New program helps nurses pay off student loans
BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - If you are a nurse, you may be eligible for the state to pay off some of your student loans.
The nurse retention loan repayment program will help nurses all over the state, ease their financial burden.
“Anybody that’s a first-year graduate, so they have been in nursing their first year. If they are working in an acute care setting or a skilled home nursing setting. Like a nursing home or some other long-term care facility, they’re eligible to have any loans that they have outstanding repaid,” Dr. Lachel Story said.
Dr. Lachel Story Dean of USM’s College of Nursing and Health Professions explains the award will be up to $6,000 a year for three years.
“They just have to continue to work full time in these facilities during that loan repayment program. First year they’ll forgive up to $6,000. The next year they’ll forgive another $6,000 until they get up to $18,000,” Story said.
The program was created to help retain new nurses in Mississippi by helping them repay their student loans.
“We’ve been dealing with a nursing shortage well before COVID. COVID just shined a lot of light and made it worse. On top of that, we are also dealing with a nursing faculty shortage and other providers like nurse anesthesia. We’ve been dealing with that for some time,” Story said.
The awards will be paid annually to the lender or loan servicer. Dr. Story believes the program will help retain nurses in the state.
“It’s exciting to see those people be supported because if they are already a Mississippi resident when they go to school, they are more likely to hang around. Even if they leave for a little while, they are likely to come back,” Story said.
Applications for the program open on August 4. Awards will be given on a first-come, first-served basis.
You can apply online at www.msfinancialaid.org/NULR/.
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