Funding Your
Nursing School Education
Scholarships, Financial Aid and Other Ways to Pay

Meet the Experts
Sherrod Wilkerson Director of Student Financial Services Johns Hopkins School of Nursing

Wilkerson has worked in student aid for over ten years. He is passionate about helping individuals understand the student aid process. He’s been recognized as an Emerging Leader by the Eastern Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. Sherrod earned a graduate degree in Higher Education from Vanderbilt and is currently the Director of Student Financial Services at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing

Patrick Tufford Assistant Director of Academic Services University of Washington School of Nursing


Like all college programs, nursing school costs money. Tuition, books, supplies and housing can add up quickly. It may seem like an uphill climb, and a steep one at that, but numerous sources of aid exist to help nursing students reduce costs on the front end and avoid mounds of debt after graduation: scholarships, grants, loan forgiveness and even the Yellow Ribbon Program. The following guide breaks down each of these school financing options, offers more than 100 scholarship listings for nursing students, and includes key advice from two experts in nursing school aid and admissions.

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Scholarships for Nursing School

Scholarship awards are based on merit, need, minority or gender status, or any number of other factors or combination of factors. Scholarships are sponsored by a variety of sources, such as the federal and state governments, private companies and public non-profits, social clubs and professional organizations, and colleges and universities themselves.

The most attractive benefit to scholarships is that they do not have to be paid back. The biggest problem with them is that they are highly competitive. That shouldn’t stop prospective nursing students from applying, though. Remember, someone is going to get them and it could be you.

The list of nursing school scholarships listed below is extensive, but still represents only a small number of the opportunities available:

AfterCollege/AACN $10,000 Scholarship Fund

Sponsoring Organization:AfterCollege and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)

Amount:$2,500 each quarter

Application Deadline: End of March, June, September and December

Open to students who are seeking a baccalaureate, master’s or doctoral degree in nursing.

Air Force Health Professions Scholarship Program

Sponsoring Organization:U.S. Air Force

Amount:Tuition and other costs plus monthly stipend

Application Deadline: Varies.

While on scholarship, you will spend 45 days on active duty in the Air Force, and once you graduate, you will serve active duty (one year for each year of scholarship, with a minimum of three years).

ANNA Career Mobility Scholarships

Sponsoring Organization:American Nephrology Nurses’ Association

Amount:$1,000 to $3,000

Application Deadline: Mid-October

Eligible to ANNA members actively involved in nephrology nursing related health care services and accepted or enrolled in a baccalaureate or higher degree program in nursing.

AORN Scholarships and Grants

Sponsoring Organization:Association of periOperative Registered Nurses

Amount: Varies

Application Deadline: Mid-June

For nursing students in an accredited program leading to initial licensure as an RN, and baccalaureate, master and doctoral candidates with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. Financial need is a factor.

ASHA Scholarships

Sponsoring Organization:American School Health Association

Amount:Approximately $250 each

Application Deadline: Mid-July

Open to students specializing in any school health profession. One award given to an undergraduate student and one award given to a graduate student.

Back to School Nursing Scholarship Program



Application Deadline: Mid-July

Open to nursing students on all degree levels. Recipients are picked randomly from all qualified applicants.

Barbara Rhomberg Nursing Scholarship

Sponsoring Organization:B4 Brands


Application Deadline: End of March

Scholarships awarded to two non-traditional full-time students pursuing undergraduate degrees in nursing.

Caroline E. Holt Nursing Scholarship

Sponsoring Organization:Daughters of the American Revolution


Application Deadline: Mid-February

Open to students who are in financial need and either have been accepted into or are already enrolled in an accredited school of nursing.

Cathy L. Brock Memorial Scholarship

Sponsoring Organization:Institute for Diversity in Health Management (American Hospital Association)


Application Deadline: Early January

Candidates must be currently enrolled in an MHA or related program (including MSN or BSN), demonstrate financial need and demonstrate an interest or commitment a career healthcare finance.

Charlotte McGuire Education Scholarship Programs

Sponsoring Organization:American Holistic Nurses Association


Application Deadline: Mid-April

Open to nurses in undergraduate nursing programs, graduate nursing programs, and other graduate programs related to holistic nursing. Candidates must be current active AHNA members and hold an RN licensure.

CNA Scholarships

Sponsoring Organization:CNA Thrive


Application Deadline: End of March

Given to candidates who are working to become caregivers but do not have the financial means to attend an educating institution. Candidates must be applying to or attending a nursing, LPN or CNA program.

Diversity Nursing Education Award



Application Deadline: Early May

Not strictly a scholarship. Candidates must be enrolled as a full-time or part-time student in a professional registered nurse program (baccalaureate, graduate, associate degree or diploma) or work full-time, part-time or per diem as a Registered Nurse, LPN, Nurse Practitioner or Nurse Leader/Administrator at a U.S. based organization.

Dorothy Budnek Memorial Scholarship

Sponsoring Organization:Association for Radiologic & Imaging Nursing


Application Deadline: Mid-November

This scholarship was created to provide financial assistance to ARIN members who have returned to school to advance their nursing education.

