scholarships for nursing students

13 Best Nursing Scholarships & Grants for Nursing Students in 2023

Becoming a nurse is a big decision, and can offer both incredible challenges as well as opportunities. Nurses are critical to the medical field for keeping patients safe and healthy. They’re one of the heroes of society – without nurses, we couldn’t continue the same way!

Nursing has become a high-demand profession. With baby boomers retiring and the current pandemic ongoing, there’s a shortage of graduate nursing students entering the field. This fact is motivating institutions and organizations all over the country to step up and offer scholarships, grants, and other financial aid to absorb some of the brunt of tuition costs for nursing students.

And it’s a good thing, too, because nursing school is not cheap. Nearly 3 out of 4 nursing students graduate with student loans. In addition, tuition is on a steady rise, adding to students’ need to borrow. For example, the cost of nurse practitioner school can sometimes total over $100,000.

While these numbers may be alarming, scholarships can help. Conduct a careful search for scholarships, and then be dedicated as you select, list, and apply for as many as possible. The more opportunities you apply for, the higher your chances of winning those awards. You might be surprised how much you can save on tuition by slowly chipping away at your scholarships list!

Top Scholarships for Nursing Students to Apply For

Here are a few examples of financial awards that are relevant to anyone in nursing education or an accredited nursing program. Some of these awards are for high school seniors, undergraduate and graduate students in a nursing program, including anyone in graduate nursing programs. Some of the scholarships below include awards focused on health.

WiseGeek Nursing No-Essay Scholarship

  • Amount: $500
  • Application Deadline: August 16, 2022
  • Details: WiseGeek wants to lift the burden of student debt for the future generation of students looking to provide for the public through their nursing education. The WiseGeek Nursing No-Essay Scholarship is designed to support students dedicated to providing equitable opportunities for all people across the nation.

Bold Science Matters Scholarship

  • Amount: $500
  • Application Deadline: September 14, 2022
  • Details: An increasing number of students are pursuing degrees in STEM, with more than 330,000 students receiving Bachelor’s degrees in STEM in 2015-2016 alone. This award seeks to support students who are interested in science and fascinated by scientific discoveries. Any student may apply for this award. To apply, students need to share which scientific discovery is their favorite and why.

Mary P. Perlea Scholarship Fund

  • Amount: $500
  • Application Deadline: June 1, 2022
  • Details: This scholarship seeks to honor Mary P. Perlea’s legacy by supporting underrepresented or disadvantaged students so they can reach their full potential. Any undergraduate student who is part of an underrepresented or otherwise disadvantaged community, such as BIPOC students, LGBTQ+ students, single moms, etc., may apply for this award, but students pursuing STEM are preferred. To apply, students will need to share about the challenges they have overcome in life and how they hope to use their education to help other underserved or underrepresented students.

Benoit Migambit Chronic and Neurological Diseases Scholarship

  • Amount: $500
  • Application Deadline: June 1, 2022
  • Details: There is currently no cure for epilepsy, along with many other chronic diseases. To honor Benoit Migambi, who passed away from epilepsy, this award seeks to inspire the next generation of students studying neurological and chronic diseases. Graduate students studying chronic and neurological diseases are eligible to apply. 

Noah Jon Markstrom Foundation Scholarship

  • Amount: $3,000
  • Application Deadline: June 1, 2022
  • Details: Undergraduate and graduate students earning their degree to work in pediatric medicine are applicable for this award. Preference will be given to students specializing in oncology or cancer research in the Pacific NW. To apply, students write about what inspired them to pursue a career in pediatric medicine.

National Healthcare Heroes Grant for Nurses

  • Amount: $1,000
  • Application Deadline: May 16, 2022
  • Details: Now, in the midst of a global pandemic, nurses are on the frontlines, fighting on a daily basis to stop the spread of coronavirus that is crippling our nation. Despite this, as some hospitals reduce or halt elective procedures, some nurses have seen their incomes drop during a period in which they have never been more essential. As part of the initiative to provide more nursing scholarship opportunities for prospective nurses, this grant will go to an aspiring or current nurse to aid with the cost of tuition or student loans.

