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Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Workforce Loan Repayment Program (LRP)

To combat the nation’s opioid crisis, HRSA will launch the NHSC Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Program (SUD Workforce LRP). The program will support the recruitment and retention of health professionals needed in underserved areas to expand access to SUD treatment and prevent overdose deaths.

Eligible clinicians may receive up to $75,000 in student loan repayment in exchange for a three-year commitment to provide substance use disorder treatment services at NHSC-approved sites.

The SUD Workforce LRP will begin accepting applications later this year.

Sign up to receive additional information on the program:

Are you eligible to apply?

The most effective treatment for opioid addiction is a comprehensive approach that incorporates medication and behavioral health counseling. 

The NHSC SUD Workforce LRP will make awards available to a broader range of clinicians working to help patients overcome opioid addiction and other substance use disorders. We will announce specific disciplines and eligibility requirements when the program application cycle opens. 

To apply for this program, you must be working at an NHSC SUD Workforce LRP-approved service site or have accepted an offer of employment at an NHSC SUD-approved service site by the date you submit an application.

You qualify for the NHSC-SUD Workforce LRP:

  • If you work at a site with a Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA) score that would ordinarily be too low to qualify for NHSC funding.
  • Using either a Mental Health or Primary Care HPSA score of your NHSC-approved site.

How can your application receive priority?

You will receive priority if you:

  • Have a DATA 2000 waiver;
  • Serve in an opioid treatment program; or
  • Are licensed or certified in substance use disorder interventions, such as master’s–level substance use disorder counselors.

Eligible Disciplines and Specialties

NHSC SUD Workforce LRP offers awards to providers who use evidence-based treatment models to treat substance use disorders. Evidence-based SUD treatment contributes to combating this epidemic through specific eligibility.

Providers must be trained and licensed to provide SUD treatment at NHSC-approved evidenced-based SUD treatment facilities.

The following disciplines and specialties are eligible to apply to the NHSC SUD Workforce LRP:

  • Physicians;
  • Nurse practitioners;
  • Certified nurse midwives;
  • Physician assistants;
  • Behavioral health professionals;
  • Substance use disorder counselors;
  • Registered nurses; and,
  • Pharmacists

NHSC-Approved SUD Treatment Sites

NHSC SUD Workforce LRP applicants must be working or have accepted a position at an NHSC-approved service site.  

An NHSC-approved site is a health care facility providing comprehensive outpatient services to populations residing in HPSAs and determined by HRSA to meet the NHSC site eligibility requirements and qualifications. 

To be an NHSC-approved SUD site, facilities must have demonstrated that they meet the requirements set forth in the NHSC Site Agreement and NHSC Site Reference Guide, including submission of SUD documentation

  • SAMHSA-certified outpatient treatment programs (OTPs)
  • Office-based opioid treatment facilities (OBOTs)
  • Non-opioid substance use disorder treatment facilities (SUD treatment facilities)
  • Federally Qualified Health Care Centers (FQHCs)
  • Rural Health Clinics (RHCs)
  • American Indian Health facilities
  • FQHC Look-Alikes
  • State or federal correctional facilities
  • Critical Access Hospitals
  • Community health centers
  • State or local health departments
  • Community outpatient facilities
  • Private practices
  • School-based clinics
  • Mobile units and free clinics

NHSC Traditional LRP vs. NHSC SUD Workforce LRP

Service Commitment

  SUD Workforce LRP NHSC LRP
Full-time 3 Years
Up to $75K
2 Years
Up to $50K
Half-time* 3 years
Up to $37.5K
2 years
Up to $25K
Service Location NHSC-approved sites
providing SUD treatment
NHSC-approved sites

*Half-time practice is not available to those serving under the Private Practice Option (PPO)

Clinical Disciplines

  SUD Workforce LRP* NHSC LRP
Primary Care x x
Dental   x
Mental/Behavioral Health x x

*Providers must be trained and licensed to provide SUD Treatment and be working at an NHSC-approved SUD treatment site.

Contact Us

Call 1-800-221-9393
(TTY: 1-877-897-9910)
M - F, 8:00 am - 8:00 pm ET
(except federal holidays)
Email us
BHW Customer Service Portal

NHSC Experience

Videos: Member Stories

Application & Program Guidance (APG)

S2S LRP APG (PDF - 604 KB)