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. 

AlaskaAlaska Native Medical CenterTuition Assistance & Reimbursement Programs
ArizonaNorthern Arizona Healthcare$5,250/yr Towards Relevant Degrees
ArizonaMount Graham Regional Medical Center$3,000/yr towards tuition
ArkansasUniversity Hospital of ArkansasTuition Discounts at University of Arkansas
CaliforniaCitrus Valley Health PartnersUp to $3,500 towards certain programs and tuition assistance
CaliforniaTwin Cities Community Hospital $9,000 scholarships and tuition reimbursement 
ColoradoCraig Hospital$3,000/yr tuition assistance and $10,000 loan repayment
ConnecticutYale-New Haven HospitalHigh school scholarships, tuition reimbursement, and dependant tuition loans
DelawareBeebe HealthcareUp to $5,000 tuition assistance
FloridaNorth Florida Regional Medical Center100% tuition reimbursement for pre-approved classes towards a degree
GeorgiaPiedmont HealthcareEducational assistance
IdahoSt. Luke’s Boise Medical CenterTuition reimbursement and scholarships
IllinoisOSF Healthcare SystemUp to $3,500/yr tuition reimbursement
Indiana Marion General HospitalTuition Reimbursement
IowaMercy Health NetworkUp to $3,000/yr tuition reimbursements and scholarships
KansasCoffeyville Regional Medical CenterUp to $3,000 tuition reimbursements
KentuckyUniversity of Kentucky HospitalFree classes at the University of Kentucky for full-time staff
LouisianaEast Jefferson General HospitalUp to $2,250 tuition reimbursement
MaineMaine Medical CenterTuition Assitance and Scholarships
MarylandJohn Hopkins Bayview Medical CenterUp to $5,000/yr towards tuition reimbursement
MassachusettsBrigham and Women’s HospitalUp to $2,600 tuition reimbursement
MichiganDickinson County Healthcare SystemTuition reimbursement Program
MinnesotaPark Nicollet Health ServicesTuition reimbursement and paid continuing education
MississippiBaptist Health SystemsUp to $14,000 for undergraduate and $7,000 for graduate courses
MissouriSaint Francis Medical Center$5,000 tuition reimbursement limit
MontanaWheatland Memorial HealthcareUp to $20,000 in student loan repayments and scholarships for new students
NevadaValley Health SystemTuition Reimbursement
New HampshireWentworth-Douglass HospitalUp to $3,000/yr tuition assistance
New JerseyJefferson HealthTuition Assistance and online classes
New MexicoChristus St. Vincent Health SystemTuition Reimbursement and scholarships
New YorkNorthwell HealthUp to $5,000/yr in tuition reimbursement
North CarolinaDuke University Health SystemCovers up to 90% of tuition for graduate education
North DakotaCHI St. Alexius HealthTuition reimbursement and on-site education opportunities
OhioCleveland ClinicTuition reimbursement programs
OklahomaSt. John Medical CenterTuition reimbursement programs
OregonSalem HospitalTuition reimbursement programs
PennsylvaniaPenn State Hershey Medical CenterUp to $5,250/yr and up to $40k for nurse anesthetists
Rhode IslandRoger Williams Medical CenterUp to $1,500/yr towards tuition reimbursement
South CarolinaMUSC Health-University Medical CenterUp to $5,250 tuition assistance for pre-approved classes
TexasTexas Health ResourcesTuition and fee reimbursement 
UtahUniversity of Utah Health Care50% tuition reduction at the University of Utah
VermontUniversity of Vermont Medical CenterUp to $3,950 in educational assistance. Reduced tuition at local colleges.
VirginiaUniversity of Virginia Medical CenterUp to $5,250 tuition assistance or reimbursement
WashingtonSeattle Children’s HospitalTuition Reimbursement for those that start their careers at the hospital
West VirginiaWest Virginia University MedicineFull-Time employees get 100% tuition reimbursement at West Virginia University
WisconsinAurora St. Luke’s Medical CenterUp to $7,500 in tuition reimbursement
WyomingCheyenne Regional Medical CenterUp 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.