foreign nurses, global rights and responsibilities, human rights, immigration, immigration reform, laborers or workers, nursing shortage, public policy, social justice, undocumented workers



  1. Drevdahl, Denise J. PhD, RN
  2. Dorcy, Kathleen Shannon MN, RN


In this article, we examine US immigration policies relative to those who work as nurses and those who are manual/low-wage laborers. Recruiting foreign nurses from developing countries to alleviate the nursing shortage is a common practice. While specialized visas for these healthcare professionals facilitate the visa application and approval process, immigrants employed in low-wage positions are subjected to long waits for visas, workplace raids, and subsequent deportation. Selective assistance to some immigrants violates basic human rights and global expectations of justice. Moral and ethical frameworks need to guide US immigration policy.