The practice of CNA is both very rewarding and highly compensated. However, although it is a very dignified profession, the profession itself has seen a significant decline of manpower, especially those who are engaged in the health care system. Because of the implications of this decline, governments and other private establishments alike are trying to remedy the situation by offering financial aids and scholarships to individuals who want to pursue a CNA degree.
These entities recognize that although there are quite a significant number of students who aim to be nurses, their financial capabilities become hindrances to achieving this aim.
Therefore, the financial aid and scholarships offered by the government and private entities are excellent opportunities for these students to get the CNA degree they have always aimed for. Furthermore, because of the steadily growing demand for experienced and capable nurses over the years, many entities started offering scholarships for those who dream of becoming nurses.
Sources of Scholarship Programs
Below is different sources of CNA scholarship.
CNA Training Provider
The biggest obvious source of the scholarships is the facilities themselves that offer the certified nurse assistant training programs.
Such facilities do announce scholarship programs at regular time intervals, and then, the students need to apply for them as per the given procedure.
Some of these nursing schools offer scholarships based on the funds they receive from the state. Some even offer several financial programs that the student may avail for him to finish a nursing degree. Also, some scholarships are only given to those applicants who want to specialize in a specific nursing area like cancer treatment, psychiatry, critical care and others.
After getting selected for the scholarship, the students do not need to pay for the course program. Some of the facilities tend to pay for the entire classes, while some pay only for half of it, like through a semester or so. This commitment has to be confirmed by the students well in advance.
Many times, health care facilities desperately require a large number of qualified and skilled nursing assistants to work for them. Therefore, they declare to reimburse the students for the fees of a CNA training program and hence, offer free tuition to them. These students later work there only as per the agreement. The best advantage of this kind of program is the guarantee of employment right after graduation.
At times, some people are already working professionally with health care institutions but do not possess a certified nursing assistant license. They have an experience of many years, but they may face certain issues in professional future due to lack of license. To avoid this, they have to accomplish accelerated CNA programs which enable them to appear for and pass the state exam for the license.
As such professionals are already working with particular facilities and would continue to do so; their respective employers also pay for their accelerated education. This mutual interaction is beneficial to both of them.
Another great source of scholarship funds is private organizations. They offer scholarships to worthy students who are not able to pay for the cost of certified nurse assistant programs. Some organizations are specially set up to support CNA and allied education through the funding they get. They tend to support the students from their nearby areas through their local branches. This is one reliable source of getting scholarship support.
Federal and Corporate Donors
Some federal or corporate donors also render scholarship or sponsorship support to needy but worthy students to enable them to take continuing education. A few do not even ask the students to repay for the money. This attitude comes merely from social concern.
Governments and Private Agencies
Many governments or private and personnel agencies also seem to offer scholarships for students who wish to pursue their higher education. They need to sustain their academic record at a good level.
The employer is one more source of getting financial aid in the form of scholarship programs. If one commits to work as a nursing assistant at a particular facility after graduation, then the same facility or the main employer also has the right to offer a scholarship for such a student. The reason for this can be a poor financial condition or family problems or similar.
Various states also offer scholarships to their own residents; however, they require that once such a student finishes a nursing degree, he must serve as a nurse in that state. Some states give scholarships to members of the minority groups to avoid monopoly in the nursing profession.
How Scholarship Helps the Student?
Various entities offer scholarships to assist capable students in achieving their dreams to become CNA. As such, a student has varied choices when it comes to scholarships, and he can choose one which really caters to his educational needs.
These scholarships help the students in things like paying for tuition fees, acquiring textbooks, paying for expenses in the laboratory classes and various other expenses related to the study of nursing.
Who Should Apply for the Aid?
Although students are free to apply for these scholarships, the ones most preferred at those that are truly in need of financial assistance, when accepted to a scholarship, the student need not worry about fees for his CNA education as the scholarship grant already takes care of all the expenses that come with pursuing a CNA degree.
How hard is it to Get the Scholarship?
It is not difficult to avail of these scholarships if one meets the criteria set by the institution granting it. All it takes is to get the correct and necessary information from reliable and correct sources.
When granted a scholarship, a student will be able to earn a nursing degree without any problems, and all the expenses related to earning such degree will be answered for by the institution offering the scholarship. Therefore, if one is successful in availing of these scholarships and the long run finishes a nursing course, then it will be a huge contribution to solving the shortage of manpower faced by the nursing profession.
