Finding the Best Nursing School Scholarships and Nursing Grants to Fund Your Education

Going into a career in nursing is still very much a popular and noble pursuit, and nursing scholarships can help make that dream happen for many men and women, both young and old.

You don’t have to be coming right out of high school to find nursing school grants. There are plenty of bachelors of science in nursing, or BSN nursing scholarships, as well as graduate nursing scholarships. So no matter your education level or age, there is a perfect scholarship to start or further your career.

Nursing is an excellent career option with lots of potential for a decent salary and the ability to move up the ladder. A little bit later in the article, we’ll talk about the different types of nursing degrees and the nursing scholarships and grants available for each one, but first, let’s look at a few statistics.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for degreed registered nurses (RNs) is $73,300 per year or $35.24 per hour. The job outlook between 2018-2028 is a 12% growth rate, much faster than average.

If you’re just starting out as a non-degreed licensed practical nurse (LPN) before looking into nursing student scholarships for a bachelor’s degree, you can still expect to make a median pay of $47,480 per year, or $22.83 per hour.

People Go Into Nursing to Help Others

While you can make a good living from nursing and nursing scholarships, it can help pay for the education you need. The most driving reason people become nurses isn’t the money; it’s to help others.

Some of the key reasons people decide to pursue this career are:

  • To ensure people get proper medical care
  • To meet new people and engage with others
  • Satisfaction in helping others in a time of need
  • They feel they get more back than they give
  • Opportunities to work in different areas of medicine
  • Ability to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives

Whether you’re looking for scholarships for nursing students or you want to move up the ladder and secure graduate nursing scholarships, we’re going to cover where you can go to get the money you need for school.

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Nursing Scholarships and Grants for Each Level of Nursing

When you see the acronyms, LPN, RN, LVN, and CNA, it can get confusing knowing what level each of those nursing designations represents. We’re going to break it down below, and we have some great news – no matter which you’re aiming for, there are scholarships and grants for nursing students that can help you get there.

best grants for nurses

Best Nursing School Scholarships and Nursing Grants

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

This designation is also sometimes called an orderly. It’s the first stage of training before becoming a full-fledged nurse and seeking out nursing school grants. They do things like take vital signs, bath patients, and transport them in wheelchairs.

Typical education requirement: 75-hour vocational course

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN)

Not yet at the level to need degreed nursing school scholarships, but has more training than a CNA. They are allowed more responsibility, such as administering injections, preparing patients for surgical procedures, and managing intravenous drips.

Both LPN and LVN are names used for the same level of nursing, and it mainly depends upon your state regulations as to which you’re called.

Typical education requirement: 1-year vocational course

Registered Nurse (RN)

This is a prime candidate for either associate of science or bachelor of science grants for nursing students. The RN holds one of those two degrees and is qualified to supervise a CNA or LPN and to make a nursing diagnosis for patients. When we talk about BSN nursing scholarships, it’s for the RN designation.

If you’ve received an associate of science (AS), then you may be looking for an RN to BSN degree program and nursing scholarships to go with that. It only means you’re going to school a few more years to earn your bachelor’s of science, which is the next step up from the AS degree.

Typical education requirement: Associate of Science in Nursing or Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN)

Graduate nursing scholarships help an RN advance to the APRN level. This scholarship would be the right choice for someone who has a post-graduate education, which usually means a Master of Science in Nursing (MS/MSN) degree. Nurses that have this can hold titles such as nurse midwives, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, and nurse anesthetists.

Typical education requirement: Post-graduate in education that’s specialized in an aspect of nursing.

Nursing Scholarships and Grants | What’s the Difference?

While looking for nursing scholarships in 2020 and beyond, you will run into some called “nursing school grants,” and some called “nursing school scholarships.” While it’s easy to think they’re both the same thing, there are a few differences.

Here are some of the main differences between college and nursing scholarships and grants, according to

Nursing Grants

  • Are usually needs-based
  • Money is typically given (“granted”) at one time
  • Not typically tied to ongoing performance

Nursing Student Scholarships

  • Are usually merit-based
  • Money may be given over a specified time period
  • Can be tied to ongoing GPA and performance

In this next section, we’re going to get to the heart of the article, and list for you the top nursing scholarships you’ll want to consider. Next, we’ll look at grants for nursing students for post-graduate education, and we’ll also find out which are the best to use to pay for your advanced degree.

