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August 07, 2008

Will Hiring Foreign Nurses Solve the Nursing Shortage?

Earth72x721 There is a bill being discussed in Congress, HR 5924, which focuses on providing employment-based visas for foreign-educated nurses. HR 5924 refers to the Emergency Nursing Supply Relief Act. The Act would allocate 60,000 visas for the next 3 years for nurses.

I’m not so sure how this will resolve the shortage long-term, as the bill ends in 2011. What then? I know one thing -- I’ll be ready to retire! The bill focuses on solving the current domestic problem of a lack of nurses. Seems to me that all of this is cyclical in nature.

Haven’t we done this before? Brought in Irish nurses? Brought in nurses from the Philippines? Do we need to do it again? What are your thoughts?

You can read more about this Act here

August 7, 2008 in Beka | Permalink


As i have noticed, the way they wrote their comments, they will not really be hired. It is not just the degree that will count but the attitude and being committed to your work which some does not have really matter most.

Posted by: mc | Jul 15, 2011 3:03:17 AM

As i have noticed, the way they wrote their comments, they will not really be hired. It is not just the degree that will count but the attitude and being committed to your work which some does not have really matter most.

Posted by: mc | Jul 15, 2011 3:03:17 AM


Posted by: AMY | Sep 3, 2010 10:05:18 PM

big lie there is a saturatuion of nurses not a shortage!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: nurse | Apr 2, 2010 1:20:47 AM


Posted by: jen | Feb 10, 2010 2:29:02 AM

I graduate from nursing school (ADRN) in May 2010. I live in Mississippi and have already begun the process of applying for jobs. Problem: no one wants to hire a "NEW" nurse. I attend one of 4 colleges in the area, all of which have nursing programs that graduate 20-40 students each, every 6mts. I have talked to places as far away as TN, AL, and FL but was told that there were only a "Few" positions available for new RN's. A "Few" positions? When schools are cranking out a total of 320 "NEW" RN's a year (just in my area)? What am I suppose to do I ask you? And yet I keep getting told about this awful nursing shortage. Whatever.

Posted by: Ashleyb | Jan 7, 2010 11:19:06 PM

iam a bsc nurse with 3 years experience

Posted by: maya | Nov 11, 2009 2:58:53 PM

iam a bsc nurse with 3 years experience

Posted by: maya | Nov 11, 2009 2:58:52 PM

iam a bsc nurse with 3 years experience

Posted by: maya | Nov 11, 2009 2:58:51 PM

The nusring shortage worldwide is real. While many have expressed their views or difficulties in landing the right jobs life is never going to be a bed of roses. We have to challenge the odds and find the right job to be able to work in a meaningful environment.

In Singapore where I am based the health facilities are amongst the best one could find and naturally the health hub for Asia. Here we have nurses from many countries from Philippines, India, China and even from Myanmar. So similarly many opportunities could be filled by Asia nurses whose culture and work ethics are well known. Together we will make gerat strides if we work together for the greater good. Some nurses in USA or other countries may want to work in Singapore and so on. If they are not picky on salary and other adjustment related issues they should be able to find jobs.

Please feel free to contact me at [email protected] on how we could help. Please check our web-site at www.nursesplacementsinternational.com.

Here is to all nurses internationally - you have a noble job. Be patient and look out for opportunities. There will always be one to fit your aspirations.

I salute one and all nurses all over the world. God bless all of your in your noble deeds.

T Rajagopal
Adviser - Value Chain
Nurses Placements International
[email protected]

Posted by: T Rajagopal | Apr 3, 2009 10:56:54 AM

I am getting really nervous after reading all of these posts. I have just been accepted to a nursing program. I see that a girl above said that she graduated in 2008 and cannot find a job. I live in Maryland and there seem to be plenty of jobs right now but I don't know if that will be the case two years from now when I graduate. I have my A.A.S. in radiographic technology (x-rays) and that field, at least in Maryland, is just about dried up. What few jobs there are, are all PRN since no one wants to pay benefits. I hope that this is not the case with nursing. Any advice from any R.N.'s out there would be much appreciated.


Posted by: Suzie | Mar 9, 2009 10:56:19 PM

it's all so confusing. some say u.s. needs foreign nurses, while others say they are not needed. no wonder the u.s.lawmakers are also confused and sending mixed signal to these foreign nurses.hope you all make up your mind on one stand.

Posted by: foreign rn | Mar 6, 2009 1:21:02 AM

There is no shortage of nurses. I have graduated since may of 2008 with my bachelors in nursing and no one will hire me and I am not the only one. More than half of my class is having a hard time finding a job.Why do you want to hire when we are citizens of the USA and cant find a job.

Posted by: Christina | Feb 25, 2009 4:20:05 PM

Well, I believe healthcare organizations should give US Citizen RNs priority over hiring foreign nationals. Seriously, it's getting harder and harder to find a job in an acute care setting as a new grad RN.

