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School of Nursing offers loan forgiveness program

Loyola press release - August 23, 2010

Students at Loyola University New Orleans School of Nursing can receive an advanced graduate degree, with the federal government picking up most of the expense, thanks to a recently awarded grant. The Nurse Faculty Loan Repayment Program is a supportive financial award that will pay up to 85 percent of graduate degree loans in return for four years of full-time employment as a faculty member in a U.S. school of nursing upon graduation.

Currently, there is a shortage of qualified faculty teaching in our nation’s nursing schools. The NFLRP is a federal grant (E01HP12990) worth more than $423,000, specifically designed to attract graduate nursing students to the classroom, first as a student and then as faculty.

Before enrolling at Loyola, Doctor of Nursing Practice student Kathy Wright, A.R.N.P., was like many other nurses who didn’t have the time or money to go back to school and earn a terminal nursing degree. She currently works three jobs, including her primary work with the Florida Department of Health Children’s Medical Services in Ocala, Fla.

“I always wanted to go back to school so I would be able to teach, but never thought I could afford it. Having access to affordable grants and loans gives me the opportunity to get an advanced degree that will allow me the opportunity to train the next generation of nurses,” said Wright. “The program being online is an enormous asset because I’m able to work and still be able to go through the program and meet all expectations. It’s very exciting!”

“Thousands of potential nursing students are turned away each year because of a critical shortage in qualified faculty in the United States,” said Ann Cary, Ph.D., director of Loyola’s Nursing Program. “The NFLRP’s tuition forgiveness is a direct incentive aimed at changing those numbers and putting more nurses in the classroom, both as student and teacher.”

The federal government also awarded the School of Nursing $124,000 in nurse traineeship grant money. This federal scholarship fund is designed to offset educational expenses for masters and doctoral students focusing on careers as primary care providers.

Loyola enrolled its first 25 post-master's degree students this summer and anticipates growing to 125 students within five years.

The deadline for early admission to the 2011-12 DNP program is set for November 1, 2010.

For more information about Loyola’s School of Nursing or the new DNP program, please contact Geraldine Keller at 504-865-2582 or gbkeller@loyno.edu.