Despite making up nearly 40% of the population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, minorities aren’t proportionally represented in nursing. According to the 2020 National Nursing Workforce Study by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, as reported in the Journal of Nursing Regulation, only 19.5% of RN respondents were minorities.
One way to increase diversity in nursing is to lower the burden of attaining a nursing degree. Earmarking scholarship funds for minority communities including Native American, Asian, Alaska Native, and African American nursing students is key to fostering diversity in nursing.
“Diversity is critical as it brings a number of culture and belief systems together that enable us to collaborate and capitalize on our strengths and increase awareness of our patient needs and the needs of our communities, which in turns helps to improve patient outcomes,” says Melissa Burdi, DNP, dean and vice president for the School of Nursing at Purdue University Global.
Here are 12 nursing school scholarships for minorities to gain entry into higher education.
Scholarships for Minority Nursing Students
Sponsored by the Asian American/Pacific Islander Nurses Association, this $1,000 annual scholarship is for members of at least two years who are enrolled in undergraduate or graduate nursing programs and meet academic and leadership requirements.
The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium offers 10 $5,000 scholarships to Alaska Native and American Indian students enrolled in training or education programs that would allow them to work in the health care field. Applicants must be permanent Alaska residents.
The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America offers an annual $1,500 scholarship to help students of American Indian descent complete nursing programs and work in health care.
The Indian Health Service offers three scholarship programs of varying amounts for Alaska Native and American Indian students studying health care. Recipients must commit to working in an Indian health program for two years.
Nurses Educational Fund, Inc., offers a $2,000 endowed scholarship to African American nurses in doctoral nursing programs. The award was named after M. Elizabeth Carnegie, the first Black nurse to serve as a voting member on the board of a state nursing association.
The National American Arab Nurses Association offers an annual scholarship program for applicants of Arab descent who are members of NAANA and enrolled at any level of nursing program. This can include associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or RN-to-BSN programs.
This scholarship is for members of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN), who have enrolled full-time in a nursing program. The scholarship awards $5,000 for three years.
The National Health Service Corps, part of the U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration, offers this scholarship to native Hawaiians pursuing careers in health care. The scholarship covers tuition and other school-related costs and provides a monthly stipend. In return, you must work in a medically underserved area within Hawaii for every year of funding you receive.
The National Black Nurses Association offers a number of scholarship programs for NBNA members. Applicants must have at least one year of school remaining and awards vary from $1,000 to $6,000 depending on the specific scholarship.
One $1,000 scholarship is offered to PNAA members who are graduate students pursuing a doctorate or post-master’s degree. Other academic requirements may apply.
This scholarship for African American students under 30 who live in Michigan is designed to help students attend health care programs. Award amounts vary and students must maintain a 3.0 GPA.
This award of up to $7,000 is earmarked for Native American and Alaska Native college students who are studying a health care field and plan to work with native communities during their careers.
Minority Nursing Associations
Whether you’re looking for more scholarships or just want some fellowship in the nursing community, consider these minority nursing associations.
- American Association for Men in Nursing (AAMN)
- Asian American/Pacific Islander Nurses Association, Inc. (AAPINA)
- Black Nurses Rock (BNR)
- National Alaska Native American Indian Nurses Association, Inc. (NANAINA)
- National Association of Hispanic Nurses, Inc. (NAHN)
- National Association of Indian Nurses of America (NAINA)
- National Black Nurses Association (NBNA)
- National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurse Associations (NCEMNA)
- National Indian Nurse Practitioners Association of America (NINPAA)
- Philippine Nurses Association of America, Inc. (PNAA)
Tips for Applying for Nursing Scholarships
When dealing with something as serious as paying for nursing school, it is easy to become overwhelmed. Here are some things to know before applying:
- Consider past winners. By looking at previous winners, you can get an example of the types of candidates the scholarship committee is looking for.
- Check eligibility requirements. When looking for minority nursing scholarships, there are very obvious eligibility requirements. But also check for GPA and career goal requirements and don’t waste time with scholarships where your career goals don’t align.
- Follow instructions. Because so many people apply for scholarships, simple mistakes like not saving your files together or missing an essay can cost you real money. Follow instructions closely when applying for scholarships.
- Carefully craft your essay. An essay, if required, is a great way to stand out to a scholarship committee, but it is also an opportunity to lose out on a scholarship if you don’t thoroughly understand the prompt. Make time for research and writing.
- Proofread your essay and materials. Bad grammar and poor punctuation could cost you an award for nursing school. If possible, have someone else edit your essay to make sure it flows and is grammatically correct.
- Deadlines matter. Be organized when applying for scholarships and make sure to track deadlines carefully. You don’t want to be preparing materials at the last minute. Consider creating a checklist of all the awards you are applying for so you don’t miss any important dates or information.
Earn a Nursing Degree Online
If you’re considering earning an online RN-to-BSN, a master’s degree in nursing, or a DNP, consider Purdue University Global. We offer nursing programs for busy working nurses who need the flexibility of online learning. Request more information to get started.
High School Seniors
Regions will award sixteen $5,000 scholarships to high school seniors from states with Regions branches who will attend college in the fall of 2014. To enter, write a 500-word essay about an African-American whose contributions inspire and motivate you.
Regions will award sixteen $2,500 scholarships to college freshmen, sophomores and/or juniors from, or currently attending college in, states with Regions branches. To enter, write a 500-word essay about an African-American whose contributions inspired you and influenced your college career.
Enter online January 20, 2014 through February 27, 2014: http://promo.regions.com/RidingForward/default.htm?CID=24069&V_TID=1359392&ProspectID=82E15425CC8F450893FE6618EA283CAE
The deadline is in November but this is one you’ll want to get started on early because its a big money scholarship. There are also scholarships available at the graduate level and even for 7th graders!
For more information, visit http://www.jkcf.org/scholarships/college-scholarship-program/
About the Scholarship
We believe the future of women’s empowerment worldwide lies in the hands of today’s students. The Advancing Aspirations Global Scholarships (AAGS) are designed to engage young people in pressing women’s issues and to connect students who are interested in the global advancement of women with thought leaders in impactful roles.
U.S. Bank and Discover have partnered with Womenetics to encourage future leaders to think critically about the business issues affecting women today by offering $22,000 in scholarship funds. The prize money is intended to finance education, travel or other opportunities that may lead to further understanding of these important global issues.
Click here to read a letter from Kimberly Topping about her experience as a 2012 AAGS winner.
Ten students will be selected to win a combined total of $22,000 in scholarships and grand prize winners will receive an expense-paid trip to attend the Womenetics Global Women’s Initiative conference in Atlanta or Chicago this fall.
Grand Prize (2): $5,000 in scholarship funds and an expense-paid trip to attend the Global Women’s Initiative (GWI) conference and a VIP reception with featured speakers and other top business, academic, nonprofit and policy leaders the evening before the event.
- The US Bank Prize grand prize winner attend the Atlanta GWI on Sept. 25
- The Discover Prize grand prize winner will attend the Chicago GWI on Nov. 13
Runners-up (8): The eight remaining finalists will each receive $1,500 in scholarship funds and an expense paid trip to attend the Global Women’s Initiative conference and a VIP Reception with featured speakers and other top business, academic, nonprofit and policy leaders the evening before the event.
- Four US Bank Prize winners will attend the Atlanta GWI on September 25
- Four Discover Prize winners will attend the Chicago GWI on Nov. 13
You may enter both the U.S. Bank and Discover Prizes only once; however, if selected for one prize, you are automatically ineligible for the other.
Deadline for entry: Friday, July 26, by 11:59 p.m. EST
All finalists will be notified via email on Sept. 3, 2013. Grand prize winners will be announced at the Global Women’s Initiative conferences.
Questions can be addressed to
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Requirements for Entry
Your essay must be 2,500 words or less and submitted in .doc format
- Include the essay prompt to which you are responding at the top of the document
- Use Times New Roman, 12 pt. font, double-spaced
- Cite your research with proper in-text citations and a works cited page in MLA, APA or Chicago format (The works cited page will not be included in your word count.)
- In addition to the essay, at the end of the document, include a 200-word personal statement about what you would do with the prize money if you win.
U.S. Bank Prize Essay Topics
Shared Value: Everybody Wins
Explore how the concept of creating shared value (CSV) – creating economic value while also creating benefit for society – increases competitive advantage by capitalizing on the interdependence between business and community. Address the social and economic implications of women’s increasing levels of income worldwide. Then, using the principles of CSV, write a persuasive, research-based proposal that urges a corporation to adopt a social impact investment strategy to solve an issue that affects women. Explain how it benefits the company and the global community.
Women’s Influence and Innovation
Study after study indicates that companies with focused diversity and inclusion efforts are more innovative. Examine what conditions are necessary to foster a corporate culture of creativity. Cite examples of companies that saw greater levels of innovation with the inclusion of women in leadership positions. Finally, design a research-based proposal with implementable practices for companies to increase thought diversity and, in turn, innovation.
Corporate Ethics: Women’s Impact
Over the last few decades, women’s participation in the workforce has grown exponentially. Research and analyze the impact increased numbers of women have on corporate culture – particularly in terms of accountability and transparency. Then, citing research, support or debunk the argument that women make more ethical leaders than men.
Women on Boards: Shared Value vs. Quotas
The business philosophy of creating shared value (CSV) focuses on the connection between societal progress and economic growth. Examine the effect that women on corporate boards have on company performance in terms of bottom lines and philanthropic spending. Then, analyze the debate over the European Union’s decision to mandate that 40 percent of a company’s corporate board members must be women by the year 2020. Could incentivizing a CSV approach be an alternative to the “command and control” nature of quotas? Explain why or why not. Write an action plan for companies to increase the number of women serving on their boards, either by applying CSV principles or otherwise.
Plugging Women Into STEM
Despite the rapid expansion of employment within industries related to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), the gender gap in these fields remains. Provide a research-based analysis of the factors that keep women and girls disengaged from pursuing STEM-related careers. Explain why women’s participation in these industries is essential to the United States economy and propose one or more programs to bolster women’s employment in STEM fields.
Parenting + Career = Struggle
As more women and men choose to combine parenting and career, examine companies that are successful in their efforts to support and retain working parents, especially mothers. Discuss whether investing in and retaining women is important to a company’s overarching success and, ultimately, bottom line. Based on your research, explore how corporate culture and American businesses can adapt in order to address the competing demands of parenting and career, enabling working parents to continue to advance within a company. Propose public and/or private strategies and policies to help accelerate this cultural shift.
Eligible applicants must be:
- Enrolled as an undergraduate student in an accredited college or university.
- A U.S. citizen or legal resident of the United States.
- In pursuit of their first bachelor’s degree. (Students who have already obtained a bachelor’s degree are not eligible.)
- Previous AAGS winners are ineligible to compete for the 2013 prizes