The Need For More ER Nurses And Health Professionals

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Roughly about 80 to 85 percent of American hospitals remark shortage while 15 percent convey worry about the serious shortage they’re undergoing.

According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, America would need about 2.8 million nurses.  This figured demand will be a million more than the projected turn out of nurses.  The U.S. isn’t rapidly substituting nurses at the same pace they’re leaving the profession.

The average age of nurses in the U.S. is 45 years old. In the year 2010, and estimated 40 percent of all the working registered nurses is already over 50 years old.  Between 2010 and 2020, the biggest group of registered nurses in the United States labor force would be between 50 to 60 years old.  Along this time, the nursing shortage should be exceeding 36 percent.

What’s happening to America isn’t a unique case.  Numerous nations are also experiencing the same problem.  In Ontario, Canada lost 14,000 of its 81,000 nurses because of retirement last 2004.  Although as early as December 2000, the World Health Organization accounted that Poland was graduating approximately 10,000 nurses yearly.  But the figures dropped down to 3,000. In Chile, only 8,000 are working in the field out of 18,000 nurses in the country.

So what are the steps done by the United States government to address this problem?

In April 2008, Congressman Robert Wexler from Florida presented a bill in the United States House of Representatives. This bill is called F.R. 5924 of The Emergency Nursing Supply Relief Act.  Presently, this bill has 11 co-sponsors.

This bill allows supplemental visas to be reserved for foreign trained physical therapists and nurses. The H.R. 5924 will save 20,000 employment based visas in each of the next three years for the said nurses and therapists.

This bill also provides funds to help U.S. Schools of nursing to expand the local supply of nurses using funds coming from the $1,500 fee from those who will be applying for the visa.  This will also launch a three-year pilot program targeted in keeping U.S. nurses in the work force.

Immigrant visa applicants would have to certify that they don’t owe their country of residence any indebtedness that was obtained for their education so that they will be granted the working visa. Both the American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration and the American Hospitals Association (AHA) expressed their support for the bill.

Because of visa retrogression, many foreign professionals who wish to work in the United States are turned away. The U.S. government gives only a certain amount of immigrant visas (green card) available every year and these are apportioned amongst the diverse immigrant visa categories.

Lately, there are more immigrants approved for immigrant visas that are employment-based and has run out of visa numbers which caused temporary backlog or retrogression. The U.S. Bears a waiting list for employment-based visas for nurses, and its nurse education programs refused more than 150,000 certified applicants last year because of deficiency in faculty and clinical space.


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