Aspiring nurses have multiple factors in their favor to achieve career success. According to the Bureau of Labor, employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 19 percent from 2012 to 2022, due to the advances in technology, a growing aging population, and an increased emphasis on preventative care.
The Institute of Medicine recommends that 80 percent of the nursing workforce should have a baccalaureate degree by 2020, making Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN) and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs an ideal way to meet new demands and advance their career.
Returning to school for a nursing degree can be a significant expense. Fortunately, government and non-profit organizations provide a bounty of nursing scholarship resources worth exploring to help with the financial aspect of nursing school.
Starting the Scholarship Search
It may be difficult to know how finding nursing scholarship programs. A great place to begin is through the Federal Student Aid program, provided by the U.S. Department of Education. This agency provides more than $150 billion annually in scholarships and grants to college students.
Nursing students can submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which assesses your eligibility for school and private financial help. It's often a pre-requisite for other financial opportunities. For example, you must also fill out a FAFSA form before applying for a Pell Grant. Regardless of a nursing student's age, grades, or financial situation, the Federal Student Aid program encourages all students to complete a FAFSA for the reason that students may qualify for more than they expect.
Additional Scholarship Resource Options
Depending on a student's qualifications such as education level, area of interest, financial situation and academic record, it is in your best interest to consider researching scholarship resources.
National Student Nurses Association The National Student Nurses Association gives out approximately $345,000 annually in scholarship money in increments of $1,000 to $5,000 for every eligible student. Available for associate to doctorate students, these scholarships are awarded based on a variety of factors including financial need, involvement in nursing organizations and academic record.
NURSE Corps Scholarship Program (NCSP) The NURSE Corps Scholarship Program (NCSP) offers scholarships, tuition assistance, and aid for program related expenses for students enrolled in diploma, associate, baccalaureate, or graduate nursing programs. The NCSP was developed by the U.S. Government with the intention of eliminating the shortage of nurses in the United States. Eligible students must be enrolled full time, in an accredited undergraduate- or graduate-level nursing program.
Minority Nurse Magazine Scholarship Program Sponsored by Minority Nurse Magazine, the Minority Nurse Scholarship Program offers $1,000 and $3,000 scholarships to racial and ethnic minority students who are enrolled in an accredited BSN or MSN program in the United States. Eligible students will have earned a 3.0 or better GPA and be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
Hurst Reviews/AACN Nursing Scholarship Hurst Review Services and AACN are partnering to offer a new scholarship program to recognize and reward outstanding students in prelicensure nursing programs. Two scholarships in the amount of $2,500 will be distributed each Fall and Spring to students enrolled in AACN member institutions.
The AfterCollege-AACN Scholarship Program This fund supports students seeking a baccalaureate, master's or doctoral degree in nursing. Special consideration will be given to students in a graduate program with the goal of becoming a nurse educator; completing an RN to BSN or MSN program; and those enrolled in an accelerated nursing program.
Upon researching nursing scholarships, students will often find that many organizations are generous to award nurses a financial head start on pursuing their degree. Students are encouraged to research all scholarship opportunities and discuss their eligibility with the awarding organization and their program contact.
With an RN to BSN or a Masters of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Saint Mary, online students will be prepared to shape the evolving role of nursing. The university's RN to BSN and MSN programs prepare you for the growing challenges of today's health care environment with a rigorous curriculum that reflects the modern world. Learn more about these programs at http://online.stmary.edu.