Practicing in the US has been specifically developed by Conexus Medstaff to provide you with an introduction to the U.S. healthcare industry and the expectations of the role of an RN in America.
Practicing in the US has been specifically developed by Conexus Medstaff to provide you with an introduction to the U.S. healthcare industry and the expectations of the role of an RN in America.
We aim to familiarise you with some of the main regulations and practices that govern health care and nursing in the United States. Register today to take part.
For orientation, Conexus will guide you through the hospital interview process to make you American dream a reality. Register today to take part.
Nursing talent and graduates can live out a dream career in the US with Conexus. As a brand that partners with over 200 healthcare facilities across 30 American states, international nurses trust Conexus to find unique roles across the US.
Register to take part in US Ready.
We put you in a position to learn, but also to continue to learn. As nursing and healthcare evolve, so too will a Conexus Medstaff nurse.
Register to take part in US Ready.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every single person in one way or another, leaving no one unscathed. Healthcare and the healthcare system alike have been directly affected and forever changed, not to mention the heavy toll placed on healthcare workers especially. According to a recent survey conducted by Nursing Standard, eight out of ten nurses shared that their mental health has been affected by COVID-19. Added stressors of the pandemic, in an already high-stress environment, are challenging the mental and emotional health of nurses, bringing more importance than ever towards the need to provide stability in the healthcare workforce. During the onset of the pandemic, travel nurses were in high demand and paid upwards of $130 per hour to care for COVID patients throughout the crisis period. Similarly, respiratory therapists experienced a pay raise, with rates increasing to approximately $90 per hour. Due to enhanced needs for support and care, many hospitals offered incentive pay, bonus payouts and sign-on bonuses for new staff. However, as more vaccinations become available to the general population and COVID-19 numbers decrease, so will the pay for these specialized healthcare workers. While staffing ratios have remained high considering recent healthcare turnover, likely due to new avenues of healthcare delivery that have emerged with the opening of testing sites, vaccine clinics and the rise of telemedicine, the question remains how this will impact healthcare workers remaining or being available at the bedside. The impact of turnover in the healthcare system is real. In addition to the healthcare facility, this turnover also affects patients and the community due to a loss of quality, patient satisfaction and, in some cases, access to care. According to a nationwide survey of more than 1,000 registered nurses conducted by the American Association of International Healthcare Recruitment Association, sixty percent of respondents reported that nurse-to-patient ratios, a critical staffing measure that directly relates to patient safety and outcomes, have risen to unsafe levels in the last year. So, how can healthcare stabilize from this unprecedented past year? Organizations and leaders across the healthcare system must focus on the wellbeing of the healthcare community. Providing opportunities for healthcare professionals to share their experience and the patients they cared for, as well as recognizing that everyone’s experience and needs are unique. Requiring rest and time off to recuperate and reenergize from extra hours worked or strained situations experienced. Looking at the individual needs of each healthcare professional can help rebuild the healthcare community one healthcare professional at a time. How to promote mental well-being to my team? Guidance for managers to help support their team's mental health includes: Ensure all staff receive good quality communication and accurate updates. Rotate workers from high-stress to lower-stress functions. Partner inexperienced workers with more experienced colleagues – a buddy system can help provide support, monitor stress levels and reinforce safety procedures. Initiate, encourage and monitor work breaks. Implement flexible schedules for workers who are directly affected or have a family member affected. Ensure that staff know where they can access mental health and psychosocial support services. The above applies to all individuals as well – managers who are role models of self-care are able to mitigate stress. Cathy Vollmer, RN, BSN, CSP, is Vice President of Operations at Conexus MedStaff. To learn more about how Conexus MedStaff can help provide long-term staffing solutions for healthcare organizations or accelerate your nursing career in the U.S., get in touch or apply today.
