i had actually written to the ana to oppose this exact bill, because the ana was a big supporter. this was their response:
ana recognizes the seriousness of the nursing shortage especially in this economy, and our emphasis is on investment in our domestic nursing workforce. ana is deeply concerned with expansion of visas as a means to address the nursing shortage. however, we do understand the push by some groups for expanded visa programs, including nurse visa programs such as the h1-c and the largest being the h1-b program.
we do believe that hr 1933, that passed the house on august 1, 2001 and has been sent over to the senate, would responsibly expand visa opportunities, and ana does not oppose it's advancement in congress. the bill would renew the h-1c non-immigrant visa program that expired in 2009. a major reason why we are ok with h1-c this is that it is so small and the eligibility is narrow. the program is extremely limited in scope, and h-1c visas can be used only at specifically designated shortage area hospitals—only around 14 even qualify.
in past, there was a limit of 500 nurses per year for 3 years, the bill would reduce this to 300 per year for 3 years, but allows for a one-time 3 year extension. as i understand it, the extension is open to any current visa holders still here under the program, but the employer would have to petition.
here is a link to a fact sheet on ana’s overall immigration position: http://www.nursingworld.org/mainmenu...workforce.aspx
i hope i have addressed your concerns. please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions.
thank you for your time.
american nurses association
8515 georgia avenue suite 400
silver spring md 20910-3492