Are there nursing schools that pay you to attend?

A nursing school that pays you to attend? Sounds too good to be true – but there do exist. Kind of… 

While there are not nursing schools that will pay you to attend, there are some hospital programs that will help those going to nursing school to pay for their education. However, most of these programs do not pay for the entire cost of nursing school; they help with a portion or offer real-life experience.

Going to nursing school can be expensive. So, it makes sense that you’d want to make sure you get the best deal. Especially if you’re going back to school after already finishing a degree, or maybe coming to school later in life, the cost can seem like to huge a burden. If the prospect of taking out student loans to pay for nursing school or getting denied for scholarships worries you, there is a light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to various nursing programs.

There are a lot of programs out there to help you make it through nursing school. Many hospitals throughout the U.S. even have programs aimed at assisting aspiring nurses to achieve their goals.

How hospitals might help you pay for nursing school

For many hospitals, the prospect of drawing talented nurses to their institution is enough to make them want to help pay for their education. There are several different ways that hospitals might be willing to help nurses pay for their education. Whether it’s paying a portion of the tuition expenses, student loan repayment, offering scholarships, or allowing nurses to get hands-on experience through work-study — there are tons of options.

Tuition Reimbursement for nursing school

Tuition reimbursement is usually for current hospital employees looking to go to nursing school. In most cases, you have to be a current employee for over six months to a year to take advantage of programs that help pay for tuition.
Depending on the program, the hospital will likely cover your costs for specific nursing programs, such as ADN or BSN. In most cases, they will pay a percentage of the cost depending on the employee and the program they decide on. Most hospitals that offer these programs expect nursing students to commit to a certain amount of time at the hospital after they get their license and degree. The higher the reimbursement amount, the longer the commitment will likely be. 
What happens if you don’t stick out your commitment to the hospital? They will probably ask for a portion of the tuition costs back. 
If you currently work for a hospital and would like to know if they provide tuition reimbursement for nursing programs you’re considering, it would be best to contact your benefits administrator. 

Here is a shortlist of Schools that provide tuition reimbursement in the U.S. 

State School Program
Alaska Alaska Native Medical Center Tuition Assistance & Reimbursement Programs
Arizona Northern Arizona Healthcare $5,250/yr Towards Relevant Degrees
Arizona Mount Graham Regional Medical Center $3,000/yr towards tuition
Arkansas University Hospital of Arkansas Tuition Discounts at University of Arkansas
California Citrus Valley Health Partners Up to $3,500 towards certain programs and tuition assistance
California Twin Cities Community Hospital  $9,000 scholarships and tuition reimbursement 
Colorado Craig Hospital $3,000/yr tuition assistance and $10,000 loan repayment
Connecticut Yale-New Haven Hospital High school scholarships, tuition reimbursement, and dependant tuition loans
Delaware Beebe Healthcare Up to $5,000 tuition assistance
Florida North Florida Regional Medical Center 100% tuition reimbursement for pre-approved classes towards a degree
Georgia Piedmont Healthcare Educational assistance
Idaho St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center Tuition reimbursement and scholarships
Illinois OSF Healthcare System Up to $3,500/yr tuition reimbursement
Indiana  Marion General Hospital Tuition Reimbursement
Iowa Mercy Health Network Up to $3,000/yr tuition reimbursements and scholarships
Kansas Coffeyville Regional Medical Center Up to $3,000 tuition reimbursements
Kentucky University of Kentucky Hospital Free classes at the University of Kentucky for full-time staff
Louisiana East Jefferson General Hospital Up to $2,250 tuition reimbursement
Maine Maine Medical Center Tuition Assitance and Scholarships
Maryland John Hopkins Bayview Medical Center Up to $5,000/yr towards tuition reimbursement
Massachusetts Brigham and Women’s Hospital Up to $2,600 tuition reimbursement
Michigan Dickinson County Healthcare System Tuition reimbursement Program
Minnesota Park Nicollet Health Services Tuition reimbursement and paid continuing education
Mississippi Baptist Health Systems Up to $14,000 for undergraduate and $7,000 for graduate courses
Missouri Saint Francis Medical Center $5,000 tuition reimbursement limit
Montana Wheatland Memorial Healthcare Up to $20,000 in student loan repayments and scholarships for new students
Nevada Valley Health System Tuition Reimbursement
New Hampshire Wentworth-Douglass Hospital Up to $3,000/yr tuition assistance
New Jersey Jefferson Health Tuition Assistance and online classes
New Mexico Christus St. Vincent Health System Tuition Reimbursement and scholarships
New York Northwell Health Up to $5,000/yr in tuition reimbursement
North Carolina Duke University Health System Covers up to 90% of tuition for graduate education
North Dakota CHI St. Alexius Health Tuition reimbursement and on-site education opportunities
Ohio Cleveland Clinic Tuition reimbursement programs
Oklahoma St. John Medical Center Tuition reimbursement programs
Oregon Salem Hospital Tuition reimbursement programs
Pennsylvania Penn State Hershey Medical Center Up to $5,250/yr and up to $40k for nurse anesthetists
Rhode Island Roger Williams Medical Center Up to $1,500/yr towards tuition reimbursement
South Carolina MUSC Health-University Medical Center Up to $5,250 tuition assistance for pre-approved classes
Texas Texas Health Resources Tuition and fee reimbursement 
Utah University of Utah Health Care 50% tuition reduction at the University of Utah
Vermont University of Vermont Medical Center Up to $3,950 in educational assistance. Reduced tuition at local colleges.
Virginia University of Virginia Medical Center Up to $5,250 tuition assistance or reimbursement
Washington Seattle Children’s Hospital Tuition Reimbursement for those that start their careers at the hospital
West Virginia West Virginia University Medicine Full-Time employees get 100% tuition reimbursement at West Virginia University
Wisconsin Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center Up to $7,500 in tuition reimbursement
Wyoming Cheyenne Regional Medical Center Up to $5,000 in educational assistance

