Study Nursing For Free: Nurse Corps Scholarships Program

Nurse Corps Scholarship Program Cover
Santiago Mallea

Santiago Mallea

Content Writer At Gradehacker

Study Nursing For Free: Nurse Corps Scholarships Program

Do you want to study nursing for free? Are you interested in becoming a nurse? Then you should consider applying to the Nurse Corps Scholarship program!

We all know that studying in America isn’t cheap, and education in nursing is no different.

According to SimpleNursing, the average tuition for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program ranges from $13,000 to $17,000 in public colleges and $40,000 to $100,000 in private nursing schools.

Yes, that’s a lot!

Some nursing students travel abroad to find professional nursing degree programs in public schools that offer them for free (or at the minimum cost of tuition). But if you were hoping to find a free academic program in the United States, you won’t have the same luck.

However, there is one way you can study nursing for free and gain professional experience without leaving the country! The Nurse Corps provides scholarships to nursing students that cover their educational costs in exchange for their service commitment.

Here at Gradehacker, we are the non-traditional adult student’s most trusted resource. We help nursing students like you earn their degrees faster, and we understand how financially demanding college can be.

That’s why we want to help you with a different option. If you’re looking to study nursing for free, read on to learn how to apply for the Nurse Corps Scholarships Program.

Nurse Corps Scholarship Program

The Nurse Corps Scholarship (SP) is a funding program offered by the Bureau of Health Workforce within the Health Resources and Services Administration agency. It aims to improve the public health of underserved communities by connecting them with skilled healthcare providers.

It is from this goal that their exceptional funding is born. They provide scholarships to nursing students and cover full tuition and other reasonable costs in exchange for a minimum two-year full-time service commitment at a critical shortage facility upon graduation.

In other words, the student who gets the scholarship award must work full-time for at least two years at an eligible healthcare facility with a critical shortage of nurses.

Eligible Disciplines

First, let’s cover which nursing certificate programs apply for the scholarships.

Your chosen nurse faculty must be accredited and located in the United States.

You will be considered an eligible applicant only if you want to pursue a field of study required in one of their critical shortage facilities. We recommend exploring your career goals and applying for the Nurse Corps SP if they match one of these needed disciplines.

Nurse Corps Scholarship Program

Financial Benefits

If you receive the scholarship award, you’ll receive full tuition funding, including the required fees. Everything is paid directly to your chosen school, which has to submit an itemized invoice for payment each term.

But that’s not all!

The Nurse Corps scholarship also covers other reasonable costs, like books, clinical supplies, and uniforms. This additional funding is based on the information your institution sends regarding the approximate cost of these items and is sent to you once a year.

Finally, they will also pay a monthly stipend of $1,466 to cover personal expenses. How great is that?

The Nurse Corps SP award is subject to federal taxes, including tuition, fees, ORC, and monthly stipend payments.

Now, in case your college’s tuition or required fees increase after the award has been paid, it’s not guaranteed that the scholarship will cover it, as payment will be subject to the availability of funds.

Of course, the Nurse Corps scholarship only covers courses and expenses related to your degree. Additional fees unrelated to your program, like processing or late fees, are not included.

Nurse Corps Scholarship Program

Service Commitment

If everything goes as planned and you successfully earn your nursing degree, you’ll be ready to fulfill your minimum 2-year service commitment. This has to be full-time or part-time equivalent, and in case the Nurse Corps scholarship extends, you’ll owe an extra year for each additional year of funding (four-year max).

Program participants are encouraged to look for open positions in eligible healthcare facilities as soon as they are ready.

However, before you start working, you’ll have nine months after your graduation to:

To receive service credit, the Nurse Corps SP has to approve the eligible facility where the participant wants to work before they accept to work there.

These are the eligible healthcare facilities:

Can you terminate the Nurse Corps SP contract?

Yes, you can terminate the scholarship contract for an academic year before June 1 of the school year, if you:

If you meet these requirements, you’ll no longer have a service obligation with the National Health Service Corps.

Nurse Corps Scholarship Program

To apply for the Nurse Corps SP, you need to meet these application requirements:

It’s worth mentioning that the National Health Service Corps looks for candidates who are more likely to remain working at these facilities with poor access to health care after their service commitment has finished.

To determine who receives the scholarship, the NHSC follows these priorities:

Similarly, there also are determining factors that every candidate must meet to be selected:

Nurse Corps Scholarship Program


Now that we have explained in detail how the Nurse Corps Scholarships program works, let’s summarize the benefits its participants have:

If you are interested in pursuing a nursing career and think the Nurse Corps Scholarships program is for you, this is how their application process works.

The 2022-2023 application cycle has yet to have an application deadline. It usually takes place between April and May, but you can sign up to be notified when it opens so you don’t miss it.

The process consists of two main sections you must submit jointly within the BHW Customer Service Portal.

Online Application

This is a form where you’ll have to include the following:

  • One from the Department Chair, faculty advisor, or faculty member of your current program
  • One from someone who can talk about your professional, community, and civic activities, especially related to underserved communities

Required Supporting Documentation

These are the required documents that you must submit with the online application.

Nurse Corps Scholarship Program

Study Nursing For Free With The Nurse Corps Scholarships Program

Now you have all the necessary information to choose whether the Nurse Corps SP is the right call for you. 

If you are still on your first steps, want to study nursing for free, and want to provide primary health care services in communities that need it, then we highly recommend you try your luck and apply for this scholarship.

And if you want to complete your nursing program faster, remember that you can always count on Gradehacker! From individual essays to entire college classes, we’ll help you accelerate your degree and earn that diploma much sooner.

Send your request, and we’ll be happy to help!

And if you are looking for other nursing college tips, check out these related blog posts:

Santiago Mallea

Santiago Mallea

Santiago Mallea is a curious and creative journalist who first helped many college students as a Gradehacker consultant in subjects like literature, communications, ethics, and business. Now, as a Content Creator in our blog, YouTube channel, and TikTok, he assists non-traditional students improve their college experience by sharing the best tips. You can find him on LinkedIn.

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