Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program

What about the Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program?
When you entered your advanced nursing program—in fact, when you entered any  form of higher education—chances are you came into a world that costs a lot more to live in than you have readily available.

After all, nursing programs for a simple Associate’s degree in Nursing (ADN/ASN) usually cost between $10,000 and $20,000; double that, at the very least, for each year you were studying to be a Registered Nurse (RN) through a Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program, Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program or any of the administrative degrees that are out there (that would mean adding on 5 to 6 years, from $50,000 to $120,000).

Well, the Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program is ready to help you out.  And they’re not just doing this out of the goodness of their heart.

Why Is the Program Willing to Help Me? 

The Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program was begun to help recruiting, and holding on to, good qualify professional RNs who were giving health care and assistance to populations in rural and urban areas where poverty, crime or low socio-economic outlook forced a nursing shortage.

To keep nurses in the hospitals and medical facilities that really needed them there, the NELRP actually assists with the tuition and supplies bills to the fledgling nurse who may not much wherewithal to meet her own payments.


How do I qualify for the Program? 

You have to be a United States citizen and resident.  You have to have, or be working towards, a licensure, certification or the specific qualifications for a nursing position, as a nurse, as an anesthetist or in any of the specialties available to the RN in training.   You also must be employed in some capacity as a professional in health services, and of course you must have debt incurred as a result of student loans.


What Kind of Loan Is It?

It isn’t really a loan per se; it’s a sort of “payment in faith” to keep you afloat financially while you work as a professional in some facility somewhere where the need is great; it assumes you’ve attained some expertise as a novice in the nursing program, and you are now using those skills.

It’s actually a program that pays benefits to its subscribers, and it makes the good-faith assumption that you will take the opportunity, and the degree it produces, to not only become a good nurse but also to stay in the low socio-economic area where you are needed.

In a way it’s what old time businessmen used to call “salt money,” cash paid in earnest on the expectation that the lender, and the community, benefits from the individual who was given a hand up.


How Does the Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program Work? 

If you’ve been working in a health facility of some kind for two years (and their application process tells you how to confirm this via supervisor reports), the Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program will pay (or in a sense reimburse) sixty percent of your balance in loans, or at least the percentage of that amount that qualifies under the program.

In other words, once you apply, the program decides what loan amount to award you (be a good enough nurse and it might be the whole ball of cash, at least on paper), and then pays a percentage of that amount for your nursing service.  Sound like a good deal?

It gets even better.  For three years of nursing work, the Program will reimburse a whopping 85 percent of your total amount.   It really doesn’t get much better than that.

If you want to move to another facility, but are still under contract to the loan, you should wait until you have completed two years of service at the facility that was designated for you, then re-apply for an addendum/amendment to the loan; at that point , the NELRP may decide to award you another 25 percent of your loan.

Where do I apply?

The applications are available from the Diversity and Basic Nurse Education Branch in Rockville, Maryland (MD) or online.

So apply for the Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program. It might make your financial debt repayment management a great deal smoother.