How to Become a Nurse Educator with Fewer Student Loans

Clarkson College has been awarded more than $1 million through the Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP) from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to assist nursing educators as they pursue advanced education to impact the next generation of nurses. 

The NFLP will be available to nurses enrolled in the Clarkson College Doctor of Healthcare Education & Leadership (Ed.D.) program or the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Nursing Education program option. The program aims to assist registered nurses with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) as they complete their graduate nursing education to become qualified nursing faculty. Recipients are required to teach for at least four consecutive years following graduation to be eligible for loan forgiveness through the NFLP. Following each year of teaching, a percentage of a student’s loan will be forgiven with a total of 85% forgiveness upon completion of their fourth teaching year.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to support our students who are pursuing roles in nursing education,” says Dr. Layna Himmelberg, Director of Graduate Nursing. “This grant will help increase the number of trained nurses entering the workforce as nursing faculty and allow us to continue our Mission of educating the best nursing professionals.”  


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Thanks to NFLP, students like Stacey Poldervaart, MSN, RN (’18, ’20) have the opportunity to explore their passion as nurse educators. After earning her Associate’s degree in Nursing in 2007, she made the decision to return to school in 2018 when she earned her BSN followed by her Master’s degree in Nursing Education from Clarkson College. Now in the second semester of her doctoral degree program at the institution, Stacey is using NFLP to pursue her education while working as a Simulation Assistant Coordinator at Iowa Central Community College.   

“Making the decision to return to school after almost 10 years, and over the age of 45, was not easy,” she says. “The time and financial commitment to further my education and career goals was something to consider, as I have a family to care for as well. NFLP offered through Clarkson College made this decision a bit easier. Being able to continue my education to reach my goals, knowing the financial burden of higher education would be lessened, motivated me to work harder and dream bigger. This opportunity provided by Clarkson College has been greatly appreciated.”   

The NFLP loan covers the cost of tuition, fees and books while a student is enrolled part or full time at Clarkson College. Loans may not exceed $35,500 for an academic year and no more than 5 years of support. Funding is limited to one advanced degree. 

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Clarkson College has approval from the Higher Learning Commission to offer the Ed.D. and MSN programs. The MSN program is also accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. Nurses enrolled in either the Ed.D. program or the MSN Nursing Education program option gain the knowledge and skills to implement and teach health care curricula. Course work focuses on applying clinical practice knowledge and experience to classroom instruction as well as designing and implementing health care courses and/or programs across a variety of settings. 

Learn more about the NFLP opportunity. Visit for more information on our doctorate in Healthcare Education and Leadership and Master’s degree in Nursing Education options, which are available online with part- and full-time options.

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