Nursing scholarships offer help to students hoping to fill the nursing shortage

In this recession, we've grown used to the idea of a job shortage. But according to a Northeastern University study, in the next few years, there won't be a shortage of jobs -- there will be a shortage of people to fill them.

What job tops that list? Nursing. In the next 10 years, America will need more nurses than ever before, creating an even larger nursing shortage than there is today. Students hoping to fill that gap need nursing scholarships to help them fund their education.

Individual states offer many different nursing scholarships for students seeking a nursing career. Many state hospital or nursing associations offer nursing scholarships to future nurses, like the Florida Nursing Association which offers a variety of scholarships for students across Florida.

Other states offer loan-forgiveness programs, like Delaware's Nursing Incentive program, which pays back loans for excellent nursing students who agree to work in a state-funded hospital for one year. States like Louisiana and North Carolina have specific organizations to recognize and give nursing scholarships to nurses, like The Great 100, which gives out 100 nursing scholarships and grants each year to nurses and future nurses.Know what specialty you'd like to go into? Many nursing scholarships concentrate on a specific kind of nurse. Nursing students hoping to aid those dealing with cancer can apply for a $2,000 scholarship from the Oncology Nursing Society, while the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses offers scholarships to students who want to work in rehab.

If you have the military in mind, the Air Force and the Navy both offer nursing scholarships to future nurses who want to serve in their ranks.

Some nursing scholarships focus on specific kinds of students. Several minority foundations offer scholarships for nurses of color, like the National Association of Hispanic Nurses or the National Black Nurses Association. The Hispanic College Fund provides the generous Kaiser Permanente scholarship, an award of $8,000 for each year of nursing school that the selected students attend. Some churches even offer nursing scholarships, such as the Evangelical Lutheran Church, which gives scholarships to female nurses who plan to use their degree abroad.

While nursing is still seen as a primarily female profession, more and more men are becoming nurses, now totaling 5.4 percent of all registered nurses. Schools and nursing associations are using nursing scholarships as a way to lure more men into nursing, including the American Assembly for Men in Nursing, which gives out 20 $1,000 nursing scholarships a year to young men pursuing a nursing career.

Many opportunities exist for students who need help paying for nursing school. Hopefully, these nursing scholarships will help erode the current and future nursing shortage and ensure excellent care for all Americans.
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