Nursing shortages, Baby boomers and the immigrant nurse - page 4

by madwife2002 Asst. Admin

So after leaving the polls running for several weeks the one I felt most interesting was the opinion of US trained nurses opinion on Foreign trained nurses, only 54 people voted on this poll which is surprising since we have... Read More


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    I totally agree with you, also add the fact that in most of the other countries, except from Canada, becoming a nurse is not nearly as difficult and demanding as it is un the US, so it is totally unfair, our educations cant be compared, so shoudlnt be opportunities for this people.
    vester54red likes this.
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    I know there are waiting lists all over the place for RN school, yet we keep bringing in foreign RNs. As a New Grad who is from the USA I have to ask , what about me? I am a American, I want to work( found a job after months) and yet they still Import people to do a job I WANT. I think we should personally open the doors to the new grads who lived, trained and have families here before going overseas.

    Yes, I would love to be able to go to another country to work as a RN but I have to ask, if it is so great then why do so many want to work in the US?
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    can someone please provide sources for your information on recruiting overseas nursing? everyone keeps saying that hospitals are recruiting nurses from overseas, but i've never actually seen that happen or even seen factual proof of it happening.
    there are many nurses who are originally from other countries, but in order to practice here you do have to qualify, so yes, the educations are comparable. if a nurse is qualified, licensed, and experienced, of course he or she will be hired over a new grad- regardless of ethnic origin. that's the case in every single career you will ever come across. experience trumps. nothing new here, folks.
    also, many employers in the US used to not hire people who are here legally in favor of people who were born here... guess what? it's called discrimination and is illegal.

    as i was saying, can someone please show me actual documentation showing that hospitals are actively pursuing recruits from other countries? i find it highly unlikely, as the cost of marketing, bringing someone over, AND waiting for their work visas and license to go through seems like it would be higher than training a new grad.
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    Fromthesea,
    We had one hospital here who exclusively went to the Philippines to bring in Rn's. plus many did not speak English. So when you talked to them they would not communicate back. They understood English but did not speak it. Had it happen first hand as a medic, whole floors staffed like this.


    Many hospitals offer visa's and housing if the RN will work for them x amount of years.
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    To address the OP.

    Midwife, I truly respect you and the many wonderful immigrant nurses out there. I have worked with some wonderful nurses, residents and other HCP from across the globe.

    But you may not have been here to see what I have seen.

    THose of us, that have spent our lives here, have seen up close and personal, how many hospitals manipulate the system to import foreign nurses to drive down wages and worsen ratios.

    I will say it now and repeat to the hills.

    THERE HAS NOT BEEN A "REAL" NURSING SHORTAGE in several decades.

    If you look at stats, there has been consistantly 2-3 times the number of licensed (not employed as nurses) nurses as there have been open jobs for around the last decade. And why are those nurses, not working as nurses? Because the conditions, pay and hours are such as to make nurses flee the profession.

    I have worked at a hospital that fostered that attitude. When I got out of nursing school, I worked in a hospital on an acute care med/surg floor, that staffed 2 RNs, 1LPN for nights for 41 beds. We received fresh postop total hip and knee replacements, back injury pts, dementia pts, amputations, people with full blown AIDs, you name it. Managemant came in that took away our flextime, and then took away the regular schedules (something that cost nothing, but made the staff happier). Nurses that were high on the pay scale that needed the schedule were forced to quit, as did many others. The hospital then could not find people locally to work, the conditions were that poor. They imported large numbers of Filipino nurses (they were one of the facilities that got busted for violating various immigration policies, after the fact), because the PTB knew that under their immigration status, they couldn't just leave and would put up with poor conditions.

    When the "supply line" was cut in the form of retrogression, the facility finally had to improve pay and conditions, as they could not stay staffed. It hasn't put them out of business to do so, either.

    An individual earlier suggested that US new grads go to the UK for experience. Exactly how? The EU has just as restrictive policies for Americans trying to work in Europe as the US has for immigrant nurses here. The EU also protects the jobs of European nurses more than the US protects theirs. I know of two Australian nurses of my acquaintance that got booted from their jobs in the UK and have to return to Australia, when UK nurses were in need of jobs. The Philippines does not permit those from the USA to practice there, correct? Yet they have the temerity to try to wholesale supply nurses for export, deliberately overproducing them, without regard to anyone's economy but their own, to the point that nurses are required to volunteer or even pay for the privilege of practicing their skills, an abusive practice.

    Everyone complains that is the Philippines works. Well, maybe when that country finds that it can no longer abuse their nurses by such a practice, it will be forced to change their system to treat their own nurses, born and bred, fairly and equitably. Just as when US hospitals can not import labor, it improves conditions for nurses in hard to staff areas. A win-win situation.

    We will need more nurses in 2025....well, then, at that time, I suppose we may need to import nurses...that does not address how we are to put our nurses in a holding pattern until then.

