HRSA strives to achieve a health workforce that is diverse, well-trained, and widely dispersed throughout the Nation. HRSA administers programs such as the National Health Service Corps in which individuals accept loan repayments or scholarships in primary care training in exchange for service in medically underserved areas.
• More than 27,000 health professionals have served with the National Health Service Corps since 1972. Today, more than 4,000 clinicians/ health care professionals work to improve the health outcomes of underserved populations and communities.
• More than 78 percent of National Health Service Corps clinicians remain in service to underserved communities beyond their 2-year minimum commitment to the Corps.
• After 15 years of service, 52 percent of National Health Service Corps graduates remain in service to underserved communities.
HRSA provides scholarships and loan repayment awards directly to health professions’ students and clinicians who agree to practice their discipline in an underserved area through the National Health Service Corps. NHSC clinicians serve in all 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Pacific Basin. Sixty percent of the clinicians are in rural and frontier America and 40 percent serve in inner cities.
Over 4,000 primary care, oral, mental, and behavioral health clinicians in the Corps are improving the health of approximately 6 million people residing in health professional shortage areas.
Over the past 3 years, the 1-year retention in service to the underserved has ranged from 75-80 percent. The 5-year retention rate is 68 percent and the 15-year retention rate is 52 percent.
Sixty-six United States Public Health Service Commissioned Officers are serving in some of the neediest health professional shortage areas across the Nation and are trained in disaster and emergency response. To date, they have been called to serve in response to natural disasters and to assist with military readiness.
The Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program assists registered nurses by repaying up to 85 percent of their qualified educational loans over 3 years in return for their services at health facilities with a critical shortage of nurses.
The Nursing Scholarship Program provides financial aid to nursing students in return for their working a minimum of 2 years in a health care facility with a critical shortage of nurses.
The Faculty Loan Repayment Program provides a financial incentive for degree-trained health professionals from disadvantaged backgrounds to pursue academic careers. Individuals selected agree to serve on the faculty of an accredited health professions college or university for a minimum of 2 years. In return, the Federal Government agrees to pay, for each year of faculty service, up to $20,000 of the outstanding principle and interest on the participant's educational loans.
The Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program improves the health status of Native Hawaiians by providing scholarships to Native Hawaiians pursuing careers in designated health professions. The scholarship recipients receive training to be culturally competent in the delivery of primary health care services to Native Hawaiians as well as disadvantaged and vulnerable populations in underserved rural communities in the State of Hawaii.