Student loan reimbursements used to attract nurses to veterans homes

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) — Nurses at Kentucky’s state veterans homes can now receive up to $40,000 over four years to pay off their student loans.

“This program showcases our values of education, good jobs and taking care of our veterans,” said Gov. Andy Beshear.  “We also benefit from grants from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which cover half the reimbursements.”

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“We appreciate that nurses have made a substantial investment in their education,” said Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs (KDVA) Commissioner Keith Jackson, “and we want to make sure they can work at our skilled nursing homes – the highest-quality facilities in Kentucky – without worrying about hefty student loan debt.”

The new program was designed to both retain nurses on staff and recruit more nurses. It is open to both registered nurses and licensed practical nurses.

Nurses on staff who have completed at least a year working full time at one of KDVA’s veterans nursing homes in Wilmore, Radcliff, Hazard and Hanson may apply for a first-year reimbursement of one-quarter of their student loan debt, up to a maximum of $10,000 per year.

A recipient may apply the second, third and fourth years, if they have maintained continuous employment in good standing.

  • A nurse who has $8,000 in student loan debt may receive a maximum of $2,000 per year for up to four years, for a total of $8,000.
  • A nurse who has $40,000 in student loan debt may receive a maximum of $10,000 per year for up to four years, for a total of $40,000.
  • A nurse who has $60,000 in student loan debt may receive a maximum of $10,000 per year for up to four years, for a total of $40,000.

The program is now accepting applications from KDVA staff nurses through the end of March. A committee will review and make awards.

Nurses who want to be considered for next year’s awards must be hired for one of KDVA’s four nursing homes no later than March 31, 2021.

“This is a wise investment in our workforce,” said Mark Bowman, Executive Director of the Office of Kentucky Veterans Centers. “Every year we retain a nurse it enhances the continuity of care and saves money by reducing turnover costs. Enhancing our ability to recruit nurses and fill open positions will also improve veterans’ access to care.  We want every nurse who is interested in student loan reimbursement to be eligible as soon as possible, which means being hired by the end of March.”

To apply for nursing positions open at Kentucky State Veterans Homes, go to https://careers.ky.gov.