Financial Aid for Minority Students in Nursing
Research from the National Advisory Council On Nurse Education And Practice shows that diversity in healthcare improves outcomes for minority patients. Unfortunately, barriers to diversity in nursing exist today.
Research from the National Advisory Council On Nurse Education And Practice shows that diversity in healthcare improves outcomes for minority patients.
One of the biggest obstacles in attaining a more diverse nursing workforce is the cost of earning a nursing degree. The lack of minority nurses is especially apparent among advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), typically the highest-paying positions. Becoming an APRN usually takes two to four years and costs between $38,000 and $200,000.
Many organizations offer financial aid for nursing students. Nursing scholarships and grants for minorities can make the profession more attainable, fostering more diversity in the field.
Types of Financial Aid
Students can choose from many types of financial aid for nursing school. All students should first complete and submit the FAFSA application to determine their eligibility for federal aid. Many organizations also offer nursing scholarships and grants for minorities.
Funding sources for nursing students include federal loans and programs, state aid, private loans, employer tuition reimbursement, plus assistantships and fellowships. Grants and scholarships for minority nursing students provide support based on merit or need and do not require repayment.
- Federal Loans: Nursing students can take out federal loans from the government to help pay for their degrees. Federal loans offer advantages over private loans, including lower interest rates, more flexible payment plans, and government subsidies.
- Federal Work-Study: The federal work-study program provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students to help them pay for their degrees. Learners must demonstrate financial need to qualify.
- State Aid: Many states provide tuition assistance to degree-seekers. State aid varies among states. Nursing students should contact their school’s financial aid office or state’s higher-education agency to determine their eligibility for state aid.
- Nurse Corps Scholarships: Aspiring nurses who meet eligibility requirements can apply to this scholarship program offered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Nurse corps pays for tuition fees, stipends, and other educational costs. In exchange, nurses must work at a critical shortage facility after graduation.
- Private Loans: Private financial institutions offer student loans to help pay for educational expenses. Terms and conditions for private loans vary, so make sure you understand your loan agreement.
- Assistantships/Fellowships: Some institutions offer assistantships and fellowships to graduate students, which may provide tuition credit, stipend, and health insurance. In return, the graduate student engages in teaching or research to further the institution’s mission.
- Employer Reimbursement: Some employers will pay for all or part of their employees’ tuition and/or fees. Nursing students can check with their employer’s human resources department to see if they qualify for a tuition waiver.
- Grants: Another type of financial aid for nursing students, grants do not require repayment. They may cover a variety of educational expenses, including tuition, books, and room and board.
- Scholarships: A type of gift aid that does not require repayment, scholarships for minorities in nursing help pay for a degree in recognition of a student’s merit or talent. Some scholarships provide a one-time payment, while others renew and provide financial aid every semester or year.
Available Nursing Scholarships and Grants for Minorities
Keep reading to learn about some undergraduate and graduate nursing scholarships and grants for minority students. We include Asian, Hispanic, Indigenous America, and African American nursing scholarships. We also list scholarships for nursing students who identify as men. Although not a minority group, men are an underrepresented group in the nursing profession.
Hispanic Nursing Scholarships
The United Health Foundation Diverse Scholars Initiative
The National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN) partnered with the United Health Foundation to offer this scholarship for Hispanic nursing students. The goal is to increase the number of primary care health providers from diverse backgrounds, especially in underserved areas. Recipients must attend the NAHN Annual Conference Gala and the United Health Foundation Diverse Scholars Initiative Forum in Washington, D.C.
Award: $5,000 (up to three years) and travel and conference expenses
Arizona College of Nursing Scholarships with NAHN
The Arizona College of Nursing awards two scholarships to Hispanic nursing students. Eligibility criteria include a minimum 3.5 high school or college GPA, a written essay, letters of reference, and demonstrated community service.
Award: Full tuition for one awardee attending the Arizona College of Nursing’s BSN program; Partial tuition for one awardee attending the Arizona College of Nursing’s BSN program ($5,000 per semester, not to exceed $45,000).
Aguilar-Cuellar-Toben Research Grant
This grant includes financial aid for nursing students who are Latino doctoral researchers working to improve health outcomes in the Latino community. This Hispanic nursing scholarship requires that applicants are NAHN members, demonstrate promise as a researcher, and have approval from their dissertation chair and institutional research board.
The Hispanic Health Professional Student Scholarship
The National Hispanic Health Foundation recognizes nursing, medical, dental, and public health students for their leadership ability, academic achievement, and commitment to serve the Hispanic community. Eligible applicants must be enrolled full-time in accredited BSN or graduate programs, hold a minimum 3.0 GPA, and submit a personal statement and letter of recommendation.
Black Nursing Scholarships
M. Elizabeth Carnegie African American Scholarship
Nurses Educational Fund (NEF) offers this award, one of two NEF scholarships, to African American nursing students. Applicants need a current RN license and must be pursuing an MSN or DNP at an accredited nursing program with a minimum 3.6 GPA. The scholarship is named after M. Elizabeth Carnegie, a Black nurse known for breaking racial barriers.
Estelle Massey Osborne Scholarship
NEF awards this scholarship to an African American master’s student in nursing. Freedmen’s Hospital School of Nursing, alumni clubs, and other groups provide donations to fund this award, named after Estelle Massey Osborne, the first Black nurse in the U.S. with a master’s degree. Applicants need a minimum 3.6 GPA and a current RN license.
