AHA and its American Organization for Nursing Leadership yesterday voiced strong support for the Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act, bipartisan legislation that would recapture 40,000 authorized but unused visas to help address the nation’s shortage of nurses and physicians. Sens. David Perdue, R-Ga., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Todd Young, R-Ind., and Chris Coons, D-Del., plan to introduce the bill when the Senate reconvenes.
“There has never been a more urgent need for the care that foreign-born physicians and foreign-trained nurses provide than during the current COVID-19 pandemic,” the organizations wrote. “These professionals play a critical role in ensuring the health of our communities, and they are required to meet rigid standards of equivalent education, English fluency and state licensure, and must have clean disciplinary records. Foreign-trained nurses do not displace American workers; in fact, the demand for nurses continues to grow. Many foreign-trained nurses are recruited to rural and inner-city hospitals, locations that find it more difficult to recruit domestically. The foreign-born doctors your legislation assists with immigrant visas are already working in the United States so they will not displace any domestic doctors with this change.”