Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

If you want to apply to a Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness program, you will find that you are in luck. Currently, getting rid of student debts for nursing education is relatively easy. Compared to other cancellation or discharge programs, this field offers a lot of conveniences. Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness is quick to attain and has eligibility conditions that most applicants can satisfy. Below listed are the different options for forgiveness or discharge programs. Each of them gives a general overview of the plans, but you can find more detailed information by choosing one. Let’s find a way to eliminate loans faster at reasonable costs!

Do not forget…

Before starting the explanations of various programs, you should be aware of the challenges. Though some Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness programs will fit your qualification perfectly, getting forgiveness can take several years. Additionally, you might be disqualified if you do not apply properly or misunderstand some criteria. It is also possible that getting help from discharge or cancellation can cost you considerably and put in a more challenging financial situation. 

To avoid all those problems, it is better to partner with a more informed organization. Forget Student Debt specializes in this field, and our experts have extensive knowledge of current programs, as well as, possible changes and updates. We will help you to choose the most suitable forgiveness programs and guide you through the whole overwhelming documentation process. Do not worry; it is okay to feel overloaded and need a helping hand. Forget Student Debt is here to answer all your concerns and questions.

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Current Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Plans

Nowadays, there are many available options to get rid of student loans that you incurred during nursing school. Federal, state-funded, or private programs exist, which give you a chance to eliminate your outstanding balance of the debt. It is highly probable that you will qualify for more than one application. The advantage of those solutions is that some of them let you get double benefit, i.e. awarded by two programs simultaneously. 

In general, federal programs are easy to apply and offer considerable benefits. Meanwhile, state-funded programs are smaller, but they can be more suitable as per your qualifications. There are also privately-funded solutions. These programs are usually smaller, which means only a few people can get the reward. However, sometimes they offer the highest amount of forgiveness, so they are worth applying. 

The most challenging stage of the process is determining the programs you want to apply. Each of them has different application criteria. Among the options, you need to find the fastest plan to ensure a higher probability of forgiveness. Keep reading to have a better understanding of options and to choose the most suitable one.

Federal Nursing Loan Forgiveness Plans

As mentioned before, federal programs are usually easy-to-apply and offer considerable benefits. If you have a nursing education, there are a wide variety of federal programs available for you:

  • The NHSC Scholarship 
  • The NHSC Repayment of Loans
  • The NHSC Substance Use Disorder Workforce LR
  • The Nurse Corps LRP
  • The Perkins Forgiveness Program
  • The PSLF

If you are working as a full-time nurse, there is a high chance that you will be qualified to enjoy the benefits of these solutions. However, if you are not eligible for any, do not worry. We are also going to discuss state-funded programs below. Try to read the overview of each forgiveness plan carefully so as not to miss any opportunity.

The NHSC Scholarship Opportunity

The awarding process of this scholarship plan is very different from Nursing Student Forgiveness, but we need to add, a forgiveness program is for getting rid of the debts. On the contrary, this scholarship program works a little differently- it stops you from getting a loan. In other words, a scholarship program provides you with funds to study. Therefore, you do not need to pay for any loan later. 

The NHSC Scholarship has significant benefits for students who wish to pursue a degree in nursing. The scholarship is also more beneficial than other scholarships. The first reason is that it covers all study costs and gives a monthly amount. Some plans cover only the tuition fee. As a result, you still need more money for living expenses. However, the scholarship considers this issue and awards you with a monthly fund. The second reason is that it includes all study-related costs, not only tuition fees. It is not common that a scholarship program pays for summer school, books, uniforms, travel expenses, insurance, and even computers. Lastly, you will have a very high stipend amount every month – around $1400 before tax. Also, there is no restriction or control over this stipend. You can use it how you wish.

Selection factors for this scholarship include your academic performance, reference letters, answers to essay questions, and resume. Therefore, students with higher academic achievements will have better chances of selection.