Hello, my name is Brittany and I am a Canadian trained registered nurse of five years this year. In the year 2019, I continued my nursing passion in the United States (US) through Conexus MedStaff. I work for one of the largest hospitals in the South East of the US. I am a psychiatrist nurse, caring for those with substance abuse issues and mental health illness, a population that has largely been affected by COVID-19. COVID has brought many things, increased need for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), increased the need for social distancing and hand hygiene, but it has also brought an increased need for compassion, empathy, support, and awareness of what it means to prevent illness. There has been an increase in the infection rate of COVID-19 with fear and stress in the workplace but I am fortunate to work with staff members I can trust, working together as a team, if it means wearing a mask or PPE when it causes discomfort, monitoring patient’s physical, emotional and social needs more closely, or picking up an extra hour to assist with acuity. My team and I have remained strong. I maintain my strength through daily exercise, adequate rest, proper nourishment of my physical body, and nourishment of my brain through reading, meditation, and communication with loved ones. COVID 19 has changed a lot of things but what doesn’t need to change is the fundamentals of living a simple, healthy, and holistic life. We are all in this together!
Most states require nurses to complete some form of continuing education every two to three years as a condition of licensure. Even if your state board does not require any education for continuing competence for renewal, you may still be required by your employer or nursing association for job-specific certifications (i.e., nursing specialties, magnet hospitals, etc.). Specialty certifications such as medical-surgical, critical care, neonatal, etc. have specific requirements for continuing education. Make sure to check with your own hospital and any associations to which you may belong to find out if you have further requirements above and beyond that of your state nursing board. CE stands for Continuing Education. Most licensed professions require some form of continuing education. CNE is Continuing Nursing Education and refers to courses specifically for nursing professionals. CEUS or Continuing Education Units are also known as Continuing Education Credits. They reflect the time spent participating in educational courses or approved activities. One CEU is equal to 10 hours of instruction. The hours of instruction are called ‘contact hours’. * * Contact hours refer to the stated amount of time an individual is present during a course. One contact hour can equal 50-60 minutes of class time depending on the state. The key here is choosing approved or accredited programs. In order for a CEU to count toward your required hours, it must be administered by an approved CE provider. At Conexus, we give all of our nurses a free unlimited subscription to our accredited continuing education provider, MyFreeCE. This would normaly cost you $29.95, and gives you unlimited access to their library of accredited courses. Some states expect some portion of your continuing education to be on specific topics. The remaining hours can often be decided by you. The other thing to keep in mind is that CEUs must be earned within a specific renewal period as identified by your state. So if you need to earn a certain number of CEUs every two years, you can’t double up and apply extra hours to the following two years. They do not carry over. Nursing Continuing Education Requirements by State ALABAMA 24 contact hours every 2 years for RNs ALASKA Every 2 years: 2 of the 3 are required for license renewal: 30 contact hours, OR 30 hours professional nursing activities, OR 320 hours nursing employment. ARIZONA No CE Required. ARKANSAS 15 contact hours every 2 years OR hold a current nationally recognized certification/recertification OR complete one college credit hour course in nursing with a grade of 2.0 or above. CALIFORNIA 30 contact hours every two years. COLORADO No CE Required. CONNECTICUT No CE Required. DC 24 contact hours every 2 years. DELAWARE 30 contact hours every 2 years. FLORIDA 24 contact hours of every 2 years: including 2 hours for medical errors, and 2 hours for FL Laws and Rules. 