Currently, there is a massive demand for nurses in the US. As such, it has become quite common to recruit foreign-trained nurses from their home (or other) country to come to the United States and offer their services. To accomplish this, there are several recruiting agencies that specialize in enlisting nurses from abroad.
If you are a foreign-trained nurse looking to work in the US, you must be a registered nurse, since licensed vocational nurses and practical nurses do not meet current standards. If you are a nurse in your home country, you will still need to make sure you have a US license to work as a nurse. To receive this, you’ll need to take the NCLEX exam that will test your abilities and knowledge. This needs to be done before you can apply for the work visa. If you’d like to know whether or not you’re ready to take the NCLEX, contact the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS). They’ll perform a prescreening test that will let you know if you’re ready for the exam or not. Finally, if you know what state you would like to live in, check on their requirements for nurses, since many US states will have different conditions you need to follow for licensure.
Getting the Visa
When a foreign-trained nurse is interested in working in the US, they will need to have the correct documentation that allows them to work. The paperwork to get a proper and legal work visa is extensive and can be confusing. In this case, it is best to get a sponsorship from a staffing agency that specializes in finding places for foreign-trained nurses. The agency will help ensure that their current training meets American standards and licensure. They’ll also be able to help you get into the US and begin work immediately instead of waiting for a visa through USCIS. If you go without a sponsorship, it could take up to a year to receive the visa. However, if you show the US government that you have a job lined up and they will vouch for you, you’ll have a lower wait time.
When you choose an agency, make sure that you select one that will do the bulk of the work for you. They should find you a satisfactory job and tackle the paperwork required for employment and visa. The only thing you’ll have to worry about is passing the NCLEX and making sure your nursing education and training is thorough and up-to-date.
Finding an agency is pretty straightforward. Here, we’ve gathered together a list of the current agencies that specialize in working with foreign-trained nurses looking to work in the US. Some are country-specific, but the majority will accept any trained nurse for placement.
- 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.
- 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.
- GlobeMed Resources– reimburses cost of exams, immigration, & travel, focus on Indian RN.
- 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.
- 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.
- Wilson Staffing Network– agency with domestic & international recruitment programs.
- WorldWide HealthStaff Associates– full service international recruitment agency.
Getting employment as a foreign-trained nurse in the US sounds like a daunting task. However, with the right agency, it should be a smooth and painless process. And with the right motivation and training, you could soon be living and working in the USA!