Scholarships and Resources for MSN Students

For some nurses, earning an MSN (master of science in nursing) is the next step in leveling-up your career, especially if you plan to become a nurse practitioner. This guide provides a list of scholarships and resources to help you earn your advanced degree in nursing.

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Ellery Weil

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Ellery Weil is a historian and writer. She holds degrees from the University of Michigan and University College London, and has worked in education, nonprofits, and the arts. She has been a professional writer for over six years, and has written on topics ranging from Victorian history, to higher education, to technology and the future of work. You can find her work on sites ranging from popular culture websites to university and corporate websites.

last updated

04/21/2023

Whether you’re a nurse with several years’ work experience looking to specialize or a new grad planning your next step, obtaining an MSN (Master of Science in Nursing) can be a personally fulfilling and strategic career move. It can also help to increase your salary potential. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurses with master’s degrees earn an average salary of over $123,000 per year.

However, between tuition and living expenses, getting your MSN can be expensive. To ensure you graduate with minimal student loans and maximal financial freedom, scholarships can go a long way in easing the financial burden. Check out this big list of scholarships and grants available to MSN students so you can get started funding your Master’s in Nursing right away.

Scholarships and Grants for MSN Students

Scholarships and grants can be one of the best ways to support yourself financially while pursuing your MSN. A wide range of scholarships are available for graduate nursing students, including scholarships specific to a particular school; scholarships based on demographics, such as those for minority students or LGBTQ students; and general graduate-level scholarships that can be applied toward an MSN. Be sure to research all the potential opportunities that you may be eligible for. Here is a list of scholarships for you to consider as you begin applying for your MSN:

School-Based Scholarships

Aird-LeMone Scholarship

  • Amount: $10,000
  • Scholarship deadline: Feb. 28, 2023
  • Doctoral students looking for dissertation funding should consider this scholarship. To be eligible, you must be a pre-doctoral student in life sciences, physical sciences, behavioral sciences, mathematics, or engineering, as well as a member of AWIS.
  • https://awards.awis.org/

Conway Scholarship

  • Amount: Varies
  • Through a longstanding partnership with the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, students admitted to nursing programs, including the MSN program, are automatically considered for the Conway Scholarship. In the case of MSN students, this award covers half tuition.
  • Apply Here
  • Deadline: TBA

Dorothy S. Goldstein and Julie G. Boehm Scholarship

  • Amount: Varies
  • This partial tuition scholarship, offered by Vanderbilt University’s School of Nursing, is assessed on both need and merit. Candidates must be enrolled in the Vanderbilt MSN program and be a member of a recognized minority group.
  • Apply Here
  • Deadline: TBA

DUSON Merit Scholarship

  • $36,000
  • Duke University MSN students are automatically considered for the DUSON (Duke University School of Nursing) Merit Scholarship. This award is evenly dispersed throughout your degree.
  • Apply Here
  • Deadline: TBA

Lillian Cary Scholarship

  • Amount: Varies
  • This Vanderbilt University MSN scholarship is based upon both demonstrated financial need and merit. Applicants must be enrolled in the Vanderbilt MSN program with a family nurse practitioner specialty.
  • Apply Here
  • Deadline: TBA

RPCV Scholarships

  • Up to $8,000
  • University of Pennsylvania’s School of Nursing offers scholarships to returning Peace Corps volunteers (RPCV). Applicants must be enrolled in an eligible MSN program.
  • Apply Here
  • Deadline: TBA

School of Nursing Merit Scholarship

  • Amount: Varies
  • Students accepted to the MSN program at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Nursing are automatically considered for a merit scholarship. These awards reward exceptional academic talent and range from $7,500 to full tuition.
  • Apply Here
  • Deadline: TBA

Valentine School of Nursing Scholarships

  • Amounts: Vary
  • For students who are accepted into the MSN program at St. Louis University’s Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing, filling out your FAFSA will enter you for a variety of internal scholarships based on both need and merit.
  • Apply Here
  • Deadline: March 15, 2024

Zelle Scholarship

  • Amount: Varies
  • For MSN students at Vanderbilt University’s School of Nursing, the Zelle Scholarship awards full tuition to a graduate-level nursing student specializing in chronic care and rehabilitation. Applicants must be accepted and confirm they will be attending Vanderbilt School of Nursing.
  • Apply Here
  • Deadline: TBA

