National Health Service Corps
What is the NHSC Scholarship Program?
The NHSC awards scholarships each year to students pursuing careers in primary care. The scholarship includes:
- Payment for tuition, required fees, and other reasonable educational costs
- Monthly support stipend (taxable)
- Assistance in finding a practice site
In return, students commit to serve in the Corps for two to four years in an underserved community located in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) upon their graduation and licensure.
Am I Eligible?To receive an NHSC scholarship, you must be a:
- U.S. citizen or U.S. national
- Full-time student at an accredited school, pursuing a degree in:
- Medicine (MD or DO)
- Dentistry (DDS or DMD)
- Nurse practitioner
- Certified nurse-midwife
- Physician assistant (in primary care)
What is the Service Commitment?
National Health Service Corps Scholars are committed to serve one year for each year of support (minimum of two years service) at an approved site in a high-need Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) soon after they graduate, serve a primary care residency (family medicine, general pediatrics, general internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology or psychiatry for physicians and general or pediatric for dentists) and are licensed.
Scholars compete for employment at the approved service sites of their choice from a listing of job vacancies in their discipline and specialty. The NHSC helps Scholars select a compatible service site and pays for travel to and from interviews.
Where do Scholars Serve?
Many types of health care facilities are approved NHSC sites. About half of NHSC Scholars fulfill their service commitment at Federally-supported health centers. Health center clinicians can be granted medical malpractice liability protection through the Federal Tort Claims Act.
Other types of NHSC approved sites include:
- Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC)
- FQHC Look-Alike
- Rural Health Clinic (RHC)
- Hospital Affiliated Primary Care Out-Patient Clinic
- Indian Health Service, Tribal Clinic, and Urban Indian Health Clinic (ITCU)
- Correctional Facility
- Private Practice (Solo/Group)
- Other Health Facility (Community Outpatient Facility, Community Mental Health Facility, State and County Departments of Health Clinic, Mobile Unit, Free Clinic, Immigration and customs Enforcement (ICE) Health Service Corps)
Scholars negotiate their salaries with the employing site, but the NHSC requires that they be paid at least as much as they would in an equivalent Federal civil service position. A few Scholars serve in an established private practice in a high-need Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA). These arrangements must be approved by the NHSC and Scholars working in them are not protected by the NHSC minimum salary requirement.
All NHSC approved sites accept Medicare, Medicaid and provide services on a sliding fee scale or other method that enables poor and uninsured patients to receive care whether or not they are insured or able to pay.
Sites that have applied to and been approved by the NHSC post vacancies on the NHSC Job Opportunities List. Sites that list vacancies for Scholars must be located in the neediest HPSAs.
For NHSC Scholarship Program details please see the Application and Program Guidance. (PDF - 689 KB)