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Ways to Pay for Your BSN

ways to pay for bsn

An advanced degree is often necessary for career advancement and personal development in today’s ever-changing society. The dynamic profession of nursing often requires lifelong learning to provide the best possible care to patients in various areas of healthcare. Registered nurses are responsible for providing direct care and ensuring that patient treatment is effective. Many nurses choose to advance in their career by promoting the adoption of healthy lifestyles and preventative care throughout the community. The emphasis on healthcare maintenance often necessitates the need for additional education. A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program provides the knowledge and skills needed for registered nurses to provide educational services that extend beyond primary patient care.

RN to BSN Program Expectations

An online accelerated nursing degree program typically takes 12 to 14 months to complete but may vary depending on the enrollment status of the student. The program is designed for working nurses and provides flexibility in course scheduling and allows students to work at their own pace. As with most types of educational study, financial assistance is available through various forms such as loans and grants. Many students can take advantage of a grant to help pay for part or all of their tuition costs without the obligation to repay; however, many working registered nurses may find it difficult to meet the criteria needed to receive federal grants and are required to fund their education through other means. Most schools will automatically consider the types of grants a student is qualified for when the student applies for the desired nursing program and fills out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

College Loans

College loans are often referred to as an investment in one’s future. Many students often rely on loans to finance a good portion of their tuition costs. The most common type of student loan available is the subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford Loan. The subsidized Stafford Loan is awarded to students based on their financial needs. Interest does not accrue until after the repayment period. Interest on unsubsidized Stafford Loans accrues beginning from the initial disbursement until the loan is paid in full.

Private loans often offer higher loan amounts and are typically offered by banks and other financial institutions. Individuals often receive the money directly and eligibility is based upon the applicant’s credit score. In addition, loan rates are directly affected by credit score and interest rates accrue immediately upon disbursement of the loan.

Employee Tuition Reimbursement and Loan Forgiveness

Some employers, particularly in healthcare, offer their employees tuition reimbursement for education advancement. The amount to be reimbursed depends on the organization and may cover all or just a portion of the costs. Employers may require the employee to maintain a certain grade point average to qualify for the reimbursement.

Registered nurses who may have already accumulated student loans may benefit from a loan forgiveness program. The Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program (NELRP) is a government-sponsored program designed to help the nursing shortage across the U.S. by offering to repay a portion of student loans for nurses who work in inadequately staffed communities.

Advanced Degree Scholarships

Different organizations offer scholarships to nurses who can meet specific criteria. Licensed registered nurses who specialize in specific areas such as anesthesia or nephrology may be eligible to apply for scholarships that are awarded based on a specific area of nursing. General RN to BSN scholarships are awarded to selected individuals that are enrolled or planning to enroll in an accredited BSN program.

Although scholarships are typically very competitive and have various restrictions, they can be an excellent way to help cover the costs of tuition without the need to pay them back. Scholarships provided by the government such as the Nursing Scholarship Program requires nurses to work in underserved facilities for a minimum of two years upon graduation in exchange for paid tuition. Privately funded scholarships from various organizations such as religious associations, companies and community groups may require applicants to complete an essay to determine the best candidate for the offered scholarship. Nursing scholarship resources can help registered nurses find the scholarship they need to enhance their skills and take advantage of new, gratifying career opportunities.

 

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