Am I dreaming or is there really a nursing shortage?

  1. I am from the UK and am nearly through my green card process. I want to come and work in the US and have been waiting for a year and a half to get my green card. I am just 3 weeks away from getting it but now my agency have called me and have told me they are unable to find me a job in Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York or New Jersey. Am I mistaken in thinking that there is a nursing shortage in the US? Here I am desperate for a job, and after all this time I am told there are none available. I am an ICU nurse with 10 years experience, and my agency has 20 years experience of placing UK nurses in the US.

    Apparently it is because the contracts offered are too short or not appropriate, and that I have no US experience. I wanted to live and work in Connecticut so I could be with my partner but right now I would take anything in NY, NH, NJ, VT, or even Maryland, Washington DC etc, as long as I can travel to see my partner regularly. Can anyone recommend a hospital in the East of the country that has vacancies in ICU? Please...I am desperate. If I can bombard my agency wih leads maybe I will shake them up enough to pursue them for me.
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  2. 24 Comments

  3. by   inna
    Rocknurse,
    It's unbelievable that your agency can't find you a job in the East Coast especially being an ICU nurse with a 10 year experience. I'm from New York and I saw that there's a lot of demand for nurses especially with critical care experience. Some are even training new grads for CCU/ICU.. I don't see a reason why not for a foreign seasoned nurse.
    Some hospitals here in the Westchester area of NY which are just less than an hour drive away from CT are : WHITE PLAINS MEDICAL CENTER IN WHITE PLAINS...PHELPS MEMORIAL HOSPITAL IN SLEEPY HOLLOW... WESTCHESTER MEDICAL CENTER IN VALHALLA, LAWRENCE HOSPITAL IN BRONXVILLE... NORTHERN WESTCHESTER HOSPITAL IN MT. KISCO... ST. AGNES HOSPITAL IN WHITE PLAINS....and a lot more.
    I wonder if you could just apply by yourself without the help of your agency... I'm sure you wouldn't have trouble finding one...
    Or just apply at the Agencies here in the US and have them find it for you.
    Good Luck and I hope you'll be with your partner soon!
  4. by   sjoe
    "Please...I am desperate."

    A most unwise position to take and one which I strongly suggest you drop ASAP.

    Most agencies contract with a number of specific facilities. If those specific facilities do not have suitable openings, then they simply do not. There are, however, many OTHER facilities that OTHER agencies contract with. Rather than trying to get blood from your turnip agency, apply with several agencies and you will likely have more luck.
  5. by   Rocknurse
    Originally posted by inna
    Rocknurse,
    It's unbelievable that your agency can't find you a job in the East Coast especially being an ICU nurse with a 10 year experience. I'm from New York and I saw that there's a lot of demand for nurses especially with critical care experience. Some are even training new grads for CCU/ICU.. I don't see a reason why not for a foreign seasoned nurse.
    Some hospitals here in the Westchester area of NY which are just less than an hour drive away from CT are : WHITE PLAINS MEDICAL CENTER IN WHITE PLAINS...PHELPS MEMORIAL HOSPITAL IN SLEEPY HOLLOW... WESTCHESTER MEDICAL CENTER IN VALHALLA, LAWRENCE HOSPITAL IN BRONXVILLE... NORTHERN WESTCHESTER HOSPITAL IN MT. KISCO... ST. AGNES HOSPITAL IN WHITE PLAINS....and a lot more.
    I wonder if you could just apply by yourself without the help of your agency... I'm sure you wouldn't have trouble finding one...
    Or just apply at the Agencies here in the US and have them find it for you.
    Good Luck and I hope you'll be with your partner soon!

    Thank you so much! I am going to check out those vacancies right now. I am pretty convinced now that my agency are having trouble placing me because the hospitals they are approaching do not offer the same kind of contracts that they want to undertake. I am also pretty sure that they already have contracts with certain hospitals and they wait until the last minute so that we are so desperate that we will agree to be placed somewhere we don't want to go. It's very disappointing. I appreciate your help. New York would be fine...it's within driving distance. I wish I could approach them myself but I am under contract and my agency will have to approach them, but at least I can do some research. I feel like I am doing their job for them!
  6. by   Rocknurse
    Originally posted by sjoe
    "Please...I am desperate."

    A most unwise position to take and one which I strongly suggest you drop ASAP.

