Tips on Getting Nursing Scholarships and Grants

If you're interested in pursuing an education in nursing but are having trouble coming up the money to pay for tuition, start by looking into the possibility of obtaining one of many nursing scholarships and grants. For nursing students who are struggling financially, these programs can help ease the transition into their new career.

How to Find Nursing Scholarships and Grants  

The primary question asked by prospective nurses in need of financial aid is where to find information on nursing scholarships and grants. Believe it or not, this is the easy part! Offered by federal, state, local, and private funders, nursing scholarships and grants are available for every type of nursing degree, from nurse's aide and LPN to RN and BSN degrees.

Nursing Scholarships and Grants Can Provide Career Opportunity

If you've already chosen a nursing school or program, the best place to start is with your school's grants and scholarships department. A guidance counselor or scholarship director can usually tell you about dozens of financial aid opportunities that may be applicable to your situation, particularly those that apply to the program and school you've chosen. Some will be based on a personal essay or previous academic marks, while others (especially grants) base their qualifications purely on financial need.

Government Grant Locator

Once you've learned about the scholarships that are available for your particular program, you can take it a step further and learn more about the hundreds of local, state, and federal nursing grants that can be obtained through the Internet. There are many websites that publish lists of dozens of nursing grants and scholarships, many of which your school may not know about.

Avoiding Scholarship Scams 

The trouble with online listings – and any scholarship source that does not come directly from your school's financial aid office – is that some of the advertised opportunities may be scams. Although you shouldn’t let the potential risk dissuade you from pursuing scholarships, you should exercise caution and do your research before applying.

  • Be wary of scholarships that require an application fee. Some legitimate scholarships may charge up to $5 to cover mail costs and processing, but anything more expensive than this should be a red flag for a potential scam.
  • All legitimate scholarships are publicly advertised for free. Any scholarship that requires you to pay for application information is likely a scam. Along those same lines, any scholarship that forces you to set an appointment at a hotel or meeting hall to pick up information is most likely a bogus organization that will attempt to sell you something.
  • No reputable scholarship should ever ask for your banking or credit card information.
  • No real scholarship program can guarantee that you will win or receive financial aid, or offer a scholarship based on no work at all. Don't be taken in by promises that seem too good to be true.

Scholarships for Nursing Students

Writing a Winning Scholarship Essay 

While grants are usually offered based on financial need, most scholarships require a written essay or short answers to essay-type questions as part of the judging criteria. The following tips can help you complete a winning scholarship application:

  • Plan your essay in advance and edit your answers carefully before sending in the application.
  • Ask a friend or teacher to proofread your essay or answers for proper spelling and grammar.
  • Be as honest and thoughtful as you can when providing your answers.
  • Be creative and unique—winning essays are the ones that stand out from the crowd.
  • Write an essay that is appropriate to your audience and the goals of the scholarship program.

With a bit of careful research and the appropriate time spent making your essay the best it can be, it may be easier than you think to finance your nursing education with grants and scholarships.


Grant Writing for Nurses




See Grant Writing Handbook for Nurses for additional tips on getting a nursing grant.





If you plan on a long term career in the health field, and are thinking beyond an LPN certification, your first consideration might be the LPN to RN career path.

Return to the home page for more general information on LPNs.


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