If the time has come to move your nursing career forward, you may be thinking about a degree in nursing. When planning to go back to school, there are several considerations, such as finding a program that offers flexibility, has appropriate accreditation, and fits within your budget.
Student loans are a practical and accessible way to support your educational expenses; however, there are additional financial resources that you should consider first. Research these five ways to help pay for your nursing degree costs.
1. Nursing Industry Scholarships
There are local and national options available to help you find nursing scholarships, which are as varied as the competition to win them.
To find them, look to community organizations, national foundations, and associations. You can even find scholarships that cover education technology (computers or tablets) and books as well as tuition. While you do not have to repay scholarships, you may be required to fulfill a commitment like community service or be active in an organization.
2. University Grants & Scholarship Programs
Grants and scholarship programs will differ among institutions, and disbursement occurs based on various factors including financial need, personal background, or chosen field of study.
Capella University offers new student scholarship opportunities for eligible nursing programs. Amounts vary based on the level of degree you are seeking. Be sure to verify the application deadline upon your acceptance to the program.
3. Employer Tuition Reimbursement
Many health care organizations offer tuition reimbursement for employees seeking advanced education to support both their employees’ personal goals and their own organizational growth. Many hospitals, for example, offer nurses $5,250 each year in tuition reimbursement. Ask your supervisor or HR department to see what your employer offers. Note that you may be required to continue as an employee for a certain period of time after graduation.
Tuition discounts can make your degree more affordable. Look for the following:
- Military. On top of the GI Bill®, some universities offer special discounts for anyone who has served in the United States armed forces. Capella offers a 10% discount on graduate programs and a 15% discount on bachelor’s programs for students who have served in the military or are spouses of a service member.
- Employer. Capella’s education alliance programs offer a range of benefits to hundreds of health care organizations. See if your employer qualifies and learn the benefits you may be eligible for.
- Association Member. Capella partners with the National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) and the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE), and offers a 10% discount to members of these associations.
5. Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)
You may be eligible to earn credit for previous coursework, experience, and learning through Capella’s Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) process.
For example, the knowledge you gained for your Certified Nurse Manager and Leader (CNML) credential can save you up to 9 months and over $4,600 on your Master in Nursing Leadership and Administration. If you have the ANCC Registered Nurse-Board Certified (RN-BC) credential, you can save up to 6 months and over $3,000 on your Master’s in Nursing Informatics.
GI Bill ® is a registered trademark of the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill