Foreign recruitment of nurses-thoughts? - page 3

I posted this in another section inadvertantly. How do you feel about foreign recruitment of nurses to deal with the nursing shortage. As stated in other post, forgive me if this topic has been... Read More

  1. by   -jt
    There are bigger problems when it comes to the issue of foreign recruitment than complaining about language barriers. Nurses need to pay more attention to what is happening in their profession & what other non-RN groups are trying to do it.

    How many of you know that right now the hospital assocs & medical assocs are lobbying Congress hard to LESSEN the strict certification & credential requirements that foreign trained nurses now must have so they can import hundreds of thousands more of these recruits, & eliminate all the restrictions & qualifications the recruits must go thru (like the current English proficiency exams, nursing curriculum review exams, NCLEX exams)?

    How many of you know that currently the law caps the number of foreign recruits at 500/yr with restriction, but the new bill being pushed by the AHA lobbyists in the US Senate would have NO CAP, NO RESTRICTIONS, & NO LIMIT on the number of recruits allowed from overseas per year? Or that Canadian Nurses would be considered US nurses? Or that certain workplace protections - like number of hours in a workday - would be eliminated for the foreign recruit (slave labor)? How many of you know there is actually already a bill in the Senate written by the AHA to do all this & that Congress just may sign it into law soon if it doesnt hear from more RNs about why they shouldnt??

    And we're sitting here complaining about language barriers????

    Where are all you nurses who dont like the idea of recruiting from overseas? So many have so much to say but dont say it to the right people where it will make a difference - your legislators.

    RNs of the American Nurses Assoc have testified before Congress against this bill. The American Nurses Assoc is fighting against this bill just as hard as the hospital assoc are fighting for it, but the American Hospital Assoc & the American Medical Assoc have more money to spend on lobbying against us nurses - and theyre bigger but only because the majority of our 2.7 million RNs dont get involved. RNs need to speak up themselves - loud & clear.

    Right now the non-nurse groups are also trying to get the legislatures to pass a bill that will allow foreign nurses (Canadian) to work in some states without having to pass the NCLEX. The reason the hospitals say they have to have this law is because they are losing local RNs to BETTER PAYING hospitals!

    So, instead of paying better themselves & being competitive, theyre just trying to change the law for their own benefit - to allow bringing in more foreign RNs to work for the paltry salary it wants to pay & without them even having to take the NCLEX.

    (This reminds me of farm owners driving south of the border to pick up day laborers because the local people will not work their farms for the pennies the farm owner wants to pay & the farm owner refuse to pay anymore).

    Which of us US citizens can work as RNs without having first passed the NCLEX??? Yet, the bill to allow foreign RNs to do so is written & is in the legislature. State Nurses Associations & their members have testified against it, State Boards of Nursing have testified against it. Both are lobbying hard against it & their RN members are reaching out to their legislators to educate them on the issue. The AHA is rich & powerful but the response from RNs can make the difference.

    In Virginia, the AHA & AMA were pushing the state to license Canadian nurses "by endorsement only" & allow them to work 180 days as "graduate nurses", while US nurses must pass a licensure exam & may only work as a graduate nurse for 90 days. The Virginia Nurses Assoc was successful in stopping the AHA legislation & stopped the state from lowering the standards.

    (its for things like this & carrying out this work for nursing that I support my state assoc & the ANA)

    Congress & state legislators needs to hear from more RNs. In the time it takes to write a post here, we could send them an email that makes a difference.

    If any of you are worried about the qualifications of future foreign recruits & what reducing those qualification, requirements, & credentials will do to our profession, it would help to contact your Congressman & Senator & tell them NOT to change the credential & certification requirements for foreign trained nurses. (more info on this situation is at

    a comparison chart of the current foreign nurse recruitment law & what it may be reduced to if the hospitals assoc have their way is at

    With all the complaints from RNs about overseas recruiting, I wonder how many RNs reading this will ever actually send an email to their Congressman opposing changing the foreign RN recruitment laws. How many RNs reading this will even take a glance at any of those links?

