Nursing students who agree to work in Iowa for at least four years after graduation could get up to 15-thousand dollars in students loans paid off through a new state program. Iowa Lieutenant Governor Sally Pederson says it’s one way to address the looming nursing shortage.Pederson says 60 percent of actively licensed nurses will be over the age of 50 and may retire by 2009. Nurses who choose to teach others the profession would be eligible for up to 20-thousand dollars to cover their student loans. A fall 2000 survey of nursing education programs found nearly half of the faculty planned to retire in 10 years. The new program is run by a private, nonprofit agency, and modeled after a bill the Iowa Legislature passed last year, but didn’t have any state tax dollars to pay for it. The Lieutenant Governor led a task force that helped develop the program. She says it’s an important incentive for Iowa nurses that she believes will make a significant different in the ability to keep and attract nurses in our state.
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