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* News / Nurse who called patient ‘dirty Jew’ has registration cancelled by Idowu Olabode: December 05, 2017, 03:31:10 AM
A nurse who called a wheelchair-confined elderly patient with dementia “a dirty Jew” before slapping him on the arm has had her registration cancelled by the High Court.

Marilyn Rillera (57), who had been working in the Maynooth Community Care Unit in Kildare before returning to her native Philippines, had been bringing the 87-year-old patient of the unit to the toilet in December 2015 when the incident happened.

The court heard the patient was being raised in a hoist to transfer him from his chair to the toilet when he became agitated. He raised his arm to hit Ms Rillera but she held it and told him: “You can’t do that, you can’t hit a woman, what are you, you dirty Jew.” She then slapped him on the arm.

Under the patient’s care plan it was stated he could have aggressive outbursts, and the way to deal with them was to walk away and later talk to him and redirect the conversation.

A fitness to practice inquiry held by the Nursing and Midwifery Board heard Ms Rillera denied saying “dirty Jew”, and said she had told him he was dirty.

A care assistant who was helping bring the patient to the toilet that day had said she was “100 per cent certain” the nurse said “dirty Jew”.

The inquiry found Ms Rillera guilty of professional misconduct, and recommended her registration as a nurse be cancelled. The Nursing and Midwifery Board asked the High Court to confirm the decision.

The president of the High Court, Mr Justice Peter Kelly, said such conduct was “completely unacceptable”, and completely contrary to the notion of what the nursing profession is. There was every good reason for confirming the cancellation.

Source:https://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/courts/high-court/nurse-who-called-patient-dirty-jew-has-registration-cancelled-1.3315405?mode=amp
* News / Uganda Medical Association scoffs at gov’t’s plan to import doctors by Idowu Olabode: December 04, 2017, 06:05:35 PM
Some media reports have indicated that the government has finalized plans to import 200 specialized Doctors from Cuba to address the challenges affecting the health sector in the country
The Uganda Medical Association has scoffed at the government's plans to import 200 medical Doctors from Cuba to be deployed in various government hospitals to back up the local doctors in case they lay down their tools.

Some media reports have indicated that the government has finalized plans to import 200 specialized Doctors from Cuba to address the challenges affecting the health sector in the country.

However, the President of Uganda Medical Union Dr. Obuku Anthony said that government should first put on hold this proposal and focus in improving health services for both doctors and the facilities because this will save the expenses which shall be incurred by importing Doctors.

Source:https://www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1466938/uganda-medical-association-scoffs-gov-plan-import-doctors
* News / Ugandan Government to import doctors from Cuba by Idowu Olabode: December 04, 2017, 05:58:38 PM
Government is considering plans by the health ministry to import 200 medical doctors from Cuba

The proposal mooted at the height of the doctors’ industrial action also includes plans to hire retired Ugandan medical professors to plug man power gaps in the health sector.

Cabinet has now constituted an adhoc committee chaired by health minister Dr Jane Achieng to work out the finer details of the deal.

The committee is among other things expected to clarify the terms of engagement of the Cuban doctors, the expertise required, remuneration and relations with Ugandan peers in order to inform cabinet’s final decision.

Dr Acheng confirms that indeed the matter has been discussed by cabinet but uickly adds that the Cuban doctors are not coming to replace Ugandan medics but rather to complement health care delivery.

However, Dr. Mukuzi Muhereza, the Uganda Medical Association General Secretary says the government has not consulted the association on its said plans.

The doctors suspended their strike on November 25th to give government time to fulfill its promises to improve both their pay and welfare, giving it upto December 16th when they will decide on the next course of action.

Source: http://kfm.co.ug/news/government-to-import-doctors-from-cuba.html
* News / Rwanda is Using Drone to Deliver Medical Supplies to Hospitals in Rural Areas by Idowu Olabode: December 04, 2017, 05:51:06 PM
For several days Delphine Twese Hamwe’s 2-year old daughter, Ghislane Ihimbazwe, had been screeching in pain as fever wracked her tiny body. A nurse at the local clinic in central Rwanda told her that an acute form of malaria was attacking her daughter’s red blood cells.



