Are you a foreign-trained Nurse who dreams to Immigrate to the US?
Despite the known shortage of nurses in the US, immigrating to the US under a nursing work visa doesn’t come easy. We will map out some simple steps to kick start your dream right away. To work in the US as a nurse, you have to understand what visa classification is most suitable for you.
TN Visa: this option is only viable for Canadian and Mexican nurses. However, they should have an employment offer in the US along with their native license and state practice license as a prerequisite to avail of this option.
H-1B Temporary Visa: with previous experience as a cardiology nurse, emergency room nurse, or critical care nurse with a four-year nursing program qualification as a prerequisite, this option can be availed as a temporary option and in the meantime, we can apply for a green card.
H-1C Visa: only viable to the nurses who have provided their services in under-served areas.
Green Card or Permanent Visa: an option only viable for registered nurses with a certified nursing degree and at least 2 years of experience in their own country. Other requirements for immigration as a nurse in the US are mentioned step-by-step.
- You must be licensed as a qualified “registered nurse”. Licenses such as vocational nurses, patient care assistants, and practical nurses are not viable for immigration.
- You must be accredited as a foreign-trained or foreign-educated nurse. Otherwise, it is required to complete an FEN course to fulfill this requirement.
- You are only eligible to work in the US as a foreign nurse if you have at least two years’ experience as a registered nurse in your country.
- Must have graduated from a certified registered nursing program. Mandatory to pass the CGFNS exam or NCLEX-RN exam or to own a complete and unrestricted state license as the requirements for practicing in each state are diverse so licensure for the intended state should be applied through the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.
- Additional to meeting educational and professional requirements, it is a must for nurses who are not from English speaking countries to pass one of the following tests: TOEIC, TOFEL, or IELTS. Currently, the U.S., Australia, Ireland, UK, Canada except Quebec), and New Zealand are identified as English-speaking countries.
- NCLEX exam is compulsory for your license as it certifies your ability to work as a registered nurse. But before NCLEX, it is advised to contact CGFNS. Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) https://www.cgfns.org/ helps aspiring candidates to authenticate and validate their credentials. It provides you with a series of prescreening stages that help predict your performance in the NCLEX exam, current license evaluation, English fluency, and need analysis for maturing your skillset.
Permanent residence in the US
The most efficient way to work as a registered American nurse is if you are a permanent resident of the US.
Unfortunately, the approval and processing of the application take almost a year before the applicant can immigrate.
There has been done many facilitations to speed up the process but before the application process begins, one should have a job offer in the US and the employer must also comprehend that when they will petitioning for your visa, you won’t be able to work for them immediately after but a year later.
Most employers don’t want to wait for a year but due to the shortage of nurses in the US, they are trying to facilitate the process as much as possible.
Once you have a willing employer, you should bring together all of your documentation and papers and submit them to immigration services.
To help yourself amid the mountain of paperwork, get yourself sponsored with the staffing agency or some other consultant.
They will handle the whole process and will make it painless for you. All you to worry about will be taking those tests and meeting your other eligibility requirements.
Advantages and Disadvantages of working as an Immigrated nurse
Listed below are some of the many advantages that you can avail while working a foreign-trained nurse in America.
- Personal Growth
With your experience as working abroad, the benefits that come your way on a personal level can be remarkable. Facing challenging situations makes you more resilient, better at communication, boost your self-confidence to a greater extent.
- Attractive Salaries
In most countries, nurses are with a profession that is poorly compensated. However, in the US they are provided with opportunities of highest paying nursing jobs. They are usually compensated 10-20 times more than what they were offered in their home country. Better compensation eventually turns up with better retirement plans as well.
- Impressive Resume
Serving and caring for different types of patients makes you gain a global perspective on our job. You learn a new language and mention of your experience overseas augments of chances of hire for a lifetime.
- US culture and Travel
When in the US, your options to travel and get mixed with a new culture are never limited. You come across diverse landscapes, multicultural activities, and festivals, and the biggest platform for all kinds of cuisines.
- Diverse Learning
Due to increased diversity in culture, you are constantly facing a new situation and learning newer perspectives, techniques, and advancing technologies associated with your line of work.
Where there are advantages, also comes the disadvantages but one has to weigh their pros and cons to their better suitability.
- Language and Cultural Barriers
Having to deal with the discrepancies with your primary language and culture can be difficult and tiring. It can create a challenge for job aspects such as patient education or teamwork. If you are not bilingual, it becomes tougher for you to pass the English proficiency test as a requisite.
- Living far away from family
Though working as a foreign-trained nurse earns you a lot of money, you might be required to adjust to a living setting that is far and distant from your family and loved ones. Gladly, in today’s time, you are always connected with your loved ones through advancing technologies.
- Adjusting to a New Environment
When adjusting to a new unknown environment, a person might consider it more challenging based on their personality and interaction patterns. They might have to come across a difficult co-worker or a difficult patient.
It takes time to develop your support system in an unfamiliar environment but these situation makes a person’s growth and learning more diverse and eventually, the environment turns into something they love.