Thank Uncle Sam

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) recently opened their application window for the Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program (NELRP). This is an incredible loan repayment option, especially for nurses working in critical shortage areas (critical access/disproportionate share hospitals, clinics, government agencies, etc.) and nurse faculty.

This federal program repays you 60% of your nursing student loan balance in return for your commitment to work two years in a critical shortage area or teach at an accredited school of nursing. If you sign on for an optional third year, you get an additional 25% of your loans paid back.

The application cycle for this year ends on February 15. You are notified in late summer/early fall and loan repayment begins soon afterward. Click here for more information and to learn about the application process.

Special Note for Alternate Entry/Graduate Entry nursing students: You must have your nursing degree in hand at the time you apply for this program. That means if you are graduating in 2012 after February 15, you are not eligible. It also means that if you have received your RN license through an agreement between your school and state board of nursing but you do not yet have an academic degree in nursing, you are not eligible either. I learned this the hard way when I applied last year. Save yourself the trouble and wait for that degree.

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