Thursday, April 7, 2011


“Dare to be great nurses… Dare to build a better Philippines and a better America.” This was US Envoy to the Philippines Henry Thomas’ challenge to the graduating class of Angeles University Foundation’s College of Nursing on Saturday.

While his challenge was clear, his views on the likelihood of the retrogression were less so. “All I can say is, clearly, there’s a demand in the US but also, as President Obama has said, we have nursing graduates in the US who also have to finish their examinations and obtain jobs.”

This wishy-washy statement perfectly captured President Obama’s inconsistency and lack of focus on the necessity of alleviating the retrogression. On one hand, the President has said many of the right things on making an immigration system that is fair to all – American patients, American healthcare staff, and foreign-trained healthcare staff. On the other hand, his lack of action and lack of leadership has frustrated all stakeholders.

1 comment:

  1. The Obama Administration has mastered sending "mixed signals" to an art form.

    My opinion, as one recruiter that has more than 100 RNs with U.S. licenses languishing in the Philippines, visa retrogression will not end for 10 to 12 years. Before then, priority numbers will continue to slowly work their way to visa issuance. However, when the visa is ready to issue, many employers are NOT bringing the RN to America to work.

    Unfortunately, many employers – like all of mine – have dropped/are dropping out of the game and there are more and more "orphaned I-140" nurses holding worthless contracts. Also there are few new employers to step in and take over those I-140s because of concern over visa retrogression.

    One solution for nurses is to go back to college and become therapists. Philippine colleges will give them 2-years credit towards a therapist degree. Another solution is medical technologist. Other solutions are to leave healthcare altogether and become accountants, architects, engineers. Anything else that requires a 4-year bachelor’s degree and is in short supply in America; nurses, hospital administrators and doctors are not in short supply.


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