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Nurse Notes Newsletter

December 2013

Welcoming the Newest NURSE Corps Recipients

NURSE Corps is proud to welcome the 2014 Loan Repayment and Scholarship recipients to our family of dedicated nursing professionals. Currently, there are 2,559 NURSE Corps clinicians providing care and 721 scholars in-training preparing to serve where they are needed most. We are excited you have taken on the responsibility of improving health outcomes and access to care for individuals and families in medically underserved rural and urban communities across the country. We hope your education, training and service commitment will provide you with a truly rewarding experience while contributing to a stronger and healthier community.

As one of our newest members, we hope you will help us spread the word about the benefits of the NURSE Corps and let others know that we are recruiting new students and clinicians like you. We encourage you to contact the NURSE Corps Program through the participant portal if you have any questions or concerns and would like to talk to your program analyst.

Thank you again for your commitment and dedication to an underserved community.



Empower Your Patients – Share These Health Insurance Marketplace Resources
The new Health Insurance Marketplace opened on October 1 and enrollment will end on March 31, 2004. Are you wondering what you can do now to empower the uninsured and underinsured patients you serve every day? Because you help make up the safety net of sites and clinicians providing primary care, you can help inform your patients by sharing the following resources: 

Please direct your patients to to learn about new insurance options. Also encourage your patients to call 1-800-318-2596, which is available 24 hours a day/7 days a week, to get answers to their questions. (TTY: 1-855-889-4325). Thank you in advance for helping to spread the word.

NURSE Corps Stories from the Field


 Carlos Ortiz, R.N., NURSE Corps Scholarship Participant:


“Puerto Rico is a challenging place to find a job in nursing,” says Carlos Ortiz, R.N., a NURSE Corps Scholarship Program participant. “Hospitals are short on funds and when they do have funds to expand their staff, they tend to recruit more experienced health care providers, not recent graduates,” says Carlos, who graduated in December 2012.  The NURSE Corps Scholarship Program gave Carlos the opportunity to secure a position directly out of school; in an area he would otherwise not have been able to obtain a job as a new graduate.  The NURSE Corps Scholarship Program also gave Carlos an opportunity to become a nurse and have the financial freedom to pursue his passion in Puerto Rico.  

Carlos was originally a student in Social Work at the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico, but quickly realized that nursing was his true interest and transferred into the nursing program.  While he was in the program, academic advisors at the school introduced the students to the NURSE Corps Program.  Carlos was among 13 awardees from the University selected for the program and he says it was “an honor” to be chosen.

As a nurse at Santa Rosa Hospital, Carlos has been able to treat the whole patient, not just the illness.  He recalls one patient telling him that “nobody gave me treatment like you did.”  It is because of this kind of feedback that Carlos continues to be grateful for the NURSE Corps Scholarship Program and its ability to allow him to do what he loves.  In treating the whole patient, Carlos has been able to provide appropriate care in a culturally competent manner taking into account family traditions, community values and practices.  In addition, he has become an integral part of the community.   

Carlos would recommend that anyone interested in the NURSE Corps Scholarship Program make sure that serving the underserved is their calling.  “Visualize yourself in four years and ask yourself is this for me?  It is a commitment and it should be taken seriously,” warns Carlos.

Carlos would like to especially thank NURSE Corps Scholarship Program staff for their dedication and support while in–service. “I could not have done it without their help,” says Carlos.

NEW! Getting Prepared for Service Program for NURSE Corps Scholars In-Training

NURSE Corps has launched the Getting Prepared for Service (GPS) Program. The GPS Program will provide a suite of online resources to support NURSE Corps scholarship recipients as they journey from training to practice at a critical shortage facility. All scholars are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the upcoming webinars, tip sheets, and videos. Upon their release, each resource will be archived on the NURSE Corps webpage.

The NURSE Corps Mentor Program is also part of the GPS Program and is another valuable resource being offered to newly awarded NURSE Corps scholarship recipients. The array of topics that will be offered will include employment contract negotiations, effective communication tools for health care professionals, understanding program requirements and expectations, interviewing strategies, training experiences that can enhance your career and more! Stay tuned for upcoming events. If you would like more information please contact

Program Reminders

The 2013 Tax Season is approaching -   W-2s are scheduled to be issued by January 31, 2014:

  • Verify your contact information in the participant portal is accurate (W-2s are issued to address on record).
  • Although Federal and FICA taxes are withheld from awards, NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program (LRP) does not withhold state taxes.
  • Participants are encouraged to check with their state treasury and/or tax advisor to determine if their award is taxable by their respective states.
  • For more information regarding tax liabilities, please review your contract in the participant portal.