1 hour HIV/AIDS training (first renewal only.)2 additional hours of domestic violence CE every third renewal for a total of 26 hours. GEORGIA Every 2 years, 5 different options - See State Board website. HAWAII Every 2 years, 5 different options - See State Board website. IDAHO No CE Required. ILLINOIS 20 contact hours every two years. INDIANA No CE Required. IOWA 36 contact hours every 3 years. RNs who regularly examine, attend, counsel or treat dependent adults or children must complete 2 contact hours of training related to child/dependent adult abuse. KANSAS 30 contact hours every 2 years. KENTUCKY 14 contact hours every year or other approved, equivalent activity. See requirements page for details. LOUISIANA Every year: 5 contact hours with 1600 practice hours, OR 10 contact hours with 160 practice hours, OR 15 contact hours. MAINE CE not required. MARYLAND No CE required, but an approved refresher course is needed. MASSACHUSETTS 15 contact hours every 2 years. MICHIGAN 25 contact hours every 2 years including 1 hour on pain and symptom management. MINNESOTA 24 contact hours every 2 years. MISSISSIPPI CE not required. MISSOURI CE not required. MONTANA 24 contact hours every 2 years. See state board website. NEBRASKA 20 contact hours every 2 years, plus 500 practice hours every 5 years. NEVADA 30 hours every two years. including the state-required bioterrorism course. NEW HAMPSHIRE 30 contact hours every 2 years and 400 practice hours every 4 years. NEW JERSEY 30 contact hours every 2 years. NEW MEXICO 30 contact hours every 2 years. NEW YORK 3 contact hours infection control every 4 years; 2 contact hours child abuse (one time requirement for initial license). NORTH CAROLINA One of the following every two years: 15 contact hours and 640 hours of active practice, OR National certification or re-certification, OR 30 contact hours, OR completion of refresher course. Completion 2 semester hours of post-licensure academic education, OR 15 contact hours plus various other nursing-related activities. See website for further details. NORTH DAKOTA 12 contact hours every two years. OHIO 24contact hours every 2 years. OKLAHOMA 24 contact hours every 2 years. OREGON One-time requirement for 7 hours of pain management-related CE. One hour must be a course to be provided by the Oregon Pain Management Commission . Once this requirement is fulfilled, there is no additional CE requirements for renewal. PENNSYLVANIA 30 contact hours every two years. RHODE ISLAND 10 contact hours every 2 years including 2 hours of substance abuse CE. SOUTH CAROLINA 30 contact hours every 2 years. May also show proof of competence by maintenance of certification by a national certifying body, completion of an academic program, or employer certification. SOUTH DAKOTA CE not required. TENNESSEE 5 contact hours every year for practicing nurses. Must be accompanied by two documents verifying competence or 10 contact hours annually for those not practicing and one additional document verifying competence. TEXAS 20 contact hours every 2 years. Several mandatory CE requirements such as Nursing Jurisprudence, Ethics, Geriatric Care, and Forensic Collection. UTAH One of the following every 2 years: 30 contact hours, OR 200 practice hours and 15 contact hours, OR 400 practice hours. VERMONT No CE Required - Active Practice requirement. VIRGINIA 15 contact hours every 2 years. WASHINGTON 45 hours of CE Every 3 years. WEST VIRGINIA 12 contact hours every year. Must include best prescribing and drug diversion training if licensee prescribes, administers, or dispenses controlled substances. Also mandatory training for mental health conditions common to veterans and their families. WISCONSIN CE not required. WYOMING One of the following: 500 practice hours in the last 2 years, 1600 practice hours in the last 5 years, 20 contact hours in the last 2 years, Completion of a refresher course in the last 5 years, Certification in a specialty area of nursing practice by a national accrediting agency in the last 5 years, Pass the NCLEX in the last 5 years.
