update: foreign recruitment of nurses

  1. Remember the bill that the hospital associations were lobbying for in DC? They one where they tried to get Congress to change immigration law, lower the certification standards and credentials that foreign-educated nurses had to meet & allow unlimited numbers of these overseas nurses to come & fill their vacant positons, rather than fixing the problems that were causing local RNs to refuse those jobs. Well, thanks to the efforts of the ANA and hundreds of pro-active nurses who contacted their senators and congressman and voiced their objection, this bill has been killed in committee and will not be passed into law. (see AJN March 2003)

    Hospitals will now not be able to take the easy way out and will not be able to avoid their problems by draining other countries of unlimited numbers of nurses. If they want to fill their vacant positions, sooner or later they will just have to start fixing the problems that are causing them to remain vacant in the first place.

    (background: NursingWorld | AJN: 2002: March: The Global Reach of the Nursing Shortage
    http://nursingworld.org/AJN/2002/mar/Issues.htm )
    Last edit by -jt on Mar 14, '03
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    About -jt

    Joined: Oct '00; Posts: 2,662; Likes: 46


  3. by   traumaRUs
  4. by   Furball
    Thank goodness!
    Last edit by Furball on Mar 14, '03
  5. by   debyan
    "Thank goodness"quoted from
    I second that thought! deb
  6. by   J. Tigana
    American nurses, please tell me are you against all foreign nurses working in the U.S.? Or just nurses with lower credentials? To me you are sounding zenophobic and protectionist.
  7. by   sjoe
    tigana--this has been discussed MANY times at MUCH length on this BB already. Look for thread titles that might relate to your question and read them and you'll have much more information that you could ever want on the subject.

    (I didn't know Brits spelled "xenophobic" with a "z.")
    Last edit by sjoe on Mar 23, '03
  8. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Originally posted by J. Tigana
    American nurses, please tell me are you against all foreign nurses working in the U.S.? Or just nurses with lower credentials? To me you are sounding zenophobic and protectionist.

    No no no.

    If your pt is hemorrhaging from a wound, would you simply fill him up with donated blood obtained from elsewhere?

    If the wound never stopped bleeding, you would have to endlessly transfuse the pt, until there were none of his own blood left, and still, he would bleed.

    Theorectically, if we had many, many pts in this same situation, the supplies of blood from outside sources would be seriously depleted.
    In this situation, standards could be lowered in that the need for blood would be so great, and the supplies so limited, lower quality, untested, unsafe blood might be considered acceptable.

    A better approach would be to transfuse the pt with a limited quantity of supplemental blood, and at the same time, find the cause of the bleeding and work to stop the hemorrhage, right?

    This metaphor applies to the issue of the Ameican "nursing shortage" and recruitment of foreign nurses.

    The "patient" in the above scenario is The U.S. The hemorrhaging is the nursing shortage. The pt's blood is American nurses. The transfused blood is foreign nurses.

    Simply continually transfusing the pt with blood from outside sources is what short-sighted health care corportions only interested in profits propose we do.

    Those of us who actually care about the long-term health of the pt, and the ultimate outcome, demand that we rely on limited transfusion, and put the bulk of our efforts into finding the causes of the bleeding. We must focus our attention on finding ways to stop the hemorrhage, heal the wound, and assist the pt in regenerating and maintaining his own blood supply from within.
    Last edit by Hellllllo Nurse on Mar 15, '03
  9. by   -jt
    Tigana, please read the article. Your question is very clearly answered.

    No offense is intended towards foreign-educated nurses. What we object to is the focus on using as them indentured servants to fill jobs with such unacceptable conditions that US nurses are refusing to work in. Rather than improving those conditions, the hospitals tried to eliminate the current restrictions on the numbers that they can bring over and reduce their qualifications - including passage of the NYCLEX exam that credentials them. They could then ignore all the problems, put these nurses into the jobs as is, and then have them obligated to accept conditions that are just as unacceptable and dangerous to them as they are to US nurses. This is exploitation. And the drain on the countries these nurses were to come from (Africa, India, Asia) would be at the detriment to their own country. US nurses and the ANA vehemently opposed the hospitals on this and got their bill killed. The current limits, restrictions and qualification standards will remain in effect. Foreign-educated nurses are welcome to work in the US and have the right to do so without being exploited. Now that the hospital cant use unlimited numbers of them as a bandaid on a gaping wound, it will have to actually face the reality of its problem and come up with real solutions.

    excerpt from the article:
    <<"The ANA is not anti-immigration. We believe every qualified nurse has the right to seek employment in the United States, just as we believe U.S. nurses should have the same opportunity to practice in any other country of their choice," said ANA president Mary Foley, MS, RN. "What we object to is the practice of luring highly skilled nurses from South Africa, India, and other countries that depend greatly on these health care practitioners' skills and talents, to work in health care facilities here."......"When we have a nursing shortage and ease our immigration laws, what we're doing is stealing nurses from other countries," said Rice, chairperson of the Legislative Coalition of Virginia Nurses. "What happens in those countries when the brain drain occurs?"......The ANA also is concerned about the exploitation of foreign-educated nurses once they begin working in health care facilities that have sub-standard working conditions. Many employers know that foreign-educated nurses cannot speak up about poor working conditions or unfair treatment......In one case, the Immigration and Naturalization Service-Chicago District issued a $1.29 million fine against a health care management company that fraudulently obtained 225 visas to employ Filipino nurses as lower-paid nurse's aides instead of as registered nurses......And finally, the ANA believes that bringing in foreign nurses does not address the underlying problem that drives our shortages-nurses' deteriorating working conditions......"The ANA and its constituent member associations [CMAs] - the state nurses associations - are more than willing to work with the hospital industry to improve working conditions and stabilize the nursing workforce."....."The health care industry must stop its laissez-faire approach to planning its staffing needs now and in the future," Foley said. "We don't want more nurses to leave the profession in frustration or have young people refuse to consider nursing as a viable career. We also don't want to take nurses away from countries that are struggling to provide care to their own people. Consumers of health care and nurses worldwide deserve better."...... >>
    Last edit by -jt on Mar 15, '03
  10. by   -jt
    another related article:

    The Renewed Push to Recruit Foreign Nurses -
    Will the floodgates open again?

  11. by   sjoe
    I mentioned on another, similar thread, the loophole (L-1 visas) that allows nursing agencies to open branches (i.e. a phone and a desk) in other countries, "hire" local RNs and LVNs in those countries, then do an "intra-company" transfer of these employees to the US and contract them out to hospitals, etc. (This avoids the issue of H1 visas, green cards, etc.)

    If there are any problems, such as attempts to organize, stand up for themselves, file unfair labor complaints, etc. against the hiring facilities or these agencies, the "employees" are simply transferred back to their countries of origin and fired.

    We can only expect this business to grow.
    Last edit by sjoe on Mar 26, '03