In Focus
September 10, 2007

Nurse Shortage Addressed by the NFAP in Policy Brief

A study by the National Foundation for American Policy, authored by Stuart Anderson, points to the critical consequences of the U.S. nursing shortage and recommends increases in nursing school infrastructure and immigration quotas to address the problem. The Brief sets forth the unique challenges facing nurse immigration, as follows:

Due to inadequate green card quotas, a skilled foreign professional could wait 5 years or more to immigrate legally to the United States. In the high tech sector, some professionals and researchers can gain entry on temporary visas, particularly H-1B visas, although the supply of those has been exhausted before the start of the past four fiscal years. Today, the vast majority of nurses cannot enter the United States and work on temporary visas. Congress recognized the labor supply problems with nurses when in 2005 it allocated 50,000 extra green cards (for permanent residence) with a priority for foreign nurses and others who qualified under Schedule A (DOL designation of shortage occupations) to be sponsored by employers in the United States. That extra green card allocation has been exhausted. Immigration alone cannot solve the nursing shortage but it can alleviate many of its most damaging impacts on patients.

In conclusion, the last sentence of the Brief states:

Immigration alone cannot solve the nursing shortage but it can alleviate many of its most damaging impacts for patients, particularly in the near term . . . In the case of nurses, current immigration restrictions exacerbate the nursing shortage, contributing to increased death and illness for U.S. patients.

We link to this timely and very important article:

Note: The National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to public policy research on trade, immigration, education, and other issues of national importance. The organization seeks to expand the debate over the proper role of government on key issues of the day and to engage actively in the media and with the public to ensure its ideas are considered and implemented wherever possible.

. . . Making it a point to keep you informed,

Leslie Davis

CEO - Case Manager

Immigration Solutions

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