Scholarships and Grants for the Training of Nurses
There are more 2.6 million people, more than people employed in other profession working as nurses. Roughly 60% of them work in hospitals around the country. Besides their usual place of work (hospitals), they also work in Doctor’s office, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers, summer camps, correctional facilities, on cruise ships and in the military. The article is about financial assistance for those who are interested in pursuing nursing career.
Specialties in the Nursing Profession
There are many specialties and the following are just few of them: pediatrics, forensic, mental health, and emergency room nurse. Nursing services are needed in almost every illness; care for the elderly and in other life situations. Great numbers of nurses are members of professional association that can offer scholarships and grants to undergraduate and graduate student in nursing education.
The demand for nurses will reach 26% from 2010 to 2020 according to the Department of Labor, faster than the average all profession. This trend is due to factors like advancement in technology, an increase emphasis on preventive care and the aging baby-boomer population who will need more nursing services as they grow older.
Salaries of nurses range from $42,000 to $90,000 per year. The average per year is around $64,000. Some employers will pay for relocation plus bonuses that will amount to thousands of dollars to lure nursing professional to work in particular area.
Who will make Good Nurse?
Nursing is a profession that requires compassion and understanding for patients. It is a good career choice for people who want to make stable income. Those who love science, flexible schedules and opportunities for growth will find nursing career very interesting and satisfactory.
How to become a Registered Nurse
There are three different ways to become a nurse. An individual can be enrolled in a nursing program to earn a diploma, bachelor’s degree in nursing, or associate’s degree in nursing. The final stage is to pass the National Council Licensing Exam (NCLE). More information on this exam can be obtained from state’s board of nursing. Once the exam is passed an individual becomes Registered Nurse.
There is abundance of scholarship opportunities to individuals who intend to pursue nursing career. So once the choice is made the next important step for those who will not be able to finance their tuition is to seek for scholarships or grants.
This type of scholarships is awarded by colleges, universities or private foundations. Applicants are usually required to write essay and scheduled for interview with the committee in charge of the selection process. Other requirement is letters of reference from teachers or employers to the scholarship committee. Evaluation and selection of winners are based on academic performance, academic service and future goals. Scholarship is awarded to the most worthy applicant.
As the name goes this type of scholarships is awarded to those who have financial needs or members of under-represented groups in higher education. It requires application and submission of tax return or other financial documents. Some of these scholarships target a particular ethnic group, for instance African-American or Hispanic, Arab or Japanese group. These scholarships can also be available for people with physical or learning disabilities. Almost all the states have scholarship available for nurses.
The United States government sponsors this type of scholarship in all four branches U.S. armed forces in addition to ROTC military scholarships. The government also sponsors scholarships in the National Health Service Corps and the Veterans Affairs Health Careers. Recipients of these scholarships must serve from two to eight years depending on the agreement between the recipient and the U.S. government.
The number of recipients for each scholarship varies. Some have a great number of beneficiaries while others are available for the very few. One advice for those who are applying for scholarship is to seek the lesser known with small award amount, as well as those very known with larger award amount. Students can apply for any number of scholarships without limitation. Good example is to earn a number of scholarships with small award amount, but the total sum amount becomes larger in the end.
Increasing the chances of receiving Scholarship
The following guidelines must be considered in order to increase a person’s chances in scholarship application.
- · Study the application instructions carefully and do what are expected.
- · Note down all the deadline date and keep track of them.
- · Allow ample time for references to write recommendations.
- · Don’t be late at interviews.
- · Check for errors in your essay and correct them.
- · Get assistant to proofread your essay
- · Make use of concrete examples and descriptive essay
- · Try to be clear
Merits of Scholarship to Nursing Students
There are a lot of people who cannot afford the high tuition fees in nursing education. Scholarships are the only option available for many of these dedicated citizens. There are health professionals who may like to advance their career but it is absolutely impossible without the availability of scholarships because of financial constraint. Most of these talented nurses today in our medical facilities could not have been, without the opportunity of scholarships. Still there are a lot of people who would have probably taken the path to nursing if they could afford the tuition fees.
Today, fortunately for those who want to pursue nursing career, there is a very great number of scholarships around. There are many scholarships available in Colleges and Universities allocated to nursing training. Almost all the states have scholarship programs for nursing students.
There are other scholarships sponsored by private foundations and professional associations with varying award amount. Some military associations offer scholarships to their members who want to purse nursing career. Special programs also exit to encourage minorities to enter into the nursing profession. All these scholarship are open to applicants at all level of education.
