Complete Guide to Nursing Scholarships

Nursing is one of the fastest growing career fields in America. Students committed to careers in nursing will find the field offers better-than-average pay and a potential for growth that outpaces most other industries, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

With concerns about a nursing shortage also running high, students also will discover a host of scholarship opportunities available to help them offset the cost of earning a degree.

Career Prospects

There were more than 2.75 million nursing positions in the United States in 2014, according to the BLS, which also reported that the average salary for registered nurses in May 2015 was $67,490. Requiring only an associate’s degree for entry into the field, along with proper state licensing, the growth in this field is anticipated at 16% from 2014-2024, according to the Bureau’s Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Though students are encouraged to conduct independent research into the field, as pay and availability of positions can vary based on location and potential employer, the faster-than-average job growth rate makes this field attractive for job seekers. The following are some of the many scholarship opportunities available for students with a desire to enter this profession:

The Jacksonville University Online RN to BSN Honor Scholarship

This scholarship will be awarded six times a year, once each online session, and is equivalent to 25% of tuition costs. Applicants must meet all criteria for JU’s online RN to BSN program, have and maintain a 3.0 GPA and submit an essay on the topic, “You are at the end of your nursing career and you are writing your autobiography. Please describe how earning a BSN degree made a difference for you.”

Nurses Educational Funds scholarships

The Nurses Educational Funds (NEF) organization offers several scholarships for registered nurses who are in full-time or part-time master’s or doctoral programs. The most important criteria are academic excellence and potential for contributing to the nursing profession.

Requirements stipulate that applicants must be:

  • A registered nurse
  • A member of a professional nursing association
  • Enrolled full-time or part-time in a nursing master’s degree program accredited by the NLNAC (National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission) or CCNE (Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education), having completed a minimum of 12 credits (at the time of application) with a cumulative GPA of 3.6 or higher
  • Enrolled full-time or part-time in a doctoral program in nursing or a nursing related field, with a cumulative GPA of 3.6 or higher
  • A U.S. citizen or have declared your official intention of becoming one.

Scholarships are given for one academic year and are not renewable.

  • Website –
  • Deadline to apply – Applications for 2018-2019 are accepted between Oct. 1, 2017 and Feb. 1, 2018.

The Foundation of the National Student Nurses’ Association

Offering scholarships that range from $1,000 to $7,500, the foundation awards more than $300,000 each year to nursing students. To be eligible, students must be U.S. citizens or registered aliens who are currently enrolled in nursing school or pre-nursing programs. Recipients are selected based on academic achievement, financial need and involvement in student nursing organizations and community activities related to the profession.

  • Website –
  • Deadline to apply – Next round of applications will be accepted between September 2017 and January 2018.

National Black Nurses Association

The NBNA offers several scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $6,000, which are awarded to African-American nursing students. Applicants must be currently enrolled in a nursing program (BSN, AD, Diploma, or LPN/LVN) and in good scholastic standing at the time of application. Applicants also must be members of NBNA and of a local chapter (if one exists in his or her area), and have a minimum of one year of school remaining. Involvement in the African-American community, financial need and academic achievement are criteria for consideration.

Barbara Rhomberg Excellence in Nursing Scholarship

This scholarship program is tailored to meet the needs of non-traditional nursing students. To be eligible, applicants must be enrolled in a full-time undergraduate nursing program working toward an associate or bachelor’s degree, and be a non-traditional student, defined as a student who did not immediately continue their education after high school, with at least a three-year gap between high school and enrollment in a college or university.

Touchmark Foundation Nursing Scholarship

The Touchmark Foundation awards scholarships to students pursuing nursing degrees, with emphasis on those pursuing geriatric nursing studies. The Touchmark Foundation also supports efforts to increase the number of nursing instructors. Students must live or attend school in one of the following states or province:

  • Arizona
  • Idaho
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • South Dakota
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
  • Alberta, Canada

Charlotte McGuire Scholarships

Administered by the American Holistic Nurses Association (AHNA), this scholarship is open to undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in holistic nursing. Students must be licensed RNs, members of AHNA and demonstrate a commitment to holistic nursing practices.

Nurses of Tomorrow

The Nurses of Tomorrow Scholarship Contest awards three $1,000 scholarships to nursing students who demonstrate both financial need and a commitment to developing the next generation of nurse leaders and educators. Students must be currently enrolled in an accredited nursing program and have a GPA of at least 2.75. Applicants must complete an essay, “How do you feel that being a nurse will change your perspective on life?“

Nurses Make a Difference Scholarship

This annual $1,000 scholarship is awarded to a student currently enrolled in an undergraduate nursing program or to a high school student who has been accepted into an undergraduate nursing program. Applicants must have a GPA of at least 3.0, and be U.S. citizens or hold a student visa. Applicants submit an essay on the topic, “What are some of the challenges nurses face today and how do you/will you take on those challenges?”

Some scholarship programs are offered nationally, while some are exclusive to a school, region or state.  Be sure to check with campus-based advisors for more information about nursing scholarship opportunities.

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