Hospital Recruiting Overseas

Nurses General Nursing


I work for a small (120 bed) hospital in central Florida. We are among the lowest-paid acute care facilities in the state. My hosptial has been offering a $10,000. sign on bonus since last summer for new hires with a recruitment bonus to employees who recommend a new hire. (Anybody wanna move to Florida and be my friend?) The hospital is now well staffed on day and afternoon shifts: enough so that the day shift nurses are actually on a call-off schedule--and this is the middle of our busy season! Sounds like the sign-on bonus thing worked, huh?

Here's the big slap in the face: Three muckety-mucks (that's the medical term) took a week's all-expenses-paid trip to the UK to recruit nurses. They hired 11 nurses with no experience/licensure in the USA, paid them each $10,000. sign on bonus, and is paying their way here, housing them and supporting them until they are licensed and available to actually begin. (So far they kicked one "experienced" midwife/RN from abroad out of OB because she was "unsafe.")

What about the rest of us who have actually been there, are loyal employees and know what the heck we're doing? Well, the president of my facility was overheard in a meeting (yes, this is gossip but from a reasonbly reliable source ) saying that he doesn't plan to keep a nurse for more than 2 years so that he doesn't have to pay more than base wages. Since I've been there 3.5 years, I'm a dinosaur!!

How do you feel about recruiting from overseas? How would you treat the recruits if you were in this situation and working with them (now, think beyond the first knee-jerk-must-be-nice-to-everybody answer and think about how you'd really feel). What steps might you take to let an administration (that obviously doesn't give a flying fig about its employees) know how you feel? Anybody else out there in my boat?

FYI: we have a nursing school capable of graduating 24 LPNs and 24 RNs each year (with a first time NCLEX pass rate of nearly 100%) 2 miles away from the hospital.


I can really understand your feelings of being used/abused by your administration. However all countries are short of nurses and all seem to recruit from overseas, nurses from Australia go to Britain Canada and the US and nurses from Britian come to Australia and so on ad infinitum. Its not the best way of obtaining staff since the travellers don't stay forever and as you have found out they do not encourage administration to provide policies that support their long term employees.

However I can speak from the perspective of the Australian nurse that came with an agency to the US. We were all experienced in our particular fields (ER for me) had passed Boards in California and were ready to work. There was no $10,000 bonus and we worked in a county hospital that was desperate for nurses. Coming from another country is difficult since you want to experience a different culture and get different nursing experience, but you have little control over where you end up working and don't know if you are walking into a facility that is poorly treating its staff or if you are being used for some other political reason within the hospital.

However there are significant benefits on both sides when people with different backgrounds work together. You discover many similarities in practice and a variety of differences. Working together both groups can learn new and different ways of doing things as it is easy to become parochial in your thinking- ie we do it this way so it must be the best way. Both the American nurses and US nurses found different ways of doing things sometimes worked just as well and many patienst found ou teh Australia was not a country inEurope with big mountains. I learn't so much in my year in the South, actually more about gun shot wounds than I ever wanted to, I found out what grits were and I still won't eat them' I know the rules of American Football and I found out that nursing is similar the world over and I made friends in the US which I still have 10 years later.

While I understand your distress over the treatment of the permanent staff by your administration, please realise taht teh nurses coming from Ireland probably have no idea what is going on and many may have a lot to offer.

I would not reccomend taking it out on the new foreign nurses. Put yourself in their shoes. If someone offered you ten thou and a trip to an exciting country wouldn't you be tempted? It isn't their fault your administration is made up of money hungry b*#@%$$#s. If you take it out on them you'll just be another mean old RN eating her young wink.gif. If I were you I would explain to them that they aren't going to keep any of their loyal employees with that kind of crap and quit. People can only treat you like crap if you let them. With the nursing shortage you can surely get a job elsewhere.

"RN Shortage - NON SOLUTION:

Importation of foreign nurses.

Some segments of the industry suggest that the process for credentialing foreign nurses should be shortened and that barriers to obtaining visas should be eliminated. Never mentioned are the stories, such as the Texas experience, with a company that imported nurses and kept them isolated and used them as staff in long term care settings at very substandard wages. The effect on the patients wasn't good. While we have

seen the increased use of foreign workers in high tech, those industries are already doing all they can to attract our own. Foreign nurses aren't the problem but when an industry pays nurses less than electricians, it should not be given free reign to import......."

For the full synopsis, see:

The Real Deal

The thing is we need foreign nurses. The province I am living in now only produces about 50% of the nurses it needs each year. The rest come from out of province and out of country. If we didn't recruit brits, aussies, nzlanders, yanks, phillipinos, etc. we would be up the creek without a paddle. Luckily here foreign nurses can't be exploited as nurses are treated the same across the province seeing as were all in the same union.

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