Work-study programs

Similar to college work-study programs, some hospitals will allow nursing students to gain hands-on experience at a hospital while they’re in nursing school. These positions are usually administrative or custodial, at least until the student becomes a licensed nurse.

Students will get a paycheck the same way they would with a regular job, but with the added benefit of gaining work experience in the nursing field. The bonus to having this type of experience on your resume while you’re in nursing school is that it will put you at the top of the list when it comes time to find a job. Additionally, the hospital is paying you with the expectation that you’re using those funds to continue your education and become a nurse. 
Unlike with tuition reimbursement, the student is not obligated to stay on at the hospital when they finish their education. However, it can be a great way to get a job right out of nursing school. 

Nursing Apprenticeships While In Nursing School

While nursing apprenticeships are still a somewhat new concept in the U.S., and not widely available, there are a few hospitals that offer these programs. A nursing apprenticeship is a type of on-the-job training that students begin in their junior year of college.

With nursing apprenticeships, students have the opportunity to shadow nurses and learn skills in the real world, while also earning a competitive wage that can help them with their education.
Students combined their apprenticeship hours with classroom and online learning. Once the student graduates, they are awarded an Interim Permit, which allows them to practice nursing. These programs are designed to enable nursing students to become RN’s in less than two years.
Apprenticeships programs are currently available at schools in Illinois, Maryland, Texas, South Dakota, and Washington.  

Scholarships for Nursing School

While a scholarship is not technically a hospital paying for your education, it is an award offered to some nursing students to encourage them to complete their education. Scholarships typically come without any strings attached, meaning you are not committed to a hospital after you graduate.
However, nursing scholarships are something you have to apply for. While hospitals offer them to employees looking to go back to school, there are plenty of other opportunities to apply for scholarships outside of a hospital as well. You can see more about scholarships for nurses here. 

Student Loan Repayment for Nursing School 

Another way that a hospital might help you with the cost of nursing school is through a student loan repayment program. Several hospitals offer programs to help their employees pay off their student loans by providing a portion of the payment. 
This is usually a set amount that they’ll pay for each employee, depending on the nursing school program they went to school for, and is generally paid overtime. So, while you won’t get a lump sum with which to pay off your student loans, you will have money going directly towards your payment each month. 
For nurses that might already be in a student loan forgiveness program or need a little extra help paying down their debt, hospitals that offer these programs can be enticing.
As you can see, there are several ways that a hospital might be willing to help you with your education if you decide to become a nurse. The best way to find programs like this in your area is to contact the hospitals directly. 
If you already work for a hospital, be sure to speak to your benefits administrator to better understand what the requirements are for tuition reimbursement, scholarships, or work-study programs.