Since December 2003, US hospitals along the Canadian border that employ many Canadian TN-1 nurses have started a lobbying campaign to postpone the effective date of the Visa Screen requirement for foreign registered nurses in the non-immigrant status. Many US hospitals rely on Canadian TN-1 nurses and fear that nurses will not be able to cross the border and work in the US due to their inability to obtain a Visa Screen Certificate. As a result of hospitals' efforts, the American Hospital Association (AHA), the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE), CGFNS, and a bipartisan group of 14 US Senators, including 6 members of the Senate Immigration Subcommittee, petitioned DHS Secretary Tom Ridge to postpone the effective date of the Visa Screen certification regulations for foreign registered nurses in the non-immigrant status until October 1, 2005. The Senators particularly expressed concern about possible disruption in the delivery of health care to the American public along the Canadian border.
The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) also wrote a letter to Secretary Tom Ridge asking for postponement of the Visa Screen requirement implementation. In addition, NCSBN started offering NCLEX-RN for the purpose of the Visa Screen certification to accommodate a growing number of foreign registered nurses who have to pass the test by July 26, 2004. As of the date of this publication, it is not clear how DHS will respond to the above efforts.
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