Causes and Impact of Importing Foreign Nurses Essay

2588 Words Oct 27th, 2008 11 Pages
Causes and Impact of Importing Foreign Nurses
Can you imagine this scene? When your child suddenly has a high fever in the middle of night, you hurry to the hospital. You find out that you have to wait in a crowded emergency room with your crying child because there are not enough nurses and doctors to take care of many patients right away. After a long wait, a nurse finally comes to check your sick baby, but you notice the nurse speaks English with heavy accent. You start to get irritated trying to understand her because you are tired and worried about your baby. You start to wonder if you can trust this nurse. Why this foreign nurse working at this hospital in the United States? Is she qualified? This situation is not unusual
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What differs today, however, is the marked expansion of organized international nurse recruitment; the growth of private, for-profit agencies to do this work; and an increasing number of countries exporting nurses abroad. As Brush, Sochalski and Berger state although the proportion of foreign nurses has never exceeded 5 percent of the U.S. nurse workforce, that figure is now slowly rising. Nurse immigration to the United States has tripled since 1994 to nearly 15,000 entrants annually. As of 2006, about 8 percent of U.S. registered nurses, numbering around 219,000, are foreign educated. The Philippines has dominated the nurse migration pipeline to the United States with Filipino nurses representing 75 percent of all foreign nurses in the U.S. nurse workforce until the mid-1980s. Their representation dropped to 43 percent by 2000 as more countries began sending nurses abroad (79). According to a study by Linda H. Aiken foreign-educated nurses are located primarily in urban areas and are more likely to be working in hospitals than are native-born nurses (par.5).
The flow of nurses from poor to rich countries has strained health systems in the developing world, which are already facing severe shortages of their own. Foreign nurses migrate in search of better wages, working and living conditions, as well as educational and career advancements. Celia W. Dugger states in her article in the New York Times, “the impact on receiving countries of

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