There was nothing the clinic could do to save her life, so they called an ambulance. But by the time mother and child arrived at the district hospital in Kabgayi, Ghislane had stopped moving. “We arrived too late,” Hamwe says. “There was no sign of life. I thought she was dead.” The nurses offered a blood transfusion as a last resort.

Hamwe, numb and distracted, agreed. She was already on her phone, messaging the bad news to family back in the village.

Meanwhile, a lab technician at the hospital laboratory was typing out his own message, a request for two units of pediatric red blood cells, O+. Normally he would have dispatched a car and driver to the central blood bank in the capital, Kigali, a 3-hour round trip. But this time he was trying something new. His phone flashed a confirmation message: the blood was on its way, with an estimated delivery time of just six minutes.



Before long the high-pitched whine of a drone could be heard circling the hospital grounds. As it passed over the lab’s parking lot, it released a red cardboard box, attached to a paper parachute. Inside were two packets of blood, wrapped in insulating paper and still cold from refrigeration. A nurse rushed the blood over to the emergency wing, and within minutes, it was pumping into Ghislane’s small, limp body through an IV. The child opened her large brown eyes. It was Dec. 21, 2016, and Ghislane had just become the first person in the world who owes her life to a drone delivery.

For all the talk of unmanned vehicles changing our lives in the West, they are already doing so in the east African nation of Rwanda. Zipline, a U.S. startup, has partnered with the Rwandan government to launch the world’s first commercial drone delivery service, ferrying vital medical supplies to its far-flung hospitals by air. Since December 2016, the company has dispatched more than 4000 units of blood products to 12 hospitals—red blood cells, platelets, and plasma that would have otherwise needed to travel by a treacherously tangled road network, losing precious hours in the race to save lives.

“Before, it took at least three hours to get blood in an emergency,” says Dr. Roger Nyonzima, head surgeon at Nyanza Hospital’s maternity ward, which is about 100 km. from Kigali. “Three hours can make the difference between saving or losing a life. Now we get blood in 15 minutes. Fifteen minutes, we can work with.”

The success of Zipline in Rwanda has inspired the company to look further overseas, and even to the U.S., for expansion. In August, Zipline announced that it would expand into Tanzania, a country 35 times the size of Rwanda. A Latin America launch is in the works as well, says co-founder Keller Rinaudo. “The reality is, moms die in every country in the world for [lack of blood]. Rwanda was just the first country to do something about it.”

Blood is one of the most vital elements of modern medicine. Without it, major surgery is impossible, car accidents are more deadly, and the risk of death in childbirth is exponentially higher. Severe bleeding after childbirth kills roughly 100,000 women worldwide each year. Most could have survived, had their doctors had access to blood for their hemorrhaging patients.

But in large swaths of Africa, where maternal mortality rates are among the world’s highest, hospitals don’t have the budget, or even the electricity, to maintain their own refrigerated blood banks. Rwanda’s maternal mortality rate is improving, but it is still 20 times worse than the United States (and 97 times worse than some countries in Europe), largely due to post-partum hemorrhages. According to Rwanda’s Ministry of Health, nearly half of all the units of blood delivered nationwide are for complications in childbirth.

Dr. Nyonzima’s maternity ward, a cool, low slung bungalow whose wooden benches creak under the weight of heavily pregnant women wearing brightly colored wraps, sees on average ten births a day. At least a third, he says, are caesarean sections that require blood, which is stocked—now via drone delivery—in small amounts at the hospital’s lab. But at least twice a week he has an urgent case, where there is simply not enough blood on hand, or not the right kind for his patient.

That’s when the drones become an airborne emergency service, instead of the usual daily delivery option. When he first heard, in March, that his hospital would be using Zipline to deliver blood, he was incredulous. “I knew there were drones for surveillance, and I knew that militaries use them to kill enemies, but I didn’t know that drones could save lives,” he says. “Now I don’t care how the blood comes, as long as it comes in 15 minutes.”

Claudine Ndayishimiye had been in labor for two days in March when she started bleeding heavily. Her uterus ruptured, and midwives at the local clinic couldn’t help her. They rushed the 26-year-old to Kabgayi’s maternity ward, where she recalls hearing, just before passing out, a doctor telling the nurse to call for blood. As Ndayishimiye tells her story from a tiny hamlet in Gitamara district, a distant whine announces the passage of a drone before the flashing green and red lights on its wingtips pass into view. One of the Zipline vehicles is returning to the nearby base after a successful delivery.

