RN, BSN as a STEM degree option

  1. 0
    I am currently an international student who is also a working RN in Central FL and I am about to graduate with a BSN in December. I am on my last lap of OPT which will expire in April 2013 and I am currently looking for a way to continue working as a RN, at least for a couple more years until I pay off some debts.
    I have a great job but unfortunately they are not currently sponsoring nurses even though they did in the past (whole families as well). I was reading previous posts and I am now thinking about asking them to provide me with the necessary documents so I can sponsor myself with the help of a lawyer.
    Another thing I was thinking of was applying for extension of my work permit under STEM degrees. Even though nursing is not listed explicitly, there are other categories of jobs under which nursing could fall such as biological sciences or physical sciences. After all it is essentially a science degree.

    Please give me your thoughts on my situation. I have a couple months to figure out my next step. Can I try the sponsorship route again in a different way? Or, should I apply under STEM since I will have my BSN in December? If not either way please feel free to offer additional advice.

    Tired and worn out. I just want to enjoy the fruits of my labor.

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  2. 2
    From John Hopkins University: "STEM is a 17-month extension offered to F-1 status holders who have completed their initial OPT and possess degree in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) as designated by the Department of Homeland Security. STEM extensions are not available to BSN holders because the field of nursing is not on the STEM list. Moreover, since the field of study and the field of work must be directly related, STEM extensions will not be available to BSN graduates on OPT."

    From Georgia State University 17-Month STEM Extension — International Student and Scholar Services — Enrollment Services — Georgia State University "Eligibility for STEM: Students in the following majors, with the accompanying CIP codes, are STEM-eligible. (To determine your CIP code, look at page 3 of your I-20. The CIP code is the 6-digit numerical code (XX.XXXX) listed directly before your major at the top of the page):

      • Actuarial Science (52.1304)
      • Astronomy (40.0201)
      • Biology/Biological Sciences (26.0101)
      • Business Analysis (14.3701)
      • Chemistry (40.0501)
      • Computer Science (11.0701)
      • Computer Information Systems (11.0101)
      • Decision Sciences (14.3701)
      • Educational Research (13.0603)
      • Geology/Earth Science (40.0601)
      • Mathematics (27.0101)
      • Mathematics & Statistics (27.9999)
      • Neuroscience (26.1501)
      • Operations Research (14.3701)
      • Physics (40.0801) "

    Biological Sciences is not nursing, it refers to biology, microbiology, molecular biology, physiology. Physical Sciences refers to earth science, geology, physics, sometimes physical chemistry, and the like. Nursing definitely does not fall under physcial sciences, most nursing majors aren't even required to take a physical science course as part of their major. I'm sorry but I don't think you'll convince your office of international studies or USCIS that nursing falls under one of the STEM categories.
    loriangel14 and TheCommuter like this.
  3. 2
    You can not sponsor yourself, the employer has to do it and you have to have a job with them plus paperwork proving that you meet PERM plus even if you find a sponsor you will be affected by retrogression and can not work in the US whilst waiting the 6 plus years for a visa. I know you state you have debts but you may have to take into account unless you maintain your F1 status you have to leave the country and either go home and work sending money to pay debts off or go to another country to work and send money to pay debt off
    loriangel14 and JustBeachyNurse like this.
  4. 1
    THank you for your responses. I just wanted to know what options I have left, if any. I just thought that with the BSN being a science degree it would be able to fit in there somewhere.

    Thanks again.
    misswoosie likes this.
  5. 0
    Hi!
    I'm in a very similar situation. Have you found out what is the best route to take?
  6. 0
    Hi everyone! I would like to share what I know about the "STEM" program. It is clear that the field of Nursing was not included in the "STEM" degree programs list on the ICE's website: STEM Designated Degree Programs . However, since Nursing is a Science it is clearly stated in the High Skilled Immigration Bill that was approved by the House of Representatives on June 27, 2013: House Judiciary Committee Approves High-Skilled Immigration Bill that Nursing is included in the STEM program.

    One important requirement is that one should be a graduate of an advanced degree in nursing from a US doctoral institution of higher education.

    All information disclosed are based upon the links I have provided.

    More power to all nurses, more power to us!

    God bless!


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