Nursing students should consider the "full-ride" nursing scholarships that pay for tuition and sometimes living expenses, school fees, and supplies. Due to nursing shortages, sometimes these scholarships require students to provide service to underserved populations after earning their nursing credentials. Scholarships are available through the government and the military as well as private organizations. There is even specific RN to BSN scholarships and DNP scholarships for those looking to transition.

Global Scholarship Alliance

This organization pays the costs of full tuition for a Bachelor of Science or Master of Science in nursing, school fees, books, and even a laptop computer. Students must be registered nurses who have worked for at least a year in acute care within a hospital setting. They typically agree to work for more than one year at a healthcare facility in the U.S. Students can be from locations outside the country.

Health Resources and Services Administration

This program, provided by a part of the federal Department of Health and Human Services, awards substantial scholarships for nursing students. Financial need is the primary consideration for the program, and students receive full tuition through the scholarship. The scholarship also covers fees, books, laboratory expenses, and other necessary supplies. Students receive a stipend for living expenses as well, which totaled $1,326 per month in 2010-11. Students must have U.S. citizenship or be permanent residents. They may use the scholarship to acquire an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree.

National Health Service Corps

Nursing students with a passion for making a difference in underserved communities should consider the National Health Service Corps. They may need to relocate to rural areas to work in understaffed facilities after graduation as a fulfillment of their mandatory service commitment. The award includes full tuition for up to four years, a substantial living stipend (totaling $1,289 in 2011-11), and support for travel, books, and other school-related expenses. Students must be pursuing a master’s degree or a post-master’s certificate. Receiving four years of tuition means working for four years in an underserved area.

Military Nursing Scholarships

The Army Nurse Corps program provides full tuition for nursing students as well as payment for service. The Navy and Air Force pay for tuition as well. Army ROTC members receive full tuition as well as a living allowance starting at $300 per month and totaling $500 per month in their final year of studies. The program also pays for books. ROTC students agree to serve in the U.S. Army for eight years, often comprised of four years of active duty and four years in the Individual Ready Reserve. Students can gain valuable specialized education through military training programs as well. In the Navy Nurse Corps, which pays full tuition, students can specialize in critical care, midwifery, surgical care, pediatrics, or numerous other areas.

Indiana Student Assistant Commission

Students should check with medical schools and public agencies in their states to find out if they offer full scholarships. The Indiana Student Assistant Commission, for instance, pays full tuition for in-state nursing students who have financial need. Students must commit to working in a state health facility for at least two years once they graduate.

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