Normally, healthcare worker, nurses, therapists, etc., complete classroom and also in-person practical clinical training as part of their education to practice their specific profession. During the initial onset of the COVID pandemic, we witnessed healthcare facilities reaching out and directly recruiting new nursing graduates, many even prior to graduation and without practical clinical experience, to start working immediately at the bedside. As the pandemic has continued, clinical training opportunities prior to graduation have been limited, providing a decrease in clinical training for new nurses graduating. Since COVID, these professions have had to quickly adjust to continue classes online in smaller groups and move to more simulation, v-sim, and fewer in-person practical hours at the patient bedside. The immediate impact? Some universities are evaluating delaying graduation if clinicals cannot be completed by their students. While educators and students alike are adapting, what does this mean for the longer-term impact and the future employer of these nurses -- the healthcare facility? We may not see the full ramifications until May and June 2021 graduations. So how has nurse education and clinical preparation during this crucial time-shifted, and what is the potential impact on healthcare in the longer term? Some questions to ponder: Will additional orientation and training be needed? Will a smaller number of new grads be accepted to facilitate more precepting? Will healthcare facilities opt to use other resources like agencies and recruiting companies to recruit higher-skilled nurses? Can the healthcare facility afford to not have new grads (i.e., retirement and turnover of staff)? And for the healthcare professional, how are they being prepared for success in their profession post-graduation? We are already in a nursing shortage. We need new nurses to be successful and stay in nursing. Nursing is a profession critical to all of us and we should pay closer attention to the critical skills needed for the job. TalentLyft refers to a skills gap as “the difference between the skills required for a job and the skills employee actually possesses.” Forbes called the skills gap “a gap between what employers want or need their employees to be able to do, and what those employees can actually do when they walk into work.” How are higher education institutions and healthcare facilities preparing for this change in how clinical requirements are being managed? Collaboration must occur between the two industries. Some solutions to consider for the success of our future first responders: assess individually each healthcare professional for what their specific training needs will be for the specific healthcare facility where they will begin their career. In addition, provide preceptors further training on coaching and leading these individuals. Provide evaluations and feedback in collaboration with the healthcare professional more frequently. To talk with Cathy about partnering with Conexus MedStaff, email: email@example.com Sources https://www.ncsbn.org/Education-Requirement-Changes_COVID-19.pdf https://www.healthleadersmedia.com/nursing/survey-nurses-have-taken-leadership-roles-feel-less-respected-physicians Nurse Journal, Changes to Nursing Programs’ Clinical Requirements in Response to COVID 19 October 28, 2020 https://nightingale.edu/blog/nursing-shortage-by-state/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493175/
We are often asked by nurses if we will file Premium Processing for their Priority Date (PD). We often give a lawyer-like response and say, “it depends,” because it really does. U.S. Immigration law is complex, and no two cases are the same. Sometimes paying extra for expediting a case is worth it, and other times it’s not. What is premium processing? Premium processing is a service offered by USCIS that expedites the processing time for specialized employment-based green card petitions, such as the EB-3. With premium processing, USCIS guarantees that your I-140 form will be processed within 15 calendar days of receiving the petition. We understand that the immigration process involved in starting your career as a nurse in the U.S. can be time-consuming. The waiting time between submitting your application and finding out if your application has been approved can be long and stressful. So, knowing the outcome of your application in 15 calendar days can certainly give you peace of mind. But for nurses making a new application, there are not many more benefits to premium processing. Here are our thoughts on the subject: Paying the premium processing fee ($,2500) does not give you an advantage in the selection process. Ok, so you may be given an answer within 3 weeks; however, there is no telling what the outcome of your application will be. You could receive an Approval, but it is just as likely to receive an RFE (Request for Further Evidence), a NOID (Notice of Intent to Deny), or a Denial. If the answer is a Denial, USCIS does not refund the cost of Premium Processing. Unfortunately, premium processing does not jump you to the head of the line; you still need to wait for your priority date to be current prior to receiving your EB3 Visa. Regardless of filing regular processing or premium processing, your priority date remains the same. The date your application is sent to USCIS becomes your priority date. There are circumstances however when premium processing is worth it. For example, if you have been abandoned by a previous sponsor and already have a copy of a previous Approval Notice with a priority date, we will file premium processing. Of course, some of our nurses prefer the peace of mind that premium processing offers. For those nurses who are willing to pay the difference between regular processing and premium processing, our Immigration Team will gladly file for premium processing. Our advice for nurses is to be patient, think positively, and rest assured that the Conexus MedStaff team will be there to support you, always. Learn more about how Conexus MedStaff supports our nurses on their immigration journey to the U.S. here, follow us on our social feeds, or start your application today.
