Recent reporting from Skilled Nursing Newsoutlines how many in the healthcare sector believe immigration “is one obvious solution” to the nursing shortage that continues to undermine patients across the country.
As noted in the article, the health care sector “is operating with 14% less of its pre-pandemic workforce” thanks to it losing “nearly 229,000 caregivers since February 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.” As a result, healthcare facilities are finding it increasingly challenging to provide adequate care to patients.
Members of Congress have introduced bills that could increase immigration levels and bring more highly-trained nurses to the U.S. from overseas. Taken together, the legislative proposals “frame immigration as part of the workforce solution.”
One such bill is S.1024, the Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act. The proposal “would allow unused immigrant visas to be recaptured and used to bring in more nurses and physicians.” With tens of thousands of visas going unused in recent years, the law is one commonsense proposal that turns to foreign-educated nurses to alleviate the shortage. That’s why a bipartisan group of 25 senators – 13 Republicans, 11 Democrats, and one independent – has cosponsored the bill.
Skilled Nursing News notes that while legislative action stalls and U.S. immigration levels remain relatively low, “other countries are way out ahead in attracting workers from other countries.” With the U.S. experiencing a shrinking nursing workforce at home while other countries attract talent, it’s become increasingly clear that foreign-educated nurses are part of the solution to the nursing shortage.