Posted by: RexT, RN | Feb 17, 2009 12:00:56 AM

Make the nursing program affordable to citizens here...the problem is the government does not make it easier for aspiring students to finish their program.

Posted by: erlinda | Feb 1, 2009 3:12:13 PM

Make the nursing program affordable to citizens here...the problem is the government does not make it easier for aspiring students to finish their program.

Posted by: erlinda | Feb 1, 2009 3:12:13 PM

I am a foreign born nurse who got the nursing education in the USA. Despite of paying high tution fees and having decent job offers every day in my email I am not able to work as there are no visa numbers available. I would loose my knowledge if I would not utilize it. I think they have to give priority to the nurse who took education in USA and have clinical exprience in U.S. based hospital settings. What do you think about it??? I had so many illegal work offers that I have denied as I do not want to loose my licence for some money that I have earned after had work. If it continues to work like these then I would reconsider to accept those illegal offers (In such a bad economy, I have to get some money back that I have spend on my education)

Posted by: Nurse | Dec 11, 2008 5:32:58 PM

Here in the Philippines..... there are 400,000 unemployed Registered nurses. and out of that 400,000 nurses, half of them already passed the Nclex and english exams. the only thing that hinders them to go to America is the long waiting period in the immigration. also, most of the employers are looking for someone who iss currently working in aa hospital. unfortunately, most nurses here works as a call center agent and med rep. most hospitals here makes lot of money bec of over supply of nurses. for example, other hospitals will not hire nurses because they can get nurses who volunteers at their hospital without compensation. others, Most nurses here works for free for about a year or two just to say they have clinical experience but sad to say other employers doesnt count that as work experience. :D

America has the demand for nurses, Philippines is over supply. This comming december, there will be 88,000 board takers for the Local Nursing licensure exam. :D then i guess after that... from 400k unemployed nurses by next year it will be at least 450-470k unemployed nurses. :D

Posted by: Patty | Nov 13, 2008 2:41:35 AM

As a nurse of 30 years I always think I have heard and seen it all. But I was not ready for the anger and vicitimization that is palpable in some of these postings! I tend to agree with those that are saying buck up and do something about it. I make good money but over the years have taken several pay cuts as I have moved around to try different care settings, different specialties, etc. Personally I am thankful for the nursing leadership that has to wade through all the regulatory stuff, all the CNS's that help me to learn and understand the new pumps, and how to incorporate evidence into my practice. I don't want to be a CNO or a VP of nursing who has to negotiate with the docs, the nursing schools,the vendors, hear all the complaints, and I think they should get their money.

I don't think foreign nurses are the answer either. In part because of the language and practice differences but more because we are robbing other countries of the nurses they need. How does that work with us sending nurses and docs oversees on multiple mission trips, but then turning around and taking in nurses that could be put to good use in their own country?

But finally, my question to you all is what are you doing about it except blogging? Have you written to your congressperson? Do you track the bills in the media? Do you work with a nursing association that has a PAC that can influence legislations? There are tons of bills in front of congress right now for review and action. So put your money where your mouths are and help your congressional representative to sort through the options. We are nurses and we don't know the answer, but how should they know anything without us steering them a bit with information and evidence?

Go to www.aacn.nche.edu and search for HEALTH AND EDUCATION LEGISLATION IN THE 110TH CONGRESS for a view of what is going on to help.

Posted by: Margie | Oct 22, 2008 9:57:58 PM

I know how it feels when you have to communicate with someone who can not fluently speak your language. However, since nurses available in the united state is not enough to fulfill the demand, government had to hire foreign nurses to resolve the current nurses’ shortage temporarily. But I do agree that there should be more nursing schools in the United States for those who really want to be a nurse and are capable of being a good nurse.

Posted by: rejina | Sep 27, 2008 2:15:08 PM

Hiring foreign nurses will help solve the problem, but it still won't be enough to compensate for the nursing shortage. There needs to be an increase of nursing programs, educators, and students all over the world. With the baby boomer generation retiring in the near future, the entire healthcare field will experience a shortage. A long term solution must be found to fix this problem.

Posted by: Brian | Sep 21, 2008 5:57:18 PM

Nursing Shortage is a crisis everywhere.

Nurses in academia should be compensated just as much as a nurse in the field. The education side of nursing needs to increase to equalize the situation of the shortages. Bringing in nurses from other countries is a great idea but how long will they stay? We need a long term solution to this growing problem. The solution would be to increase the salary in academia and increase programs for nursing.

Posted by: Mary | Sep 12, 2008 10:29:13 PM

I have been at bedside nurse for 30 years ER/ICU pediatric and adult with extensive knowledge in open heart surgery and telemetry. The current nursing situation is bad and I will give you some topics to discuss with the panel of nurses already here in this chat and welcome any reader to discuss this topics.

