National Health Service Corps Programs

​​​​​The Health Care Access Branch works cooperatively with the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) to bring health care professionals to underserved communities. NHSC recruits fully trained and licensed health care clinicians to provide primary health care services in NHSC-approved sites in health professional shortage areas.

The Scholarship and Loan Repayment Program helps underserved communities in the U.S. recruit and retain medical, dental and mental health providers to meet their tremendous health care needs. 

If you are a primary health care professional willing to meet this challenge and have the compassion to make a difference in a community, the NHSC is looking for you.

Who Can Qualify to serve the NHSC?

The following health professionals are eligible to apply to be NHSC clinicians:

  • Physician (MD or DO)
  • Dentist (general or pediatric)
  • Nurse practitioner (primary care)
  • Certified nurse-midwife
  • Physician assistant
  • Dental hygienist
  • Psychologist (health service)
  • Licensed clinical social worker
  • Psychiatric nurse specialist
  • Marriage and family therapist
  • Licensed professional counselor

To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen, be fully trained and licensed and willing to make a service commitment to an underserved area. 

NHSC Loan Repayment Program

The NHSC Loan Repayment Program (LRP) is a competitive program that recruits fully trained and licensed health professionals to provide primary medical care, dental care and mental health services at NHSC-approved sites. Primary care clinicians who qualify for the LRP may receive monetary awards to assist with repayment of outstanding qualifying education loans. 

To be eligible, a clinician must be fully trained, licensed and working at an NHSC-approved site. Eligible job opportunities at NHSC-approved sites are posted on the NHSC job opportunities list.

While employment at an eligible site is a requirement to qualify for the LRP, it is not a guarantee of an award. Awards are granted first to those professionals serving at NHSC-approved sites with the greatest need (i.e., highest HPSA score). NHSC-approved sites with less need are awarded as resources allow. Need is determined by using the health professional shortage area designation score - the higher the score, the greater the need. These scores, along with contact information, are indicated on each vacancy listing on the NHSC job opportunities list.   

Applications are accepted for the NHSC LRP during the annual open application cycle at the NHSC LRP website

NHSC LRP Frequently Asked Questions

State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP)

In addition to the NHSC LRP, Kentucky participates in the State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP). SLRP is managed by the Kentucky State Office for Rural Health in cooperation with the Department for Public Health Health Care Access Branch, Primary Care Office and the Kentucky Primary Care Association. SLRP provides loan repayment for qualified educational loans incurred by primary care health professionals. Participants make a two-year service commitment to practice full-time for an eligible sponsoring organization located in a federally designated health professional shortage area. 

In Kentucky, the health professional must seek his or her own sponsor for loan repayment. The award amount is negotiated between the health professional and the sponsoring organization. Health Resources and Services Administration provides 50 percent of the funds and the employee's sponsoring agency or community resources provides the remaining 50 percent.

To learn more about SLRP, visit the State Office of Rural Health website. For more information, see the SLRP Fact Sheet.

Heatlhcare Facilities Interested in the NHSC for Recruitment and Retention Assistance

The NHSC is committed to increasing access to primary health care services and reducing health disparities for people in health professional shortage areas by assisting communities through recruitment and retention, site development, practice management and quality assurance activities.

Sites may apply for recruitment and assistance from the NHSC for community-responsive, culturally competent primary care clinicians. To begin the application process for NHSC assistance, sites must complete the NHSC site application. Please note that in order to be considered, sites must meet several criteria, including:

  • Located in a federally designated HPSA. 
  • Use a sliding fee schedule and accept Medicare, Medicaid and KCHIP patients.
  • Maintain a competitive salary, benefits and malpractice coverage package.
  • Document sound fiscal management. 

For more information and to apply, visit the NHSC application site.

NHSC Scholarship Program

The competitive NHSC Scholarship Program helps students receive health professional training that otherwise may have been beyond their means. The scholarship covers tuition, fees, supplies, books and a monthly living stipend. In exchange for the scholarship, graduates use their training to care for people who might otherwise go without primary health care. A student accepting the scholarship agrees to work in the neediest of communities to fulfill their service commitment. For every year of educational support, a scholarship recipient is required to work one year in one of these communities.

Find an NHSC Job

The NHSC Job Opportunities online job bank is updated daily to provide the latest information on current primary care job vacancies at approved NHSC sites. You can search for job opportunities by state, county, category, discipline and specialty.


Additional Information