Sunday, August 3, 2008

Nurses' immigration bill, HR 5924, moves up to full committee voting

The proposed immigration bill for nurses and physical therapist, or HR 5924, has been reported to be out of the subcommittee level in the US House of Representatives' Judicial Subcommittee. The bill is now up for full Judicial committee voting, likely in August, experts claim.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

New immigrant visas for nurses proposed

A new proposed legislation in the US. House of Representatives seeks to give up to 20,000 visas per year to nurses and physical therapists up to September 2011.

The proposal, HR 5924 or the Emergency Nursing Supply Relief Act, would waive the quota for these two occupations, also known as Schedule A jobs, up to 2011 but a maximum of 20,000 visas can only be approved every year. Immediate family members of primary visa beneficiaries, however, would not be counted against the 20,000 yearly cap.

Based on the new proposal, the US immigration department must make a decision on I-140 petitions within 30 days of receipt.

Also being proposed is the allocation of a Grant Fee, where beneficiaries of the new visa allocations must pay $1,500 which will go to a fund to help US nursing schools. Visa applicants must also provide legal proof that they do not owe money that was used to finance their education in their home country, such as student loans, for example.

Click here to see the full text of this proposed legislation.

** Personal note:
We're almost back. We've been unable to post new entries for quite sometime because we've had to relocate to a new place. We'll talk about that pretty soon. Although we're not yet quite settled, we'll try to post here from time, albeit not as much as we used to before. In the meantime, let me thank everyone who've been sending their messages and visiting this blog regularly even though we haven't been able to post new entries.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Bear with me

I recently moved so please bear with me for a while. I'll answer questions posted here as soon as I can and post new information as well pretty soon.

Thanks.

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Sunday, March 2, 2008

US immigration updates

The quest for new nurse visas continues to be a steep uphill climb, while the U.S. is struggling out of a quagmire of a possible recession, brought about by the credit and housing crisis. Add to the mix the heated race for the presidency and you've got a very tough environment for legislators espousing immigration-related laws. We remain hopeful that something will be done this year before the presidential elections consume the entire US political landscape.

Some of the good news that have come out recently include the advancement of the EB3 Visa to Jan. 1, 2005. We blogged about this a while back. Another good news coming in is a proposal from Sen. Kent Conrad to extend the J-1 waiver program for physicians serving in underserved areas. Aside from an extension, the bill also seeks a cap exemption for doctors. If this bill moves forward, many are hoping that an equivalent provision for nurse visas are included in the final version.

At this time, we can only hope that efforts to enact this bill will be fruitful.

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Friday, February 22, 2008

Top 10 topnotchers of the Dec 07 nursing boards

Here are the top 10 passers of the Dec 2007 Philippine nursing licensure exams:
1. Zandra Mae Zabaza Bongco, Pamantasan Ng Lungsod Ng Maynila -- 88.40

2. Robneil Dylan Sanchez Dellosa, University of Perpetual Help Rizal-Calamba Campus -- 87.00

3. Joanna Kaye Binoya Remolar, San Pedro College-Davao City -- 86.80

4. Denise Claudia Dimatulac Mangiliman, University of Makati -- 86.40
Neil Niño Sugitarios Navarra, San Pedro College-Davao City -- 86.40
Pedro Jr Posadas Tabernero, Saint Dominic Savio College -- 86.40

5. Joann Aguilar Candado, West Negros College -- 86.20
Betty Chua Chung, University of Makati -- 86.20
Leslie Yap Coo, Central Philippine University -- 86.20

6. Katrina Victoria Luceño Akut, Xavier University -- 86.00
John Edward Vergil Villaflor Belardo, Trinity University of Asia (Trinity-Qc) -- 86.00
Richard Baguio Saavedra, Ateneo De Davao University -- 86.00

7. Rosemarie Lu Go, Western Mindanao State University -- 85.80
January Ivy Bacali Haspela, Central Philippine University -- 85.80
Cristine Valen Mendez, Davao Doctors College, Inc. -- 85.80
Julius Atalip Riazonda, Saint Paul University-Tuguegarao -- 85.80

8. Joreena Perida Alvaran, Remedios T. Romualdez Medical Foundation -- 85.60
Emlyn Limbo Escobar, University of La Sallete-Santiago -- 85.60
Hernessa Torralba Hernandez, Xavier University -- 85.60

9. Gerrie Mae Lozada Angostura, University of Iloilo -- 85.40
Sheryl Gaye Uy Cu, De Los Santos College (Delos Santos School of Nursing) -- 85.40
Ayn Portia De Luna Galamgam, San Pedro College-Davao City -- 85.40
Germaine Lou Tabita Sanchez, University of San Agustin -- 85.40
Marie Kathleen Cavida Santos, Perpetual Help College of Manila -- 85.40
Mary Lenin Pepito Talisic, San Pedro College-Davao City -- 85.40
Jay Pong Yap, Capitol University (Cagayan Capitol Coll.) -- 85.40
Vivian Esparaz Yu, De Los Santos College (Delos Santos School of Nursing) -- 85.40

10. Katrina Socorro Lapuz Cembrano, University of San Agustin -- 85.20
Diana Jean Bernardo Mendoza, Dr. Carlos S. Lanting College-Q.C. -- 85.20
Jeggar Chris Envoltorio Sorianosos, West Visayas State University-La Paz -- 85.20
Aura Ydda Alyne Santiago Toreja, Our Lady of Fatima University-Valenzuela -- 85.20

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Full list of passers in the Dec 2007 Philippine Nursing Licensure Exam

The results are out. Congratulations to those who passed the December 2007 Philippine Nursing Licensure Board Exams.

List of passers:
List in PDF format
List in Rich Text format (RTF) Right-click and choose Save As to download
List in Word 97 doc format (Word doc) Right-click and choose Save As to download

List of Retakers who passed:
PDF format
RTF format (Right-click and choose Save to download)

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28,924 pass Philippine nursing boards

Some 28,924 nursing graduates have passed the Philippine nursing licensure exams conducted on December 2007. The oath-taking of the new nurses will be on March 17 and 18, 2008 at the SMX Convention Center in the Mall of Asia.

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43% pass Dec 2007 nursing licensure exam

At least 43% of 67,000 nursing graduates who took the December 2007 nursing licensure exam have passed, a report by Inquirer.net said.

Leonor Rosero-Tipon, chairman of the Professional Regulation Commission, said the 43.42% passing mark was within the usual passing range.

The report added that graduates from St. Louis University, Xavier University, Siliman University, Trinity, Mindanao State University, and Palawan State University were among the top 10 in the latest Philippine nursing board exam.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

EB3 visa priority date jumps to 2005

The U.S. Department of State has issued its March 2008 Visa Bulletin and, interestingly, the priority date for employment-based category three (EB3) has jumped from Nov. 2002 to Jan. 2005. This news should bring cheer to those whose priority dates fall under the new cut-off and put hope back in the hearts of those waiting for their priority dates to become current.

Here's a link to the March 2008 Visa Bulletin.

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Sunday, February 3, 2008

PRC deadline for filing applications for nurse licensure tests in 2008

Press release from the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC)

The Professional Regulation Commission announces that the schedules and deadlines in filing applications for the Nurses Licensure Examinations (NLE) for year 2008 are as follows:

Exams on JUNE 1 & 2, 2008 (Sunday & Monday) - Deadline APRIL 18, 2008
Exams on NOVEMBER 29 & 30, 2008 (Saturday & Sunday) - Deadline OCTOBER 17, 2008

The PRC is now accepting applications for the June 2008 NLE at the PRC Central Office and at the PRC regional offices in the cities of Baguio, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Legaspi, Lucena, Tacloban, Tuguegarao and Zamboanga. Some 80,000 to 100,000 or more examinees are expected to take the NLE in June 2008.

Graduates of March or April 2008 will be accepted in the June 2008 examination, provided, they will be able to submit, at the time of filing applications on or before the deadline, all the documentary requirements, i.e., Transcript of Records with scanned picture, Birth Certificate in NSO security paper, Notarized/Sworn Summary of Related Learning Experience and OR/DR cases, .

The PRC enjoins early filing of applications to avoid over-crowding at the PRC filing centers.

APPLICATIONS WILL NO LONGER BE ACCEPTED AFTER THE DEADLINE.

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Friday, February 1, 2008

New Mexico licensure applicants now need CES

Foreign-educated applicants of nursing licensure in New Mexico now need to get a Credentials Evaluation Service (CES) report as part of the requirements for NCLEX eligibility. The New Mexico Board of Nursing issued an updated application handbook, which takes effect this month.

The NM BON has accredited four agencies that issue a CES report:
Educational Records Evaluation Service, International Education Research, Joseph Silney and Associates, and the Commission on Graduates of International Education (CGFNS).

When applying for a CES report, choose the agency that is also accredited by other states so that in case you need to submit one to another state (for endorsement, for example) you won't have to pay for a new one.

Click here to read the new requirements for nurse applicants in New Mexico.

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IVT seminar in Martinez Memorial Hospital

A reader shares us that Martinez Memorial Hospital in Kalookan is still accepting applicants for its March IVT seminar. Call to inquire about the requirements (632)288-8861 and apply in person. I'm not sure if the hospital or the college is conducting the seminar, but a short phone call should resolve this question.

Update
Another reader tells us that the hospital is conducting the training. You can also call this number 285-5091. Thanks for the tip.

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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Updated list of hospitals and their hiring requirements

We've just updated the list of hospitals and their requirements for hiring new applicants. Medical facilities we've added to the list: Asian Hospital, Makati Medical Center, Metropolitan Hospital, Philippine Heart Center, and the Medical City.

Click here for the list.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Dec 2007 Philippine Nursing Board Exam update

We just got word from a very good source that the results of the Philippine Nursing Licensure Exam held last December 2007 could be released in the first week of February. Barring any major development, we trust that this information is accurate as of this time.

Once the board exam results are released by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), we'll be one of the first to post them on our Web site. So visit us regularly.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

State of the Union: Not much on immigration

In his final State of the Union, President George Bush on Monday focused on the U.S. economy and curbing Congress' penchant for earmarks. On the issue of immigration, Bush merely reiterated his call for comprehensive immigration reforms.

"We need to acknowledge that we can never fully secure our borders until we create a lawful way for foreign workers to come here and support our economy," Bush said. On those who are already in the U.S. illegally, Bush said they must be dealt with in a sensible and humane way. A solution must be found that also upholds U.S. laws and its highest ideals, Bush said.

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Nursing opportunities in Canada

Over the past weeks, we've received news that a number of nurses have sucessfully left for work in Canada. The employment opportunities, of course, depend so much on their performance in the Canadian Registered Nurse Exam (CRNE). Passing the CRNE is mandatory to get a nursing license in that country. Each province oversees its own nursing application program and each may have its own set of requirements, much like in the U.S. where each state have different licensing requirements.

To get an overview of the application process in Canada, you can start at the Web site of the Canadian Nurses Association.

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Friday, January 25, 2008

Updates from IBT on fingerprint scanning service

Diana Smith of Integrated Biometric Technoloy (IBT) wrote us to give some updates on their fingerprint scanning services.

IBT is one of the fingerprint scanning service providers accredited by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulations (IDFPR) which oversees the issuance of nurse licenses in Illinois. If you wish to apply for a nursing license in the state, you can send your fingerprint card to IBT and they will scan and submit your digitized prints to the appropriate agencies.

IBT has lowered its service fee to $49.25, which is a result of the FBI lowering it's own electronic fees late last year. If you recall, the OLD service fee was $54.

When sending your accomplished fingerprint cards to IBT, please include a note or a letter asking IBT to forward a receipt directly to Continental Testing Service (CTS). The receipt is proof that an applicant has completed the requirements for submitting fingerprints. Also in the letter, please write down your contact information, especially your e-mail address, so that IBT technicians can contact you much faster in case there are questions with regard to your fingerprint cards.

We're making available the information sheet that IBT sends to its customers. Through this information sheet, you can get the skinny on how to fill out the cards, where to send them, and who to make the bank drafts payable to, among others. You can download it in either PDF format or Microsoft Word format.

Hopefully, this new information will answer most of your questions about the fingerprint scanning service.

Read more information here about the entire application process for the state of Illinois.

To get a more general idea on how to apply for a license in the U.S., you can read more information here.

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Canada revises registered nurse licensure exam

Starting February 2008 and until February 2010, the Canadian Registered Nurse Examinations (CRNE) will be composed of multiple-choice questions only. Aside from multiple-choice questions, the CRNE in the past also had fill-in-the-blank questions.

Last year, a scandal broke out because some or all of the questions in the short-answer part (fill-in-the-blank) were alegedly leaked out in one examination. About 15% of the entire test was composed of fill-in-the-blank questions.

There are 300 questions in the updated CRNE, which is a mandatory exam to get a nursing license in Canada. About 40% of the questions are independent questions while the remaining 60% are presented within cases.

For more information, you can read the press release from the Canadian Nurses Association Web site by clicking here.

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Opening a bank account as a tourist in the US

Opening a bank account in the US while holding a tourist visa used to be impossible, since they normally require a social security number and at least two valid proofs of identification. But at least one bank now allows a tourist to open a bank account. You can open a bank account with Washington Mutual using your valid Philippine passport and a current US visa (usually stamped inside the passport).

A bank account can be useful if you want to transact using Paypal's services, which requires that you have a US bank account. Although, I think, now you may get an account with an accredited Philippine bank as well (please check with Paypal's Web site for the list). Getting a US checking account will also let you issue your own check for paying for your nursing licensure application. If you open an account at WaMu, you'll get both the checking and savings account as well as a debit card that you can use for retail or online purchases.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

CTS eligibility requires Pearson Vue registration

A reader of this blog just informed us that registration with Pearson Vue was needed before the Eligibility was issued. So, if your CES report has been issued or, at least, when all the documents needed for the CES is already complete, you may want to register and pay the testing fee to Pearson Vue (http://www.pearsonvue.com/nclex/) so that your Eligibility and your ATT can be issued. Technically, you can register earlier with Pearson Vue since you have one year to get your Eligibility.

We have only learned about this through this reader's feedback because, in our own applications, we had registered with Pearson Vue even before our CES report was issued.

Once you get your ATT or Authorization To Test, you have three months (90) days to schedule your exam. The testing fee is $200, and if you're taking the NCLEX outside the US, there's an additional $150-fee.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Application fee increase for Illinois licensure

I just got confirmation that CTS, which handles applications for nurse licensure in Illinois, has increased the application fee from $79 to $82. Both CTS' Web site and the application packet that can be downloaded from the Illinois Dept. of Financial and Professional Regulation Web site shows the fee increase.

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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Schedule of PNA seminars for 2008

We've just uploaded the schedule of CPE seminars for the first half of 2008 to be conducted by the Philippine Nurses Association. The PNA advises everyone interested in attending any of these seminars to confirm attendance days ahead as some changes in the schedule may occur. For other inquiries, PNA's Nicole me be called at this number (632)400-4430.

Click here to view the schedule.

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Thursday, January 3, 2008

Prospects for nurses in 2008

Welcome 2008. A new year has arrived and the question on most foreign nurses' minds is about the immigration prospects for foreign nurses to the US. The past year showed very little progress for nursing immigration and this year, an election year in the US, promises very little for a comprehensive immigration reform in the country.

Continue to have faith, however, that there could be good news for nurses hoping to migrate to the US. If there is something that can be done this year, it should happen in the first quarter when the entire US is not yet consumed with election-related issues.

Immigration expert Carl Shusterman, in his monthly newsletter, says that he is hopeful a legislation to bridge the nursing shortage in the US would be passed early this year. "House leaders have indicated that a bill to recapture unused visas for registered nurses and physical therapists will be considered during the first quarter of this year," Shusterman said.

Let us hope and pray that something fruitful will indeed come out of the US legislative branch this year.

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