Eight and Forty Lung and Respiratory Disease Nursing Scholarship Fund

Sponsoring Organization:The American Legion


Application Deadline: Mid-May

For registered nurses that desire to continue their nursing education in the field of pediatric lung and respiratory diseases.

Exceptional Nurse College Scholarship Awards

Sponsoring Organization:Exceptional Nurse, Inc.

Amount:$250 to $500

Application Deadline: Early June

Applicants must be nursing students with a documented disability who have applied to, or already been admitted to, a college or university program on a full-time basis.

Future First Scholarship

Sponsoring Organization:Online RN to BSN Programs


Application Deadline: Mid-August

An applicant must be enrolled in an RN nursing degree program with an accredited nursing school and 18 years old at the time of the award.

FNSNA Scholarship Program

Sponsoring Organization:National Student Nurses’ Association

Amount:$1,000 to $7,500

Application Deadline: End of January

Open to U.S. citizens and students with an Alien Registration number currently enrolled in schools of nursing or pre-nursing in associate degree, baccalaureate, diploma, generic doctorate, and generic master’s programs.

Frances L. Moore Scholarship

Sponsoring Organization:Courtney Owens Educational Foundation, Inc.

Amount:Varies based on funds available

Application Deadline: End of May

Criteria for selection includes financial need, potential for leadership in nursing and membership in the National Student Nurses Association.

Geraldine “Polly” Bednash Scholarship

Sponsoring and the American Association of Colleges of Nurses


Application Deadline: End of December, March, June and September

Two $5,000 scholarships are awarded four times each year to top nursing school applicants admitted or enrolled in a baccalaureate or higher degree nursing program at an AACN member institution affiliated with

Giva Outstanding Nursing Student Scholarship

Sponsoring Organization:Giva, Inc.

Amount:$1,000 toward tuition

Application Deadline: September 1 and March 1

Candidates must be currently enrolled in an accredited nursing program in the U.S. or Canada and must submit a 600 to 1000-word essay.

Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA)

Sponsoring Organization:HOSA in partnership with varying organizations.

Amount:$500 to $2,000

Application Deadline: Early April

Awarded to HOSA members pursuing careers in a variety of health care related occupations including all fields of nursing.

Lambda Pi Alpha Sorority Scholarships

Sponsoring Organization:Beta Mu Chapter of the Lambda Pi Alpha Sorority


Application Deadline: End of April

This program offers one undergraduate and one graduate scholarship annually. Financial need is a factor.

Lutheran Student Scholastic and Service Scholarships

Sponsoring Organization:Bethesda Lutheran Communities


Application Deadline: Early May

To be eligible, a candidate must be an active, communicant member of a Lutheran congregation, a freshman, sophomore or junior at an accredited college or university, and have a career objective in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Madeline Pickett (Halbert) Cogswell Nursing Scholarship

Sponsoring Organization:Daughters of the American Revolution


Application Deadline: Early February

Applicants must be members, descendants of members, or eligible for membership in DAR.

Miriam Fay Furlong Grant

Sponsoring Organization:Alpha Tau Delta National Fraternity for Professional Nurses

Amount:Varies based on need

Application Deadline: End of April

Awarded to junior and senior ADT undergraduates based on merit and service to the organization.

NIH Undergraduate Scholarship Program

Sponsoring Organization:National Institutes of Health

Amount:Up to $20,000

Application Deadline: Mid-March.

For students from a disadvantaged background who are committed to careers in biomedical, behavioral, and social science health-related research.

NURSE Corps Scholarship Program

Sponsoring Organization:Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

Amount:Varies; includes tuition, fees and other costs plus monthly stipend

Application Deadline: Mid-May

Requirements include two-year minimum full-time service commitment for one to two years of scholarship at a critical shortage facility. Nursing School Scholarship



Application Deadline: End of August

A candidate must be currently enrolled or enrolling in the next 6 months in an undergraduate, graduate or certificate level nursing education program. A 600-800-word essay is required.

ONS Bachelor’s in Nursing Degree Scholarships

Sponsoring Organization:Oncology Nursing Society Foundation, Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation and Oncology Practice Alliance, Inc.

Amount:$3,000 to $5,000

Application Deadline: Early February

Candidates must be currently enrolled in their senior year of a bachelor of nursing degree program. Scholarships are available to students who do not hold an RN license and do not have a college degree.

Outlaw Student Nursing Scholarships

Sponsoring Organization:Outlaw Student


Application Deadline: Mid-January

Scholarships are granted every three months. Payment is made by check directly to the recipient.

Ronald McDonald House Charities: U.S. Scholarships

Sponsoring Organization:Ronald McDonald House Charities

Amount:Varies by RMHC Chapter

Application Deadline: Mid-January

Some scholarships open to everyone, others to specified minority groups. Consideration factors include financial need, academic achievement, community involvement and essay content.

Stephanie Carroll Scholarship

Sponsoring Organization:PharMerica, Inc. provided to the National Association of Directors of Nursing Administration in Long Term Care

Amount:$1,000 to $5,000

Application Deadline: End of June

For nursing students committed to practice in long-term care or geriatrics for at least two years after graduation.

Tafford Medical Scholarship

Sponsoring Organization:Tafford Uniforms


Application Deadline: End of June

Applicants must be enrolled or accepted as a nursing, dental, or veterinarian student at an accredited college or university. A 300-word essay is required.

