The nursing shortage in the United States has reached a level where hiring foreign nurses is no longer merely an option but an economic necessity. With this development comes many immigration and naturalization choices for nurses and the institutions employing them. Only with a strong understanding of the immigration system can those in the nursing market hope to identify the appropriate visa option for their situation. In fact, foreign nursing students in this country have more choices and more negotiating power with employers than they may realize. This article outlines specific visa options, both temporary and permanent and considers a number of hypothetical situations to highlight the opportunities available to foreign nurses and their employers.

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