Do you desire to study nursing in a reputable overseas country like the United States where the quality of education is second to none, with a stable education system -not punctuated by recurrent industrial actions/strikes – that will allow you to graduate in record time and be hireable by reputable firms in the US? If yes, then this post is definitely for you, read on! In this article, we will guide you through the pro of studying (specifically nursing) in the United States and as well introduce you to some current scholarship/funding opportunities available to international students in the US.
This guide is specifically for would-be nursing students, nursing undergraduates that would like to switch to a US school, and nursing graduates who are looking to pursue a graduate degree in relevant institutions in the United States. If you’re not in these categories, please refer to our homepage for other guides and suitable funding/scholarship opportunities available to you!
Why nursing school is expensive in the US
As you may have heard or read, studying and graduating from a nursing school in the United States comes at a relatively high cost. This means that most nursing students in the US resort to student loans to facilitate their education and thus often end up with a pretty huge debt profile. According to the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard, the average nursing student with an associate degree owes $19,930.
But why is nursing education so expensive? While it is quite expensive to study nursing in the US, the dividends that come from being a qualified nurse seem to outweigh the high cost.
Nursing is very lucrative in the United States. Roughly 95% of all registered nurses in the US gain employment within their first 6 months of graduating from Nursing School. What’s more, the nursing profession is growing twice as fast as the average occupation in the US. Jobs for Registered Nurses in the United States are projected to increase by 15% in 2026. So, there are enough nursing jobs and you don’t need to be worried about whether you’d be able to secure a job after school. You will!
Again, salary packages for registered nurses are high and enticing enough. Nurses in the United States earn some of the highest salaries in the world, with the starting salary being about $58,000. This is separate from the lucrative overtime wages of as much as $45 per hour. This is especially true for those who have NCLEX licensing. (Pheew! who wouldn’t want to be a nurse?).
This explains the nursing profession is very attractive, especially to immigrants or foreigners who would like to move to the United States.
How Much Does Nursing School Cost?
Tuition fees for Nursing school depend on the college and the degree. As always, public schools often cost less than private schools. An associate in nursing degree at a public college will cost between $6,000-$20,000. This is lower when compared to what is obtainable in private schools.
As a nursing student, you can expect to spend more on advanced degrees, especially when they attend school longer. Tuition for a bachelor’s in nursing degree averages about $40,000. Yet a two-year master’s in nursing degree can cost $35,000-$75,000. The highest degree, a doctor of nursing practice, costs an average of $40,000-$70,000. Furthermore, nursing students incur more costs, often paying out of pocket for uniforms and stethoscopes required for clinical rotations. They also pay for lab fees and the NCLEX-RN exam.
Fund your dreams through Scholarships
Despite all advantages mentioned above, the cost of studying nursing in the US is high and except if you or your parents are rich enough, you risk running into bad debt if you don’t explore scholarship options. Your academic performance may be in jeopardy if you are often thinking about how to pay your fees, or if you can’t afford study materials and a decent living.
Why You Should Apply For Scholarships
Scholarships are basically free money to help you through your education. Unlike student loans, you don’t have to pay them back. Applying for a full or partial scholarship today can help you study nursing in the U.S and graduate debt-free. Money obtained from scholarships can be used to pay tuition fees, purchase study materials, carter for accommodation, or used for your general upkeep. Students who obtain scholarships are likely to fare well in their studies as they typically don’t have to worry about money! Wouldn’t you rather be in this situation?
Where Do Scholarships Come From?
Scholarships can come from special government allocations/grants, private foundations, Non-Governmental Organisations, and some Companies. Most schools also offer scholarships in form of tuition waivers to a select number of students. One thing consistent among most scholarships is that recipients must be deserving. This could mean;
- Being brilliant
- Coming from particular geographical locations.
- Having some predefined qualification
- Meeting specific criteria and more often than not
- Taking and passing the IELTS test or similar language proficiency tests.
Undergraduate International Nursing Scholarships
To help international nursing students finance their education in the U.S., colleges and universities, private organizations, and professional associations offer financial assistance. Aspiring nurses who come to the U.S. from all over the world can often find scholarships, grants, and even work-study opportunities while earning their degrees.
All international students must hold a student visa to study in the U.S., but their acceptance into undergraduate or graduate nursing programs generally follows the same steps as U.S. citizens. Applicants must formally apply to an accredited program, complete all required courses and clinical hours, and pass the appropriate NCLEX exam to obtain licensure.
Please note that while these scholarships are awarded annually, the application period for the current year may be closed depending on when you read this guide.
International students seeking aid to finance their nursing studies should review this page for scholarships, grants, and work-study opportunities. You may be required to fill out the FAFSA® but most schools don’t require students to fill out the FAFSA® to qualify for merit scholarships
10 Scholarships For International Nursing Students (Undergraduates)
A Nurse I Am Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Cherokee Uniforms, a major medical apparel company, provides funding for up to five nursing scholarships each year. Candidates must be currently enrolled in an accredited LVN/LPN, RN degree (ADN or BSN), diploma, or RN-to-BSN program.