Ndayishimiye, a small, energetic woman with a ready laugh, was pregnant when a Zipline community liaison came to her village to explain what the drones were for, but she never thought she would need one until she arrived at the hospital. “If it had happened when blood was still being brought all the way from Kigali in an ambulance, well, in the situation I was in, I wouldn’t have survived,” she says with an exaggerated shudder. “I was so happy when I woke up and saw that my baby was alive.”

The idea behind Zipline came from a list of lives lost in rural parts of Africa due to a shortage of essential medicines. Robotics expert Keller Rinaudo and aviation consultant Will Hetzler, former roommates from Harvard, met a computer programmer and public health researcher, Zachary Mtema, in Tanzania. As part of a project, Mtema had developed a text-messaging system for doctors and nurses to log cases where they lacked the medical supplies they needed to save the lives of patients suffering from easily-solvable afflictions like post-partum hemorrhages, snake bites and attacks by rabid animals.

“It was essentially a database of death,” says Rinaudo, who recalls scrolling through thousands of heartbreaking entries. “We were like, this is a problem that we can solve. It’s just a question of getting the right medicines to the right place, quickly.” For Rinaudo, with his experience in robotics, and Hetzler, who had a background in aviation, drone deliveries seemed like the obvious solution. “The speed at which you can get somewhere in the air is drastically faster than the speed at which you can get somewhere on the ground,” says Rinaudo

On any given day, a dozen drones launch and land at Zipline’s Rwanda headquarters, a former cornfield in the city of Muhanga, about an hour’s drive from Kigali. The steady rhythm of packing, launching, collecting and charging the drones belies the groundbreaking technological advances in robotics, autonomous navigation and aerospace management that underpin the business. That’s the way the founders want it.

“Zipline isn’t a drone company,” says Rinaudo, “Zipline is a healthcare logistics company.”

That means that the design of the electric aircraft, called “Zips,” diverges wildly from the quad copters currently being used by most drone companies. Instead the Zips look like small propeller airplanes, enabling them to fly faster and longer—150 km—on a single charge, in any weather short of a hurricane. The zips drop their payloads via parachute, instead of landing, to minimize the number of people that need to be trained on how to interact with a drone. All the hospitals need is someone who can send an order, and pick up the blood when it lands.

Once an order arrives in the computer database, Zipline’s blood bank technicians pull the required stock from the state-of-the-art blood storage facilities located onsite and pack them into sturdy cardboard boxes that are already fitted with parachutes. The drones can currently carry up to 2 kg of blood products at a time, either two units of adult blood, or a combination of platelets, plasma and juvenile blood. (The next generation of Zips, now in production, will be able to handle a greater payload.) Drone operators load the boxes into the Zips, which currently cover more than half of Rwandan territory. A second facility is planned to cover the rest of the country by the end of 2017.

The operator loads the Zip onto a catapult-type launch mechanism, enters the destination on a tablet computer, pushes the button, and, with a high-pitched whine, the Zip is airborne. The whole process takes an average of 7 minutes, from order to launch. Once the zip nears its predetermined destination, it sends an automated text message to the hospital, announcing the exact arrival time. Then it swoops down towards the designated landing zone, drops its payload, and circles back towards home base.

Zipline also guarantees doctors access to rarely used products, like frozen plasma and platelets to promote clotting, that require specialized freezers—machinery that most Rwandan hospitals cannot afford. When Jean Imana Izabayo’s lower left leg swelled to nearly twice its size with an infected wound, the 10-year-old schoolboy was rushed to Kabgayi’s hospital, where surgeons pumped him full of antibiotics and started cutting away dead tissue. But his platelet count was catastrophically low.

Before Zipline, the surgeons would have had to choose between sending him to Kigali for treatment, or amputation. Instead, the surgeon put in an order for platelets, and by the time he started cleaning out the wounds, the cream-colored plastic sachet had already landed at the drop zone.