Deborah Stevens Pediatric Nursing Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Application Deadline: May 20, 2022

Details: This award seeks to support nursing students who are interested in pursuing careers in pediatric nursing. Any undergraduate nursing student who is interested in becoming a pediatric nurse may apply for this award. To apply, students need to share why they’re pursuing nursing and why they’re interested in pediatric nursing.

Healthy Living Scholarship

Amount: $500

Application Deadline: August 15, 2022

Details: This award seeks to support students who are passionate about health, wellness, and leading physically and mentally healthy lives. Any high school senior, undergraduate, or graduate student who’s a US citizen or permanent legal resident and passionate about health and wellness may apply for this award.

Bold Mental Health Awareness Scholarship

Amount: $500

Application Deadline: June 24, 2022

Details: The Bold Mental Health Awareness Scholarship will support one student who is struggling with mental health or is passionate about helping others who struggle with mental health. This scholarship is open to all students from any field of study. Students can apply by sharing about what they think should be done to help people who struggle with mental health.

WiseGeek Mental Health Well-Being No-Essay Scholarship

Amount: $500

WiseGeek Nurse Appreciation No-Essay Scholarship

  • Amount: $500
  • Application deadline: April 16, 2022
  • Details: The WiseGeek Nurse Appreciation No-Essay Scholarship is meant to support nurses and encourage more young people to consider a nursing career. The award will help current or aspiring nurses pay their student loans or tuition.

National Healthcare Heroes Grant for Nurses

  • Amount: $1,000
  • Application deadline: May 16, 2022
  • Details: The National Healthcare Heroes Grant for Nurses has a goal to show appreciation for nurses, inspired by their heroic work on the frontlines of our battle with the current pandemic. The grant hopes to help reduce the shortage by inspiring one more person to pursue their dreams of becoming a nurse. Students of any education level are welcome to apply.

Black Nurse Magic Scholarship

  • Amount: $1,500 (2 winners, $750 each)
  • Application deadline: May 29, 2021
  • Details: This scholarship was created in memory of Melinda Edwards-Jackson, to honor a first-generation Black nursing student who is or will be attending Prairie View A&M University. Applicants are asked to complete a short essay about achievement through hardship.

First-Gen in Health & Medicine Scholarship

  • Amount: $500
  • Application deadline: July 1, 2021
  • Details: This scholarship is designed to recognize and support a first-generation student who is pursuing a career in medicine or public health. Students of any education level are welcome to apply, and are asked to write about their experience pursuing a degree in health or medicine and how being a first-generation student has impacted that.

These are only a few types of financial awards available for students pursuing a nursing degree, or students pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree that is relevant to nursing. These awards could also benefit community college students transferring to an accredited school.

How to Qualify for Nursing Scholarships

best nursing scholarships

Eligibility requirements can vary widely and depend entirely on the specific scholarship program. Many simply require the applicant to be a current or future nursing student or someone in the nursing profession. Still, others may seek out nursing students of a particular degree specialization or demographic.

Here are some typical eligibility requirements for nursing scholarships:

  • An undergraduate or graduate student in nursing (sometimes specific to a particular level of education)
  • A 3.0 GPA or higher or demonstrated academic excellence
  • (Sometimes) pursuing a particular concentration of study
  • (Sometimes) belong to an ethnic minority

Keep in mind, there may be other scholarships you can qualify for that aren’t related to the field of nursing. These include scholarships that recognize:

  • Unique hobbies or skills
  • Academic achievement
  • Athletic performance
  • Musical talent
  • Volunteer work
  • Your identity, gender, or demographic
  • Financial need

How to Apply for Nursing Scholarships

There are a few things that students should keep in mind when they are seeking financial support for an undergraduate degree, graduate nursing program, doctoral degree, or any other degree focused on nursing school. Some students enrolled in nursing programs may also be able to find financial support to pay for their nursing education. Students should do the following things when looking for financial assistance as aspiring nursing students.

Where to Look for Scholarships

Scholarship applicants can take the financial burden of paying for higher education if they found a scholarship fund or grant program to pay for school. Whether you’re interested in finding a graduate program, a nursing practice, or nursing degree, there are options out there for you. You already have plenty of resources at your fingertips to get you started on your search for scholarships. You just need to know where to look.

