International student holding a BSN from a prestigious school in the US

  1. Hi all, new to this forum and this is my first time posting so really appreciated if anyone could help with my question.

    I have a friend who is graduating from Columbia this spring with a BSN degree. She is from China and has been in the US since high school. As she is graduating, she is considering either getting a job or going for master's degree, so she was wondering how is the job market for BSN international students who do not have citizenship or permanent residency in the US? All I know is that she has to go through the H-1B process, which is long. But is it very hard to find a sponsor, an employer who would like to wait and apply that for you if you are like a pretty good candidate for a position? I myself is not in the field but I am also kinda interested in this since a lot of the times we see a shortage of nurses here but when it comes to hiring international nurses, there seem to be no exceptions? Does graduating from a prestigious school make any, even the slightest, difference at all?

    Again, really appreciated if anyone in the field knows the process and details. Thanks!!
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    About fan112

    Joined: Feb '18; Posts: 1
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience

    13 Comments

  3. by   elkpark
    I didn't realize Columbia offered an undergraduate nursing degree. Is that new? You're talking about Columbia University in NYC, right?
  4. by   Wuzzie
    Quote from elkpark
    I didn't realize Columbia offered an undergraduate nursing degree. Is that new? You're talking about Columbia University in NYC, right?
    It doesn't. It does have a direct entry masters program but I don't know if they just let you stop at BSN.

    As far as "prestigious". Very few employers care where people got their undergrad degree. Prestige (assumed or not) really doesn't come into play in the hiring process at entry level. The nursing shortage is a myth unless you don't mind moving to certain pockets of the US but NYC isn't one of them. Employers have no reason to go through the hassle of sponsoring a non-citizen when there are so many citizens available. It's unfortunate that your friend paid through the nose for a degree that she may not be able to use. It's even more unfortunate that the school didn't tell her this prior to taking her money. She might be more marketable with her MSN but even that tide is turning with masters prepared nurses being churned out in scores.
  5. by   caliotter3
    Quote from Wuzzie
    It doesn't. It does have a direct entry masters program but I don't know if they just let you stop at BSN.

    As far as "prestigious". Very few employers care where people got their undergrad degree. Prestige (assumed or not) really doesn't come into play in the hiring process at entry level. The nursing shortage is a myth unless you don't mind moving to certain pockets of the US but NYC isn't one of them. Employers have no reason to go through the hassle of sponsoring a non-citizen when there are so many citizens available. It's unfortunate that your friend paid through the nose for a degree that she may not be able to use. It's even more unfortunate that the school didn't tell her this prior to taking her money. She might be more marketable with her MSN but even that tide is turning with masters prepared nurses being churned out in scores.
    It is sad to think that a school with "prestige" to its name would treat one no better than the money-grubbing for profit diploma mills. Goes to show that anyone easy to take advantage of, will be taken advantage of.
  6. by   Silverdragon102
    Quote from fan112
    Hi all, new to this forum and this is my first time posting so really appreciated if anyone could help with my question.

    I have a friend who is graduating from Columbia this spring with a BSN degree. She is from China and has been in the US since high school. As she is graduating, she is considering either getting a job or going for master's degree, so she was wondering how is the job market for BSN international students who do not have citizenship or permanent residency in the US? All I know is that she has to go through the H-1B process, which is long. But is it very hard to find a sponsor, an employer who would like to wait and apply that for you if you are like a pretty good candidate for a position? I myself is not in the field but I am also kinda interested in this since a lot of the times we see a shortage of nurses here but when it comes to hiring international nurses, there seem to be no exceptions? Does graduating from a prestigious school make any, even the slightest, difference at all?

    Again, really appreciated if anyone in the field knows the process and details. Thanks!!
    H1b is generally not used for nurses as too expensive and nursing demand is low due to many US nurses looking for work especially in states like California and New York. Most nurses go straight for green card EB3 which is based on place of birth. Current process times for someone born in China is over 3 years so the difficulty there is finding employer willing to wait and sponsor. If your friend can use OPT then that is an option for finding employer however they will do better getting their masters and finding a job that requires masters and fits EB1 which for everyone is current and easier for them to stay.
  7. by   amoLucia
    Is it my understanding that OP's friend has not yet finished school? And then there's still NCLEX to pass for licensing.

    So I can understand such a dismal outlook.
  8. by   Silverdragon102
    Quote from amoLucia
    Is it my understanding that OP's friend has not yet finished school? And then there's still NCLEX to pass for licensing.

    So I can understand such a dismal outlook.
    Correct, graduates in the spring
  9. by   FullGlass
    Ignore all the negativity. One of my classmates at Johns Hopkins nursing school is also from China. She lived in China her whole life and went to Univ of Kentucky for her BSN and then worked in the US as an RN for 2 years. She then earned her MSN AGPCNP from Johns Hopkins. She was hired by Johns Hopkins Hospital.

    As a new grad, your school does matter - a lot. Any nursing hiring manager will tell you that. Once a nurse has experience, then her school matters less.

    As for finding a job as an international student, yes it is harder, but is possible. Your friend should consult with an immigration attorney and also do internet research on the different types of visas available to her. She will need to find an employer that will sponsor her. That can be hard, but it is certainly possible. She may need to move to an area with a nursing shortage (there are areas in the US that do have a shortage).

    Good luck.
  10. by   bibimake
    I don't know how the above poster's friend worked in the US for 2 years with F1 post graduation, I think the you can work with your OPT for 1 year maximum (since nursing is not STEM). She should contact her lawyer first.

    But I know a very close friend who came to the US in high school and went to college for her BSN here. When she turned 21, she had to apply for F1 and post graduation, she used her OPT at an acute care facility and got a year of experience. Towards end of her one year, she found an international nursing agency that would sponsor her with EB3. She applied for a Master's degree (not nursing but healthcare related) and maintained her F1 status while the agency filed necessary paperwork. However, she is not from China, so it took less than a year for her to get a greencard last year.

    There is a way, it's just very long and she will probably have to move (possibly to another state) where there's nursing shortage...that's where agencies will send you mostly. Most hospitals don't do direct hiring and sponsorship nowadays. I hope this helps.
  11. by   Leader25
    yes it does my friend went there.
  12. by   Leader25
    She figured out how to get into Colombia U and how to pay for it?Not even a citizen. She is doing better than most of us.
  13. by   meanmaryjean
    Does graduating from a prestigious school make any, even the slightest, difference at all?


    Nope.
  14. by   FullGlass
    Quote from meanmaryjean
    Does graduating from a prestigious school make any, even the slightest, difference at all?


    Nope.
    Yes, it does matter, as other RN hiring managers on this forum have stated. New grad RNs are evaluated on their school and their grades. It's not important for an experienced RN. This is true in all professions, not just nursing.

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