US Hospitals Face Huge Nurse Shortage – Seek Outsiders

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : February 8, 2022

It is a known fact that the US has seen a huge surge in Omicron cases. Some Delta cases are also around. The peak is still rising, if recent reports are to be believed. To top it, the plateau does not seem to be nearby. Most US healthcare systems are under huge strain today. And apart from the shortage of beds and ICUs, there is a shortage of nurses as well.

US Hospitals Face Huge Nurse Shortage – Seek Outsiders

Many healthcare service providers and nurses are down with the Coronavirus infection. They have had to quarantine. So, there is a huge resulting staff shortage. Even the government had to deploy the military to fill in the situation at several hospitals.

US Hospitals Face Huge Nurse Shortage – Seek Outsiders

The only option that the US has at present is to look for nurses from other countries. Thus, people are seeing a huge number of green cards being issued by the US. In the last few years or so, so many people, including nurses, were never allowed green cards in such numbers. In the recent past, after the pandemic struck, the US consulates were not issuing visas to the relatives of many immigrant Americans.

So, those slots seem to have remained empty. Now, the US officials are issuing the slots to workers and nurses amidst the raging pandemic. Foreign attorneys have been seen making statements that there has been a substantial rise in the issuance of visas to nurses over the last 18 years. There is more likely to be an increase in the numbers, as the pressure to approve the visas increases amidst the pandemic.

US hospitals are struggling with hospital admission and are even sending back many emergency cases. And the shortage of nurses has made it all the more difficult for them. There is another reason for the staff shortage. It is the shortage of nurses that seems to be looming up ahead. Many nurses are also retiring as they seem to be scared and frustrated due to the 2 years of handling the pandemic.

Sometimes the numbers seem to be under control and the very next day there is a deluge of admissions. All of this is overwhelming the system. In California alone, there is a shortage of above 40,000 nurses. There are not enough nurses graduating from schools in the US. Apart from that, bringing in nurses from elsewhere seems to be an expensive proposition.

Many hospitals in the US have already brought in trained staff from countries like Jamaica, the Philippines, and many other English- speaking countries as well. The recruiters from several quarters are also trying to utilize the green cards to get the nurses from elsewhere.

The US generally authorizes 140,000 green cards per year to individuals outside the country. Nursing is just one of the professions for which green cards are issued. Many such people are living in the US right now under temporary visas. As against the previous few years, this year at least double the number of green cards is on offer.

Some of the extra green cards are issued for nurses to recruit in the over-pressurized healthcare systems across the US. The Biden administration is also in the process of ending the Trump era rules and regulations.

The system aims to abolish the stringency of the Trump administration in several ways and includes immigration-related clauses as well. The Trump administration had lessened immigration possibilities. But the new administration seems to be taking an open stance on the situation. Hospitals in North Carolina are also looking for more influx of nurses in this pandemic situation.

As of now, the demand for foreign nurses has increased manifold. So, the recruiters are quite positive about the occurrences from here on. 

Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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