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Loan Repayment Program For Nursing Students Accepting Applications

A federal program that partially repays school loans for nursing students in exchange for taking a job in an underserved area is now accepting applications.

Dr. Mary Wakefield of the Health Resources and Services Administration explain the program in an interview with KPBS Morning Edition anchor Deb Welsh:

Wakefield: Registered nurses or nurse practitioners, for example, can receive 60 percent of their total outstanding educational loans in exchange for providing 2 years of full-time service in an underserved part of the United States. And I should just add in that those individuals, of course, get a salary from the facility where they're working.


Welsh: How is eligibility determined?

Wakefield: The loans that they are eligible to have repaid must be educational loans, for example, that they have obtained while they were in nursing education programs.

Welsh: And the funding preference is based on, I assume, financial need and the facility where they're employed. Do certain facilities have an advantage over others?

Wakefield: They could be a nursing home, a clinic or a hospital in an under-served area. So, they need, first, to be in a health profession shortage area. They also need to be facilities that actually need nurses.

Last year, $38 million was awarded to program participants. Applications for the Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program are accepted through Feb. 27.