Tylenol Future Care Scholarship

Sponsoring Organization:Tylenol (McNeil Consumer Healthcare)

Amount:Up to $10,000

Application Deadline: End of June

Candidates must have completed at least one year of undergraduate or graduate course of study at an accredited two- or four-year college, university or technical school.

Udall Undergraduate Scholarship

Sponsoring Organization: Udall Foundation

Amount:Up to $7,000

Application Deadline: Early March

The Udall Foundation awards scholarships to college sophomores and juniors for leadership, public service, and commitment to issues related to American Indian nations or to the environment.

AANP Education Advancement Scholarships

Sponsoring Organization:American Association of Nurse Practitioners

Amount:Up to $2,500

Application Deadline: TBD

Scholarships are available to AANP members currently enrolled in an accredited graduate school in pursuit of an advanced degree or certification, and scheduled to complete an eligible NP program.

Alabama Board of Nursing Graduate Scholarships

Sponsoring Organization:Alabama Board of Nursing


Application Deadline: End of July

Applicant must be a resident of Alabama, hold a current Alabama RN license and be admitted to an accredited graduate program within the state.

Alice Fisher Society Fellowship for Historical Research in Nursing

Sponsoring Organization:Barbara Bates Center for The Study of the History of Nursing (University of Pennsylvania)


Application Deadline: Early February

Offered to support two weeks in residence at the Barbara Bates Center to conduct research on nursing history. For scholars on the master’s or doctoral level.

Army Healthcare School Scholarships

Sponsoring Organization:U.S. Army

Amount:100% tuition and other costs, $2,000 monthly stipend and $20,000 sign-on bonus

Application Deadline: TBD

Available to students pursuing advanced degrees. Requires U.S. Army service commitment. Must be U.S. citizen.

ARN Graduate Scholarship

Sponsoring Organization:Association of Rehabilitation Nurses


Application Deadline: Early July

Offered to nurses working toward a Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) or a doctorate degree in nursing (PhD, DNP, or DNS/DNSc).

CastleBranch-GNSA Scholarship

Sponsoring Organization:CastleBranch and the Graduate Nursing Student Academy (GNSA)


Application Deadline: September 30 and December 30

Requirements include enrollment in a graduate nursing program at an AACN member school and GNSA membership.

Graduate Scholarships Cancer Nursing Practice

Sponsoring Organization:American Cancer Society

Amount:$10,000 per year stipend

Application Deadline: Early February

This award supports graduate students pursuing a master’s degree in cancer nursing or doctorate of nursing practice (DNP). Awards may be for two years.

Irene and Daisy MacGregor Memorial Scholarship

Sponsoring Organization:Daughters of the American Revolution


Application Deadline: Early February

Available to students who have been accepted into or who are pursuing an approved course of study in the field of psychiatric nursing at the graduate level. Preference given to female candidates if equally qualified.

March of Dimes Graduate Nursing Scholarships

Sponsoring Organization:March of Dimes


Application Deadline: Early February

Applicants must currently be enrolled in graduate education with a focus on maternal-child nursing at the master’s or doctorate level.

NEF Nursing Scholarships for Graduate Education

Sponsoring Organization:Nurses Educational Funds, Inc.

Amount:Varies by scholarship

Application Deadline: Early February

For both master’s and doctoral degree study in nursing. Applicants must hold a current RN license and membership in a national professional nursing association.

Nursing Economic$ Foundation Scholarships

Sponsoring Organization:Nurse Economic$ Foundation (Anthony J. Jannetti Foundation)


Application Deadline: Early May

Candidates must be matriculated or matriculating into an accredited, degree-granting, masters or doctoral nursing program with an emphasis on administration or management at a school of nursing in the United States.

ONS Doctoral Scholarships

Sponsoring Organization:Oncology Nursing Society Foundation and the Ann Olson Doctoral Scholarship supported by Pfizer.

Amount:$5,000 and $7,500

Application Deadline: Early February

Candidates must be currently enrolled or applying to a PhD, DNSc or DNP nursing degree program, hold a current RN license and have an interest in and commitment to oncology nursing.

ONS Master’s Scholarships

Sponsoring Organization:Oncology Nursing Society Foundation and Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation


Application Deadline: Early February

Candidates must be currently enrolled or applying to a masters nursing degree and an NLN or CCNE accredited school, hold a current RN license and have an interest in and commitment to oncology nursing.

P.E.O. International Peace Scholarship

Sponsoring Organization: Philanthropic Educational Organization

Amount:$12,500 maximum

Application Deadline: Mid-December

Applicant must be qualified for admission to full-time graduate study and working toward a graduate degree in an accredited college or university in the United States or Canada.

Uniform Advantage-GNSA Scholarship

Sponsoring Organization:Uniform Advantage and the Graduate Nursing Student Academy (GNSA)


Application Deadline: September 30 and January 31

Candidates must be currently enrolled in a graduate nursing school program and a GNSA member.

Adolph Van Pelt Special Fund for Indians Scholarships

Sponsoring Organization:Association on American Indian Affairs


Application Deadline: Early June

Merit-based scholarship for American Indian students.

AISES A.T. Anderson Memorial Scholarship

Sponsoring Organization:American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES)

Amount:$1,000 Undergraduate, $2,000 Graduate

Application Deadline: Early May

Open to full-time undergraduate and graduate students who are enrolled members of an American Indian tribe, Alaska Native, or Native Hawaiian or otherwise considered to be an American Indian by the tribe with which affiliation is claimed.

Alice Newell Joslyn Medical Fund

Sponsoring Organization:BECA Foundation, Inc.


Application Deadline: Early April

For Latino high school and college students entering the medical/health care profession and who live in or attend college in San Diego County, California at the time of application.

AAMN Scholarships

Sponsoring Organization:American Assembly for Men in Nursing

Amount:$1,000 to $5,000

Application Deadline: Early June

Offered to male nursing students who are also current AAMN members.

American Indian Nurse Scholarship Program

Sponsoring Organization:National Society of Colonial Dames of America


Application Deadline: Early June and Early December

Candidates must be at least 1/4 American Indian and enrolled in a nursing program, having achieved good scholastic standing in pre-nursing, or enrolled in a health care or health education program.

BBNA Scholarships

Sponsoring Organization:Birmingham Black Nurses Association, Inc.

Amount:$250 and $1,000

Application Deadline: Mid-September

Current enrollment in a licensed registered nursing program that is approved and/or provisionally approved by the Alabama Board of Nursing is required.

Carrington-Hsia-Nieves Doctoral Scholarship for Midwives of Color

Sponsoring Organization:American College of Nurse-Midwives


Application Deadline: Mid-September

Applicant must: be a certified nurse-midwife or certified midwife; be a current ACNM member; be enrolled in a doctoral or post-doctoral education program; self-identify as a person of color.

Elizabeth Garde Nursing Scholarship

Sponsoring Organization:Danish Sisterhood of America


Application Deadline: Early March

Given to applicant who is a member of the Danish Sisterhood of America (or the son or daughter of a member) who is a post–high school student or graduate student seeking a degree in nursing or the medical profession.

HSF General College Scholarships

Sponsoring Organization:Hispanic Scholarship Fund

Amount:$500 to $5,000

Application Deadline: End of March

Merit-based scholarships available to undergraduate and graduate students of Hispanic heritage.

Indian Health Service Scholarship Program

Sponsoring Organization:U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Application Deadline: End of March

The Indian Health Service (IHS) offers two nursing scholarships for American Indian and Alaska Native students who are members or descendants of federally- or state-recognized Tribes.

JACL National Scholarship Program

Sponsoring Organization:Japanese American Citizens League


Application Deadline: Early March

Open to full-time undergraduate and graduate students who are JACL members.

Minority Nurse Faculty Scholars Program

Sponsoring Organization:Johnson & Johnson and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing


Application Deadline: Early May

A candidate must be: A member of an Underrepresented Minority Group, meaning those racial and ethnic populations that are underrepresented in the nursing profession relative to their numbers in the general population; and a full-time student enrolled or already accepted into a doctoral nursing program (i.e. PhD, DNP) or clinically-focused nursing master’s program.

Minority Nurse Scholarship Program

Sponsoring Organization:National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurse Associations (NCEMNA) and Minority Nurse Magazine

Amount:$1,000 and $3,000

Application Deadline: Early May

Candidates must be a minority in the nursing profession and currently in the third or fourth year of a BSN program, an accelerated program leading to a BSN, or an accelerated master’s entry program.

MinuteClinic/UNCF Family Nurse Practitioner Graduate Scholarship

Sponsoring Organization:United Negro College Fund and MinuteClinic (CVS Caremark)

Amount:Up to $5,000

Application Deadline: Mid-March

Qualified applicants must be enrolled in a Masters of Nursing program, specializing as a Family Nurse Practitioner at one dozens of named colleges and universities.

NAHN Nursing Scholarships

Sponsoring Organization:National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN).


Application Deadline: Early April

Applicant must be an HAHN member enrolled in an accredited full-time LVN/LPN, associate, diploma, baccalaureate or graduate nursing program.

NBNA Scholarship Program

Sponsoring Organization:National Black Nurses Association, Inc.

Amount:$1,000 to $6,000

Application Deadline: Mid-April

Candidates must be NBNA members, currently enrolled in a nursing program (B.S.N., A.D., Diploma or L.P.N./ L.V.N.) and in good scholastic standing at the time of application.

William K. Schubert Minority Nursing Scholarship

Sponsoring Organization:Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center


Application Deadline: End of April

An applicant should be a member of one of the underrepresented groups in the registered nursing profession, currently enrolled or accepted in an accredited bachelor’s or master’s nursing program and must seek initial licensure as a RN in the State of Ohio.

AzNF Scholarship Opportunities

Sponsoring Organization:Arizona Nurses Association/Johnson & Johnson’s Campaign for Nursing’s Future

Amount:From $1,000 to $7,000

Application Deadline: Before January

Barbara “Foof” Forfar Nursing Scholarship

Sponsoring Organization:Barbara “Foof” Forfar Nursing Scholarship Fund


Application Deadline: Mid-July

Applicant must be an employee or nursing student at Ocean Medical Center and must be enrolled in a RN program, an upper division program (RN to BSN) or advanced degree program (MSN, PhD) in nursing.

