Saturday, March 19, 2011

Scholarships For Those Going Into Nursing

By Michelle Conner

From colleges to technical schools, campus-based and distance learning programs in nursing are being added, many with flexible schedules and accelerated formats that make it quicker and more convenient to earn a nursing degree. The offerings come at a time when the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects fast employment growth for registered nurses - and reports that registered nurses with bachelor's degrees might expect better job prospects than others and those with advanced practice specialties, such as nurse practitioners, nurse anesthesiologists, clinical nurse specialists and nurse-midwives are to be in high demand. Registered nurses have also been encouraged by the Tri-Council for nursing to advance their education and their careers.

The costs for attending college, even for participating in a technical school, are rising. Over the past 20 years, four-year institutions have shown a tuition rise at 91 percent beyond inflation rates, according to a recent edition of Forbes magazine. Families are relying on more money from sources such as scholarships to pay for tuition, a recent Fannie Mae report suggested. At the same time, there are students who have been earning scholarships in the range of six figures. Seeking more information about online degrees can be to your benefit.

When deciding on a college or university, students are advised to first select quality institutions that best meet their needs and goals. They can then follow the Forbes and US News & World report methods for determining lists of "best buy" and "best value" colleges and universities: Deducting scholarships and other forms of financial aid and comparing "net" costs. At least two of the students who obtained six-figure scholarships found the offerings on the Internet.

Scholarship search engines on the web often include the scholarships that colleges and universities provide as a means of attracting students. These search engines also include scholarships from government agencies, non-profit foundations and more. With a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services scholarship, recipients receive monthly stipends as well, working for at least two years in healthcare facilities where they're needed in exchange for the assistance. For 2010, the monthly stipends alone were for more than $1,300, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website shows.

For the 2010-2011 academic year, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing in June announced that its New Careers in Nursing Scholarships Program was helping over 500 candidates entering nursing programs that are considered accelerated. The scholarships, at $10,000 each, were to be provided through individual institutions where an accelerated nursing program allows students with bachelor's degrees in other disciplines to earn a bachelor of science in nursing in a year. New nursing scholarship programs this year included one from Campus, which awarded six $2,500 scholarships to students in six regions where it launched state editions of its website.

There are also scholarships for single mothers and populations underrepresented in the nursing field. Single mothers, for example, might consider the R.O.S.E. and W.I.S.P. Change your World scholarships as well as scholarships from the Patsy Takeout Mink Education Foundation, the Jeannette Rankin Foundation Scholarship Program and the Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund. Minority Nurse Magazine, the National Association of Hispanic Nurses, the National Black Nurses Association, the National Alaska Native American Indian Nurses Association, and Aetna/NCEMNA (the National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurses Association) extend scholarships to minorities, who tend to be underrepresented in nursing professions. The American Assembly for Men in Nursing, through and Judah Marsalis-Moore Student Nurse Essay Contest scholarship programs, provides assistance to men who are interested in obtaining nursing degrees and increasing their presence in the registered nursing arena. There is an abundance of information about academic scholarship on the internet.

Students can find scholarships tailored to a variety of specialty areas, from pediatrics to oncology. On the other hand, they can also apply general scholarships to nursing degree courses. W.R. Grace & Co. recently announced awarding 10 scholarships of $2,000 each to high achieving high school graduates attending college for the 2010-2011 academic years, as well as renewing 28 scholarships. Erica Comes, one of the new scholarship recipients, plans to apply hers to tuition and fees associated with an undergraduate nursing program at a university in her home state, the W.R. Grace Announcement noted.

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