Accelerated Nursing Programs and Financial Aid

Accelerated nursing programs are quickly becoming a way for hospitals, clinics and medical facilities to attain new nursing staff to help with patient care. These programs typically build upon the skills and experience learned in an RN program, Associate of Science in Nursing, or from a Bachelor’s degree in another concentration. Students that are accepted into an accelerated program may be able to complete the requirements for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing or PhD in Nursing in much less time than in typical nursing programs.

As the students enrolled in an accelerated degree program are often considered “non-traditional,” many times, financial aid resources may be hard to find. Options like federal loans may be the only way to pay for tuition, books and all fees associated with these programs, but even those resources have limits, especially for students seeking a second four-year degree. With the nursing shortage in full effect, however, more hospitals and medical care organizations are beginning to offer programs that “sponsor” nursing school students in exchange for a commit to work within the organization for a set amount of time.

Many states offer incentives to nursing school students in order to attract more working nurses to the hospitals within those states, while other states may have pending legislation to implement these same types of incentives. For instance, Ohio has the Nurse Education Assistance Loan Program (NEALP) that provides financial assistance and loan cancellation programs to nursing school students in both nursing and nurse education concentrations. Some colleges and universities may also offer loan programs, scholarships or other incentives for nursing school students within the Nurse Educator field who commit to working at the academic institution after graduation.

Searching for financial aid for an accelerated nursing program may be as simple as contacting a local hospital, medical organization or academic institution. Research the programs specific to nursing school as well as any financial aid geared toward individuals interested in pursuing a second career, finishing a degree or working within the health care field. Loans, scholarships and other assistance programs are available to those enrolled in these types of programs, whether completing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, striving for a second Bachelor degree, or continuing education through the Master or PhD levels.

by Linda Bright

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