As the demand for nurses rapidly increases in the United States, due to the bulk of the population aging, a substantial portion of nurses reaching retirement age, and now a global pandemic, nurses from outside the U.S. may consider working here temporarily or permanently. It is common for nursing recruitment agencies to steadily hire foreign-trained nurses to mitigate the nursing shortage.
List of International Healthcare Staffing Agencies
Below is a list of healthcare staffing agencies that assist foreign-trained registered nurses with finding a job in the United States. Likewise, hospital recruiters seeking nurses to assist with their facility’s nursing shortage can contact the staffing agency.
- ADEX Medical Staffing – full-service agency.
- Alda Professional Placement Services – assist with placement in various countries.
- ASMCI USA – assist with NCLEX, IELTS or TOEFL prep, no agency fees.
- CareerKnacks International Nursing Recruiters – no recruitment fees.
- Cross Country Nurses – affiliated with Cross Country, offers full-service assistance.
- Christine Paris Enterprises USA Inc – full-service agency, placements also in Australia and UK.
- Emerald Health Services – full-service agency, placing top healthcare professionals into positions within the best healthcare organizations in the US.
- Comprehensive Medical Staffing – full-service agency, assist with filing application.
- Global Healthcare Resources – full-service agency, focuses on cultural transition program.
- Global Nursing Recruiters – #1 recruiting agency for African and Caribbean trained nurses.
- GlobeMed Resources – reimburses cost of exams, immigration, & travel, focus on Indian RN.
- Guardian Healthcare Providers – provides U.S. healthcare assimilation courses and an orientation.
- HealthStar International – full-service agency, over 450 nurses placed in the US.
- International MedLink – full-service agency, CGFNS required, unique Vanderbilt training.
- Kennedy Healthcare Recruiting – full service international recruiting agency.
- MedPro International – full-service agency that includes a training program to pass the English proficiency and NCLEX-RN exams.
- Medliant – full-service agency, reimbursement of immigration fees, travel, etc.
- O’Grady Peyton International – full-service agency, over 25 years of experience in recruiting.
- Onward Healthcare – agency with per diem, travel and international recruitment programs.
- Pacific Link Healthcare – full service international recruiting agency since 1999.
- PPR Travel Nursing – agency with travel, permanent & international recruitment programs.
- Premier Healthcare Professionals – agency with travel and international programs.
- Professional Healthcare Resources – agency specializing in hospice care placements.
- RCM Health Care Services – full service international recruiting agency.
- Global Nurse Force – full service international agency specializing in recruiting RNs from India.
- Shearwater Health – full-service agency since 1973. Full benefits package.
- Stateside Nursing International – full service international recruitment agency since 1996.
- Westways Staffing Services – full service international recruitment agency.
- Wilson Staffing Network agency with domestic & international recruitment programs.
- WorldWide HealthStaff Associates – full service international recruitment agency.
The first step for foreign-trained nurses to obtain work in the United States is to pass the NCLEX-RN exam in the state that the nurse intends to be employed. Be sure to look into states that are part of the Nursing License Compact (NLC) and provide a multi-state license. To determine if a foreign-trained nurse is ready to take and pass the NCLEX-RN exam, the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) offers a prescreening test so that the nurse can determine if they need a refresher course. Many international nursing staffing agencies offer refresher courses.
Non-U.S. citizens are required to have an employer-sponsored visa to work in the United States. The international staffing agencies are generally well-versed in sponsoring visas for the foreign-trained nurses and can walk interested international nurses through the process. The most common route for visa procurement is to apply for a permanent work visa, otherwise known as a green card. However, there are other types of visas such as the TN visa for Canadian and Mexican nurses, and a temporary H-1B visa for certain nursing specialties in underserved areas. An international nurse is eligible to apply for a VISA after the NCLEX-RN is passed.
English Language Proficiency Tests
Depending on the native country of the nurse, the international nurse will have to pass either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The sponsoring international staffing agency will assist the nurse in determining which test to take, and the results are sent directly to the state nursing board. Nurses originating from the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada (except Quebec), Ireland, and New Zealand are exempt from passing an English Language Proficiency Test.
- Only nurses who have a four-year nursing degree from an accredited nursing school are eligible for licensure and work in the United States.
- Some states require foreign-education nurses to take a Foreign Educated Nurses (FEN) refresher course that consist of classroom and clinical hours.
- Foreign-educated nurses must have also had at least two years of nursing experience in their home country prior to applying for work in the United States.
- Those who are NOT eligible for work in the United States as a registered nurse include:
- Nurses with less than two years of experience.
- Nurses who do not have a four-year nursing degree.
- Nurses who have committed a crime.
- Nurses who are not sponsored (visa) by a reputable, credentialed nursing staffing agency.
While there are many steps to take for international nurses to become a Registered Nurse in the United States, the healthcare staffing agency will provide guidance along the way. Best of luck to you and your new career as a registered nurse in the United States!