Scholarships & Online Resources for Nurse Practitioner Students

From online study resources to scholarship opportunities and application advice, get what you need to help you succeed in your nurse practitioner program.

Last Updated: 08/19/2020
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Nurse practitioners have become a popular addition to doctor’s offices, hospitals, clinics, and outpatient surgery centers nationwide. For example, they often serve in place of doctors to treat patients in rural or underserved communities. Over 89% of nurse practitioners are certified in primary care, and 69% of all NPs practice primary care. And this trend shows no signs of slowing down, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimating 26% growth in nurse practitioner job openings from 2018 – 2028.

Yet the journey from student to nurse practitioner requires time, energy, and financial support. In addition to paying for school, you need to navigate the curriculum, pass your clinicals, and earn your certification to work. The purpose of this guide is to introduce both current and future NP students to scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options available, and to provide online resources for those who might need a hand no matter where they are in their academic journey.

Scholarships and Grants for Nurse Practitioner Students

Although tuition for nurse practitioner programs can vary (depending on school type and program), the more financial aid you can get, the better. This is especially true when it comes to scholarships and grants, which don’t need to be paid back after graduation. These sources of free money can make your journey to becoming a nurse practitioner far more affordable. Here’s a list of nurse practitioner scholarships you can apply for directly.

School-based Scholarships for Nurse Practitioners

One of the best places to find scholarships for nurse practitioner students is the school itself. Why? Because the field of applicants is drastically narrowed, thanks to the fact that only enrolled or accepted students may apply. In addition, colleges and universities often give general scholarships to their students in the hopes of helping them stay in school and improve graduation rates.

To learn more about where to find these scholarships, go directly to the school’s website; the information is often right there on a page dedicated to financial aid options. Otherwise, contacting the financial aid office is an option, as well as contacting the program director of the nurse practitioner program, or the nursing department in general. They will be able to guide you in the right direction. Here are a few examples of schools that are doing a fine job of offering scholarships to their students.

Nurse Practitioner Scholarship Spotlight: Vanderbilt University

This university in Tennessee offers numerous scholarships for graduate nursing students, including six full-tuition scholarships; three of those are awarded to incoming graduate students while the other three are awarded to second year pre-specialty entry or returning students. Many other scholarships are available for students with various criteria, such as partial scholarships for single parents, those with exceptional merit or volunteer history, those of a minority group, those who graduated from high school in certain counties, or those who show financial need. To learn more about the wealth of scholarships available, visit the Internal Scholarships Page at the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing site. Here’s an example of a full scholarship award:

MSN Student Scholarships

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Amount

Varies, but covers either partial or full tuition

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Deadline

Upon enrollment; all students are evaluated (Annual)

Eligibility

For new students, GPA, statement of purpose, application essays, and references are used in consideration. For returning students, students must have a 4.0 GPA. Interview and/or personal essays are required.

How to Apply

Contact the School of Nursing for information on the requirements.

Nurse Practitioner Scholarship Spotlight: Florida State University

In addition to the coveted New Alumni Ambassadors Award, FSU offers numerous scholarships to those accepted to or enrolled in the Florida State University College of Nursing. At least a dozen scholarships are available, each with different criteria. Nursing scholarship applications are available from February 1 through April 1, with varying deadlines. All applicants, even those in nursing graduate programs, are encouraged to complete the FAFSA to give the scholarship committee a better idea of financial need for students in the program. Learn more at the Scholarships & Financial Aid page at the College of Nursing.

New Alumni Ambassadors Award

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Amount

Varies

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Deadline

January 19, 2020 (Annual)

Eligibility

Must be a current junior, senior, or graduate student at FSU in good standing and complete the application.

How to Apply

Written essays, current GPA and an in-person presentation to the committee are all part of the application process.

National and Regional Nurse Practitioner Scholarships

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Organization

Health Professions Education Foundation

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Amount

Up to $25,000

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Deadline

2/23/2021 (annual)

Eligibility

Enrollment in a California-approved medical program, including those for nurse practitioners. Upon graduation, the scholarship recipient must work in a medically underserved area for at least 12 months.

How to Apply

The application is available online at the OSHPD Funding Portal.

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Organization

American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP)

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Amount

$2,500 to $5,000

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Deadline

3/18/2020 (annual)

Eligibility

U.S. citizens or permanent residents who have completed at least one semester of their graduate nursing programs, are AANP members, and are licensed registered nurses may apply.

How to Apply

The application form will be available on the AANP website.

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Organization

Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR)

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Amount

$2,500

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Deadline

2/15/2020 (annual)

Eligibility

Enrollment or acceptance into an accredited nursing program.

How to Apply

Use the online application tool located on the DAR website.

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Organization

American Association of Post-Acute Care Nursing (AAPACN)

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Amount

$5,000

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Deadline

12/1/2020 (annual)

Eligibility

Applicants should be working towards a BSN or graduate nursing degree.

How to Apply

Applications must be completed online after creating an online account.

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Organization

National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP)

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Amount

$1,300

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Deadline

6/15/2020 (annual)

Eligibility

Must be a current member of NAPNAP with at least a 3.0 GPA and enrollment in an accredited nurse practitioner program with a focus on pediatrics.

How to Apply

The application must be completed online after creation of an online account.

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Organization

Danish Sisterhood of America

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Amount

$850

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Deadline

3/1/2020 (annual)

Eligibility

Have at least a 3.0 GPA and be a graduate student seeking a nursing or related degree. Applicants must also be a member of the Danish Sisterhood of America, which is open to anyone with an interest in Danish heritage and culture.

How to Apply

Download an application and submit it via First Class Mail, along with necessary supporting documents.

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Organization

Emergency Nurses Association (ENA)

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Amount

$1,000 to $10,000

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Deadline

3/2/2020 (annual)

Eligibility

Applicants must be emergency nurses in an ACEN or CCNE accredited nurse practitioner program; must also be a current ENA member.

How to Apply

The ENA website has a special portal for applications.

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Organization

John Randolph Foundation

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Amount

$2,500

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Deadline

2/18/2020 (annual)

Eligibility

Demonstrate financial need, have at least a 3.0 GPA, and be attending or express interest in attending graduate school in a health-related field, such as nursing.

How to Apply

The application and accompanying documents may be submitted online after creating an account at the foundation website.

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Organization

American Nephrology Nurses Association (ANNA)

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Amount

$2,500

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Deadline

10/16/2020 (annual)

Eligibility

At least a two year member of the ANNA with active involvement in nephrology nursing or related healthcare services. Applicants must be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate nursing program.

How to Apply

Applicants must create an online account and apply online.

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Organization

March of Dimes

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Amount

$5,000

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Deadline

1/24/2020 (annual)

Eligibility

Must be a registered nurse, a member of a professional organization, and enrolled in a graduate program focused on maternal-child nursing.

How to Apply

Complete and submit an online application.

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Organization

Nurses Educational Funds, Inc. (NEF)

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Amount

Varies

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Deadline

2/1/2021 (annual)

Eligibility

Applicants must be U.S. citizens or otherwise have legal residency status, have a current RN license, and be enrolled in an accredited master’s or doctoral nursing program.

How to Apply

The application must be completed online and includes a personal essay and goal statement.

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Organization

Nurse Practitioner Healthcare Foundation (NPHF)

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Amount

$1,000

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Deadline

12/9/2020 (annual)

Eligibility

This scholarship is open to a nurse practitioner graduate student who has made notable contributions to their community or school.

How to Apply

The application must be filled out electronically, then printed out and mailed. Handwritten applications will not be accepted.

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Organization

Association of California Nurse Leaders (ACNL) and Bare Root, Inc.

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Amount

$5,000

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Deadline

7/31/2020 (annual)

Eligibility

This academic scholarship goes to a registered nurse pursuing a BSN or MSN degree.

How to Apply

Create an online account and complete the application online.

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Organization

Oncology Nursing Foundation (ONF)

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Amount

$5,000

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Deadline

2/1/2020 (annual)

Eligibility

This one-time scholarship award is available to those currently enrolled in an NLN or CCNE accredited master’s degree nursing program. Applicants must also have an interest in oncology nursing.

How to Apply

Applications are accepted online through the ONF website.

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Organization

Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc.

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Amount

$5,000 or $10,000

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Deadline

7/30/2020 (annual)

Eligibility

In addition to being a U.S. resident, applicant must be a graduate student or a college senior who will enroll in a graduate school program, including that of nurse practitioner.

How to Apply

Go to the scholarship website and create an online account to apply online.

5 Keys to Landing Your Nurse Practitioner Scholarship

When applying for scholarships, it’s important to consider the broad field of applicants. That competition means that your scholarship application must be fully complete, your essay polished, your letters of recommendation filled with glowing reports, and your CV or resume showcasing not only your employment record, but your volunteer work as well. Here are some other ways to make your application stand out.

  • Key #1: Beef up your experience and volunteer work.
    Some graduate scholarships are highly competitive and thus, give preference to applicants who have proven their desire to pursue a full-time career as a nurse practitioner. Showing extensive experience in the medical world helps prove how badly you want it.
  • Key #2: Create an impactful personal statement.
    Show the scholarship committee how serious you are about your chosen profession, and why. A personal statement that moves someone can keep your application at the top of the growing pile.
  • Key #3: Get the application in early.
    Some scholarship committees look at the applications as they come in, so try to get yours in as soon as possible. This also helps you avoid the last-minute rush if something goes wrong at the looming deadline.
  • Key #4: Choose letters of recommendation wisely.
    When choosing someone to write a letter of recommendation, make sure it is a professional whose words will hold weight with those who read what they have to say about you. A glowing report from a well-respected medical professional is very valuable.
  • Key #5: Consider local scholarships.
    Don’t overlook scholarships from smaller organizations and businesses in the regional area. Though they might not provide as much cash as a bigger national scholarship does, those smaller awards can add up fast.

If You Still Need Help Paying for School

Graduate school is a financial commitment, and scholarship options may not be as robust as those found at the undergraduate level. As a result, many students lean on loans, employment tuition reimbursement, or even loan forgiveness programs (sometimes an option for those who agree to work in an underserved or rural area upon graduation). To learn more about the potential financial options for those in nurse practitioner programs, look at our financial aid page and student loans page.

Academic and Professional Resources for Nurse Practitioner Students

Aspiring nurse practitioners are often working in the field already, fulfilling obligations to their employer while attending school online. Given this, many students need the services tailored to those who take online courses. Support is a must for anyone in a nursing program, but perhaps it’s especially necessary for those who are juggling so many roles at once. The support services in the sections below can help students make the most of not only their academic career, but their workplace career as well.

Nurse Practitioner Student Support Centers and Services

Aspiring nurse practitioners have already been to college, so they have a good idea of what student services they might need to support their educational pursuit. However, moving into graduate school can present new challenges they didn’t have in undergrad, so there is still the need for a support system through the school. From learning how to handle online courses to finding funding for their program to networking with alumni, student support centers and services can be a huge help as a student moves through their program. Here are a few schools that are doing it well.

University of Southern California

Student support services at East Carolina University’s School of Nursing provide assistance for both prospective and current students. A few examples of that assistance includes management of the admissions process, tracking clinical compliance, facilitating testing accommodations, coordinating graduation requirements, and providing faculty and staff with the tools they need to better assist nursing students under their guidance. In addition, the College of Nursing Student Advising Center can help students with a wider variety of academic issues. Visit the Student Services and Academic Advising page to learn more.

Barnes Jewish College

The Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes Jewish College offers an extensive level of student support for those in the nursing program, including nurse practitioner students. In addition to the support one might expect, such as academic advising services or assistance with clinical placement, students can also enjoy the benefits of the Peer Leader Program, which offers group study sessions led by students who excelled in a particular course, or the Peer Mentor Program, which teams up students who can help each other stay the course throughout the most difficult days of nursing school. Visit the Student Support Services page to learn more.

Resources for Online Nurse Practitioner Students

The 2020 school semesters changed the lives of many nurse practitioner students – and simply students in general – as Covid-19 led to many school closures across the nation. Suddenly, those who had never taken online courses before were thrust into the world of distance learning with little time to prepare. Though online programs are common in healthcare, this sudden change was a tough transition for many. Those who find themselves in an online program, whether by choice or necessity, can benefit from the following resources.

  • Demystify the Clinical Component of Online Graduate Nursing Programs
    This article from U.S. News and World Report focuses on finding clinical opportunities for those in online nursing courses, and what to expect from the experience.
  • How Do I Incorporate My MSN Studies Into My Daily Workload As A Nurse?
    This article from Duquesne University School of Nursing looks at the variety of ways an online program can work for busy nurses, how to manage time, and how to de-stress. 
  • Online School for Working Adults
    Many aspiring NPs are already working in the field as nurses; online learning can allow them to continue working while furthering their education. This guide helps them learn to juggle their responsibilities.
  • Study Tips for the Busy Nursing Graduate Student
    This page from Maryville University offers powerful tips that are suitable for those taking courses online. Though written specifically for those in grad school, aspiring NPs who are still at the undergraduate level can also benefit from these tips.
  • UpToDate
    Used by nurse practitioners and other medical professionals all over the world, UpToDate provides pertinent information on a wide variety of conditions. This can take students beyond the textbook and provide them with more insights into evidence-based practice.

Student Organizations and Professional Associations

  • American Association of Critical Care Nurses
    Nurses can find a wealth of information here, including continuing education, certification, conferences, and much more.
  • American Association of Nurse Practitioners
    This large membership organization for NPs provides a wealth of information, resources, and even mentorship opportunities for both students and working professionals.
  • International Council of Nurses
    Those who are looking beyond the US borders to embark on their work as an NP after graduation can look at this organization, which includes nursing information from across the globe.
  • National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
    Those who choose to focus their NP career on working with children and adolescents can look into this membership, which will provide them with information on education, conferences, advocacy, and more.
  • Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health
    Those focused on the health of women of childbearing age and beyond are the targets of this group, which offers conferences, annual events, surveys, policy and advocacy information, and more.

Online Communities, Networking Sites, and Other Social Groups

  • AANP Social Media
    This page leads to the Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more of the AANP. From there, students can connect with others who are pursuing their education or already working as NPs in the field.
  • Family Nurse Practitioner Networking Facebook Group
    Just as the name suggests, this is a place where networking takes precedence. Open to both nurse practitioners and students, members can ask for advice, look for job offers, and more.
  • Nurse Practitioner Board Review Study Group
    This active Facebook group is a great place to find potential questions, discuss answers, talk about study guides and prep options, and more to help prepare for and pass the AANP exam.
  • Nurse Practitioners and APRNs Reddit Group
    This active subreddit brings together APRNs and NPs for advice, encouragement, and discussion of nurse practitioner programs, issues, and current events.

Articles, Videos, Books and Podcasts

  • 10 Best Podcasts for Healthcare Students and Professionals
    Looking for insight, advice, inspiration, or tips to get you through the school day? These podcasts are great for listening on the go, making them perfect for busy working professionals who happen to be NP students, too.
  • 9 Best Books for Healthcare Students & Professionals
    This comprehensive list of books is a great way for students to dive into the work they intend to do upon graduation, as well as find some inspiration for getting through the tough times.
  • Human Anatomy Atlas
    This useful app provides detailed 3D male and female models that focus on over 4,000 anatomical structures and various body systems. With the ability to make flashcards, quizzes, and more, this is a good supplement to any online program.
  • Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners Resource Library
    This library of resources from the AANP offers in-depth information on cancer, addiction, palliative care, obesity, mental health, and more.
  • Quiz: Find Your Nursing Niche
    Not sure which area of nurse practitioner specialty you want to work in? This quiz will help you determine which path under the NP umbrella might be right for you.