Importing Foreign-trained nurses

  1. Importing Foreign-trained Nurses

    Comparison of Pending Legislation on Nursing Immigration Issues
    11/05/01

    "The American Nurses Association (ANA) has posted a chart which compares two bills currently pending in Congress, with an existing law that affects the status of "temporary nurse visas" issued to aliens."

    Due to heavy lobbying by the hospital associations, federal legislation is now in the works to increase importation of foreign-trained nurses & make it easier to recruit more of them from other countries.

    The ANA is strongly opposed to this as a solution to the shortage of bedside nurses & has testified that the shortage is largely caused by working conditions that US nurses find unacceptable. The solution is not to bring in foreign nurses who will accept these unacceptable conditions - but to improve these conditions so that US nurses will find working in these jobs worth while, will return to them and to nursing as a career.

    It is the ANA's contention that filling the shortage gaps by importing foreign trained nurses side-steps and diverts attention from the immediate problem, which is the unacceptable working conditions these jobs offer all nurses - conditions which will persist if other nurses are brought into these positions from other countries and are obligated to accept these unacceptable working conditions just to remain in this country.

    ANA has prepared a detailed chart comparing the current H1c visa limits and the new legislation that is pending and how they differ. ANA strongly opposes the new pending legislation and urges all nurses to contact their elected officials in doing the same.

    To view comparison chart, go to ANA: Government (Federal) Affairs: Temporary Nurse Visa vrs. Rural/Urban Health Act

    http://www.ana.org/gova/federal/gachrt97.htm
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  2. 98 Comments

  3. by   -jt
    As companions to this measure opposing importation of foreign-trained nurses, the ANA was instrumental in developing the Nurse Reinvestment Act and the Nurse Retention and Quality of Care Act 2001 and obtaining support for them on Capitol Hill. These 2 acts are now in the process of legislation and need the support of nurses nationwide to push their legislators to make them law .

    See previous topics "RECRUITMENT to the Profession" and "Nurse RETENTION". These 2 ANA initiatives go hand in hand with opposing the pending legislation for importing more foreign-trained nurses.

    If we have these 2 acts become law, there will be no need for hospital associations to try to import more nurses from other countries.

    We need to start writing our elected officials.
  4. by   thisnurse
    we are getting nurses from the philipines. they are paying for their housing. wonder how many US nurses would work at our hospital if they paid for THEIR housing?

    i wonder if the hospitals are ever going to get real. they know they need to pay us more. they know they need to provide a better, safer workplace. they know what they need to do but they just keep stepping around it.

    can you imagine the culture shock of these nurses?
    our patients are not going to like this at all.
    in the long run this is going to cost them more than if they just did what they know they have to.
  5. by   -jt
    <can you imagine the culture shock of these nurses?>

    Not much of a shock. Phillipine nurses were recruited in large numbers more than 10 yrs ago and have done very well since. They are educated in English & their schooling is based on US nursing programs so they are sought after because they can assimilate so easily. And because their country produces nurses for export. They are recruited to their nursing schools to become nurses and be recruited by other countries. The Phillipines mass produces many more nurses than it needs - for the sole reason of exporting them to the West.
  6. by   CriticalCareOnc
    i applaud and support the ANA for being a big voice in fighting for better working conditions for nurses. recruiting foreign trained nurses may not be the only solution for nursing shortage but it sure is a very big help to this problem. foreign trained nurses have met the US government's regulations to practice nursing here. i work in southern california and the cultural variation is just so amazing. multicultural nurses offer a big help with overall patient care especially in communication and treatment plan considering the patient's cultural background. it could not be denied that without the importation of foreign nurses, the health care delivery system would be in serious trouble. we all should encourage younger people to go and consider the nursing profession. talk about nursing with other people. as the editor of NurseWeek Magazine Carol Bradley, RN MSN would put it, "always identify yourself as a nurse... it is time to be bold and let others see the true measure of nursing's value to society".
  7. by   canoehead
    All the nurses on nights at my hospital were Canadian for about 3 months. We talked about staging a mutiny but only had one working tank in all of Canada at the time so that idea bit the dust quickly.