1 Nursing Schools are looking for advance degree educator(MSN,PHD.. etc) but some of this educators do not have the clinical experience needed to teach a new nurse student due to her lack of knowledge at bedside herself ,maybe she will be good in research but everything they teach is not mastered . I worked with many new grads at bedside BSN/MSN/ARNP,and I can see they are so lost like a new medical student ,
As soon as they get 6-1 year and feel comfortables they initiate their territorial way to either move up or switch to other administrative nursing career in order to avoid the mandatory long hours and holidays requirement . This new generation of nurses are not easy to help and they are very self centered in their individual family time vs life style. They do not want a hospital to mandate over their free time,they want flexible schedules and demand self recognition . So after they finish the contract with the hiring bonus or advance school reimbursement they moved out .
2. Many managers and nurses administrator kiss the new nurses ambitions to protect their position in upper levels and never come to help when needed,they also do not have a clue in the reality of bedside nursing because their nurse experience is obsolete or they do not have any practice for long time . They come to the units or meetings like big Matrons dictating the policies already discussed in the upper nurses CEO's non experience nurses as well to be implemented.
3. The managers and administrators are office people no bedside nurses. Any experience nurse or seniority nurse suggesting changes are seen as a traitor or complainer and they tend to isolate them from the group.
When a code arises they hide and leave the places instead of watching the reality of inexperience nurse trained by them in the residence program. The real chaos started,and the experience ones without good paid with professionalism and compassion re enter the teaching scenario to help the new one to survive.
Clinical educators with experience to train at bedside are non seen in many departments due to paper work/meetings /committees in office . Is the new nurse explained before hired that she is liable to any wrong doing if she is in charge of a patient without a clinical educator for one year at bedside????NO so they quit after been traumatized from non experience well educated situations.
4. The problem is not american nurses vs foreign nurses ,we have good and bad ones from both sides ,the problem for me is good academic /clinical teaching and knowledge vs poor . This is the reality of our new nursing system to much bureaucracy in the hospital nursing administration. In may hospital we have 15 upper level nurses in one department implementing policies and dictating everything and none of them really come down to do 1-2 round per month to feel the burden of the reality of nurses at bedside. A nurse administrator salary is above 90K vs the clinical bedside starting at 15$ per hour . Who wants to be at bedside ?
If I was a new nurse now without the really nursing patient love to my career I will be at bedside 1 year and move up to have all the free time and flexibility to dictate rules instead of taking real liability taking care of patients ratio 20:1. Why to kill myself so much taking care of patients if I can be relax in my office writing congratulation e mails or evaluating the people I don't know but the peers evaluate,some of them criticized your career from patient satisfaction not been above 90%. Do you think is fair ? The shortage is their responsibility not ours,they should be fired if their team is overwhelmed and short with patients and they are at home during a beautiful holiday/week end and we get a bad patients satisfaction ,they should come to help is part of their job responsibility.
I don't think the nursing shortage will get better , Ithink it will become worse ,I am so scared for my future . Who will be caring for me when I get old ? Are we going to have real nurses at bedside ? I think we need the AA programs back again ,we need practice again or implement a new policy where nurses should have at least 5 years of experience before they become supervisors or managers to deal with the problem .

Posted by: Mechi | Aug 22, 2008 2:16:37 AM

We recently lost a great nurse who returned to her home country rather than continue to struggle with the myraid and arcane laws that her resident alien status incurred. If we are going to use foreign educated nurses, we had better make sure that we don't stack roadblocks in their way.

Until academia pays as well as bedside nursing, we will not see an increase in nursing faculty which will allow for more slots for the many highly qualified candidates that are turned away from our nursing schools each year.

Posted by: Sondra | Aug 21, 2008 6:40:59 AM

I have worked with nurses from many different states and countries. I cannot imaging leaving my home to move to a foreign country with a whole new set of customs, language and rules to be able to do what I love. My hat is off to those nurses who come to the US to better our staffing ratios and improve their own standard of living. The nursing shortage is a real problem, forcing nurses through the system too quickly will only cause patient and staff harm. Let's step back and make sure that the nurses we are graduating can really do the job and critically think the patient's issues. AND - let'sstop eating our young by giving them a great orientation process that sees them through the very difficult first year to retain them, mentor them and help them succeed.
Nursing can pay well, or have gravy hours if a nurse is willing ot work toward a goal. As to the nurse who wanted to be a physician instead - BOO. Nurses have their own profession. The physicians I work with have less time off than the nurses do, work longer hours and get paid only a fraction more for each hour spent working than the nurses do. Plus the nurses know a whole lot more about the patients they treat than any physician I have worked with in my career.
I am proud to be a nurse and proud that I am part of a team working to keep nurses employed and to bring more nurses to the bedside.

Posted by: mamayori | Aug 20, 2008 4:33:31 PM

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