To Fill Nursing Shortage, Health Care Businesses Go Overseas

By Skidmore, Sarah | The Florida Times Union, July 19, 2001 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

To Fill Nursing Shortage, Health Care Businesses Go Overseas


Skidmore, Sarah, The Florida Times Union


Byline: Sarah Skidmore, Times-Union staff writer

In response to the overwhelming nursing shortage, many health care businesses are looking overseas.

If the shortage trend continues, the United States will need 1.1 million more registered nurses in 2020 than it will have, according to the Florida Hospital Association.

So hospitals and other companies are bringing nurses from the Philippines, Australia, South Africa, Canada and elsewhere to work in Jacksonville. Some say the only obstacle in the way of bringing more nurses over is the tedious immigration and licensing process that, even done speedily, can take about two years.

Shands Jacksonville is expecting 48 nurses from the Philippines by March. St. Vincent's hospital may have a group of Filipino nurses on duty next spring.

And nurse staffing companies have seen their business boom in the past half a year.

The Jacksonville-based staffing company PPR International expects to bring 20-25 nurses from other countries to the United States starting in December. PPR International President Keith Frein said he plans to bring over this volume almost monthly.

Lola Cruse, president and owner of Immigration Specialties, which acts as a mini-immigration service to handle paperwork, said the shortage has been an unfortunate blessing. Until six to eight months ago, overseas nursing accounted for only 20 percent to 30 percent of the company's business. But because of the nursing shortage, now it is 80 percent to 90 percent.

She said when many hospitals or businesses consider hiring from abroad they are intimidated by the paperwork and time that go into the process.

"The rules for immigration change -- they change drastically and quickly. Unless you have someone who can dedicate themselves to this -- it can cause them some heartbreak and delays," Cruse said.

She added that the average starting cost is $1,800 for a nurse processed through her company -- these fees can vary according to the necessary paperwork. Many times the potential employer will handle the costs, but some nurse hopefuls pay the fees themselves.

Nurses must pass English competency tests, a national credential test and approval of the Florida Board of Nursing and maneuver through the immigration process.

"I think some people are almost afraid of it because of the time and cost," said Lisa Filipowitsch, director of health care recruitment, for large staffing firm William Squibb and Assoc.

Shands Healthcare has an effort to recruit Filipino nurses under way that is being handled by an outside company because of the complexities.

Tijana Durdevic can attest to the challenges of simply getting approval to begin working. She came from Sarajevo, Bosnia, in 1997 when she was 18 years old because she lived on the frontline of the fighting taking place there. Fresh out of nursing school, her caseworker told her to forget about nursing in the United States -- it would be too tough to get approval.

"You come out of school and you are full of ambition," Durdevic said. "It was very difficult."

Even without having to face the immigration paperwork, Durdevic said the process was overwhelming. And she had the added burden of being solely responsible for herself, mother and grandmother who came over with her.

She worked as a nursing assistant, developed her English skills and took classes to fill out the curriculum the state said she was lacking. The process of classes, tests and credential approval took several years, but she now works at St. Vincent's as a registered nurse in the post-open heart unit.

Willa Fuller, director of member services for the Florida Nursing Association, is not surprised when she hears about overseas nurses having difficulty with being licensed as nurses in Florida.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

To Fill Nursing Shortage, Health Care Businesses Go Overseas
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?