    Face it guys, you would miss us if the hospitals were all American.
  8. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    UHHHMM,
    Maybe if I move to the Phillipines I can get some of that scholarship money!
    I think the reason the corporations running the hospitals want to recruit foreing nurses is for the same reasons they want to see scholarships going to the poor here in the U.S. Both sectors are working class poor and will accept dirt wages as manna from heaven. They will think that dangerouse patient loads are normal. No lunch or bathroom....ok.
    They will be right behind you waiting for you to refuse an assingment.
    Waiting for you to refuse crappy wages.
    Waiting for you to leave a job because of abuse.
    waiting for you to screw up and give the administration the slightest excuse to hire someone at less pay that they can push around.
    I've lived in both Arizona and Texas. Look around next time you go through there. It's a specimen of what is coming for nurses if you don't act.
    The money for education is going to the hispanics and native americans. They have quotas that can't be filled fast enough. Free money, without expectation of performance it turns out, is pretty easy to give away.

    Those minorities(not for long) are filling jobs with that education, at lower wages, with poorer working conditions, because that's what they're gonna put up with. When they get put in a position of hiring they naturally hire other minorities and they use the quotas that got them hired as an excuse for qualifying them as the best candidate.
    The employers could not be more pleased. They are filling the positions with eager punctual employees. That will work for table scraps. They won't ***** about not getting health insurance. They never heard of not accepting a work assingment. They TRY to get overtime.

    It all starts very quietly as a bill with no SPECICFIC language. Just some money to buy some votes. The lawmakers on capitol hill give the power to the local governments to disburse funds so the local guys can see where they need to shore up support for they're party. They talk in beautiful syntax of the money for education going to all who want it. A virtual cornucopia of wealth to give "nursing" a shot in the arm. That gets the bill passed. Then they look for a specific group to throw it at. African-americans are already voting largely Democratic anyway and besides they have thier OWN exclusionary scholarship programs and grants that even people that are'nt from this country can't get.
    In the meantime you have an influx of immigration. Future votes that need a cause. You have the poor, that need a reason to vote, and all You have left is a quota of nurses to set. No one can speak out against it. You can't speak out against poor people or immigrants(they were at one time the foundation of the industrial revolution) They all scrape by with a "C" cause they're scared **itless of the language barrier. and Badda -Boom- Badda- Bing...... you have a new manager that doesn't even really speak fluent english and couldn't tell you what that "thingy" does anyway. If it hasn't happend to you yet, it can't be far off. Some of our own think it would relieve the current shortage.
    It will of course. Your tax dollars will fund it. Your quality of life will decrease and you'll be working for the formerly "disadvantaged". The employers will finaly have the "stepford wives" as employees and YOU WILL FUND IT.

    Take JT's excellent advice a step further.
    Don't just read what the ANA thinks is what the bill says, but read it yourself. Keep in mind that the trick is to get you and everyone else to accept an "overview" of what someone says that it says. All that time spent in law school is actually spent practicing twisting the meaning of words so it will be BOORING but try anyway.

    One last word.........It's not what's in a bill that effects your future.....It's what's not in it.

