Nursing Scholarships and Grants

Last updated: April 23, 2019

Registered nurses are among the most in-demand jobs of our generation. The American Nurses Association (ANA) projects that with new job growth, higher median salary rates and growing employment rates of RNs, nursing ranks as the occupation with the most annual job openings between 2012 and 2022. Considering population growth, the need for nurses is expected to contingently rise which will make nursing students more than just occupationally secure, but in a global sense, necessary.

Are you considering pursuing a career in nursing? If so, you’re among the over 3 million Registered Nurses (RNs) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) in the U.S. working towards a healthier population. The road to becoming an RN involves both classroom and hands-on experience, which help prepare you to become the best nurse you can possibly be. Use our guide to learn more about how you can qualify to be a nurse and how you can fund your college education with financial aid opportunities and nursing scholarships.

The more prepared students are within their field of study, the more they are capable of giving back to their community in the form of jobs in hospitals, nursing care facilities, physicians offices, outpatient care centers, elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, residential facilities, and more.

“By 2022, Nursing employment rates are projected to increase by 20%, with over 3.5 million jobs available.”
— American Nurses Association (ANA)

Nursing employment opportunities are only expected to rise over the next few years, but before students are ready to apply to a nursing program, first they must learn how to qualify to become a nurse.

How to Qualify to be a Nurse


Complete a Nursing Degree Program

Registered nurses typically choose between three types of degree programs: obtaining a diploma in nursing, an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing, or a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing program (BSN) which includes practical training in the field. Choosing a more advanced and intensive course load offers more possibilities for employment within a variety of post-graduate nursing careers such as teaching, administration, consulting, and various healthcare settings.


Choose a Specialty

Nurses can receive credentials in pediatrics, ambulatory care, advanced practice nurses such as midwives, practitioners, and anesthetics, among many other specialized fields. The requirements for declaring specialties vary by state, but generally require at least a Master’s degree.


Obtain Licensing

All states require registered nurses to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN), which is a 6-hour test that assesses students understanding of the nursing practice. Requirements for this license may vary by state.


Resources for Nursing Students

Davis Mobile NCLEX-RN Med-Surg App

This app provides study questions for the NCLEX-RN licensing test. This is a valuable tool for nursing students preparing for the exam. Pill Identifier

This app is helpful for healthcare students and professionals, because it allows users to search pills by common, physical features.

Pocket Anatomy

Students working to memorize names of bones and muscles of the human anatomy have this app available to them to help with memorization and identification.

This resource for student nurses has information on jobs, news, events, awards, and a blog that offers tips on ways to become the best caretaker of not only patients, but of themselves.

Practical Clinical Skills

This website provides free training exercises and clinical decision support aids using simulation-based training elements.

Resources and tools are available through this site that are recommended by RNs practicing in the field, with everything from scholarships, to practice tests.


A site that combines the power of Twitter with Registered Nurses worldwide, offers a place to connect and share stories to publicly discuss topics pertaining to the nursing field.

Learning Nurse

This site offers a simple way to study and learn more about the nursing industry, complete with free modules, videos, tests, and more.


How to Pay for College



There are hundreds of scholarships for nursing students, which are awarded by local organizations, private companies, societies and more.



Grants don’t need to be paid back and are based on your financial circumstances. They are usually funded by the federal government, your state or college.



While scholarships usually fund tuition, fellowships typically cover graduate study, research projects and abroad experiences without needing to be paid back.


Student Loans

You can borrow money from the government or a bank, but it needs to be paid back with interest. The federal government offers many loan options—fill out the free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see if you qualify for financial aid. If you need help, use our interactive guide to learn how to answer every question.


Federal Work-Study Program

Provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to pay education expenses.


If you’re just beginning the process of finding suitable scholarships, make sure you’re prepared for the application process by starting a folder with the assets below.

Scholarship Application Preparation

States and universities have different application requirements regarding prerequisite classes needed for admission into BSN programs. Check university websites for information on specific requirements needed prior to acceptance.
Not all scholarships are based off of your GPA, but most need to verify your high school education to qualify. Try to get certified copies of your transcript early, so you have plenty of time to meet the deadline.
Although there are scholarship opportunities that aren’t merit-based, it’s valuable to take the SAT or ACT standardized tests in case it’s a scholarship qualification.
Your scholarship essay is what will bring attention to your application out of the pool of applicants. That’s why it’s important to craft a stand out piece that attests to your experience, adheres to the scholarship guidelines and most importantly, highlights your true personality.
Letters of recommendation are a true judgement of your character—something that can’t be revealed through your test scores or transcript. Reach out to former teachers, counselors or bosses, so that they can speak to your qualifications. You may also want to provide them with a resume that outlines your achievements and goals as well.

Nursing Scholarships

Instructions: Click through the dropdowns below to sort by the region you reside, award amount and if you qualify for need-based aid.

Geraldine “Polly” Bednash Scholarship

Amount: $5,000

Deadline: October 31, 2020

Applicants must be admitted or enrolled in a baccalaureate or higher degree nursing program at an AACN member institution affiliated with CastleBranch., or have submitted their application to a nursing school through NursingCAS.