Government and Military Scholarships
Scholarships are available for nursing students nationwide by the federal government. Students can apply for scholarships from the National Health Service Corps in return to work in under-served locations. Information on these scholarships can be obtained from the website of the Department of Health.
Different kinds of scholarships are also offered by individual states. Some states require recipients of these scholarships to attend school in the state or work there after graduation. Sometimes applying for scholarships can open the doors for other opportunities including grants and student’s loans.
The U.S. military sponsors scholarships for nursing students. Applicants must be a member of ROTC Corps. All the four branches of U.S. military give financial assistance to help train nurses.
Professional Association Scholarships
Professional nursing associations have keen interest in the advancement of the nursing profession. Most members of nursing associations are motivated individuals who are interested in opening the doors for others in the nursing profession. Some of these associations offer scholarships base on academic achievements. Sigma Theta Tau International is an example of association that offer scholarships to nursing students base on high grades. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing and The National Student Nurses Association are all examples of associations that can offer financial help to needy students.
There are scholarships that are limited to locations and special experiences. The Midwest Alliance for Nursing offer support in some several states. The National Black Nurses Association brings members together to support nursing course. The HOSA and SGNA RN offer scholarships to certain type of nursing students. Another nursing association that should be of interest is AORN.
Another important option for nursing student is grants. We will discuss at length the various nursing grants available.
Precautions to Scholarship seekers
There are many vacancies to be filled by talented and dedicated nursing professionals in the health industry. Availability of varying financial assistances in the form of scholarships and grants is enormous potential to help fill the gap. In the United States there are many government and private scholarship programs, however students can fall victim to fraudsters. So individual aspiring to become a nurse should be very careful in the search of financial aid. Applicants should make thorough research on all the scholarship programs available to make the right choice.
Most of the research on scholarship opportunities can be done free on-line by applicants. No need to spent hundreds of dollars on scholarship agents or companies. Especially be cautious with those companies that promises prospective students a 100% guarantee. With a bit research the chances of receiving scholarship will be good. Sometimes it will advisable for students to seek other options like student’s loans or grants, because some scholarships might not be enough to finance the entire duration of nursing education.
Some of the signs students should look out for are:
- · Do take time and effort to get
- · Do have requirements
- · Do not charge application fees
- · Do have deadlines
- · Are open to qualified applicants through competition
- · Do require applicants to be interviewed
- · Do not require handling fees
- · Do not require fees for information
- · Do not require companies to complete applications for students
- · Do not require companies to ask for credit card or bank information
- · Are not 100% guarantee for seekers
- · Appointments are not scheduled at hotels and public places
The federal government and some banks offer loans to interested students. While this might not be the preferred option, it is nevertheless the only solution for some students to pursue career in nursing. Applicants must make sure they fill out FAFSA form then apply for federal funds before applying for private student’s loans.
Student’s Loan Forgiveness Programs
The federal government and many states have in place student’s loan forgiveness programs to lure nursing professionals to work in under-served communities. Most of these loan forgiveness programs are exempted from tax obligation, but some are taxed. If a person opts for the loan forgiveness program in exchange for services, the amount involved is not taxable. For more information check The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997.
Understanding Federal Loan Forgiveness Programs
LOAN REPAYMENT PROGRAMS PERTAINING TO NURSING EDUCATION:
In exchange for professional services in critically under-served areas, the U.S. government through the Department of Health and Human Services pays 60% of nurse’s loans. There are few requirements to be met by a nursing professionals interested in the loan repayment programs including being certified registered nurse, having full-time job and others. Some type of working nurses are not eligible, example travel nurses, on-call nurses, nurses in default on their loans, nurses under other types of service obligations. For more information visit: http://bhpr.hrsa.gov/nursing/loanrepay.htm.
LOAN FORGIVENESS PROGRAMS BY STATE:
Almost all the states in U.S. have loan forgiveness program for nurses in exchange for their services in under-served areas. It is worth considering which is your state of choice for this purpose.
THE NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE CORPS LOAN REPAYMENT PROGRAMS
U.S. nationals who are trained as primary care nurse practitioners, nurse-midwives or psychiatric nurse specialists, as well as other licensed primary care medical, dental, and mental and behavioral health providers are eligible for this loan repayment programs which amounts to $60,000. Nursing professionals who benefit from these programs have obligation to work full-time for two years in approved under-served communities.