Nurse Faculty Shortage: A National Problem
Faculty shortages at nursing schools across the country are limiting student capacity at a time when the need for professional registered nurses continues to grow. The National Faculty Loan Program (NFLP) forgives loan debt up to 85% of the cost of tuition and fees when earning the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree.
About Loan Forgiveness for Nurse Faculty Members
Western University of Health Sciences (WesternU) and the College of Graduate Nursing (CGN) takes part in the Health Resource and Services Administration’s (HRSA) National Faculty Loan Program (NFLP). NFLP is a forgivable federally subsidized loan guarantee program available to individuals seeking doctoral preparation for the purposes of becoming a faculty member at an accredited school of nursing. NFLP is a loan forgiving program that covers the cost of tuition and fees for obtaining the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. Each consecutive year of full time teaching qualifies for significant portions of loan forgiveness.
What are the Benefits of NFLP?
Participation avoids the upfront costs of tuition and fees associated with obtaining a doctoral degree. NFLP recipients who fulfill the service obligations are eligible for loan forgiveness of up to 85% of the amount guaranteed by the program. The schedule for loan forgiveness is:
- Years 1, 2, & 3: 20% (plus accumulated interest)
- Year 4: 25% (plus accumulated interest)
Beginning in years 5-10 (for a period of 6 years), the NFLP recipient begins repayment of the remaining balance (15% of the original cost and the accumulated interest).
How Does the NFLP Program Work?
The program is a coordination between CGN, the office of Financial Aid (FA), and the Bursar’s office. NFLP is NOT a needs-based program.
Students must first complete the required Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The University’s FAFSA number is 024827. Once processed, financial aid (FA) officer calculates the total among eligible for borrowing from all sources. The FA officer notifies the student of the eligible amount. The eligible amount can include tuition, fees, books, living expenses, etc. NFLP only covers the tuition and fees part of eligible expenses.
Each semester the NFLP recipient is enrolled, the Bursar’s office will process tuition and apply payments from the NFLP to outstanding tuition costs, thus avoiding up front, out-of-pocket expenditures.
Specialized Education Courses
Students must complete two specialized education courses (one during semester five, and one during semester six) in addition to all required courses. These courses contribute to expertise as a nurse faculty. For more information about the DNP program, please visit the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) web page.
- Participants must have the intent to teach full time for at least 4 consecutive years following DNP completion.
- NFLP covers tuition and fees up front.
- CGN makes every effort to cover 100% of allowable expenses, but does not guarantee; the amount awarded is dependent upon funds received from HRSA.
- HRSA’s repayment schedule allows up to 85% of loan forgiveness plus interest when the service obligation is completed.
- Loan forgiveness applies ONLY to NFLP funds; not other sources of financial aid.
- Participants will repay 15% of the loan plus interest over 6 years.