Scholarships for Women in Nursing

There are a number of nursing scholarships specifically for women. Some competitions support women who would struggle to make it through nursing school otherwise; these competitions may include additional hardship requirements beyond gender. The criteria may specify that the woman be a nontraditional student, a mom, or even a single parent. Other awards, though, are open to traditional students.

Most female-only nursing scholarships are local. They may be administered through colleges or community foundations. Some are awarded in honor of female nurses who have died. The committee may specify that award winners live in specific counties or share other commonalities with the nurse being honored.

Still other competitions are for women who are studying issues related to women’s health. These may be open only to nurses or to women in various healthcare fields.

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Women’s Nursing Scholarship Requirements

The National Council of Jewish Women – Los Angeles Section gives scholarships to women in the LA region. These are open to deserving females regardless of religious affiliation. Two competitions are specifically for female nursing students, the June Miller Nursing Education Nursing Scholarship and the Inger Lawrence-M.R. Bauer Foundation Nursing Studies Scholarship. Awards are $2,000 each.

Some local chapters of Speaking of Women’s Health also offer scholarships to nursing students. The Indianapolis Chapter is one that specifically targets prospective nurses. Some other chapters award scholarships to females pursuing education in any of a number of healthcare professions. The Indianapolis Chapter made awards of $1,000 each in 2010; amounts may vary by year and by chapter.

The Athena Award and Scholarship Program of Nashville offers the Saint Thomas Health Services Scholarship to a nontraditional female studying in a healthcare field. The essay is based on the myth of Athena, known for inspiring heroes. Applicants should write about someone who has inspired them. The scholarship is worth $3,000, but applicants should be ready to make a one year employment commitment. The commitment can be honored at any of four regional hospitals.

The Faith Community/Parish Nurse Scholarship Program, offered through the Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation, is for a nurse who is interested in women’s healthcare issues, both physical and emotional. It is granted to a female RN pursuing advanced training in parish nursing. Applicants should include a clergy reference as well as a healthcare/ employment reference. Correspondence should be directed to Nora Miller.

Colleges and community foundations both tend to have a number of niche scholarships. There is often one or more scholarships set aside for female nursing students. Misercordia offers the Edith Elliot Scholarship and Edith Newcomb Scholarship. The Edith Newcomb award is reserved for female students 24 and over. Auburn Montgomery has several female-only scholarships among its many memorials and endowments. The Linda Belcher Memorial is for a female nontraditional student. The Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation Scholarship award, meanwhile, is for a traditional female student. Applicants for this award should be Christian and reside in the Southeast.

Nursing Scholarship Professional Advice

Women’s nursing scholarships can be very diverse; it is important to research the market to know what is available, and also to take stock of your own life experiences. Some scholarships do go unclaimed. Often this is because the foundation has been very specific about requirements (perhaps because they want to honor a particular person).

Scholarship committees are interested in knowing how their award will benefit not only you but the larger community. It is sometimes appropriate to address personal hardship in the essay, but work to keep the tone positive. A representative of Exceptional Nurses reminds candidates that it is good to work personal stories into the overall context of the essay. A candidate can in fact find an excellent and very moving example on their site.

Aim for specificity when discussing aspirations; in other words, it can be helpful to have a roadmap as well as a dream.

Contact Information for Women’s Nursing Scholarships

Speaking of Women’s Health

Email Contact:


National Council of Jewish Women Los Angeles

Email Contact:


Athena Awards

330 Franklin Road, P.O. Box 135A-120, Brentwood, TN 37027, Email Contact:


Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation/ Nora Miller

2503 Todd Drive, Madison, WI 53713-2341, PH: 608-251-1675 Ext 103, Email Contact:


Auburn Montgomery