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Nurses In The Middle East: Considering Moving To The US?

  • Publish Date: Posted almost 5 years ago
  • Author:by Kate Andrews

The current shortage of nurses in the US means there are opportunities for international registered nurses, especially those based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and throughout the Middle East.  

What’s The Situation In The US? 

An aging population, coupled with the average age of a US RN presently at 58 years old, means international nurses are in high demand. 

In fact, the RN workforce in the US was 2.9 million in 2016 and is expected to increase by 438,100 in 2026 to take RNs to 3.4 million. This means an additional 203,700 new RNs are needed each year up to 2026 to fill both newly created roles and replace retiring nurses. 

Why Are Nurses From The Middle East Sought After? 

The Middle East is known across the globe for its exacting standards of education and training in healthcare, meaning professionals from here are in high demand. Additionally, US hospitals are particularly interested in hiring Middle Eastern nurses due to English being a widely spoken language across the region. 

What’s In It For You? 

There are several reasons why a new life and career in the US could be an excellent option for nurses from the Middle East, including: 

  • Career Development. Due to increasing nursing shortages, nurses in the US are guaranteed job security for years to come. Additionally, high numbers of nurses entering retirement age mean there’s ample scope to progress your career. 
  • Excellent Rate of Pay. According to the U.S. News and World Report, Registered Nurses in the US in 2016 made an average salary of $68,450, making it one of the highest paying countries in the world for nurses. 
  • Benefits & Taxes. Declining oil prices in the Middle East in recent years have seen employers looking at areas where they can cut costs and boost revenue. As a result, there have been cuts in benefits, and income taxes are reportedly just around the corner.
  • Standard of Living. Nurses in the US have access to excellent public services and a high standard of living. For example, the cost of renting a house in the US is a lot lower compared to the cost of renting an apartment in the UAE, presenting the opportunity to buy your own home in the future. 
  • Permanent Residency Visa & Sponsorship of Family. In the Middle East, you can only receive a temporary working visa for a fixed number of years. In some countries like the UAE both males and females are allowed to sponsor their dependents, but in countries like Saudi Arabia women are not permitted to sponsor dependents. In the US, the green card visa enables nurses to remain in the US indefinitely, with no gender discrimination when it comes to sponsoring dependents. 
  • Greater Flexibility. Some countries in the Middle East require employees to obtain an exit visa from their employer/sponsor to be able to exit the country, but this level of control doesn’t exist in the US.
  • Family-Friendly. Everyone in the US is entitled to free education, which means your children or any born during your time there will have free access to some of the best schooling in the world. 
  • More Leisure Time. US nurses typically work a 40-hour week, compared to the mandatory 48 hour week that RN's are expected to work in the UAE. 
  • Diversity. Every culture, language, and custom can be found in the US, making living and working there a vibrant and exciting experience. 

Why Work With Conexus? 

Conexus Medstaff has supported many nurses from the Middle East in making the transition to life and work in the US, including processing the essential documentation required to make it a reality. We cover the cost of full sponsorship and visa applications AND the first 30 days of your accommodation in the US. 

Additionally, our team ensures you’re ready for American life and working practices by staying by your side before and during your assignment. 

So what are you waiting for? 

If you want to swap the UAE for the US, get in touch with your local Conexus team or apply now.