The Department of Health and Human Services is releasing a whopping $13.4 million for nurse loan repayment. $8.1 million will be competitively awarded to nurses who agree to work in one of these facilities with a critical shortage and will be used to pay 60% of their student loans, while the other $5.3 million will go to schools of nursing to support the training of 500 masters or doctoral students who agree to work as full-time faculty at a school of nursing for four years. The masters and doctoral students will have up to 85% of their loans cancelled. Recipient universities can be found here. My own university is receiving less than $10,000. That’s enough to cover not quite one year of tuition and books for one masters student.
Note that the $8.1 million is intended to help “100 nurses”…. is this a typo? Are there exactly 100 nurses out there with $135,000 in loans? I don’t get this. Still, I’m not sure 100 nurses can really tackle the problem.
Details aside, $13.4 million is a piddly sum to support nurse recruitment and education on a national level. But fine, that’s okay, money is money. We’ll take what we can get. Thanks government. Except these repayment programs lock a nurse into potentially dangerous situations at facilities in which her or his license is routinely jeopardized. Perhaps this is a fair exchange for a nurse struggling beneath a mountain of debt, but most nurses I know who have signed onto loan repayment programs like this end up regretting it because they find themselves trapped in miserable, unsafe working conditions. If anybody has information or insight to share on this subject, I’d love to hear your opinion, especially if you work at one of the hospitals on the list. I’ve heard good things about Bannar Good Samaritan in Phoenix and Dell Children’s in Austin, but other than that I don’t know about the working conditions at the other hospitals.
I don’t like spitting at money, and perhaps I’d feel better about this whole exchange if the repayment program covered closer to 100% of a nurse’s student loans or if the money affected nursing on a greater scale (which would, of course, require more money.)
Anyhow, the money that will be used for masters or doctoral students seems to be a better deal, at least for students. Nursing faculty earn next to nothing, and perhaps assistance with loans will help some people who want to teach but can’t justify the cost make the decision to pursue careers in education.
C’mon nurse friends. Comments plz.