This Loan Repayment aims to improve access to healthcare in locations that desperately need additional assistance. Usually, forgiveness programs are only available to people who work full time. The superiority of this student loan repayment is that it is available even to nurses with half-time work. Also, some forgiveness plans require a long period of services, such as five-year mandatory work or ten years of eligible payments. However, you can receive an award here with only two years of full-time service. Note that for part-time nurses, the duration of service is four years. The third benefit of the repayment is that the funds you receive are not taxable. It means you do not need to pay any additional tax for the forgiven amount. Lastly, you might also get a chance to sign another contract and get further forgiveness after two years. 

If you are working full-time, $50k from your debt will be erased while this amount is $30k for part-time nurses. Yet, considering the short period of service, it is entirely worth the effort. As mentioned before, you might also extend your contract and decrease your debt even more. There is no guarantee for an extension, but if you are lucky, you can serve five years and get up to $100k forgiveness. 

Lastly, you need to consider that as you will work in poor socio-economic places, you might get a lower salary during your service period. This student loan repayment does not interfere with any salary negotiation process. Consider this challenge before applying for the NHSC LR.

The NHSC LRP for Substance Disorder Workers

This Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness plan can be seen as a variation of the NHSC LR opportunity. Again, the aim is improving healthcare services in underserved areas. However, this time the opioid crisis is the core target. Opioid crisis needs a comprehensive treatment that includes both medication and behavioral health counseling. Therefore, the program tries to recruit and retain SUB-related health professionals to treat people and avoid any death cases of overdosing.

Luckily, this student loan repayment program provides access to a wide range of nursing employees, including Nurse Practitioners, Physicians, or Certified Nurse-Midwives. Similar to other programs, you need to serve mandatorily for three years in an HPSA. If your application is successful, your debt will decrease by $75k. To be honest, this forgiveness benefit seems the biggest and fastest package among current programs.

This Loan Repayment Plan is accessible to both full and part-time nurses. In the NHSC LRP half-time workers needed to serve twice much to get the same reward with full-time nurses. However, this program is somewhat different. If you serve part-time, you do not need to serve six years instead of three. Yet, your reward will be half of the regular amount- $37.5k. This amount is still satisfactory forgiveness considering your total debt and short time service requirement. 

Another point of difference is that if your workplace had a low HPSA score for the original NHSC LRP, you could still be eligible for the NHSC SUD LRP. The reason is that here the scope of targeted HPSAs are narrower. Therefore, even if your workplace did not qualify for the original program, you can be eligible for this repayment plan. 

The Nurse Corps LRP

The main aim of this repayment program is increasing the nursing workforce in underserved communities. The Bureau of Health Workforce(BHW) administers this program, which gives a chance to nurses to get up to 85% reduction in their student debt. Only registered nurses (RNs), advanced practice nurses (APRNs), and nurse faculty (NF) can be eligible for this program. In return for their significant debt relief, they must work full-time, at least two years at any Critical Shortage Facility (CSF) around the country or be a nurse faculty in an eligible school. CSF is an underserved hospital or clinic that lacks the workforce to serve better. 

This program also aims to support women’s health. Therefore, it provides an additional $750k amount for the 2020 application cycle. People working in women’s health-related positions will be eligible for this amount. Plus, this repayment program award applicants based on the decreasing debt to income ratio until all funds are allocated. It means, if you have more liability compared to your income, you have a higher chance to receive loan repayment

Additionally, an 85% reduction needs clarification. If you are willing to serve in a CSF for two years, you will get only 60% forgiveness. However, if you want to extend your service one more year, then you get additional funds to eliminate an extra 25% of your debt. To conclude, you should work only three years in areas where people need your service to get rid of 85% of your outstanding balance. Therefore, this program both benefits you financially and ethically as you help people in need to get better healthcare.

The Perkins Forgiveness

Another Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness program is Perkins Forgiveness, which includes both cancellation and discharge opportunities. Cancellation is based on the service, while discharge applies to specific conditions. Some people think that Perkins Loan Cancellation is for educators. Therefore, most people with nursing education do not think that they can benefit from it.

