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National Health Service Corps Rural Community Loan Repayment Program (NHSC Rural Community LRP)



Application Deadline: May 27, 2021

Sponsoring Organization

Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW)


Provides funding for loan repayment for primary care and behavioral/mental health professionals in exchange for service commitments at NHSC-approved sites in Mental Health and Primary Care Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) in rural communities. Aims to increase access to primary care and behavioral/mental health professionals offering opioid use disorder (OUD) and substance use disorders (SUDs) treatment and services in rural NHSC-approved facilities.

Eligible SUD primary care and behavioral/mental health professions include:

  • Physicians (MD or DO)
  • Physician assistants (PA)
  • Nurse practitioners (NP)
  • Registered nurses (RN)
  • Certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA)
  • Certified nurse midwives (CNM)
  • Pharmacists
  • Health service psychologists (HSP)
  • Licensed clinical social workers (LCSW)
  • Psychiatric nurse specialists (PNS)
  • Marriage and family therapists (MFT)
  • Licensed professional counselors (LPC)
  • SUD counselors

NHSC Rural Community LRP fact sheet

For fiscal year (FY) 2021, NHSC Rural Community LRP will make loan repayment awards in coordination with the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP).

Amount of Funding

A maximum of $100,000 for 3 years of full-time clinical practice for providers serving at a rural NHSC-approved SUD treatment site that is located in a Mental Health or Primary Care HPSA.

A maximum of $50,000 for 3 years of half-time clinical practice for providers serving at a rural NHSC-approved SUD treatment site that is located in a Mental Health or Primary Care HPSA. This option is not available to applicants serving under the Private Practice Option (PPO).

Additional practice type and service obligation information is available in the program guidance.

Who Can Apply

Applicants must work in a primary care or behavioral/mental health approved discipline and specialty to be eligible for this program and meet the following requirements:

  • Be a U.S. citizen, U.S. born or naturalized, or U.S. national
  • Have a current, full, permanent, unencumbered, unrestricted health professional license, certificate, or registration in the discipline in which the individual is applying to serve
  • Participate or be eligible to participate as a provider in the Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), as appropriate
  • Be eligible for federal employment
  • Be employed by, or have accepted a position at, a rural NHSC-approved SUD treatment facility where employment and provision of care to patients will begin no later than July 18, 2021
  • Submit a complete application

NHSC will prioritize applicants by the following funding priorities when making loan repayment awards:

  • Current or former NHSC scholarship recipients that have completed their service obligation and continue to have eligible student loans
  • Applicants serving at rural NHSC-approved SUD Treatment facilities that are RCORP Consortium member sites
  • Priority within each HPSA score for applicants who meet the following criteria:
    • Come from a disadvantaged background
    • Have characteristics that indicate a likelihood the applicant will remain in a HPSA
    • Have completed a HRSA-funded addiction medicine fellowship program
    • County overdose mortality rates in their service area

Additional information on funding priority tiers can be found in the program guidance.

Geographic Coverage


What This Program Funds

Financial Aid for Healthcare Workforce

Application Process

Application instructions, requirements, and other information can be found on the program website. Submit an application through the Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW) portal.

Application and program guidance
Applicant webinar recording
Application checklist


For questions:
TTY at 877-897-9910
Online contact form
Bureau of Health Workforce Customer Service Portal

Topics This Program Addresses

Healthcare Workforce • Mental Health • Opioids • Prevention • Recovery • Substance Use Disorder • Treatment