On top of those crises, enormous post-pandemic demand for employment-based immigration forced the US State Department to issue a de facto green card freeze, leaving understaffed American hospitals without a critical foreign talent pipeline.
The bipartisan Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act would address this catastrophic healthcare workforce interruption by recapturing 25,000 previously authorized but unused green cards for immigrant nurses and another 15,000 for physicians.
HWRA is supported by the healthcare community, patient advocates, businesses, and nurses. In addition to the AAIHR, the bill has been endorsed by the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, the Natural Rural Health Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Kidney Foundation, and the American Health Care Association.
Nurse staffing has a tangible effect on patient outcomes. According to a National Institutes of Health study, patient mortality increases by seven percent for every additional patient added to a nurse’s workload. As a practical matter, as hospitals struggle to find new nurses, their only possible recourse is to stretch their workforce thin, diminishing patient care.
The HWRA is a common-sense, bipartisan solution that will ensure hospitals in every corner of the country have the nurses they need when patients need them most. Urge your senators to support this critical bill today.
A 2022 study by McKinsey estimated the United States would suffer a nursing shortage between 200,000 and 450,000 nurses by 2025. Accordingly, no American worker will be displaced by an international clinician receiving consideration under the HWRA.
Yes! International nurses already represent roughly one in six registered nurses practicing today and have played an essential in delivering quality healthcare in the United States for nearly a century. All nurses receiving consideration under the HWRA must demonstrate equivalent educational qualifications, pass US licensure exams, and possess sterling clinical records in their home countries.
No! Congress authorizes approximately 140,000 employment-based visas each fiscal year. While post-pandemic demand has exceeded the current available supply, it wasn't always the case that every authorized visa was distributed in previous years. According to a 2021 estimate by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, there is a supply of roughly 220,000 approved but unused green cards. The HWRA would recapture these already-authorized green cards for qualified nurses and physicians.