February 23, 2009 - On February 11, 2009, a new Nurse Relief Act was introduced in the House - HR 1001.
The purpose of this Act is to create a new nonimmigrant, temporary visa category for registered nurses - the W Visa, that will work in a very similar way as the H-1B visa.
The bill is a good one for nurses, healthcare providers and, of course, for patients. Whether or not it survives and garners the recognition that it urgently requires at this time in our nation and makes it though the arduous process in the House and Senate and passes - well, we don't have a crystal ball on this one. We are, however, extremely pleased to see the issue brought before the House once again this year and salute all the sponsors -and are hopeful that it passes.
The Findings and Purpose of the Bill:
Read more about the bill here.
- There are more vacant nursing positions in the United States than there are qualified registered nurses and nursing school candidates to fill those positions.
- According to the Department of Labor, the current national nursing shortage exceeds 126,000.
- States in the West and Southwest have a disproportionate number of nursing vacancies because of rapid population growth, which exacerbates a widening gap in the number of facilities and staff compared to patients that need care.
- Foreign countries such as the Philippines, India, and China have an oversupply of nurses.
- Major hospital systems in the United States spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year recruiting foreign nurses under our current immigration system.
- Current law, with certain limited exceptions, requires health care providers to sponsor desired nurses for permanent resident status while the nurses remain outside of the United States, which can take as much as 3 years or more.
- This cost is passed on to consumers and adds to the rising cost of health care.
- Health care providers cannot efficiently and effectively recruit qualified foreign nurses through the existing immigration process.
- Our health care system requires an immediate modification of Federal laws relating to recruitment of qualified foreign nurses in order to operate at an efficient and effective level.
Read the White House Immigration Agenda here.
Upcoming Event March 6, 2009
Are you Ready for H-1B filing Season?
join us on Friday, March 6 at 11 a.m. PST (2pm EST) for an international
telephone conference event for both employers and employees to discuss:
● How the economy is affecting both the employer and the employee in layoffs, reduction in hours, "benching", etc.
● Preparing for the April 1st filing deadline
● Open Q & A
- Timing issues (credential evaluations, LCA's, students who are hoping for H-1Bs but are unemployed)
- H-1Bs for students (OPT and STEM)
When: Friday, March 6, 2009
Time: 11 a.m. PST | 2 p.m. EST
We will reserve your place and provide you with dial in information and your personal access code.
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