Health Policy in Hiring Foreign Nurses

Understanding Nurse Migration

Nowadays, more and more healthcare institutions tend to hire foreign nurses. The rapid growth in the popularity of this profession is one of the reasons for the global nurse migration (Li, Nie, & Li, 2014). In this case, Jessica Smith, a nurse from Florida Hospital Orlando was interviewed to reveal some insights into the existent policy of hiring international specialists. This clinic site recruits foreign nurses, and they have to comply with the characteristics that are mentioned in the description of the position. Apart from that, nurses have to have a relevant certification from the accredited educational institution and sufficient work experience if necessary.

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“Today, my workplace hires nurses from different countries. The majority comes from Canada and Asian countries”, Smith claimed (personal communication, January 12, 2017). It could be assumed that the hospitals recruit specialists from these regions since they have well-balanced theoretical knowledge and practice and a high potential for growth and development. As for the verification of the credentials, the potential RNs will need to contact the Credentials Evaluation Service to certify and approve their foreign qualifications. “Also, international nurses may need to pass TOEFL test and apply for visas”, Smith says (personal communication, January 12, 2017).

The transition of foreign nurses is accomplished with the help of various programs. In the first place, nurses can monitor and apply to open positions online via different job agencies. Alternatively, there are specialized websites such as Florida Hospital International Recruitment. It can help foreign healthcare professionals become team members at hospitals such as Florida Hospital East Orlando, Florida Hospital Celebration Health, and other locations (Florida Hospital, 2017). These organizations ease the application process and provide equal opportunities to qualified professionals from different countries.

Alternatively, it remains apparent that nurses need to participate in different programs to adapt successfully to a new cultural environment. These programs offer various case studies, training, and cultural activities. Smith (personal communication, January 12, 2017) claims that these programs are targeted not only at young specialists but also at the experienced medical staff and managers to improve their working conditions and create a friendly atmosphere at the worksite. Lastly, one cannot underestimate that migration of nurses has a positive impact on the patient-to-staff ratio. In this case, this ratio tends to be 1:2 and 1:1 in some departments of the medical institution. Consequently, fulfilling open positions with foreign specialists helps avoid shortages.

Research of the Country

The interview revealed that the majority of the foreign nurses were from Canada and the Philippines that are developed and industrialized countries respectively. The government of Canada provides a universal healthcare system, and it implies that medical assistance is available for free for the different layers of the population. It is majorly financed by the federal and national governments (Marchildon, 2013). Nonetheless, healthcare costs continue to increase while questioning the effectiveness of the proposed model (Marchildon, 2013). Speaking of the major health problems, surprisingly, Canada has high mortality rates among mothers and children (Marchildon, 2013). Apart from common diseases and illnesses such as cancer and HIV, it is one of the important issues to resolve since it has a negative impact on the wellbeing of the population.

Nonetheless, the authorities of the country tend to underline the significance of medical education. In this case, to become qualified specialists, the nurses have to complete a bachelor’s degree and pass national certification to become registered professionals (Marchildon, 2013). As for the shortage of nurses and physicians, it tends to be high in Canada. For instance, the number of practicing nurses per 1000 citizens has decreased from 11 in 1990 to 9 in 2009 (Marchildon, 2013). It could be said that a combination of the factors mentioned above could be discovered as one of the reasons for the migration of the nurses to the United States of America, as working in a foreign country helps fulfill their professional goals and have a competitive salary.

Position Paper

Today, globalization not only affects international trade but also the migration of the workers (Li et al., 2014). For example, now, registered nurses and practitioners have an extended variety of options in the United States of America. There are many programs that help them achieve their professional goals and adapt to different cultural environments. Nonetheless, in my opinion, it is necessary to improve transition and recruitment policies by providing consulting services and interesting orientation programs to the potential foreign applicants, introduce quotas to avoid shortage in personnel, and keep the relevant patient-to-nurse ratio, and clarify the verification procedures of the foreign certificates.

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As it was mentioned earlier, a transition of nurses is one of the essential stages of the recruitment process. Consequently, these aspects have to be improved by introducing well-developed online portals. These websites should present relevant information about the recruitment process and the required documentation and provide assistance. Applying this strategy will offer more opportunities for foreign RNs since they will have a chance to learn more about the required documents and the country where they want to work. At the same time, it is necessary to reconsider and review policies concerning verifications of the certificates. The government has to design different standards that will be used to assess the eligibility of the candidates from foreign countries. In this case, improving this process will help ensure that the applicants have certified degrees and minimize the frequency of misunderstandings and medical errors.

In turn, it remains apparent that the constant migration of the workers may create an imbalance in the global healthcare system (Li et al., 2014). In this case, the governments of countries have to introduce a universal policy that will help control the number of foreign professionals hired by the medical institutions. In this case, establishing quotas will help avoid shortages and provide the appropriate number of working positions to the domestic professionals. Furthermore, when improving the recruitment process, one cannot underestimate the significance of cultural adaptations. According to the proposed policy, medical institutions and agencies must provide orientation programs if they hire international specialists. This strategy is believed to improve communication between the employees by increasing their awareness of the country and its customs and offering additional training (Xie, 2013).

In the end, based on the factors mentioned above, it could be said that the current recruitment process has gaps that have to be filled. Consequently, verification and adaptation programs have to be improved. Apart from the hospital’s patient-to-staff ratio, it is necessary to consider the shortages when hiring professionals from other countries since it can create an imbalance in the global healthcare system.


Florida Hospital: Hospital locations. (2017). Web.

Li, H., Nie, W., & Li, J. (2014). The benefits and caveats of international nurse migration. International Journal of Nursing Sciences, 1(3), 314-317.

Marchildon, G. (2013). Canada: Heath system review. Health Systems in Transitions, 15(1), 1-211.

Xie, Y. (2013). Cross-cultural communication barriers between staff in overseas-funded enterprises and management strategies for overcoming them. Journal of Languages and Culture, 4(4), 44-48.

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