Bertha P. Singer Nurses Scholarship

Sponsoring Organization:Oregon Student Assistance Commission


Application Deadline: Early March

Open to students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher who are enrolled in their second year pursuing a nursing degree in Oregon.

Deloras Jones RN Scholarship Program

Sponsoring Organization:Kaiser Permanente


Application Deadline: Early September

An applicant must be a California resident enrolled in a California BRN-approved program in one of the following areas: Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN), Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or entry level Master of Science in Nursing (MSN/MN), or a California resident enrolled in a CCNE-accredited post-graduate Master of Science in Nursing (MSN/MN) or Doctoral program in Nursing (PhD/DNSc/DNP).

Echomae Anderson and Esther Pritchard Scholarship

Sponsoring Organization:University of Utah College of Nursing


Application Deadline: Mid-January

Financial need-based scholarship for University of Utah School of Nursing Students. Graduate and doctoral candidates preferred.

Edward J. and Virginia M. Routhier Nursing Scholarship

Sponsoring Organization:Rhode Island Foundation

Amount:$500 to $3,000

Application Deadline: Mid-April

Available to students currently attending an accredited BSN or RN-to-BSN program in Rhode Island or an RN graduate nursing degree in Rhode Island.

Edwina Foye Award for Outstanding Graduate Student

Sponsoring Organization:Foundation for Seacoast Health


Application Deadline: Early March

Applicant’s primary residence must be in one of the following towns: Portsmouth, Rye, Newcastle, Greenland, Newington, and North Hampton, New Hampshire; Kittery, Elliot and York, Maine. 

eQuality Nursing Scholarship

Sponsoring Organization:eQuality Scholarship Collaborative


Application Deadline: TBD

An applicant must be a resident of central or northern California, but may study elsewhere. Award criteria include academic achievement, hardship or special circumstances, leadership and service to the LGBTQ community.

Florida Nurses Association Scholarships

Sponsoring Organization:Florida Nurses Association

Amount:Varies by scholarship

Application Deadline: June 1

The Florida Nurses Association currently sponsors over 20 scholarships for students in the state.

Genesis Foundation Scholarships

Sponsoring Organization:Genesis Health System

Amount:Varies by scholarship

Application Deadline: Varies by scholarship

Genesis Health System sponsors several scholarships for current and future employees at their locations in Iowa and Illinois.

GNAF Scholarships

Sponsoring Organization:Georgia Nurses Association and Foundation

Amount:Minimum $500

Application Deadline: Mid-June

Applicant must be Georgia resident. Priority is given to students who are enrolled in a Georgia-based educational establishment and who plan to practice in Georgia after graduation.

Greater Lee’s Summit Healthcare Foundation Scholarship

Sponsoring Organization:Greater Lee’s Summit Healthcare Foundation

Amount:Tuition only, up to $8,000

Application Deadline: Early March

Applicants must have lived in Lee’s Summit, Missouri for a period of at least five years or have graduated from an area high school.

OSHPD Foundation Bachelor of Science Nursing Scholarship

Sponsoring Organization:Health Professions Education Foundation (California)

Amount: Up to $13,000

Application Deadline: Early March

Awarded to nursing students accepted to or enrolled in BSN programs in California. Requires a two-year service obligation at a qualified facility in California.

IFM Rural Nurse Practitioner Scholarship Program

Sponsoring Organization:Illinois Farm Bureau


Application Deadline: Early May

A candidate must be an Illinois resident, registered nurse and accepted to a university nurse practitioner program. Recipients are required to work for two years in a rural community in Illinois.

KCNPNM Scholarships

Sponsoring Organization:Kentucky Coalition of Nurse Practitioners and Nurse Midwives

Amount: $1,500

Application Deadline: Mid-February

Applicants must currently be enrolled in a MSN, DNP or PhD program in nursing, a current member of the KCNPNM and either live in Kentucky or be enrolled in a Kentucky program.

Mary Alice Hartigan Scholarship for Nursing

Sponsoring Organization:Heartland Foundation


Application Deadline: Early July

Provides financial support to individuals for health care education in the field of nursing and/or surgical services, with an emphasis on surgical nursing. Candidates must reside within the Heartland Foundation service region (specific counties in Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas). See website for complete county list.

Mildred Nutting Nursing Scholarship

Sponsoring Organization:Daughters of the American Revolution


Application Deadline: Mid-February

Candidates must be in financial need and enrolled in an accredited school of nursing. Preference will be given to candidates from the greater Lowell, Massachusetts area.

Mount Sinai Hospital’s BSN Student Scholarship/Work Repayment Program

Sponsoring Organization:Mount Sinai Hospital (New York City)

Amount:Up to $3,000

Application Deadline: Early October

Applicant must commit to work as a RN at the Mount Sinai Hospital subsequent to graduation (within 3 months or sooner) as positions are available and offered.

Nancy Gerald Memorial Nursing Scholarship

Sponsoring Organization:Amarillo Area Foundation


Application Deadline: Early February

Candidate must be junior or senior level student from one of the 26 northernmost counties of the Texas Panhandle and plan to attend Amarillo College or West Texas A & M University pursuing AAS, BSN, or MSN degree.

