Minnesota Long Term Care Nurse Loan Forgiveness Guidelines
The purpose of Minnesota’s Health Care Loan Forgiveness program is to recruit and retain health care professionals to needed areas and facilities within Minnesota. Loan forgiveness is an important benefit for health care professionals as well as health care facilities and communities experiencing a shortage of access to primary health care services.
The Office of Rural Health and Primary Care (ORHPC), Minnesota Department of Health administers this program. It is funded by the State of Minnesota. Program eligibility requirements and benefits are established by state statute, 144.1501 authorizing the health professional education loan forgiveness program.
This program is offered to licensed practical nurses and registered nurses who practice in a licensed nursing home, assisted living facility, home care provider, intermediate care facility for persons with developmental disabilities, or a hospital that owns/operates a licensed nursing home where a minimum of 50 percent of the hours worked is in a nursing home in Minnesota. Current nursing students who will be licensed by March 31 following selection are also eligible to apply. A prospective participant must submit an application to ORHPC during the open application cycle.
Applicants to the Nurse Loan Forgiveness program are not eligible if they have received any loan forgiveness funding from the Nursing Facility Employee Scholarship Program administered by the Minnesota Department of Human Services, as defined in Minnesota Statute 256B.431, Subdivision 36.
The Long Term Care Nurse Loan Forgiveness Program provides funds for repayment of Qualified Educational Loans. Qualified Educational Loans include government, commercial, and foundation loans for actual costs paid for tuition, reasonable education and living expenses related to the past graduate or undergraduate education of the Nurse. Credit card debt or loans from family members do not qualify. Parent PLUS loans do not qualify.
Loans in current or active default are NOT eligible for forgiveness in this program, even if considered in good standing with the collections agency. Previously defaulted loans that have since been completely rehabilitated and are not currently in active default status are eligible.
This is a competitive selection process. Selections are made based on suitability for practice as indicated by experience or training as noted on an application, as well as preference given to those closest to completing their training. Preference will be given to applicants who document diverse cultural competencies. The number of applicants ORHPC may select for participation per year varies and is contingent upon state funding.
Participants are required to practice as a licensed practical or registered nurse in a licensed nursing home; assisted living facility; home care; intermediate care facility for persons with developmental disabilities; or a hospital that owns/operates a licensed nursing home where a minimum of 50 percent of the hours worked is in a nursing home in Minnesota, for a minimum of two years, with the option to extend an additional two years. Participants must begin their service obligation under this program no later than March 31 following selection. Participants must complete their nursing program as originally stated in their application.
Selected participants shall provide direct patient care hours/client–centered services 30 hours a week for at least 45 weeks per year. Hours cannot be fulfilled meeting with providers, process improvement, policy development, supervising, or administering programs.
Participants are eligible to participate for two years of loan forgiveness, with the option to extend an additional two years during which they serve as a licensed practical or registered nurse in a nursing home; housing with services establishment; home care; or ICF/MR in Minnesota. The ORHPC will make an annual payment to the participant in the amount of $6,000, not to exceed $24,000 total for the maximum of four–years or the balance of the designated loan(s), whichever is less subject to the availability of funds appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature for the loan forgiveness program.