    Brad,
    Columbia, MD
  9. by   shandi
    Well, well, well, for the longest time I thought I can adapt, it's okay, this can be my home too. I am not a nurse, but my mother is and has been since she left high school. Her choices were nursing or the army. How dare you Brad or whatever your name is say the things you say. I would hate to have you as my nurse while I lie in bed close to death or something. It seems you have this deep seated hatred for anyone who is not "like you" your constant reference to minorities, and foriegners reeks of ignorance and bigotry. I'll tell you something, you racist pig, my mother got her master's degree at Case Western Reserve University at the age of 50 after having worked her way up the ladder to an administrative position in another country. When she left that country to go to the UK, they refused to recognize her degree, her achievements and her skills, because she was from another country which coincidentally was of the british commonwealth. She was forced to take supervised practice for 3 months at a cost of 900 pounds and when she gets the PIN number required in the UK she can only start from a junior level position. You are the type of people who make me sick to my stomach, because you come into the hospital with bigotry and I bet if that patient is balck or a "minority", do you treat them different? Or you won't help a foreign nurse who works as a colleaugue with you. Yeah my mother would be viewed as a foriegn nurse if she came here, she speaks the "Queen's English" with an accent, and yes the majority race would probably try to pay her less if they could get away with it, because that has been their practice for a long time. Government going into the "minority" community and giving scholarships and so on to poorer people is supposed to be a way of keeping the country on an even keel. But I see that you are all in favor of going back to times of slavery so that only the majority get educated. A minority to this day can't walk in the door and get a place at college, they have to prove themselves, in some states that is not so for the majority race (I said some). Anyway I am done with my rant, becuase I am foriegn, and I am in the minority and I have come across closet bigots like you. Please do the patients a favor and get out of the nursing community.
  10. by   fergus51
    The simple fact is we need foreign nurses. I work with nurses from Britain, South Africa, the Phillipines, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, etc. They aren't being paid less or being less vocal than the rest of us about the need for change. As far as I know none of them got a free ride and we don't have any quotas to fill. They contribute a great amount and I have no problems with them coming here to work.
  11. by   NurseDennie
    Wow, Shandi, you are obviously very angry at perceived slights made in the preceding letters, and it's certainly not my place to apologize for things said by other people. But what you've reacted to is not what I read in the letters above.

    I think that perhaps because of your personal background, and in dealing with feelings of having been discriminated against, and also because of *not* being a nurse you are missing what the person was attempting to say.

    There is no way to deny that there has been a concerted effort to train nurses "for export" in the Phillippines. It's a fact. (Atually, I understand that now they're concentrating on training programmers.) Nobody is saying that these nurses are not well educated or that they're not good nurses.

    It is a fact that these nurses come from developing countries where the standards of living are far less than what we have had here, AND where health care is not as prevalent or as advanced as what we have had here. I get this information from the wonderful Phillippina nurses that I've worked with.

    So intelligent women are educated as nurses in their homelands, and then emmigrate to America, where the standards of living for the poorest paid nurse is much better than an above-average living at home. They are able to work in a profession, live frugally by American standards and send home American Dollars which allow the rest of their family to live in much better conditions than before. So what's the problem with this?

    (Here is where, I'm afraid, it's almost impossible to avoid offending you again. Believe me, what I'm trying to point out is not made with a hard heart. My example is Phillippina nurses, because this is the group that I've worked with.)

    The practice of hiring foreign-educated nurses en masse is not good for the nursing profession in this country. It benefits the facilities that pay less to the nurses, it benefits the nurses, who are making more than they could in their own country, and it definitely benefits their families, who are being supported by American Dollars sent home.

    The nurses I know are not entirely obsessed with making money and sending it home to the point that they don't care about anybody or anything else, including patient safety. But they are very, very motivated to send money home to help out.

    It is such a high priority that they often do accept assignments they KNOW they should not in order to have the extra money to send home.

    One of the nurses I worked with was making $4 an hour less than I, even with more experience as a nurse and five years of tenure at that facility. So why was *I* hired? Because they had reached some sort of "import quota" for the foreign-trained nurses. Why would a facility look for a locally-trained nurse when they can hire someone for THAT much less money? They won't.

    So, why don't these nurses demand better pay and treatment? Instead they tend to accept every overtime shift they can get ehri hands on. With my friends it's been a combination of reasons:

    1) They are (even making less than I) earning so much more than their family at home - even other professionals! I think at first they don't realize that their salary is less than the 'going rate.'

    2) The facility/agency they work for is sponsoring their immigration. They are afraid to kick up a fuss when they feel the fear of being sent home.

