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A Guide to Paying for Nursing School

Students who are preparing for nursing education may be hindered by financial difficulties. To help these nursing students, there are government agencies and organizations that give out nursing grants and scholarships. By applying for financial aid, nursing students can continue to pursue a nursing degree without worrying too much about financial matters. Without these grants and scholarships, many students who want to pursue a career in nursing will not be able to fulfill their dream.

Online Schools

To encourage students to pursue a career in nursing, there are also online nursing programs which make it possible for students to take courses in the comfort of their home. Online nursing programs can help nursing students save some money because they will not be spending on transportation or other expenses. Online programs are also suitable for students who don’t have time to attend nursing school on a regular basis. Let’s look at some of the nursing programs:

  • Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN): There are online LPN programs which can prepare a person to become a licensed nurse. Under the supervision of experienced Registered Nurses and doctors, Licensed Practical Nurses should be able to get some nurse jobs upon graduation.
  • Registered Nurse (RN): A Registered Nurse is higher than the Licensed Practical Nurse. There are good online RN programs which provide the necessary training and knowledge to qualified candidates.
  • Associate’s Degree to Bachelor’s Degree: If you have attained your associate’s degree, it will be much easier to get a degree from online nursing programs.
  • Bachelors of Science in Nursing: A Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing helps to open many new opportunities in various nursing occupations. In this way, you will get the chance to earn better, and more.
  • Master of Science in Nursing: The advance level postgraduate degree can be pursued by people who have already earned their bachelor’s degree. There are some good online programs that offer Master of Science in Nursing. With a Master’s degree, you will receive higher pay, and you will be considered for higher level positions.

Grants & Scholarships

If you are pursuing a LPN program and RN program, you will find various options for financial aid. By taking a grant or scholarship, you can help to lessen the burden on your parents. Generally, grants and funds are for underprivileged students while scholarships are for meritorious students who require financial assistance. In most cases, grants and scholarships do not have to be repaid. To find scholarship opportunities, a good place to start is the US Dept. of Education. If you are interested in applying for grants or scholarships, you can begin by filling up the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Other than grants and scholarships, you may also consider taking a loan. Take some time to learn about the Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program which is offered by the Health Resources and Services Administration. For nursing students, studying without a grant, scholarship or loan can be very difficult because tuition fees and expenses in nursing schools can be very high. If you search hard enough, it’s highly likely that you will find some financial aid in the form of grants, loans or scholarships.

Why Are There So Many Nursing Grants Available?

Grants for nursing programs are easily available because there’s a great demand for nurses in the United States. The situation is made more urgent because there are not enough people who are entering the profession. To encourage more people to enter the nursing profession, grants are offered to make it easier for them to pursue a nursing education. The nursing profession is highly respected because it has to do with healthcare.

Different Types of Financial Aid

Financial Aid Offered by the US Federal Government

  • Grants for Underprivileged Students: These are for students who come from families with financial difficulties. Some of these grants are the Federal Pell Grant, SMART Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, and Academic Competitiveness Grant. Most of these grants do not need to be repaid except for special cases. The grants are given out depending upon availability of funds, financial background of the student, and other criteria.
  • Nursing Scholarship Program: Under this program, nursing students are given the grants for their tuition fee as well as additional money for books, uniform, and so on. They are also given $1,000 as stipend money. This scholarship program is awarded on the basis that the student has to commit to work for 2-year tenure after graduation.

Special Grants for Minority Students

There are special grants for Native Americans by the Indian Health Services. These grants are given to support Native Americans who want to study the medical sciences. It also helps Native Americans who want to pursue a nursing career.

Professional Grants for Students

  • The National Health Service: It offers grants as well as loan repayment facilities for students who are ready to work for 2-4 years. The grants include tuition fees, additional expenses, and monthly stipend of about $1,000.
  • Gerontological Society of America: It offers grants to nurses who are doing research on aging.
  • American Association of Critical Care Nurses: It provides a fund of $1,500 to graduate as well as undergraduate nurses. Minority students get a part of this scholarship on a regular basis.
  • American Academy of Nurse Practitioner: This grant is specially awarded to nurses who are doing research work.

The National Nursing Education Initiative

The National Nursing Education Initiative (NNEI) is a scholarship program that enables nurses to obtain the degree of Bachelor of Science in Nursing by providing grants of up to $10,000. It helps the nursing students get their Master’s degree as well (MSN).

Nursing Loans

There are many private banks which offer loans to nursing schools to lessen the burden of students in nursing programs. Such loans are very flexible and they have very low interest rates as well as easy repayment options. There are various types of loans like Federal Perkin’s loans, Graduate Plus loans, Subsidized Stafford loans, and Unsubsidized Stafford loans.

For more information on general financing options to help pay for nursing school, check out these links.