Jan 01, 2010

Recruitment of Foreign-Educated Nurses to the U.S

Key Findings:
  • Since the start of the current nursing shortage, reliance on foreign-educated nurses (FENs) has grown from 6% of newly licensed nurses in 2000 to almost 17% in 2007.
  • The economic recession and visa retrogression have slowed down the entry of FENS to about 50% of 2007 levels, although most observers assume that by 2011 the situation will return to its previous highs.
  • A U.S. House of Representatives comprehensive immigration bill under consideration removes limits on visas for nurses.
  • Over 90% of the FENs entering the U.S. come from less developed countries with nurse to population ratios that are about one tenth of the ratio in the U.S.
  • India has replaced Canada as the second largest source of FENs. Nigeria and the Caribbean are also important sources.
  • The World Health Organization has expressed concern that international recruitment may harm health systems in less developed countries.
  • An international Code of Practice on the Recruitment of Health Professionals may be approved by the May 2010 World Health Assembly.
  • In an effort to protect FENs and urge employers to avoid active recruitment in poor countries with severe nurse shortages, a coalition of U.S. unions, nurse associations, hospitals, and recruiters developed a Voluntary Code of Conduct. The Alliance for Ethical International Recruitment Practices was created to certify employers and recruiters that agree to comply with the Code www.fairinternationalrecruitment.org.