(110 ILCS 975/6.5)
Nurse educator scholarships.
(a) Beginning with the fall term of the 2009-2010 academic year, the Department shall provide scholarships to individuals selected from among those applicants who qualify for consideration by showing the following:
(1) that he or she has been a resident of this State
for at least one year prior to application and is a citizen or a lawful permanent resident alien of the United States;
(2) that he or she is enrolled in or accepted for
admission to a graduate degree in nursing program at an approved institution; and
(3) that he or she agrees to meet the nurse educator
(b) If in any year the number of qualified applicants exceeds the number of scholarships to be awarded under this Section, the Department shall, in consultation with the Center for Nursing Advisory Board, consider the following factors in granting priority in awarding scholarships:
(1) Financial need, as shown on a standardized
financial needs assessment form used by an approved institution, of students who will pursue their education on a full-time or close to full-time basis and who already have a diploma in nursing and are pursuing a higher degree.
(2) A student's status as a registered nurse who is
pursuing a graduate degree in nursing to pursue employment in an approved institution that educates licensed practical nurses and that educates registered nurses in undergraduate and graduate nursing programs.
(3) A student's merit, as shown through his or her
grade point average, class rank, experience as a nurse, including supervisory experience, experience as a nurse in the United States military, and other academic and extracurricular activities.
(c) Unless otherwise indicated, scholarships under this Section shall be awarded to recipients at approved institutions for a period of up to 3 years.
(d) Within 12 months after graduation from a graduate degree in nursing program for nurse educators, any recipient who accepted a scholarship under this Section shall begin meeting the required nurse educator employment obligation. In order to defer his or her continuous employment obligation, a recipient must request the deferment in writing from the Department. A recipient shall receive a deferment if he or she notifies the Department, within 30 days after enlisting, that he or she is spending up to 4 years in military service. A recipient shall receive a deferment if he or she notifies the Department, within 30 days after enrolling, that he or she is enrolled in an academic program leading to a graduate degree in nursing. The recipient must begin meeting the required nurse educator employment obligation no later than 6 months after the end of the deferment or deferments.
Any person who fails to fulfill the nurse educator employment obligation shall pay to the Department an amount equal to the amount of scholarship funds received per year for each unfulfilled year of the nurse educator employment obligation, together with interest at 7% per year on the unpaid balance. Payment must begin within 6 months following the date of the occurrence initiating the repayment. All repayments must be completed within 6 years from the date of the occurrence initiating the repayment. However, this repayment obligation may be deferred and re-evaluated every 6 months when the failure to fulfill the nurse educator employment obligation results from involuntarily leaving the profession due to a decrease in the number of nurses employed in this State or when the failure to fulfill the nurse educator employment obligation results from total and permanent disability. The repayment obligation shall be excused if the failure to fulfill the nurse educator employment obligation results from the death or adjudication as incompetent of the person holding the scholarship. No claim for repayment may be filed against the estate of such a decedent or incompetent.
The Department may allow a nurse educator employment obligation fulfillment alternative if the nurse educator scholarship recipient is unsuccessful in finding work as a nurse educator. The Department shall maintain a database of all available nurse educator positions in this State.
(e) Each person applying for a scholarship under this Section must be provided with a copy of this Section at the time of application for the benefits of this scholarship.
(f) Rulemaking authority to implement this amendatory Act of the 96th General Assembly, if any, is conditioned on the rules being adopted in accordance with all provisions of the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act and all rules and procedures of the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules; any purported rule not so adopted, for whatever reason, is unauthorized.
(Source: P.A. 96-805, eff. 10-30-09.)