Nursing Incentives and Loan Repayment Programs

Job security, professional advancement, recession-proof careers and all things financial are on the minds of the people these days. With a large focus on the medical care sector, nursing jobs are reported to be the top career choice in terms of stability, new job creation and salary. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects this growth is due to the increase in technology used to treat patients, an emphasis on preventative care and the age-related health and retirement issues attributed to the Baby Boomer generation.

Because of these reasons, and many more, those entering college or considering a mid-career switch are looking at nursing to provide job and financial stability and increase the ability to give back to others. Facing a wide-spread healthcare provider shortage, nursing incentives are quickly becoming a solution for nursing school students, professional nurses and state and federal governments seeking to fill a void in the healthcare system.

Nursing incentives can come as scholarships, grants or through loan repayment programs. The National Health Service Corps offers student loan repayment for campus-based or online nursing schools in exchange for a commitment to work within a NHSC-approved site. These incentives require a minimum commitment of two years for partial repayment ($60,000), but also offer $170,000 in loan repayment for a 5-year commitment or full forgiveness of student loans in exchange for six or more years of service. These service areas include federally-funded medical facilities, public health department clinics, prisons, rural and Indian Health Service clinics and many other underserved areas across the country.

Opportunities for current nurses, nursing school students or those considering a career change to the nursing profession are growing. The abundance of scholarships, grants, loan repayment and forgiveness programs continue to provide incentives for starting, growing or switching to a new career full of challenges and personal fulfillment. Whether considering the effect of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree on a current career track, the ability to fund educational goals through a campus-based or online nursing schools are plentiful, proving the need for more qualified nurses and health care professionals to treat and care for patients from all walks of life.