1. Nelson, Roxanne BSN, RN

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The controversial immigration bill (S 2611) that recently passed the U.S. Senate has attracted a great deal of attention, only a fraction of which has centered on a provision that would exempt foreign workers in shortage occupations-including nursing-from caps on employment-based visas until 2017. The proposal, by Sam Brownback (R-KS), has prompted criticism from both nursing organizations and international health experts.


In a letter to Arlen Specter, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Rose Gonzalez, director of government affairs at the ANA, pointed out that "experience shows that the influx of foreign-trained nurses only serves to further delay debate and action on the serious workplace issues that continue to drive American nurses away from the profession."


The letter also warned that opening up immigration will intensify the drain of health care workers from developing nations, such as the Philippines, that are already contending with severe shortages. The World Health Organization recently reported that a shortage of more than 4 million health care workers in 57 developing countries is already interfering with efforts to combat diseases such as AIDS and malaria.


"We feel that this is a lose-lose situation," says Katie Krauss, a spokesperson for Physicians for Human Rights. "This isn't going to solve the American nursing shortage, it's not going to help problems in health care, and it's going to intensify nursing shortages in other countries."


Roxanne Nelson, BSN, RN



Vaccine against HPV wins approval. On June 8 the Food and Drug Administration approved Gardasil for use in female patients ages nine to 26 for prevention of human papillomavius (HPV) infection, the leading cause of cervical cancer and the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States. The vaccine, which is administered in three injections over six months, is effective against HPV types 6, 11, 16, and 18 but is only effective when given prior to infection.