The field of nursing continues to hold a critical role in the medical field. As more Americans need healthcare, the number of nurses needed continues to climb as well.
Nurses provide full-spectrum care, from dispensing medications and advice to performing procedures and offering emotional support, nurses are widely regarded as the most versatile and necessary parts of the healthcare system.
The Financial Impact of Becoming a Nurse
Part of that versatility comes from their intense—and expensive—training. Most nurses have at least a bachelor’s degree while many have graduate degrees, additional training, and further schooling that helps them focus on a specialty such as labor and delivery, surgery, or emergency medicine.
All of this training costs a lot of money, and many nurses find themselves in serious debt after graduation, some as high as $100,000.
The age of the nursing corps is rising as well. According to the American Nurses Association, the average age of a nurse is 44.6 years old, with the number of younger nurses entering the field decreasing as more students look to college programs that are less demanding.
To help inspire more college students to pursue a nursing degree and certification and help the critical shortage in the nursing field, there are a number of programs that will forgive a nursing graduate’s student loans. These differ from other student loan forgiveness programs in that they seek to fill the high demand for nurses in the United States.
Federal Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Programs
NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program
The NURSE program replaced the Federal Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program, which was a federal student loan forgiveness program designed for nursing graduates. The new iteration pays off 60 percent of your unpaid student loans in the first two years. You can also get an additional 25 percent forgiven from your original nursing student loan balance in an optional third year.
To be eligible, you need to fulfill a service obligation at an eligible nonprofit hospital, clinic, nursing school, or another facility in underserved areas designated as a Health Professional Shortage Area, or HPSA. There are thousands of them in the United States, so finding one won’t be difficult.
You’ll also need to be a licensed registered nurse, nurse practitioner, or advanced practice nurse, have completed all of your training, and be employed full-time at 32 hours per week or more at a critical shortage facility. You must also be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident, and your training must have been completed at an accredited school of nursing in the United States.
See the full article here: Student Loan Forgiveness for Nurses