Association News

Foreign-Born Registered Nurses and Allied Health Workers Webinar

In our recent webinar, Foreign-Born Recruitment of Registered Nurses and Allied Health Workers, 40 hospitals throughout California came together to hear immigration attorney Carl Shusterman speak on this highly debated workforce topic.  

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are over one million vacant nurse jobs across the United States. The number of associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in nursing awarded in U.S. is not nearly enough to keep up with current or future needs. At the same time, over 80,000 people are turned away from nursing programs due to a myriad of factors, with faculty shortages being cited as a top reason. 

According to Shusterman, and the American Association of International Healthcare Recruitment, thousands of international nurses from around the world are interested in coming to the U.S. to work and are currently in the pipeline for employment-based Permanent Resident Cards (Green Cards), which is good news for health care organizations. In October 2021, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, in partnership with the U.S. Department of State, has increased the number of available Green Cards from 140,000 to 290,000 through Sept. 30, 2022. Members currently in the process of sponsoring employment-based Permanent Resident Cards are expected to be among the winners. 

During the presentation, Shusterman also walked members through the types of visas and associated requirements for Registered Nurses. There are currently two types of temporary visas available for RNs: (1) Trade NAFTA (TN) visas for Canadian and Mexican RNs and (2) H-1B visas for nurses with a BSN or higher. Obtaining TN visas for Canadian Citizens is less complex, Shusterman explained, because they are visa-exempt, and there is no prevailing wage requirement. Making the path forward for Canadian nurses looking to enter the U.S. to help address the shortage the least complex.

The process for obtaining H-1B visas is much more complicated, and most nurses will not qualify for this type, due to the education requirement. Instead, employment-based Green Cards, which provides permanent status, are the prevailing entry point. Nurses sponsored to come to the U.S. from other countries must also receive the prevailing wage for that geographical area, as determined by the Labor Department.

Missed the webinar?
If you were unable to join the webinar and want to learn more, listen here:


Teri Hollingsworth
[email protected]
VP, Human Resources and Education Services
(213) 538-0763

As an additional resource to help you navigate through the foreign recruitment process, Anne O’Rourke, SVP Federal Relations with the California Hospital Association, has been working with the American Hospital Association to help expedite visas. If you are currently engaged, or are planning to engage in foreign recruitment, Anne is available to assist you:

Anne O’Rourke
[email protected]
SVP Federal Relations
202-488-4494 (O)
202-256-9808 (M)