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Federal Healthcare Workforce Opportunities

The Office of Healthcare Access endeavors to expand opportunities for health care in the underserved areas of Alaska. One way to do this is through the SHARP Program, Alaska’s state loan repayment program. The federal government also provides loan repayment and other support-for-service programs, designed to provide incentives for health care providers to serve in areas of the state where there is a shortage of providers. This page is a guide to some of those options.

Watch a video about NHSC service in Alaska

Use the link for the NHSC Video to hear first-hand accounts of service providers in Alaska.

National Health Service Corps

Licensed health care providers may earn up to $50,000 toward student loans in exchange for a two-year commitment through the NHSC Loan Repayment Program (NHSC LRP). Health professionals participating in the NHSC LRP may serve as primary care medical, dental, or mental/behavioral health clinicians at an approved NHSC site. Accepted participants must find a position at an NHSC-approved site and fulfill a 2-year commitment. Grantees may choose to serve longer for additional loan repayment support.

Starting in 2019, the​ National Health Service Corps is offering a Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Program. For more information, visit the NHSC Loan Repayment Program page. The SUD Workforce LRP offers eligible clinicians up to $75,000 in student loan repayment in exchange for a three-year commitment.

National Health Service Corps Students-to-Service Program

The National Health Service Corps Students-to-Service Program is open to medical (M.D. or D.O.) and dental (D.D.S. or D.M.D.) students in their final year of school who are planning a career in primary care. S2S award recipients receive up to $120,000 tax free for at least three years of full-time service at a NHSC approved site in a Health Professional Shortage Area. For more information, visit the NHSC Students to Service Loan Repayment Program page.

NURSE Corps Program and NURSE Corps Scholarship Program

Loan Repayment Option:

The Nurse Corps Loan Repayment Program provides registered nurses (including advanced practice registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and nursing faculty) with the opportunity to pay off 60 percent of unpaid nursing student loans in two years, with 25 percent further repayment available for an optional third year. Check their website for more details.

Scholarship Option:

The HRSA Nurse Corps Scholarship Program enables students enrolled in nursing programs to receive funding for tuition and other educational costs in exchange for working at an eligible Critical Shortage Facility (CSF) upon graduation. Click on the NURSE Corps Scholarship Program link above for more information.

Indian Health Service Loan Repayment Program

The IHS Loan Repayment Program awards up to $40,000 for the repayment of qualified student loans in exchange for an initial two-year service commitment to practice at an approved site.

Indian Health Service Loan Repayment Site Scores

The I.H.S. assigns site scores to health facilities based on need. For more information on site scores, list of site scores, and how they are used, visit the Indian Health Service Site Scores webpage.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Public Service Loan Forgiveness offers borrowers the opportunity to continue to work full-time in public service and qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance of their Direct Loans if they have already made 120 qualifying payments. Only loans received under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program are eligible.

Click on Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program for details about which loans qualify and what constitutes qualifying payments.

Conrad-30/J-1 Visa Waiver Program

Foreign physicians who studied in the United States on the J-1 exchange visitor visa program are required to return to their home countries for at least two years following graduation. These physicians can apply for a waiver of the two-year residency requirement, which allows them to remain in the United States in exchange for working in an underserved area for at least three years.

For more information go to the Alaska J-1 Waiver Guidelines.