About the Choice Program

I am interested in the Choice program for RNs. Can you give me more information?

  • The Nurse Scholars Academy is offering a new program that provides tuition assistance to eligible employees. The Choice program gives Northern California KFH/HP non-represented, benefited (20+ hours) registered nurses the flexibility to choose which accredited school they would like to attend to pursue a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN), a master’s, or a doctoral degree.

How long is the Choice program available?

  • The Choice program is planned through 2020 and is subject to change.
  • Tuition assistance may change in any calendar year as funds allow from the Nurse Scholars Academy.

Once I am approved for the Choice program tuition assistance, what are my obligations?

  • Complete and submit a Letter of Agreement with the Nurse Scholars Academy. The applicant will be instructed to complete the letter as part of the acceptance process.
  • Continue to maintain the original KP employee Choice program eligibility requirements.
  • Maintain good standing as defined by the academic institution if you reapply to the Choice program.
  • Maintain “successful” or higher annual performance rating (direct supervisor will be asked to provide documentation).
  • Participate in Nurse Scholars Academy benchmarking surveys if requested.
  • Submit documentation of degree program completion.
  • NOTE: Compliance with these expectations will be taken into consideration for those who reapply to the Choice program.

Eligibility

What are the eligibility requirements for the Choice program?

  • Applicants must meet these three requirements:
    1. Must be a Northern California KFH/HP non-represented, benefited (20+ hours) registered nurse employee
    2. Must have completed at least 90 days as a regular KP employee
    3. Must already be accepted into an accredited BSN or graduate degree program

What degree programs qualify for support under the Choice program?

  • At present, the Choice program supports these degree programs:
    • Bachelor’s degrees: RN to BSN programs
    • Master’s degrees: e.g. MSN, MS, MBA, CNS, etc.
    • Doctoral degrees: e.g. DNP, PhD, etc.
  • As part of the application review process, the Nurse Scholars Academy will determine if the applicant’s desired degree qualifies for the Choice program and is beneficial to KP nursing.

Does the Choice program cover Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) degree programs?

  • At present, the Choice program only provides tuition assistance for Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) programs.
  • Nurse Practitioner (NP), Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM), and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) programs are not covered at this time.

I am a current nurse scholar in a Kaiser Permanente Nurse Scholars Academy (NSA) degree program (RN-BSN, MSN-CNL, or ELDNP). Am I eligible to apply for the Choice program?

  • No, KP employees are only eligible for one Nurse Scholars Academy degree program at a time.

How to Apply

I would like to submit an application to the Choice program. How do I apply?

• The application is generally available online at the Nurse Scholars Academy Website from March through October.

What do I need to provide for the application?

    1. Résumé or CV
    2. A brief statement of purpose describing how the academic program will influence the applicant’s professional practice and leadership development at KP
    3. Proof of acceptance into the academic degree program (e.g. a letter of acceptance, registration, proof of enrollment, unofficial transcript)
    4. Applicant’s direct supervisor’s name, NUID, and KP email
  • The applicant should notify their direct supervisor that the Nurse Scholars Academy will send a reference form for the supervisor to complete and show his or her support for the applicant. The supervisor should know that the applicant is planning to apply for the Choice program.
  • SUBMITTING INFORMATION THROUGH THE WEBSITE “CONTACT” FORM IS NOT AN APPLICATION.

What do I need to know if I am reapplying to the Choice program in subsequent years?

  • Applicants must apply to the Choice program annually to be considered for continued tuition assistance.
  • Compliance with Choice program obligations and expectations will be taken into consideration for those who reapply to the Choice program.
  • Applicants must provide a financial statement (from their academic institution) that shows tuition costs for the prior calendar year.
  • Maintain good standing as defined by the academic institution if you reapply to the Choice program.

Tuition Assistance

How is tuition defined for the Choice program?

  • Tuition assistance includes:
    • Course/class tuition fees
    • Required reading materials
    • Laboratory fees
    • Loans and financial aid that need to be repaid
  • Tuition assistance DOES NOT include:
    • Any scholarships, grants or stipends that do not need to be repaid
    • Hotels and travel costs

All financial items are subject to review and the discretion of the Nurse Scholars Academy.

What tuition assistance is available?

  • Eligible employees may apply for tuition assistance up to a maximum of $5,000 per year for bachelor’s degree programs, up to a maximum of $6,000 for master’s degree programs, and up to a maximum of $9,000 per year for doctoral degree programs.
  • Actual tuition assistance awarded is based on the applicant’s tuition need for the current calendar year:
    Example Tuition Assistance Calculation
    Maria is pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing
    $7,000 Tuition Cost for 2018
    $3,000 National Tuition Reimbursement
    =
    $4,000 Remaining Tuition Need
    2018 Choice Master’s Degree Maximum: $6,000/year
    Maria’s Choice Tuition Assistance: $4,000
  • NOTE: The maximum Kaiser Permanente tuition reimbursement amount (currently $3,000 for Northern California non-represented employees) will always be taken into consideration when evaluating the applicant’s annual tuition need (see example above).

Are there tax implications for this tuition assistance?

  • Annual funds from Qualified Educational Assistance Programs (e.g. National Tuition Reimbursement, Choice program) received from Kaiser Permanente amounting to more than $5,250 are taxable income.
  • Annual funds received from the National Tuition Reimbursement benefit continue to remain non-taxable income.
  • Annual funds received from the Choice program up to $2,250 will be non-taxable income. Funds received from the Choice program above $2,250 will be taxed.
  • NOTE: The employee’s paycheck will indicate which funds received are taxable income. As appropriate, taxes will be deducted on taxable income by National Payroll Services.

What other financial assistance programs are available?

  • The applicant’s college or university may have additional information about other financial aid and scholarships.
  • KP employees may also be eligible for tuition reimbursement benefits through MyHR. Kaiser Permanente employee tuition reimbursement policy: https://epf.kp.org/wps/myportal/hr/kpme/career/educationalassistance/
  • KP employees may also be eligible for employee discounts (e.g. computers) through MyHR. Go to https://epf.kp.org/wps/myportal/hr/kpme and click on “Employee Discount” under the “Benefits, Pay & Employment” section.

Can I apply for tuition assistance for tuition that I paid in a previous year, or that I will pay in a future calendar year?

  • No, tuition costs must be incurred during the same calendar year the applicant is applying for tuition assistance. NOTE: Applicants can apply for tuition assistance through the Choice program for tuition they paid earlier in the current calendar year.
  • For costs in a future calendar year, please wait until that year to apply for tuition assistance.
  • Tuition costs incurred in previous calendar years are not covered under the Choice program.

When will I be notified of the Nurse Scholars Academy’s decision on my Choice application?

  • We will send an email informing the applicant of the selection committee’s decision. For applications submitted by May 31st this email will be sent in June and for applications submitted by October 31st this email will be sent in November.

How will I receive the tuition assistance from the Choice program?

  • If approved, applicants will receive a letter from the Nurse Scholars Academy with details on when they will receive the disbursement.
  • Choice program awards will be distributed through Payroll directly into the employee’s paycheck.
  • NOTE: tuition assistance disbursement will be a one-time payout per year.

Other

What are other recommendations for me to continue to grow my professional practice at Kaiser Permanente?

  • Respond to calls for abstracts or posters from relevant conferences
  • Obtain national certification in the employee’s area of specialty
  • Complete (or update) the Talent Profile in MyHR https://epf.kp.org/wps/portal/hr/performance

Who do I contact for more information about the Nurse Scholars Academy?

  • To connect with resources in the KP Nurse Scholars Academy, please send inquiries to KPNurseScholars@kp.org or call (510) 987-3621.