National Health Service Corps

The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) awards scholarships and loan repayment to primary care providers in eligible disciplines. We do this to build healthy communities by connecting these providers to areas with limited access to care.

How great is our impact?

Through the NHSC, we currently support approximately 10,200 medical, dental, and mental, and behavioral health professionals who provide care to 10.7 million patients at NHSC sites (PDF - 206 KB) in communities in urban, rural and frontier areas, regardless of the patient’s ability to pay.

NHSC clinicians work every day to not only treat illness or injury, but also to keep people healthy and prevent them from getting sick. They provide annual check-ups for children, assess dental health, and monitor chronic conditions – all primary care services that far too many go without.

How do I become a member of the National Health Service Corps?

Becoming a member of the NHSC requires a commitment of at least two years at an NHSC-approved site, located in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA). You may choose to, and we hope you will, continue serving at your site beyond the initial NHSC service commitment.

If accepted into the NHSC, you can help those in need without the burden of debt.

Am I eligible for loan repayment?

To participate in the NHSC Loan Repayment Program, you must:

FIRST: apply for, and accept, a position at an NHSC-approved site of your choosing;

SECOND: apply to the NHSC Loan Repayment Program.

Am I eligible for a scholarship?

Through the NHSC Scholarship Program, we award scholarships to health professions students, accepted to, or enrolled in, an accredited U.S. school in one of the following primary care disciplines:

  • Physicians (MD or DO)
  • Dentists
  • Nurse Practitioners (post-graduate degree with clinical practice focus)
  • Certified Nurse-Midwives
  • Physician Assistants

If we award you a scholarship, we pay your tuition, eligible fees, other reasonable educational costs, and a living stipend. In return, you will work at an NHSC-approved site in a high-need urban, rural or frontier community for at least two years.

How does my site get approved?

With the exception of Federally Qualified Health Centers and Indian Health Service sites, you must apply if you want your facility to become an NHSC site. If approved, your site gains access to much-needed primary care providers. 

NHSC-approved sites provide outpatient, ambulatory, primary health services in Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs). A HPSA is a community with limited access to care.

Participation in the National Health Service Corps

  • More than 50,000 primary care medical, dental, and mental and behavioral health professionals have served in the NHSC since 1972.
  • Today, approximately 10,200 NHSC members provide culturally competent care to 10.7 million people at 5,000 NHSC-approved health care sites in urban, rural, and frontier areas.
  • More than 1,400 additional members are in school or residency, preparing to practice.

Why is our work important?

Too many Americans—particularly in underserved areas—go without checkups, preventive screenings, vaccines, routine dental work and other care, simply because there are not enough providers.

Date Last Reviewed:  March 2018

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