We polled our panel of experts to get their best tips for paying for nursing school.
1. Get good advice on the front end.
“Sound advising is imperative when pursing a nursing education. Not all programs have the same entry requirements and it is important to understand the prerequisites and what will be accepted prior to entry. Good academic advising can help streamline general education credits and minimize the tuition dollars spent completing program requirements.”
Jenny Kyle, Director of Student Services for UAMS College of Nursing
2. Multiple forms of financial aid are out there if you know where to look for them.
“There are several resources to assist a student in earning their education. Some of these resources are federal Pell grants, federal student loans, state board of nursing, Single Parent Scholarship Fund, the Growing our Own in the Delta (GOOD) Scholars program and Arkansas Graduate Nursing Education student loan and scholarship program.”
Kencia Stanley, Pinnacle Pointe Hospital
3. Look closely at two-year schools
“The ‘bang for the buck’ at a two-year institution is unmeasurable. Our tuition is one of the lowest in the state, we give out over $50,000 in nursing scholarships each year and associate degree nursing gets the graduate nurse at the bedside quicker and gives them a strong foundation to begin their nursing career.”
Janice Ivers, dean of nursing, National Park College
4. Leverage other options before getting a job
“While many students work part-time in health care facilities, this depends on individual or family obligations and time commitments. UAMS offers up to a 90 percent tuition discount, up to $5,000 to assist students while attending a BSN nursing school and up to $10,000 to help pay for student loans.”
Susan Erickson, RN, MNSc, BC-NA, CHCR, Recruitment/Retention Officer, UAMS
5. Serve Your Country
“If you have the desire, you will always find ways to cover expenses. I personally funded a lot of my education through benefits that I earned through the military. The big advantage is a direct commission as an officer and some really great experiences in life that one might not otherwise get. I will never regret taking that path as it opened my eyes to the possibilities of nursing.”
Neal Reeves, doctoral nursing student, UAMS College of Nursing