Over half the people receiving hospital care today are aged 65 or older. The gerontology/geriatric nursing specialty focuses on the proper care and treatment of senior citizens. As our older population continues to grow, gerontology/geriatric nurses will be in constant demand. A variety of scholarships are available for students looking to enter this growing area of the nursing profession.

NGNA Member Scholarships

Members of the National Gerontological Nurses Association (NGNA) may qualify for the Mary Opal Wolanin Undergraduate Scholarship. The award is for one year with an application deadline of June 1. To be eligible for the $500 reward, a graduate nursing student must major in gerontology/geriatric nursing and carry a minimum of six credits.

Undergraduates are also eligible to apply for a $500 reward if they are enrolled part-time or full-time in a nationally accredited US nursing school. To find out more, contact the National Gerontological Nurses Association, 7794 Grow Drive, Pensacola, FL 32514, phone (850) 473-1174 or visit ngna.org/component/content/article/52-awards-a-scholarships/74-mary-opal-wolanin-scholarship.html.

American Academy of Nursing Scholarships

Thanks to support from Atlantic Philanthropies and the John A. Hartford Foundation of New York City, the American Academy of Nursing is offering various scholarship and fellowship programs for gerontology/geriatric nursing students including:

  • Predoctoral Scholarship supports two years of doctoral work for students dedicated to pursuing a career in academic geriatric nursing. The program awards a $50,000 per annum, totaling $100,000, to each selected scholarship candidate;
  • Claire M. Fagin Fellowship pays $120,000 ($60,000 per annum) for the two-year fellowship to help doctorally-prepared nurses going for faculty careers in geriatric nursing; and
  • Mayday Fund offers an additional $5,000 to award to selected fellowship and scholar candidates whose research also cover the study of pain of the elderly. To find out more about these geriatric nursing scholarships through the American Academy of Nursing, contact Penny Roberts at (202) 777-1172. Information about 2012-2014 scholarships and fellowships is available as of July 1, 2011.

Gerontological Nursing Scholarship in Rhode Island

Mary Brunell, Ed.D., R.N., established the Mary Brunell Scholarship within the Rhode Island College Foundation to help students who are interested in gerontological nursing. The scholarships requires completion of junior level nursing courses with a GPA of 2.5 or better and a 500-word essay submitted with the application. The deadline to apply is May 31. To find out more about this gerontological nursing scholarship opportunity, visit ric.edu/nursing/pdf/MaryBrunellScholarship.pdf.

Keswick Geriatric Nursing Scholarships

Geriatric nursing requires specialized education and Keswick is offering various scholarship programs to help students achieve their goals.

  • Henry Baker Registered Nursing Scholarship Program offers full annual scholarship(s) to help high school graduates pursue nursing careers by earning a nursing license from a two-years accredited program within the state of Maryland. Through financial support, the scholarship encourages and promotes geriatric nursing careers by covered the cost of in-state tuition and related fees. The scholarship does not include room and board. Candidates must be high school seniors with a GPA of 3.00 or better and submit letters of reference along with an essay by March 1. Upon completion of the program, the scholarship recipient will work full-time for the Keswick Multi-Care Center and stay in good standing with the Board of Nursing for at least two years; and
  • Keswick Geriatric Nursing Assistant Scholarship Programs award several $500 nursing assistant scholarship awards to high school graduates looking to obtain a geriatric nursing assistant license from a state approved program. The scholarship is based on financial need, determination, seriousness and character and candidates must be high school graduates with a GPA of 2.50 or better. Applicants must submit their transcript, letter of reference and an essay by March 1. Upon completion, the scholarship recipient will work full-time for the Keswick Multi-Care Center and stay in good standing with the Board of Nursing for at least two years.

To find out more about these Keswick scholarship opportunities, write Keswick Multi-Care, 700 West 40th Street, Baltimore, MD 21211 or call (410) 662-4218.

