1. Wood, Jane R. MS, RN
  2. Kopacz, Marek S. MD, PhD

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In the past decade, several accelerated nursing programs have been established, offering people from nonnursing backgrounds a fast track to train as advanced practice nurses.


Of special interest is the enrollment of international medical graduates (IMGs)-be they U.S. citizens or immigrants-in such programs. On its Web site, the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, which certifies that IMGs are ready to participate in residency training in the United States, reveals that only about half of IMGs gain this certification (see


The retraining of IMGs as nurses is a relatively novel concept and a number of questions must be answered. Among other issues, little is known of the potential practical implications of admitting IMGs into the nursing profession.


Especially worrisome is that some IMGs may not be prepared for the transition to a nursing role. Advanced practice nurses have a broad scope of practice that has some overlap with medicine. However, the role of the advanced practice nurse has many aspects that are unique to nursing, such as health promotion and patient education.


Accelerated nursing programs offer people from diverse backgrounds a unique opportunity to enter the nursing profession. In the interest of ensuring a high standard of patient care, future research should consider examining how such enrollees-inclusive of IMGs-fare in their new nursing jobs, with a particular emphasis on turnover and job satisfaction rates.


Jane R. Wood, MS, RN


Marek S. Kopacz, MD, PhD


Canandaigua, NY


Editor's note: Ms. Wood is a clinical trainer and Dr. Kopacz is a health science specialist at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or of the U.S. government.