Nursing shortages: foreign workers to fill them?

The United States employs about 2 million nurses, 60% of them in hospitals. We need more. A South Korean newspaper reports that 10,000 South Korean nurses are “likely be hired as nurses at U.S. hospitals over the next five years, a South Korean state firm said Friday. [It] said it plans to sign a contract with San Francisco-based worker dispatch company HRS Global and New York-based St. John’s Riverside Hospital…” In 2000 new nursing graduates totaled about 76,000, down from 95,000 in 1993. Based on current staffing requirements, there is today a shortage of about 125,000 nurses, as noted in this report. (A 300,000 shortage figure sometimes heard seems to be a substantial exaggeration.) Domestic graduations are not expected to increase. What would happen if nurses were paid 20% more?
Here’s the plan:


Under the contract, the Korean nurses will go through a 10-day job training upon arrival in the U.S. before being assigned to 36 hospitals in New York as intern nurses for per-hour salary of US$25, according to the South Korean firm. After a one-year English language education by HRS Global, the Koreans will be promoted to full-fledged nurses if they pass the English proficiency test IELST, the service said. They will later be able to apply for a permanent U.S. residence as nurses, it said. There are currently about 6,000 South Korean nurses working in the U.S.”
Go here for a government report on staffing requirements and workforce gaps.
And here are some data from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

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