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Social Security Numbers for
California RN Licensure Applicants and other Healthcare News    
June 1, 2010.  The California Board of Registered Nursing will no longer accept applications that do not contain a US Social Security Number.  The Nursing Practice Act provides for a unified examination and licensing application.  Once an applicant passes the examination, a license is automatically issued.  Under these circumstances, the Board cannot accept applications for the examination and licensure without a social security number.
Nurses schooled outside the USA wanting to practice in California are advised to take the NCLEX-RN for another state that does not require them to have a social security number, such as AZ, NM or TX.  Upon receipt of their social security number, they will be eligible to endorse to California in order to practice nursing in that state.

Nurses should contact their immigration attorney regarding the visa process.    
FCCPT Receives Re-approval through 2015

The Foreign Credentialing Commission on Physical Therapy has been re-approved by USCIS to issue Healthcare Worker Certifications for another 5 years.  Both FCCPT and CGFNS are approved to issue Healthcare Worker Certificates.  FCCPT's certificate is the Type 1 and VisaScreen is issued by CGFNS.  Healthcare Worker Certificates are required for temporary non-immigrant visas, including H-1Bs, E-3 Australian visas and TN classification, as well as EB-2 and EB-3 immigrant visas (aka "green-cards" or permanent residency) cases.  The Type II VisaScreen Certificate was discontinued September 1, 2009.  Here is the announcement from CGFNS (page 4).   
NY Considering BSN Requirements for RN

The Registered Nurse Professional Practice Committee of the NY State Education Department at the May 2010 meeting was presented with a proposal to increase the minimum educational requirement to a Bachelors Degree.

The Plan proposes that all currently-licensed RNs would be "grand-parented," and would not have to obtain the Bachelors Degree, and all diploma and AA degree RNs, who obtain licenses after 2012, would be required to obtain a Bachelors Degree within 10 years of the initiation of their license.

Nurses who failed to obtain the Bachelors Degree would have their licenses put on "hold". This "hold" is similar to the action taken when a licensee fails to meet continuing education requirements in those professions that mandate continuing education as a criterion for continued registration.

Other states such as
New Jersey also are considering raising their educational requirement. Advocates for the New York plan cite recent studies that show that increasing the number of Bachelor's Degree nurses in an acute care hospital decreases the number of patient deaths. Similar legislation was introduced into the New York legislature in 2005, but was tabled because of supply concerns.

It seems inevitable that states will raise their minimum educational requirements to the level of a Bachelors Degree. In many countries, the minimum educational requirement is a Bachelors Degree. In the
US, the only state to have had a Bachelors Degree minimum was North Dakota, and they lowered their requirement and joined the other 49 states in the middle part of this decade.

If any state did raise their requirement to a Bachelors Degree, employers in that state could more liberally use the H-1B visa as a partial solution to the expected long-term nursing supply shortages. As this article indicates, the H-1B can be used to employ some Registered Nurses


The Special Notices and Alerts are always very informative from CGFNS. Here is a link to their June 2010 news.
In this issue they cover The Impact of the Economy on the Nurse Shortage,  Immigration Reform and Healthcare, How to Select a good Recruiter, amongst other topics.   
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For more information  Should you wish to consult with or become a client of our office, please contact us - we'll be glad to schedule an initial consultation with a licensed attorney who specializes in health care immigration issues, 562 612.3996 or   
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