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Financial Aid Opportunities for DNP Students

Earning a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) allows you to work in leadership positions in the nursing field. As opposed to other doctorate degree for nurses, where you’ll be working toward a career in education or research, with a DNP, you’ll continue to work in the field as a nurse. DNP educational programs prepare you to work as a nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, nurse midwife, or nurse anesthetist, but these programs aren’t just time-consuming – they can also be expensive. Many times even, some of the most expensive costs in higher education. If you’re considering a DNP program, check out the following financial aid opportunities to help you pay for your tuition. There are a number of effective ways to finance paying for a DNP program, many of the options below can be used in conjunction with one another.

Scholarships and Fellowships for DNP Students

Scholarships and fellowships are available for DNP students who show merit. Undergraduates more commonly receive scholarships, while upper-level students more typically receive fellowships, but it really depends on the specific program. Some scholarships and fellowships are more like an essay contest, while others require you to meet certain criteria, such as maintaining a high GPA or having a particular minority status. Colleges are the most common place to find scholarships and fellowships for DNP students, but some outside organizations, including the following, also make scholarships or fellowships available:

  • American Academy of Nursing
  • Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services HRSA Nursing Scholarship Program
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • National Institutes of Health
  • The Reed Foundation
  • Sigma Theta Tau
  • Southern Nursing Research Society

Grants for DNP Students

In addition to scholarships and fellowships, grants are a great source of money for school if you’re interested in a DNP program. Grants are also typically harder to find usually. This type of money is available for students who show financial need, so when applying, it is imperative that an emphasis is put on the need. Again, colleges are a large source of money for school, but students can also find grants available from the following outside organizations:

  • American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
  • American Nurses Foundation
  • Emergency Nurses Foundation
  • National Institutes of Health

Tuition Reimbursement

Select employers offer programs to cultivate the talent they currently have and tuition reimbursement is a great way for students to get out of school with less debt and many times be promoted upon graduation. Many of the employers that engage in tuition reimbursement will require a certain number of hours to be worked each week, so it can be very taxing to work full-time while in school. But, if a student is up to the challenge, it can be one of the best ways to get through college while having as much as the cost of tuition covered. Many students will use money from wages to pay for an apartment and other expenses, while their job covers tuition. It’s an effective way to manage money, start a career while still in school, and graduate with the least amount of debt.

Loan Forgiveness

Students loans have to be repaid when you graduate, so they aren’t quite as good as scholarships, fellowships, and grants, but as a nurse, you’re in a unique position to have those loans forgiven. If you work in a high-need area, you may qualify for loan forgiveness through the government, and some employers also offer loan reimbursement. In either case, you won’t have to repay your loans when you graduate. Loan forgiveness is definitely a last option, but it’s important to keep in mind once you’ve started taking loans out.

D.N.P. Degrees for Aspiring Nurse Practitioners

Search online and campus DNP programs