Thursday, June 4, 2009

More Nurses needed in US in ’14

Around 1.2 million nurses will be needed in the United States in 2014 due to the increasing number of aging population and retiring health workers.

Emmanuel Geslani, recruitment consultant , who works for the Federated Association of Manpower Exporters (FAME), an umbrella group of recruiters, cite a report from the US Department of Health and Human Services that US will need 500,000 nurses to replace those leaving the service and 700,000 more to take care of the aging baby boomers in the coming years.

Geslani, however, advised Filipino nurses not focus their attention with the American job market. He also added that the US States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has yet to adopt rules that will facilitate visas for foreign nurses.

There have been proposals to the USCIS to have a dedicated lane and category for foreign nurses to fast track their visa applications. Geslani said the USCIS is still studying the proposal and it may take the agency sometime to reach a decision on the matter.

“The nursing shortage in the US may not be solved in the immediate future as policy recommendations will have to be approved and the red tape involved in the processing of nurses visas will have to be resolved without the CIS letting up on its safeguards in setting up standards for foreign nurses qualifications,” he said.

Geslani and FAME urged Filipino nurses not to wait for the US market to open up. They noted that they could apply to health facilities in the Middle East. Although the pay in Middle East is lower than in the US, Filipino nurses do not have to wait for years before getting a job there, Geslani said.

Kristine L. Alave
Philippine Daily Inquirer

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