Loan repayment

  1. I would like to hear from anyone who has qualified for NELRP (Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program). I have looked at their website but still have some questions:
    What hoops do you have to jump through?
    How do you find out if your hospital qualifies?
    How much does it REALLY pay?

    Any other comments would be appreciated.
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   colleen10
    Hi Fourbirds,

    Wish I could give some insight but I am starting school in the fall and have been hoping that once I graduate I will be able to use the NELRP to help pay off my student debt.

    The website makes it sound really easy to apply and be accepted but I really wonder if it is.

    Will be interested in seeign what others have to say about it.
  4. by   fourbirds4me
    Colleen,
    Have you checked into the program that pays your school and gives you a stipend. http://bhpr.hrsa.gov/nursing/scholarship/default.htm
    I don't know anyone who is taking part in that either.
  5. by   twarlik
    I looked into that nursing scholarship and it's really only for people in serious financial need. I didn't even bother to apply since I made too much money last year.
    The loan repayment program looks interesting, however I'm curious as to what facilities are really eligible. It looks like just about any hospital is acceptable. Could this be true?
  6. by   colleen10
    Hi Fourbirds,

    Thanks for the website, I have not come across this before.

    Twarlik,

    The website that I checked out about the "Loan Repayment" clearly spelled out what schools were acceptable and what you had to do to apply but it was a quite shadey about the facilities that you would have to work at after you graduate. Made me wonder......................
  7. by   twarlik
    Originally posted by colleen10
    The website that I checked out about the "Loan Repayment" clearly spelled out what schools were acceptable and what you had to do to apply but it was a quite shadey about the facilities that you would have to work at after you graduate.
    Yeah, that's sort of what bothered me. It says that hospitals are eligible, but does that mean ALL hospitals are eligible or only ones that they have deemed as being the most "in need"? Very unclear. I think I might ask for more information to so as to clarify this.
  8. by   fourbirds4me
    My concern is this.... You do not qualify for the loan repayment if you are "obligated" to a facility. Which means if I take a sign on bonus I am out. One facility is offering $6000. The facility I REALLY want to work at is offering like a $1500 "education reimbursement". I'm not sure what kind of commitment comes with that.

    So I'm wondering whether to take the bonuses or not. What if I don't take them and end up not qualifying anyway. This is all about as clear as mud.... but that's the government for ya!

    Anyway... surprised this topic hasn't got more replies.
  9. by   llg
    I looked into the NELRP last year in an effort to help some of the nurses who work in my hospital receive the help they offer. I had a very disappointing experience in that talking with them, getting information, etc. is very difficult. (People not returning phone calls, not being able to anwer basic questions when I did get them on the phone, etc.)

    So ... the impressions I am going to share below might not be totally correct. But this is the best I could figure out.

    Apparently, many (but not all) hospitals are officially eligible. However, there is limited money available, forcing them to rank the hospitals according to the degree of nursing shortage in their region. The money goes to nurses working in the hospitals in the areas of greatest need first, then to those with lesser need.

    Because my town was considered to be of low priority and neighboring towns (that I can see out my office window) were considered to be of high priority, I was curious as to how the priority rankings were established. No one at their office could tell me from where they get their figures to determine the degree of the shortage and the hospital's need.

    Last year's guidelines also said that they rank/prioritize applicants based on their degree of financial need. The degree of need is based on the amount of your student loan compared to the amount you are earning as an RN. For example, if you are making $45,000.00 as an RN and your loan is $10,000.00 you are ranked of much lower priority than someone making the same salary whose loan is $50,000.00 because you should have a much easier time paying it off out of your salary.

    I helped several people complete the application process, but no one at my hospital was selected to receive any money. I think it was because the town was not on the "high priority list" even though many of our nurses live in the neighboring towns that are on that list.

    All that said, if I had a large student loan, I would apply -- because you never know when funding may be increased, the priority list changed, etc.

    Good luck,
    llg
    Last edit by llg on Jul 24, '03
  10. by   colleen10
    Hmmmmmm..... LLG, thanks for the input.

    It has put a lot of it into perspective.

    Also, I think it's great that you tried to help out your fellow co-workers by investigating this.
  11. by   llg
    Originally posted by colleen10
    Hmmmmmm..... LLG, thanks for the input.

    It has put a lot of it into perspective.

    Also, I think it's great that you tried to help out your fellow co-workers by investigating this.
    Thank you. It's my job -- fortunately, a job I believe in. My job is to work on special projects related to the nursing shortage -- improve recruitment and retention, monitor our use of nursing resources, etc. I thought it would be good to help people get loan repayment funds -- so, I got all the informatin and helped people apply. It was to no avail, however, and very disappointing.

    It breaks my heart to see threads on this board sometimes turn into a bashing of everyone in leadership positions -- as if all we do is sit around trying to find ways to hurt staff nurses. Some of us are really trying to make things better, and some hospitals really are doing the best they can under difficult circumstances.

    Thanks again,
    llg

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