New York State ENA September 11 Scholarship Fund

Sponsoring Organization:New York State Emergency Nurses Association


Application Deadline: Early June

Candidate must be a pre-hospital care provider, firefighter, or police officer pursuing an undergraduate nursing degree.

Nightingale Awards of Pennsylvania Nursing Scholarship

Sponsoring Organization:Nightingale Awards of Pennsylvania


Application Deadline: Opens in January

Open to Pennsylvania residents who are pursuing a program of basic (LPN, Diploma, AD, BSN) or advanced degree in nursing (Masters, Doctoral) education program in Pennsylvania.

NMC Scholarships

Sponsoring Organization:Nebraska Methodist College

Amount:Varies by scholarship

Application Deadline: Varies by scholarship

NMC offers several scholarships to its students including a number specifically for those enrolled in nursing and allied health programs.

Ohio Nurses Foundation Scholarships and Grants

Sponsoring Organization:Ohio Nurses Foundation (ONF)

Amount:Varies by scholarship

Application Deadline: Mid-January

The ONF sponsors several scholarships and grants for undergraduate and graduate Ohio nursing students.

Ruth Alice Jacobs Roe Memorial Scholarship

Sponsoring Organization:The Cleveland Foundation Scholarships

Amount:Varies; maximum of $1,800

Application Deadline: Mid-March

Preference is given to Greater Cleveland residents attending an accredited Ohio college of nursing.

Ruth Shaw Junior Board Scholarship

Sponsoring Organization:Christiana Care Health System


Application Deadline: Early May

Scholarships cover tuition and textbook costs and are offered in return for a commitment to work for Christiana Care after graduation.

Sambrook Fellowship

Sponsoring Organization:Shore Medical Center


Application Deadline: TBD

Outstanding employees beginning or furthering their nursing education can receive $2,000 per year through the Sambrook Fellowship.

Touchmark Foundation Nursing Scholarships

Sponsoring Organization:Touchmark Foundation


Application Deadline: End of June and End of December

Available to students on all level degrees who live or pursue their nursing education in: Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Alberta, Canada.

Virginia “Bea” Root Nursing Scholarship

Sponsoring Organization:Paralyzed Veterans of America – Wisconsin Chapter

Amount:$500 and $1,000

Application Deadline: Early April and Early October

Applicants must attending an accredited nurse program at a Wisconsin-based university or nurse training institution, demonstrate financial need and be willing to seek employment in a spinal cord injury unit or rehabilitation facility.

Understanding Nursing School Grants

Grants are another “free money” option. The terms “scholarship” and “grant” are often used interchangeably but in most cases there is a difference. Scholarships are most often awarded based on student merit or some other factor that reflects the goals or interests of the scholarship’s sponsor. Grants, on the other hand, are almost always awarded on the basis of need.

Nursing school grants are made available by the same sources as scholarships: government, private businesses and professional nursing organizations and colleges. Obtaining a federal grant (or almost all other forms of federal and state financial aid) starts with the student filling out and submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®). The application process and requirements for other types of grants vary from program to program.

The following is a sampling of the agencies and organizations that offer grants to nursing students:

Federal Government

Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA)

An agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the HRSA currently offers over a dozen grant programs related to nursing education and training. Funds are granted directly to education programs to help their students pay for costs such as tuition, fees, books, room and board.

Nursing Organizations

American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Foundation (AANP)

This program offers grants of up to $2,500 to AANP members currently practicing in an NP Role. Types of subjects available for grants include primary research, secondary data analysis research, patient education and more.

American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN)

The AACN currently supports two grant programs. The AACN Impact Research Grant offers three awards of up to $50,000 each annually for research addressing AACN priorities. The AACN-Sigma Theta Tau Critical Care Grant provides one $10,000 maximum award each year, available to AACN and Sigma Theta Tau members.

American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA)

Through its American Psychiatric Nursing Foundation, the APNA offers research grants of $10,000 to up to two individuals annually. An applicant must be licensed as a registered nurse in psychiatric mental health or a related field.

The U.S. Military

Army ROTC Nursing

The Army offers two-, three- and four-year scholarships for undergraduate nursing students who are also Army ROTC Cadets. Cadets may also participate in paid, three-week Nurse Summer Training Program assignments at Army hospitals in the U.S. and Germany.

Navy Nurse Corps

The Navy ROTC offers a nursing option for students interested in pursuing a B.S. in nursing. To be eligible an individual must major in a nursing program leading to a BSN. Upon graduation, selected students become commissioned as regular officers in the Navy Nurse Corp.

Nursing & The Yellow Ribbon Program

The Yellow Ribbon Program offers veterans a great opportunity when it comes to furthering their educations, one that can be used for any number of areas of study and at any number of higher education institutions, including nursing schools. Established by the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008, the Yellow Ribbon Program (technically the Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program) allows designated colleges, universities and other degree-granting schools to enter into agreements with the Veterans Administration to fund tuition and fee expenses that exceed the amounts payable under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

Here’s how it works. Post-secondary institutions may volunteer to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program. By doing so, they agree to make additional funds available to an eligible student’s education program without an additional charge to his or her GI Bill entitlement. The institution chooses the amount of tuition and fees it will contribute and the VA matches that amount and makes payment directly to the institution.

