Survey finds one group of nurses who aren’t thinking of quitting their jobs

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5 facts about the U.S. nursing shortage

International nurses working in the States are overwhelmingly satisfied with their jobs

Recent surveys have found a high percentage of nurses are considering quitting their profession over the strain COVID-19 has put on their workplace and on themselves.

There is one group, however, that has no desire to take a new career path: foreign nurses working in the United States.

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AMN Healthcare, one of the country’s largest nurse staffing agencies, sent a survey to 1,400 international nurses currently or formerly working for O’Grady-Peyton, a division of AMN that focuses on hiring foreign nurses. About 600 nurses, or 43% responded.

Nurses from 41 countries replied, but the the survey shows the lion’s share of international nurses working in the U.S. (77%) come from one of three countries: the Philippines, Jamaica or India.

COVID-19 has posed unprecedented stress for nearly all nurses, including international nurses, and the pandemic continues to exacerbate the difficult conditions under which many work. The Survey of International Nurses shows foreign health care providers have worked side by side with U.S. nurses during the pandemic.

The majority of international nurses surveyed (86%) have treated COVID-19 patients. This compares to 83% of all nurses as tracked in AMN Healthcare’s 2021 Survey of Registered Nurses, one of the largest nurse surveys conducted in the U.S. The majority of international nurses (56%) have treated multiple COVID-19 patients (21 patients or more), while 12% have treated 11 or more. This is consistent with the relatively robust role international nurses play in treating ICU/critical care patients, including those with COVID-19. Close to 1 in 5 international nurses (17%) have contracted COVID-19.

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About 41% of the international nurses have worked as a charge nurse or in another leadership role. They have also experienced the same stressers as U.S. nurses, with acuity of patient (36%) and fear of contracting COVID-19 (20%) topping the reasons.

Despite all that, only 14% of international nurses say the pandemic has caused them to reconsider practicing as a nurse in the U.S. That compares to 90% of respondents to a Hospital IQ survey and 66% surveyed by staffing company Cross Country Healthcare.

Of those who replied to the Survey of International Nursing, 37% were very satisfied with the job working in the States, and 42% were somewhat satisfied. Only 5% said they would not have chosen to work in the U.S. if they had it to do it over again.

International nurses have established a tradition of serving on the front lines of patient care in the United States. The 2021 Survey of International Nurses indicates they continue to do so while filling high-need, high-stress roles at higher rates than all nurses.

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