Student Loan Forgiveness for Nurses: The Programs You Need to Know

04:49 AM May 22, 2019

There are over five federal student loan forgiveness programs for nurses and almost every state has its own nursing student loan forgiveness program. Based on popular demand, I’ve compiled a full list of federal and state nursing student loan forgiveness programs available in the United States. Read more Medical courses like nursing, pharmacy, medicine, and surgery are quite expensive in the states. And even Americans living slightly above the poverty rate can’t afford these college fees without incurring debt.

Undergraduates of nursing department incur debts with the hope of paying back after graduation. However, the story changes when the after-college reality dawns on them, they start to see the need for applying for loan forgiveness programs. And you know what! It’s okay to seek loan forgiveness.  In fact, the United States federal government alongside state governments has created a structure to help nurses who want to be assisted in paying back their loans.


Are you ready to get out of debt? If yes, then, let’s get started.

What is a Forgivable Loan?

Student Loan Forgiveness for Nurses: The Programs You Need to Know

Forgivable loan, also known as a soft second is any form of a loan which its total or partial payment can be forgiven for a duration of time by the lender. Stipulations must be met by the borrower. Forgivable debts vary from the usual debts that end when the full amount is repaid. The lender defines specific conditions and forgives the loan when the criteria are fulfilled. But if the criteria aren’t met the borrower is required to pay the full loan with interests.

Technically, forgivable loans are incentives for the applicant to reach a goal set by the lender. This is also used as a corporate tool.  For instance, let’s say a fir, wants to poach an advisor from one of their competitors. The firm may offer the advisor and incentive planned as a five-year loan if he/she switches to the firm. The forgivable debt is divided into a five-year loan. As each year would require the same payment. As long as the financial advisor stays in the firm, each year’s loan is forgiven. Unfortunately, not all loans are forgivable.

What Are the Types of Forgivable Loans Available for in the United States?

Forgivable loans are not limited to employees, like nurses and doctors. Even businessmen can be offered forgivable loans by the government. Forgivable loans are grouped due to the events surrounding the loan and the aim of the lender. Forgivable instance, a business forgivable loan is such that attracts companies in a particular industry into a state or country.  I’ve compiled the three major loans that every American nurse access seamlessly. Below are the three forgivable loans available in the United States;

Housing Loans

Student Loan Forgiveness for Nurses: The Programs You Need to Know

In perilous times, when a natural disaster makes millions of United States citizens or immigrants homeless, the state or federal government could come to the aid of homeowners, whose houses need repair or building, depending on the level of devastation.

In most cases, housing Loans are only made available to; low-income house owners, rural residents, senior citizens and special citizens (those with disabilities). The loan is forgiven if the borrower fulfills all the housing conditions, which might include staying on their homes for a specific duration of time. But as we said earlier, the loans won’t be pardoned, if the borrower defaults payment before the stipulated criteria are achieved.  Forgivable loans are best referred to as a gift of forgiveness that comes with wrapping paper of duties. 

Employee Incentives

Student Loan Forgiveness for Nurses: The Programs You Need to Know


A company that doesn’t cherish its employees often lose them to poachers. That’s why companies attract and sustain top-notch employees with forgivable loans.

To retain highly skilled employees, companies use forgivable loans, which serves as a work bonus. Employees who meet the conditions are forgiven while the defaulters are required to pay back and penalized according to the initial agreement of the loan. Most employee Incentives serve as sticky loans, which are meant to keep the employee in the company for an agreed duration of time.

Bad Debt

Student Loan Forgiveness for Nurses: The Programs You Need to Know

Lenders may all seem they are bent on making a profit, that’s not the case every time. Sometimes, lenders lose funds when borrowers aren’t capable of paying back their loans. In such cases, an alternative is necessary and this gives rise to debt settlement.

There are different ways to solve such cases, but a very prominent solution is for the borrower to pay a small amount out of the principal while the remaining debts are forgiven by the lender. Both parties have to make sacrifices, but no party bears the alternative sacrifice.

