Nurse Practitioner Scholarships, don’t leave money on the table!

np nurse interview

I wish I had been more aware of all the scholarship opportunities available to me when I was a nursing student and or a nurse practitioner (NP) student. I didn’t become aware of scholarship opportunities or apply until I was a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) student.

It was pure luck when I noticed an email in my student email inbox from the Associate Dean of Graduate Programs. My school’s College of Nursing had received funding for a few different scholarship opportunities available for students. The email read that the school had received funding for 4 Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) stipends for students and 1 Peg’s Foundation Scholarship for a lucky student. The scholarships were ~$30,000 each with the expectation that the recipient is a full-time student and would complete the DNP program during two academic years.

I applied to both scholarships, and I was lucky enough to be awarded one of them. I was buried under a mountain of debt by the time I was a DNP student, so the opportunity to receive funding was very fortunate.

Often, scholarships are money left on the table that nursing students either: don’t know about, don’t think they have the time to apply for, or don’t think they will win, so they don’t even apply. Don’t be one of those students who leave money on the table.

Scholarship Tips

  • Apply for scholarships when you see them—they’re often relatively easy to complete, and the potential to be granted significant funds for your education is an incredible payoff.
  • Ask your nursing program about available scholarships and keep your eye out for emails from your school (often, schools are kept updated about scholarship opportunities ahead of anyone else). Also, Colleges of Nursing receive funding for various scholarship openings for a select number of students per year.
  • Draft an essay (personal essay) that can be tweaked or tailored for different scholarships so you are efficient with applying to multiple scholarships at a time.

I highly recommend applying for scholarships as you enter school or during school. When you’ve graduated and are no longer a student, you are no longer eligible for scholarship funding. Apply while in school, during breaks between semesters, or before beginning your nursing, NP, or DNP program.

Application Requirements

Often, student applicants are required to submit additional information along with their applications. An example of common requirements and supplementary documentation includes:

  • A personal statement (varies by scholarship, but likely 1,000 words or less describing your experiences, professional goals, and vision of healthcare in the future)
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher (GPA varies)
  • CV or resume
  • Transcript from your MSN program
  • 2 to 3 references from a healthcare professional or academic faculty who can speak to your ability to meet the objective of the award
  • You are an accepted or enrolled student in a nursing degree program at a United States accredited school of nursing

Scholarship Opportunities

1. The Nurses Educational Funds (NEF)

NEF is one of the largest, private, professionally endorsed sources of funds for advanced nursing study with over 100 years of service to professional nursing. The goal of NEF is to provide nursing scholarship assistance to make graduate-level nursing education possible. Students (and faculty) in MSN, DNP, EdD, and PhD programs can apply for NEF scholarships. Learn about current opportunities here.

2. Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA)

You might have heard of HRSA scholarships as a nursing student or NP student. Each year, HRSA awards scholarships to students. There are different ways to hear about and apply for HRSA scholarships. Some scholarship opportunities come from your school, where your College of Nursing is funded to grant a certain number of scholarships to students.

You can also find HRSA scholarships by looking directly on HRSA’s website. One scholarship for eligible nursing students is the Nurse Corps Scholarship Program which pays for your tuition and fees. You agree to work at a Critical Shortage Facility (CFS) in exchange for the scholarship when you graduate.

Nurse Corps Scholarship Program is a worthwhile scholarship opportunity because, in addition to the educational funding, you will be serving individuals who typically don’t have access to healthcare services due to the shortage of healthcare workers in their communities. Learn more about the Nurse Corps Scholarship Program here.

3. Other scholarships are specific to a state or specialty.

For example, Peg’s Foundation Scholarship (mentioned earlier) is for Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners earning a DNP at a particular university.

Your state, school, and specialty will likely have scholarship opportunities available as well. Some scholarships are awarded for specific groups like minorities or individuals from lower socioeconomic status.  

The bottom line is to keep an eye out from your school for available scholarship opportunities and to also google scholarship opportunities in your state and specialty to see what opportunities are available for you.

Don’t leave money on the table. School is expensive, but scholarship funding is available.

Get the Psychiatric Templates Bundle!

Your reference for creating clear, high quality notes (for Psych NPs!)

psychiatric evaluation template bundle contents