Tips to Apply for Scholarships
Below are some tips on how to avail of the various Financial aid for CNA and how to apply for them:
Complete FAFSA Form: FAFSA means Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It is necessary to complete this form before applying for a scholarship. The details that you will reveal in this form will be used by the US Education Department to make a report on your possible contribution for the fees, and it will be used to determine which scholarship you are entitled to. This form needs to be submitted annually if a student wants to avail of financial aids from the state annually. Make to mention that financial conditions change annually to determine that if ones qualified to receive financial assistance throughout the program.
Write Great Essay: Essays for scholarship applications are important. It reflects your personality and current condition and reveals much about you. It can either make or break your application for a scholarship. Always remember that the essay your will be writing will not be the only one read by the scholarship committee. There will be hundreds or thousands of competitors who are aiming to get the same scholarship as you. Therefore, it is necessary to make your essay captivating and interesting to avoid it being overlooked or worse, ignored. Read on to find out how to develop your essay:
- Write it sincerely and keep the tone personal. Try to connect with your reader to make him understand your current situation.
- Write naturally but formally. Be brief and concise, and make sure that your essay contains no spelling or grammatical errors. Be mindful of the quality of your essay because it reflects your personality, qualities and abilities.
- Do not be afraid to get your essay revised and edited. Consult a reliable person to proof-read your essay for you and ask for their opinions on possible revisions.
Research: Various financial aids are available at whatever time of the year. Make sure that you follow a routine to research for available scholarships that suit your financial needs. The AACN or the American Association of Colleges of Nursing offers information regarding these various scholarships. They also offer news and information regarding updates in the nursing profession, scholarships, financial grants and other sources of financial assistance to assist students. Furthermore, it is best to inquire from the college or university you plan to attend if they offer a scholarship. Do not get tired of looking for different scholarship opportunities because your qualifications change regularly.
- It is best to determine which scholarship you want to apply to. Remember that there are a lot of institutions that offer various scholarships like the scholarship offered by the American Health Care Association.
- Make sure that you qualify. Always remember that scholarship programs follow the rules regarding the qualifications of students. Read the list of qualifications carefully and see if you qualify. Some scholarships require enrollment in a registered nursing program. There are also some which only accepts license programs for practical nursing. Some only accept a specific gender or minority group.
- Always remember to follow directions. Fill out the required forms properly and provide for the proof needed if the scholarship program requires you to do so. Remember that each program has different requirements.
- Be quick in sending your application. Do not miss the deadline because some of these scholarship programs are strict when it comes to time. If you miss a deadline, you might also miss the scholarship offered for the year.
- Be patient in waiting for the result. It may take some time before the application is processed. Sometimes it takes a few months, and oftentimes you may have to wait for several months before you get updated as to the results.
Availing of a scholarship is easy as long as you keep in mind the above-mentioned tips. Financial constraints are not hindrances if you really want to earn a nursing degree and work as a nurse. Once you are successful in availing for scholarships, then you can be sure that your path towards earning a degree will be smooth and without hassle.
Important Things to Consider
Various other institutions offer Financial aid for CNA. Associations like the ANA or American Nurses Association have offered various scholarships to assist students in completing their nursing degrees. It is actually easy to apply for scholarships offered by these institutions. Some scholarship applications, however, can only be availed of online. If a student truly wants to avail of such scholarships, then it is best recommended to check and understand what credentials are required by the institutions offering these scholarships.
Usually, logging in on the website of these institutions will enable one to determine the procedure and credentials needed to avail of these scholarships. There are a variety of scholarships available, and one needs to choose the kind of scholarship that suits his needs and preferences.
One thing that needs to be understood is that these financial aids are not considered as student loans. Thus, there is no need to pay back the expenses shouldered by these scholarships. Most of the time, students with good academic records and excellent academic performances are the ones accepted to avail of nursing scholarships. Some may even require that after earning a bachelor’s degree, the student must work for the institution for at least one year. Some scholarships may also only accept students who possess extraordinary abilities. One must always keep in mind that these scholarships are free.
Thus, it is easy to join CNA scholarship programs. However, one should always check out for certain points like:
- Eligibility criteria (most of them need poor economic background)
- Selection procedure
- Agreement procedure (if any)
- Documents to be submitted
- And whether the scholarship pays for the entire course or half of it or through the semester, before applying for any of the scholarship programs.
Are there any requirements for financial aid?
Are there any agreements involved for such scholarship or financial aid programs?
What documents should be submitted while applying for such programs?
Are these programs partially or fully funded?
Although, the cost of CNA classes is not as high as some of the other nursing courses; it may cost you from $400 to $1200 which is affordable to most students, but the cost will vary from state to state. Those who find it difficult to fund these classes have to look for other options if they have a strong desire to become a nursing assistant and pursue a career in nursing.