Student Loan Forgiveness for Nurses: The Programs You Need to Know

Student Loan Forgiveness for Nurses: The Programs You Need to Know

As we opined earlier, almost every state has forgivable student loans for nurses. There are over 50 legit forgiveness programs, namely;

Federal Student Loan Forgiveness for Nurses

The USA federal government sponsors Federal student loan forgiveness programs for nurses. To qualify for nursing student debt programs, nurses have to consolidate their loans, fulfill the individual requirement of each initiative, and maintain a good credit score.

Below are the different types of federal student loan forgiveness programs for nurses

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

The public service loan forgiveness program is a debt-relief initiative created under the Department of Education. And guess what! Nurses qualify. According to the College Cost reduction and access act of 2007, borrowers who have taken direct loans on or after October 1, 2007, would be pardoned.

The nurse practitioner student loan forgiveness is open to public workers that have made 120 monthly payments to the lender while holding a full-time public service work, or an NGO job during that ten-year duration. All public health workers qualify, but the nature of the loan agreement taken might be disqualified. Check their conditions to ensure your loan is forgivable.

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NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program (LRP)

With Nurse Corps LRP, you can kill two birds with a stone. The forgiveness program gives you the opportunity to work in an eligible critical shortage facility in a high need area or accredited nursing school for 2-year duration. And as a reward for that, 60% of your current nursing education debt would be paid by the Nurse Corps LRP.

The basic idea behind Nurse Corps LRP is to make working at a critical shortage facility appealing to nursing professionals licensed nurses, nurse department workers, and top practice registered nurses.

You can extend your two-year program by an extra year. Nurse Corps LRP would pay 25% of your loan starting balance.

National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Loan Repayment Program

The NHSC loan repayment program is restricted to primary care nurses, certified midwives, and psychiatric nursing specialists. The forgiveness program offers debt-relief in exchange for working in high need societies.

The program requires you to work at an NHSC-accredited Health professional area site for nothing less than two years. The amount paid per nurse depends on the HPSA score of the site chosen. The HPSA Score for sites with 14-26 is $50,000 for full-time workers and $25,000 for halftime workers. For sites with HPSA Score of 0-13, full-time nurses are paid $30,000 for full-time workers while half-time workers are paid $15,000.

You can apply for both NHSC loan repayment program and NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program (LRP), but if accepted by both, you must decline one for the other. Unlike Nurse Corps LRP, NHSC loan repayment program offers debt-relief for part-time nurses.

Perkins Loan Cancellation for Nurses

The Perkins loan cancellation program for nurses offer student loan programs for nurses, nursing assistants, and practicing nurses. If accepted, you’re a percentage of your debt would be forgiven per year of service. Here’s how to arrive at the percentage:

  • 15% forgiven after one and two years of full-time work.
  • 20% forgiven after three and four years of full-time work.
  • 30% forgiven after five years of full-time work.

Perkins loan cancellation is twice as fast as PSLF program and after five years of service, 100 percent of your debt would be forgiven. Opposite to the mode of application of other federal loan forgiveness programs, you’d apply directly to the college that approved you the Federal Perkins loan.

State Loan Forgiveness for Nurses

Like we stated earlier, almost all American states provide at least a nursing forgivable loan program for nurses.  The basic requirement for most state loan forgiveness program is to serve in a health professional shortage area for a specific duration of time. HPSA are sites that lack qualified nurse practitioners. To qualify for state loan forgiveness, you must be licensed in that particular state. Check your state below:

Alabama Loan Forgiveness for Nurses

Certified nurses, who are interested in pursuing a CRNA, CRNP, and CNM degree have the privilege of applying for Alabama’s advanced practice loan repayment program. If awarded, you’ll get $12,000 for your education.


  • Work for 18-months in a board-defined area of critical need after graduation.
  • Proof of Alabama residency (for at least one year).
  • You cannot apply till after three years of funding.

Alaska Loan Forgiveness for Nurses

The Alaska state government has made necessary provisions for nurses, who’re in need of debt-relief. Those interested can not be enrolled into any other federal government forgiveness program, National Health Service Corps and NURSE Corps loan repayment program.

There forgiveness scheme in Alaska can be divided into two, namely;


  •  $20,000 debt pardoned for each year, as a reward for two-year work in Alaska HPSA. You’ll make $27,000 at a full-time position.