A few hours later Izabayo’s mother, Donata Mubandakazi, stroked her son’s sweating brow as he recovered in the hospital ward. She had never heard of Zipline, and thought it was a joke when other patients told her that a miniature plane had saved her boy. Once she understood the concept, she unleashed a brilliant smile, all but erasing the lines of worry that had etched her face while her son was in surgery. She said she wished she could have seen the drone. “It’s a miracle,” she gushed. “It is fast, and we get blood to treat our children without having to go too far.”

Zipline owes its success in Rwanda as much to American technological prowess as it does a government willing to take risks on innovations in the health, technology and aerospace realms. The United States, with its complex federal regulations, densely populated airspace, and reasonably adequate road networks has so far been resistant to establishing a national commercial drone delivery network, whether for health care items or for hamburgers.

But that is about to change, partly based on Zipline’s record of safety and success in Rwanda. Blood and medical supply shortages affect rural hospitals in the U.S. just as they do Rwanda, and Zipline, after an invitation from the White House in 2016, is now working with the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority to launch a similar service in parts of the U.S. in 2018.

In Rwanda, meanwhile, Zipline expects to ramp up deliveries as more hospitals are added to its network every month. Even then, it’s unlikely that the demand will make a dent in the system’s current capacity of 500 deliveries a day. That excess capacity opens up extraordinary options, says Rwanda’s technology minister Jean Philbert Nsengimana, who was the first to embrace Zipline’s proposal for the country.

Other scarce, expensive or difficult to store medical supplies and drugs would benefit from a speedy and centralized distribution network, he says. He mentions vaccines for outbreaks, antivenins for snakebites and rabies injections. “These are the kind of things you can’t stock in every health center or hospital,” he says, yet are vital for staving off death.

Sure, he adds, drones will eventually transform commerce world-wide. But before that, drones will revolutionize health care. “We are now at the point where we can make sure that every patient going to a hospital will never have to come out again without the one thing that could have saved his life.”

Source: http://time.com/rwanda-drones-zipline/
* News / I will Serve Without Fear or Favour -Comr.Ibrahim Sagir Ado NUNSA President by Idowu Olabode: December 04, 2017, 05:27:14 PM
Of the greatest NUNSITES, gentlemen and ladies.
 
A Scotish-American industrialist, business magnate, and philanthropist with name Andrew Carnegie said "No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it."
 
It's as a result of that, I seize this opportunity to call on you all, to put hand towards the development of our esteem union, as 'I' alone, am nothing without you.  The events of the past electioneering process have came and passed, our ever indefatigable comrades from across all schools and the ever vibrant local chapter presidents and their executives have all done their possible best, I must admit!
 
The hitches, bottlenecks, impediments and light grudges that occurred during the convention are some of the things expected of any students' union.  We should forget about that and focus on building a virile association.
 
Our unity as a body is 'non-negotiable', I therefore urge every NUNSITE to, in the spirit of patriotism and sheer love for their union strive hard and use the last calory of their energy in the improvement of our union.  We are one entity, and as such, all members should see and cohabit with each other, as 'siblings.'
 
I must pay a great homage to the ever-active outgoing executives, the members of the electoral committee and the general public for letting this whole program be a success.
 
Very grateful, I am!
 
I have since the day of my oath taken it upon myself to serve you all, without fear or favour, and that I willtlessly discharge my moral, constitutional and even spiritual responsibilities as the president of this great union.
 
I thank you all, together we will take NUNSA to an enviable height.
 
Long live NUNSA
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
 
Signed
Comr.Ibrahim Sagir Ado
President, NUNSA National body
* News / Request for Details of Orthopedic Nurses in View of forming an Orthopedic Nurses by Idowu Olabode: December 04, 2017, 05:24:58 PM
This is to formally inform you that at the just concluded 2nd Abuja Trauma Conference, there was a resolve by the Orthopedic nurses who participated to form and register an orthopedic nurses Association. 
 
The association which will be named appropriately in due time is aimed at bringing all orthopedic nurses together and also to be updating members with the current trends in Orthopedic nursing practice to enable members compete favourably with their counterparts internationally.
 
It is also aimed at struggling for an appropriate remuneration for it's members in comparison with international best labour practice.
 
