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8 Ways to Pay for a BSN, MSN

Higher Education Articles November 21, 2013

With growing demand for qualified nurses, because of a possible nursing shortage in the United States, finding ways to pay BSN or MSN tuition is essential. There are numerous opportunities for grants, scholarships, or loans that can defray the costs associated with going back to school for an advanced nursing degree. Although it can be difficult to juggle the demands of your career, family, and other obligations, earning an advanced nursing degree can pay for itself in several years. These eight opportunities are great ways to pay for the nursing degree you’ve always wanted.

After College/AACN Nursing Scholarship Fund

•Award: Scholarship or loan forgiveness

•Program description: Offered by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, this scholarship provides $20,000 worth of awards each year. Eligible applicants can receive a $2,500 scholarship to pay for a baccalaureate, master’s, or doctoral degree for nursing.

•Who’s eligible: Eligible applicants must have a GPA of 3.25 or higher.

•Application deadlines: April 30, 2013; July 31, 2013; October 31, 2013


•Award: Scholarship or loan forgiveness

•Program description: NURSE Corps is a paid service program for nurses that serve professional shortage areas across the United States. The program offers loan forgiveness of 60% of unpaid loans over two years. There is also a scholarship program that pays nursing program tuition and a small monthly stipend for individuals who make a two-year service commitment.

•Who’s eligible: U.S. citizens admitted or enrolled in an accredited professional nursing program. Individuals must also be free from Federal judgment liens and existing service commitments.

•Application deadlines: Applications are accepted once per year, usually in the spring (specific date pending).

Campus RN Scholarship Program

•Award: Scholarship or loan forgiveness

•Program description: The Campus RN scholarship program awards six $2,500 scholarships to students in six regions across the country (Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, South Central, Mountain, and Pacific).

•Who’s eligible: Individuals enrolled in a qualified nursing program who can demonstrate financial need and academic merit.

•Application deadline: April 1, 2013.

Emergency Nurses Association Foundation Scholarship Program

•Award: Scholarship or loan forgiveness

•Program description: The Emergency Nurses Association offers scholarships in four categories: non-RN, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral. The scholarship is designed to support individuals with a commitment to a career in emergency nursing.

•Who’s eligible: To qualify, an individual must be a member of the Emergency Nurses Association for at least one calendar year before applying.

•Application deadline: June 1, 2013.

Mary Free Bed Guild Minority Scholarship Program

•Award: Scholarship or loan forgiveness

•Program description: The Mary Free Bed Guild is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing high-quality nursing services in a rehabilitation hospital setting. The group developed a minority scholarship to promote diversity in the nursing setting. The scholarship pays for one year of qualified educational expenses.

•Who’s eligible: Applicants must be currently accepted to or enrolled in an accredited program in nursing or related areas. Individuals must also have a GPA higher than 3.0, demonstrate leadership abilities, be committed to serving diverse populations, be a permanent resident of the West Michigan area, and be a member of a minority group.

•Application deadline: April 1, 2013.

National Black Nurses Association Scholarship Program

•Award: Scholarship or loan forgiveness

•Program description: The National Black Nurses Association offers qualified applicants scholarships ranging from $500 to $2,000.

•Who’s eligible: Applicants must be currently enrolled in a nursing program, be in good academic standing, and have at least one full year of school remaining. An eligible applicant must also be a member of NBNA as well as a member of a local chapter (if one exists in the applicant’s area.)

•Application deadline: April 15, 2013.

Health Resources and Services Administration Nursing Loans

•Award: Loan

•Program description: The Health Resources and Services Administration offer long-term, low-interest rate loans to qualified nursing students.

•Who’s eligible: Applicants must be currently enrolled full-time or half-time in a nursing program. Eligible applicants must demonstrate financial need.

•Application deadline: Applications accepted on a rolling basis, year-round.

Together We Care Nurse Practitioner Scholarship Program

•Award: Scholarship or loan forgiveness

•Program description: Together We Care offers up to 30 Nurse Practitioner scholarships of $2,500 each and up to 5 doctoral scholarships of $5,000 each.

•Who’s eligible: Qualified applicants must be legal U.S. residents enrolled in an accredited Nurse Practitioner program. Applicants must have a GPA greater than 3.2 and demonstrate leadership activities or strong community service.

•Application deadline: Applications accepted on a rolling basis from January 6 through May 1, 2013.

Applying for federal student aid is another excellent way to get grants or loans to defray the cost of your advanced nursing degree. The federal government offers several financial aid opportunities through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. With scholarships, loans, or grants, you’ll be able to afford the opportunity to advance your career with a BSN or MSN degree.

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