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How to Immigrate to the US as a Nurse

2.75 minute read
"Are you a professional and experienced nurse looking to immigrate to the United States? The US is always looking for well-experienced healthcare workers, especially workers to fill the shortage in their local labor markets."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Apr 12, 2021
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Are you a professional and experienced nurse looking to immigrate to the United States? The US is always looking for well-experienced healthcare workers, especially workers to fill the shortage in their local labor markets. 

Based on the type of nursing you intend to practice, your occupation will differ in the US. Nurses in the United States are expected to perform duties that include assessing the health of the patients, developing and implementing healthcare plans, and maintaining medical records. 

The job duties also include administering care to ill, injured, and disabled patients. Nurses may advise patients on maintaining their health, disease prevention, and case management. All nurses are responsible for interacting directly with the patients and caring for their physical, intellectual, and in some ways social needs. 

The average salary of a nurse in the United States is $71,730 annually. 

The occupation of a nurse is classified as Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Code 29-0000.

There are several SOC codes under this classification:

  • SOC 29-0000 – Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations
  • SOC 29-1000 – Healthcare Diagnosing or Treating Practitioners
  • SOC 29-1140 – Registered Nurses

What are the Requirements to be a Nurse in the US?

To work in the United States as a nurse, you will be required to follow the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and meet the following requirements:

  • Meet the required educational level
  • Pass an English proficiency test, if required
  • Get credential evaluation
  • Pass the National Council Licensing Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX – RN)
  • Be employed by a US nursing recruiting agency or a US-based employer
  • Apply and successfully obtain a Registered Nurse (RN) immigrant visa or Green Card
  • Attend an RN visa interview and pass medical examinations
  • Accept a position as an RN

What is the Process of Immigrating to the US as a Registered Nurse in Your Home Country?

The US immigration process is complex and lengthy and requires you to submit different forms of documentation. The best way to go about it is to hire an immigration lawyer to help you navigate through the process and find the best path for you to immigrate.

You will be required to pass the National Council Licensing Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX – RN). Based on where you wish to reside and work in the US, you can apply to that state’s board of nursing. 

The next step is to look for a job. You can find a job through a nursing recruitment agency or a US-based employer. 

To allow you to work legally in the US, the last step is to apply for a nonimmigrant visa.

What Are the 3 US Visa Options Available for Foreign Registered Nurses?

H-1B Visa

The H-1B Visa allows you to work in the US temporarily. It is a popular visa program for foreign workers with a valid job offer from a US-based employer to work in a specialty occupation such as nursing. See our H-1B Visa Business Plan service.

US Green Card

You can apply for lawful permanent residency or a Green Card in the United States. You must be employed as a full-time permanent nurse. Your employer will also be required to complete a process known as “labor certification” on your behalf. 

You will be required to complete your application process before traveling to the US.

TN Visa

If you are a citizen of Mexico or Canada, you can work in the US as a registered nurse on a TN Visa. You will require a valid job offer, a license to practice in your home country and pass the NCLEX and state license requirements.

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