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5 Ways Nursing Students Can Save Money on Their Education

Nursing is a safe career bet no matter the economic climate, and with health care demands expected to rise for the near future, there may never be a safer time to make a career as a nurse. However, whether you’re working to get your Master of Science in Nursing or to become a registered nurse, there’s one obstacle before beginning your lucrative and fulfilling career – paying for school.

Because nursing programs can be so expensive most people are unable to pay out of pocket for the entire cost. Luckily, there are ways that nursing students can get financial help with school, save money on expensive materials and even make a little extra on the side.

1. Search out grants
Grants are one of the most attractive forms of financial aid for nursing students because they don’t need to be paid back. Grants are typically need- or merit-based gifts of monetary assistance for the sole purpose of school, awarded by a government or organization. Students should use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to access grants from the federal government. Students should also investigate Pell Grants and state options. Many grants are tailored to people who belong to certain organization or are of specific backgrounds.

2. Apply for scholarships
Scholarships, like grants, do not need to be repaid and offer a great way to pay tuition. Scholarships may require an application or essay and can be from a government, private organization or individual. Often scholarships are set up by former students to help one or more nursing students pay for college. There are a variety of websites and resources at your school that can help you connect with a scholarship program that fits your needs.

3. Take out loans and look into loan forgiveness programs
Loans aren’t the optimal solution for students, because they need to be paid back with interest, but they can help when you’re out of options. However, some loans may be able to have their balance forgiven if you work in a certain position for a specific period of time. For example, if you work as a R.N. in a neighborhood of need for years, your government loans may be forgiven. Ask your loan provider for specifics.

4. Shop for supplies smarter
For nurses and many other college students, there’s nothing more frustrating than having to purchase an expensive book or piece of equipment for class. While these may be useful and necessary in the classroom, they can be unnecessarily expensive to buy on campus. Look online and at off-campus medical supply stores for stethoscopes, scrubs and textbooks to find the best price. Talk to your professors and advisors to make sure you get the optimal model for example.

5. Do additional work for extra money
Between studying, class and clinical work, it can be difficult to find time for extra work. But as nurses develop their skills, there are opportunities to make extra money. As Scrubs magazine pointed out different ways that practicing nurses can make a little extra money on the side, such as working at immunization clinics, picking up extra shifts or spending a few hours at a nursing call center.

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