Rural nurses, docs, midwives could soon get tuition help in PA

01 July 2024- Rep. Kathy L. Rapp (R-Warren/Crawford/Forest), Republican chair of the House Health Committee, announced today her bill to provide financial incentives to recruit rural health care providers has passed the House Health Committee. House Bill 2382 would create the Rural Health Care Grant Program, which would allow rural hospitals to help certain providers in paying off their student loans.

“Our rural communities are facing a health care crisis,” Rapp said. “Rural health centers and hospitals are struggling to keep their doors open because of difficulties in recruiting providers. The Rural Health Care Grant Program is a win-win. It helps hospitals bring in skilled workers and helps the providers by covering some of their high student loan costs. Ultimately, the real winners will be our rural communities, which will hopefully have fully staffed teams ready to care for residents.”

To be eligible to receive grant dollars, House Bill 2382 would require licensed nurses, physicians or midwives to begin practicing at a rural hospital, Federal Qualified Health Center (FQHC), rural health clinic or birth center within six months of accepting a position; be classified as full-time by working 30 hours or more per week, or 130 hours per month; and work in the facility for a minimum of three years.

The measure now heads to the full House for consideration.