Rhode Island will offer nursing students zero interest student loans if they agree to work in the state after graduation.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee plans to announce the new initiative Tuesday. It's designed to address a projected shortage of nurses in the Ocean State.

To qualify, nursing students would have to agree to work at a hospital or other health care facility in the state. In exchange, the students would not have to pay interest on the loans for four years after they graduate. The loans would be offered by the Rhode Island Student Loan Authority.

A 2009 study by the state Senate estimated that the state will need 6,500 additional nurses by the year 2020 to keep up with aging baby boomers.