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Rejecting the Transplant

Nurses Article   (3,463 Views | 10 Replies | 1,149 Words)

1 Article; 1,538 Profile Views; 56 Posts

It was snowing to beat all. Two feet was down already, and more was falling. Driving the little Toyota down the highway, I was thinking, where will I be next year? My current job is wearing me down. As a nurse, working in the confines of the prison system with sex offenders, I am tired and wanting more.

Rejecting the Transplant

I pulled into the parking lot and see the signs. NURSING JOB FAIR HERE TODAY! I know my future is held within these walls. I gather my resumes and letters of reference, so carefully bundled together for that professional look and head into the building. I stamp the snow from my boots and survey the area. Booths as far as the eyes can see. I begin wandering from table to table, speaking to recruiters from all over the United States. The Dakotas are well represented and offer good wages. We begin to discuss the weather, and I discover it is actually colder there than in my area. Move on! Next stop, New York! I see that the wages offered there are not much different than what I make now, and I know they get more lake effect snow than where I live, so I bustle past, leaving a resume package in my wake. I gather my reserve and keep trudging on, visiting the United States as I go without ever leaving Canada, from booth to booth. The resume stack is getting lower and the information brochures are getting heavy. Next stop, Texas. Oh, glorious Texas! The recruiter is actually the Director of Nursing, now that's a refreshing change. Someone who can actually answer my questions about the equipment, the facility, the management!

We chat and get to know each other a little. I am feeling comfortable as is she. The Texan is amazed that I drove two hours in all this snow! We start to talk about money, and she offers a nice salary. I discover that Texas has no income tax, wow, I can be free from the "man". We talk of the small town and how quaint it is. She describes her community, the shops, the people with a twinkle in her eyes. She loves where she lives and you can see it. She assures me that a job offer will be coming.

I head out of the convention center, back out to the snow. I shovel off my car and head back to the highway, thinking the whole time, what will it be like? Texas has a wonderful climate, that's a big advantage as my car slides around trying to gain traction on the slippery roads. I'd never had to shovel again! I am attracted to the Dakotas, but hey, they are actually further away from my hometown! Texas is beginning to look even more attractive. Before I realize it, I am home.

I sit on my couch and begin to peruse the brochures. A decision is made, Texas it is. Now, which facility? Big or small? I am drawn by the way the DON spoke of her town. So I start to research it; What is the crime rate? What is the average age of the population? How long is the drive back to Canada if I want to come home to visit? And then the personal debate steps in; What if I get homesick? What if my co-workers give me a hard time about being Canadian? I know I want to do it, I want to make the move but...

Over the following weeks, my mailbox is stuffed with offers of employment, but one stands out. I call and accept. I am moving to Texas! My friends are wondering if I have gone crazy and my family is supportive but worried. It's a big move, but I am ready. I head to the border crossing at Hill Island, NY and secure my TN Visa. It was a relatively painless process, so I begin to feel really good about my decision. I head home and start packing. Two weeks later, I load the trailer, say my tear-filled farewells, and hit the highway. Texas here I come!

The weather gets warmer, the further I head south. I am really liking this! Days later, I pull into the driveway of my D.O.N.'s home. She has offered me her garage to living in until I can find an apartment. She has been so great through the whole process, I feel as though she is family. I unload my stuff and get settled in.

The facility is nice. The other nurses greet me and four other Canadians, but you can sense something is not right. There is animosity in the air. I am not there long before the facility owners renege on the offered contract. Three of the five nurses leave and head back home. I start looking around the area at other facilities, I did not make the move so I could be run off by discrimination! I am scooped up by another facility and part company with the D.O.N. I am hurt and discouraged, but I push along. It seems like every two years, I am moving on to another facility, the draw, and attraction of better wages and the sign on bonus is too strong to resist.

Years later, after a one failed marriage to a Texan girl, and a 2-year-old son. I make the move to Oklahoma, not by choice but by necessity. My ex-wife has moved here, and I want to be close to my son. Another job hunt, another offer, another facility. Two years pass, and I discover Oklahoma is not so bad after all. I meet and marry another Canadian and transplant her into the American way of life. But then that ugly beast rears it's head again, only this time it's the Great State of Oklahoma practicing discrimination! House Bill 1804 has been passed, I just discovered how it will affect me. The State of Oklahoma has passed a law that says I have to have my visa before I can renew my license, and my license will only be renewed for the time period of the visa. But hey, the Federal Government says I have to have a nurses license valid for the time period of the visa I am applying for, or they won't issue a visa! The body of Oklahoma is rejecting me like a body rejects a transplant. What do I do? I know that there is still a huge shortage of nurses here, why are they rejecting us?