Dr. Lauranne Sams Scholarship
The National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) offers this annual scholarship to four students enrolled in a nursing program and in good academic standing. Eligibility requirements include NBNA membership, at least one year of school remaining, an essay, and two letters of recommendation.
BAND-AID® Brand Black Healthcare Heroes in Nursing Scholarship
With the goal of elevating Black healthcare professionals, BAND-AID sponsors five Black nursing scholarships for students pursuing a BSN or higher. Applicants must be NBNA members and submit two letters of recommendation, an essay, transcripts, and a professional headshot.
George McGuire Memorial Scholarship
One of the best scholarships for Black nurses focused on social justice, this endowed NBNA award offers financial aid to nursing doctoral or MSN candidates. Applicants must be a member of NBNA for at least two years and have at least one semester left of study in their program.
Asian Nursing Scholarships
The Asian American / Pacific Islander Nurses Association, Inc. offers this award to one of its members in an undergraduate or graduate nursing program. Eligibility requirements include two years of AAPINA membership, a minimum 3.5 GPA, two letters of recommendation, and a personal essay.
Ethnic Minority Nursing Award
AAPINA gives this award to one Asian American or Pacific Islander nurse currently in graduate nursing school. The award supports a study researching improving health in Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Eligibility includes two years of active AAPINA membership.
Philippine Nurses Association of America Scholarship
PNAA offers annual scholarships to students pursuing graduate nursing degrees. Applicants must be PNAA members, admitted to an accredited graduate nursing program, and hold a minimum 3.0 GPA. Application requirements include an essay, headshot photo, transcripts, and letters of recommendation.
Award: $2,000 ($1,000 for two semester)
Indigenous American Scholarships
NTHC Board of Directors Scholarship
The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium provides 10 awards to Native American and Alaska Native students to increase representation in the healthcare fields. Students can use the scholarship for tuition, books, fees, and room and board at the associate through doctorate levels.
American Indian Nurse Scholarship Program
The National Society of the Colonial Dames offers this scholarship to Native American nursing students. Students can spend the scholarship money on tuition and specific academic expenses and can receive the award each semester as long as they remain in good academic standing.
IHS Preparatory Scholarship
The Indian Health Service provides financial aid for nursing undergraduate American Indian and Alaska Native students pursuing careers in Indian health programs. Students must be members or descendants of a recognized tribe. They must also be enrolled in prerequisite or preparatory courses for eligible health professions programs.
IHS Health Professions Scholarship
The Indian Health Service offers financial aid for Alaska Native and American Indian students enrolled in an eligible health profession degree program. Recipients must agree to complete a service commitment in clinical practice after graduating.
IHS Pre-Graduate Scholarship
The Indian Health Service awards financial aid to undergraduate Alaska Native and American Indian students. Recipients must be enrolled in bachelor’s programs in pre-medicine, pre-podiatry, pre-dentistry, or other subjects the IHS needs.
Scholarships for Men
Men are an underrepresented group in the nursing profession. Some scholarships for men may also specify that applicants belong to a specific minority group.
Hector Gonzalez Past Presidents Scholarship
The past president and founding member of NAHN, Hector Gonzalez created this scholarship for Hispanic male nursing students pursuing a two-year associate degree in nursing. Applicants must be NAHN members and attending or enrolled in a full-time nursing program.
NurseThink.com Scholarships for AAMN Members
NurseThink.com is sponsoring two scholarships for members of the American Association for Men in Nursing (AAMN). One scholarship supports an AAMN member going back to school who is or plans to be a school or nursing faculty member. The other is for an AAMN member pursuing an LPN/LVN or RN (pre-licensure).
Luther Christman Fellows Scholarship
The Luther Christman Fellows scholarship supports an AAMN member of at least two years. Applicants must have held leadership roles at the chapter or national level and be pursuing an advanced practice nursing degree. The scholarship committee evaluates applications based on financial need, academic status, volunteer and community service, and resume.
The Cincinnati AAMN chapter funds this scholarship through an endowment. Applicants must be current AAMN members in nursing school. They must also be working or planning to work in a historically underrepresented gender service area. Application requirements include a personal statement, a reference letter, and a resume.
Durham Stewardship Award
Members of AAMN can apply for the Durham Stewardship Award, created to honor good stewards. Named after Dr. Jerry Durham in honor of his service to the nursing community, the scholarship must be used towards a philanthropic effort chosen by the winner.
Other Scholarships for Minorities
The Healthline and Prevention Institute Stronger Scholarship
This scholarship fund includes three awards for Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous students committed to reducing health inequities in their communities. Applicants must be a student of color, a current junior or senior in college, and demonstrate involvement in a health equity project.
APIA Scholarship Program
The Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund supports Asian American and Pacific Islander students. The program prioritizes applicants who live at or below the poverty level and are the first in their families to attend college. Strong applicants demonstrate academic achievement, leadership, and community service.
Central California Asian Pacific Women Scholarship
The Central California Asian Pacific Women helps Asian American women earn college degrees. The organization offers annual scholarships to female students pursuing a degree in any field. Applicants must demonstrate academic achievement and financial need and live in an eligible central California county.
Discover More Financial Aid Opportunities
Mary Louis is a Brooklyn native who currently resides in Nashville, where she works at a state community college. She has worked in financial aid and recruitment as a registrar and bursar at city, state, for-profit, and Ivy League institutions, as well as at HBCUs. Louis’s financial aid experience includes writing policies and procedures; overseeing satisfactory academic progress, state and federal aid, scholarships, private education lending, and federal verification; and assisting families with completing the FAFSA. She is a paid member of Red Ventures Education’s freelance review network.
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