As our nation's critical shortage of qualified healthcare professionals continues to worsen, many organizations have created nursing scholarships to encourage talented students to pursue a rewarding career in medicine.
Since 55% of the current RN workforce is aged 50 or older, it's expected that the massive retirement and increased demand for healthcare services from the baby boomer population will create a dire lack of nursing professionals to deliver quality patient care. In fact, the BLS predicts that the total number of job openings for registered nurses will grow to 1.05 million by 2022!
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If you want to turn your caring nature and passion for health into an in-demand career helping thousands of patients across the lifespan, below are 20 of the best scholarships offered to undergraduate and graduate nursing students.
1. AAMN Foundation Student Nurse Essay Contest
Deadline: June 1st
Annually, the American Assembly for Men in Nursing (AAMN) Foundation hosts the Student Nurse Essay Contest to award $500 to undergraduate and $1,000 to graduate male students who are enrolled in an accredited nursing program in the United States. Qualified candidates must be current members of the AAMN, have completed at least one academic term of nursing coursework, showcase satisfactory academic standing, submit at least one electronic letter of recommendation, and be involved in nursing organizations. Participants will be asked to write a 500-word essay describing the characteristics and qualities that men in nursing should possess.
2. Barbara Rhomberg Excellence in Nursing Scholarship
Deadline: September 15th
In honor of a woman who went back to nursing school after raising eight children in rural Iowa and shared her talents with the medical community until her death in 1995 from gallbladder cancer, the Barbara Rhomberg Excellence in Nursing Scholarship is awarded each year by B4 Brands to provide $1,000. Eligible applicants must be non-traditional students, be pursuing an undergraduate degree in nursing full-time, and have had at least a three-year gap from high school to college. Applications must include two letters of recommendation, verification of enrollment, and a 500-word personal essay explaining future nursing plans.
3. Caroline E. Holt Nursing Scholarship
Deadline: February 15th
In the amount of $1,000, the Caroline E. Holt Nursing Scholarship is granted annually through the Daughters of the Revolution (DAR) to deserving college students who are accepted to or currently enrolled in an accredited school of nursing to earn an associate's, bachelor's, or master's degree. Eligible candidates must be U.S. citizens, attend a higher learning institution within America, maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, exhibit financial need, and demonstrate strong moral character through volunteer activities. Applications should be accompanied by official transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a 1,000-word personal statement.
4. Charles Kunz Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship
Deadline: April 30th
In memory of the father of the former President of the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA), the Foundation has created the Charles Kunz Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship to bestow $3,000 annually upon an emergency nurse wishing to pursue a baccalaureate-level education in nursing by enrolling in an RN-to-BSN program. Qualified applicants must be current registered nurses, have worked at least one year full-time in an emergency department, be accepted at an accredited American nursing school, be ENA members, maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, and show a strong commitment to remaining specialized in emergency nursing.
5. Charlotte McGuire Education Scholarship Program
Deadline: April 15th
Since 1986, the Charlotte McGuire Education Scholarship Program (CMGSP) has been hosted each year through the American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA) to award up to $2,000 to current registered nurses seeking to further their education with a bachelor's or master's degree in nursing. Applicants must be active members of AHNA, attend an accredited U.S. institution, follow a curriculum dedicated to holistic nursing practice, demonstrate a commitment to holistic medicine, and incorporate self-care into their professional lives. Applications must include employment history, official college transcripts, two sponsorship letters, and a statement expressing their personal philosophies.
6. Dr. Lauranne Sams Scholarship
Deadline: April 15th
As part of the National Black Nurses Association (NBNA), the Dr. Lauranne Sams Scholarship is presented annually for $1,000 to $6,000 to outstanding nursing students of color who are currently enrolled in an accredited nursing program leading to an LPN/LVN, ADN, or BSN. To qualify, candidates must have at least one full academic year remaining, attend a college within the United States, be involved in their local NBNA chapter, and exhibit good scholastic standing. Eligible students must provide a completed application, a two-page written essay, official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, documented evidence of service, and a headshot.
