Frequently Asked Questions

What is the National Health Service Corps?

The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) is a federally funded program that is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and is housed in the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Bureau of Health Professions. The NHSC is composed of a unique group of clinicians providing primary health care to adults and children in the communities of greatest need across the Nation, bringing quality primary health care professionals to communities in need, as well as supporting their efforts to build a better system of care.

Where do NHSC clinicians serve?

NHSC clinicians practice in a broad range of community-based systems of care operating in rural and urban federally designated health professional shortage areas (HPSA). NHSC clinicians serve in communities in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Pacific Basin, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Are consolidated student loans eligible?

Consolidated loans are eligible as long as the consolidation is with a commercial lender and includes only the applicant’s student loans. For more information, call the NHSC at 1-800-221-9393.

What is the deadline for NHSC loan repayment applications?

The deadline varies annually for these applications.  To find the current year's deadline, visit the NHSC website at http://nhsc.bhpr.hrsa.gov/applications .  To apply, clinicians must submit their NHSC Loan Repayment Program application postmarked by the listed deadline.  NOTE: The clinician's site of practice must be an eligible NHSC site.

 

Where can a NHSC LRP or Recruitment and Retention application be obtained?

What is considered an eligible NSHC LRP application?

An eligible application must be complete, postmarked by the current deadline, and from a clinician who meets all eligibility criteria outlined in the NHSC LRP Application Bulletin. An applicant must have accepted employment or be in the final stages of negotiating an employment contract with an eligible NHSC LRP community site to be eligible for funding.

How are HPSA scores determined?

The scoring guidelines for HPSAs are included in 42 CFR, Chapter 1, Part 5. HRSA’s Shortage Designation Branch assigns this score when the HPSA designation is approved. See the Health Professional Shortage Area’s section for other HPSA questions.

Is any preference given to NHSC Scholars?

No. NHSC Scholars must follow the same application procedures and are subject to the same funding priorities as any other NHSC LRP applicant.

Will current service obligations to other entities (e.g., state, LRPs, military, etc.) affect a clinician’s eligibility?

All obligations for service must be completed on or before the annual deadline for an applicant to be considered eligible for the NHSC LRP for that fiscal year.

Is a clinician who has a loan in default status eligible?

Applicants who have defaulted on any federal payment obligation will not be selected to participate in the NHSC LRP, even if they are considered to be in good standing by that creditor.

Do all clinicians employed at a site on the NSHC Opportunities List receive loan repayment if they submit an NHSC LRP application by the due date?

No. The NHSC LRP is a competitive program. However, due to a proposed increase in funding, the NHSC LRP hopes to fund more awards in the future.

What are the eligibility requirements for an NHSC LRP community site?

n eligible NHSC LRP community site is a public, nonprofit or private health facility that provides a continuum of services, including comprehensive primary health care and appropriate referrals or arrangements for specialty and inpatient care to individuals in a health professional shortage area (HPSA) regardless of the patient’s ability to pay for the services. To be considered, the site must submit an NHSC Recruitment and Retention Assistance Application to the LA Bureau of Primary Care and Rural Health who will in turn submit the application to the NHSC for approval.

How do clinicians learn of vacancies in underserved areas?

What happens if a clinician does not complete his/her service commitment?

A clinician who fails to provide service as agreed in his or her NHSC LRP contract will be placed in default and will be subject to the default penalties.  Information on the default penalties can be found at http://nhsc.bhpr.hrsa.gov/applications.   The penalties for breeching an employment contract while participating in the NHSC LRP can be found at letter J in the application outline.  Waivers, suspensions, cancellation, and termination options are discussed at letter K.

 

What other opportunities for NHSC assistance are available?