Oregon Student Assistance Commission Gerontology Nursing Scholarship

The Oregon Student Assistance Commission offers the Walter and Marie Schmidt Scholarship to US citizens who are permanent residents in Oregon and looking to pursue a career in gerontology nursing. The award can be used at any postsecondary institution in the US for full-time or part-time undergraduate study.

Applicants must submit a transcript, essay, FAFSA and express desire to pursue a career in geriatric healthcare as well as show financial need and academic achievement. Priority is shown to students attending Lane Community College or another two-year nursing program with an early bird deadline application of early February and final deadline of March 1. To find out more, contact the Oregon Student Assistance Commission Grants and Scholarship Division, 1500 Valley River Drive, Suite 100, Eugene, OR 97401, phone (800) 452-8807 or visit osac.state.or.us.

Graduate Scholarships for Geriatric Nurse Practitioners

Full-time and part-time graduate students enrolled in the Geriatric Nurse Practitioner programs may qualify for the William Randolph Hearst Endowed Scholarship Fund for Geriatric Nurse Practitioners. Awards can be made for up to two years and must be used for tuition. Students must be matriculated into the program, be in good academic standing and submit a completed application by May 1. To learn more about this scholarship opportunity, contact the New York University College of Nursing, Office of Student Affairs and Admissions, 726 Broadway, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10003, phone (212) 998-5317.

Rush University Gerontological Nursing Scholarships

Applicants admitted to the PhD program and focused on health and illness in older adults at Rush University may qualify for the Mary S. Oakley Gerontological Nursing Research and Scholarship Award. Students will be considered based on their applications, merit, financial need and scholarship resources. Full-time students get priority for this scholarship award. The award recipient agrees to serve as an ambassador and representative for the care, research and health care needs of older adults. To find out more about this gerontological nursing scholarship award, visit rushu.rush.edu.

Radford University Geriatric Nursing Scholarship

Preference is given to students pursuing a career in the geriatric field who apply for the Fernande Marie Carlot Memorial Scholarship at Radford University. The deadline to apply is March 10. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.5 to be eligible for this scholarship award, which is available to non-traditional nursing majors. To find out more, visit radford.edu.

Junior Level Geriatric Nursing Scholarships

A 1st degree junior level nursing major who demonstrates a sincere interest in caring for elders will be recognized by the Gaspar & Rose T. Digiovanna Memorial Geriatric Nursing Scholarship. The application must be a 1st degree junior-level student in this major with a cumulative GPA of 2.50 of better and a likelihood of working with the geriatric population as a professional nurse. Applicants must submit a form and letter of recommendation to qualify for a scholarship amount of $500 for the upcoming academic year.

University of North Carolina at Greensboro Geriatric Nursing Scholarships

Students enrolled in the School of Nursing's Gerontological Nurse Practitioner Program may qualify for the Emma And Victor Bates Fellowship In Gerontological Nursing. To find out more about this award, contact 1000 Spring Garden Street, Greensboro , NC 27402-6170, phone (336) 334-5000 or visit uncg.edu for additional details.

Lander University Geriatric Nursing Scholarships for Senior Students

A senior nursing students showing above-average clinical performance in orthopedic rehabilitative or geriatric nursing may qualify for the Agnes M. Luddy Nursing Scholarship at Lander University. Applicants must have a minimum Lander institutional GPR of 3.0 and show a strong commitment to the nursing profession. To find out more, visit lander.edu/academics/colleges-departments/science-mathematics/nursing/Scholarships.aspx.

Marymount Geriatric Nursing Scholarships for Senior Students

Each year, the Lucille and Bruce Lambert Foundation Scholarships are awarded to senior Marymound Nursing students who demonstrate an interest and caring in geriatric nursing. To find out more about this scholarship award, visit marymount.edu/development/scholarships/endowedSchol.aspx

Gerontological and geriatric nursing is a rewarding professional focus. As improved heath care helps people live longer lives, these specialized nurses will always have a rewarding career.