If you are a registered nurse interested in getting your BSN, you probably wonder if there are scholarships available for RN-BSN programs. Most scholarship opportunities are designated for first-time freshmen or underclassmen, and you have been working as a nurse for a while. Do you still qualify for those scholarships? The answer is a resounding “yes.” Not only can you qualify for general underclassman funding, but you have access to many specialty scholarships because you have chosen a career in a high-need field.
The federal government has a financial assistance program that may award you at least a student loan, if not a grant. The award depends upon your financial need. To start the process you must fill out the FAFSA form. The government also has a program called Nurse Corps, under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, that pays for full tuition, all fees and even provides a monthly stipend for living expenses. In exchange, you agree to work for two years in a health care facility in an area the government has designated as having a nurse shortage. You should also check your state’s board of nursing to see what assistance is available on the state level. These funds are generally administered by the schools, so you may be able to get information from the college or university you selected.
Your school will undoubtedly have financial aid available. You may not qualify for scholarships with designations like “President’s Award,” “Dean’s Award,” or other scholarships that are intended for freshmen coming directly from high school. You might, however, qualify for scholarships awarded through the nursing department. You could also be awarded a grant because you are part of a special population. There are, for instance, numerous scholarships for minority students entering nursing, and help available for older students.
Organizational and Health Care Industry Help
Service organizations like the International Lions Clubs give out scholarships through local affiliations. An Internet search of these groups will help you determine if there are any in your area to which you could apply. Other awards are based upon your nursing specialization. Gerontological nursing associations, pediatric nursing associations and others offer scholarships to nurses intending to work in their arenas. State nursing associations also offer scholarships like Florida’s Agnes Naughton RN-to-BSN Fund. If you work in a hospital, find out if they offer scholarships to individuals who will contract to work for a specified time in that facility after graduation.
The First Step
If you are looking into RN-to-BSN programs, you have already taken the first step. The next step is to make that dream financially feasible. Once you have decided upon a school and located some scholarships of interest to you, including the FAFSA awards, check the details of the award carefully. There are different deadlines and some scholarships require essays. Make certain you put forth your best effort. Avoid scholarship searches that charge fees, or scholarship programs that ask for a credit card number or bank information when you apply. Reputable scholarship organizations will also never guarantee assistance before you apply.
There is a global shortage of nurses. Making that shortage even more severe, there are new specializations such as nursing informatics and forensic nursing that require a baccalaureate degree. You can find the financial assistance you need to earn your degree. There are many scholarship opportunities that will help you pay for your RN-to-BSN program.