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Rhode Island offers liberal loan programs for nurses/nurse educators.

The Rhode Island Student Loan Authority (RISLA) recently announced two incentive programs designed to draw more students into the fields of nursing and nursing education, and to keep them working in the state for at least four years. Both programs, which according to RISLA "are among the most generous incentives in the country for encouraging and retaining nurses and nurse faculty members," offer interest-free loans to help nurses pay off their student debt in addition to some loan forgiveness.

To encourage nursing school graduates to work in Rhode Island upon graduation, RISLA's Nursing Rewards Program offers an interest-free Stafford Loan and $1,000 per year of principal forgiveness during the first four years of repayment. In order to qualify for the program, an applicant must be an RN or LPN licensed to practice in Rhode Island and currently providing direct care to patients at a licensed Rhode Island facility.

The second program--aimed at offsetting a looming shortage of nursing faculty members in the state--offers an interest-free Stafford Loan, along with $5,000 per year of principal forgiveness during the first four years. In order to qualify for this program, an applicant must be a nurse with a master's degree and teaching at one of the state's nursing schools.

RISLA executive director Noel Simpson explained that the programs are being offered to combat the state's nurse shortage, which is predicted to increase to as much as 25 percent in 2010 and 55 percent by 2020, as well as the growing shortage of faculty members in the state's nursing schools. The nurse educator shortage, Simpson said, could lead to delays in students completing their nursing degrees and put further strain on Rhode Island's health care system.
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Title Annotation:From the States ...
Publication:Nursing Education Policy Newsletter
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1U1RI
Date:Sep 1, 2007
Previous Article:New York nursing education bill in committee.
Next Article:Tennessee Loan Forgiveness Program meets goal.

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