So I fight. I fight for my life. I fight for my wife's life, I fight for my son's life. My wife takes over, she is more adept at bringing about change. She contacts a friend and starts letter writing. The letters become the drugs to prevent the rejection. We fight the law. We educate the people. We question ourselves, should we just go "home"? But America is our home now and we don't want to leave, so we stay and fight. Hopefully, we can use the one "drug" that will prevent the "rejection" and our lives will be saved.

1 Article; 1,538 Profile Views; 56 Posts

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ScrappyED is a BSN, RN and specializes in ED, Trauma.

1 Article; 49 Posts; 3,525 Profile Views

I'm sorry for your struggles Rolland, I hope everything works out.

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13 Posts; 1,116 Profile Views

Keep up the fight..because you're not only fighting for your family but for the many of other nurses that comes into contact with this....Good luck

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1 Article; 56 Posts; 1,538 Profile Views

Thank you to you both for your support. Our profession needs more people like the two of you in it.

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Ginger's Mom has 41 years experience as a MSN, RN.

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I am confused why can't you practice in Ok? I thought being a Canadian you can get a visa therefore a license. I wish the best, I just don't understand.

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1 Article; 56 Posts; 1,538 Profile Views

I am confused why can't you practice in Ok? I thought being a Canadian you can get a visa therefore a license. I wish the best, I just don't understand.

I am sure that Oklahoma's new Law 1804 has gotten some press in your state. If not, let me explain. November 2007, a new law came into effect in Oklahoma that was originally designed to push illegal immigrants out of Oklahoma. Unfortunately, in their infinite wisdom, the legislator who wrote this law, caught all professional licenses and certificates into the same net. Now in Oklahoma, you cannot get a nurses license until you have a visa in place. Unfortunately, Immigration will not give you a visa until you have a nurses license for the state in which you intend to practice........hmmmmmmm, the other catch that Oklahoma did was they tag the expiry date of all your licenses to co-ordinate with the expiry of your visa. What this means is: Nurses who are immigrants to Oklahoma prior to November 2007, whom already had a nurses license for OK, when they renewed in 2008 (the year for RN's to renew), their license was then set to expire on the same day of their existing visa.

For me that is May 2009. In May, if I want to continue practising Nursing, I will have to leave Oklahoma, and find a state that wants me, but I will have to leave behind my son (5 years old) of whom I do not have custody, my step son will have to transfer colleges, I will have to sell my home (now at a loss because of the market) and relocate- all costing me money!!!!!

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Justhere has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN.

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This is terrible Roland. Can you not renew your visa and license before they expire so you can stay in OK with your son?

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1 Article; 56 Posts; 1,538 Profile Views

This is terrible Roland. Can you not renew your visa and license before they expire so you can stay in OK with your son?

Unfortunately, I tried that and USCIS will not renew with the license that I have.......so my wife is continuing to fight the legislation. She meets with a house legislator on Wednesday........but sadly, it will not get changed in time.

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Elvish is a BSN, DNP, RN, NP and specializes in Community, OB, Nursery.

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I feel your pain, rolland...my dh and I are going through immigration mess too. It is not quick, nor easy, nor is it set up to be helpful, in our experience. Hang in there. I know that's easier said than done.

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1 Article; 56 Posts; 1,538 Profile Views

I feel your pain, rolland...my dh and I are going through immigration mess too. It is not quick, nor easy, nor is it set up to be helpful, in our experience. Hang in there. I know that's easier said than done.

There is good news...not a full resolution as of yet but good news never the less. An amendment to HB1804 was submitted with an emergency measure yesterday in the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

I must give credit to my wife. She has persevered when I would have given up.

:yeah:

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1 Article; 56 Posts; 1,538 Profile Views

There is good news...not a full resolution as of yet but good news never the less. An amendment to HB1804 was submitted with an emergency measure yesterday in the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

I must give credit to my wife. She has persevered when I would have given up.

:yeah:

Just to update anyone watching this thread.

The amendment to the Oklahoma Citizen and Taxpayer act of 2007 was squashed by right wingers......they are apparently under the misguided information that all you need to get a visa at the border is a letter from your employer!

Even after giving the Code of Federal Regulations, the house of representatives in the State of Oklahoma is not amending the law to exclude nurses. We are disappointed to say the least but now we are pressing the Govenor for an audience and hitting the press.....someone will pick up the story.:banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead:

Anyone on here who wants to help and is residing in Oklahoma - please call your House Rep and tell him/her that the law needs to be changed!

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