National/Regional Organizational Scholarships

A.T. Anderson Memorial Scholarship

  • Amount: $2,000
  • American Indian students pursuing graduate degrees in a STEM field, including nursing, are eligible to apply for the A.T. Anderson Memorial Scholarship. Applicants must be members of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society and be a tribal citizen or descendent of a tribal citizen.
  • Apply Here
  • Deadline: May 31, 2023

AAHD Frederick J. Krause Scholarship on Health and Disability

  • Amount: Up to $1,000
  • This scholarship is for disabled undergraduate and graduate students in accredited programs, including nursing programs. Applicants must have a disability recognized by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Preference is given to applicants in health-related fields.
  • Apply Here
  • Deadline: March 2024

AICF Scholarships

  • Amounts vary
  • For 75 years, the American Indian College Fund has provided undergraduate and graduate scholarships to Native American students. Applicants must have recognized tribal affiliation and be enrolled in an accredited U.S. institution with a GPA of 2.5 or higher.
  • Apply Here
  • Deadline: May 31, 2023

ANNA Career Mobility Scholarship

  • Amount: $2,000
  • The American Nephrology Nurses Association (ANNA) offers five Career Mobility Scholarships to ANNA members who have been in the organization for at least two years. Applicants must be enrolled in an accredited undergraduate or graduate nursing program and involved in nephrology-related care.
  • Apply Here
  • Deadline: TBA

Army Medical Scholarships Program

  • Amount: varies
  • For active duty members of the U.S. Army, Army Medical Scholarships provide full tuition and a stipend for living expenses and course materials for up to four years. Applicants must be pursuing a degree in a medical field, including nursing.
  • Apply Here
  • Deadline: TBA

ENA Foundation Scholarships

  • Amounts: vary
  • The Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) offers scholarships for nurses at all levels of their education, from associate degrees to doctoral studies. Applications are open to members and nonmembers, although conference funding is limited to members.
  • Apply Here
  • Deadline: April 28, 2023

Exceptionalnurse.com Scholarships

  • Amount: Up to $500
  • Exceptionalnurse.com offers scholarships for nursing students at all levels of education through a single scholarship application. Applicants must be enrolled in an accredited nursing program and will be considered for multiple scholarships through one application. Applicants must have a documented disability.
  • Apply Here
  • Deadline: June 1, 2023

Minority Fellowship Program

  • Amounts: vary
  • The American Nurses Association provides funding to minority students pursuing master’s and doctoral degrees in nursing. To be eligible for master’s fellowships, applicants must specialize in psychiatric nursing.
  • Apply Here
  • Deadline: April 30, 2023

NBNA Scholarships

  • Amount: $1,000 to $15,000
  • The National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) offers scholarships to African American nursing students at all levels of education, from LPN to PhD. Applicants must be NBNA members and fill out a single application to be eligible for multiple scholarship opportunities.
  • Apply Here
  • Deadline: April 15, 2023

NEF Scholarships

  • Amount: Up to $50,000
  • The Nurses Educational Funds (NEF) was established to make graduate-level nursing education more accessible. NEF offers a wide range of scholarships for graduate-level nursing education, with more being added.
  • Apply Here
  • Deadline: TBA

Oncology Nursing Foundation Master’s Scholarships

  • Amount: $5,000
  • The Oncology Nursing Foundation provides financial support to master’s students in accredited nursing programs who have a demonstrated commitment to oncology and oncology nursing. Applicants must provide references and pay a nonrefundable application fee of $5.
  • Apply Here
  • Deadline: February 2024

Local/State Organizational Scholarships

Alice Newell Joslyn Medical Scholarship

  • Amount: Up to $2,000
  • Latino students living and/or studying in San Diego County, California, are eligible to apply for the Alice Newell Joslyn Medical Scholarship. Applicants must be enrolled in an accredited program in the medical field at any level of education, including graduate-level nursing programs.
  • Apply Here
  • Deadline: February 18, 2024