If you are an orthopedic nurse, or you know an orthopedic nurse please you are hereby requested to forward your name, GSM number and place of work to this GSM no: 08036122078
Source: Nurse Halliru Kabeer KKR
* Schools of Nursing / Lagos State School of Midwifery, Igando 2017/2018 Admission into Basic Midwifery by Idowu Olabode: December 04, 2017, 05:23:05 PM
Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates for admission into Basic Midwifery Training Programmes at the Lagos state School Mideifery, Igando Alimosho LGA, Lagos. the programme will commence in March 2018.
 
Entry Requirement:
WASSCE/NECO (O'Level) with credit in five (5) subjects including English Language, Mathematics, Biology, Physics and Chemistry at not more than two (2) sittings.
 
Age Range: 18-24 YEARS (Candidate must be 18 years old by March, 2018)
 
Duration of Training: 3 YEARS
 
Method of Application:
Application forms are obtainable at the Lagos State School of Nursing Complex, LASU-Isheri Road, Igando (within the premises of Alimosho General Hospital), from Monday 4th December, 2017 upon payment of Five thousand Naira (N5,000.00) into the Skye Bank Account of the Lagos State Government: Account Number: 4030010449; Revenue Code: 4040040; Ministry Code: 4320000. Each candidate is required to produce a bank teller indicating payment at the point of collection of forms in the School.
 
Submission/Closing Date:
Completed application forms and photocopies of relevant documents (Birth certificates, Testimonial and WASSCE/NECO certificates etc.) are to be submitted to the Lagos State School of Nursing Complex, Igando on or before Friday, 29th December, 2017 by 2.00pm.
 
Examination:
Entrance examination comes up on Saturday, 13th January, 2018 at the Lagos State School of Nursing Complex, Igando by 9am. Examination questions will cover English Language, Mathematics, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, General Knowledge, Current Affairs and Introduction to Midwifery.
 
NB:
* Please note that only successful candidates will be shortlisted for interview.
* First year fee of N230,000.00 (Two Hundred and Thirty Thousand Naira Only) which includes accommodation is to be paid on resumption.
* Avoid fraudsters.
* For more information, call - 08023107779
 
Signed
PERMANENT SECRETARY,
Ministry of Health
The Secretariat, Alausa-lkcja, Lagos State
* News / Germany opens 350 slots for Filipino Nurses Now Accepting Application by Idowu Olabode: December 04, 2017, 01:16:04 PM
The Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) has announced that 350 Filipino nurses are needed in Germany.

The POEA said in an advisory that 350 slots have been opened for Filipino nurses with two years of professional experience in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, or care institutions.

It said Federal Employment Agency of Germany needs 350 nurses with experience in the ICU; general, medical, and surgery ward; geriatric care, nursing home, or elderly care, and operating room.

Among Other qualifications needed for the positions include:

Four-year degree in Bachelor of Science Nursing
active Philippine Nursing License
German language proficiendy (willing to undergo German language training in the Philippines to attain Level B1 or have B1 or B2 language proficiency level in accordance with the Common European Framework of References for Languages)
Successful applicants will earn a monthly salary of €1,900 (gross) and €2,300 recognition as a qualified nurse.

The DOLE said that under the government-to-government program, employers will pay for airfare and visa and help nurses find suitable accommodations in Germany.

Prospective applicants must register at http://www.poea.gov.ph/ or http://www.eregister.poea.gov.ph/ before submitting the following documents in a folder under the heading "Triple Win RSF No. 170035:

Requirements for the job application include

Cover letter and curriculum vitae with colored passport size picture, in English and, if possible, in German
High School Diploma (notarized copy)
Diploma of nursing (notarized copy)
Board Certificate from Professional Regulation Commission
Certificates of Employment from present and previous employers (notarized copy)
Certificate of German language skills, if available
Copy of valid Passport
Applicants must personally submit these documents at the Manpower Registry Division, Windows S and T, Ground Floor, Blas F. Ople Bldg. (formerly POEA Bldg.), Ortigas Avenue corner EDSA, Mandaluyong City.