    Most agencies contract with a number of specific facilities. If those specific facilities do not have suitable openings, then they simply do not. There are, however, many OTHER facilities that OTHER agencies contract with. Rather than trying to get blood from your turnip agency, apply with several agencies and you will likely have more luck.
    Firstly, having been going through this green card process since November 2001 and having been apart from my partner for nearly 3 years, yes I am pretty desperate. I have my embassy interview in 3 weeks time and if I don't get a job by then, all I have worked for will be in vain. My interview may be postponed for up to 6 months which I can ill afford. I have put everything into getting to this point and I don't want anything to jeopardize it.

    Secondly, I am unable to sign with another agency as I am contracted to my agency. They paid for my study, my fees to take the NCLEX and my legal fees. If I break the contract now I will have to repay all of that...some $15,000. Not an option!
    Last edit by Rocknurse on Jul 23, '03
  7. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Statisics and studies have shown, there is NO shortage of licensed nurses. The shortage lies in nurses who are willing to work in the current, abusive working environment.
  8. by   EmeraldNYL
    Wow, this is amazing. Just about every hospital needs nurses! It sounds like your agency really isn't doing their job! I don't know a whole lot about NY hospitals though so I'm probably not much help, unless you want to come a little farther south to PA! Good luck to you, I hope everything works out!
  9. by   ANnot4me
    Hate to tell you this, but you are over a barrel. You may very well end up in a nightmare job and in a place you never wanted to be. Are you aware that some ICU nurses on the East Coast are expected to care for 3 patients on a routine basis? If you are contracted as a traveler, you may have little control of your schedule, you may be expected to float anywhere in the hospital adn you may even be forced to work overtime. Please be careful!
  10. by   Rocknurse
    Emerald, I would consider working anywhere at this point!

    chigap, i am beginning to realize that. I think my agency has been careful with the truth at best. I suppose I can put up with most things to get my green card and it would only be for 18 months. It can't be worse than the NHS in England!
  11. by   EmeraldNYL
    Rocknurse, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania are two really good hospitals (level I trauma centers) in center city Philly, or if you're interested in kids, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is the #1 childrens hospital in the country. If you're looking for a more suburban hospital, try Lankenau Hospital or Abington Hospital. All these places are hiring too!!
  12. by   redwinggirlie
    To answer your question, I tell you this. The hospital I work for was short nine nurses yesterday. Not even agencies could staff, as they were short too.
    Yes, there is a shortage. So come. If you come and later find that you don't like the job you're in, go elsewhere. Your contract with your agency will end sometime, right? In all, it will be great to have you with your partner. All my best to you.
    Question, if your agency can't place you, aren't you still considered an employee until they do? Why, then, could you not be employed elsewhere simultaneously? Many agency nurses I work with are employed by at least two agencies. Just a thought...
  13. by   ainz
    The problem certainly is not for a lack of openings. There are many openings for nurses. Many hospitals "jump"at the idea of "foreign" nurses because they think they can pay less. Probably a contract language issue or something your agency is up to.

    I agree with Hellllllo Nurse, no real shortage of nurses, just short of those willing to work under the conditions you will find in US hospitals. Is it a bad thing? Many, many US nurses think so. So they leave the profession for other jobs or just quit altogether. Also, hospitals say they are short of nurses but they usually can get agency nurses easily, just have to pay for them. American hospital working conditions are far better than many other country's working conditions in hospitals, but our expectations are higher and so on.
  14. by   Rocknurse
    Emerald, thank you. I will check those hospitals out.

    redwingirlie, I am glad to be reassured that there is indeed a shortage. Unfortunately, my agency isn't like a regular agency, where you can join others and work for them all simultaneously. My agency is a specialsit agency, concntrating on bringing UK nurses to the US. Their contract is exclusive, and because they pay for everything upfront, I am indebted to work for them for 18 months. I just have to accept whatever they give me I guess. At least I can get my green card and get over to the States. Eventually I'll be able to choose where I work and live.

    ainz, I can't imagine US hospitals being worse than UK ones, but I guess I will have to wai and see. I am used to working flat out with many responsibilies. We don't have RTs in the UK, and more often than not we don't have any aides or healthcare assistants, so we have to look after our patients totally on our own with no help. It gets pretty heavy sometimes so I am sure I am prepared to work hard. I don't care how hard I have to work. I just want to be with my partner. We've been waiting 2 and a half years and I can't wait anymore.

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