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About CastleBranch
CastleBranch is the leading provider of compliance management, background screening, drug testing and infectious disease screen solutions for higher education health professions programs in the country. CastleBranch works with over 17,700 education programs, 5,500 colleges and universities, and helps over one million students each year in their transition to and through professional life. They are a preferred provider of background checks to the AACN and a member of the Professional Background Screening Association. 

About The Foundation for Academic Nursing
The Foundation for Academic Nursing is the philanthropic arm of AACN that raises funds to support new innovations in nursing education and practice. The Foundation serves as a focal point for AACN’s fundraising efforts while elevating the importance of academic nursing and our member schools in the philanthropic community. 



About the American Association of Colleges of Nursing
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the national voice for academic nursing representing more than 850 schools of nursing nationwide. AACN establishes quality standards for nursing education, influences the nursing profession to improve health care, and promotes public support of baccalaureate and graduate nursing education, research, and practice. 



CastleBranch Expands Scholarship Support for Nursing Students Through AACN’s Foundation for Academic Nursing

Published March 18, 2021

WASHINGTON, DC, March 18, 2021 – The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is pleased to announce that CastleBranch, Inc., a leading provider of customizable screening and clinical experience solutions for health profession students, has committed $250,000 in new funding to provide scholarships to nursing students in baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs. Now under the administration of AACN’s Foundation for Academic Nursing, the Geraldine “Polly” Bednash Scholarship and the CastleBranch-GNSA Scholarship will provide support to 60 promising nursing students through 2025.  

“Our commitment to nursing education is central to our mission of helping individuals transition to and through professional life, and to elevating healthcare education and the profession by working with the industry to solve its most enduring challenges,” said Gregory Larnder, CastleBranch President. “We welcome this opportunity to support the work of the AACN Foundation, and are inspired by the passion, dedication, and courage displayed by the next generation of registered nurses as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Geraldine “Polly” Bednash Scholarship Program provides $5,000 in funding to outstanding students in baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs at AACN member institutions. Eligible applicants must be admitted to a nursing school affiliated with CastleBranch or have submitted an application through AACN’s centralized application service, NursingCAS. Applicants must submit a brief essay on personal goals and career aspirations in nursing. Funding is awarded each quarter with deadlines set for January 31, April 30, July 31, and October 31 each year. For more information and to apply, click here.

The CastleBranch-GNSA Scholarship Program awards $2,500 in funding to master’s and doctoral students who are advancing the nursing profession through a commitment to innovation, leadership, and mentoring. Applicants must be members of AACN’s Graduate Nursing Student Academy (GNSA) in order to be eligible. The application deadlines are September 30 and December 30. For more information and to apply, click here

“AACN applauds this generous support from CastleBranch and for the company’s commitment for providing creative solutions that serve some of academic nursing’s most pressing needs,” said Dr. Deborah Trautman, AACN President and Chief Executive Officer. “We encourage other corporate partners to follow this example and provide the support needed to help ensure that our nation sustains a robust supply of nursing providers, researchers, and educators.”

Since 2005, CastleBranch has been a preferred vendor of AACN and a leading provider of student background checks, immunization tracking services, and other screening solutions. CastleBranch has a proven track record for serving the specific needs of nursing schools, working with 70 percent of nursing programs offered at colleges and universities nationwide. In 2017, AACN expanded its partnership with CastleBranch around the CB Bridges solution, which is designed to streamline each phase of a student’s clinical journey from compliance tracking, clinical placements and scheduling, site orientation, skills assessment, and evaluation. Most recently, CastleBranch has joined nursing schools in the fight against the pandemic by offering the COVID-19 Compliance Tracker and Real Vaccination ID Cards.

To find out more about AACN’s collaboration with CastleBranch and our other corporate partners, click here.

For more details on scholarship programs available through the Foundation for Academic Nursing, visit the Foundation’s scholarship page or contact Marta Okoniewski, AACN Director of Student Engagement at