Pennsylvania offers many options for students seeking to pursue higher education. The nursing field shows no signs of slowing even in tough economic times. Nurses remain in high demand, and it shows no signs of slowing. The average age of Pennsylvania’s population has risen as the state suffers from a phenomenon known as the brain drain. Young people who choose to stay in the Keystone State can ensure themselves job security if they choose a career in nursing.

The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Association helps students with student loans and federal grants, but a potential nursing student can gain additional help earning a nursing degree or certificate as well.

What Type of Nurse Do You Want to Be?

A future nurse should consider whether he wants to be a Licensed Practicing Nurse or a Registered Nurse. RN s get paid more than LPNs, but they do not interact as directly with patients. The former engages in managerial duties and supervision.

Specialized nursing schools offer programs for a person to earn an LPN diploma. The curriculum lasts for nine months to a year. RN s must attend school for at least two years. A Nurse can earn an ASN, BSN, and MSN degrees. The type of degree a registered nurse has does not affect his starting salary, but hospital administrators do look at a candidate’s education level when they hand out promotions.
Finding Nursing Scholarships

Students looking to continue a nursing education in Pennsylvania can find out about the requirements in their state on the Pennsylvania Nurse’s association website. The website provides links to places to get additional grants and nursing scholarships. High School students should check with their guidance counselor to find out about additional scholarship opportunities

Military Opportunities

The military is not for everyone, but a nurse can get on the job training and have his or her education paid for if he is willing to serve in the armed forces for a set period of time. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency also offers grants to nurses. The DARPA website provides additional information. Nurses who choose to earn their education through the military can join the Reserve Officer Training Core program.

American Cancer Society

If a nurse wants to specialize in the care and treatment of cancer patients, the American Cancer Society offers grants to help train health professionals. Doctors and nurses who need additional funding for their education can apply for a specialized grant.

Federal Student Loans

College students, whether or not they take up nursing, have a lot of the money supplied by federal student loans and Pell grants. College students must fill out the FAFSA every year while they are in school. Applicants must be U.S. Citizens or legal residents. The FAFSA asks for expected parental contributions. Loans and grants will be given out if a student can prove his financial need.

Emergency Education Services

A few charities help nursing students who find themselves in need of temporary relief. Flo’s Cookie Jar helps nursing students when their loans or federal funding is suspended temporarily. The organization allows some nurses to complete their education. Flo’s Cookie Jar offers a one-time payment to people enrolled in Registered Nursing programs.

The American Nursing Foundation

The American Nursing Foundation offers grants to people pursuing a career as an RN. It also offers information about additional grants and scholarships for which a nursing student can apply. The American Nursing Foundation also supports tobacco free initiatives and disease prevention education programs. A student nurse can apply for a scholarship or a grant directly from the foundation’s website.

Local Hospitals

Geisinger offers a nursing training program. Some hospitals pay for a student’s education if they agree to work for the hospital for a predetermined amount of time. It is more common though for a hospital to help LPNs train to become Registered Nurses after they have worked for the hospital for several years. Check with the local hospital closest to you to see if they offer such a program.

A little preparation can lower or eliminate the out-of-pocket costs for a nursing student or his parents. A person who becomes an RN can expect to retain his job even through tough economic times. A nurse should also be able to pay back his student loans easily once he gets a job in his chosen field.

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