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Indian health professionals have a number of loan repayment program options through which they can receive financial support. The Indian Health Service (IHS) and the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) support two such programs for health professionals interested in a career in Indian health. Nurses are also eligible for loan repayment through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program.
IHS Loan Repayment Program (LRP)
Many health professionals seek the financial freedom that comes with an IHS Loan Repayment Program (LRP) award. The IHS LRP was created to support the mission of IHS while providing dedicated Indian health professionals with the financial support to pursue an uncommon path.
An LRP award provides $20,000 per year toward the repayment of health profession education loans. In exchange for this support, IHS LRP award recipients agree to serve at an Indian health facility identified as having a staffing need. Your initial two-year commitment can start you on a path to achieving your career goals sooner than you thought possible.
Through the years, I've worked with great people and enjoyed great opportunities. I've worked at the clinical level, the policy level, even the national level – and now I'm teaching. The Public Health Service offers a way to have a fascinating career.”
IHS Loan Repayment Recipient
Visit the IHS Loan Repayment Program website for more information on the program and how to apply for an award.
IHS Supplemental Loan Repayment Program (SLRP)
The Supplemental Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) is an innovative loan repayment vehicle available through IHS and is designed to attract health professionals to facilities that otherwise wouldn't be able to offer loan repayment as an incentive.
This program is supported by specific Area offices and individual facilities and aids in the recruitment and retention of valuable health professionals across a number of disciplines.
Contact the IHS LRP branch office at (301) 443-3396 for more information about SLRP opportunities.
NHSC Loan Repayment Program
The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) is a network of primary health care professionals that provides vital health care to historically underserved communities throughout the United States and its territories. The NHSC offers loan repayment to qualified health care professionals who are dedicated to practicing primary health care in medically underserved areas, which include all Indian health facilities.
Clinicians may be eligible to receive an initial award of up to $60,000 for two years of full-time service or four years of half-time service. Continued service provides the opportunity to pay off all qualified health professional student loans.
Visit the NHSC website for additional information.
HRSA Nursing Education Loan Repayment
The Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program, offered through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) helps alleviate the critical shortage of nurses by offering loan repayment assistance. Registered nurses and advanced practice registered nurses (nurse practitioners) are eligible for financial assistance in return for working in a Critical Shortage Facility, which includes all Indian health facilities.
Visit the HRSA Nursing Education website for additional information.