Minnesota Rural Public Health Nurse Loan Forgiveness Guidelines
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 registered nurses licensed in Minnesota who have obtained a registration certificate as a public health nurse from the Board of Nursing in accordance with Minnesota Rules, chapter 6316. A prospective participant must submit an application to the ORHPC during the open application cycle.
The Rural Public Health 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 Public Health 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 personal and professional experience and training noted on an application, as well as other relevant factors. Preference will be given to applicants who document diverse cultural competencies. The number of applicants ORHPC may select for participation varies annually and is contingent upon state funding.
Participants are required to practice for at least 30 hours per week, for at least 45 weeks per year, for a minimum of three years in a designated rural area. A designated rural area is defined by Minnesota statute 144.1501 as a statutory and home rule charter city or township that is (1) outside the seven–county metropolitan area, as defined in section 473.121, subdivision 2 excluding the cities of Duluth, Mankato, Moorhead, Rochester and St. Cloud.
Selected participants shall provide direct patient care hours/client–centered services. Hours cannot be fulfilled meeting with providers, process improvement, policy development, supervising, or administering programs.
Full–time patient/client–centered services, may include:
- Patient/client health teaching and care coordination
- Provision of home care and/or hospice nursing services
- WIC assessment of nutritional and medical risk factors
- Long term care assessments and care coordination
- Family home visiting assessment of risk factors such as adverse childhood experience
- Immunizations and case management for persons with communicable diseases such as tuberculosis
- Counseling and medication management for family planning services
- Correctional health assessment and care coordination
- Care coordination for children with special health needs
- Other patient/client–centered services
Participants must begin their service obligation under this program no later than March 31 following selection. Participants must complete their nursing program and certification as originally stated in their application.
ORHPC will make an annual payment to the participant in the amount of up to $6,000, not to exceed $24,000 total for the maximum four–year period 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.