Nursing school can be expensive, but the Navy Nurse Candidate Program can provide prospective students with the means to afford their tuition. Nurses currently enrolled in BSN programs may qualify for a stipend from the Navy Nurse Candidate Program if they meet certain criteria.
Are under forty years old.
Are a U.S. citizen.
Are fit enough to meet the Navy’s physical fitness standards.
Are in an approved, accredited four-year nursing program.
Are willing to go on active duty after graduating.
What Does the Navy Nurse Candidate Program Offer?
Nursing students that participate in the Navy Nurse Candidate Program are eligible to receive two grants of $5,000 each, and an additional $1,000 per month for up to two years. This adds up to $34,000, which can provide nursing students with considerable help covering their cost of tuition, college living expenses, and school supplies before graduation. This is a grant, not a loan, so students are not required to repay the money as long as they complete the program’s obligations.
What’s the Catch?
The Navy Nurse Candidate Program requires active-duty participation from participants. In exchange for the grant money they are given, students must go on active duty for a specific period of time. Students that are involved in the program for thirteen months to two years are required to give five years of active duty, while students participating for one month to one year are required to give four years. This is why students that participate in the Navy Nurse Candidate Program must be able to meet the Navy’s physical fitness standards.
Why You Should Participate in the Navy Nurse Candidate Program
Nursing school is expensive, and more and more healthcare facilities are expressing a preference for students with bachelor’s degrees or better. Depending on the school, students can end up paying well over $100,000 by the time they complete a four-year nursing degree. If they are attending a school in a state they are not considered a resident of, that cost can go up to over $150,000. Student loans help defer that cost for a while, but loan institutions charge interest and have a nasty habit of wanting to get their money back as soon as students graduate, regardless of whether or not they are employed and able to pay. So, student loans can only offer some temporary help.
Many states have their own financial aid programs for nurses, in an effort to help lure more students to nursing programs. These can be pretty competitive, and may only apply to nurses in specific situations. For example, a nurse may only be eligible for a loan forgiveness scheme if he or she is willing to work for an underserved inner-city hospital for five years after graduation. These function like the Navy’s program in that they are service-based tuition programs, and not all students will be able to take advantage of them.
So, when faced with the choice of taking out loans, trying to pay for school out of pocket, or attempting to qualify for tuition payment and loan reimbursement programs, the Navy Nurse Candidate Program can provide nursing students with another means of getting some tuition help.
This program also gives nurses a job after graduation. Since they are required to put in at least four years of active duty, that is four years of employment. Naval nurses are paid competitive salaries and have few living expenses. They also get to travel around the world, which can be a great opportunity for nurses who have always wanted to travel extensively, and would not otherwise be able to afford it.
The Navy Nurse Candidate Program helps bring new, qualified nurses to one of the places that need them the most- the military. For just a few years of military service, students can take care of a big chunk of their tuition. It allows nursing students to get the tuition help they need in order to pursue their bachelor’s degrees in nursing and allows the Navy to attract the healthcare practitioners it needs to help keep its staff healthy.
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