The Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP) is an attractive financial aid option for nurses considering a Master of Science in Nursing degree with an education focus. There continues to be an extreme shortage of nurses nationwide and a huge need for nurse educators to educate the next generation of nurses. In order to address the demand, the federal Health Resources and Services Administration created the NFLP.
The NFLP provides low-interest loans to individuals who pursue a degree that would let them become a faculty member within an accredited nursing program. At Nebraska Methodist College (NMC), that means acceptance into the Nurse Educator track of either the BSN to MSN program or the RN to MSN program.
Upon attaining a master’s degree, individuals are then eligible to have as much as 85 percent of their loan forgiven by working as full-time faculty for four years.
Only having to pay 15 percent of a loan for a MSN degree seems like a great deal. So why wouldn’t someone want to take advantage of the NFLP?
Here are the top three myths about the NFLP at Nebraska Methodist College:
Myth No. 1: You have to teach in Nebraska.
A common assumption with the NFLP, is that you must teach in the same state as the college or university in which you obtained your degree. NMC is located in Omaha, Nebraska, so many students think you have to continue living here (if you already live in Nebraska) or move here (if you live elsewhere) in order to take advantage of the NFLP.
Fact: The NFLP allows nurse educators to fulfill the full-time faculty requirement at any accredited nursing college or university in the United States.
Why is this a big deal? NMC’s accredited BSN to MSN and RN to MSN programs are online, allowing students near and far to obtain a high-quality advance degree. So, you could live in Florida and get your degree from NMC and then stay in Florida -- or move anywhere else in the U.S. -- to teach through the NFLP.
Myth No. 2: Nurse educators don’t get to practice anymore.
Some nurses no longer wish to work 12-hour shifts on nights and weekends. Others simply feel called to teach. But none of them want to give up providing personal care to patients.
Fact: As a nurse educator, it isn’t all just lesson plans and grading papers. After all, nursing students need clinical instructors. Many of our own professors’ favorite work takes place outside the classroom and in the hospital, when they take students under their wing and walk them through actual patient care.
This setup is the best for all parties. Students learn from nurses who remain on the cutting edge of what is going on the field. And nurse educators are never far removed from their practices while enjoying a better work-life balance without the exhausting schedule.
Myth No. 3: Nurse educators make less money.
Yes, MSN students who choose the educator track (median of $69,130 per year) may make less than those who go the informatics or executive route, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, the median salary for novice nurse educators is on par with that of registered nurses ($68,450). And, like all other higher education teachers, the more years or service equate to a higher salary.
Fact: If you factor in the 85 percent of canceled loans through the NFLP, nurse educators could save $22,000-$33,000, depending on if they are in the RN to MSN or BSN to MSN program at NMC. That is a huge savings and makes up some of the difference in salary.
Plus, time is money, and nurse educators enjoy a more traditional work day, allowing that valuable work-life balance. Depending on the college, they could get the summers off, not to mention the usual spring and winter breaks.
Finally, nurse educators make a huge difference in so many peoples’ lives. Only now they do so through their students, reaching all the patients they will eventually care for. The impact on the future of nursing and the community at large is priceless.
If you’re interested in learning more about becoming a nurse educator through the MSN program at Nebraska Methodist College, by downloading one of these free guides.