    3) They are, first of all, NOT brought up to be self-confident and assertive, AND the fear of the possibility of their family being sunk back into poverty is a powerful disincentive.

    4) Standards of health care are also different. In developing nations, nurse loads are greater than here. Again, they don't realize that they are accepting worse working conditions than we've achieved here.

    So.... Given that I have worked with wonderful wonderful nurses from the Phillipines and I actually left that job BECAUSE of the way the "imported" nurses were treated - I still have to agree that the policy of "importing" nurses is not a good trend in American nursing.

    My friends who had already achieved their green cards were still reluctant to look for jobs where they would earn more money. As I said, they accepted (and even sought!) every overtime shift possible, even when they were too tired to work well.

    I have encouraged several of my friends to look around for better jobs. The ones that have done so, are now earning more money and have better working conditions than the nurses who are working at facilities where there are *high concentrations* of the foreign-trained nurses. So we need to get people here, make sure they know that we've come this far, and make sure they have the benefit of it all, so that we all do!

    So I think the message is: If you're bright and motivated and you're going to come here and take a job in a profession that is in crisis, be part of the solution! Poor wages, lack of respect and bad working conditions = problems for nurses.

    Nurses won't work under conditions of low wages, no respect and poor working conditions = nursing shortage = problems for the facilities! They're going to look for the cheapest solutions to their problem. Cheaper to bring in low-paid nurses than to raise wages and lower nurse to patient ratios? You know it! Is it better for the profession of nursing, for the individual nurses, or even for the patients? I don't think so! Does pointing that this exists demonstrate hatred and prejudice? Again, I don't think so. I hope not.

    Love

    Dennie
    Last edit by NurseDennie on Nov 12, '01
  12. by   shandi
    Just because I am not a nurse, it doesn't mean I don't see things. What "Brad" said was so unrelated to what u said in many ways, his focal point was to bring foriegn nurses down, to critisize them and to put "the minorities" of this country in the same boat. What's with that getting handed things for free crap? Anyway yeah I had experiences too, I watched my mother work a reputable job that she should be commended for , I'm actually glad that she chose to go to the UK, because I would hate for her to come her and work with this lot who would comment on what they percieve as her lack of skills, her lack of American English, where her co-workers would resent her because she works hard. There are people who have bad nursing skills foreirgn and American, I should know I had two children with one being a preemie I learned and my mother made sure to tell me what to look out for, so spare me the bull. I have a solution for everyone, all nurses here in the US quit your jobs and find another career where u can start from the bottom rung, close the borders to anyone foreign and then go from there. Happiness everywhere. My mother had to deal when she came here with starting at the bottom of the ladder, flippin' people talking to her like she's dumb when in fact she speaks better, more educated, mor efluent english than they do and she had to deal with people saying to her that she was stealing their jobs, yeah I'm biased all right and I'll keep on being, towards the racism, bigotry, and intolerance in this country that people find so very uncomfortable. I want her to stay in the UK and least there they've sort of come to grips with working alongside someone who's not the same color or nationality as them.
  13. by   shandi
    If you sometimes looked around at 'world' news, nurses in those '3rd world' (whatever the hell that means), go on strikes, quit jobs and so on when they are not being treated well or paid well It's seems very strange to me for someone to take abuse for scraps, maybe some of these women did that, For the countries I've been to it's not that the nurses don't get trained, the facilities don't have the equipment, resources that they need. No I hope the nurses here get what they're after, I think it's gonna be a while so sit in for a long haul, and what do you know maybe flocks and flocks of graduating high schoolers will flood the gates of colleges and oops oh yeah better make sure the minorities, native americans, african americans, hispanics and so on don't get any kind of financial aid when they take nursing at american colleges it would be seen as begger money after all.
  14. by   Peeps Mcarthur
    Shandi,
    "Racist"? You want to call me a racist?.........That is the first word out of the mouth of the ignorant. Make a point will you?
    Do you know what color my skin is?
    Retract your statement.That is if you want to do anything more than just hurl insults.

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