How to Pay for Nursing School: 5 Government Assistance Programs That Can Help

how to pay for nursing schoolBy Kimberly Dixon

If you're about to begin your career as a nursing student, deciding how to pay for nursing school is probably weighing heavily on your mind.

Luckily, the U.S. government offers plenty of grant, scholarship and loan programs to qualified nursing students in need of financial assistance. 

Nursing students who take advantage of government assistance often report that they're able to focus on their studies more than those who take on the financial burden of paying for school.

How to Pay for Nursing School: 5 Programs to Check Out

Take a look and see which government-funded grants, loans and scholarships you might qualify for.

1. NURSE Corps

NURSE Corps is a scholarship program that's available to U.S. citizens who are willing to work in an eligible critical shortage facility (CSF) after they've graduated. 

A CSF is a facility that's desperately short on nurses. This scholarship provides financial support for:

  • Tuition fees
  • Textbooks
  • Uniforms
  • Clinical supplies
  • Monthly stipend

To be eligible, students must be accepted to or enrolled in a professional nursing degree program at an accredited U.S. school that begins before September 30 of the applicable year.

2. Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship (NHHS)

Full-time nursing students wondering how to pay for nursing school may qualify for this grant if they can prove their Hawaiian ancestry.

To qualify, students must enroll in a nursing, nursing midwifery or nursing practitioner program at an eligible school. 

Following their graduation, recipients of this scholarship perform a year's service in an underserved area of Hawaii for every year of assistance they receive.

3. Nursing Student Loans

Students at participating nursing schools may be eligible for government loans to help pay for their schooling.

These loans help students cover the costs of tuition, textbooks and other supplies. 

Upon graduation, nurses begin loan repayment by making monthly payments or through enrollment in the Faculty Loan Repayment Program (FLRP).

4. Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students

The HRSA provides grants to schools that use scholarship funds to help disadvantaged students attend nursing school. 

If you're from a disadvantaged background, and you've enrolled or been accepted to a participating nursing school, you may be eligible for a scholarship.

5. Enlist in the U.S. Army

Nurses who enlist in the U.S. Army experience a wide range of benefits including competitive pay, job diversity and, of course, tuition.

The Army Nurse Corps provide care to soldiers both at home and overseas in war zones. If you're willing to serve your country, becoming a nurse with the U.S. Army provides plenty of opportunities to further your education. 

You'll never have to worry about how to pay for nursing school.


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