WOCN Society Accredited Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: November 1, 2020

Scholarships are accepted twice annually to participating members of WOCN Society Accredited Nursing Education Program. Individuals demonstrating strong academic achievement are preferred.

ACLS Mental Health Scholarship

Amount: $2,500

Deadline: November 30, 2020

To apply, create a 30-45 second video sharing the importance of mental health. Must be uploaded to YouTube using the hashtag #mentalhealthscholarship.

AANA Scholarship

Amount: $3,000

Deadline: December 1, 2020

The American Association for Nursing Anesthetists support student nurses pursuing their higher education with scholarships nominated by a sponsor.

Lamber Goodnow Nursing Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: December 1, 2020

Students planning on enrolling, or who are enrolled in an accredited nursing program are eligible for this recurring scholarship. Applicants will be reviewed based on their essay submissions.

Murse World Scholarhip

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: December 15, 2020

This scholarship is awarded for the winning written or image submission answering the question: How do you plan on making the world a better place through your future career? This scholarship is intended for U.S. students studying anything related to the medical or health field.

CastleBranch-GNSA Scholarship

Amount: $2,500

Deadline: December 30, 2020

Applicants for this scholarship must be enrolled in a graduate nursing program at an AACN member school of nursing, and must be, or apply to be, a GNSA member.

Dr. Lorraine G. Spranzo Memorial Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: December 31, 2020

Registered nurses who are residents of Maine pursuing an advanced degree are encouraged to apply for this award. Must be a graduate student with a GPA of 3.0 to be considered.

Niche Nursing Scholarship

Amount: $500

Deadline: December 31, 2020

Open to all high-school and undergraduate students pursuing a career in nursing. Must be a legal resident of the U.S.

After College AACN Scholarship

Amount: $2,500

Deadline: December 31, 2020

Students seeking their undergraduate degree with the dream of becoming a practicing nurse or a nurse educator are eligible for this award. Nursing scholarship recipients are awarded quarterly.

Academic Education Scholarships

Amount: $2,500

Deadline: December 31, 2020

This award is for occupational or environmental health nurses dedicated to developing leadership skills, while furthering the occupational nurse profession as a whole. Must be a member of AAOHN to apply.

Annette Haag Leadership Scholarships

Amount: $1,500

Deadline: December 31, 2020

This award is for one occupational or environmental health nurse dedicated to developing leadership skills, while furthering the occupational nurse profession as a whole. Must be a member of AAOHN to apply.

Liberty Leadership Scholarships

Amount: $1,500

Deadline: December 31, 2020

This award is for occupational or environmental health nurses dedicated to developing leadership skills, while furthering the occupational nurse profession as a whole. Must be a member of AAOHN to apply.

Professional Development Scholarships

Amount: $1,500

Deadline: December 31, 2020

This award is for occupational or environmental health nurses dedicated to developing leadership skills, while furthering the occupational nurse profession as a whole. Must be a member of AAOHN to apply.

Johnson & Johnson Nursing

Amount: Varies

Deadline: December 31, 2020

A landing page that links to 300+ nursing-related scholarships

Hawai'i Community Foundation Scholarships

Amount: Varies

Deadline: January 1, 2021

Hawaii Community Foundation is providing a wealth of financial support to qualified students throughout Hawaii. With over 250 scholarships, Hawaii students can surely find a scholarship that applies to them.

Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP)

Amount: Varies

Deadline: January 1, 2021

This scholarship is for qualifying active duty students, who are accepted into a four year institution. Must maintain full-time student status for duration of program. Benefits include monthly living expenses coverage, full coverage of tuition, and a $20,000 signing bonus. See website for more details and qualifications.

Indiana Nursing Scholarship Foundation

Amount: Varies

Deadline: January 1, 2021

Students who live in Indiana and require financial need will be considered for this scholarship. Must have a GPA of 2.0 and be admitted to an Indiana university.

Nurses Foundation of Wisconsin Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: January 1, 2021

Registered nurses of Wisconsin are eligible for this award that provides financial assistance to students who demonstrate strong contributions within the community. Must be enrolled in a university in Wisconsin, and be a current WNA member.

James F Reville Scholarship

Amount: $3,000

Deadline: January 13, 2021

Full time students enrolled in a healthcare program are eligible to apply for this award. Students' training must be in a field related to intellectual or other developmental disabilities.

FNSNA Scholarship

Amount: up to $7,500

Deadline: January 17, 2021

Students enrolled in an accredited nursing program are eligible to apply. Must be a U.S. citizen in pursuit of a degree in healthcare to be considered. Please note, the FNSNA charges $10 to apply for this scholarship.

Bobby Griffith Memorial Scholarship

Amount: $6,000

Deadline: February 1, 2021

LGBTQ+ students studying nursing are eligible to apply. Students demonstrating hardship, special circumstances, leadership, and academic achievement will be considered.

