Nurses are critical to the mission of any healthcare organization. And with an aging U.S. population, experts are warning that the nation is soon going to need a lot more nurses than it currently has.
Unfortunately, the cost of a nursing degree can be an impediment, with new nurses often entering the labor force saddled with thousands of dollars in student debt. But now a new program at University Health System can help registered nurses reduce what they owe.
The Registered Nurse Student Loan Repayment Program at University Health System is unique among San Antonio-area health systems, and rare throughout the country. Only 4 percent of employers in the United States offer student loan repayment programs, according to the Society of Human Resources.
The program offers student debt repayment of up to $7,200 to those with existing debt from earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. Both new hires and current employees may be eligible.
“We think that by helping to reduce the burden of student loans, we can also help nurses secure their financial future,” said Andrea Casas, executive director of human resources at University Health System, who added that the program will address one of the biggest financial concerns of millennials.
University Health System, which employs more the 1,500 staff nurses, also offers nursing scholarships and a generous tuition reimbursement program for employees who continue their education on the job. To better prepare new nurses for the real-world challenges they face, it also has an innovative, yearlong Nurse Residency Program that attracts applicants from across the country.
And University Health System is the only health system in South Texas to earn Magnet designation by the American Nurses Credentialing Center — the gold standard of nursing excellence. University Hospital is routinely ranked best hospital in the San Antonio area by U.S. News and World Report.
To learn more about the Registered Nurse Student Loan Repayment Program, or any of the other financial assistance or career development programs for nurses at University Health System, a registered nurse job fair will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 24 at University Hospital, 4502 Medical Drive. Or go to universityhealthsystem.com/careers.