May 22, 2020

Are Immigrant Nurses Solving the Nursing Shortage?

The nursing shortage is alive and well in many parts of the US. But while many healthcare leaders turn to temporary travel nurses to address acute shortages, more facilities are opting for a more long-term solution.Per a 2016 report from the Institute for Immigration Research at George Mason University and the Immigrant Learning Center, foreign-born nurses now make up about 15 percent of registered nurses in the United States."Nurses that migrate to this country have made a significant impact on helping to improve health outcomes, particularly for hospitals that tend to have challenges in terms of building their own nurse capacity," said�Yolanda Ogbolu�to Lisa Esposito in a recent U.S. news article.The report shows that half of these foreign-trained nurses are working California, New York, Florida, Texas and New Jersey. But while they're in major metropolitan areas, the reality is they're needed much more in rural areas that lack access to nurses.

The Balancing Act

There's no denying how useful travel nurses are in addressing shortages. But the reality of a travel nursing solution is that it's both more costly, and short-term.Most travel nursing contracts are just 13 weeks long, and while that creates flexibility, it's just a band-aid solution. And your patient load may demand more than that."Really, it's just being sympathetic to your patients and empathetic to what they're going through," says Lobel Lurie, a nursing professional development specialist with Cone Health in Greensboro, North Carolina.Countless studies detail the difference between staffed and understaffed units on patient care.But the truth is that hospitals and healthcare systems need the right balance of permanent and temporary nurses to be cost-effective while providing quality care for patients. Foreign-trained nurses are a great resource because many of them work on long-term contracts. It's not uncommon to contract a foreign-trained nurse for three years or more.U.S. HEALTHCARE ORGANIZATIONS: If you are looking for a cost-effective, temp-to-perm nurse staffing solution, please connect with our Business Development Team.

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