Group releases code for recruiting foreign nurses

Health policy group AcademyHealth has released a new voluntary code of ethics for use in recruiting internationally-based nurses, one designed to better protect their rights in the midst of a rapid growth in such hiring. According to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, the annual percentage of newly-licensed, foreign-educated registered nurses in the country has risen to 16 percent, from a scant 5 percent in the 1990s. Today, meanwhile, AcademyHealth has identified nearly 300 U.S.-based international nurse recruitment firms, 10 times higher than the number of companies existing in the 1990s.

When researching the subject of such recruiting, AcademyHealth researchers found reports of unfair labor conditions, potentially inappropriate contract practices and even threats to a nurse's immigration status when things went badly. Meanwhile, they also heard about nurses who breached their contracts after getting financial and practice help with immigration and resettlement in the U.S.

The new voluntary code offers guidance on ways to make sure that recruitment is fair and doesn't cause harm in the nurses' home countries, AcademyHealth researchers said.

To learn more about the code:
- read this Healthcare Finance News piece

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