Sometimes, the only thing holding back a prospective student from pursuing a new career is the issue of money. Fortunately, for prospective nurses there is ample advice available on how to get financial aid and dozens of financial aid options.
Resources for individuals from all backgrounds
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), for example, outlines an extensive list of programs and nursing school scholarships for prospective students going after a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. The AACN itself offers a few options ranging from $2,500 to $10,000, each with varying requirements and conditions. For example, the AACN and Hurst Review Services partner to offer a scholarship to outstanding pre-licensure nursing students. Two $2,500 scholarships are given each spring and fall to students enrolled in schools that are AACN members. A list of scholarship opportunities for nursing students can be found online at sites such as fastweb.com.
Loans and repayment options
Loans are another option for those seeking financial aid. Loan programs are often designed to include all the resources you need from start to finish. To see what types of financial aid, including loans and grants you qualify for, it is important to fill out the Free Application for Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA) at https://fafsa.ed.gov.
For those depending on loans, there are generous repayment programs available to help reduce the out-of-pocket expense. The U.S. Army Nurse Corps, for instance, provides a range of options that grant various repayment levels based on your level of commitment to the corps. Being part of the Army Reserve grants $50,000 repayment funding over three years, while active duty participants can qualify for up to $120,000 in repayment funding over the same time period. Other incentives like benefits, sign-on bonuses, a competitive salary and entering as a ranking officer also exist.
Finally, many healthcare organizations and hospitals have such a high demand for nurses that they have included career development benefits like tuition reimbursement. These programs exchange years of service for funding earmarked to help cover tuition payments.
There are many resources available on how to get financial aid for nursing school. Options range from scholarships that help cover the cost, to full-ride loans that can then be repaid in part or completely through a repayment program. For those seeking to limit their bill, some institutes also offer affordable online programs. In the end, the demand for nurses has created an environment where nursing school scholarships are readily available for those who need it the most.
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