House Subcommittee Approves Bill To Increase Number of Work Visas for Foreign Nurses
The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security and International Law on Friday voted 7-2 to approve a bill (HR 5924) that would increase the number of U.S. work visas available annually for foreign nurses, CQ HealthBeat reports.
The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.), would increase the number of visas to 20,000 annually for three years. In addition, the bill would authorize grants to help nursing schools increase enrollment and develop new nursing education programs. Wexler said that hospitals currently have more than 115,000 vacant nursing positions. According to HHS, the U.S. could face a shortage of more than one million nurses by 2020 (Nylen/Gensheimer, CQ HealthBeat, 8/1).