Deadline for submissions is January 15, 2018 for POEA Regional Offices and January 19, 2018 for the central office in Ortigas. —ALG, GMA News
* News / UK needs 6,000 Indian nurses but don’t pay recruiters any Money by Idowu Olabode: December 04, 2017, 01:13:57 PM
UK’s National Health Service has warned against headhunters who charge nurses a fee in violation of rules that require them to recruit for free professionals from India, China, the Philippines and some African countries. The public health service has threatened to cancel the licenses of recruitment agencies after media reports suggested that some of them had made applicants in India cough up as much as Rs 1 lakh.

The recruitment agencies have been making a killing after the NHS announced plans to recruit about 20,000 nurses from abroad in the next three years to meet a severe shortage of nurses. About 6,000 of these vacancies are marked for Indians but some agencies in states such as Kerala were found to be claiming that they have been asked to hire as many as 5,000 nurses.

The NHS requires the recruiters to select suitable job candidates after explaining to them the working conditions and pay packages offered by each trust - all this free of charge. The agencies are not supposed to demand a single paisa from applicants because the NHS trusts has promised to reimburse the cost of recruitment and pay them a commission per successfully recruited nurse.

However, many agencies are fleecing nurses who want to work in the UK by demanding up to a lakh as “handling fee” or “registration fee”. British media including the ‘Daily Mail’ has reported on the recruiter’s exploitation in India.

Unscrupulous agencies are cashing in on a lack of awareness by health care professionals in India. Some of them even lobby religious leaders to issue a circular to boost their credibility with the faithful. The agencies offer to land nurses a dream job in the UK by misleading them about the recruitment process.

Some agencies tell the candidates that they could be selected even without passing an English proficiency test if the interview board is convinced about their fluency in the language. In reality, the Nursing and Midwifery Council has waived the mandatory requirement of passing the IELTS course for applicants from countries where English is spoken, only when they pass an occupational English test.

However, such nurses are required to produce documents to prove that they had been conversing with patients and their families in English. This waiver is applicable only for nurses who had finished their courses in the last two years.

On the ground, the recruiters are advertising that they could land thousands of nurses jobs in the UK for a fee which is illegal in the country.

Source:http://english.manoramaonline.com/news/world/2017/12/03/uk-needa-nurses-do-not-pay-recruiters-money.html
* News / The Long story of nursing shortage in the US BY CRISPIN R. ARANDA by Idowu Olabode: December 04, 2017, 01:10:02 PM
A nurse should be familiar with a heart bypass: an open heart surgical procedure allowing blood to flow to the heart via alternative routes, if one or several vessels are blocked and thus, deprive the heart of the much-needed blood to keep it pumping and the patient alive.

Where four blood vessels are blocked, quadruple bypass is usually done to reroute the blood supply to keep a patient from suffering a fatal heart attack.

The US needs a bypass – apparently more than just a quadruple is needed – to keep the supply of registered nurses to the country to keep the healthcare of American citizens and residents at safe levels.

America’s need for nurses triggered the creation of the H-1A visa, through the Immigration and Nursing Relief Act of 1989. When the program ended in 1995, another visa was created, the H-1C. In 1990, the H-1B visa came into being for professionals.


It was during this period that nurses from the Philippines were able to work and later obtain permanent resident status in the US. Demand for nurses and the nurse-specific visas alleviated the shortage somehow. Meanwhile, advocacy groups in the US lobbied for action that would increase the number of nursing graduates from schools that are rewarded with funds.

Private partnerships were created to increase student statistics while government intervention from the federal to the state level rewarded schools with additional budgetary outlays.

The American Nursing Association (ANA), for example, issued policy statements and call to action for healthcare organizations to sound off their representatives in Washington, as well as employers to revise the way nurses are valued, while seeking adequate compensation and providing a clearer career pathway initially by funding nurses’ education, whether continuing education or academic progression.

Still, the shortage recurs and persists.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employment Projections 2014-2024 listed Registered Nursing (RN) “among the top occupations in terms of job growth through 2024. The RN workforce is expected to grow from 2.7 million in 2014 to 3.2 million in 2024, an increase of 439,300 or 16 percent. The Bureau also projects the need for 649,100 replacement nurses in the workforce, bringing the total number of job openings for nurses due to growth and replacements to 1.09 million by 2024.”