Interested in seeking a 3rd year of service with the NURSE Corps LRP? Here are some tips:

  • The Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 application cycle for 3rd-year contracts will open on March 4, 2014 and close on April 24, 2014.
  • All application documents must be submitted via the participant portal. 3rd-year awards provide you with an additional 25% of your original, NURSE Corps Loan Repayment eligible nursing loan balance(s).
  • You must electronically submit a payment history from the loan servicers for your NURSE Corps LRP-eligible nursing loans.
  • Payment histories MUST include a record of all payments made from the start date of your 2-year NURSE Corps LRP contract through your most recent account statement.
  • To be eligible for a 3rd-year contract with the NURSE Corps LRP, you must:
    • Have a remaining loan balance in one or more of your NURSE Corps LRP-eligible nursing loans.
    • Be compliant with all NURSE Corps LRP requirements.
    • Verify that your employer has submitted all required in-service verification forms.

In - Service Verifications (ISV)

Attention all in-service NURSE Corps Loan Repayment and Scholarship participants:  your In-service verification (ISV) forms must be updated every 6 months to remain in compliance with the NURSE Corps Program. Beginning in January, both NURSE Corps participants and the Site Point of Contact (Site POC) at your approved Critical Shortage Facility or School of Nursing (for Nurse Corps Faculty only) will need to complete and certify this information in the participant portal.

Participants: Make certain the individual listed in the NURSE Corps portal as the Site POC is responsible for completing your ISV. The NURSE Corps Program verifies ISV information every 6-months to ensure that participants are meeting program requirements and fulfilling their service obligation.

All NURSE Corps Site POCs: Please check the portal and verify you are the correct Site POC to complete the ISV process at your site. If you are not, please send the name, email address, phone number, site name and mailing address for the correct Site POC that manages the ISV process at your site to the following email address. If you are the correct Site POC, please be sure to create a portal account.

Participants could jeopardize their service credit, payments (if applicable), and/or be recommended for default of their initial contract and/or continuation contract(s) if the ISV process is not completed on time. If you have any questions, please contact the NURSE Corps Program through the portal or the Customer Care Center at 1-800-221-9393 (TTY: 1-877-897-9910) weekdays (except Federal holidays) from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, ET.

Got questions?

Is there a question you need answered? A concern you want to express? Or, something you simply want to know about the NURSE Corps?  The participant portal  is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Through your portal account, you may submit an inquiry on topics such as:

  • What is required if I’m interested in transferring to another Critical Shortage site or School of Nursing?
  • What should I do if I know I’ll be away from my job for an extended period of time (e.g., medical or maternity leave-of-absence)?


Spread the Word: Next NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Application Cycle Opening Soon!

Calling all NURSE Corps alumni and participants!  Do you know of a nurse who has the passion and commitment to work in underserved communities? Are they looking for financial support to pay off educational debt? If yes, then the NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program (LRP) offers that opportunity and we’d like your help spreading the word about the program and the upcoming application cycle. 

Help us by posting information about the NURSE Corps LRP on your favorite social media network, sharing your experience as a NURSE Corps participant with students and faculty at your alma mater and making the NURSE Corps LRP fact sheet available at your healthcare site.  Be creative—these are just a few examples on how you can communicate with eligible nurses about the NURSE Corps LRP and how to become a part of a strong network which provides healthcare to those that need it the most.\

The application cycle is expected to open in early 2014, so encourage eligible nurses to register on-line at the NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program website.  To receive notification when the application cycle opens, and begin gathering their loan verification and supplemental documentation. Here is some other information to share:

  • Applicants apply electronically.
  • Eligible registered nurse and nurse practitioner applicants must be working full-time (a minimum of 32 hours per week) at a Critical Shortage Facility located in a Health Professional Shortage Area.
  • Eligible Nurse Faculty applicants must be working full-time (as defined by applicant’s School of Nursing for a minimum of 9 months per calendar year at an accredited School of Nursing).

Managed and designed by the American Academy of Nursing, the Have you ever served in the military Initiative is a new awareness campaign designed to improve the health of veterans. The campaign encourages healthcare providers to ask about their patients’ military background in order to better serve their medical needs. Click here to learn more.

Stay Connected
  • Any hot topics you would like to see in upcoming editions of the NURSE Notes newsletter? Do you or one of your NURSE Corps colleagues have an interesting story to share about serving at a Critical Shortage Facility?  Have you or your site recently received a special honor or recognition?  Email to submit your ideas or stories.
  • Don’t forget to like us on the NURSE Corps Facebook page. Updates, resources and materials that you can use are being posted daily.