Temporary Guidelines for Nebraska Loan Repayment and Student Loan Forgiveness Participants
If you are directly affected by COVID-19, contact Rachael Wolfe to discuss your service obligation: (402) 471-0778 or Rachael.Wolfe@nebraska.gov.
Loan repayment awards are available to primary care, mental, dental and allied health professionals practicing in shortage areas in Nebraska. Funding has been increased for fiscal years 21-22 and 22-23 and there is no longer a waiting list. View the eligible areas and facilities below.
There is one application for both of the state loan repayment programs. The individual seeking loan repayment must initiate the application. Once they complete and submit their portion, a notice will be sent to the entity providing the matching funds. The entity then completes the application. Applications will be deleted from the system if they remain incomplete after 90 days.
Find your specialty and click on it to be taken to the map.
Eligible specialties, areas, and facilities are viewable on our interactive maps, above.
Find the applicable specialty and click on it to be taken to a map. Generally, a site will qualify if located in a county designated as a shortage area. A sliding fee scale and/or NHSC site designation may be required for federal shortage areas, and you may contact the Office of Rural Health with any questions.
They can apply up to 18 months before they are fully licensed and practicing in the shortage area. They must be fully licensed and finished with residency by the start date of the loan repayment contract.
The application is initiated by the health professional.
Once they complete their portion, the employer (or local entity providing matching funds) receives a link to fill out the second half of the application.
Once both portions have been filled out, the application is considered complete. If one portion remains incomplete after 90 days, the application is removed from the system.
$180,000-$200,000 for doctors and dentists
$90,000 to $100,000 for other professions
$25,000-$30,000 per year for doctors and dentists
$12,500-$15,000 per year for other professions
No – the program is intended as a partnership between the state and the local community to recruit and retain health professionals. Funds must be provided by the employer.
If you are self-employed or your employer is unable to provide the match, another local entity can provide these funds (a community foundation, a local hospital, etc). At this time, the Office of Rural Health does not have resources to assist with matching funds.
The Office of Rural Health does not assist with recruitment or placements at specific sites. We recommend health professionals work with their program to find an appropriate site, and also direct you to the 3rnet website.
If a health professional is from a shortage area and desires to return, we recommend maintaining communication with potential employers about this desire to return and practice in the area, as well as the need for loan repayment assistance.
The Rural Health Advisory Commission is responsible for identifying shortage areas for purposes of the Nebraska Rural Health Systems and Professional Incentive Act. Every 3 years a statewide review of all state-designated shortage areas is completed. The data comes from UNMC's Health Professions Tracking Service (HPTS).
If a site is believed to have become a shortage area in the interim, a request for re-assessment can be sent to the Office of Rural Health.
Shortage Area Guidelines
We assess applications as they come in and let the health professional and site know which program(s) they qualify for.
If someone qualifies for both programs, we lay out both offers. While we generally send these offers with a recommendation, the health professional will make the final decision (in communication with their site).
No. The NHSC State Loan Repayment program can be done before or after the State Loan Repayment program, but you cannot participate in both programs simultaneously.
If you previously participated in Student Loan Forgiveness, you must complete that obligation before participating in one of the Loan Repayment Programs.
Please let the Office of Rural Health know of any other programs for which you may have an obligation, as this could affect which program we recommend.
Government or commercial educational loans in the student's name.
The following loans do not qualify specifically for NHSC State Loan Repayment:
Full time is a minimum of 40 hours per week. The Commission has further defined this as at least 32 hours of scheduled patient time per week, plus other duties. Part time work may qualify you for partial loan repayment. Part time is defined as a minimum of 20 hours per week.
Alternate schedules may be allowable with approval by the Commission. Please email the Office of Rural Health to notify them of details of any alternate schedule after submitting an application.
The site providing the local match sends the Office of Rural Health their portion yearly. We pay the health professional quarterly, in the month following each quarter.
These funds are not taxable as income.
Two to four years. The contract period is three years for one program, and two years with a possible 1-2 year extension for the other.
Extended periods of leave (due to illness, maternity leave, etc.) are generally allowable with a contract amendment extending the obligation for an amount of time equal to the period of leave. Please contact the Office of Rural Health as soon as you are aware of the need for an extended period of leave to verify eligibility.
If this is due to the health professional's permanent disability, they must provide documentation to the Office of Rural Health and are then released from their obligation.
Otherwise, the health professional must find a successor local entity or pay back all funds received plus a penalty and interest.