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Short-staffed hospitals across the country are turning to international nurses to fill staff shortages as thousands of healthcare workers across the country are being cut loose for not submitting to a coronavirus vaccine.
Administrators at Billings Clinic in Montana have contracts with two dozen international nurses and is one of “scores” of hospitals across the country bringing in nurses from other countries to address staffing issues including retirements, according to an NPR report.
FILE – In this Nov. 19, 2020, file photo, a nurse works on a computer while assisting a COVID-19 patient. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
The report states that a backlog of more than 5,000 international nurses are waiting from countries like Ghana, Thailand, and the Philippines to be cleared to obtain visa approval to work in U.S. hospitals.
“We are seeing an absolute boom in requests for international nurses,” Lesley Hamilton-Powers, a board member of AAIHR and a vice president for Avant Healthcare Professionals in Florida, said.
FILE – In this March 2, 2021, file photo, pharmacy technician Hollie Maloney loads a syringe with Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine at the Portland Expo in Portland, Maine. The U.S. gave full approval to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, Aug. 23, 2021. ((AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File))
The push for more international nurses comes as thousands of nurses and healthcare workers across the country are losing their hospital jobs over coronavirus vaccine requirements.
Minnesota’s Mayo Clinic recently fired 700 unvaccinated employees who did not submit to coronavirus vaccines. Over 500 healthcare workers have been fired in Massachusetts for disobeying vaccine mandates and over 30,000 healthcare workers in New York have been fired.
File photo of a medical worker handling a syringe. (iStock)
“We worked so hard last year,” Jennifer Bridges, a Texas nurse fired in November over vaccine requirements told Fox News’ Sean Hannity. “I mean, we were there through thick and thin when we had no help… it was horrible. And these people that are putting forth these rules right now for us and kicking us to the curb, they weren’t there. They weren’t even in the building to be seen for months. They were staying at home while we were doing all the work.”