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If you're a veteran looking to pursue a nursing career in civilian life, you know that this is not a cost-effective endeavor. Even with the numerous military benefits offered to you for furthering your education, many times this aid is not enough. Fortunately, there are other forms of financial assistance you may be eligible to receive, the most important one being scholarships. This article covers a list of scholarships available to veterans who need additional financial assistance when pursuing their nursing degree.
Please note that this article focuses on scholarships and financial aid available to veterans. If you have retired from active duty these scholarships can provide additional resources for covering your college expenses. If you have not served in the armed forces, but are considering doing so, programs such as ROTC can be an excellent way to cover the cost of your degree.
Before seeking out scholarships, it is important to review the benefits you may already be entitled to. It is possible that, depending on how long you have served and what school you are attending, your tuition expenses are entirely covered through the following programs/veteran benefits:
It is important to start by determining which options you are already eligible for, as most military scholarships require that you have exhausted all other financial benefits before receiving any additional financial support.
Though this list covers six potential scholarships you can apply for, it is not a fully comprehensive list. There are many scholarships available for veterans that you may be able to apply for regardless of the degree program you are pursuing. Here are some ways that you can begin to look for scholarships:
With this in mind, here is a list of six scholarships you may be able to apply for as a veteran pursuing a degree in nursing.
The HPSP (BSN) is intended to provide financial assistance for students pursuing an undergraduate degree in nursing. Each recipient of this scholarship is required to work at a VA healthcare facility for at least 2.5 years following graduation in order to alleviate the medical care workforce shortages in the VA. Students will also be required to pass their licensure or certification and complete a 12 month Post Baccalaureate Nursing Residency (PBNR). The scholarship covers full tuition, required fees, and other educational expenses such as textbooks.
While this scholarship is available to both civilian and veteran applicants, veterans are given first preference among equally qualified applicants. In order to keep this scholarship active, students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher in their studies.
The HPSP (MSN) scholarship is similar to the BSN scholarship, but requires that the applicants complete an advanced degree in nursing with a specialization as a mental health nurse practitioner. This scholarship also requires each recipient to serve at a VA healthcare center for 2.5 years following graduation, as well as requiring that each student complete a 12 month psychiatric mental health NP residency.
Once again, this scholarship is available to both civilian and veteran applicants, but veterans are given first preference. This scholarship also requires that students maintain at least a 3.0 GPA.
The HPSP (MSPA) scholarship is awarded to PA trainees who have veteran status. This scholarship is awarded to individuals pursuing a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies. As is the case with the other HPSP scholarships, recipients must serve at a VA healthcare center as a PA for at least 2.5 years and must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
The ANCA scholarship is offering select applicants a scholarship of $3,000 to go toward their education. In order to qualify, applicants must be serving or have previously served in any branch of the U.S. Army, and cannot be receiving ROTC or 100% GI Bill® funding. Applicants must be pursuing an accredited baccalaureate, advanced nursing degree, or nurse anesthesia program. This scholarship is also available for dependents whose parent or spouse has served in the U.S. Army.
The Pat Tillman scholarship is not specific to nursing, but gives veterans another option to help fund their education. In order to apply, the applicant must either be a veteran, active duty service member, or the spouse of a veteran or active duty service member. Applicants must be enrolled full time at an accredited college or university pursuing an undergraduate or advanced degree.
If you have served and were wounded in a combat situation in the line of duty, you may be eligible to apply for the Purple Heart Scholarship Program. This scholarship is available for Purple Heart recipients who are also members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH). The scholarship is also available to MOPH spouses and direct lineal descendants. Students must be enrolled full-time at a college or university and maintain at least a 2.75 GPA in order to apply.
The nursing field is both incredibly rewarding and well-paying. If you have previously served in the armed forces in a health care capacity, you may find that a career in nursing is perfect for you. This guide walks you through the process of transitioning from an army medic or navy corpsman position to a civilian nursing career.
GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site.