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Geraldine Polly Bednash Scholarship Essay

There is no shortage of opportunities for nurses, students, and practitioners to receive financial support to supplement the cost of education, research, or professional development. The two most common ways to do this are through scholarships and grants.

Scholarships are awarded after a committee reviews an applicant’s academic performance or demonstrated financial need and do not need to be reimbursed to the sponsoring institution. Backing organizations range from businesses to nonprofits, individuals to educational institutions. Often there is selective criteria for specific scholarships, such as national origin, clinical specialty, or level of education, so it's important to find a scholarship for which you qualify, in addition to earning an above-average GPA.

Grants can sometimes function like scholarships but are often awarded with the expectation of reimbursement in the form of an agreed-upon term of service or clinical area of focus. If you have already graduated from school, a grant may be a prudent way to repay your student debt if you are flexible and open-minded about an assigned area of practice, such as high-demand or underserved areas.

Below is a list of financial aid resources, scholarships, and grant opportunities available to both students and practicing professionals hoping to continue their education.

Please note: This list is provided for informational purposes only. These scholarships are not affiliated with or sponsored by Nursing@Georgetown or Georgetown University. Please contact organizations directly for more information or to verify scholarship details and deadlines.

Nursing Financial Aid Resources, part of Johnson & Johnson’s Campaign for Nursing’s Future, offers information on a broad range of scholarship opportunities for nursing students in need of financial assistance.

Nursing Scholarship Search

This searchable online database allows students to find scholarships that best meet their criteria. Search by state, GPA, and scholarship level.

In addition to writing tips and suggestions for putting together an effective application, is a resource for scholarship information. Search for awards by state, religion, Air Force and Navy, minority, college, or nursing areas such as gerontology, long-term care, oncology, and more.

Scholarships for Nurse-Midwifery Students

Students planning to work as midwives may qualify for any number of scholarships sponsored by the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) and other organizations related to community, minority, and global women’s health.

American Association of Colleges of Nursing

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing provides a thorough list of current scholarship resources for a variety of nursing degrees, including graduate and postgraduate programs. Undergraduate nursing students can search for licensure programs and general scholarships, financial aid information, and links to loan settlement or forgiveness options.

Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR)

These various scholarships are awarded to nursing students in economic need. Individuals must be currently enrolled in an accredited school of nursing, and all applicants must be U.S. citizens. Applications and financial need forms can be found under “Quick Links” on the DAR website.

This site features a wide array of scholarships, grants, and sponsorship for continuing education based on merit, financial need, race/ethnicity, and specialization in a clinical field, with additional resources dedicated to male nurses.

Nursing Scholarship and Grant Resources

American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP)

Amount: Up to $2,500
Application deadline: March 15, annually

Description: Grants are available to AANP members who are practicing in an NP role. Applicants must be certified nurse practitioners or graduate students expected to complete their project the next year. Scholarships are available to AANP members currently enrolled in an accredited graduate school in pursuit of an advanced degree or certification and are scheduled to complete an eligible NP program within the next year. Scholarship applicants must be licensed as a registered nurse.

American Association of Colleges of Nurses (AACN)Scholarship

Amount: $5,000
Application deadlines: January 31, April 30, July 31, and October 31

Description: The American Association of Colleges of Nurses (AACN) in collaboration with CastleBranch offers a program for students in baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs. To be eligible, students must attend schools affiliated with CastleBranch or NursingCAS. CastleBranch will award eight student scholarships a year, worth $5,000 each, totaling $200,000 over five years. Visit the Geraldine “Polly” Bednash Scholarship site to complete your application.

HurstReview Services/American Association of Colleges of Nurses (AAC) Scholarship

Amount: $2,500
Application deadline: January 15 and July 15, annually

Description: Hurst Review Services and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing have a partnership awarding scholarships to students pursuing professional nursing degrees. The scholarship program is available to pre-licensure students enrolled at member AACN schools. Winners will be announced within 60 days of each deadline. Visit the Hurst Review website to complete your application.

AfterCollege American Association of Colleges of Nurses

Amount: $2,500
Application deadlines: March 31, June 30, September 30, December 31

Description: According to AfterCollege/AACN, their scholarship fund “supports students who are seeking a baccalaureate, master’s, or doctoral degree in nursing. Special consideration will be given to students in a graduate program with the goal of becoming a nurse educator, students completing an RN-to-BSN or RN-to-MSN program, and those enrolled in an accelerated program.” Applicants must already be enrolled — not just accepted — at an AACN member institution. To learn the official scholarship application requirements, visit the General Terms of Scholarship Programs web page.

NURSE Corps Scholarship Program

Amount: Full tuition, fees, books, and monthly stipend
Application deadline: May, annually

Description: As a student accepted or enrolled in a diploma, associate, baccalaureate, or graduate degree nursing program, you can receive funding for tuition, fees, and other educational costs. In exchange you must work at a facility with a deficit of nurses — a Critical Shortage Facility (CSF) — upon graduation. Sign up to receive an email update when the next scholarship application period opens.

