Nursing Scholarships

As the backbone of the nation's health system, nurses are one of the most in-demand and highly sought after profession in the United States. With specialist skills and a vast range of worthwhile abilities for hospitals, health clinics, and independent doctors' offices, they form a unique, smart, and highly essential part of our health system, and one that's valued highly by millions of people.

However, while we constantly need more nurses, both in public hospital facilities and in private healthcare sectors, there's a costly and difficult barrier for many would-be nurses to overcome. A qualification for nursing, either as part of a college medical degree or a specialized nursing skills program, is an expensive undertaking, and one that comes with no reliable guarantee of a job.

It's an unfortunate reality for thousands of nurses throughout the country and overseas – despite having an advanced degree and extensive qualifications, they're unable to find work at anything other than the lowest pay grades in their city. This is partially due to the pay structures of public hospitals and clinics, in which almost all professionals are paid less than they earn privately.

However, it's also due to the relatively lower cost of becoming a nurse, particularly when stood up next to the cost of becoming a doctor or other medical professional. Despite having to spend a great deal on their education, many nurses still get lower salaries than their peers. Because of this, many nurses, despite having jobs and a stable source of income, struggle with debt from their education.

But while it seems difficult to handle, particularly if you're looking to become a nurse, there are a range of solutions available. Nursing scholarship programs allow many would-be nurses to reduce the expenses associated with becoming a qualified nurse, bringing the total cost of tuition down to an easily affordable, significantly more financially realistic state – one that anyone can deal with.

There are also a range of grants available for nurses, many of which are designed to be used for a single education-related expense such as books or tuition fees. These present an alternative option for lowering the cost of education further. Grants can range from hundreds of dollars to a multiple-thousand dollar tuition grant, or even into the tens-of-thousands in the case of full tuition grants.

Qualifying for these grants and scholarships can also vary in difficulty. Nursing scholarships are fairly widely available, particularly when compared to scholarships in other areas. Because of the greater relative amount of scholarships when compared to student nurses, this makes it a little bit easier to qualify. However, it's still a competitive process, and one that's not always successful.

The United States Health Resources and Services Administration (HRA) offers a range or nurses' scholarships through its Nursing Scholarships Program. These offer progressive funding for costs associated with receiving training as a nurse, primarily focused at the school side of training. As a sponsored student, you can receive over $2,000 monthly to assist with school-related expenses.

It's worth noting that these programs come with some strict entry criteria, and even a commitment to work within the public health system following your graduation. In order to qualify for an HRA scholarship, you need to be United States citizen or resident, and be enrolled in a nursing program. You also need to commit to two years of work in an understaffed hospital as an entry-level nurse.

This last-minute deal-breaker pushes many applicants away, however it's far from a bad deal. The combined two-year value of the scholarship reaches above forty-thousand dollars, equal to a high-level nursing salary in many parts of the country. It also guarantees employment, albeit in a fairly stressful position, for two years following your graduation, making job hunting a needless task.

Aside from job-backed scholarships, there are a range of other funding and scholarship options for nurses in training. These include sponsorship from the American Homes for the Aging Association, which places students in elderly care homes as part of a paid job and to cover many of their place-of-work nursing training requirements. This is one of several elderly care nursing scholarships.

Others include the Association of Women's Health scholarship, which offers financial assistance of up to one-thousand dollars monthly to those that qualify and are awarded assistance. Other options, for those that have serves in the military, include scholarships from the Department of Defense and several work-based sponsored study programs from the United States Army, Navy, and Air Force.

Finally, trainee nurses from an ethnic minority within the United States may also qualify for help with the cost of their training. Various ethnic support groups, both within the nursing community and within academia as a whole, offer assistance in limited amounts. If you believe you may have the ability to claim an ethnicity-based scholarship, it's worth speaking with your nursing college.

While the cost of becoming a nurse can be immense, these options make it a more affordable and easily manageable process. Conditions for nurses, both within the United States and in a range of other countries, appear to be improving, with skilled staff required constantly and demand at high rates historically. With a scholarship in hand, your nursing career could be a lucrative investment.