You might start by asking your school if they know of opportunities. If you’re still in high school, as your guidance counselor, as they may have unique insights into local or limited scholarships taking place.

Or ask the financial aid office on your college campus. They can tell you not only of specific opportunities but also of practical tips to narrow your search and optimize your applications. Don’t forget to ask the nursing department at your school of choice. They may even have special scholarship opportunities unique to nursing students at your school.

You can also ask around locally, at the hospital, library, churches, volunteer committees, or even your employment (or your parents’). Finally, search online for scholarships. You might start with the U.S. Department of Labor’s free scholarship search tool or Bold.org.

Types of Scholarship Sponsors

Sponsors of scholarships can come from various organizations and committees. For example:

  • Individuals
  • Nonprofit organizations, such as
    • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
    • The Health Resources and Services Administration
  • Minority advocacy associations
  • Corporations
  • Employers
  • College departments

Scholarship Application Strategy

When selecting scholarships to apply for, find a balance between applying to as many as possible and capitalizing your time on those that are likely to benefit you most (such as those with high award amounts or low competition). If an award is limited to a certain specialization or location that applies to you, you may have a higher chance of winning that scholarship. Undergraduate nursing students can also keep their eyes open for awards to help pay for any graduate degree they may decide to pursue in the future. Graduate students pursuing a future in nursing may be able to find many different awards to help them pay their way.

As you send out applications, it may be helpful to first gather up all the documents and information you’ll need for your applications. While different scholarships will ask for different bits of information, it’s common to require some of the following:

Commonly Asked Questions About Scholarships for Nursing Students

What scholarships are available for nursing students?

There are plenty of scholarships opportunities available for nursing students. To get started, check out Bold’s scholarships for nursing students, such as the WiseGeek Nurse Appreciation Scholarship, the National Healthcare Heroes Grant for Nurses, the Black Nurse Magic Scholarship, or the First-Gen in Health & Medicine Scholarship.

How do I get a full ride to nursing school?

You may be able to find a single scholarship that will offer full-ride tuition coverage. But chances are, the best way to cover your entire college tuition is through multiple scholarships together. Apply to as many scholarships as you can for better chances of obtaining more awards.

How can I pay for nursing school with no money?

Start by trying for scholarships and grants, as these funds will not need to be paid back. In addition to scholarships, several government assistance programs exist to help nursing students achieve their goals. You might also try fellowships, loan forgiveness programs, work-study or working through school, employer assistance, or even military or travel nursing.

How do I get a nursing scholarship?

Simply apply! You never know what you might win unless you try. Capitalize your time by making sure you meet the eligibility requirements before beginning an application to any scholarship.

Can I get a scholarship for being a nursing student?

Yes! There are plenty of scholarships out there designed to honor nursing students and help them reach their educational and career goals. Students can also earn a graduate scholarship or scholarship for doctoral students pursuing nursing scholarships or nursing education.

When should I start applying for scholarships?

Applicants must honor award deadlines for nursing scholarships. Deadlines for scholarships vary depending on the unique award opportunity. Pay close attention to the details of each scholarship on your list to be sure of their application deadline.

What types of scholarships are available for nursing students?

There are all sorts of scholarships for nursing students. They may be designed to recognize nursing students with a particular specialization, from a particular region, with high academic achievement, or of a particular identity (gender, ethnicity, or religion).

What to consider when applying for scholarships?

Remember that with high-competition scholarships (with high numbers of applicants), chances of winning are essentially a numbers game. Don’t let it get you down when you don’t win an award – just keep sending applications out!

How do I make my application stand out?

It’s best to submit your scholarships applications as early before the deadline as you can. Carefully follow all submission instructions (sometimes candidates are disqualified from avoidable mistakes). And if completing an essay, be creative, personal, and professional in your writing.

How can I increase my chances of getting scholarships?

First, apply to as many scholarships as you can (just make sure you meet the eligibility requirements first). But second, try to capitalize your time and efforts on the opportunities with high award amounts and/or low competition.

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