American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) Continuing Professional Development Scholarships

Amount: Up to $3,000
Application deadline: Rolling acceptance of submissions

Description: This scholarship is open to individuals seeking funding for health policy, evidence-based practice and leadership development, conferences, local events, skills to create a healthy work environment, and personal growth and communications. (Note: AACN’s National Teaching Institute, AACN-sponsored programs, professional association dues, and clinical certification preparation are not eligible.) Active membership in AACN at the time of application and during the term of the scholarship is required. See the FAQ page for more details.

Financial Assistance and Nursing Scholarships for Minority Students

Indian Health Service (IHS) Loan Repayment Programs

Amount: Up to $20,000 per year for two years
Application deadline: Applications are accepted October 1 through August 15 the following year and are evaluated monthly beginning in January.

The Indian Health Service (IHS) is a government entity committed to encouraging American Indians and Alaska Natives to enter the health professions, assuring the availability of Indian clinicians to serve Indians. The IHS Loan Repayment Program (LRP) “funds IHS clinicians to repay their eligible health profession education loans — up to $40,000 — in exchange for an initial two-year service commitment to practice in health facilities serving American Indian and Alaska Native communities. Many health professionals enter this program because of the financial benefits but find the cultural and professional rewards to be so great that they spend their entire careers working in Indian health.” Applications and FAQ are available online.

Association on American Indian Affairs (AAIA) Scholarships

Amount: Award amount varies per scholarship
Application Deadline: March through June, annually

Description: Open to American Indian and Alaska Native full-time students, this scholarship, provided by the Association on American Indian Affairs (AAIA), requires that applicants are at least one-quarter Indian descendant from a federally recognized tribe (including Alaska Native). Find answers to your questions about their various undergraduate and graduate scholarships by visiting the FAQ page.

National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) Scholarships

Amount: $1,000–$6,000
Application deadline: April, annually

Description: Available to all students currently enrolled in a nursing program (BSN, AD, diploma or LPN/ LVN master’s, or doctoral) and in good academic standing at the time of application. To qualify, “an applicant must be a current NBNA member, as well as with the local chapter, if applicable.” They also must have at least one full year of school remaining.

Hispanic Scholarship Fund

Amount: $500–$5,000, based on relative need
Application deadline: March 30, annually

Description: This scholarship program is available to “all U.S. citizens of Hispanic heritage, Permanent Legal Resident, DACA, or Eligible Non-Citizen (as defined by FAFSA).” Applicants must also meet minimum GPA requirements with plans to be a full-time student in the fall semester. Apply by creating an account on the HSF web page.

National Association of Hispanic Nurses Scholarship and Awards

Amount: Dependent upon the amount of money in the scholarship fund
Application deadline: Accepting submissions on a rolling basis

Description: Scholarship recipients are a select group of Hispanic nursing students who demonstrate promise of professional contributions to nursing and who have the potential to act as role models for other aspiring nursing students. Scholarship awards are presented to NAHN members enrolled in accredited LVN/LPN, associate, diploma, baccalaureate, and graduate nursing programs. Selection of recipients is based on need, current academic standing, whether they are a United States citizen or legal resident of the United States, and other criteria. Write to for more information about the application process.

Adolph Van Pelt/Association on American Indian Affairs (AAIA) Scholarship

Amount: $1,500
Application deadline: June 13

Description: Candidates must have a “minimum of one-quarter Indian blood from a federally recognized tribe. Certificate of enrollment and blood quantum from his or her tribe or Bureau of Indian Affairs must be included with application.” More details can be found on the AAIS website.

Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses Foundation (AORN) Grants, Scholarships, and Awards

Amount: Varies
Application deadline: June, annually

Description: Nursing students (either U.S. citizens or international students) may apply. Applicants must be in an accredited RN licensure program, baccalaureate, master’s, or doctoral candidate with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. Applicants “must have a vested interest in perioperative and surgical nursing.” Visit the site’s FAQ page for more information.

We invite you to learn more about the Nursing@Georgetown program, or call our admissions team at 1-877-910-4692. For information regarding potential loan funding, please visit 

When applying to nursing school, there are many things to consider, including motivations for earning your degree, the program format that is best for your learning style, and ways to finance your degree. The financial aspect should not be taken lightly, as investing in your future takes a substantial amount of planning. Nursing scholarships are a great way to reduce the cost of tuition and gain recognition from some of the top nursing and health care organizations throughout the world.

Here are 20 scholarships for RNs interested in furthering their nursing education to consider:

Geraldine “Polly” Bednash Scholarship
Amount: $5,000
This scholarship is awarded to support outstanding nursing students in baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs. Two $5,000 scholarships are distributed to the top applicants four times each year. Applicants must have at least a 3.2 GPA in their current program or last school attended. They must be admitted or enrolled in a program at an American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) member institution affiliated with

Hurst Reviews/AACN Nursing Scholarship
Amount: $2,500
Hurst Review Services and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing have partnered to offer scholarships to students pursuing professional nursing degrees. Two $2,500 scholarships are awarded twice yearly.

