A Mercy Health nurse works with a patient in 2015. The health system is recruiting nurses and offering loan repayment assistance for certain positions. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

Hospital network to repay student debt for some nurses

Nurses hired for hard-to-fill roles at Mercy Health could get up to $20,000 in student loans repaid.

The program launched in August as unemployment drops and competition heats up for nurses among not just hospitals but other health care providers like nursing homes, home health agencies and physician practices.

Mercy Health, which locally includes locations in the Springfield and Cincinnati areas, said in a statement that the loan program makes monthly contributions with the amounts increasing every year through the fifth year. The payments continue until the limit is reached.

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The hard-to-fill nursing roles are all direct patient care roles.

“Talented nurses are vital to ensuring the health and well-being of our patients. Our new student loan repayment program is a win-win for us and our nurses. It helps us attract and retain nurses in hard-to-fill, direct patient care roles while helping them pay down their college debt,” said Allan Calonge, Mercy Health human resources system vice president.

In addition to the Student Loan Repayment program, Mercy Health stated that its employees may be eligible to participate in the federal Public Services Student Loan Forgiveness program, which forgives qualifying loans for nonprofit employees after 120 payments are made.

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