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Nurses Applying for Green Cards Now Must Wait - No Guarantees

US Immigration Receives Over 300,000 Visa Applications

WASHINGTON, DC - US Immigration officials have received about 300,000 applications for high-skilled-employment visas since July 1, including those from foreign-born registered nurses, federal officials said yesterday, a deluge unleashed after the federal government first said it would not accept any applications for those visas during July. Then it backtracked.

Citizenship and Immigration Services, the federal agency, was still receiving applications for employment visas as of Friday midnight, the last day of a special period it announced on July 17 for immigrants with professional skills to file petitions for permanent residence visas, known as green cards. As a result, the total tally of applications received in the last six weeks was not available.


Florida Health System Explores Incentives to Attract and Retain Nurses

FT. MEYERS - In an effort to curb its ongoing nursing shortage, Lee Memorial Health System in Ft. Myers, Fla., has launched an aggressive recruiting effort that taps a range of strategies such as traveling outside of the state for new talent, providing sign-on bonuses and other financial incentives, and offering flexible scheduling.

Since launching the campaign in March, Lee Memorial has recruited 145 nurses but will need about 220 more to meet current demand. To attract new talent, Lee Memorial recruiters have been traveling regularly to Ohio, Michigan, New York and several other states that typically fuel population growth in Southwest Florida.


Survey: Academic Health Center Executives Say Nurse Faculty Shortages Major Threat to Training Efforts

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Association of Academic Health Centers released survey results suggesting that faculty shortages in nursing and other health professions are constricting training capacity at academic health centers (AHCs), posing a significant threat to the nation's health care infrastructure, AHA News Now reports.

To assess AHC leaders' thoughts on faculty supply issues, the association surveyed member chief executive officers (CEOs) at academic institutions nationwide. Ninety-four percent of respondents said faculty shortages were a problem for at least one health professions program, and 69 percent said such shortages represented an institution wide problem.


Arizona Nursing School Partners with International University to Boost Number of Local Graduates

PHOENIX - The Grand Canyon University (GCU) in Phoenix has announced plans to partner with the International University of Nursing (IUON) in the Caribbean island of St. Kitts to help stem Arizona's nursing shortage, according to recent reports.

Under the agreement, students enrolled in IUON's bachelor of science in nursing program will have an opportunity to complete their final two semesters at GCU and participate in clinical training at Phoenix-area hospitals. University officials will offer the program, which is expected to launch in January 2008, to IUON enrollees who are U.S. citizens, as well as to international students, who will receive work visas through sponsorships from participating hospitals.


Federal Bill Would Earmark Funds to Stem Nursing Shortage

PHOENIX - U.S. Rep. Ed Pastor (D-Ariz.) has recently proposed legislation designed to alleviate the nationwide nursing shortage by increasing the pool of qualified nursing faculty.  The America's Partnership for Nursing Education Act of 2007 would allocate $20 million annually during fiscal years 2008 through 2012 and grant eligible states a minimum of $2 million annually to increase capacity in nursing education programs.

To qualify, states must have U.S. Census Bureau data projecting a population increase of more than 50 percent between 1990 and 2025 and federal Health Resources and Services Administration estimates forecasting that their region will have fewer than 555 employed RNs per 100,000 residents by 2020.



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