    We can't exactly put them on a shelf in storage and dust them off occasionally.

    It also does not address the "brain drain" issue...that if the cream of the crop in other nations come here, what happens to health care in some of the third world/developing nations lose them? Places in Africa are seriously underproducing nurses. And many of their nurses are leaving.

    Do US nurses work "short" and can US hospitals use more nurses....certainly they can. Will those facilities hire and pay for more nurses, though? They have already demonstrated that the answer is a big "NO". The AHA has demonstrated again and again that they will fight any attempt to improve ratios in their facilities. Yet, we have seen (in California) that ratios do indeed improve retention -California's nursing shortage eased, once nurses found that they had a more workable load.

    The US has it in it's power to fix it's own so-called nursing shortage - it just takes willingness to do so.
    elkpark likes this.
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    MedicLifeLineRN, thank you for citing a case where this happened. Was this happening during the actual nursing shortage? If these recruits were taking place when the US actually had a shortage of nurses to adequately care for patients, then I don't disagree with them doing it. I would personally rather have a bit of a communication block then having patients suffer from overworked nurses who cannot take care of them all, and possibly make errors due to exhaustion/stress/etc.
    If this is a practice that is occurring now, when we have a large number of nurses searching for work, then I completely agree that it should not be done.
    Again, thanks for clarifying. The line between recruiting from other countries and hiring nurses who are American but not originally was blurred, and I couldn't decipher exactly what was being complained about.
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    I have no problem having the foreign nurse to help with the "nursing shortage", if we really had a real shortage. There are plenty of American nurses willing to work, ( especially with 9.5% unemployment)in good working conditions with safe patient ratios and decient pay. However, I don't see the justification for giving H1 visa to foreign rich nurses from other countries to come over and brag about their big homes in India, Africa or where ever else they come from. All of the foreign nurses I have encountered, not one plans on staying here in America. They plan to work, until eligible for social security and return back to the lives that they are building back in their native countries, so those who think that they will be working to support the retiring baby boomers over here are wrong. I can see detrimental affects on our already weak social security system, when these caregivers, leave and take their social security with them to their foreign countries. Additionally, I have met several new grads who have been thousands to educate themselves over here to become RN's taking on considerable debt, only to be told that there is no position available for them, because openings have been filled by already trained foreign nurses. How are our new grads to compete with foreign nurses who have been trained for free in their country waiting on sponsor hospitals over here to offer them jobs. And offer them jobs they do. Hospitals feel that it is less expensive to sponsor and hire an already trained nurse from a foreign country ( with no loyalties to this one), than to train and hire a US born new grad. The health care facilities over here who hire mostly foreign nurses, are doing it to bring down the pay level for American nurses, just like they did for the IT field. The US has become an international trading post, with no loyalties, use or obligation for its natural born citizens. Why then don't they sent the foreign nurses sons and daughters to fight for freedom in their wars for them then.
    MedicLifelineRN likes this.
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    I agree! And am constantly amazed at the "little things"....like germ control, that are being overlooked in order to hire foreign nurses. From my experience.....and not all, the foreign nurses are more concerned with covering their a** instead of preventing problems in the first place....like, duh, good handwashing, dropping something on floor and not recapping etc etc. I can't get a pay raise although considered primary nurse 'cause competing with the lower paid foreign nurses....and yes, I must go into debt to get a higher degree to get (hopefully) out of this trap. Kudos to the author of this blog!! Hey, nurse owned companies....think about it and try to be loyal instead of merely $$$ saving. I will always be there for you, the foreign nurses wont.... (This does not however apply to all of them!)
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    depressed. Thought it was just me
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    I love your blog/article. Well spoken. I have been a nurse of the process of cheaper nurses from foreign shores and decided to act accordingly.
    I became a foreign nurse, worked in Canada and now in Australia. Everything apart from registration was totally transferable and I now was the specialist that talked funny.
    Nurses have to realize that in the U.S. you are a number. Anywhere else, you are a commodity that is wanted. New grads that can grab a perioperative course can write their own ticket to travel and get a job quickly.
    I worked in the Public sector here that was horrible... they treated me like a number. I am now working in a private surgery center north of Sydney and am loving it even if they don't understand me when I speak in the California drawl.
    The pay is good, the place runs just like my old place in San Diego and the company I work for is great.
    I felt like I just had to have enough disrespect to make the change.... it only took time for me to realize that if they want so many foreign nurses, let them have them but no one to teach or translate to/for them.
    Anyone else had enough... pack your bags and come see me. I have been working enough overtime to fill a bucket and could use a few good scrub/circulating nurses. Here we work with 3 nurse to a room, scrub, scout/circulating/, anaesthetic nurse. No more 1.5-2 nurses per room... it's all gravy, just a shortage of us.
    Give it back to them and come see me in Oz... Oprah did, you're next.


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