The demand for nurses is growing much faster than average, all while the healthcare landscape continues to evolve. Graduate nursing school could be your key to evolving right along with it, enhancing your care practice and updating your medical expertise. But how do you afford the tuition? That’s where graduate nursing scholarships come in. Scholarships may be available to qualified students.
Offered by schools, health systems, professional organizations and nonprofits, graduate nursing scholarships are designed to support professionals like you as they pursue a graduate degree. They may come in all shapes and sizes, from catering to any grad student in the general sphere of healthcare, to scholarships targeted at specific types of nursing programs and degree levels.
While many scholarships for nursing students may not cover your full program by themselves, you might be eligible to apply for more than one. This could help with educational expenses ranging from tuition and fees to books, supplies, technology, and more.
Many graduate nursing scholarships are designed to support specific aspirations. For example, one scholarship may only be open to students enrolled in an MSN program or a DNP program. Another might focus on aspiring nurse practitioners or administrators. Others might look at certain care areas.
With these varying levels of specificity, different scholarships may also have varying requirements to be considered. For example, some graduate nursing scholarships may ask for relevant professional experience and references. Others might focus more on prior coursework and academic performance. Or both! It typically depends on who is offering the scholarship opportunity, their goals, and the types of students they aim to serve.
Discipline specific graduate nursing scholarships may be offered by the university or nursing program itself, or by hospitals and academic organizations interested in fostering growth in that area. They might also be provided by professional and membership organizations that center on that type of care.
Here are some examples of discipline or degree-specific graduate nursing scholarships you might find.
Some scholarships for nursing students are designed to encourage or support certain types of people. Often, scholarships like this are established to encourage diversity in nursing in general, or within a certain school, hospital or community. These may be need or merit-based, or have different qualifications like work experience.
Most graduate nursing scholarships designed to promote diversity focus on a specific demographic. Scholarships may be offered to nursing students by gender, ethnicity, cultural background, socioeconomic bracket, disability, and more.
One unique factor is that, within nursing, scholarships delineated by gender are likely to be offered to men. That’s because nursing is a historically female-dominated field, so organizations may opt to support male nursing students to create a more gender-balanced environment.
Some Graduate Nursing Scholarships you might find for different demographics include:
Graduate nursing scholarships may also be offered to attract nurses to specific locations. This might be done for a few different reasons. First, some communities may use scholarship opportunities to draw nursing talent to area. If that’s the case, scholarship opportunities may only be open to those willing to study or work in a certain state, county, or city.
Nursing scholarships might also be offered to encourage students to attend a certain graduate nursing program, or commit to working in certain hospitals or institutions. These may be offered by the schools themselves, or a healthcare system or professional nursing organization. In some cases, membership in a specific organization may be a prerequisite to apply. Some may even ask that applicants have held membership for a certain duration (say, three months) prior to applying. If that’s the case, double check if maintaining membership is a requirement to maintain the scholarship.
GradSchools.com has collected a variety of graduate nursing scholarships to help you get your search started. Click on the name of a scholarship you might be interested in. Then, review the application requirements, and give it a shot!
RN to BSN/MSN Challenge Scholarship – For RN’s pursuing their BSN or MSN degree.
Geraldine "Polly" Bednash Scholarship – For students attending an American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) member institution affiliated with CastleBranch OR who have submitted an application to a nursing school through NursingCAS.
CastleBranch-GNSA Scholarship – For students enrolled in a graduate nursing program at an AACN member school of nursing.
eQuality Nursing Scholarship – Available to those who have served the LGBT+ community. Must attend a master's prepared program in California with a BA/BS in a field other than nursing.
Filipino Nurses' Organization of Hawai'i Scholarship – Available to Hawai’ian residents of Filipino descent.
Minority Nurse Magazine Scholarship Program – A variety of scholarships may be available to support minority nurses.
National Association of Hispanic Nurses Scholarship Award – Applicants must be members of NAHN and be enrolled in an accredited nursing program.
National Black Nurses Association Scholarship Program – For members of NBNA and a local chapter who are currently enrolled in a nursing program.
Army Nurse Corps Association (ANCA) Scholarship – For nursing and nurse anesthesia students who are serving or have served in any branch of a component of the US army. Also may b e available to Army member’s families.
March of Dimes Graduate Nursing Scholarship – Applicant must be enrolled in programs with a focus on maternal-child nursing at the master's or doctorate level.
ONS Foundation Doctoral Scholarships – For students enrolled or applying to doctorate level oncology nursing programs.
ONS Foundation Master's Scholarship - For students enrolled or applying to oncology nursing programs at the master’s level.
Eleanora G. Wylie Scholarship Fund for Nursing – Available to West Virginia residents.
Jean Andrews Nursing Scholarship – For Vermont residents of Addison County.
Margaret Jones Memorial Nursing Scholarship Fund – For residents of Hawai’i.
OMNE/Nursing Leaders of Maine Scholarship – Available to Maine residents enrolled in Maine BSN or MSN programs.
Vermont State Nursing Incentive Scholarship Loan Program – Applicants must attend an accredited Vermont school and commit to work in state at least one year.
*Financial aid may be available to those who qualify. The information on this page is for informational and research purposes only and is not an assurance of financial aid. This website is privately owned and operated and is not affiliated with or endorsed by any governmental entity.
Source: [i] bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm