WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner introduced the Emergency Nursing Supply Relief Act, which would increase the number of temporary work visas – up to 8,000 – available for foreign-trained nurses.

Demand for nurses in America is at an all-time high and despite being one of the fastest growing occupations in the United States, nursing shortages are occurring throughout the country. This deficit poses an alarming threat to our health care system and its ability to provide world-class care for our nation’s patients. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1.2 million vacancies will emerge for registered nurses between 2014 and 2022. By 2025, the shortfall is expected to be more than twice as large as any nurse shortage experienced since the introduction of Medicare and Medicaid in the mid-1960s.

In response to this, Congressman Sensenbrenner has introduced the Emergency Nursing Supply Relief Act. Over the past several years, caps on available work visas have reduced the number of immigrant nurses in the United States. This legislation would increase current visa caps in order to fill open nursing positions and provide immediate relief for hospitals facing shortages.

Congressman Sensenbrenner: “Supplying our health care providers with the nurses they need is imperative for public health, both in the short and long term. During a tumultuous time in health care, nurses provide the constant support and quality care that our nation’s patients need. In order to ensure hospitals can continue to keep us and our families safe and healthy, we need to be willing to provide them with the necessary tools.”