If you are a nurse or licensed medical technician, you can be eligible for the Perkins Loan Discharge and Cancellation. The program eliminates the whole debt amount in return for five years of service. On the other hand, the downside of this Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness is that it applies to Perkins Loans, which only a few people get. As there are fewer debtors, this program might not be able to deliver benefits to the masses. However, if you got debt through a Perkins loan, then you can have a chance to take the advantage.

This program is one of the few programs that eliminates 100% of your debt. Plus, every year of your five-year mandatory work, the debt amount will reduce incrementally. In the first and second year of the service, your debt will decrease by a total of 30% – 15% per year. During the third and fourth years, you will eliminate a total of 40% from your debt – 20% per year. In your fifth year, the remaining 30% will be forgiven. 

There are specific conditions that the discharge program applies. Bankruptcy, closure of your school, total or permanent disability, or service-connected disability builds the ground for eligibility. If you had a spouse who was a victim of 9/11, you can apply for discharge.

You need to contact the school where you got the loan or the school’s Perkins Loan servicer. Then, they will inform you about instruction and hand in the required forms. 

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness 

This loan forgiveness program is one of the most popular ones because it brings vast advantages. It awards people working in the public sector, including nurses. To be eligible, you need to make 120 qualifying payments, which take around ten years. Payments you made after 2007 counts for this forgiveness. Once you have made the 120th payment, it is time to apply for the PSLF program. The most significant benefit of forgiveness is that it erases all remaining debt after ten years. In other words, there is no cap which indicates the maximum amount of debt can be forgiven. 

It might seem simple; however, the PSLF program has very complex eligibility criteria. You need to work full-time with a qualifying employer while making payments. Plus, your loan type and repayment plan also matter. For these reasons, it is advisable to go through each criterion or get expert help from a third party like Forget Student Debt. You can waste your efforts if you make payments that do not qualify for the program.

There are also two problems with this forgiveness. Despite its vast benefits, only 1% of people could get forgiveness. The reasons for the failure include wrong payments, missing documents, etc. It is also possible that only some people can be eligible as payments after the 2007 count. Therefore, as time passes, more debtors will enjoy taking advantage of Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness. Another issue is that the Trump administration proposed to eliminate this program in the budget plan of 2020. There is no decision about the proposal, yet. However, the administration proposed this change in its previous budget plans, too. Therefore, do not be worried too much. We also suggest taking action as soon as possible because of the uncertain future. 

The PSLF for Non-Profit Employees

The PSLF plan is also available to employees of non-profit organizations. We highlight this opportunity separately because many people tend to ignore this characteristic of the PSLF program. Therefore, we felt the urge to discuss it in a section as we believe there are a multitude of nurses serving in not-for-profit companies. In general, the program works the same for non-profit employees as it does for others. 

The best part of this solution is that you do not need to serve in a Health Professional Shortage Areas. While helping people in need in underserved areas is very rewarding emotionally, it can offer fewer benefits financially. In other words, such areas of service are usually socio-economically poor places. It is highly probable that you will not receive much salary during your mandatory commitment for 2-5 years. However, in PSLF, there are no criteria that make you work in Critical Shortage Facilities or Health Professional Shortage Areas. 

The main eligibility criteria include full-time employment in a qualifying workplace and 120 eligible payments. In this statement, you can see a benefit and drawback of PSLF. The advantage is that 120 payments do not need to be consecutive. If, during the qualifying payments, there are periods of working for a non-qualifying employer, it is not a problem. The drawback is that you should serve full-time for the PSLF program, while NHSC repayment plans allowed half-time nurses to take advantage of forgiveness. Yet, to be eligible for PSLF, you can work half-time in more than one organization. If your total work hours per week satisfies full-time employment, then you will be qualified.

Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness Plans at State Level

If you could not find a federal program suitable to you, do not stress. As we mentioned before, there are Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness plans at the state level. Each state has a different approach to nursing education benefits. If they favor forgiveness, they aim to stimulate locals to work in healthcare and attract healthcare providers from other places. However, state plans are not universal. You might be from a state which offers the best options for forgiveness, while others will be residents in states that do not provide financial assistance. If you are lucky, you will receive amazing Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness offers. Otherwise, your odds are not in your favor.