    Its just easier to complain here than to actually do something about the issue, but while nurses are griping & complaining on message boards, other medical groups are lobbying the legislators to pass their own laws that will govern us and our profession without our input.

    And then we have no one to blame for it but ourselves.
    Last edit by -jt on Oct 5, '02
  2. by   jude11142
    Where I work, they have recruited several nurses from the Phillipines. I have to agree with what others have written, and I feel that this has nothing to do so much with the nationalitity of the nurses but rather with it's "cheaper to import nurses" rather than improving the working conditions/pay etc.... of the millions of licensed USA nurses. I have become good friends with 2 of the newly hired nurses from overseas and I see firsthand how, well don't really know how to say this, so bear with me,,,,,,,they are so quiet, don't question authority, work the crazy and sometimes barbaric hrs, and are so eager to please. Little by little one of them has been "opening up" and though I don't encourage discussing wages with coworkers, I can't believe that she is getting paid less than me for starters(I am an LPN finishing up school for RN)and she is a RN, is working too many weekends and not by choice(we are required to work one weekend a month) and few other situations. So, I see them being taken advantage of. I have Phillipine heritage in my family, so I am well aware of the differences between working here vs working in Phill. So, I can see where they think they are getting paid lots of $$$ but they need to understand that it's so much more money to live in US.
    I guess what I am trying to say is that if we paid more money, made working conditions better here, maybe more of the nurses would come back to nursing. Recruiting nurses from overseas is not the answer here. Plus, I am struggling with the costs of continuing my education and it makes me angry that the US is paying non-citizens to go to school and get their nursing licenses etc.............hell, if I was able financially to go school, I would of went 15 yrs ago instead of now. Let's take care of the licenses nurses here in the US first. Again, nothing to do with "being prejudice", as my parents came from Italy for a better life and this is what America is about.

  3. by   fergus51
    toni, I am just saying that is certainly not the norm. Most recruiters who come are looking for RNs not students, and I know a few American posters have posted about hospitals paying for their education in the US, and about programs that pay their tuition (or pay back their student loans) if they will work in underserved areas after grad. Perhaps some of these programs would help you.
  4. by   -jt
    <I can't believe that she is getting paid less than me for starters(I am an LPN finishing up school for RN)and she is a RN, is working too many weekends and not by choice(we are required to work one weekend a month) and few other situations.>

    Thats illegal. The foreign recruits have to be paid the same as any other new RN hired by that facility & treated the same. There have been many cases over the last 10 yrs where nurses who were treated unfairly like this reported it to their state nurses assoc, the ANA, the Phillipine Nurses Assoc in their state, & the INS who sued the hospitals for them, put an end to the disparate treatment, & won the nurses back pay. Let your colleagues know they can do something about their situation.

    Excerpt from the ANA testimony to Congress - June 2001:

    "......In addition, immigrant nurses are too often exploited because employers know that fears of retaliation will keep them from speaking up.

    There are numerous, disturbing examples from our experience with the expired H-1A nurse visa. In fact, several cases came from Illinois. The INS Chicago District issued a $1.29 million fine against FHC Enterprises, Inc. for 645 immigration document violations. FHC, Inc. fraudulently obtained 225 H-1A visas which were used to employ Filipino nurses as lower-paid nurse aides ($6.50 per hour) instead of as registered nurses ($12.50 per hour).

    The Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago agreed to pay $50,000 in fines and $384,700 in back wages to 99 Filipino nurses who were underpaid.

    In Kansas, 66 Filipino nurses were awarded $2.1 million to settle a discrimination case in which the Filipino nurses were not paid the same wage rate as U.S.-born registered nurses at the same facility. These are just a few of the cases that have come to light over the last decade........"
    Last edit by -jt on Oct 5, '02
  5. by   Sleepyeyes
    hmph. not a good idea IMHO
    Last edit by Sleepyeyes on Oct 5, '02
  6. by   healthyone
    To global RN,

    I refuse to get 'ugly' with're doing that fine all on your own, but i will say this:

    I am NOT interested in you being oriental (and you DON'T need to quote that next time, the description is perfectly logical to me), and I am not interested in how well you speak english. That is no bonus that you do; you OUGHT to if you are working in an english speaking country. I'm quite certain your people would not accept a caregiver's inability to communicate in the native tongue of your country for one minute.

    i'm not interested in whether your eyes slant or not. maybe that's your preoccupation, but i don't know you, and i don't care. you deal with that.