To be eligible for Yellow Ribbon Program benefits:

  • The student/veteran must be eligible for the maximum benefit rate under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, i.e., must have served an aggregate period of 36 months on active duty after September 10, 2001 or have been honorably discharged from active duty for a service-connected disability having served 30 continuous days since September 10, 2001;

  • The student/veteran must be enrolled at an institution actively participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program;

  • The participating institution must not have offered the program to more than the maximum number of students as stated in its participation agreement;

  • The participating institution must certify the student/veteran’s enrollment to the VA and provide Yellow Ribbon Program information.

Additionally, dependants of veterans eligible for Transfer of Entitlement under the Post-9/11 GI Bill are eligible for Yellow Ribbon funds, based on the above criteria. However, service members currently on active duty are not eligible for Yellow Ribbon Program benefits.

The actual amount of a Yellow Ribbon benefit will vary from school to school and program to program. For example, one nursing school may agree to a $6,000 per year contribution to a student/veteran’s tuition and fee payment, with the VA contributing an additional $6,000. That adds up to a total Yellow Ribbon contribution of $12,000, which comes in addition to education benefits received under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

It’s important remember that participation in the Yellow Ribbon Program by a nursing school or program is entirely voluntary and that participation status can change from year to year. Students should always check with all schools under consideration ahead of time about Yellow Ribbon Program participation. More information on the Yellow Ribbon Program, including a list currently participating schools, can be found on the VA’s Yellow Ribbon Program website.

Financial Aid and Nursing School

As mentioned above, scholarships and grants offer great opportunities to help pay for nursing school, but they are far from a student’s only options. The most common source of financial aid for college students in any course of study, in fact, is student loans. There are a number of loan sources available for nursing students. The place to begin, as mentioned earlier, is with the Federal Student Aid program and the FAFSA® application. The FAFSA® application is employed to determine eligibility for all federal student loans as well as by most private lenders.

Federal Student Aid sponsors several loan plans to college students regardless of area of study. They include the Federal Perkins Loan, Direct Subsidized Loan, Direct Unsubsidized Loan and the Direct LOAN Plus. Details for each can be found here. Another federal loan source for nursing students is the HRSA. The HRSA’s Nursing Student Loans program provides long-term low-interest loans to full-time and half-time students pursuing a course of study leading to a diploma, associate, baccalaureate or graduate degree. To be eligible for a HRSA loan, a student must demonstrate financial need and provide financial information about his or her parents.

Private students loans are another option, but are less preferable when compared to federal loans due to less attractive interest rates and terms.

For more information on student loans and other financial aid options, check out the following guides:

Interview with an Expert

Sherrod Wilkerson – Director of Student Financial Services Johns Hopkins School of Nursing
How would you advise a student just starting to consider financing their nursing school education?

The very first thing I would suggest is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®). If they are applying for our school, we also ask them to complete the student aid application. If they are not certain where they want to go to school, we would encourage them to contact the schools, go to their websites and find out what additional forms they need to complete to be eligible for financial aid. For example, some schools require students to fill out a separate application for school scholarships, whereas here at Johns Hopkins, the admissions application is also their scholarship application.

Can you tell me a little about the scholarships available through your school?

We have a number of scholarships available that are awarded through the admissions process. There is a full-tuition scholarship available, but the typical merit award is a half-tuition scholarship.

Do you have students who also apply to outside scholarship programs?

Yes, we do. That process is up to the student. However, as we come across information, we pass it on to our student population to let them know.

How about other funding options?

There are a lot of workforce development programs out there for nurses. One of the bigger ones is the Health Resources and Services Administration. They have a lot of repayment and scholarship programs and we always encourage our students to apply for those. We’ve been pretty fortunate over the past few years in having students receive those awards. On top of that, nearly every state has their own workforce development program for nurses.

How do your students handle student loans?

Any student here that applies for student aid is offered a loan as part of the self-help component. However, the amount they’re offered can vary. I would say about 60% to 70% of our students use federal student loans.

Are there work-study programs offered at Johns Hopkins and if so, how do they work?

They are available to our students as with any similar institution. We will post jobs. The student then goes to an interview and then through the hiring process. Once they’ve been hired, students will work up to twenty hours per week maximum. They will receive payment in the form of a check to use for the personal or travel expenses, or any other expenses during course of the year. It is possible to have those funds directly apply to tuition, but we encourage our students to take those payments directly.

What is the biggest mistake that you see students make in going through the nursing school funding process?

Starting the research process late or forgetting the research process altogether. Finding the best funding opportunities is a matter of research, research, research. A lot of times individuals may not know the best options for them because they don’t do enough research. I’ll give you an example. A student can go to a school in their state and receive a quality education and pay as an in-state resident. However, if the student qualifies for a larger scholarship at an out-of-state school, the total education cost could be cheaper. But someone wouldn’t know that unless they research the options that are out there.

