JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

Nursing Education Scholarships Overview

{ISAC Rules, Part 2749}

Nursing Education Scholarships (NES) provide scholarship assistance to those who are pursuing a certificate in practical nursing, an associate degree in nursing, a hospital-based diploma in nursing or a bachelor’s or graduate degree in nursing, and demonstrate the greatest financial need among qualified students. The program was designed to increase the number of nurses available for employment in Illinois by offering scholarships to overcome financial barriers to education. An NES award will pay a portion of tuition and fee charges, plus – for full-time students only – a living allowance (previously referred to as a stipend). The scholarship pays for coursework within the nursing curriculum, but does not pay for pre-requisite coursework.

The number of years a recipient may receive funding from this program is based on the certificate, diploma, or degree being pursued.

Certificate, Diploma, or Degree Pursued: Maximum Years of Scholarship Assistance:
Certificate in Practical Nursing One Academic Year
Associate Degree in Nursing Two Academic Years
Hospital-Based Diploma in Nursing Three Academic Years
Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing Four Academic Years
Graduate Degree in Nursing Five Academic Years
Graduate Degree in Nursing to become a Nurse Educator Three Academic Years

Please note that if a recipient completed a certificate, diploma or degree program for which they received scholarship assistance, and they are now pursuing a higher level of education, their maximum available years of assistance is based on the maximum for the new degree being sought. (For example, now pursuing a baccalaureate degree after receiving assistance for an associate degree.) The number of years of assistance previously received do not count toward the new maximum.

Scholarship recipients must sign an agreement promising to begin full- or part-time employment as a licensed practical nurse, a professional registered nurse, an advanced practice registered nurse or a nurse educator in Illinois within six months of graduating, and remain employed for a period equivalent to the educational time supported by the scholarship. If the recipient terminates studies, or fails to become employed, they will be required to repay the full scholarship amount, plus 7% interest per year. Further details are provided in the Students & Parents – After College area of this website, and may be accessed via the "Program Requirements" link that appears in the right-margin menu of this page.