Scholarships for Nursing Students in North Carolina
Nurses are in demand in in North Carolina. In fact, the demand for registered nurses is expected to increase by 27% in the decade leading up to 2018. That represents a bit of a staffing problem for North Carolina’s hospitals and other health facilities. Professional nursing is simply too important a field to allow a shortage! When demand begins to exceed supply, both the government and the state’s professional organizations get creative with everything from ad campaigns to funding.
Scholarships have long been a way of attracting very capable students to licensed professions — and of giving students from low-income backgrounds a chance to succeed. As a North Carolina nursing student, you will find a number of grant and scholarship opportunities to explore. Some of them could pay for a significant portion of your education (depending of course on what program you’re enrolled in).
- Graduate and Undergraduate Degrees and Postgraduate Certificates in Nursing
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing for the Registered Nurse
- Ranked #15 in Best Online Master's in Nursing Program by US News, Seton Hall University offers two fully online Nurse Practitioner programs: Adult Gerontology with Acute and Primary Tracks and Psychiatric Mental Health.
Nursing Scholarship Requirements in North Carolina
If you are committed to practicing within North Carolina, the state itself may be your best funding source. North Carolina offers two loan scholarship programs: the Nurse Scholars Program and the Nurse Education Loan Scholarship Program. The Nurse Scholars Program is entirely merit-based; you don’t have to prove financial need. Those seeking associate’s degrees or diplomas are eligible for $3,000 and those seeking bachelor’s degrees are eligible for $5,000. LPNs who are bridging to RN status may receive $2,500. With the exception of LPN to RN candidates, who are generally working out in the field, students must be enrolled full time.
The NESLP program does take financial need into account. Awards may be as little as $400; they can be as much as $5,000, though, for BSN students who demonstrate significant financial need. For this program, you only need to be enrolled half time. Whichever program funds you, you will be responsible for repaying the money with interest if you don’t fulfill a work obligation to the state.
Additional scholarship opportunities are available through the North Carolina Nurses Association. Most are for nurses who have initial licensure but are seeking higher degrees. The Judy Knox Scholarship helps nurses at the diploma level bridge to higher degrees. The Eunice M.. Smith Scholarship, Mary Lewis Wyche Fellowship, and Loretta Ford Scholarship all support graduate level nursing students. The Mary Wyche Fellowship is particularly lucrative; it is worth $5,000 a year.
Undergraduates in five North Carolina counties (Orange, Chatham, Durham, Wake, and Person) who are pursuing initial nursing certification can apply for the Carol Ann Beerstecher Scholarship. This award honors a nurse who died at just 29, but spent the last six years of her life working to help other terminally ill patients and their families. The competition is highly competitive, as one might imagine, but lucrative. One of the stated goals is to help students who share Beerstecher’s commitment, but lack resources.
North Carolina Nursing Scholarship Professional Advice
Remember that scholarship committees take into account a number of factors; you won’t be perfect in each one. Some competitions, like the Carol Ann Beerstecher Scholarship, publish their scoring criteria. If you’re a high school student and you have a weighted GPA above 4.0, you’ve earned yourself 25 points in this category. If you have a 2.0, you’ve earned only 5 points in the category — but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re out of the running yet. Financial need is also worth up to 25 points. The 500 word essay is worth even more: 30 points. Your score in some categories has been determined before you sit down to fill out the application, but the essay is something that you can still control.
Scholarship committees around the country have offered the following advice: Make your essay memorable. Include personal stories when they’re applicable, but try to weave them in artfully. Make sure you stay focused on the purpose of the scholarship. Edit your work carefully before you turn it in.
Contact Information for Nursing Scholarships in North Carolina
Nurse Scholars Program
PO Box 13663, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709
NC Foundation for Nursing
103 Enterprise Street, Raleigh, NC 27607