If you cannot afford to pay to enter into a graduate degree program to advance your career, it is only natural to wonder if there is financial aid for a Master’s in Nursing (MSN) student. With so many areas suffering from a shortage of nurses, colleges and nursing schools are focusing their financial aid efforts on career-changing students earning a Bachelor’s in Nursing. Once these students graduate and begin to work in the field, many decide they want to get their MSN, only to find that the financial aid may not be as readily available to them.
While financial aid is not quite as easy to come by when you are trying to become a master in your field, there are still ways to find funding to earn your graduate degree. It takes a resourceful person who is dedicated to their education to receive aid that helps to pay for mastery level courses. If you would like to know some of the ways that you can find funding for MSN programs, read on.
Programs Through the American Association of Colleges of Nursing
Not only does the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) help to set the standards in nursing education, they also help nursing students get a quality education by offering a long list of graduate and post-graduate scholarships and fellowships. While many associations only offer funding to undergraduates or a specific type of nursing student, the AACN actually offers a wide range of opportunities for nursing students in specialty areas.
You will need to take your time to browse through the long list of financial aid opportunities that are available through the AACN. There are opportunities for critical care specialists, geriatric nurses, men in nursing, American Indians in nursing, hispanics in nursing, NURSE Corps participants, online students and more. You should use this as your primary resource to find national or specialized financial aid award options just for graduate students.
Programs Through the Health Resources and Services Administration
With the health care system being reformed, the need for highly educated nurses has grown. This is why the US Department of Health and Human Services has taken the time to create a resources website that caters to helping prospective students find aid for which they are eligible. As a graduate student prospect, there may be limits to the scholarship awards that you can apply for. There are, however, organizations and associations that want to improve the system and give graduate students who have proven themselves as undergrads more opportunity. You can connect with some of these organizations by visiting the HRSA resource for loans and scholarships.
Some financial aid awards are only a few hundred dollars and others will cover your entire cost to attend an MSN program. You need to review the eligibility requirements, consider what you want to specialize in, and then find awards that cater to you. Some medical schools have their own, institution specific awards and some counties where the gaps are large have awards as well. Make sure that you set aside time to do your homework and you do not have to let an inability to get financial aid for a Master’s in Nursing hold you back.