfterCollege is an organization created to connect students and recent graduates with employers for entry-level positions and internships. Their goal is to help students and new job seekers by providing scholarship opportunities and professional networking opportunities, in preparation for rewarding careers. With cutting edge technology AfterCollege is able to synthesize the strengths of a graduate with the needs of companies and organizations.
In line with the goal of creating more professional access to graduates, AfterCollege-AACN Scholarship Fund was created to support students who are seeking a baccalaureate, master’s or doctoral degree in nursing. With a special interest in students with a goal of becoming nurse educators, and students completing an RN-to-BSN, or RN-to-MSN program, this scholarship gives special consideration to students enrolled in accelerated programs. Scholarship recipients will receive an award of $2500 each quarter. All applicants must already be enrolled (not just accepted) at an AACN member institution. Nursing scholarship deadlines are March 31, September 30, and December 31.
Agnes Naughton RN-BSN Fund
In 1983, the Florida Nurses Association (FNA) established the Agnes Naughton award to honor Agnes Naughton, the mother of the current FNA executive director, Paula Massey. The organization has evolved over time to not only support the education and research endeavors of Florida-based nursing students, but to also support nurses in need. The mission statement includes: promoting optimal health care for Florida citizens through prudent stewardship of entrusted funds and through creative philanthropy focused on outcomes that support and advance the profession of nursing.
This scholarship is awarded to residents of Florida who are studying nursing at a university or a four-year college in Florida currently, and have a minimum GPA of 2.5. Students must first sign up for a Peterson’s Account in order to be given further instructions about the application process. Awards are offered annually for the amount of $500.
American Addiction Center's Behavioral Health Academic Scholarship Program
American Addiction Center has a comprehensive mission centering a pathway for individuals to escape the chaos of their addictions while finding holistic strategies to living healthier lives. and investing in long-term recovery. They believe in investing in the educations of nursing students along with social work and counseling students, because they will be the frontline workers in the fight against addiction. They have treatment facilities across the US where they provide compassionate rehabilitation services for those in the trenches with addiction and co-occurring mental health issues. Their CARF Accredited treatment facilities support individualized treatment plans, a dual diagnosis curriculum that uses research-based therapies in a therapeutic setting.
AAC established these scholarship awards specifically to support college and graduate students pursuing careers in behavioral health and addiction related studies. Students who are eligible for financial assistance must be enrolled in nursing, psychology, social work, marriage and Family therapy, or other programs focusing on treating mental health and substance abuse issues. They are open to high school seniors, full or part time college undergraduate students, or graduate students. The entry process requires a first person 500 word essay. They offer $10,000 worth of scholarship awards each year.
American Holistic Nursing Association Research Grant
The American Holistic Nursing Association has been helping nurses contribute to the field of holistic medicine since 1981. In addition to nursing, AHNA is committed to educating non-health practitioners about the practices of holism, in an effort to widen patients options when it comes to their healthcare, bringing the practices and methodologies of integrative care practices to individuals and facilities that would otherwise not be aware of them as an alternative to traditional western practice. As a membership association, AHNA seeks to build community among nurses and physicians who practice holistic and integrative medicine; advocates on behalf of patients and legislation that is patient-focused; and advances medicine through research in nursing theory, and education of both patients, and nurses.
In the research aspect of their mission, AHNA is offering a research grant for a doctoral student who wishes to further study a particular area of holism that is moderate in scope. The association asks that the student be an AHNA member for at least 1 year prior to applying, be a doctoral nursing student whose focus is on holistic healing and/or integrative health, and the applicant submit a 3-5 page research proposal.
American Indian Nurse Scholarship Award Program
The American Indian Nurse Scholarship award program was started by the NSCDA in 1928 to give students of American Indian descent the opportunities and incentive to pursue careers in nursing, with the expectation of improving the overall health care in American Indian Communities. Recipients of the American Indian Nurse Scholarship return to work among their people, either directly on reservations or in hospitals in areas largely populated by American Indians. This program has recently has expanded to include men, and the career goals have also extended beyond nursing to include fields like health education.
Recipient students who remain in good academic standing will receive an award of $1500. The scholarship money is restricted to tuition and specific academic expenses. To qualify students must be at least ¼ American Indian, enrolled in a tribe, or be able to prove direct tribal ancestry. They must be enrolled in an accredited school, and not receiving an Indian health service scholarship. The application includes a short essay on future career goals and life achievements.
The Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) foundation contributes enormously to the success of hundreds of nurses, encouraging them to reach their goals in higher education and professional certification through grants and scholarships. This support includes professional development grants to help perioperative nurses attend continuing education conferences, 70 academic scholarships for student nurses and registered nurses pursuing advanced degrees in perioperative nursing, and test prep grants to help facilities prepare nurses for CNOR certification. AORN is a comprehensive organization that includes an extensive philanthropic focus. In addition to funding scholarships, AORN provides patient safety resources, and funds educational opportunities like seminars. AORN has supported perioperative professionals by funding over $1 million in patient and worker’s safety education and leadership education.
The AORN Foundation awards scholarships to nursing students specifically pursuing a career in perioperative nursing and registered nurses who are continuing their education in perioperative nursing by pursuing a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree. Students must have a 3.0 or above to apply, and international students are encouraged. The selection criteria is based on transcripts, written essay, and ability to properly fill out the application. Recipients will be reimbursed for classes that begin after July 1, and before June 1.
Asian American Pacific Islander Nurses Association Scholarship
The Asian American Pacific Islander Nurses Association (AAPINA) is an organization whose mission is to both bring together Asian and Pacific Islander nurses around the world, as well as to also bring positive changes to the world of health and well-being for this group and their communities. One significant aspect of their mission is supporting Asian and Pacific Islander nurses around the world through practice, research and education through the AAPINA annual scholarship, supporting nursing education in service of the organization’s core mission.
AAPINA awards $1000 annually to one of its members, who is in the midst of achieving their undergraduate or graduate nursing degree. The applicant must have two years of AAPINA membership and a current active membership; they must be currently enrolled in an accredited undergraduate or graduate nursing program with evidence of academic excellence. To apply, one must write a personal essay addressing leadership potential and commitment to serving AAPINA.
Barbara Rhomberg Nursing Scholarship
The Barbara Rhomberg Excellence in Nursing Scholarship was founded in 2013 in honor of its namesake who passed away in 1995 of gallbladder cancer. She was a nurse with a powerful story that included beginning her nursing education and career after raising five children. She was well loved and had an impact on many people. This scholarship is sponsored by a hygiene company called B4 Brands, and is specifically for non-traditional students, defined as a student who did not continue their education directly following high school, in celebration of Barbara Rhomberg’s unique trajectory.
This scholarship is a non-renewable $1000 paid directly to the institution for an undergraduate degree in nursing. This award is specifically geared towards a non-traditional path towards nursing, specifically students who have taken a minimum of a 3 year gap between university and college enrollment following high school. Applicants must be enrolled in full-time undergraduate bachelor’s or associate programs.
Cherokee A Nurse I Am
Cherokee Uniforms helped create a film called “A Nurse I Am,” with the intention of inspiring students of nursing by showing them examples of nurses making a significant difference in their patients’ lives, while living dynamic personal and professional lives themselves. The nursing profession has unique challenges that without the proper encouragement and holistic understanding of the profession nurses often leave the field within the first few years of engaging in this complex career path. The goal of this organization is nursing retention, both by way of creating media that helps support nurses and provides positive examples and interventions, but also by way of financial support for students oriented towards nursing.
Cherokee Uniforms awards a $2000 scholarship annually to one nursing student who is currently enrolled, with the hope of taking some of the pressure off the costs of a nursing education. Scholarship applicants must write an essay responding to the film “A Nurse I Am.” They are also asked to respond with a 150 word essay to the prompt “why do you want to become a nurse?” This scholarship has been in existence for 11 years.
Dr. Lauranne Sams Scholarship
The Dr Lauranne Sams Scholarship is a significant component of the National Black Nurses Association (NBNA), which operates in an effort to support black nursing students to be leaders in the medical field, and achieve cultural competency in their discipline. The organization NBNA was created in 1974, under the direction of Dr. Lauranne Sams, in service to improving the quality of health care for the African-American community, while building a stronger leadership base for African-American medical service providers.
The Dr. Lauranne Sams Scholarship is specifically for African-American Students who are currently enrolled in an LPN/LVN, BSN, AD, or nursing Diploma program with high academic standing upon application. Applicants are required to be members of NBNA, and consequently a member of their local chapter (where applicable). Students must still have at least one full year of their program to complete. The scholarship committee takes into account academic achievement, community service, and financial hardship.
