This paper seeks to determine the extent to which the Nursing Student Loan program (NSL) has accomplished its primary objectives of increasing the supply and effecting a more equitable geographic distribution of nurses. The history and provisions of the program are discussed and data from a survey of nursing schools on students' incomes, borrowing practices and withdrawal rates are analyzed. The major conclusion of the paper is that although NSL has fallen far short of its principal goals, it has produced some secondary benefits. A review of the program is recommended as a means of determining which activities should be emphasized to maximize its overall effectiveness.

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