Scholarships for Nursing Students in Pennsylvania

On September 16, 2010, Philadelphia hosted a huge fundraising event called “The Promise for Nursing”. More than $330,000 was raised to expand nursing programs and fund scholarships and fellowships.

The 2010 event is far from the only source of funding for Pennsylvania’s future nurses. Pennsylvania has been taking steps for years to prevent a nursing crisis. Both the Pennsylvania government and nonprofit organizations within the state have allocated money to assistant nursing students on their road to certification. Nurses at different stages of their careers may apply for money to offset schooling costs. Unlike many professions, there is actually a greater demand for nurses with higher levels of training. This can be to your advantage if you have LPN or RN licensing, and want to move higher, but are intimidated by the costs.

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Nursing Scholarship Requirements in Pennsylvania

Students from LPN level to APRN level can apply for Nightingale Scholarships. In order to b eligible, you must have at least a B average. The application asks about your honors and activities as well as your reasons for choosing the nursing profession. The application deadline is January 31.

ADN, BSN, and RN to BSN students are also eligible to apply for the $1,000 Pauline Thompson Nursing Education Scholarship. Three letters of reference are required. Nurses in the RN to BSN program must have a letter from a work supervisor; all students should have two letters from faculty members. Professional membership is required in either the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association or a student nursing association. (If there is no such organization, you will need a letter documenting the situation.) The 2011 application deadline is May 6.

Another option for undergraduate nursing students is the McLean Scholarship for Nursing or Physician Assistant Majors. Seven $2,500 awards are made each year. Students at any of Pennsylvania’s 84 AICU colleges are eligible to apply; application materials are available through your school’s financial aid office. To be eligible, you must have a 3.0 grade point average. The committee values volunteer experience and campus involvement.

The state of Pennsylvania has taken steps to stave off a potential nursing crisis. The State-sponsored Nursing Education Grants fund scholarships at individual colleges and universities are allowing more students to pursue their nursing education.

There are further opportunities for graduate students. The Independence Blue Cross Scholars Program is designed to attract prospective nurse educators to serve in areas of high need. The program is available in Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties. Again, students should apply through their college or university.

Nursing Scholarship Professional Advice

If you are intimidated at the thought of applying for nursing scholarships, don’t be. Yes, some competitions do ask for academic excellence, but others reward a wide range of personal attributes. It helps to be proactive. Some competitions require membership in a professional organization. By becoming active, you’re increasing your chances in both direct and indirect ways. You’re learning a lot about the profession and determining where your strengths lie; your experiences also give you material for future scholarship essays. If you don’t have a lot of work experience, volunteer experience can prove valuable.

When it comes time to actually apply, remember this: It’s not uncommon for a scholarship foundation to receive many application packets that are incomplete in some way. Use the application checklist the committee provides; in fact, take a first look at it long before the closing date. There will probably be materials that you need to get from others: for example, your professors and your financial aid office. There will also be detailed instructions about how the materials are to be turned in. Just by following directions carefully, you will put yourself ahead of many other applicants.

Contact Information for Nursing Scholarships in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Association of Practical Nursing Administrators

Attn: Margie Hamilton, 372 Derry Drive, Aston, PA 19014-1249, PH: 610-610-892-1570, Email: [email protected]


Pennsylvania Nightingale Awards

801 East Park Drive, Suite 100, Harrisburg, PA 17111


Nursing Foundation of Pennsylvania c/o Karen Reinert

2578 Interstate Drive, Suite 101, Harrisburg, PA 17110


McLean Scholarship


Independence Blue Cross Scholars Program


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