ENA Emergency Nurses Scholarship
The Emergency Nurses Association is an organization that has been evolving and expanding since an early incarnation in 1968, where the focus was once on teaching and networking. The current mission centers advocacy for the wellbeing of patients in the practice of emergency nursing. The organization is member based and has become a voice for emergency nurses, with a members in 35 countries globally. The ENA Foundation contributes scholarships for the purposes of education and research, specifically in the field of emergency nursing.
ENA academic scholarships and research grants serve as support for emergency nurses and students studying in the field in an effort achieve success in higher education. There are a number of scholarships that are offered based on the particular program and specialization; however, all applicants must be ENA members in good standing, in attendance of a properly accredited school, and have a minimum of a 3.0 grade point average. Scholarship awards range from $2500-$10,000 depending on the category, and multiple awards are gifted per division.
Foundation of National Student Nurses' Association
The Foundation of the National Student Nurses’ Association began in 1969. It was created specifically with the goals of education and charity in mind, awarding annual scholarships to undergraduate and graduate nurses who qualify. The sum of financial awards tops $300,000 annually. One of the scholarships granted, The Promise of Nursing, is supported by Johnson & Johnson, and given to students in specific regions only.
To apply for any of the Foundation of National Student Nurses Association Scholarships, students must currently be enrolled in a state-approved nursing program en route to achieving an associate’s degree, BA, pre-licensure doctorate, or pre-licensure master’s degree. They may also be enrolled in an RN to BSM program or RN to MSN, LPN, LVN, or RN. Students who are enrolled in a 16-18 month accelerated program must consult with FNSNA for additional eligibility requirements. The scholarships are based on financial need, involvement in nursing/ nursing organizations, and academic performance.
Gallagher Student Health Careers Scholarship Program
Since 2001, the student health insurance company Gallagher Student Health has been assisting students pursuing a degree in health related fields achieve higher success through their scholarship program. Open specifically to outstanding students in their junior or senior year of their undergraduate degree, including those in community college and non traditional students, the Gallagher Student Health Career Scholarship program selects students who demonstrate a strong desire to improve the health care field, a commitment to their community through demonstrated community service efforts, financial need, and academic distinction.
The application process for the Gallagher student health scholarship program, with its focus on community involvement, requires a 500 word essay, examples of community organizations you are a part of, a description of your academic career, letters of recommendation from a faculty member, and proof of financial need. Recipients are awarded directly, and may use support in any scholarly way they wish. Note documents, including the letters of recommendation, financial aid documents, and transcripts must be mailed to the scholarship program, and not submitted digitally.
March of Dimes Graduate Nursing Scholarships
The March of Dimes prides itself on a long legacy of specializing in the health care of infants and new mothers in the United States. In their current work, they continue this legacy by honoring health care providers who also prioritize this crucial period of wellness. Currently, the March of Dimes as an organization focuses on the ways nurses and doctors can be best equipped to respond to signs of disease and illness in pregnant people and their babies, with things like Zika virus education for healthcare professionals and diet and nutrition for all types of pregnant bodies.
Standing on the shoulders of these values, the March of Dimes offers several scholarships to graduate students in nursing who focus on maternal-child care. Applicants must be a registered nurse and working on achieving a master’s or doctorate in maternal-child nursing. This scholarship is for nurses who are at least one year away from completing their advanced degree, and must already be a member of one or more of the following organizations: the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses; the American College of Nurse-Midwives; or the National Association of Neonatal Nurses. Unfortunately, past winners and employees of the March of Dimes are ineligible for this scholarship.
Medsite Medical Bi-Yearly Scholarship
As one of the country’s best medical online marketing companies, Medsite Medical has created success in marketing doctors to patients and clients who need them most. With search engine optimization at their fingertips, Medsite takes the hassle out of getting doctors connected with their clients, and allows successful private practice doctors get back to focusing on your needs.
In an effort to give back to students entering medical fields, Medsite Medical is offering a bi-annual $5000 scholarship to high school seniors, undergraduates and graduates in a healthcare related field. The application requirements include a 500 word essay and, upon selection, Medsite Medical will support an applicant-initiated social media campaign to get their application shared and liked by the most people online. The final winner will be selected on the basis of how much online attention they generate for themselves.