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School Accreditations to Look for Before Applying for Nursing Grants or Scholarships

When you’re reviewing the applications for BSN nursing scholarships, as well as other types of grants for nursing students, you may run across a requirement that you must be enrolled in an NLN or CCNE accredited School of Nursing.

So let’s take a look at what those accreditations are, and why you’ll want to make sure your school has one when you apply for specific nursing scholarships in 2020 and beyond.

Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing administers the CCNE accreditation, which is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a national accreditation agency. They offer graduate nursing scholarships, which we’ll cover in that section of our guide.

National League for Nursing (NLN)

The NLN has a history of over 100 years and has been one of the premier organizations for nurse faculty, schools of nursing, and educational nursing leaders. They also offer nursing school grants, which we’ll highlight in our nursing grants section later in this guide.

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Top Scholarships for Nursing You’ll Want to Apply For If You’re Just Starting Out

You may not initially be going for a bachelor of science degree and only need nursing scholarships to pay costs for about two years. But some may either be going for the BSN degree or looking further ahead for graduate nursing scholarships.

No matter which level you’re working to achieve, the great news is that there are plenty of excellent nursing scholarships to meet your requirements.

Be sure to check the specific qualifications for the nursing school scholarships you’re applying for, some are tied to particular fields, like pediatrics or oncology. And if so, there may be less competition for those types of nursing scholarships.

First, let’s take a look at nursing scholarships and grants that you can apply for, even if you’re just starting out and going for an associate’s degree.

Remember, you can combine several nursing student scholarships in order to meet your tuition and other costs, so don’t think you can’t apply for several scholarships at the same time. You may find out that the more, the merrier.

TYLENOL® Future Care Scholarship

The makers of TYLENOL® put together the Future Care Scholarship program to support students pursuing careers in healthcare. This is one of the nursing scholarships and grants that is open to undergraduates, as long as they’ve completed at least one year of undergraduate study.

  • Award: Between $5,000 – $10,000
  • Education: Can be an undergraduate with at least one year of study or a graduate program student
  • Note: GPA, records, community service, and essay content are considered
  • Find application details here

American Addiction Centers (AAC) Behavioral Health Academic Scholarship Program

This is one of the nursing school scholarships that supports those individuals planning to help patients struggling with addiction and mental health issues. Students can be enrolled in nursing, counseling, psychology, social work, marriage & family therapy, or other similar programs.

  • Award: Between $2,500 – $5,000
  • Education: College or graduate students enrolled or going to be enrolled in nursing or other designated degree programs
  • Note: Open to both part and full-time students
  • The scholarship will not be offered in 2020, but make sure to check next year
  • Find application details here

The Kaiser Permanente Health Care Career Scholarship

This scholarship is meant to empower healthier communities by helping students in Oregon and Southwest Washington find scholarships for nursing students from 2020 and beyond. The program is intended to help diverse and/or economically or socially disadvantaged students.

  • Award: Between $2,000 – $10,000
  • Education: Enrolled in an approved health care degree program
  • Note: Additional scholarships can be applied for in student’s 3rd year of college
  • Find application details here

Barbara Rhomberg Nursing Scholarship

If you’re a non-traditional student, meaning you didn’t go to college right after high school, and you really want to become a nurse at this point in your life, then the Barbara Rhomberg Nursing Scholarship is one of the perfect nursing scholarships and grants for you.

  • Award: $1,000
  • Education: Enrolled in an associate or bachelor’s degree program
  • Note: For those who are coming back to school after being out
  • Find application details here

FNSNA Scholarship Program

The Foundation of the National Student Nurses’ Association, Inc. (FNSNA) provides scholarships for nursing students. This is also one of the more flexible scholarships for nursing because you can be enrolled in most types of programs.

