Florida launched a program to help nurses and select other healthcare workers become eligible for low-interest mortgages and student loans. Gov. Jeb Bush said he introduced the incentives, which became available immediately, because the state is facing a nursing shortage and will need an additional 36,000 nurses by 2006. Florida currently has 178,599 registered nurses, with 9,800 jobs waiting to be filled. Under the program, nursing students working in the state will be offered a 1.06% interest rate on student loans, compared with the standard 4.06% interest rate. The mortgage program, run in partnership with Fannie Mae, is more flexible regarding credit history, offers up to 100% financing for home loans and require just 1% or $500, whichever is less, from the borrower's funds. -- by Patrick Reilly
Fla. wooing nurses with cheap mortgages, loans
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