Programs: Loan Repayment | Students to Service Pilot | Scholarship | Faculty Loan Repayment | Nursing Education Loan Repayment
The Office of Rural Health & Primary Care is engaged in placement of healthcare providers in medically underserved areas and health professional shortage areas in rural Arkansas. For connection to the National Rural Recruitment and Retention Network (3RNet) click here.
Serving as the state liaison for the National Health Service Corps(NHSC), health professionals are matched with clinical sities in Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA) where they can work to help repay their loans or to meet scholarship service requirements.
National Health Service Corp (NHSC) Loan Repayment Program
Arkansas received an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Grant from Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for the project period from 09/30/2009 through 09/29/2013 for $336,615. These funds will support the Arkansas Department of Health, Office of Rural Health and Primary Care’s ability to expand and retain the impact of the National Health Service Corp (NHSC) in our state by providing scholarships and loan repayment programs for primary care health professions who serve in Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs).
2012 NHSC Loan Repayment Program
The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Loan Repayment Program (LRP) offers primary care medical, dental, and mental and behavioral health providers the opportunity to have their student loans repaid while earning a competitive salary, in exchange for providing health care in urban and rural communities that are in underserved areas designated as Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs).
NHSC Loan Repayment participants serve at an NHSC approved site located in a designated Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA). A higher HPSA score indicates greater community need so the NHSC LRP offers two levels of loan repayment awards:
- Up to $60,000 to primary care providers practicing at an NHSC approved site with a HPSA score of 14 or above in return for a 2 year full-time commitment or 4 year half-time commitment.
- Up to $40,000 to primary care providers practicing at an NHSC approved site with a HPSA score of 13 and below in return for a 2 year full-time commitment or 4 year half-time commitment.
- With continued service, all providers may be able to pay off all their student loans.
- Visit http://nhsc.hrsa.gov/loanrepayment/index.html for more information or to apply.
Primary Care providers may be eligible for NHSC Loan Repayment if they meet the following criteria:
- U.S. citizen or national
- Work at an NHSC approved site
- Have unpaid educational loans
- Licensed in one of the following primary care disciplines:
- Physicians (MD or DO) : Family Medicine, General Pediatrics, Geriatrics, General Internal Medicine, Obstetrics, Gynecology, or General Psychiatry
- Physician Assistants (PAs): Adult, Family, Pediatric, Psychiatry, Mental Health, Geriatrics and Women’s Health
- Nurse Practitioners (NPs): Adult, Family, Pediatric, Psychiatric and Mental Health, Geriatrics, Women’s Health
- Psychiatric Nurse Specialists (PNSs) Adult, Family Pediatric, Psychiatry/Mental Health, Geriatrics, Women’s Health
- Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs)
- Dentists (DDS, DMD): General and Pediatric
- Dental Hygienists (RDHs)
- Psychiatrists (MD or DO)
- Health Service Psychologist (HSP) / Clinical and Counseling
- Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW)
- Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs)
- Marriage and Family Therapist (MFTs)
National Health Service Corps - Loan Repayment Sites
The NHSC can help you recruit and retain qualified health care providers. Your facility may be eligible if it is located in a designated Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA), provides services on a sliding fee schedule, accepts patients covered by Medicare, Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program and sees all patients regardless of their ability to pay.
NHSC approved services sites are healthcare facilities that provide outpatient primary health services to populations residing in urban or rural HPSAs including:
- Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs)
- FQHC Look-Alikes
- Rural Health Clinics (RHCs),
- Federal Indian Health Service Clinics
- Federal or State Correctional Facilities
- Private Practices (solo/group)
- Hospital-affiliated outpatient primary care clinics
- Critical Access Hospitals
- Other Health Facilities: Community Mental Health Facility, Community Outpatient Facility, Free clinic, Mobile Unit, School-based Health Programs, State and County Department of Health Clinics.
The following facilities are not eligible to be a NHSC-approved site: County/local prisons, Inpatient hospitals (including Veteran’s Administration Hospitals), Other inpatient facilities.
For more information on how to become a NHSC Site and for the online application go to: http://nhsc.hrsa.gov/sites/becomenhscapprovedsite/index.html
NEW! Students to Service Program (S2S) Pilot
The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Students to Service Loan Repayment Program (S2S) is a pilot that provides loan repayment assistance to medical students (MD and DO) in their last year of school, in return for a commitment to provide primary health care services in eligible Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) of greatest need.