Cohen Scholars Program

  • Amount: vary
  • Nursing students in Maryland are eligible to apply for the Cohen Scholars Program. This scholarship program provides funding, mentorship, and support to nursing students at all levels of education. Scholars must maintain a GPA of 3.25 or higher.
  • Apply Here
  • Deadline: TBA

FNA Scholarships

  • Amount: vary
  • The Florida Nurses Association (FNA) offers a variety of scholarships to Florida-based nursing students at all levels of their education, including graduate school. Applicants submit a single application to be considered for multiple scholarship opportunities.
  • Apply Here
  • Deadline: TBA

Martha Douglas Memorial Scholarship

  • Amount: varies
  • The Mississippi Nurses Foundation offers the Martha Douglas Memorial Scholarship to a Mississippi nursing student with exceptional leadership skills who is studying at the BSN level or higher (including MSN). Applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and submit an essay.
  • Apply Here
  • Deadline: February 2, 2024

Mary Lewis Wyche Fellowship

  • Amount: $5,000
  • The North Carolina Nurses Association, through funds from the “First in Nursing” license plate program, offers this fellowship to qualified registered nurses pursuing a master’s or doctorate in nursing. Applicants must be enrolled as full-time students in an accredited program.
  • Apply Here
  • Deadline: May 31, 2023

Mississippi Nurses Foundation Master’s Scholarship

  • Amount: $5,000
  • The Mississippi Nurses Foundation offers scholarships through their Car Tag program to Mississippi resident students at all levels of their nursing education. The master’s scholarship is awarded to multiple students each year.
  • Apply Here
  • Deadline: June 9, 2023

Southern Illinois Healthcare MSN Scholarship

  • Amount: vary
  • Southern Illinois Healthcare (SIH) provides tuition assistance to MSN students in their final two years of study. Applicants must be current employees of SIH.
  • Apply Here
  • Deadline: June 1, 2023

Suburban Hospital Scholarships/Casey Scholarships

  • Amount: vary
  • Suburban Hospital, a part of the Johns Hopkins Health System in the greater Washington, DC, area, offers scholarships to employees and nonemployees in the final two years of their nursing graduate education. Award amounts vary based on the cost of the program.
  • Apply Here
  • Deadlines are quarterly: February 28, May 31, August 31, and November 30

10 Tips to Maximize Your Chances of Winning

The process of applying for funding can be daunting, especially when considering multiple scholarships, and many students worry about their odds of earning an award. Here are some tips to help you stay organized through the application process and maximize your chance of winning funding:

Tip #1 – Apply for Everything You Can

Applying for a scholarship can feel like buying a lottery ticket–what are the odds you’ll win? Well, the more entries you have, the better your odds. Applying for as many scholarships as you’re eligible for and as your schedule and energies allow increases your odds of earning funding from one of them.

Tip #2 – Look for New Opportunities

There are so many scholarship and grant opportunities out there–so be sure to keep your eyes open. To find as many scholarship opportunities as possible, try exploring online, through resource centers your school provides, and by asking your personal and professional network. Remember, you can’t apply for something you don’t know about.

Tip #3 – Apply for Scholarships with More Intensive Application Processes

While it can be tempting to stick to scholarships with a simple application process, that could be a mistake. Scholarship programs that call for essays, interviews, writing samples, and the like often scare off potential applicants. That means, if you apply, you may have less competition.

Tip #4 – Apply for Smaller Scholarships

A smaller scholarship–like for a few hundred dollars–might not seem like it’s worth the trouble. Think again. These small amounts can come in handy when finances are tight. Moreover, remember that winning any kind of grant or scholarship, no matter how small, looks great on your resume.

Tip #5 – Pay Attention to Detail

It’s the little things that count. Be sure to review and edit your scholarship applications carefully to avoid typos and careless errors. You should also be sure you’re reading all of the materials given to you carefully and following the application instructions to the letter to maximize your chances of impressing the committee.

Tip #6 – Demonstrate Your Enthusiasm and Commitment to Nursing

You entered the nursing field and are pursuing further qualifications for a reason–it’s time to show it. Be sure to highlight, in your essay and elsewhere, why nursing is important to you and what made you choose this career. The scholarship committee will want to award funds to students who care.

Tip #7 – Highlight Your Achievements, Skills, and Experience

Your scholarship application is the place to do a little bragging. From academic awards you’ve received to previous scholarships to professional accomplishments in nursing to extracurricular activities, make sure you tell all. This is your chance to show the committee how great you are and why they should be excited to grant you funding.

Tip #8 – Use Your Best References

Even students with a wide range of personal and professional references have a few that stand out. When an application requires references, choose carefully. Request references from those who have seen you in a nursing-related context and can speak firsthand to your skills, your passion, and how deserving you are.

Tip #9 – Submit Your Application Early

While it’s obviously critical to get your application in before the deadline, the earlier you can submit it the better. Not only does applying early show a high level of interest and commitment, but it also gives a “cushion” of time to correct any mistakes. This means if, say, the scholarship committee wants official as well as unofficial transcripts, you can fix any issues before the deadline.

Tip #10 – Express Your Gratitude

The scholarship committee is taking the time to read your materials–it’s important to be gracious. Thank them for their consideration, whatever they may decide as the outcome. And if you’re fortunate enough to receive an award, be sure to reach out via email to express your gratitude for their generosity.

Academic and Professional Resources for MSN Students

Even during your MSN program, you may find yourself in need of support–be it academic, financial, or professional. Thankfully, there are many places you can turn to for advice, support, and opportunities. Here are some resources for MSN students looking for different types of support:

Resources for MSN Students

  • American Journal of Nursing: One of the top peer-reviewed nursing publications in the United States, where MSN students interested in research can also look toward becoming authors.
  • Barkley & Associates: Board certification review courses for nurses and nursing students, available both in person and online for a variety of nursing certification exams.
  • Cochrane Library: A collection of evidence-based health databases geared toward healthcare providers to help them make better, more informed patient care decisions.
  • Medscape: The self-described “one-stop resource” for medical news, information, clinical references, point-of-care information, and more for all aspects of medicine and healthcare sciences.
  • PubMed: The National Institutes of Health’s free-to-use database of peer-reviewed medical information and articles for academic nursing research.

Student Organizations and Professional Associations

  • AACN: The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) describes itself as the “voice of academic nursing” and its annual conference focuses on nursing student voices at all levels.
  • AANP: The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) is a national professional organization for nurse practitioners and holds an annual conference.
  • Johnson & Johnson Nursing: This website, by the health and beauty giant Johnson & Johnson, offers information, articles on nursing, and a helpful searchable database of nursing scholarships.
  • NBNA: The NBNA provides support and resources for African American nurses and nursing students at all stages of their education and careers.
  • NEF: An organization dedicated to helping make advanced nursing degrees and careers in nursing more accessible. The organization offers a wide range of scholarships and other opportunities.
  • NSNA: The National Student Nurses’ Association is a professional organization dedicated to fostering and supporting nursing students throughout the U.S. The NSNA also offers mentorship and networking opportunities.

Online Communities and Networking Sites

  • Allnurses.com: An online publication and community dedicated to all things nursing, with a separate section specifically for current and prospective nursing students.
  • r/nursing: With over 400,000 members, this popular community on Reddit is a place to discuss anything and everything related to nursing and nursing education.
  • r/StudentNurse: An online community on Reddit for student nurses at all levels of education to share advice and support in an anonymous forum.
  • The Student Doctor Network: A website with information, networking, and chat forums for students on their way to becoming healthcare professionals, including both doctors and nurses in training.

Other Resources

  • Good Nurse Bad Nurse: A popular podcast for nurses and by nurses that combines healthcare with history and true crime.
  • Life in Scrubs: This podcast is not only created by and for nurses, but it also specifically aims its content toward nursing students still completing their education.
  • Notes on Nursing: What It Is, and What It Is Not: Florence Nightingale’s original publication on nursing. While dated, it remains one of the foundational documents in the nursing profession.
  • Nursing School Thrive Guide: A book specifically geared toward nursing students, with advice and anecdotes from those who’ve been there to help you through your nursing education.
  • The Shift: One Nurse, Twelve Hours, Four Patients’ Lives: This book offers an in-depth look at the nursing profession through the lens of a single 12-hour shift in a hospital oncology ward.