The 2020 U.S. election is a week away and a record-shattering turnout is expected to vote. With more than 58 million Americans already submitted their ballots, it is clear to see that people are determined to express themselves and exercise their right to vote. Another record high in the 2020 U.S. election is the number of Naturalized Citizens eligible to vote. In this election, Naturalized Citizens make up 1 in 10 U.S. eligible voters. According to Pew Research Center, since the year 2000, the size of the immigrant electorate nearly doubled to 23.2 million, that’s an increase of 193%. So why has there been such strong growth in the foreign-born eligible voter population in the U.S.? First, the number of immigrants living in the U.S. has increased steadily since the 1960s when the Immigration and Nationality Act became law. In 1965, in the U.S., 9.6 million immigrants made up just 5% of the population. Fast-forward to 2020 and the 45 million immigrants living and working in the U.S. now accounts for about 13.9% of the population. Second, newly-naturalized citizens are one of the fastest-growing voting groups in the United States. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security states that between 2009 and 2019, around 7.2 million immigrants naturalized and became U.S. citizens. What is Naturalization? Naturalization is the process by which U.S. citizenship is granted to a lawful permanent resident after meeting the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Becoming a U.S. citizen has many benefits, with one of the most notable being that as a U.S. citizen, you will be able to exercise your right to vote and have your voice be counted– something so many people around the world don’t have the opportunity to do. The Pathway to Naturalization As part of the Conexus MedStaff Career Pathways program, we offer our nurses support to become an American citizen. Career Pathways not only focuses on the continued growth of a nursing career in the U.S., it also allows the option and support to become a naturalized U.S. citizen. If they choose to pursue citizenship, our Immigration Team processes Naturalization applications for our nurses and their family members to become U.S. citizens -- an average expense of anywhere from $3,000 - $5,000 per person. To learn more about our Career Pathways program, and your pathway to naturalization, get in touch with our Recruitment team here. Ready to get your U.S. journey started? Apply here.
It seems like only yesterday we were raising the flag on the importance of our nurses and their impact on quality outcomes and patient care always, but particularly in the midst of a global pandemic. But our universal fatigue of COVID-19 has quieted the excitement and the accolades for the unsung nursing heroes who continue to take care of patients as they always have. And to add insult to injury, in the midst of this situation, we continue to experience a shortage of healthcare professionals. The pandemic is a marathon, not a sprint. We cannot let our fatigue get in the way of appreciating and supporting nurses during this difficult time. Nurses are known for being “caregivers” vs “care receivers", always thinking of the patient. Now, nurses are caring for patients who are sicker, one right after the next, requiring care that is more intensive. Yet we are seeing the nurse also expected to care for a higher patient load and acuity. Nurses are working longer and harder hours, and then being asked to work additional shifts to cover shortages. What is this doing to our nurses – both short-term and long-term? “Nurse burnout is a physical, mental, and emotional state caused by chronic overwork and a sustained lack of job fulfillment and support. Common burnout symptoms may include physical or emotional exhaustion, job-related cynicism, and a low sense of personal accomplishment. Rather than improving on its own, untreated burnout may lead to clinical depression, as unaddressed symptoms compound over time” (as defined by Nurse.org) We cannot give up on the support that we provide to our valued healthcare workers. We need to provide resources and relief now. We need to continue to acknowledge their tremendous value to our healthcare system. This should be through words, education, resources, support, and good deeds. Words of gratitude and acknowledgment go a long way. Education can be provided through resources on wellbeing and mental health, mobile apps, or even YouTube. Recently, Conexus MedStaff provided webinars to our nurses presented by a Clinical Educator on identifying nurse fatigue/burnout and ways to care for themselves. Additionally, we provided education for our managers who support our nurses. Support can be providing an ear when the nurse has had a particularly hard day, or they have questions on how to communicate the need for additional support in their healthcare facility. Finally, remember hearing about all the good deeds that communities, businesses, and whole cities were providing to our healthcare heroes when COVID first struck? Don’t stop! Let’s pick up where we left off -fight the fatigue and give energy back to our frontline heroes! We have come so far in shining the light on healthcare workers and their value and their impact and their importance to all of us. Let’s not let our fatigue get in the way of the accolades and support they deserve. Our Mission at Conexus is to focus on the wellbeing of people and communities by supporting talented and dedicated nurses by training and listening to them along the way. We believe in investing in our people to fuel their growth and putting their wellbeing first and foremost. Take a look at the values that drive our days and the way we work here. Sources https://nurse.org/articles/nurse-burnout-statistics/