Mary Eliza Mahoney Memorial Scholarship to Pursue A Nursing Degree

The Mary Eliza Mahoney Memorial Scholarship provides funds for a member of another union in the pursuit of a nursing degree.

The Mary Eliza Mahoney scholarship, named in honor of our country’s first African-American graduate nurse, will provide financial support to the member of another union who wants to become a nurse and a member of the MNA. The Minnesota Nurses Association recognizes that myriad institutional and structural barriers keep many people from a nursing career.  The Minnesota Nurses Association Foundation (MNAF) wants to foster the creation of a diverse team of nurses that reflects the diversity of our communities. This scholarship serves to recognize an outstanding union member who has begun their path to a nursing career. The Mahoney Scholarship recipient will receive up to $2,500 per semester of nursing school up to a total of $10,000.

Every day MNA members rely on the skilled work of other personnel to keep patients safe and well cared for. The Foundation board is seeking candidates for this scholarship who may come strongly recommended by MNA nurses who have worked side by side with them.

Additional Details Regarding Process and Requirements

Scholarship Recipient Criteria

  • Open to other labor union members in good standing who are not currently working as nurses.
  • Must be enrolled in an accredited nursing program and must have completed a minimum of one semester.
  • Indigenous people and people of color especially encouraged to apply.

Application Requirements

  • Online Application Form
  • Since June 1 falls on a weekend, the deadline for this year is 11:59 p.m. on June 3, 2024.
    No incomplete or late applications will be considered.
  • Official Academic Transcript
  • An essay (300-500 words) that addresses the following:
    • What impact do you hope to make in society once you become an RN?
    • What motivated you to become a nurse?
    • If nursing is your second career, please tell us why you chose this path.
    • What does union membership mean to you?
    • Describe your experience of diversity and inclusion in healthcare.
    • Reflecting on the MNA mission statement, purpose, values and vision, how will your education influence the future of nursing and your career goals?
  • 3 Scholarship Recommendation forms: no recommendations can be from a relative
    • 1 from your union leadership (for example, a union steward, elected leader or staff)
    • 1 from an academic source/ faculty member
    • 1 from a personal reference
      • This person may be a co-worker, for example an MNA nurse!
      • This person may be someone from your community, religious organization, related to volunteer work, etc.
    • Complete applications are due on June 1 of each year. If June 1 falls on a weekend, the deadline is the following Monday.
    • No incomplete or late applications will be considered.


  • MNAF will only issue scholarship checks to both the student and their educational institution, not to the student alone or to a third party vendor.

If you have questions about the application process or application requirements, contact