To determine whether you are eligible for any of these forgiveness programs or not, find your residence located in the below list. We wish you good luck! 

Alaska- SHARP Support-for-Service

Alaska is a desirable state for nursing students. This state offers a SHARP Support-for-Service program to get debt forgiveness. The amount of award depends on which tier you belong and type of your position- ‘very hard-to-fill’ or ‘regular fill.’

The first tier involves Primary Care Physician, Pharmacists, and Dentists. If the position is regular, they get $35k forgiveness per year, while ‘very hard-to-fill’ positions bring $47k reduction from your debt. The second tier includes job types such as Nurse Practitioner, Physician Assistant, Registered Nurse, Certified Nurse Midwife, Psychiatric Nurse Specialist, etc. In this tier, the forgiveness for regular type of work is $20k, and for hard-to-fill positions, it is $27k per year.

This Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness solution provides some more benefits. First, the award is not taxable. It means you do not need to pay an extra tax for the forgiven debt amount. Second, forgiveness does not substitute your salary or other benefits from employers. Third, if you have completed the initial two-year service, you can extend the contract. The extension depends if you have a good standing or not. Yet, there is no guarantee for that. 

You need to work full-time or half-time in eligible workplaces, mostly HPSAs of Alaska state, to qualify. It should be a non-profit or governmental organization. In addition, your employer should agree to pay the required employer match. Other factors include the existence of an eligible education loan, U.S citizenship or naturalized citizenship, license, etc.

Arizona LRP

While you might think Arizona is not a state with many funds, it offers an incredible Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness plan. This Student Loan Repayment program provides access to many professionals, including nurses. Debtors get a fantastic award- $50k forgiveness per year of serving. In return, they should work for two years in an eligible workplace. Both full and half-time workers can participate in this plan. 

California’s LR

California is very open-handed in terms of forgiveness, too. If you want to have a higher position in the nursing field, such as management or leading, this program is a mind-blowing opportunity for you. It has two stages, which in total can provide $19k benefit. For your first reward, you will receive $8k debt forgiveness, while this amount will increase to $11k in secondary qualification. 

Colorado Health Service Corps Program

Colorado offers a student loan forgiveness program to nursing students who are ready to serve for three years. Compared to other states, the mandatory service for Colorado’s forgiveness program is a bit longer. However, in return, you get much more substantial forgiveness. The awarding amount is $25k for part-time workers and $50k for full-time employees. Pay attention to the details of the program to find out if you meet all criteria or not.

Forgiveness Plan in Florida

If we compare this program to the before-mentioned state forgiveness, it might be less helpful. Based on this, forgiveness provides $4000 per year of service. The total potential award is $16k, as you can work up to four years. To be eligible, you need to be licensed as a Registered Nurse, Advanced Practice Nurse, or Licensed Practical Nurse. 

Hawaii State LR

If you have a chance to be a nurse in this Aloha state, do not miss this opportunity. This student loan repayment plan rewards applicants and demands two years of full-time or four years of part-time service. Unfortunately, there is no predetermined amount for the forgiveness benefit. The forgiven amount will be known when you are eligible for the program.

Idaho State LR

If you serve in a non-profit or governmental organization, you can be eligible for this State Repayment plan. It provides funds to eligible nurses and other healthcare providers in the range of $5k-$25k per year of service. You can serve two years in Health Professional Shortage Areas.

Illinois Nurse Educator LR

If you are in Illinois and need a student loan forgiveness program for your nursing education loan, you are lucky. The Illinois Nurse Educator Repayment Plan offers $5000 annually. You can take its advantage up to four years, which will total in $20k forgiveness. You need to be a nursing educator and have an outstanding balance of a federal loan to be eligible.  

Iowa Loan Forgiveness

This student loan forgiveness plan provides an opportunity for forgiveness to nurses and nursing educators at eligible colleges and universities. You can get up to a 20% decrease in the outstanding balance of your federal loan. Though it seems like a small decrease, you can take its advantage for five years. The eligibility criteria are simple. The start day of your employment as a nurse or nurse educator should be no earlier than 2007. Plus, you need to serve at least a quarter-time, which is 520 hours per year.

