Are you ready to go back to school to provide a better life for your kids? Many single mothers opt for nursing school. Thanks to the widespread nursing shortage, those with the skills are in high demand. Nursing school can take as little as a year to receive a Licensed Practical Nurse designation, and you can always move up from there. Nurses, especially Registered Nurses, can make a very nice income and still have a flexible schedule to spend more time with their children.
But how do you start? Nursing grants for single mothers are available for those who are serious about going back to school and getting that degree. Here’s where to begin:
Choose a nursing school. Narrow down your options by finding the school that best meets your needs, both in terms of how long it takes to earn your degree, and the methods by which you can earn it. Many schools will allow you to take several classes online and offer practical classes that you have to attend in person. This tends to work out much better for single moms.
Make sure the school is accredited. Only accredited schools are eligible for federal financial aid. If you are unsure about their accreditation, call the school and speak to an admissions counselor. If they give you any answer other than “Yes,” look for another school to meet your needs.
Fill out the FAFSA. The free application for federal student aid determines what grants you can receive from the federal government. Fill this out as soon as you know where you want to go, and in the meantime, look for other grants and scholarships that might bridge the gap if the FAFSA doesn’t provide enough to cover all the expenses.
Fill out your applications. The applications for college are very important. Make sure to mention in your application essay that you intend to use your new degree and training to help support your children. Colleges love to see people who are trying to create better lives for themselves and their children, so if there is a tight admissions process, your application could rise to the top.
Get ready! When the FAFSA comes through and those applications start going out, things will move fast. Be ready to start school as soon as the semester begins. Don’t hesitate to ask questions of the admissions counselors along the way — they are there to help!
The nursing field is growing faster than any other right now, and the job opportunities are virtually endless. Hospitals, hospice facilities, and home care organizations need nurses desperately! Now is a good time to get that nursing degree, and you can find plenty of grants for single mothers that will help you get that great job with the great pay.
Federal Grants. These grants can be obtained by the federal government for the purposes of getting your nursing degree. The government realizes how dire the employment situation is for hospitals and medical offices, and they are striving to bring more people into the profession with grants you don’t have to pay back.
- Nursing Scholarships. If you agree to work for two years at a “high need” health care facility – one that is in desperate need of nurses – you could get scholarships that pay for the majority of your tuition, and you would never have to pay them back. Consider those two years after graduation as your “payback” for the loan they generously gave you. After those two years, you are free to go wherever you please and use your skills to make money in whatever medical facility you choose.
- Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students. This program seeks out those who have trouble paying for college and helps them by offering grants to get them on their feet. These scholarships might result in a portion of your schooling fees, or you might get a full ride to a nursing program. The goal of the scholarship is to get more people into college and specifically into nursing school.
- State Grants. Don’t discount state grants! These grants are often more generous than the federal ones and allow you to attend the school of your choice within the state of residence. They are often given per semester, so you might have to reapply every six months. These grants do not have to be paid back and often have no strings attached for work after graduation.
- Professional Grants. Many professional nursing and medical organizations, such as the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners or the Emergency Nurses Foundation Association, have specific programs that encourage people to become nurses, and later, encourage nurses to continue their education and advancement opportunities. These grants are given with the understanding that you will complete your college requirements and join the ranks of nurses throughout the United States.
- Hardship Grants. Hardship grants are awarded by colleges and universities that recognize sometimes students do their best, but they still need a little help. These grants are usually one-time grants that are meant to help you over a financial hump in pursuing your new career. The requirements for hardship grants are often stringent, so make sure you have all the information you need before you visit the financial aid office.
This is all basic information on how to obtain nursing grants for single mothers. There might be many more options available to you through your local community college or university. The first thing you should do is simply ask! You might be surprised at all the possibilities to help fund your way through college and into the nursing job of your dreams.