Scholarships – How and Where To Get Them

Whether the US economy slows down or perks up in the near or long term, what is now widely considered as one holding great promise is the demand for qualified nurses in the country for at least the coming 6 years. There is however the fear of growing shortage of good nursing teachers, which means that the gulf between availability of nursing jobs and that of qualified nurses is likely to grow bigger in the years to come.

A situation such as this holds promise for serious students who wish to pursue a career in nursing. Even nurses, who have few years of experience behind them, may find it convenient and timely to enhance their qualifications to aim for higher career goals.

The good news for students is that there are many scholarships available to study courses in nursing. It is advisable however, that students explore different avenues for funding their studies before zeroing in on likely choices. More often than not, sourcing funds for a nursing degree is a multi-step process that may vary from one program to another, which in turn calls for diligence and ability to work out the best deal from amongst various options available. For example, it may be so that some scholarships cover only a part of educational cost, while others meet the entire educational cost but with conditions to be fulfilled.

In the narration that follows, we have tried to provide some information for sourcing scholarships for studying nursing courses.

1. BHPR Nursing Scholarship This ought to be the first place for a prospective student looking for scholarship. Bureau of Health Professions under the auspices of US Department of Health and Human Services invites applications for its Nursing Scholarship Program (NSP) every year to award scholarships to individuals for attendance at schools of nursing. The scholarship meets payment for tuition, fees, other reasonable educational costs, and a monthly support stipend. Students availing the scholarship will have to agree to serve a minimum of 2 years of full-time clinical service (or an equivalent part-time commitment, as approved by the NSP) at a health care facility with a critical shortage of nurses.

2. AHCA’s Long Term Care Nursing Scholarships AHCA (American Health Care Association) provides scholarships under a fund established in 1989 to meet the nation’s nurse shortage and attract qualified nurses to the long term care field. Since inception, Washington DC based AHCA’s affiliate, the National Foundation for Long Term Health Care (NFLTHC) has awarded scholarships to more than 331 nursing students — totaling more than $165,000 in scholarship grants. This year, it proposes to award up to 20 scholarships of $500 each to deserving undergraduate students, who enroll in RN and LPN programs, and also to graduate students.

3. NBNA Scholarship Program The National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) provides scholarships as a means for funding continuing education. Its aim is to enable nurses to grow their ability and better contribute their talents to the health and healthcare of its communities. The scholarships usually range from $500 to $2000.

4. AACN Education Center The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) has listed a large number of resources regarding availability of scholarships including its own CampusRN / AACN Scholarship Fund.

5. Honor Society of Nursing Another good source to obtain information on availability of scholarships can be had from the list compiled and maintained by Sigma Theta Tau International. Its compilation covers the categories ‘General’, ‘Minorities’ and ‘Disadvantaged Students’.

6. Discover Nursing Discover Nursing provides a searchable database of scholarships available for nursing students. Backed by Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems, the exhaustive database can be searched using various combinations of 4 search criteria.

Apart from above, many scholarship programs are offered by private, non-profit organizations in different states. In addition, universities also provide scholarship funds that they manage based on donations given by individuals. An example is that of New Pitt Nursing Scholarship to commemorate life of Lieutenant Colonel Julia Minno, vide which University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing awards scholarship each year to one undergraduate student from Western Pennsylvania.