The Affordable Care Act allowed millions of Americans to get insurance coverage, which, in turn, directly benefits healthcare workers, including nurses. While US President Donald Trump has dedicated his first year toward abolishing and replacing Obamacare, the Republicans were unsuccessful despite rigging the Senate rules on voting.

ANA also confirms that “healthcare accounts for 18 percent of the US economy” and is expected to keep growing. While growing at a slower pace, US census shows healthcare accounts will still reach 20 percent of America’s gross domestic product because of changing demographics: “more than 70 million baby boomers will be crossing into the over-65 age group – the segment of the population that accounts for 34 percent of all surgical procedures, 26 percent of all physician office visits, and 90 percent of all nursing home residents.”

Nursing plays a major role in all these services, whether the care is preceded by “Obama” or “Trump.”

Working and immigrant visas for Nurses


Until 1989, nurses and other professionals were able to work in the US under the H-1B visa, before applying for permanent residency through the 3rd Preference visa category. Previously, skilled workers were admitted as immigrants under the 6th Preference. Before the 1990 Act, there were only 7 preference categories

First Preference (P1) was for the unmarried sons and daughters of US citizens now the F1, First Family-sponsored category.

Second Preference (P2) was created for the spouse and unmarried sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents (LPRs). This category has been further subdivided under the current immigration Act – the F2A – spouses and minor children of LPRs and the F2B – over 21 unmarried sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents.

Third Preference (P3) was previously granted to qualified members of the professions or who “because of their exceptional ability in the sciences or the arts will substantially benefit the US economy, cultural interests and welfare of the United States.” The P3 category had been incorporated into the new and current 5 Employment-based categories.

Fourth Preference (P4) was assigned to the married sons and daughters of US citizens, now the F3 category.

Fifth Preference (P5) applied to the brothers or sisters of US citizens, now the F4 category.

Sixth Preference (P6) visas were granted to applicants “capable of performing skilled or unskilled labor, not temporary or seasonal in nature and there is a shortage of employable and willing persons in the US.

Incidentally, nurses are classified as “skilled workers,” instead of “professionals” in the United States. In fact, US citizens or permanent residents who complete a two-year associate degree in nursing may take the national licensure exam for nurses (NCLEX), then subsequently complete the requirements of the state where they intend to practice.

Domestic US RNs who completed their education in the US are also not required to take the English language proficiency test (TOEFL/TSE, TOEIC or IELTS).

Filipino nurses have better chances of getting a green card than a working visa.

Whether applying for a work visa or immigrant visa, a Filipino RN must obtain the Visa Screen Certificate issued by the International Commission on Healthcare Professions (ICHP), a division of the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS).

Section 343 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (the IIRIRA) of 1996 requires specific health care professionals born outside of the United States to first complete a screening program before they can be issued their working or immigrant visa.

While Filipinos – and other foreign-born and educated nurses – must obtain the VisaScreen certificate to work or migrate to the US, there is no work visa specific to nurses (unlike when the H-1A was created in 1989).

The working visa available for foreign RNs is the H-1B visa. However, new graduates and licensed RNs would not qualify unless the US employer could prove that the job must meet one of the following criteria to qualify as a specialty occupation:

Bachelor’s or higher degree or its equivalent is normally the minimum entry requirement for the position

The degree requirement for the job is common to the industry, or the job is so complex or unique that it can be performed only by an individual with a degree

The employer normally requires a degree or its equivalent for the position

The nature of the specific duties is so specialized and complex that the knowledge required to perform the duties is usually associated with the attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree.

And that’s the easy part.

The hardest hurdle is not measured by skill, education, English proficiency or licensure: it is by luck. Getting an H-1B visa is by lottery.

Applicants seeking Lady Luck through qualified and willing US employers may submit their applications only on April 1 of each year. Because the lottery is available to candidates worldwide, the 65,000 quota gets filled in a matter of days (6,800 of the 65,000 are reserved for applicants from Singapore and Chile by free trade agreements).

Another 20,000 H-1B visas are exempt from the 65,000 quota but available only to applicants with advanced degrees (Masters), as well as those who will be working in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands (CNMI) and Guam.

While the good news is that thousands of job openings for nurses have opened again in the US, sadly, there is no bypassing the visa application procedures.

Source: Manila Times
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