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Perceived Economic Barriers to Gaining a Nursing Degree

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By Pat Magrath – DiversityNursing.com

The first step toward a college education often starts with the parents and grandparents when a child is born. Many families focus on education as a way to break an economic cycle that has held them back for generations. Seeing their children educated is one the most precious gifts a parent or grandparent can give and receive. This drive for education often brings together the extended family around this common purpose and goal. The desire for education burns bright, but the dreams often fall short when the discussions inevitably move from the quest for an education to the reality of financing that education.

Even when immediate and extended family members come together to support a student financially, it is often only a small part of the overall financial equation. The process of helping a student and their family understand how to financially prepare for college can be overwhelming and daunting. What is important to understand is that there are many resources available for funding a college education, but it takes time and commitment to research the many options.

The Hispanic population is the fastest growing minority group in the United States. However, according to a 2010 study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses), out of 3.2 million registered nurses in the U.S., only 3.6% are Hispanic. What this means is that Hispanics as a percentage of the overall population are underrepresented in the nursing profession. To address this issue and to help Hispanics/Latinos pursue college degrees and become registered nurses, many local, regional and national associations, civic organizations and private foundations have created scholarship and grant opportunities to aid students with the cost of attending college.

Even with the many opportunities to apply for financial aid and scholarships, the college funding process can be intimidating, but it is important for students and their families to realize that the education system now offers more choice and opportunity than ever before. With access to a computer and the Internet, a student can enroll, take classes and graduate while still living within their home support structure. With some additional effort, a student or parent can also research and apply for the many annual grants and scholarships that are specifically set aside for students with a Hispanic/Latino background.

For example, our website, DiversityNursing.com, offers an annual $5,000 Education Award that can be used to start or continue your nursing education. There is one winner who receives the $5,000 and is drawn every year in May during Nurses Week. To date, we have given away $35,000 in educational funding and our next award will be drawn during Nurses Week 2016. For information, terms and conditions, and to register for our award, please visit https://diversitynursing.com. There is no essay requirement!

If you’re considering a nursing career or are continuing your nursing education, According to Scholarships.com®, “Colleges are always looking to diversify their campuses and to make their schools more accessible to students of all ethnicities, economic backgrounds and religious beliefs. For this reason, many scholarships are restricted to minority students, Hispanics being one of them.”

We encourage all students to take advantage of the many opportunities to help fund your college aspirations. There are financial resources available to help make your college dreams a reality! And if you have time constraints due to a busy life, consider taking your classes online.

I’m compensated by University of Phoenix for this blog. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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