A task force, including AMN and OGPI, along with unions, healthcare organizations, educational and licensure bodies developed the "Voluntary Code of Ethical Conduct for the Recruitment of Foreign-Educated Nurses." The Code aims to ensure that the growing practice of recruiting foreign-educated nurses to the United States is done in a responsible and transparent manner.
"As a staffing company, we are committed to meeting the needs of our clients and healthcare providers," said Marcia Faller, RN, MSN, Chief Clinical Officer and Executive Vice President, Operations, for AMN Healthcare. "Part of our meeting those needs is successful recruitment from around the world. That effort is enhanced with tools like the recruitment code that we're endorsing today," she added.
Today, the United States is short about 120,000 nurses and that number is rising. Recruitment of foreign-trained nurses helps shrink that number, but has not closed the gap.
"There are concerns that a rapid increase in international recruiting creates opportunities for unethical behavior," said Patricia Pittman, Ph.D., Executive Vice President of AcademyHealth, who convened the task force and led a recent study of the structure and practices of the U.S.-based international recruitment industry.
The Code of Conduct aims to increase transparency and accountability in international recruitment and ensure adequate orientation programs for foreign educated nurses. It also provides guidance on ways to ensure recruitment is not harmful to the nurses' home countries. The Code is voluntary; health care organizations and recruiters that subscribe are committing to adhere to a series of practical standards and to emulate best practices.
The Code evolved from the recognition that there is no single cause for the nursing shortage and that there are diverse solutions to ensure supportive, productive work environments for all nurses in the United States.
"The nursing workforce shortage is a very real problem and our association is working to improve the situation on a number of fronts," says Linda J. Stierle, MSN, RN, CNAA, BC, and CEO of the American Nurses Association. "In the meantime, we want to be sure that our colleagues who are recruited internationally are treated fairly and are also properly educated and trained. That, we believe, is in the interest of all nurses and the public we serve. ANA supports this important effort to establish a code for international recruitment."
The Code has been endorsed by these and a number of other groups, including the American Organization of Nurse Executives, AFT Healthcare, the Service Employees International Union, the American Hospital Association, the American Association of International Healthcare Recruitment, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, the American Health Care Association, and the National Association for Home Care and Hospice.
A copy of the Code of Conduct, list of endorsing organizations and background study are available at http://www.fairinternationalrecruitment.org. The initial research and resulting task force initiative were funded through a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The MacArthur Foundation supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. AcademyHealth, in partnership with the O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University, facilitated the consensus-building process.
AcademyHealth is the professional home for health services researchers, policy analysts, and practitioners, and a leading, non-partisan resource for the best in health research and policy. AcademyHealth promotes interaction across the health research and policy arenas by bringing together a broad spectrum of players to share their perspectives, learn from each other, and strengthen their working relationships.
About AMN Healthcare
AMN Healthcare is the largest healthcare staffing company in the United States and the leading nationwide provider in all four of its business lines: travel nurse staffing, locum tenens staffing (temporary physician staffing), physician permanent placement services and allied staffing. AMN Healthcare recruits healthcare professionals both nationally and internationally and places them on variable lengths of assignments and in permanent positions at acute-care hospitals, physician practice groups and other healthcare settings throughout the United States. For more information, visit http://www.amnhealthcare.com.