Foundation for Academic Nursing

COVID-19 Nursing Student Support Fund

The Foundation for Academic Nursing, the new philanthropic arm of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), is pleased to announce the creation of the COVID-19 Nursing Student Support Fund to assist students whose education and lives have been directly impacted by the coronavirus. The Fund, which will help nursing students nationwide who need financial assistance to complete their degrees, is the brainchild of Darlene J. Curley who also provided its generous support. Ms. Curley is an Honorary Associate Member of AACN, whose distinguished career in nursing has included service as a health policy leader, Maine State Legislator, Executive Director of Jonas Nursing & Veterans Healthcare at Columbia University, and Chief Executive Officer of Jonas Philanthropies in New York City.


The COVID-19 Nursing Student Support Fund will provide one-time grants to nursing students enrolled in AACN member schools who need financial support to complete their nursing programs and/or meet life expenses. Priority will be given to entry-level students in baccalaureate and master’s programs in the final two semesters of their nursing programs. Applications also will be accepted from students in baccalaureate degree completion programs, traditional master’s, and doctoral programs. With $25,000 in funding available, 50 awards in the amount of $500 will be made to directly to nursing students, with the goal of funding one student in all 50 states. All applications will be reviewed, and recipients will be selected by AACN with checks distributed via its philanthropic division.

Application Process & Criteria

Students interested in applying for an award must complete an online application posted on the AACN website. The application will collect contact information, details about the student’s nursing program, and space for the student to convey in 250-words or less why additional funding is needed to complete their nursing degree program. Students applying must be enrolled full-time and confirm that they are enrolled in an AACN member school; provide contact information for their advisor; and include a photo with their application, which will be used if selected for an award on AACN’s website.

View Online Application         Donate to the Fund


April 15

  • AACN issues press release announcing creation of the COVID-19 Nursing Student 

April 27

  • Application period closes

May 4

  • Students to receive funding are selected and notified


  • AACN announces those selected for awards during National Nurses Month

Review Process & Dissemination

AACN staff will review the applications and select winners using the award criteria as a guide. Every effort will be made to ensure that students selected for awards are representative of the nursing student population (i.e. race/ethnicity, gender, age, and geographic diversity). Students receiving funding will be highlighted in the May 11 press release, on the AACN website, via social media, and in News Watch.  The Foundation for Academic Nursing will issue a call for additional funding in this news release.


Marta Okoniewski
AACN’s Director of Student Engagement