How To: Tuition Reimbursement Program for Nurses

After paying to attend a training program to become a nurse assistant, you might have spent at least a few hundred dollars. Although the fees vary by region, according to Tough Nickel the average cost to attend a nurse assistant program is $1,275. This estimate doesn’t even include the recent increase in testing fees, which in 2018 have jumped to $124.

Now factor in the cost of books, supplies, and a whole new wardrobe of scrubs for work. Whew! Most students can relate to the cost of higher education, but few students can afford it.

Ever wonder when you will see that money again?

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Fortunately, nurse assistants who enroll in qualified training programs approved by the state department of health can apply for reimbursement of some of these costs. While certain items are excluded from reimbursement, like the cost of gas to attend school, most of the associated costs of attending a nurse assistant training program are eligible for the state-funded employer benefit.

Here’s the catch – make sure you work for an employer who offers the tuition reimbursement benefit!

Long term care facilities and nurse assistant training facilities should be familiar with how to reimburse nurse assistant and CNA graduates. Jobs that may not offer tuition reimbursement are often at smaller organizations like adult family homes, independent employers (i.e. an individual paying for a private caregiver) or hospitals. These employers are typically exempt from the reimbursement rule. However, you should still inquire with your state board of nursing or nursing director to learn if there is a reimbursement policy where you work.

How do I apply?

Upon signing a contract to work as a nurse assistant, you will be presented with information regarding the tuition reimbursement agreement and forms. Since the tuition reimbursement application follows guidelines from the board of nursing, the process and requirements should be standardized.

For example, in Washington State, a nurse assistant graduate or CNA graduate will need to work for at least 3-6 months at the facility where they apply for reimbursement. The employment contract might also specify that reimbursement is attached to each pay check and given on a bi-monthly or monthly basis. In certain circumstances, you can also petition for a lump sum reimbursement payment. It is important to remember the request for reimbursement will need to be submitted within 12 months of graduation and/or an offer of employment.

Save your receipts

The state will ask each applicant to produce a proof of payment receipt for both eligible student testing fees and tuition for the nurse assistant program attended. According to the state, a “proof of payment” can be one of several documents:

  • A copy of a check
  • A statement from your credit card
  • A general ledger number from the transaction
  • A cash receipt

I hope this how-to guide has helped to save you money and time! Comment below if you have still have questions or concerns. Then subscribe to the blog so you know when an answer has been posted.