The S2S LRP will provide funds to participants to repay their outstanding qualifying student loans while still completing health professions training.
Program options include:
- Full-Time Clinical Practice. The NHSC will pay up to $120,000 for an initial three years of full-time clinical service defined as no less than 40 hours per week, for a minimum of 45 weeks a year.
- Half-Time Clinical Practice. The NHSC will pay up to $120,000 for an initial six years of half-time clinical service defined as no less than 20 hours per week (not to exceed 39 hours per week), for a minimum of 45 weeks per year.
Annual payments of up to $30,000 will be made over the course of four years. With continued service, eligible providers may be able to pay off all qualifying student loans.
Upon completion of residency, participants must engage in three years of full-time or six years of half-time clinical practice at one or more NHSC-approved service sites located in a HPSA of greatest need.
To be eligible for the S2S LRP, all applicants must be:
- U.S. citizen or U.S. national
- enrolled as a full-time student in the last year of school
- attending a fully accredited school in an eligible degree program,
- planning to complete an accredited primary medical care residency in an NHSC-approved specialty (Internal Medicine, Family Practice, Pediatrics, OB/GYN, and Geriatrics).
More information can be found and the Program Guidance on the web: http://nhsc.hrsa.gov/loanrepayment/studentstoserviceprogram/index.html
This is a “pilot” program and future application cycles will be based on the availability of funds. To get notification of the next application cycle go to: https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USHHSHRSA/subscriber/new?topic_id=USHHSHRSA_64
National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program
The National Health Service Corps (SP) Scholarship Program (SP) awards scholarships each year to students pursuing careers in primary care. In return, students commit to serving for two to four years in an underserved Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) site upon graduation and completion of training. To apply, you must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. national, be a full-time student at an accredited school and pursuing a degree in an NHSC eligible disciple: Medicine (MD or DO), Dentistry (DDS or DMD), Nurse Practitioner, Certified Nurse Midwife or Physician Assistant.
The NHSC SP pays for tuition, fees, other education costs and provides a monthly living stipend Learn more about the NHSC Scholarship Program and apply online at the National Health Service Corps website.
Sign up to be notified by e-mail when the scholarship application is available at the National Health Service Corps website just click "Get Notified about Next Application Cycle”
The National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program is for students pursuing and eligible degree in an accredited program located in the United States:
- Physician: MD or DO
- Dentist: DDS or DMD
- Family Nurse Practitioner
- Certified Nurse-Midwife
- Physician Assistant
The NHSC awards scholarships each year to students pursuing careers in primary care. The scholarship includes payment for tuition, required fees and other reasonable educational costs and a monthly stipend. In return, students commit to serve in the Corps for 2 to 4 years upon completion of their training.
National Health Service Corp - Scholar Sites
Sites meeting the minimum HPSA score and who have a vacancy listed on the Job Opportunities List are eligible to attend the scholar conference to recruit scholars to their site. Up to 2 recruiters from a site may attend the conference free of charge. Recruiters are responsible for travel, lodging, and exhibit-related expenses. Recruiters must complete a registration process and be approved to attend the conference. Interested parties should check here for more information on the conference, gaining approval to attend, and registering.
Clinical Sites in HPSA Areas
Clinical Sites in HPSA must apply to become a NHSC Service Site. All prospective and current clinical sites located in Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA), that have not already received NHSC facility certification, should submit a Recruitment and Retention Assistance Application. More information and a site application can be obtained. online at http://nhsc.hrsa.gov/sites/becomenhscapprovedsite/index.html.
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) - Faculty Loan Repayment Program
The Health professions faculty from disadvantaged backgrounds can receive as much as $40,000 towards repayment of their student loans in exchange for educating tomorrow’s clinicians. Individuals selected to participate in the program agree to serve on the faculty of an accredited health professions college or university for 2 years. The Government pays up to $40,000 of the participant’s student loans and provides funds to offset the tax burden. Participants should also receive matching funds from their employing educational institution.
