The House of Representatives just has passed a reauthorization of the H-1C visa program. HR 1933 was first introduced by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) this past spring. Rep. Smith quietly has been securing votes since the bill's introduction. The H-1C expired in December 2009.
HR 1933 looks similar to past iterations of the H-1C visa. Notably it appears to only apply to 14 hospitals in the U.S., many of which are in Rep. Smith's home state of Texas. Only 300 RN positions per year are authorized under the H-1C. The H-1C also includes wage protections for U.S. workers.
Because the H-1C is applicable to only 14 hospitals, the visa has never been used widely and is not expected to materially impact the processing of any immigrant (EB-3) visas. That having been said this is good news for those nurses whose visas expired under the previous H-1C.
Next, the bill must be introduced in the Senate. Once introduced the Senate must pass the bill. Pres. Obama is expected to sign the bill if it can garner enough votes in the Senate.