The Veterans Health Administration, informally known as VHA or VA, provides health care to U.S. veterans and is the nation’s largest employer of nurses. Thousands of nurses work in VA hospitals, medical clinics and other centers across the country. The VHA offers a series of scholarship programs to continue attracting nurses and to encourage its existing nurses to continue their education. In addition, a foundation for VA nurses offers scholarships, as well.
Department of Veterans Affairs Health Professional Scholarship
VHA is a branch of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, a cabinet-level organization in the federal government. The department awards its Health Professional Scholarship to full-time nursing students or those who have been accepted into a nursing education program. In exchange for the scholarship funds, recipients agree to work a minimum of 2 years in a Veterans Administration medical center. Benefits under this scholarship include not only school tuition and fees, but other educational expenses and a monthly stipend. Individual scholarship awards vary in size.
National Nursing Education Initiative
This Veterans Administration scholarship targets Veterans Health Administration nurses with associate’s degrees, encouraging them to continue their nursing education and ensure they are prepared to provide the highest quality of health care to American veterans. Under the National Nursing Education Initiative, also known as the NNEI, such nurses can receive scholarships to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, which is abbreviated as a B.S.N. degree. Veterans Administration nurses who want to advance beyond level 1 in VA nursing must earn a B.S.N. This initiative requires at least a year of service in a permanent VA position. Individual scholarship awards vary.
NOVA Foundation Scholarships
The Nursing Organization of Veterans Affairs, also known as the NOVA Foundation, offers scholarships for Veterans Administration nurses in accredited undergraduate and graduate programs. The NOVA Foundation considers nursing education vital to ensuring that the Veterans Health Administration retains a pool of qualified nurses to care for the nation’s veterans. The NOVA Foundation scholarship provides $1,500 each to VA employees enrolled in degree-granting nursing education programs, including undergraduate, master’s degree and doctoral programs. The NOVA Foundation also awards the Jesse Brown Memorial Scholarship, named for the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs. This is a $3,000 scholarship awarded each year to a VA nurse who demonstrates outstanding care.
Shane Hall is a writer and research analyst with more than 20 years of experience. His work has appeared in "Brookings Papers on Education Policy," "Population and Development" and various Texas newspapers. Hall has a Doctor of Philosophy in political economy and is a former college instructor of economics and political science.