Financial aid for schooling is available for all students, but is perhaps nowhere more readily available than for those interested in a medical career. With shortages in many medical fields, including nursing, the government, private organizations, colleges, and even employers are footing the bill to sent people to school. Even if you choose to go to school online, there are ways to pay your bills without spending a dime of your own money. Scholarships funds help students based on merit, while grants typically go to people with the most financial need. The best part about scholarships? You never have to repay them.
Right now is a great time not only to go into nursing, but also to get an advanced degree. To become a registered nurse, you only need a diploma or associate’s degree. More and more first-time students, however, are choosing accelerated Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN) programs, and current registered nurses are going back to school to get their BSNs as well. With scholarships and other financial aid, this education could be free for you. But do scholarships help people who go to school online?
In most cases, yes. Before you apply for a scholarship, read the guidelines carefully. Many set certain standards for how the money is used, and almost all require that your scholarship fund an education at an accredited college or university. If you’re unsure, contact the scholarship’s director or committee directly and simply ask.
You can often find online BSN scholarships directly from online BSN programs, so start you scholarship search by checking with your school. However, this isn’t the only place to search for BSN scholarships. Many nursing organizations sponsor annual scholarships; all you have to do is apply.
A good place to start is with the American Academy of Nursing, which runs the John A. Hartford Foundation. This one organization has already given millions of dollars to BSN degree candidates. You can also check out the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, which has two scholarship programs — one for students who do not yet have an RN license and the other for RNs who are interested in earning a BSN (or more). There are also multiple organizations that offer BSN scholarships based on your nursing specialty. Pediatric nurses can find money from the March of Dimes, Patricia Smith Christensen Foundation, or Pediatric Endocrinolgy Nursing Society, while neonatal nurses can look to the National Association of Neonatal Nurses for help earning a BSN or higher degree.
Even if you’re soon done with school, you could be eligible for a scholarship. The Nurse Options Registered Nurse Academic Scholarship is available to RNs who will be done with their BSN within six months. Not from the United States? No problem. Organizations like the Florence Nightingale Foundation in the UK provide scholarships for BSN students overseas.
All of these resources and more can information available online, making it simple to find money for your BSN education. Scholarships are easy to find for those in the medical field, and they can be applied to both offline and online programs to help you earn your degree.