Eligible Applicants requirement include
- U. S. citizens or U.S. nationals
- A degree or enrolled in an approved graduate training program in an eligible discipline:
- Allopathic Medicine
- Osteopathic Medicine
- Podiatric Medicine
- Veterinary Medicine
- Nursing (RN or higher)
- Public Health
- Physician Assistants
- Behavioral and Mental Health (graduate level only)
- Clinical Psychology
- Clinical Social Work
- Marriage and Family Therapy
- Professional Counseling
- Schools of Allied Health (baccalaureate or graduate degree programs)
- Dental Hygiene
- Medical Laboratory Technology
- Occupational Therapy
- Physical Therapy
- Radiologic Technology
- Speech Pathology
- Registered Dietitians
- With an employment commitment for a full-time or part-time faculty position for a minimum of two from one of the following types of eligible schools:
- Allopathic Medicine
- Osteopathic Medicine
- Podiatric Medicine
- Veterinary Medicine
- Allied Health
- Public Health
- Schools offering graduate programs in behavioral and mental health
- From a disadvantaged background, based on environmental or economic factors.
Additional information may be found on the web at: http://www.hrsa.gov/loanscholarships/repayment/Faculty/index.html
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) - Nursing Education Loan Repayment
The Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program (NELRP) assists in the recruitment and retention of professional Registered Nurses (RNs), including advanced practice registered nurses (i.e. nurse practitioners, certified registered nurse anesthetist, certified nurse midwives, clinical nurse specialist) in facilities with a critical nursing shortage. NELRP encourages practice in these facilities by decreasing economic barriers associated with the rising cost of obtaining a nursing degree. The Program offers RNs economic assistance through educational loan repayment in exchange for full-time service at a health care facility in a critical shortage area.
- All funded applicants are employed under First Funding Preference, which is awarded to applicants with greatest financial need who work in Disproportionate Share Hospitals, Nursing Homes, Federally Designated Health Centers, Federally Designated Migrant Health Centers, Public Health Departments, Rural Health clinics and Indian Health Service Health Centers.
To find out more about this program and to sign-up to receive e-mail notification when the next Nursing education Loan Repayment Program application opens go to: http://www.hrsa.gov/loanscholarships/repayment/nursing/overview.html
Retired Physician Immunity ACT
Act 844 of 1995 makes it possible for retired physicians to continue service to the community while maintaining immunity from civil suit. Only retired, licensed physicians and surgeons are eligible under this act. Free or low cost medical clinics must assure the clinic's mission is to provide free or low cost services; provide verification that the clinic is not receiving insurance payments for services rendered; submit a list of physicians currently providing services and their medical specialties; make a statement indicating that retired physicians delivering services in the clinic are not receiving any financial or other compensation from the clinic and are acting on a voluntary basis; provide a copy of the retired physician's medical license; and provide a copy of the clinic's policy for notifying patients that the physician rendering voluntary medical services is retired and that he/she is immune from civil suit. Accompanying the application must be a copy of the most recent financial or audit statement or an explanation for its absence. The application is effective for three years.
Volunteer Licensed Health Care Professional Immunity Act
Act 276 of 1997 makes it possible for other non-retired health care professionals to provide services as volunteers free from civil damages. Any medical doctor, chiropractic physician, dentist, optometric physician, podiatrist, and licensed health care professional who provides voluntary service without financial reimbursement in a clinic, hospital or primary care setting is eligible for registration under this act. Free or low cost medical clinics must provide a statement indicating the mission of the clinic is to provide free or low cost services; verification that the clinic is not receiving insurance payments for services rendered; a list of all physicians and their medical specialties and health care professionals currently providing volunteer services in the clinic; a statement indicating that physicians and health care professionals delivering services in the clinic are not receiving any financial or other compensation from the clinic and are acting on a voluntary basis; a statement on file that all professional health care providers providing services in the clinic have a current professional license; and a copy of the clinic's policy for notifying patients that the physician/health care professional is rendering voluntary medical services and that he/she is immune from civil suit. This policy must be in a language understood by the patient. Accompanying the application must be a copy of the most recent financial or audit statement or an explanation for its absence. The application for registration is effective for three years.
Other Arkansas Rural Practice Programs
For additional opportunities for rural communities, physicians, and students interested in rural health, connect to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Medicine Rural Programs.
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