I am an international student who graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, in May 2008. I have a BSN. Also, I am a RN from the District of Columbia, Washington, DC. I have been having the hardest time trying to get a hospital to sponsor and/or give me a job as a RN. Hospitals seem very interested in hiring me at the beginning; but once they know about my limits to work for a long period of time, they take back any job they extended to me. They are not willing at all to sponsor me for a H1 visa. Honestly, I thought it was going to be easy to get a job considering the shortage of nurses in this country and the fact that I am fluent in Spanish. However, I was very wrong! I am exposing my case to you to see if you could please give me any suggestions of where to look for (which states and/or hospitals) for nursing jobs. I tried to Google for information about states with a large shortage of nurses, but I didnt have much success. At this point, I am more the willing to work anywhere any hospitals wants me to as long as they extend my temporal work permit to work as an RN. I really want to get some nursing experience! Besides that possibility, I am also looking into moving to a different country. I just started to get more info of how to apply for a Canadian RN license to see my possibilities to work there. I want to stay here and work as a RN; but if things do not work well, I will have to move somewhere else. Do you know about any other countries where there is a shortage of nurses? I am trying to get as many options as possible. I need to move fast because time is actually against me!
Dear Donna replies:
You say that hospitals are ready to hire you until they find out they have to sponsor you. So it doesnt seem to be a lack of job openings that is your major obstacle. Therefore, moving will not necessarily solve that problem.
I dont know what your country of origin is, but since you are fluent in Spanish, I am guessing you are Hispanic. If that is the case, contact your state chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (http://events.nursingspectrum.com/event.cfm?EID=673&type=Seminar). They may be able to help and support you. And since networking is a great way to build a support system, make contacts, and find a get a job, you should out to local meetings of this association even as a guest for now.
I also recommend that you apply to Veterans Administration (VA) hospitals. They may be more open to sponsoring you. Contact some nursing agencies, too, to see if they can assist you with placement.
When what youre doing isnt working, its time to try a new approach. Persistence and determination will always win out in the end!
Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nursing Spectrum/NurseWeeks Dear Donna and author of Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional and The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career. Information about the books is available at www.nurse.com/CE/7010 and www.nurse.com/CE/7250, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to www.nurse.com/asktheexperts/deardonna. Find a Dear Donna seminar near you: Call (800) 866-0919 or visit http://events.nursingspectrum.com/Seminar.