  • SHARP-II offers additional funding for three extra years in service to the Alaska state government. The maximum you can use in this program is 12 years.
  • To qualify for SHARP-II, you must achieve a 25% match and commit three years of your life to work in the Alaskan HPSA.

Arizona Loan Forgiveness for Nurses

Arizona State has two student loan forgiveness for nurse practitioners, namely: Primary Care Provider Loan Repayment Program and Rural Private Primary Care Provider Loan Repayment Program. If accepted, you’d be forgiven $50,000 worth of debt and there’s a good chance they’d let you renew your slot.


  • National Health Service Corps or Nurse Corps program-not approved.
  • Full-time or half-time job
  • Needful to work in Arizona HPSA
  • This program requires at least two years of service

California Loan Forgiveness for Nurses

California state government has the interest of medical practitioners at heart. This state offers undergraduates of nursing numerous scholarships. There are two basic programs offered in California, namely:

Bachelor of Science Nursing Loan Repayment Program

  • The approved sites are Health Professional Shortage Area, Medically Underserved Area (MUA), and a Veterans facility or state prison. The program guarantees $10,000 worth of debt forgiveness.

Advanced Practice Healthcare Loan Repayment Program

  • This program is suitable for Certified midwives and nurses. If approved, you’d have to work full-time for twelve months in a medically underserved area.

Colorado Loan Forgiveness for Nurses

Part-time or full-time certified midwives, psychiatric nurses, and nurse practitioners. If accepted,  you’d be given $50,000 worth of loan forgiveness.


  • Must work in a health professional shortage area for three-year service
  • Nurses who are currently under a federal government loan forgiveness program aren’t qualified.

Delaware Loan Forgiveness for Nurses

Delaware State Loan Repayment program accepts certified nurse midwives, Nurse practitioners, and psychiatric nurse specialists. The least payment in loan forgiveness is $30,000 for two years and the highest payment in loan forgiveness is $100,000.

You can also apply for a one-year extension after the two-year program. The payment in debt forgiveness for the extra year is around  $30,000.


  • Must work HPSA for two years
  • Applicable to federal and state loans
  • Required to present a 50% match.
  • Available for state and federal loans.

District of Columbia Loan Forgiveness for Nurses

The Washington D.C Health professionals loan repayment program guarantees $79,876 worth of loan forgiveness to advanced practice nurses.  A year in HPLRP takes care of 18% of your total loan balance, 26% in the second year, and  38% in the third and fourth years.


  • Render full-time services at an accredited service obligation site.
  • Agree to cater to patients in an approved facility.

Florida Loan Forgiveness for Nurses

Florida State fights the lack of nurses in specific areas by temporarily assigning indebted nurses to accredited areas such as; state healthcare facilities, specialty hospitals for children, teaching hospitals, public schools, and county health departments — in exchange for $4,000 worth of debt forgiveness per annum.


  • Only Florida licensed nurses qualify
  • Can be renewed for another four years.

Georgia Loan Forgiveness for Nurses

Georgia’s advanced practice registered nurse Loan Repayment Program  (APRNLRP) offers loan forgiveness of $10,000 per annum.  If accepted, you’d be required to work in an underserved rural Georgia county. 


  • Must possess a Georgian license to practice
  • The award method is first to come, first serve.
  • Applications begin on the 1st of September.

Hawaii Loan Forgiveness for Nurses

Certified nurse midwives and primary care advanced practice nurse practitioners are able to apply to the Hawaii State Loan Repayment Program.


  • Must provide 50% match from a donor
  • Apply on the first day of every month
  • Work full-time for two consecutive years or halftime for four years.
  • Nurses who are currently in a federal or state loan repayment program may not apply.

Idaho Loan Forgiveness for Nurses

The Idaho state loan repayment program is open to Nurses, midwives, and psychiatric nurse specialists. The range of payment includes; $10,000 – $20,000 (halftime) and $20,000 – $30,000 (full-time).


