Scholarships for Nursing Students in Tennessee

Scholarships exist for two reasons: to aid individual students and to aid the larger community. You see scholarship opportunities in just about all fields, but you see more in crucial areas like nursing, especially when there is a shortage anticipated. Tennessee is indeed experiencing a shortfall -- the website of the East Tennessee Foundation notes that the state was predicted to face the greatest shortfall of nurses in the Southeast. Tennessee’s community foundations were selected to receive moneys from PIN (Partners Investing in Nursing’s Future.) The grant was to be divided among various programs aimed at retention as well as education. Increasing the number of master’s level nurse educators is a definite priority.

There are additional partners investing in Tennessee’s nurses. If you are studying at the graduate level, your source of funding could be the state itself. Listed below are some scholarship competitions in effect during the 2010 to 2011 year. The coming years may see a few more.

Nursing Scholarship Requirements in Tennessee

Some competitions are open to nursing students in different career tracks. Prospective LPNs, RNs, and NPs alike may apply for the Peggy Hewlett and Colonel David R. Inman Scholarship, administered by the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.

Another option is the Tennessee Elks Benevolent Trust Scholarship in Nursing. This competition has a January 15 deadline. You will be judged by your academic achievement, financial need, and dedication to the profession, as well as by the completeness and neatness of your application packet.

The Jackson Madison County General Hospital District also has a competition for RN candidates. The application window is March 1st to June 5th if you’re entering your program in the fall, and September 1st to October 15th if you’re entering in the spring.

If you’re female, and a nontraditional student, you might also want to look into the Saint Thomas Health Services Scholarship, administered by Nashville ATHENA. This $3,000 award is for an associate’s or bachelor’s level student who lives in Davidson or one of the surrounding counties; to win, you must be committed to working in the regional health system for a year. You can also apply for the general award for nontraditional students (across disciplines). This does not have a service obligation, but of course you’re competing with more people. The essay topic is the same for both: Write about someone who inspired or influenced you.

Nurse practitioner candidates are eligible to apply for the Tennessee Rural Health Loan Forgiveness Program; you can attend any of 15 approved master’s programs. After receiving your certificate of fitness as a nurse practitioner, you must serve one year for each year you were funded. There are some basic requirements to keep in mind. For instance, you have to have been a state resident for a full year and you have to be registered with the selective service if you are required to be. If you meet all the requirements, you are put into the lottery; luck of the draw determines who actually gets funded. The winners will receive the cost of their tuition and required materials, up to $12,000 a year. (The important thing to remember is that the money has to be paid back if you can’t work at one of Tennessee’s eligible facilities.)

Nursing Scholarship Application Expert Advice

Your academic and professional achievements can definitely help you; so will the thoroughness with which you approach the application process. In competitions where a lottery is the final determining factor, you want to make sure that you have adhered closely to rules and deadlines and gathered all required materials well in advance. These same steps will also help you in more competitive scholarship competitions.

The Elks Benevolent Fund notes that the presentation of your application is one of the criteria -- this includes neatness, completeness, and adherence to directions. Other scholarship committees put it a slightly different way: They note that missing materials can disqualify you. A surprising percentage of students do get disqualified because they’re missing materials.

Contact Information for Nursing Scholarships in Tennessee

The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee

3833 Cleghorn Avenue #400
Nashville, TN 37215-2519


Athena Award and Scholarship

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


Tennessee Elks Benevolent Trust


Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation/RHLP

Suite 1510, Parkway Towers
404 James Robertson Parkway
Nashville, Tennessee 37243-0820


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