    I am NOT interested in your pat answers on how to 'deal' with my situation. you have no idea! i have already payed my $40K debt for my first university degree, $20K debt for my car, and much more debt than this to help out my wonderful family and i don't wish to quantify that amount with you. so i'm sure i have supported myself in a more commendable way than you or 'your family' would ever know.

    in fact you seem to have quite a few pat answers in your reply:
    <Why don't you try approaching some of the same sponsors for the same deal if you think it is so good?>
    uhh, globalRN, since you're the smart one with the ideas, why don't you? or do you just pipe up when it's to the benefit of yourself and your people? do you really care whether american women get trained in nursing in an economical way, or was the backlash just against someone else speaking their mind and reflecting on what they believe. i believe that the people in a country should get greater benefits than immigrants, or refugees or foreign students with regards to retraining. there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with my opinion on that issue, and everything commendable with that. i'm sure there are hundreds of thousands of american women that would love to retrain in nursing, would love to have all expenses paid, and a portion of whom would be glad to work in rural or underserviced areas for a period, to better their life experience and their futures. I know this for a fact based on people i've spoke with and people i move with. where are your facts,globalRN? who have you spoke with or dialogued with about this? do you really care to dialogue with anyone about this? or do you just try and stamp out other people's arguments with anger and cry-baby responses whenever you see or hear something that remotely blemishes your obviously high perception of yourself--"you're perfect, you're oriental, you're a good wonderful nurse and everyone else is bad, wrong, and stupid for not knowing how to support themself like you." please! thank god i don't subscribe to your way of thinking...i may have ended up with the samed warped sense of reality you have.

    no, "globalRN", in actuality my patients are the perfect ones...i'm just their well-trained caregiver who just helps them reach their most perfect potential possible. they're not in my shadow while i'm busy taking front stage telling the world how wonderful i am. my patients are worth a lot more to me than that. i'm in the background and they're in the foreground reaching their goals. they probably taught that to us in nsg school at some stage. maybe you missed class that day, maybe that year...getting ready for interviews abroad, i guess.

    for a "globalRN", your tolerance for others' ideas in 'their' countries appears to be pretty much as narrow as it comes. God help your patients that ever decide they may not like you because you 'look different'! Are you going to blunder them with the same vehemence as you displayed in your response to me? How in the heck have you made in nursing up to now?

    Your response confirms for me why the North Americas MUST encourage the recruitment and retention of their own people...because they give a damn about their own people.

    "Government does not belong in the bedrooms of the public"
    --Pierre Trudeau
  7. by   globalRN
    Healthyone: You are obviously opinionated and quick to assume.

    North America was built by immigrants and the only natives are the Native American Indians. You are making a lot of silly assumptions, who said I am not North American?....that is my point. You automatically assume that because I 'pipe up' and state that I am(using your term): 'Oriental' you start talking about 'you and your people'!!! Ah, ....the demonizing us versus them scenario... Obviously, you haven't considered that the 'Orientals' may be Americans. And you were the one to refer to slanty eyes which also tells us where you are coming from. Your tone and your words tell everyone a lot about YOU!!!

    Get with the program, Americans come from all different ethnicities...native born and naturalized. And your silly quote about the excuse management can make to dissatisified patients.... no wonder, you sound like a real loser. Get a reality check...there is no free lunch in this world.

    As to pat answers, I and many others have 'done it'. 'If you want something badly enough, quit your whining and go do something about it!!! Yeah...if you didn't get that the first time....quit your whining and go do something about it!!!

