Nurses are leaving the profession in droves, Bloomberg Law reports, with potentially dire consequences. Studies suggest the country may soon find itself short of almost a half a million nurses. The nursing challenge reflects a widespread problem, with job openings in health care surging above 2 million earlier in the year.

Foreign labor could offer some relief, Partner Brendan Venter of our Immigration Practice Group told reporter August Saraiva of Bloomberg. The article points out that the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools received over 17,000 applications to a program for certifying foreign health-care professionals — more than twice the pre-pandemic number.

“The amount of work we’re doing for health-care institutions — we’ve always done some, it’s always been a big piece — but it’s taken off and exploded,” Brendan told Bloomberg Law. Even employers who used to shy away from the bureaucracy and delays involved in bringing nurses from abroad are now “kind of forced into it,” he said.

According to the article, though, experts said foreign labor may only be helpful to a limited degree. “There’s strong political opposition to faster immigration,” the article states. “Plus, the supply of foreign nurses isn’t unlimited — and there’s a global bidding war under way, as many countries in similar straits to the US seek to recruit them. ‘We’ll never make up for those shortages by bringing people in from abroad,’ said Megan Cundari, senior director of federal relations at the American Hospital Association. ‘We need to grow our own nurses.’”

Brendan, along with Practice Co-Leader L.J. D’Arrigo, are hosting a webinar on the issues involved in hiring international nurses. The webinar provides insights and options for small- to mid-size practices, ambulatory surgery centers, community-based providers, larger hospitals and health systems, long-term and assisted living facilities. The program will also cover:

  • Overview of available temporary work visa options
  • Developing and efficiently implementing green card/permanent resident options
  • Recent success stories of recruiting and hiring international nurses