7. Elaine Gelman Nurse Practitioner Scholarship
Deadline: June 30th
Founded in 2002 in honor of her illustrious nursing career helping NPs earn the freedom to practice freely, the Elaine Gelman Nurse Practitioner Scholarship is awarded annually through the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) for $1,000. Eligible candidates must be current registered nurses, possess a bachelor's degree, attend an accredited graduate nursing school, be enrolled in an NP program, and have an interest in pediatric nursing. With the application, nurses must submit two letters of support, evidence of participation in professional organizations, and a 200-word personal statement expressing their goals as a nurse practitioner.
8. Geraldine "Polly" Bednash Scholarship
Deadline: January 31st, April 30th, July 31st, and October 31st
Four times each year, the Geraldine "Polly" Bednash Scholarship is granted through the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) for $5,000 to two worthy college students who are currently pursuing a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree in nursing. Qualified recipients must be admitted at an AACN-member institution, carry a minimum overall GPA of 3.2, attend a clinically focused degree program, exhibit financial need, and show a dedication to positively impact the future of healthcare. Students must submit an online application and attach a brief 250-word essay discussing their qualifications for the scholarship.
9. Jane Delano Student Nurse Scholarship
Deadline: May 15th
Sponsored by the American Red Cross, the Jane Delano Student Nurse Scholarship is designed to provide up to three $3,000 awards each year in honor of a devoted nurse leader who served in World War I and received the Distinguished Service Medal before being killed on the front-lines in France. Qualified candidates must have served as Red Cross volunteers, have completed at least one year of college, be currently enrolled in an accredited U.S. nursing program, and show good academic standing. Preference is given to student nurse volunteers who have significant financial need for covering tuition, textbooks, and academic fees.
10. Lambda Pi Alpha Nursing Scholarships
Deadline: April 30th
For undergraduate or graduate members of the Beta Mu Chapter, the Lambda Pi Alpha Nursing Scholarships are available each year to provide $1,500 in financial support towards earning an accredited ADN, BSN, or MSN degree in nursing. Qualified applicants must have completed at least one semester of nursing coursework, attend an accredited U.S. nursing school, possess a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, and successfully complete an interview. Applications won't be accepted without an official college transcript, three letters of recommendation, and a written personal statement expressing students' financial need for receiving a scholarship.
11. Lamber-Goodnow Nursing School Scholarship
Deadline: December 1st
Each year, the Lamber-Goodnow Injury Law Team distributes one Nursing School Scholarship to award $1,000 to driven, caring future nurses who need extra funding to reach their goal of making a difference in people's lives. For consideration, students must be applying to or currently enrolled in an accredited U.S. nursing program, maintain a minimum overall GPA of 2.8, submit a current resume or CV, and write a maximum 750-word essay telling why they wish to pursue a nursing career. Finalists will have their essays published on the law firm's social media pages and winners will be selected by likes or shares.
12. March of Dimes Graduate Nursing Scholarship
Deadline: January 30th
With the goal of promoting improved healthcare for mothers and newborns, the March of Dimes Graduate Nursing Scholarship is awarded for $5,000 annually to several registered nurses who are returning to graduate school to earn a master's or doctoral degree in nursing with a specialization in maternal-child health. Applicants must be members of at least one related professional organization, such as the National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN) or the American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM). Recipients will be chosen based on their previous nursing experience, academic achievement, career aspirations in maternal-child nursing, volunteer work, and faculty recommendations.
13. NAHN Nursing Scholarships
Deadline: April 3rd
Through the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN), several scholarships for $5,000 apiece are granted each year to student members who are enrolled full-time in an accredited LVN/LPN, diploma, associate, baccalaureate, or graduate nursing program. Eligible candidates must be of Hispanic/Latino heritage, be U.S. citizens or legal residents, maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, have had NAHN membership for at least six months, and exhibit financial need. Interested students should submit an application form, two letters of support, a current resume, official college transcripts, and a 500-word essay showing their potential for leadership in nursing practice.