Minority Nurse Faculty Scholarship - American Association of Colleges of Nursing
As far as nursing goes, there are still gaps in the number of people representing minority populations as instructors to new nurses, and those pursuing advanced degrees in nursing. While a dedicated nurse will find encouragement from many different aspects of their life, having teachers and faculty who look like you, might make the difference in pursuing the farthest reaches of your dreams. The first-aid and cosmetics giant, Johnson & Johnson and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing understand this, and want to make a difference in how many minority faculty in nursing are able reach these very dreams.
Partnering up to support minority pre-professionals continue to inspire new nurses, and to encourage underrepresented populations to pursue excellence in teaching nursing, the Johnson & Johnson and AACN Minority Nurse Faculty Scholarship is an $18,000 scholarship offered annually to minority nurses in graduate school, who will become faculty members in nursing upon graduation. While the priority for this scholarship is placed upon minority nurses completing a doctorate in nursing, any minority graduate student may apply. Recipients of this scholarship will attend AACN’s annual faculty development conference and will be partnered with a mentor with whom they can meet throughout their graduate degree.
National Association for Hispanic Nurses
National Association of Hispanic Nurses is a non-profit organization committed to supporting Hispanic nurses by prioritizing equal access to educational, professional, and economic opportunities. NAHN is also dedicated to improving the quality of health and nursing care for Hispanic consumers. It is also in their mission to provide a myriad of leadership opportunities for Hispanic nurses, while also developing and testing culturally sensitive models of intervention to meet the diverse needs of the hispanic community.
NAHN presents scholarship awards to members enrolled in accredited LVN/ LPN, associate, diploma, baccalaureate, and graduate nursing programs. Recipients are a select group of Hispanic nursing students who demonstrate the drive and ability of making significant contributions to the nursing profession, and have the potential to serve as role models for other aspiring nursing students. Scholarships are presented annually at the NAHN’s annual conference in July in Phoenix, AZ. One may apply for both a nursing scholarship and a specialized scholarship, for students pursuing studies related to pediatric nursing or a graduate degree, on the same application. They also offer a new scholarship called Nurse Tim Scholarship (NurseTim.com), which offers a $1000 scholarship to members of NAHN who are pursuing a graduate degree for the purposes of teaching nursing.
National Association of DIrectors of Nursing Administration in Long Term Care
As an organization whose mission includes supporting other nurses, NADONA offers professional development and support, certification, professional resources, and community for nurses who care for patients in long term care. As a membership organization, NADONA’s mission includes advancing evidence-based practice and promoting a global environment of excellence in teaching wellness and clinical service. To make it happen, NADONA provides training on many of the most important pieces of the long term care puzzle. The scholarship opportunities offered to nurses is no departure from this broader goal.
The Stephanie Carroll Memorial Scholarship is for undergraduate and graduate students who have identified long term care and geriatrics as their area of focus upon graduation. The scholarship guidelines request a detailed catalog of the student’s educational expenses, an essay describing why they have chosen nursing, and specific professional goals regarding their nursing career.
NURSE Corps Scholarship Programs
In underserved areas, many people go without the type of routine medical care that can prevent long term devastating complications. Without the incentives that is possible in larger, more urban, more financially resourced areas, smaller rural areas and high poverty areas are those least likely to attract new nurses hoping to make a big difference in the world of health care. The Health Resources and Services Administration is hoping that little by little, nurses can be encouraged to dedicate themselves to these areas of greatest need.
The NURSE Corps scholarship program offers a tuition and expenses grant, as well as a monthly stipend of $1334 to any student enrolled in a nursing degree program, who commit to working a minimum of 2 consecutive years at a critical need facility (CNF) upon receipt of their nursing degree. This award is open to students seeking their associates, bachelors, or graduate degrees in nursing, who are committed to enhancing the opportunities of those people and places who are most in need of health care professionals.
Nurse Plus Academy Scholarship
Nursing is one of the most important professions there is, and as a result, the examination process to determine who is capable of providing life saving procedures as well as keep healthy people healthy is no easy feat. The Nurse Plus Academy was founded to take some of the stress out of the exam process and let you focus on what you are there to do, provide exceptional care to patients and clients that you encounter. With research-proven techniques to help you score the best you possibly can on your NCLEX-RN exam, you will be confidant that with Nurse Plus Academy, the barriers to you and your success as an RN will easily fall.
Furthering this momentum of breaking barriers to success, Nurse Plus Academy offers a $1000 scholarship to junior and senior level nurses who are completing their bachelor’s degree. By uploading a video response to Vimeo or YouTube answering the prompt for the year, one outstanding nursing student’s testing related costs and last year’s tuition will be covered by Nurse Plus Academy, up to the award amount.
