What is Nursing Tuition Reimbursement and How to Get It?

Nursing tuition reimbursement is one way for college students to pay for nursing school. Instead of finishing school and then finding a job, students who rely on tuition reimbursement typically already have a job in healthcare. Their employer reimburses them for their tuition costs, understanding that additional training and education benefits not only the employee but also the company he or she works for and the patients they serve.

How Does Nursing Tuition Reimbursement Work?

Unlike grants and scholarships, which cover tuition costs up front, tuition reimbursement only pays out after you have passed your classes. If you are interested in tuition reimbursement, follow these steps:

1. Ask your employer if they offer tuition reimbursement, or find an employer who does. 

2. Find out how much your employer is willing to pay. Many companies will only reimburse up to $5,250 per year, which is the maximum amount allowed by the IRS free of taxes. 

3. Talk to your HR department. Make sure you are eligible for tuition reimbursement and that you understand what is required of you.

4. Sign up for classes and pay your tuition bill.

5. Make sure you meet all requirements. Your employer may require you to earn a specific grade, work a certain number of hours, or finish your degree by a specific deadline.

6. Submit any paperwork required by your employer.

7. Receive your tuition reimbursement.

Why Do Companies Offer Tuition Reimbursement?

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Companies typically offer tuition reimbursement as a way to encourage their employees to continue their education or obtain licensure. Their goal could be to improve performance or qualify top employees for a management position.

A health system may prefer that its employees become RNs vs LPNs, for instance. This will require them to complete additional coursework. A company may also offer tuition reimbursement to encourage its nurses to complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), or another advanced degree.

How Common Is Reimbursement for Nursing Students?

Tuition reimbursement is a fairly common way for hospitals to attract and retain quality nurses, especially in areas where demand is high. Typically, employees don’t qualify for tuition reimbursement until they have worked for the employer for at least six months.

Tuition reimbursement is most common for nursing students who already have some type of licensure, whether they are LPNs working towards becoming RNs or RNs pursuing further education. It is rare to find an employer willing to reimburse nursing tuition if you are not already employed as a nurse.

Health Care Employers That Offer Tuition Reimbursement

The following employers are among those that offer tuition reimbursement:

  • Northwest Community Hospital
  • Mayo Clinic
  • Baylor Health Care System
  • Cleveland Clinic
  • Duke University Health System
  • Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
  • Kaiser Permanente’s Oakland Medical Center 
  • Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital
  • Yakima Valley Memorial 
  • Orianna Health Systems
  • Akron Children’s Hospital
  • Texas Health Resources
  • Advocate Health Care
  • Bailey Medical Center

This is far from a complete list. A variety of employers all across the country offer nursing tuition reimbursement, which is great news for students whose scholarships and grants fall short.

Resources:

Flavin, Brianna. “LPN vs. RN: The Advantages of Being a Registered Nurse.” School of Nursing Blog. Rasmussen College, 11 Jan. 2016. Web. 26 May 2018.

“Tax Benefits for Education: Information Center.” IRS Newsroom. IRS, 6 Mar. 2018. Web. 26 May 2018.