Kansas State LR

Similar to other Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness programs, you should work in an HPSA for two years. Each year you can receive a maximum $20k forgiveness. All healthcare workers, including nurses, are eligible to apply for this program.

Kentucky State Loan Repayment 

Kentucky provides an incredible student loan repayment plan that awards $20-40k for two years of commitment. The exact forgiven amount depends on your role. This program also demands a match, similar to Alaska’s Sharp Support-for-Service plan. 

Louisiana State LR

It is an excellent opportunity for Louisiana state nurses to get $15000 forgiveness per year. You can work a maximum of three years, which will eliminate your $45k debt. In return, you need to serve in a rural area HPSAs or a non-profit organization. During the three years of commitment, you should be a full-time nurse. Also, to be eligible, this Nursing Loan Forgiveness program requires a nursing license and a good standing. Good standing means you should not have any previous default or missed deadlines in your payments.

Maryland LR

This student loan repayment program erases your outstanding debt amount by $1.5k-$10k per year. Eligible applicants can receive this award for a maximum of three times. Qualification requirements demand applicants to work in poor or HPSA workplace. Also, they should get their degree in this state. Lastly, only people earning not more than $60k per year can apply.

Michigan State LR

The rules of this repayment plan are similar to others. The commitment in HPSAs and full-time work is still applicable. You should also agree to work for a minimum of two years. However, if you decide to serve for eight years, you will get incredible forgiveness- up to $200k forgiveness. In case you meet these requirements, put this Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness plan to the top of your list.

Minnesota Nursing Forgiveness

Applicants can receive $5k per year with this program. You can get forgiveness for four years, which will be $20k in total. Though the award is significant, this student loan forgiveness program applies to only a few people. The reason is that it has an extensive eligibility requirement. Only licensed practical nurses and registered nurses who focus on helping developmentally disabled people or works in licensed nursing homes can be eligible. Besides, you should have at least two years of work experience. 

Montana Institutional Nursing Incentive

Though this Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness program is unpredictable, it is better than having no opportunity to avoid your debts. The exact amount of reward is not known because it depends on participant volume, as well as the amount of available funding. The eligibility criteria require applicants to be full-time registered nurses serving in state hospitals or prisons. Also, you need to have at least $1000 worth of outstanding balance of the federal loan at the time of application. 

Nebraska LR

Nebraska state offers a great award to nurses and other healthcare professionals in debt. If you can take advantage of this program, you will receive $20k forgiveness per year of service. The commitment period is up to three years, which will triple this award. The only downside of the repayment is that it demands a different type of matching. In more detail, it requires local organizations to match the funds for forgiveness that eligible candidates might receive.

New Hampshire LR

If you are a nurse in New Hampshire, you are fortunate. This state offers an incredible forgiveness opportunity- up to $65k. In return, you should be a full-time employee in HPSAs for a total of five years. In your first three years, your reward amount will be only $45k. If you get a chance to extend the contract for an additional two years, your debt will decrease further by $20k.

Loan Redemption of New Jersey

If anything is better than New Hampshire’s program, it is New Jersey’s mind-blowing forgiveness opportunity. Here you have a chance to receive $120k forgiveness in return for four years of commitment. The initial contract will be four two years, but you can extend it another two years. Other than the number of commitment years, your reward will depend on your debt amount. More debt will bring higher forgiveness. During your service, you need to work in HPSAs or other underserved areas.

New Mexico Health Professional LR

This Nursing Loan Forgiveness program benefits residents who have a license for nursing. The award you can receive depends on your workplace. If you serve in a healthcare shortage area, you can earn up to $25k per year. However, this number rises to $35k for advanced practice nurses working in HPSA. Plus, there might be no limitation for the commitment period. It means you might apply for forgiveness several times. 

New York Nursing Faculty Incentive Program

New York also aims to improve the workforce of nurses in state hospitals. Therefore, this student loan forgiveness program provides $8k per year financial assistance to debtors with a total $40k benefit for five years of commitment. Eligibility requirements include residency, license for registered nurses, and graduate degree. Nursing educators can also apply for this Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness.