  • Award: Between $1,000 – $7,500
  • Education: Enrolled in an associate, bachelor’s, pre-licensure doctorate or master’s degree program
  • Note: Should be taking no less than six credits per semester
  • Find application details here

NURSE Corps Scholarship Program

How would you like to have all your tuition and fees paid, and get a monthly stipend? If you don’t mind making a 2-year post-graduation service commitment at a Critical Shortage Facility, then this is one of the government nursing school scholarships that may be just what you’re looking for.

  • Award: Funding for tuition, fees, and other costs, and a monthly stipend of $1,344
  • Education: Enrolled in an associate, bachelor’s, or graduate nursing degree program
  • Note: Have to make a two-year post-graduation service commitment
  • Find application details here

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Top Grants for Nursing Students to Fund Your Ongoing Post Graduate Education

Have you been a nurse for a while and have dreamed of finding nursing scholarships and grants to help you move up the ladder? Next up are the nursing grants that are specially aimed at those pursuing a bachelor’s degree or higher.

nursing grants

Post Graduate Nursing Education

These nursing school scholarships are designed to help nurses achieve their goals if getting a master’s, or doctorate, and even going into teaching that next group of young nurses.

Just as with the undergraduate nursing scholarships, you can often combine several nursing school grants to help fund your entire education, so it pays to apply for as many as you’re eligible for.

Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) Foundation Bachelor’s in Nursing Degree Scholarship

This is one of the BSN nursing scholarships that is awarded to individuals interested in pursuing a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing and are committed to oncology.

  • Award: Between $3,000 – $5,000
  • Education: Available for those licensed as an RN or individuals that hold a BS degree in another field but are enrolled in a nursing program
  • Note: Can only receive it once
  • Get all the application details here

Minority Nurse Faculty Scholarship

The Johnson & Johnson/AACN minatory nurse faculty scholarship is one of those pure gems that offer more money than some graduate nursing scholarships. There are a few prerequisites, such as being from a minority background and agreeing to teach in a school of nursing after graduation.

  • Award: $18,000
  • Education: Graduate nursing students, with preference given to doctoral program students
  • Note: Must regularly meet with a mentor and attend AACN’s Faculty Development Conference
  • Find application details here

American Cancer Society Doctoral Degree Scholarships in Cancer Nursing

This is one of the grants for nursing students that can help pay a significant portion of their pursuit of doctoral study in the field of cancer nursing research. Initial awards are made for up to two years, with the ability to renew the nursing grants after that.

Nursing Economic$ Foundation Scholarship

This is one of the graduate nursing scholarships that may not be as well known as others, which means there could be less competition. It’s awarded by the journal Nursing Economic$ to help promote registered nurses entering a master’s or doctor’s degree program.

  • Award: $5,000
  • Education: RN’s enrolled in a master’s or doctoral program
  • Note: Preference given to those in nursing programs with an emphasis on administration or management
  • Find application details here

Anita Dorr Graduate Scholarship

If you’re an emergency nurse, then this is one of the grants for nursing students that is awarded by the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) to promote leaders in their field. This specific scholarship is in the name of ENA’s co-founder Anita Dorr, who is credited with the invention of the first “crash cart.”

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Where Else Can I Find Nursing Scholarships and Grants?

These top 12 nursing school scholarships and grants for nursing students are definitely not the only ones out there. There are several others that you can find online to apply for.

Some are specialty-based, and others are graduate nursing scholarships for minorities or even for male nurses. And, just like the top nursing school scholarships listed above, you can find them for any part of your education, undergraduate or graduate.

More Resources to Find Nursing Scholarships and Grants

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Conclusion – How to Get the Best Nursing Scholarships and Grants

If there is one profession that is vital to the well being of every man, woman, and child, it’s nursing. And with the nursing school scholarships available for every step of nursing education, nothing is holding you back from fulfilling your dreams.

Careers in nursing are also widely varied. There’s pediatric nursing, oncology, senior care, and many other specialties. So you have plenty of opportunities to apply for specialized nursing school scholarships with less competition.

With graduate nursing scholarships and undergraduate grants for nursing students, you can explore a full career that has the same advancement potential as any other. Opportunities for nursing scholarships can allow you to go to school to become a nurse a lot sooner than you may have thought possible.

We hope that our guide to finding scholarships and grants for nursing students gives you the tools you need to take the next step on that new or continuing nursing career.

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