Loan Repayment & Forgiveness for Graduates

Free money (scholarships and grants) is always preferable to student loans. Loans often leave a student with an enormous debt load that will take years, sometimes decades, to pay off resulting in long delays to life goals like buying a home or starting a family. Fortunately, there are a number of options available to nursing school graduates to help pay off their student loans more easily or have those loans partially or completely forgiven. Because of the substantial need for qualified nurses throughout the nation, nursing school graduates are very likely eligible for loan repayment or forgiveness programs regardless of where they live. Here is a brief look at the leading loan repayment and forgiveness programs for nursing students:

  • Federal Perkins Loan Cancellation for Nurses

    Nursing students with Federal Perkins Loan debt are able to have 100% of their loan balance forgiven over a five-year period. To qualify, a debtor must be employed full-time as a nurse, defined by the program as a licensed practical nurse, a registered nurse, or other individual who is licensed by the appropriate state agency to provide nursing services. This program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education. To apply for cancellation, students should contact their loan servicer.

  • NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program

    Sponsored by the HRSA, the NURSE Corp Loan Repayment Program will pay 60% of a debtor’s unpaid nursing student loans in two years in return for two years of service at a program-defined “critical-shortage facility.” Participants may also receive an additional payment of 25% of their original loan balance for an optional third year of service. Nurse faculty participants are required to work at an accredited public or private non-profit school of nursing. Application for this program is made directly to the HRSA. More information can be found here.

  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

    The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF) forgives the remaining balance on a student’s Direct Loan after he or she has made 120 monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer. Qualifying employers include government organizations at any level, tax-exempt not-for-profit organizations and other not-for-profits that provide certain types of qualifying services. This program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

  • State-Sponsored Loan Repayment and Forgiveness Programs

    Loan repayment and forgiveness programs can additionally be found on the state level. Plan eligibility and application procedures vary from state to state and program to program. Check with a state’s nursing board for more information. A good source to start research for state programs is provided by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

Nursing Graduate School & Aid

Graduate nursing students face a different set of financing challenges compared to their undergraduate counterparts, but are also eligible for financial programs designated specifically for them. The search begins much the same way as with undergraduates. Graduate students should first seek help from their school’s financial aid department where they can explore the federal grant and loan programs discussed above. Financial aid departments can also fill students in on these additional potential financing sources:

  • Fellowships

    While the terms internship and fellowship are often used interchangeably, fellowships are typically found more on the graduate level and involve graduate research or other work by the student. Graduate fellowships often involve specialized educational programs, additional classroom time, and hands-on training. Fellowships are offered by governmental agencies, non-profit organizations and private hospitals and clinics. Financial compensation is normally made in the form of regular salaries or monthly or yearly stipends.

  • Internships and Residencies

    The terms “internship” and “residency” are often both used in the titles of their extended orientation programs for nursing graduates and graduate students. These programs are typically paid positions that allow the graduate to help finance his or her education while learning a specialized area of nursing practice. Lengths of internships and residencies can run from a few weeks to a year or longer.

Nursing Graduate School Resources

Interview with an Expert

Patrick Tufford – Assistant Director of Academic Services University of Washington School of Nursing
When a student first comes to you about funding nursing school, what do you tell them?

I start by talking to the student about the financial aid process at the federal level. The very basic first step is to file your FAFSA®, which qualifies you for federal funding as well as funding at the university level. We have some funding awards in the form of scholarships, grants and work-study student, things like that, depending on your unmet need number. The need number, which comes from the FAFSA® process, is the amount of need that the student is not expected to fund out of his or her own personal resources. Based on that need, we’ll award scholarships, grants, and we have a very tiny amount of loan money as well.

Do your students also pursue outside scholarships?

Yes, that’s the next step. There are lots of scholarships that are not administered through us and that we may or may not know about. But we do maintain a financial aid blog where if we do know about a program out there that would be relevant to our students we’ll post it to the blog.

Do you have any other in-house sources of funding that students can take advantage of?

We encourage students, particularly grad students to look into research assistant and teaching assistant jobs because in addition to the stipend they get just for working, under certain conditions they can get a tuition waiver as well.

We all know that debt from loans has become a significant problem for many students. How do nursing students handle the problem?

Nursing has some benefits when it comes to debt. Most of our students work as nurses in some capacity or another, or have in the recent past. And depending on where they’re working, they may qualify for tuition waivers. For example, we have a medical center system here that is affiliated with the university. The people who work there are state employees and can qualify for some forms of tuition waivers.

There are also loan repayment programs. If you want to become nursing faculty, for example, there’s a faculty loan repayment program where under certain conditions they will repay a large percentage of a student’s loans. Likewise, if you are working in some rural or other populations, there are some loan repayment programs for that. In those programs, you usually have to commit to two years, but you get a large percentage of your loan repaid. So, if you are looking to get your loan paid off quickly, that can be a good way to do it.

Do you have any particular advice for students just starting to consider how to pay for their nursing school education?

I’ve made the rounds with many of the other administrators here who handle financial assistance and I think universally their advice has to do with taking on too much debt. That’s the biggest pitfall for students. You know, you get into school and to get some aid in the form of scholarships, or not, and you take out loans for the rest of the costs. And by the time you finish school, you could be $60,000 in debt. So, making sure you aren’t taking on too much debt, especially in the form of unsubsidized loans. That’s our biggest worry for students and we make sure that we advise them frequently to take advantage of counseling from our financial aid office.