Policy Updates

Program enhancements or changes to NHSC program policies may occur throughout each year.  Check here for updates to the programs that apply to you.

Recognition of Same-Sex Spouses/Marriages

What impact does the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act have on the National Health Service Corps?

Any reference in the National Health Service Corps’ statutes, regulations, or policy to “spouse,” “couple,” or “marriage,” as well as any reference to “family” or “family member” now includes same-sex couples, legally married in jurisdictions that recognize their marriages. This applies regardless of whether the couple lives in a jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex marriage or a jurisdiction that does not recognize same-sex marriage.  For example, if a couple got married in D.C. (where same-sex marriage is legal) but they live in Virginia (a state which does not recognize same-sex marriage), the NHSC will treat the couple the same as it would any married opposite-sex couple and will recognize the couple as married.

Any same-sex marriage legally entered into or recognized in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, a U.S. territory or a foreign country will be recognized. In addition, the National Health Service Corps will continue to follow its longstanding policy to include unmarried partners (both same-sex and opposite-sex) as “family members.”

Loan Repayment Program

Half-Time Option
A half-time option has been added that allows providers to work less than full time and receive loan repayment. Learn more

Service Credit for Teaching
The NHSC allows service credit for time spent teaching, within certain rules. For all full-time participants, up to eight (8) hours per week may be spent teaching in the clinical setting at the NHSC-approved service site. These eight (8) hours may be considered a part of a provider's direct patient care hours at the approved site.  As of February 2011, the NHSC offers an additional option for Corps members serving at HRSA-approved Teaching Health Centers (THCs). 

See Teaching Credit FAQ (PDF - 59 KB) to learn more. 

Scholarship Program

Scholar Placement HPSA Score Threshold
NHSC Scholars must fulfill their service commitments at NHSC-approved service sites in Federally-designated Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) of greatest need throughout the United States. Each year, a HPSA score threshold is published to determine which HPSAs are of greatest shortage for priority assignment of NHSC Scholars. Scholars are subject to the HPSA score threshold in effect during the time of their placement.  The minimum HPSA score for the 2012 Placement Cycle is 16 for all disciplines.  

NHSC-approved Sites

Service Site Reference Guide
The Service Site Reference Guide (PDF - 536 KB) is available.

May Now Hire More than One Scholar
The NHSC has reviewed its current policy on Scholar placement and will now consider site requests for up to two Scholar placements per site for all disciplines on an exceptional/case-by-case basis. To make a request, complete the Additional Scholar Request Form (PDF - 89 KB). 

Critical Access Hospitals May Now Apply
Critical Access Hospitals may now apply to become an NHSC-approved site.  For additional information, please see our NHSC Service Site Reference Guide (PDF - 543 KB) or Frequently Asked Questions (PDF - 58 KB).

Critical Access Hospital Webinar
Critical Access Hospital Announcement Webinar PowerPoint presentation is now available. (PPT - 469 KB).