14. Nurse Corps Scholarship Program
Administered through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Nurse Corps Scholarship Program is structured to cover full tuition costs and award a monthly stipend of at least $1,300 to college students who have been accepted for enrollment in a diploma, associate, baccalaureate, or graduate nursing program. Eligible candidates must be U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents, attend an accredited American institution, plan to begin classes before October, and be free from any federal judgment liens. Recipients will be required to complete a minimum two-year service commitment at a critical shortage nursing facility.
Nurse Corps Scholarship Program
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, MD 20857
15. Nurses of Tomorrow Scholarships
Deadline: June 6th
For four years, Medical Solutions LLC has funded the Nurses of Tomorrow Scholarships to award $1,000 to three financially needy nursing students to finance their associate's, bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree in nursing from an accredited U.S. college. All applicants must be enrolled full-time in nursing coursework, maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75, be actively involved in community services, demonstrate financial need, have U.S. citizenship or legal residency, and show promise for leading the world's next generation of nurses. Candidates must write a short 250-word personal essay describing what they'll do to always provide exceptional patient care.
16. Nursing Economic$ Foundation Scholarships
Deadline: May 15th
As part of the Anthony J. Jannetti Foundation, the Nursing Economic$ Foundation has created scholarships to grant $5,000 for up to four current registered nurses who are heading to graduate school to earn a master's or doctoral nursing degree with an emphasis in management or administration. Qualified candidates must be matriculating into an accredited U.S. graduate school before this fall, have career objectives in nursing leadership or management, be American citizens, and possess a valid RN license. Applications must include a complete curriculum vitae, GRE test scores, official undergraduate transcripts, and a short personal statement highlighting nurses' leadership goals.
17. ONS Foundation Bachelor's Scholarships
Deadline: February 1st
Annually, the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) Foundation distributes multiple Bachelor's Scholarships for $3,000 to $5,000 apiece to students who are pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree at an NLN or CCNE accredited school of nursing in the United States. To qualify, applicants must be entering their senior undergraduate year, have not yet earned their RN license, be pursuing their first college degree, have good academic standing, and exhibit a clear commitment to building a career in oncology nursing. Similar scholarships are also available for master's and doctoral nursing students wishing to work with cancer patients.
18. Pamela Balzer Career Mobility Scholarships
Deadline: October 15th
In honor of an excellent clinician at Mount Sinai Hospital who eventually became the first Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) for the Abbott Renal Franchise, the Pamela Balzer Career Mobility Scholarships are granted each year for $2,500 through the American Nephrology Nurses' Association (ANNA). Qualified candidates must be current registered nurses, be actively involved in nephrology nursing, be accepted for enrollment in an accredited bachelor's or higher degree program in nursing, have been ANNA members for at least two years, and hold current certification from the Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC).
19. Promise of Nursing Scholarships
Deadline: January 16th
Sponsored by the Foundation of the National Student Nurses' Association (FNSNA), the Promise of Nursing Scholarships are presented each year for $1,000 to $5,000 apiece for college students enrolled in an accredited school of nursing to receive a diploma, associate, bachelor's, generic master's, or generic doctoral degree. Applicants must reside in a selected region of the United States, have NSNA membership, be pursuing their first degree in nursing, and submit a small $10 application processing fee. Selection will be based on students' academic achievement, financial need, involvement in nursing organizations, commitment to community service, and future promise in nursing.
20. Senator Patricia K. McGee Nursing Faculty Scholarship
Within the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC), the Senator Patricia K. McGee Nursing Faculty Scholarship is offered to cover up to $20,000 in tuition costs for registered nurses enrolling in a master's or doctoral degree program in nursing education to become college faculty. Eligible applicants must be legal New York residents, have U.S. citizenship, be professionally licensed, attend an accredited in-state nursing school, and not be in default on any loans. In exchange, recipients must agree to serve as professors at New York State nursing schools for at least four consecutive years upon completion.
Earning a degree in nursing today practically guarantees that you'll have a good job with a decent starting salary and benefits awaiting after graduation. However, you'll first need to find the money to afford rising tuition costs in higher education so that you aren't left with mountains of student loan debt at graduation too. Consider applying to some of these lucrative nursing scholarships that are designed to help aspiring nurses shoulder the financial burden of tuition.