which 29.6 percent of registered nurses were educated at the diploma level and 29.3 percent in baccalaureate programs. Although associate degree programs are not common internationally, 12.6 percent of respondents in the CGFNS survey did indicate that they completed a two-year nursing program. This is far less than the 40.3 percent of nurses in the NSSRN. Foreign nurse graduates were more likely to hold a baccalaureate degree as their basic nursing preparation than their U.S. counterparts.

Registered nurse participants in the CGFNS survey tended to have a higher employment rate overall (87.5 percent) compared to participants in the National Sample Survey (81.7 percent). A greater percentage of foreign nurse graduates worked full time as registered nurses as compared to the National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses (NSSRN), while the rate of part-time employment was higher among participants in the NSSRN. The most common work setting for nurses in both samples was the hospital. A greater percentage of foreign-educated nurses worked in long-term-care settings compared to nurses in the National Sample Survey. Interestingly, fewer foreign-educated nurses reported working in a community health setting in the United States than respondents in the NSSRN, despite the fact that much of nursing practice internationally tends to be in the community.

Participants in the CGFNS survey (30 percent) were more likely to complete additional academic nursing or nursing-related preparation following their basic nursing education than participants in the NSSRN (18.6 percent). As in the NSSRN, the highest level of academic preparation most often achieved by foreign nurse graduates was the baccalaureate degree. When these data were categorized by ethnic/racial group, those who identified themselves as Asians and Hispanics in the CGFNS survey were more likely to hold a baccalaureate degree than those who identified themselves as Black/African and Caucasian. In the NSSRN, Asians and Black/African Americans were more likely than Hispanics and white (non-Hispanics) to hold a bachelor’s degree (CGFNS, 2002).

There are no data documenting the number of U.S.-born nurses who attend nursing schools outside the United States. CGFNS is aware of nurses who were educated in countries such as Germany because their parents were military or government employees. Those nurses are treated as foreign-educated nurses who were born outside the United States and must go through an educational credentialing process to ensure the comparability of education. A positive bonus is that they are English proficient and often multilingual.

A recent phenomenon is the establishment of off shore schools, such as St. Kitts International School of Nursing, which are recruiting U.S. students who have not been able to enroll in U.S. nursing programs because of the shortage of faculty and seats. Reportedly, there are Filipino students who are U.S. born or permanent residents who are returning to their parents’ country where there are an abundance of nursing schools to enroll in a nursing program with the intent of returning to the United States to be licensed and to practice. Enrollment data

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement