Scholarships for Nursing Students in Illinois

Are you planning on pursuing a career in nursing in Illinois? If so, you will find multiple grant and scholarship opportunities which can help fund your education. There are of course general scholarships like the Illinois Merit Recognition Scholarships that are give to top performing high school graduates regardless of discipline. In addition to these, there are opportunities which are open only to future nurses; some of these could pay the majority of the costs associated with your professional education.

Prospective Illinois nurses should understand the concept of a loan scholarship, which requires work service in order to remain a nursing scholarship and not convert to a loan. The most lucrative nursing scholarships in the state do require service obligations. There are, however, various smaller scholarships for nursing students. There are also very competitive national competitions.

Nursing Scholarship Requirements in Illinois

Nursing students who have been residents of the state for at least one year may want to look into the Nursing Education Scholarship Program administered by the Illinois Department for Rural Health. Nursing scholarships are available at all levels from certificate to graduate level, but program determines length of assistance as well as allowable funding. In addition to tuition assistance, full time students may receive $5,943 to offset living expenses. These programs are loan scholarships. LPNs and RNs are responsible for providing patient care in the state at the rate of six months service per semester of full time enrollment/ scholarship assistance. Graduate nursing students may become nurse educators instead. Part time employment is acceptable, but will increase total length of commitment. In most cases, failure to serve as expected will result in the scholarship being converted to a loan. There are special circumstances that can result in deferment.

Interested in applying? The first priority is given to students who have strong GPAs, demonstrated financial need, some experience in nursing, and are near program completion. The deadline is May 31. Some graduate level students (nurse educators, nurse practitioners) who don’t receive the scholarship during their schooling years will be eligible to apply for loan forgiveness later.

There are other scholarships available that don’t specify work commitment. The Illinois Hospital Research and Educational Foundation grants $1,000 scholarships, based on combined merit and need. There is an April 15 deadline for 2011, though the date may vary.

The IMH Auxiliary Allied Health Field Scholarship is offered through Iroquois Memorial Hospital. To qualify, you must live within the service area of the hospital. To apply, you will need transcripts, SAT or ACT scores, and a recommendation from a counselor or advisor; you will also need to discuss financial obligations and resources. There is an April 15 deadline. The organization also administers the Dr James E Dailey award, a one year scholarship offered each year in the amount of at least $500.

For nurse practitioners, there is the Marybeth Monaghen/ARDS Foundation/NA/RHAMC Graduate Advanced Practice Nursing Scholarship. This award honors a respected and well loved nurse who died of respiratory failure.

Nursing Scholarship Professional Advice – IL

There are a lot of nursing scholarships out there, some of them in narrow specialty areas. They are offered through national charities and professional organizations as well as state ones. Make sure that the ones you apply for are a good match. A representative of RHAMC notes that while respiratory care may not be an area of official licensing, or the title of the school program, it is expected that you’re actively studying it.

Representatives of more than one organization have noted that candidates sometimes hurt their chances by leaving out important information. Beyond these basics, don’t get too stressed worrying that someone else may have had more interesting life experiences, for example. A representative of the Margaret Mahoney Foundation emphasizes that there are many criteria that the committee considers.

Contact Information for Nursing Scholarships in Illinois

Illinois Department of Public Health

535 West Jefferson Street, Springfield, Illinois 62761

Website: idph.state.il.us/about/rural_health/rural_scholarship.htm

Illinois Hospital Research and Educational Foundation

PO Box 3015, Naperville, IL 60566

Website: ihref.ihatoday.org/

ARDS Foundation Scholarship

1440 W. Washington Blvd., Chicago, IL 60607

Website: lungchicago.org/na-nursing-scholarships/

Iroquois Memorial Hospital

200 Fairman, Watseka, IL 60970

Website: www.iroquoismemorial.com/index.cfm?pageID=170

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