  • Can work half-time or full-time
  • Funds received from this program aren’t taxable.
  • Operates on a 1:1 matching system, which demonstrates mutual and equal funding from the federal government and the assigned site.

Illinois Loan Forgiveness for Nurses

This program aims at encouraging teaching among nurses. Interested nurses can get $5,000 worth of loan forgiveness per annum.


  • Renewed up to four times
  • The maximum reward you can get in a four-year program is $20,000
  • Only nurses, who’ve served as educators for not less than twelve consecutive months can apply.

Iowa Loan Forgiveness for Nurses

The Iowa Registered Nurse and Nurse Educator Loan Forgiveness program offer a 20% loan forgiveness to certified nurses working in Iowa and nurse educators with MSC, or Ph.D.  


  • Required to work for a minimum of quarter-time
  • Up to a five-year extension.

Kansas Loan Forgiveness for Nurses

Kansas State Loan Repayment Program accepts certified nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, or psychiatric nurse specialists who’re interested in working Kansas HPSA.  In exchange for a two-year service, nurses would be given $40,000 worth of student loan forgiveness.


  • Not available for nurses who are under federal or state debt-relief programs
  • The funds received are tax-free
  • Applicable to federal and state loans
  • Must be willing to work in an accredited primary care specialty located in any Kansas HPSA.

Kentucky Loan Forgiveness for Nurses

The Kentucky State government, alongside accredited employers and the NHSC, offers forgiveness programs to eligible nurses. Thirteen nurses would receive a grant of $300,000 per annum. The debt forgiven range is between $20,000 to $40,000 for nurses and nurse practitioners.


  • Only licensed nurses are eligible to apply.
  • A 1:1 match, which can come from the site admin or national foundations is requested by the federal government.
  • The nurse and employer must adhere to a two-year commitment.

Louisiana Loan Forgiveness for Nurses

the Louisiana State Loan Repayment Program is open to nurse practitioners, licensed nurse midwives, and psychiatric nurse specialists. If accepted, you’d get $45,000 worth of loan forgiveness in three years ($15,000 per annum). You can ask for a two-year extension, which attracts an extra $24,000 worth of loan repayment.


  • Must serve full-time in a federally HPSA
  • Only licensed nurses are eligible for this offer
  • Full-time work T federal HPSA is mandatory

Maryland Loan Forgiveness for Nurses

Interested nurses can apply for the Janet L. Hoffman Loan Assistance Repayment Program (LARP). The three-year program offers $30,000 as loan forgiveness in exchange for working in underserved residents.


  • Service is full-time
  • Candidates must possess a degree (from Maryland college)
  • Annual gross salary of single applicants must not exceed  $60,000
  • Yearly gross salary of married applicants must not exceed  $60,000 and the joint salaries of couples must not exceed $130,000
  • Candidates must residents and work in Maryland
  • Nurse faculty members: yearly gross salary shouldn’t be more than $75,000 and married couples joint salaries must not exceed $160,000
  • Candidates must not be beneficiaries of other states loan repayment programs. 
  • The funds released depends on your loan balance. One-third would be awarded yearly. Plus, you can request for monthly payments, if you want.
  • Nurses who’re are currently benefitting from the Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness program can also apply.

Massachusetts Loan Forgiveness for Nurses

Massachusetts Loan Repayment Program (MLRP) is open to Nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives, and psychiatric nurse specialists. The reward for participating in this program for two years in a roll is $50,000 worth of loan forgiveness. Individuals would be required to do so for four years. This time frame would come into effect if they chose to work part-time.


  • Applicants must be free of other incentive programs.
  • Can work full-time or part-time in an accredited facility in Massachusetts.
  • Must be a resident and worker in Massachusetts.

Final Thoughts

Most state loan forgiveness programs except Maryland LARP emphasize on not being a beneficiary of federal Loan forgiveness programs at the time of submission. It is important to consider applying for a loan forgiveness program. The program will ensure terms and conditions are understood before accepting the offer. Some requirements or HPSA aren’t healthy for some set of individuals.

If I missed your state or you want me to write a full review of your state’s loan repayment program, kindly signify in the comment box. And don’t forget keeping a good credit score can anoint your application, as the right pick. 

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