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10 Top Scholarships for Nursing Students

May 20, 2016
Loans, Student Loans
10 Top Scholarships for Nursing Students
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A nursing degree is highly valued on the job market and can be a great way to build a stable career. Tuition continues to rise, so that means getting a nursing degree isn’t cheap, but nursing scholarships are available in abundance to high-achieving students who demonstrate need. To kick off your research, we’ve assembled a list of some of the best financial awards available to nursing students across the country.

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The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America awards $1,500 per semester to students who are at least one-quarter American Indian and enrolled in a tribe or who are able to prove direct tribal ancestry. Students should be pursuing careers in nursing with a career goal directly related to the needs of American Indians. Applicants must have a recommendation from a teacher, counselor or other school official. Students receiving an Indian Health Service Scholarship are ineligible. Winners can reapply each semester so long as they are in good academic standing.


The Oncology Nursing Society Foundation offers scholarships for baccalaureate students interested in oncology nursing. Scholarships are worth $3,000 to $5,000 each and are awarded annually but can’t be renewed or won more than once. Candidates must be enrolled for their senior year of a bachelor of nursing degree program at a school accredited by the National League for Nursing or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


The Oncology Nursing Society Foundation also awards $5,000 scholarships to students pursuing a master’s degree in nursing. Applicants must be interested in and committed to oncology, and they must be enrolled in or applying to a master’s nursing degree program at an NLN- or CCNE-accredited school for the upcoming academic year. Applicants can be registered nurses or have a bachelor’s degree in another field.


In addition to its bachelor’s and master’s degree scholarships, the Oncology Nursing Society Foundation issues $3,000 scholarships backed by Pfizer Oncology in honor of Ann Olson, an oncology sales representative who died of cancer in 1989. Applicants must be current registered nurses devoted to oncology nursing. They also should be enrolled in or applying for a doctoral nursing or related program.


This $1,000 scholarship is awarded each year to nontraditional, full-time students pursuing an undergraduate degree in nursing. A nontraditional student is defined as one who didn’t continue education immediately after high school and had at least a three-year gap between high school and enrollment at a postsecondary school. Applicants must submit an essay, two letters of recommendation and verification of enrollment. Awards are nonrenewable.


The Foundation of the National Student Nurses Association awards scholarships amounting to more than $300,000 annually. To qualify, students must be current nursing or pre-nursing students taking at least six credits per semester. Applicants must be able to demonstrate academic achievement and prove financial need. They must also be involved in student nursing organizations or community health activities. Scholarships aren’t available for graduate students unless it’s for a first nursing degree. Awards range from $1,000 to $7,500.


Every year, the March of Dimes gives away several $5,000 scholarships to graduate students enrolled in maternal-child nursing programs. Applicants must be an RN and have at least one academic term remaining after August of the year in which the scholarship is awarded. Applicants must also be a member of at least one of the following professional organizations: the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses; the American College of Nurse-Midwives; or the National Association of Neonatal Nurses.


The National Gerontological Nursing Association provides $500 awards to both undergraduate and graduate students. Undergrads must be full- or part-time nursing students who intend to pursue a career in a gerontology or geriatric setting. Graduate students must carry at least six credit hours and major in gerontology or geriatric nursing. Applicants must attend a nationally accredited school and have a 3.0 minimum grade point average. Applicants must submit a transcript and two letters of recommendation along with a statement of professional and educational goals.


The Nurse Corps Scholarship Program is funded by the government to alleviate the shortage of nurses in certain parts of the country. To apply, students must be enrolled in an accredited institution and may not have any federal judgment liens or existing service commitments or be delinquent on a federal debt. Preference is given to qualified students with the greatest financial need. Winners have tuition, fees and other educational expenses fully funded and receive a monthly stipend. Upon graduating, recipients must work at a Nurse Corps facility for at least two years.

» MORE: Student loan forgiveness for nurses

Devon Delfino is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: [email protected]. Twitter: @devondelfino.

This article was updated on May 20, 2016. It was originally published Aug. 1, 2012.