Like any higher education degree, nursing school will cost you. Odds are you will graduate with at least some debt, possibly in the tens of thousands of dollars. Fortunately, there are plenty of sources to find financial aid for nursing students to help pay for nursing school. Here are just a handful of the many sources for loans, grants, and tuition reimbursement:
1. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers a nursing scholarship program.
2. The Pell Grant can be used by students going into many majors, not just nursing students, and it does not have to be repaid. See if you qualify.
3. Johnson & Johnson Services Inc. has a website that provides information on nursing student scholarships. Fill out the form and see if any of the scholarships are right for you.
4. There are many grants and loans available for ethnic and minority groups. One example is the National Association of Hispanic Nurses Scholarship Awards which promotes Hispanic nurses.
The Daughters of the American Revolution offers nursing student scholarships to Native American nursing students. Native American nursing students in Arizona can check out the nursing scholarship program at Arizona State University. Also check out the scholarships available through the Association on American Indian Affairs.
5. Grants and loans for single mothers are an option to explore. Talk to the financial aid department in each school that you are interested to find out if there are any loans, grants, or tuition repayment options available for you as a single mother through the school or the state. For instance, at Utah Valley State College, their Cleo Nuttal Ream nursing scholarship is geared towards single mothers with dependent children.
6. The military offers various scholarships through their ROTC programs. Check out the Army ROTC Scholarships to see what is available for nursing students. If you are looking to join the Navy ROTC program, be sure to check out their available scholarships. And for the Air Force ROTC program, research the Air Force’s ROTC scholarships.
7. Your employer. Many hospitals, clinics, assisted living facilities, hospices, and nursing homes have tuition reimbursement programs. They may offer to repay your tuition or pay for your ongoing education – say to progress from an LPN to RN – in exchange for you signing a contract to work for them for a specified amount of time. Read the contract carefully, and make sure that this is a place that you want to work for at least the length of the contract term.
8. Loan forgiveness programs in your state. Because of the critical shortage in the nursing field, many states will do the same thing as private employers – repay a portion of your tuition in exchange for your agreement to work in areas where they are having difficulty hiring nurses. Call your state board of nursing, or go online and look up the name of your state and “nursing student loan forgiveness.” For example, do a search for, “California nursing student loan forgiveness,” and see what comes up.
9. Grants and loans for nurse educators are available through different organizations who are attempting to address the shortage of nursing school teachers. Check out the National League for Nursing’s, “Nursing Education Research Grants.” The Federal Government also has resources for nursing educators. Many states offer similar programs so don’t end your search at the federal level.
10. The Emergency Nurse Association gives nursing scholarships to LVN/LPNs and RNs who are continuing their nursing education. It is geared towards nurses who are interested in pursuing a specialty in emergency medicine.
These are just a handful of the places to start your search for financial aid for nursing students. With a effort, you will learn how to pay for nursing school in no time!