The University of Pennsylvania is launching a tuition-free nurse practitioner (NP) program that will recruit, train, and deploy NPs to provide primary care to individuals and families in underserved communities across the United States. Participants will be committed to practicing or servicing in an underserved community for 2 years after graduation.

The full-time, 2-year program will recruit 10 students from select Penn Nursing primary care programs to begin classes this fall, noted a press release from the University of Pennsylvania. By 2026, the program is expected to reach an annual target enrollment of 40 NP students.

Fellows will need to show a demonstrated commitment to working in underserved neighborhoods and promoting health equity. Fellows will complete at least half of their clinical education at community partner sites in the greater Philadelphia area that provide direct patient care.

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All participants will receive student aid to cover their tuition and fees and fellows with greater financial need will also receive stipends to help with living expenses.

“This is the most timely and consequential gift not only for our university but for our country. It is unprecedented in its potential to address America’s most critical need of providing primary health care to all who currently lack it by investing in nurses,” said former Penn President Amy Gutmann, PhD.

The program is funded by a donation by Leonard A. Lauder, Chairman Emeritus of The Estee Lauder Companies and Penn alumnus.


University of Pennsylvania announces new tuition-free program to recruit, train and deploy nurse practitioners to underserved communities across the US. News Release.  Penn Nursing.