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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

ARE WE PLAYING WITH FIRE WHEN IT COMES TO NURSING IMMIGRATION?

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.

Very shortly, Congress will consider legislation that could allow 60,000 foreign nurses to come to the US. We face a shortage that will approach a million by the end of the next decade. On a daily basis, the lack of nurses is a serious problem, but not so noticeable to the typical American. But what happens if we have a pandemic and all of a sudden hospitals around the country are called on to deal with hundreds of thousands - perhaps millions - of sick patients at the same time? We're getting a little preview of that right now with just a few dozen cases of swine flu. The LA Times reports today that hospitals around the US are already feeling the strain and almost no one is even infected. It's obvious that we are treading in very dangerous water when we allow a nurse shortage to fester and allow immigration and labor union politics to get in the way of securing the American public. The time is now to aggressively pursue every means available to solve the health care worker shortages we're facing. That means pouring money in to nursing education. It means providing incentives to encourage nurses to come back to the profession. It means subsidizing nurses who choose to teach nursing so they can earn a competitive salary. And it means having a generous nursing immigration program that will help alleviate the shortage until we can produce enough nurses on our own.

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  1. guest's Avatar
    I have been reading for 2 weeks already on a different blog that such a legislation is about to be reintroduced but when time goes by nothing happens. Last year such a legislation died in the subcommittee! What are the chances that such a bill will be passed soon?Thank you.
  2. Geroge Chell's Avatar
    We need to run commercials in places such as Florida along with the AARP that the nursing union does not have the interests of seniors in mind and put out starky white will happen if the shortage of nurses persists...higher salaries for nurses no doubt, but the cost would be passed to insurance corporations which will drop the vulnerable seniors from their rolls...something that the most virulent anti-immigration politician Governor Richard Lamm of Colorado implied twenty years ago when he said that the seniors should drop dead.
  3. Jim's Avatar
    Like I said previously, this H1N1 pandemic scare should be the final wake-up call.

    This particular statement in the article sums it all:

    "It is a major Achilles' heel in our state of readiness," said Dr. Irwin Redlener, director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University. "If we get a situation that is really out of hand with large numbers of people affected, I fear that our hospital and healthcare facilities simply won't have the materials or even the staffing to respond," he said. "

    All those against the nursing bill and doing all their powers to delay it since 2007 should just shove it. If something was done way back in 2007 and 2008 and they have not blocked it then the staffing shortages would not be this bad.

  4. Geroge Chell's Avatar
    Solution to H1N1? Lift the cap of H1B1 to admit more nurses. Treat H1N1 with H1B1!
  5. Kamal Jain's Avatar
    http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/05/01/pa.immigrant.beating/index.html

    What wonders produces the small town of Shenanigan
  6. waiting RN 's Avatar
    Hi Greg,the first time I heard about the introduction of this bill was in mid March followed by numerous announcements of its impending introduction. Why the delay? Will the aim to be to pass the bill as a stand alone bill or part of CIR?
  7. rajani's Avatar
    Treating H1N1 with H1B will not be a viable solution. Many RNs having cleared IELTS & NCLEX have moved out from Philipines and India (from where majority of the RNs are available for US). They are well settled in countries UAE, Qatar, Ireland, UK, Australia etc. They will think twice or thrice before moving to USA on H1B visa considering the prsent economic condition and the long waiting period for getting Green Card. Having said so, yes perhaps about 5,000 to 10,000 RNs would be available. Even this is not realistic since at least 65% of RNs having passed NCLEX & IELTS are not BSNs.

    If the congress does not address the issue in 2009 perhaps US will need to wait till 2017 or so to get 60,000 Nurses even if a legislation is passed in 2010 or 2011. Large numbers of RNs who are available/looking for opportunities in US will drop their idea and settle down wherever they are. Australia has waived of the requirement of IELTS for those Nurses having worked in an English speaking country for one year and hospitals are also offering 12,500 Australian Dollars as relocation allowance. Canada is also offering now PR for those Nurses having worked in US on H1B for one year.