    God helps those who help themselves.
    Last edit by globalRN on Oct 6, '02
  8. by   tiger
  9. by   globalRN
    Thank you, Tiger
  10. by   globalRN
    healthyone's post was so full of paranoia and misinformed garbage, I just had to respond:

    <I think it's frightening that the US is simply allowing these oriental women to come here from unknown walks of life (good or highly questionable) and dump them on the public, without speaking english, without training for assimilation into this culture, and with complete indifference about the needs of the country's people. how appauling! >

    Foreign nurses must take the COFGN and pass NCLEX in order to work as a RN. The few exceptions are for Canadian trained nurses only or nurses from English speaking countries such as the UK, NZ or Australia.

    FACT:Foreign nurses must be practising RNs in their own country.
    Healthyone quotes: <unknown walks of life>......get a grip of reality or crawl back under the rock you came from.
  11. by   NancyRN
    So does a nurse only care if she's paid to care? There's a name for people who offer "love" in exchange for money.

    If you're a nurse, you care about other nurses as well as the patients who are paying you. If conditions for nursing are deplorable, they're deplorable. It doesn't matter where you're from.

    By the way, I consider myself to be a Native American because I was BORN here. Freedom of Speech is the right to take an unpopular stance and not be imprisoned for taking it.

    It may be unpopular to be a Patriot, but a Patriot I am. It's interesting that people who boast about being tolerant are the most intolerant of Free Speech.
  12. by   -jt
    <Your response confirms for me why the North Americas MUST encourage the recruitment and retention of their own people...because they give a damn about their own people. >

    It has nothing to do with who cares more about whom. Its nothing against those nurses who are recruited.

    People have the right to work wherever they want to. If we want to live in Europe & find work there thats fine. If a foreigner wants to live here & find work here that should be fine too. After all, that IS how we all got here to begin with.

    Theres nothing wrong with people coming here from other countries & finding employment.

    Whats wrong is when they are lured here from places where there are already not enough people with their skills & when their own countries need them. Whats wrong is that they are being lured from these places SOLELY for the benefit of the US hospital industry - regardless of their own countries needs - just so our rich hospital industry can AVOID spending the money to fix the problems that are keeping its own local people from working in these jobs.

    Whats wrong is that these recruits will be obligated (forced)
    to work under the unacceptable conditions that we are refusing to work under. Whats wrong is if its unsafe for us, its unsafe for all, yet these nurses will be made to bear it all,no matter how unsafe,if they dont want to be sent back.

    Whats wrong is that instead of being made to repair these conditions, these employers have gone to Congress & are pushing for a law that will reduce the strict qualifications & credential requirements of these recruits & allow the employers to bring in hundreds of thousands more - without limit.

    And then the pressure to spend the money to fix the problems will be off them & they will NEVER have to fix anything because they will have enough of those unsuspecting foreign nurses stuck there - forced to work for those inadequate wages, poor benefits, & in those unsafe conditions - & to keep quiet about it & put up with it - under threat of loss of visa. Thats whats wrong.

    We have American RNs refusing to work in jobs because they feel the working conditions are unsafe & the job does not compensate them well enough. Then we have RNs employers refusing to make the needed improvements & instead just going across the ocean to bring back people who will for various reasons be obligated to work in those same unacceptable
    conditions. We also have farm owners who cant find local people to work their farms because of unsafe conditions and poor compensation. So the farm owners drive across the border to bring back people who will for various reasons work under those same unacceptable conditions.

    What is the difference between these employers? They are both exploiting people to avoid spending an extra buck - while they fill their own pockets with the profit.

    And both employers are thumbing their noses at the American workers who are demanding better from them. Its wrong & its disgraceful.

    Foreign recruitment should occur only in other countries that have a surplus of RNs & should not be the main avenue for staffing American hospitals. Hospital administrators need to be looking in the mirror - not overseas. The focus needs to be on our employers making the needed improvments to make our job safe & properly compensated for. Foreign recruitment should not be used as an alternative to doing that.

    But with this bill in Congress, that cheaper alternative is exactly what the American Hospital Association is hoping for.
    Last edit by -jt on Oct 6, '02
  13. by   sjoe
    jt--exactly right, once again.