I feel very bad for the nurses who are doing the right thing and following the law without short cuts. Americans respect people who follow the process. Unfortunately at times life does not seem fair especially if amnesty is given to illegal immigrants first ( but these are not the same workers competing for nursing positions).
I have to point out that Americans do value people who wait their turns, I feel these nurses who are waiting will be the ones who will have better nursing opportunities ( as long as you keep up your nursing skills) when retrogression is lifted. The more clinical experience you can get the more attractive you are as US Nurse. Or nursing is very short so if you can gain any experience in the OR that will make you stand out. Most US programs do not have any substantial OR time. Another point is American employers
do value a good work history even if it is not nursing, being on time and working hard in whatever job you do will reflect well.
Remember doing the right thing will pay off in the long run. And life events do happen for a reason, I can remember being passed over for one position only to get a better position.
If you come to the USA, your American co workers will be grateful and admire your patience in following the process.