    Number of Nurses taking CGFNS and NCLEX has come down drastically and they may even close dowwn the test centres. So, if no legislation is passed in the near future, we will go back to the time of 2002 where visas were available but qualified Nurses were not available.

    Let us hope the Congress will address the shortage of Nurse at the earliest.
  8. StillOcean's Avatar
    This is never gonna happen! I am seriously depressed.
  9. Geroge Chell's Avatar
    "This is never gonna happen! I am seriously depressed."

    It will happen when some overworked nurses kill patients...and that will happen pretty soon if the situation is dire!

  10. Geroge Chell's Avatar
    Where did the Swine flu originate?....

    The response..

    The bigotry and hatred from the antis led by a guy aptly named savage...

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090502/ap_on_he_me/us_swine_flu_immigration_debate

    And most likely the reality that even Fox News understands!...

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,518572,00.html
  11. guest's Avatar
    The issue is not a shortage of nurses but a shortage of funded nursing positions and funding for Clinical Instructors.
  12. guest's Avatar
    To guest below: the issu is not shortage of nurses? Please read the facts about shortage of nurses.
  13. guest's Avatar
    I'm sorry forgot to copy the address of the facts about nursing shortage.. Here it is:

    http://www.aacn.nche.edu/Media/FactSheets/NursingShortage.htm
  14. Jim's Avatar
    "The issue is not a shortage of nurses but a shortage of funded nursing positions and funding for Clinical Instructors. "

    Both are valid issues but they are two different things. The one is the result while the other one is just one of the many reasons for the shortage.

    It would also be a big mistake if people thinks that just by increasing the salary of clinical instructors and teachers is the sole solution.

    Recent studies says that 1 out 5 or 20% of new grads quits nursing within 1 year and there are other studies of more nurses quitting within 3-5 years.

    Most reasons I read is that they find the job very hard or they can't bear the working conditions.

    Some quit altogether when they get married or once they have a kid. Some also treat it as 'just a job' or a part-time job rather than treat it as a career or a vocation/calling like some foreign nurses treat it. There's a difference between 'just a job' and a 'career' or a 'vocation' and the difference is usually seen on the workplace.

    Some new grads are also picky like wanting the day shift only, unwilling or "not ready" to re-locate, unwilling to do weekend shifts, unwilling to do occasional OTs when short or when someone calls in sick or suddenly quits altogether.

    And they wonder why there is a shortage since WWII and only temporarily relieved during times of recessions? And why there would always be a place for foreign nurses?

    Foreign nurses, specially Filipino nurses has been going to the US and other countries as nurses for decades. It is not just the last few years or so like some would think.

  15. Geroge Chell's Avatar
    If the goal is to contain health care costs doubling the salary of nurses is not an option.
  16. nyra's Avatar
    congrats to Manny Pacman Pacquiao!!!
  17. kavitha's Avatar
    Hi Greg, What does the "very shortly" means? Does it mean beginning May, end May or June or else. Is there a time frame or time estimate?
  18. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    "The issue is not a shortage of nurses but a shortage of funded nursing positions and funding for Clinical Instructors."

    Yes, the issues is a shortage of nurses - a shortage of faculty to train more nurses is one of many contributing causes and recruiting more faculty members is not gong to close the million nurse gap. By the way, one of the nice things about the nurse visa bill is that it has a $1500 fee that goes directly for nurse training programs so that in the long run we can train enough of our own nurses.
  19. Nisha's Avatar
    Hi Greg,

    Do we understand that the new version of bill is more or less like 5924 of 2008. Perhaps, 1500 $ will need to be paid along with DS 230 since majority of the I 140 applications have now been approved, thus premium processing may not be necessary.
    Can we expect the bill being introduced in a fortnight?
  20. analytical's Avatar
    Hi Greg
    when do you think this new version of nurses bill be offered and be enacted finally?
    please enlighten us.
    thanks
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