The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has announced $293 million in awards to primary healthcare clinicians and students through the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) and Nurse Corps programs.
“These programs connect primary care providers with the rural, urban, and tribal communities across the country that need them most,” said HRSA administrator George Sigounas, MS, PhD. “In addition to providing essential medical and dental care, these clinicians are on the front lines helping to fight pressing public health issues, like the growing opioid epidemic.”
The NHSC and Nurse Corps programs build healthy communities by providing scholarships and loan repayment to healthcare providers in exchange for working in areas of the United States with limited access to care.
About 13 million patients currently receive care from more than 12,500 NHSC and Nurse Corps clinicians. Another 1,725 primary care students are now in school or residency preparing for future service with the Corps programs.
“For decades, NHSC and Nurse Corps clinicians have been caring for vulnerable patients who might otherwise go without treatment,” said HRSA associate administrator for health workforce Luis Padilla, MD.
These awards will support the following programs:
- The NHSC Scholarship Program ($47.1 million) will provide 222 new awards and seven continuation awards to students pursuing primary care training leading to a degree in medicine or dentistry or a degree as a nurse-midwife, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner in exchange for providing primary healthcare services in areas of greatest need.
- The NHSC Loan Repayment Program ($142.1 million) will provide 3,262 new awards and 2,384 one-year continuation awards to fully trained, licensed primary care clinicians in exchange for providing primary healthcare services in an area of greatest need.
- The NHSC Students to Service Loan Repayment Program ($19.3 million) will provide 162 new awards for loan repayment assistance to medical and dental students in their last year of school in return for their choosing primary care as a practice focus and working in rural and urban areas of greatest need.
- The NHSC State Loan Repayment Program ($12.6 million) will provide cost-sharing grants to 37 states and territories that operate their own loan repayment programs, funding 1,350 new and continuation awards.
- The Faculty Loan Repayment Program ($1.1 million) will provide 23 new awards to health professions educators in exchange for serving as a faculty member in an accredited and eligible health professions school. The program also encourages participants to promote careers in their respective healthcare fields.
- The Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program ($900,000) will provide nine new awards and one continuation award to Native Hawaiian health professions students trained in those disciplines and specialties most needed to deliver quality, culturally competent, primary health services to Native Hawaiians in the state.