With the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) recommending that the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) become the new standard of training for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) by 2015, there are plenty of nurses scrambling to advance their education. For some, this means just completing a nurse practitioner (NP) degree at the master’s level while for others it means advancing to their DNP. Add in the physician shortage that is expected to reach 91,500 by 2020, and new opportunities could abound for NPs to find their niche in the healthcare system and serve a very essential purpose. Time and money are both needed to pursue an advanced education and students may find these in short demand. To help, we’ve made a list of 11 nurse practitioner scholarships that are available so that potential students can be assured that there is money and funding that can be found to help eligible candidates with graduate-level education.
The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) continuously provides monetary support to those wishing to advance their NP education. Scholarships and grant opportunities are typically made available on the ANNP website in the fall of every year. In 2013, more than $76,000 in scholarships and grants were given to students. Scholarships ranged from $1,000 to $2,500 in 2013 and were given to students pursuing their BSN-to-DNP, MSN or DNP degrees. Scholarship applicants can also be seeking a Doctor of Philosophy in nursing or a related field. Information on past winners can be found on the AANP website.
The American Nurse Practitioner Foundation (ANPF) makes scholarships available to students in master’s of science in nursing (MSN) programs, post-master’s certificate programs and DNP programs. Sealed official transcripts and a recommendation from a mentor or professor are required as part of the regular application process. Details about upcoming scholarships and application guidelines will be posted on the Foundation website in August. Summaries about past scholarship winners can be found on the ANPF website.
The Kentucky Coalition of Nurse Practitioners & Nurse Midwives provides annual scholarship opportunities for students pursuing graduate-level education. In 2014, the Coalition gave out four scholarships in the amount of $1,500 each. Applicants must be currently enrolled in an MSN, DNP or PhD program and submit a curriculum vitae, a statement of need, essay, letter of recommendation and a statement of their personal and professional goals.
The Medical Clinic in CVS/pharmacy offers its Minute Clinic Nurse Practitioner Scholarship Program. Teaming up with Johnson & Johnson to provide 35 “Together We Care” scholarships, monies made available in 2014 for nurse practitioner students included 30 at the $2,500 level and five at the $5,000 level for NP students pursuing a DNP. For more information on the program, e-mail email@example.com. As a side note, the Minute Clinic also offers preceptorships, which give students in an NP program the ability to enhance and expand their clinical skills and are often a requirement for graduation.
The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) Foundation provides scholarship opportunities for nurse practitioners specializing in pediatric care. For 2014, these included the Richardson DNP Student scholarship (amount not specified), available for up to three students working on their DNP in pediatric care and showing academic achievement, clinical competence and leadership and the Elaine Gelman Scholarship Program, in the amount of $500, provided to an NP student who creates and follows through on an innovative solution related to a pediatric health care issue. Although there are June deadlines for these scholarships, nurse practitioners may want to check the link above for new or similar scholarship listings that become available in the upcoming year.
The Nurse Corps Scholarship Program is available not only to nurse practitioner students but to all students pursuing any level of nurse training. Whether you are looking at a diploma-based program, a bridge program to advance from an RN-to-MSN or even enrollment in graduate-level education (as a nursing practitioner student would be), this program could be fitting for you. Sponsored through the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, this program covers the costs of tuition and fees, books, clinical supplies and uniforms and even offers a monthly stipend. When done with their programs, students have to complete two years of service in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA). Nearly half of all scholarship funds are earmarked for students working on a nurse practitioner degree at the master’s level.
The Nurse Practitioner Healthcare Foundation (NPHF) regularly has scholarship opportunities available for NP students at the master’s and doctoral levels. Scholarships and awards applications are regularly posted on its website in November of each year. Multiple scholarships have been awarded in past years, including to students in various NP fields and through partnerships with AstraZeneca, Pfizer Proctor & Gamble, Purdue Pharma L.P. and others. Interested students can read more about past scholarship recipients and their successes on the NPHF website.
The Nurse Practitioners Council of Palm Beach, Fla. offers scholarship opportunities on a semi-annual basis to a student enrolled in an NP program. Applicants need to be residents of Palm Beach County, and can also be a member of the council, although membership is not required. They must submit a biographical sheet, an essay about the potential community impact they anticipate having due to their advanced degree and a nomination letter from a current faculty member. The award amount it not specified.
The Texas Nurse Practitioner Foundation (TNPF) provides scholarship funding to registered nurses (RNs) who want to become NPs as well as NPs who are interested in doctoral level education. Applications will be accepted through mid-July and applicants must be RNs with a Texas nursing license. They also must be a resident of Texas and have completed at least 25 percent of their program whether that is at the master’s, post-master’s certificate or doctoral degree level. Three letters of recommendation, membership in the Foundation and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above is required. Also, the Foundation hosts a Nurse Practitioner Walk every fall to raise money for its NP scholarships.
Vanderbilt University School of Nursing has a large availability of scholarships for nursing students seeking their MSN degree at the Nashville, Tenn. school. The school of nursing itself offers six full tuition scholarships as well as more than 30 partial scholarships that have been established through endowments or in memory of specific people. Some of these scholarships are specifically geared toward students wanting to become family nurse practitioners (FNPs) or a psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner. More than 20 external scholarships are also available through the school, some of which are geared at general MSN education and others toward NP education.
Online MS - FNP
Online MS - AG-ACNP
Online MS - WHNP
PNP-AC Certificate (for PNP-PCs)
Nurse Educator Certificate
DNP Adult Health CNS
Online RN to MSN - FNP
Online Bachelor's to MSN - FNP
Online BSN to MSN - FNP
The nurse practitioner scholarships on this list represent just a small portion of the scholarships and grants that are available to NP students at the graduate level. This is not intended to be a comprehensive list, but rather, representative of the offerings and funding that may be found to be available to NP students. Many of the scholarships listed here happen to be offered through national organizations and foundations, and some of these are subsequently offered in partnership with private companies. In some cases, students might want to look to these private companies for additional scholarship opportunities. Scholarship organizations tend to update their offerings and requirements on a yearly basis, so be sure to check back at opportune times to see when this information becomes available. Students can also look to regional organizations or to their campus-based or online school for additional opportunities when it comes to master’s degree or doctoral-level NP scholarships.