Unfortunately, Texas does not provide any Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness programs. If you reside here, it is better to look for federal or private opportunities.

Ohio Assistance Loan 

Through this program, Ohio provides $1500 per year for actual nurses or nurse educators. While this amount seems less, there is a great opportunity for applicants. If you agree to serve five years in this state, you will get a 100% cancellation of your loan. It is an example of the most desirable options for debtors in the whole country. 

Oregon Partnership State LR

This prepayment plan is accessible to nurse practitioners and other members of healthcare. If you work in an HPSA for two years, you will be able to receive forgiveness. However, the reward is not exact because it depends on the position, time of service, and outstanding balance. You can also extend your two-year commitment for an additional two years. 

Pennsylvania Primary Care LR

Pennsylvania utilizes a repayment program that can eliminate your debt up to $60k. If you work full time, you can receive this amount while part-time nurses will get half of this reward- $30k. Nurses working in HPSAs can get financial assistance if they provide a two-year commitment.

Rhode Island’s Programs

Rhode Island is a unique state for people with nursing education because it offers two opportunities for them. The first one is the LR plan for healthcare providers. In this program, you can get forgiveness in return for two years of commitment as a full-time nurse, or four-year service as half-time workers. The exact amount of forgiveness depends on your role and how long you served in this state.

Another program is Nurse Educators Forgiveness, which benefits educators in this field by $5k per year. You can enjoy this financial assistance for up to four years.

Tennessee Graduate Nursing Forgiveness

This program motivates people with nursing education to take roles as educators. If you have a current license in this field and teach higher education, you can enjoy its benefits. Tennessee allows applicants to get rid of their total debt if they agree to a four-year commitment.

Texas Investment Plan

Applicants of this program can get $10k financial assistance for their debts, if they serve a year or longer. Please keep in mind that to be eligible, you should be a healthcare provider except for a Physician.

Vermont Educational LRP for Nurses

This Loan Repayment plan assists nurses in debt with $10k forgiveness in return for one or two years. Eligibility requirements are 45-week work per year, which includes 20-week clinical hours. Also, there is no limitation on commitment. As a result, you can apply to this program several times to get more benefits. 

Virginia State LR

Virginia offers a $25k reduction annually to nurses with a degree or a certificate. This degree should be from an accredited institution by the National League of Nursing to be eligible. Also, you should be willing to serve two years, and you must work full-time- 40 hours a week. You can also extend this contract to get an additional $10k financial assistance.

Washington Health Professional LR

If you work in HPSA, you have a high chance of getting forgiveness. This Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness provides $75k in return for commitment for three years. You need to be a primary care provider to be eligible. Other than that, there are not many complex requirements.

West Virginia State LR

Working for two years in underserved facilities in West Virginia can bring you $40k financial assistance for your debt. Even better, you can extend your contract for two more years to receive an additional $25k forgiveness. 

Wisconsin HP Loan Assistance Program

Health professionals can receive a maximum of $100k in financial assistance with the help of this program. To be eligible, you need to work for three years in an eligible workplace. 

Wyoming LR

Lastly, Wyoming state provides $20k assistance to nurses if they agree to serve for two years. An advantage of this repayment is that you do not need to work in HPSA or have a full-time position.

Apply for Student Loan Forgiveness Help

If you struggle with university student loan forgiveness, then you should get help with that. Because the employees in these agencies are dealing with the student loans every day and they have enough experience for solving different kinds of student loan problems.

Final Words

We believe that nurses deserve more benefits due to their hard and critical work. What we can do is help people in need to find a plan that they have a high chance of receiving financial assistance for. In other words, we assist nurses in getting what they deserve through extensive guidance. As you have already seen, there exists a variety of Nursing Student Loan Forgiveness programs with different requirements. It is possible that you feel lost among so many rules and conditions or do not feel the need to deal with these issues. Let Forget Student Debt be your guiding light for a debt free life.