Immigrating to the USA as a nurse in 2023 can benefit you not only financially but also in career growth and advanced nursing opportunities.
As reported by NurseJournal, nursing has been an in-demand profession for years, with nearly every major hospital hiring for one of healthcare’s most important roles. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), on average, around 203,200 openings for registered nurses are projected from 2021-2031. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as retiring. This provides the perfect opportunity for foreign nurses interested in living and working in the United States to apply for a direct hire nursing career with a healthcare employer who will sponsor their permanent employment visa.
What Is the Average Salary of International Nurses in the US?
Nursing is a career that can change the lives of others. It has a broad area of specialties that provides numerous opportunities for nurses to advance and undertake more responsibilities, and the salary is based on education and experience and varies widely across the country based mostly on the local cost of living. Salaries tend to be higher in larger urban locations (for example: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston), however the cost of living is also higher in these areas which should be considered.
Check out this cost of living calculator to compare cost of living between cities:
First Step: Taking the NCLEX-RN Exam
The most important requirement for nurses around the world who are interested in immigrating to the USA is passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN exam) in addition to maintaining current work experience in an in-patient bedside nursing position. The NCLEX-RN exam determines if a nursing graduate has the skills and knowledge to practice nursing. Currently, this exam is administered in-person at approved NCLEX international test centers around the world. All nurses must pass this exam to work as a registered nurse in the USA.
Nursing Trends for 2023
The nursing shortage is expected to intensify through 2023 and beyond. This demand stems from the fact that the United States has an aging population. By 2030, the U.S. Census Bureau states 20% of the population will be of retirement age. In effect, demand for geriatric specialists will rise. More geriatric nurses will be required to deal with an aging and ailing population of Baby Boomers. New nurses entering the field in 2023 may wish to be at the forefront of this highly sought-after specialty by becoming certified in Geriatric Care Management (Carson-Newman University Online, 2022).
Another expected trend in 2023 is that nurses with technological skills will be in high demand. The growing technological changes and the pace of reliance to technology has increased with the COVID-19 pandemic. The telehealth industry will continue to evolve and there will be a continuous increase in reliance on wearable medical devices. Nurses will continually use technologically driven devices to increase their efficiency.
The average immigration timeline for foreign RNs is typically 12-18 months from job offer acceptance to arrival in the United States. While each immigration case is unique and circumstances can vary for everyone, this timeline can fluctuate as different government agencies are involved in the process and are understaffed causing delays in processing. However, the good news is that foreign nurses are arriving in the U.S. in ever-increasing numbers, making a positive difference in the life of the nurse, their family, and the overall American healthcare system… one nurse at a time.