42 Tennessee nurses have had their licenses suspended for defaulting on student loans, according to the Chattanooga Times.
A disciplinary action report released this month by the Tennessee Department of Health revealed that the October suspensions mark a renewed effort to uphold a statute passed in 1999, which states that license penalties can be implemented in the event of defaults on loans. According to the Times, the suspensions come after an 18-month effort to track down and work out payment plans with hundreds of health professionals.
According to Tennessee Student Assistant Corporation staff attorney Peter Abernathy, the relatively high number of suspensions represent a regulatory backlog. He told the Times that "going forward, when [the state boards] are taking action on these on a month-to-month basis, the number will drop dramatically...down to a small handful."
Officials hope that an implementation of the old law will prompt nurses to be more vigilant about repayment, and perhaps push the default rate down -- Abernathy told the Jackson Sun that increased enforcement of the statute "is helpful in the sense that it motivates people to repay their student loans."
So far, 20 of the nurses have joined repayment plans and subsequently been reinstated. What do you think of this news? Have your student loans ever interfered with your job? Share your thoughts in the comments section.