New Survey of Immigrant Nurses in the U.S. Reveals their Economic Impact
PHILADELPHIA – In addition to helping alleviate a chronic nursing shortage in the United States, immigrant nurses are estimated to spend well over $46 billion annually in the U.S. economy while providing hundreds of millions more in financial support to family members back home, according to a report from CGFNS International, a global leader in credentials evaluation services that support health worker mobility.
The Economics of Nurse Migration report is based on a survey of more than 1,500 foreign-educated nurses who have used the organization’s credentials verification services to facilitate their migration to the U.S. The results offer a window into the economic experiences and impact of nurse immigrants working in the U.S., as well as the driving reasons for their migration.
The report can be downloaded from cgfns.org/eonm23.
“This report quantifies the financial costs and sacrifices associated with nurse migration, while highlighting the substantial contributions that immigrant nurses make to host countries and the economies of both the host and sending nations,” said Dr. Peter Preziosi, CGFNS International’s President and CEO.
In the survey, the main reasons nurses cited for migrating were largely balanced across three key drivers – familial (31 percent), professional (29 percent) and economic (25 percent). In terms of their economic impact, the survey results showed:
- The average salary for respondents was $65,700 within the first three years of arrival and $71,800 overall, compared with $89,000 average salary for registered nurses in the U.S. A quarter of respondents reported making more than $90,000 annually
- Immigrant nurses reported spending 60 percent of their income in their communities on housing, other necessities and local shopping, with another 25 percent for taxes.
- Two-thirds (66 percent) send money home to friends and family on a regular basis – averaging about five percent of their spending. Of those that sent money, 44 percent reported sending home more than 10 percent of their monthly salary.
Extrapolating from other data showing there are 688,000 immigrants in the U.S. nursing workforce of more than 4.3 million, the CGFNS report estimates that after sending $1.6 billion in remittances to the communities they left, immigrant nurses spend at least $46.9 billion annually in the U.S. economy.
About half (52 percent) of nurse immigrants reported engaging a recruiter to handle their migration process. However, that proportion rises to 79 percent when narrowing the sample to those who migrated in the past three years.
Fifty-two percent of survey respondents who used a recruitment firm elected to use a Certified Ethical Recruiter (CER), a designation given to those firms that agree to additional oversight by CGFNS’s Alliance for Ethical Recruitment Practices and comply with its ethical code.
“By illuminating these essential aspects of nurse migration to the United States, we aim to provide policymakers, healthcare leaders, and stakeholders with a comprehensive perspective that transcends mere statistics and embraces the inherent value of immigrant nurses to both America’s health systems and economy,” said Preziosi.
About CGFNS International, Inc.
Founded in 1977 and based in Philadelphia, CGFNS International is an immigration-neutral not-for-profit organization proudly serving as the world’s largest credentials evaluation organization for the nursing and allied health professions. CGFNS International is an NGO in Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and is a member of the Conference of NGOs in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations (CoNGO). For more information, visit https://www.cgfns.org.
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