Nurses Make a Difference
Cascade Healthcare Solutions is a medical equipment and products retailer that believes that the nurses who often utilize their products can mean the difference for patients between true wellness and merely getting by. As the leading online retailer of medical equipment and supplies to companies, organizations, like nursing homes, hospitals, and clinics and to individuals, Cascade knows too well the vast and intense work that nurses do to provide excellent care to patients in need.
The Nurses Make a Difference Scholarship is awarded to undergraduates in a nursing program, or high school seniors who have been accepted into an accredited nursing program or plan to study nursing. This annual scholarship is awarded to the student applicant who best answers the essay prompt, updated each year. As a company dedicated to wellness, Cascade is proud to support students who are dedicated to providing one of the most valuable professional resources this society offers, nursing.
Oncology Nursing Society Foundation
Founded in 1981, the Oncology Nursing Society was founded to support nurses engaged in the critical work of caring for patients with cancer. Headquartered in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania metropolitan area, ONS is committed to providing resources, educational opportunities, and support to advancing cancer care, through supporting the individuals who make exceptional care a possibility, oncology nurses. As a non-profit organization, ONS relies on the support of donors who also believe in this work, and operate through the help of volunteers and stakeholders across the world.
In collaboration with Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation and Oncology Practice Alliance, Inc., ONS offers an annual scholarship to nursing students who are interested in focusing on the area of oncology and who are enrolled in the senior year of an NLN or CCNE accredited bachelor’s degree program. The way ONS sees it, together we can improve cancer care, one nurse at a time. This scholarship seeks to do just that.
Transcultural Nursing Society Scholarship
The mission of the Transcultural Nursing Society to equip nurses with culturally appropriate training, and equip the medical profession with culturally congruent and culturally competent nurses. TNS believes that qualities of care are defined in a context of culture, and in order to provide the most basic level of adequacy as a care provider, a nurse must be capable of recognizing what cultural context they are working within. Because of this, TNS is committed to a humanistic approach to learning about these contexts, and that this scholarship the foundation of the discipline of Transcultural nursing.
Promoting scholarship among TSN’s members is one of the biggest priorities of the Transcultural Nursing Society’s foundation. In light of this, they offer a $1000 scholarship to graduate nursing students who have been members of TSN for at least 1 year prior to applying. When education is the way to pursue the principles of the organization, by focusing resources on TSN is not only reaching its goals of educating nurses, but also connecting to the larger needs of capable nurses worldwide.
Travel Nurse Source's Future U.S. Nurse Scholarship
As a result of the vast nursing shortages nationwide, organizations like Travel Nurse Source offer the critical service of connecting nurses who are willing to travel with facilities experiencing a dearth in critical nursing services. There are opportunities for travel nurses in all 50 states, including destinations like Honolulu and New York City. The Travel Source website is an extensive resource for students interested in travel nursing and nurses who have been in that particular niche of the discipline already. The site provides directories of medical establishments, with salaries and rating guides, nursing recruiter guides and more.
Applying for the Travel Nurse Source’s scholarship opportunity is a creative endeavor, as the focus is less on academic performance and more about the student’s drive, desire, and passion to become a traveling nurse. The winners of the scholarship are determined by the information gleaned from submitted personal narratives and essays explaining how the student plans to contribute to society as an RN, and how the scholarship would impact the recipient’s education and career path. Applicants must be legal US residents and be current baccalaureate or higher degree students in accredited nursing students, carrying a 2.5 gpa or higher.
TYLENOL Future Care Scholarship
As one of the leading over-the-counter pain management brands, Tylenol has become a household name. By prioritizing the well-being of consumers in their day to day life, Tylenol recognizes that healthcare professionals are the frontline of care and that pain management would be grossly incomplete without the personal touch of caring doctors and nurses. That is why the Tylenol Future Care Scholarship offers $250,000 to 40 eligible healthcare providers and students.
In addition to two, 500-word essays pertaining to the applicant’s career aspirations, applying for the Future Care Scholarship requires a description of community service and involvement, the applicant’s academic records in public health/health education, medical school, nursing and/or pharmacy and GPA. The scholarship is open to both undergraduates and graduate students who have completed at least one year of their current degree and have at least one year left in their program.