Daughters of the American Revolution Scholarships
Amount: $1,000
The Caroline E. Holt Nursing Scholarship, Mildred Nutting Nursing Scholarship, and Madeline Pickett (Halbert) Cogswell Nursing Scholarship are all available through the Daughters of the American Revolution Society. Each scholarship is a one-time award of $1,000.

Go Red Multicultural Scholarship Fund
Amount: $2,500
This scholarship is awarded to minority women pursuing undergraduate or graduate degrees in health care fields. Applicants must be a female of Hispanic, African-American, Asian/Pacific Islander or other minority origin and have a GPA of at least 3.0. Registration for this scholarship is open from April until December.

AANP Education Advancement Scholarships
Amount: Up to $62,500
Applicants are required to be current AANP members; if selected as an award recipient, AANP membership must be maintained throughout the entire award funding cycle. Applicants must be formally admitted to and currently attending courses in a fully accredited MSN program, enrolled in an FNP or WHNP program, and maintain a 3.5 GPA.

SGNA RN Advancing Education Scholarship
Amount: $1,000 or $2,500
The SGNA RN Advancing Education Scholarship is awarded to RNs working in gastroenterology who are pursuing a BSN, MSN, or Ph.D. To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must be a SGNA member enrolled in an accredited advanced degree program and maintain a 3.0 GPA. Recipients of the scholarship who are full-time students will receive $2,500; part-time students will receive $1,000.

Nurses Educational Funds Scholarships
Amount: Varies
The Nurses Educational Funds scholarship program includes 19 scholarships available to students enrolled full- or part-time in an NLNAC or CCNE accredited nursing program who have maintained a minimum GPA of 3.6 over at least 12 credits. Scholarship amounts vary.

National Student Nurses’ Association Scholarship
Amount: $1,000 to $5,000
The NSNA Foundation awards more than $330,000 annually; scholarships range from $1,000 to $5,000. Applicants must be enrolled in state-approved schools of nursing for their first degree in nursing.

Mary E. Smith Foundation Excellence in Science & Medicine Award
Amount: $2,500
This scholarship is for nurses currently enrolled in an advanced educational program. To qualify for this scholarship, applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0, have three science courses with a minimum grade letter of B in each course, rank in the top half of their class, and have an SAT or ACT score of at least 850 or 21, respectively. Scholarships
Amount: $250 or $500 Scholarship applicants must be students with a documented disability who have applied to or already been admitted to a full-time nursing program. Scholarships totals are either $250 or $500.

St. Francis School of Nursing Alumni of Pittsburgh, PA Scholarship Fund
Amount: Varies
Applicants must be pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree from a professional nursing program and demonstrate financial need. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required to apply.

NURSE Corps Scholarship Program
Amount: Tuition, fees, books, and monthly stipend
Open to students enrolled in a diploma, associate, baccalaureate, or graduate nursing programs, the NURSE Corps Scholarship Program helps alleviate the critical shortage of nurses. Recipients of this scholarship are required to work in a health care facility located in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) for at least two years. Preference is given to students pursuing a master’s level Nurse Practitioner degree.

Oncology Nursing Association Master’s Scholarships
Amount: $5,000
Applicants must be currently enrolled in a master’s degree nursing program at an NLN or CCNE accredited school. An interest and commitment to oncology nursing is required. $5,000 scholarships are awarded annually.

Association of periOperative Registered Nurses Scholarship
Amount: Varies
Applicants must be current nursing school students in a baccalaureate, master’s, or doctoral program with a minimum GPA of 3.0. An interest in the field of perioperative/surgical nursing is required. Selection of winners is based on academics, transcripts, an essay, financial need, and completion of the application.

Greta James Memorial Scholarships
Amount: $2,500
Two $2,500 scholarships are awarded to candidates who are currently enrolled in nursing school and complete two essay questions. Peers in the nursing profession select the recipients through an online voting system.

Cherokee Uniforms “A Nurse I Am” Scholarship
Amount: $2,000
Inspired by the “A Nurse I Am” documentary, applicants must complete an application and submit an essay in order to be considered for the scholarship. Up to 10 scholarships of $2,000 are awarded to students who have been accepted to or are enrolled in an accredited LVN/LPN, RN degree (ADN or BSN), diploma, or RN to BSN program.

TYLENOL Future Care Scholarship
Amount: Varies
Each year, TYLENOL awards a total of $250,000 to 40 nursing students who demonstrate academic excellence, exemplary leadership, community involvement, and dedication to a career of caring for others.

National Student Nurses Association McKesson Scholarship
Amount: $1,000
In order to combat the nursing shortage, the McKesson Foundation awards 25 $1,000 scholarships to low-income nursing students every year.

AfterCollege/AACN Scholarship Fund
Amount: $2,500
Applicants must be pursuing a degree in nursing at the baccalaureate, master’s, or doctoral level to be eligible for this $2,500 scholarship. Special consideration is given to students in a graduate program with the goal of becoming a nurse educator; students completing an RN to BSN or RN to MSN program; and those enrolled in an accelerated program.

Touchmark Foundation Nursing Scholarship
Amount: Varies
Scholarships are awarded to support students pursuing degrees in nursing. Only nurses who live in or attend school in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, or Alberta, Canada, can apply.

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