The Harry S Truman Scholarship Program

Amount: $30,000

Deadline: February 2, 2021

Students pursuing a bachelor degree in strong academic standing are eligible to apply for this scholarship. Students who are passionate about becoming a "change agent," and demonstrate strong community service and leadership. Must be a U.S. citizen.

Sigma Theta Tau International / National League for Nursing Research Award

Amount: $100,000

Deadline: February 6, 2021

Applicants must be enrolled in either a Masters or Doctoral program for nursing, with an interest in advancing the science and technology of the healthcare industry. Students must submit a proposal for review.

Doris W. Frey Memorial Scholarship

Amount: $2,700

Deadline: February 10, 2021

The scholarship awards students studying Christian ministry/youth ministry, teaching, Christian counseling, nursing or medicine. Students must graduate from a public or private high school in Charlotte, Collier, Hendry, Glades or Lee County. All High School Seniors, Undergraduates, and Graduates are eligible to apply.

Elizabeth J. Davis Scholarship

Amount: up to $3,000

Deadline: February 12, 2021

Home care professionals of Vermont seeking full-time degrees are eligible for this scholarship. Students must be pursuing their RN or LPN, occupational therapy or social work to apply.

Good Samaritan Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: February 15, 2021

The Good Samaritan Foundation sponsors students in good academic standing for their pursuit of a career in nursing. Applicants are asked to submit their transcript and letter of recommendation to apply.

AHNA Research Committee Grant

Amount: $5,000

Deadline: February 15, 2021

Members of AHNA of at least one year and are working in pursuit of holistic healthcare are eligible for this award. Students will be accepted based on a research proposal.

Irene and Daisy Macgregor Memorial Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: February 15, 2021

Two students of high scholastic standing and character who have been accepted into a course of study to become a medical doctor are eligible to apply. Pre-med, veterinarian or physician assistant are not eligible. Females applicants are preferred.

Caroline E Holt Nursing Scholarship

Amount: $2,500

Deadline: February 15, 2021

This one-time award is given to students pursuing a degree in nursing. Financial need will be considered.

Mary Barker APRN Nursing Scholarship

Amount: $2,000

Deadline: March 1, 2021

Nurses currently enrolled in or about to egin graduate school are eligible to apply.

Nebraska Health Care Foundation Scholarships

Amount: Varies

Deadline: March 8, 2021

The Nebraska Healthcare Foundation (NHCF) awards a variety of long-term support for students pursuing degrees in nursing. Check the scholarship website for specific eligibility requirements.

Kansas Nursing Foundation General Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: March 31, 2021

Undergraduate students residing in Kansas and pursuing a nursing degree are eligible. Must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and provide three letters of recommendation.

David E. Knox Memorial Fellowship

Amount: $2,500

Deadline: April 9, 2021

The Alaska Community Foundation offer this nursing fellowship to students committed to praticing as a nurse/RN in a small community within the state of Alaska for a minimum of one year. Compassion, organization, academic leadership and community leadership will be considered. Must have a GPA of 3.0 to apply.

A Nurse I Am Film & Scholarship Program

Amount: $2,000

Deadline: April 15, 2021

This scholarship is endorsed by donors accredited to the film "A Nurse I Am." Winners of this award call attention to the immense dedication, compassion, intelligence and skill that nurses and other healthcare professionals demonstrate every day. Applicant must be a student who is currently enrolled in an accredited LVN/LPN, RN degree (ADN or BSN), diploma, or RN-to-BSN program.

Nurse Corps Scholarship Program

Amount: Varies

Deadline: April 30, 2021

Applicants for the NURSE Corps Scholarship Program must be enrolled in a professional nursing degree program in the U.S. Must be free from overdue federal debt. Must have GED or high school diploma to apply.

The Nurses Care Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: May 29, 2021

Students must be a resident of South Carolina, pursuing an undergraduate degree in healthcare in good academic standing. Financial need will be considered.

Minority Fellowship Program

Amount: Varies

Deadline: May 30, 2021

To apply for the Minority Fellowship Program, you must be an American citizen that identifies as an underrepresented minority, enrolled full-time. Must have a Masters degree or have taken 9 credits involving mental health and/or substance abuse.

AACN Scholarship

Amount: $2,500

Deadline: July 15, 2021

This scholarship program is available to prelicensure students enrolled at member AACN schools.

Creative Biolabs Scholarship Program

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: July 20, 2021

Students worldwide are eligible to apply for this scholarship. Undergraduate, graduate and Ph.D. students, majoring in a science related field such as biology, biochemistry, chemistry, and molecular biology, are encouraged to apply. Must have a 3.0 GPA to be considered.

$1,000 "RN to BSN/MSN Challenge" Scholarship!

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: September 1, 2021

Registered Nurses (RN) working towards their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) are encouraged to apply.

Washington State Opportunity Scholarship

Amount: $1,500

Deadline: October 23, 2021

This scholarship is offered to Washington State residents who have acquired a high school diploma or GED from a Washington state institution. Must fill out a FAFSA to apply. See website for more details.