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How to Comply with NHSC Loan Repayment Program Service Requirements

National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program (NHSC LRP) awardees commit to serving at least two years of service.

Those two years must be full-time or half-time clinical practice. And, you must serve at an NHSC-approved service site in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA).

Service commitment

Your service commitment begins when your NHSC LRP contract becomes effective. That occurs on the day that the Secretary of Health and Human Services (or their designee) countersigns it.

We expect you to begin service on that day. Any time you serve at the site prior to the contract going into effect will not count towards your service commitment.

Note: Your service contract with us is separate and independent from your employment contract with your NHSC-approved site.

Read the NHSC LRP Application and Program Guidance (PDF - 597 KB) for details on your service commitment.

Where can you find beginning and end dates of your service?

Your award letter—and your profile in the Customer Service Portal — will note the beginning and projected end dates of your service commitment.

Your last day of service comes two years (to the day) after your start date.

Service site and hours

You must work a specified minimum number of hours per week full-time or half-time. That work must be within the profession for which you applied, and we awarded you via the NHSC LRP contract, at your NHSC-approved site(s).

If you need to change your site location, hours, or employment status during your NHSC service commitment, you must submit a Site Status Change Request.

Submit your request via the BHW Customer Service Portal prior to the effective date of change.

How do you verify your service hours?

Every six months, we verify that you fulfilled your service commitment by meeting clinical practice requirements.

You complete and sign an In-Service Verification (ISV) form, then send it along to your site administrator to verify your total work hours (paid and unpaid) and full-time or half-time work status. After signing it, they submit it through the BHW Customer Service Portal. 

Watch the NHSC In-Service Verification Pre-Recorded Webinar for assistance on how to complete your form.

Note: It is your responsibility to ensure that your site administrator submits the ISV on time.

Mandatory furlough or reduction-in-force

What happens if your site has a mandatory furlough or a reduction-in-force?

We will work with you to fulfill your service commitment if your site faces a mandatory furlough or a reduction-in-force.

While we cannot waive the minimum clinical practice requirements or the maximum allowable absences in these cases, we will work with you to identify solutions.

What happens if you exceed the maximum allowable absences?

We will extend your service end date accordingly.

What if there is a permanent reduction in the number of hours you work?

If you are in full-time clinical practice, you may be eligible to convert to half-time clinical practice and have your remaining service commitment doubled.

Note: Once we convert you to half-time, you must complete the remaining service in half-time; there will not be an opportunity to switch back to full-time.

Are there alternatives to extending your service obligation or converting to half-time?

Yes, there are two alternate solutions to continue to receive credit towards your NHSC service. You may:

  • Find employment at an additional or alternate site to ensure you meet the minimum clinical practice requirements.
  • Request approval from your site to report to work and perform practice-related administrative activities (not to exceed eight hours/week) on scheduled furlough days.

Who should you contact for assistance in these circumstances?

Use the BHW Customer Service Portal to contact us.

Taking temporary and permanent leave

We provide an overview of our policies around taking temporary leave (e.g. vacation/sick leave or maternity/paternity leave) and permanent leave.

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