Top 7 Ways To Get Free Money For Nursing School

Nursing is a good career choice and comes with great pay and financial security of a lifetime, but one of its major drawbacks is the cost involved in becoming a nurse. Getting a nursing education can be expensive but there are ways to get free money for nursing school or even get paid to go nursing school. Read on to find out how you can get quality nursing education for nothing!

The importance of nurses in today’s world cannot be overemphasized and they are not going away anytime soon. Nurses can be seen across a range of healthcare facilities providing support and care for patients and educating the general public on health and wellness. Nursing is a fulfilling and profitable career, helping others get better and getting paid while doing that seems like a win-win to me.

What is the Salary of Nurses?

As a nurse, you can expect to take home an average annual salary of $46,000. This is an average salary which means it can go as high as more than $100K depending on the location, your experience, and your specialty.

So, if you like the idea of helping people and are passionate about it then you should add nursing to your career option and the good thing is you do not have to worry about employment or nurses not being needed 10-20 years from now. There is a huge market demand for nurses, no thanks to the shortage of nurses plus there is also the opportunity for you to travel and work abroad with your nursing degree.

According to the 2016-2026 employment projections by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nursing continues to be among the top occupations with steady projected job growth through 2026. The workforce is anticipated to grow from approximately 2.95 million nurses in 2016 to 3.39 million in 2026. Furthermore, the Bureau expects a 15% change in employment from 2016 to 2026 which is almost double that of other occupations.

As exciting as I have painted the nursing profession to be, which it actually is, going to nursing school is not a walk in the park and I am talking about the finances involved. Nursing school is expensive and it makes you wonder “But there is a global shortage of nurses, so why not make education as cheap as possible”. Well, I don’t know why nursing schools aren’t cheap as expected but I can show you ways to go to nursing school for almost nothing. Yes, without spending a dime of your money.

How Much is Nursing School?

The cost of nursing school varies by location, degree type, and institution so it can range from $8,000 to $50,000. It can be more for international students but with nursing scholarships for international students, they can mitigate the cost. Citizens and permanent residents are not left out either, they can also apply for government-sponsored nursing scholarships to offset the cost of nursing school.

Although nursing scholarships go a long way in supporting students in their nursing journey it is not the only way to get free money for nursing school Also, what happens when your scholarship application gets rejected? The other ways to get paid to go to nursing school are curated here and without any further ado, let’s get into them.

free money for nursing school

Ways to Get Free Money for Nursing School

Yes, nursing school is expensive but it shouldn’t discourage you from pursuing your dream career. Curated below are the ways to get free money for nursing school, through these means you can go to a nursing school without spending so much.

1.     Financial Aid

As you are filling out your application for admission into nursing school also fill out the FAFSA which is the Free Application for Student Aid to see which kind of aid you qualify for. When you fill out this application form, the government will determine which need-based aid you qualify for, it can cover your full cost or part of it.

Funds from FAFSA are not repaid and it is one of the best ways to get free money for nursing school.

2.     Apply for Scholarships

Applying for scholarships seems like the most popular route, there are hundreds of nursing scholarships out there that you can qualify for. The scholarships are offered based on merit like performance in academics, sports, drama, arts, or in a particular extracurricular activity. There are also some nursing scholarships designed to target a specific population like nursing scholarships for minorities.

You can also apply for other healthcare scholarships that nurses qualify for but ensure that you carefully review their criteria and be sure to meet them before applying.

3.     Apply for Grants

Grants are similar to scholarships but they are offered based on financial need and targeted to students who come from low-income families. As an aspiring or current nursing student looking for free money for nursing school, look for nursing grants or any other general grants that you qualify for and apply for them.

Grants are offered by state and federal governments, colleges and universities, businesses, organizations, foundations, and associations. Just like scholarships, you do not need to repay a grant, it is free money.

4.     Work-Study

A work-study program is one of the ways you can literally get paid to go to nursing school and here is how it works.

As a nursing student, some hospitals will employ you for an administrative or custodial role and pay you to work for them while studying as a nurse. This work-study program is a win-win situation for you because you get to gain hospital experience while schooling and working as well while getting paid.

5.     Nursing Apprenticeship

Nursing apprenticeship programs are another means of getting paid while going to nursing school. The program gives you the opportunity to learn on the job while getting paid for an education, this makes nursing degrees accessible for people who cannot afford them.

6.     ‘Grow Your Own’ Programs

‘Grow Your Own’ programs are another way of attending nursing school without spending money but instead of a nursing degree, you will get a nursing diploma. The program is provided by certain hospitals with nursing programs and it is free to attend once your application is accepted. Also, you must be willing to work for the hospital for a while when you graduate the program.

7.     Tuition Reimbursement Programs for Nurses

If you have earned an ADN degree and want to earn your BSN, you can seek for employers to pay for your BSN degree while working for a limited period of time. This way, you don’t get to spend money on earning the BSN degree and still gain relevant working experience through the tuition reimbursement programs.

These are the ways to get free money for nursing school and also to get paid while going to nursing school.


These options can help you go to nursing school without spending a dime of your money. Since you now know them, you should start exploring the opportunities within each of them by carrying out further research so that you can find an option that suits you best.

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