East Tennessee State International Students Academic Merit Scholarship
Who Can Apply: International nursing students interested in attending ETSU may apply for this award if they can demonstrate a record of academic achievement comparable to a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 U.S. scale. Recipients must have an F-1 or J-1 student visa.
Emergency Nurses Association Foundation Non-RN Scholarship
Who Can Apply: This scholarship supports students pursuing an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nursing. Applicants must attend a program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.
Geraldine “Polly” Bednash Scholarship
Who Can Apply: This award is restricted to students admitted or enrolled in a baccalaureate nursing program at institutions affiliated with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Applicants must demonstrate a 3.2 GPA in their current or last attended school.
Graceland University International Student Grant
Who Can Apply: This private, liberal arts institution located in Lamoni, Iowa offers several scholarships to international students. Applicants may pursue any undergraduate degree including nursing. Scholarships may be renewed annually.
Hurst Review Services Nursing Scholarship
Who Can Apply: This scholarship recognizes the outstanding academic performance of international and U.S. nursing students. Applicants must attend a prelicensure program at a school affiliated with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.
Nurses Make a Difference Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Cascade Healthcare Solutions awards this scholarship to students enrolled in or admitted to undergraduate nursing programs at accredited colleges and universities. Candidates must have a cumulative 3.0 GPA and hold U.S. resident status or a valid student visa.
R&D Systems Scholarship
Who Can Apply: This scholarship, available to students worldwide, supports associate, undergraduate, or graduate nursing or science-related degrees. The application requires two short personal statements on nursing as a profession and career goals.
Slippery Rock University International Student Tuition Waiver
Who Can Apply: Newly-enrolled international undergraduate students in any major including nursing may apply for this financial award. The amount of this renewable scholarship applies to the cost of full out-of-state tuition.
University of Illinois at Chicago Laurette Kirstein Scholarship
Who Can Apply: This award provides support for international students enrolled at UIC pursuing a full-time undergraduate or graduate degree in any field of study including nursing. Students must hold a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5.
10 Nursing Scholarships For Graduate International Students
The scholarships listed below are for international students with an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing, for undergraduate nursing scholarships, please check above!
Advanced Practice Healthcare Scholarship Grant
Who Can Apply: This renewable grant addresses the need for graduate-trained advanced practice healthcare professionals. Recipients must fulfill a 12-month service obligation practicing full-time, direct patient care at a qualified facility in California.
Association of periOperative Registered Nurses Foundation (AORN) Scholarship
Who Can Apply: The AORN Foundation awards scholarships to students pursuing a career in perioperative nursing, including RNs seeking a master’s degree or doctorate. Applicants must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Deborah E. Troutman Future Nurse Leadership Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Students may apply for this scholarship if they are currently enrolled in an accredited master’s or doctoral nursing program at a school affiliated with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). Applicants must also hold membership in the AACN Graduate Nursing Student Academy.
Emergency Nursing Foundation/Sigma Theta Tau International Grant
Who Can Apply: Open to applicants worldwide, this award supports graduate students interested in conducting research that will advance the specialized practice of emergency nursing and help shape healthcare policy in direct patient care.
Epsilon Sigma Alpha Alice/Jeanne Wagner Memorial Endowment
Who Can Apply: U.S. and international students who plan to attend undergraduate or graduate nursing programs in the United States may apply. Candidates must demonstrate scholastic ability, leadership and service, and financial need.
Johns Hopkins School of Nursing Merit Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Open to international and U.S. students who apply to Johns Hopkins graduate nursing programs, this merit award supports candidates with leadership potential, demonstrated academic achievement, and a record of community service.
March of Dimes Graduate Nursing Scholarship
Who Can Apply: These awards support RNs currently enrolled in graduate programs with an emphasis on maternal-child nursing. Applicants must be members of at least one professional organization representing women’s health, obstetrics, or neonatal care.
MPOWER Women in STEM Scholarship
Who Can Apply: This program provides support for female international or DACA students currently enrolled or accepted in a full-time STEM degree program, including nursing.
The National Association of Directors of Nursing Administration Stephanie Carroll Scholarship
Who Can Apply: This scholarship provides funding for undergraduate or graduate students who plan to specialize in long-term care or geriatrics. U.S. and international applicants enrolled in an accredited U.S. nursing program may apply.
Oncology Nursing Foundation and the Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation Master’s Scholarship
Who Can Apply: This award supports graduate training for RNs interested in oncology nursing. Applicants must currently attend or plan to enroll in a master’s program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or the National League for Nursing.
Scholarships are financial aid for deserving students. While we encourage you to leverage available scholarships to help you fund your education, we are not the sponsors of any of these scholarships, nor do we guarantee that your application will be successful. Application for Scholarships are generally FREE but you may choose to use the services of some academic agents that specialize in helping students facilitate their scholarship applications.