The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) is a federal program that provides scholarships or repays the educational loans of primary care physicians and other health care providers who agree to serve a minimum of two years in a federally designated health professional shortage area. Health care providers who qualify for the program include nurse practitioners, physician assistants, dentists, dental hygienists, mental health professionals and certified nurse midwives.
The NHSC must approve both the health care provider and the placement site. The Primary Care Office (PCO) helps applicants complete the process required for site designation. The office also helps match health care providers with designated sites.