Joining the ranks of global nurses is an excellent opportunity to unite your dedication to healthcare with a desire for adventure. With various healthcare facilities all over the US, there are lots of different experiences to explore, making it an accessible option for those interested in this field. 

Exploring a career in nursing abroad can be filled with uncertainties, such as where to go and what income to expect. This guide will be your resource as you consider joining the ranks of global nurses, offering clear answers to questions about visa requirements, salary expectations, and more. 

Embarking on a Career Adventure: The Filipino Advantage in Global Nursing 

With nurse shortages across many Western countries, foreign-trained nurses are in high demand to fill essential roles. One prime destination is the United States, which has actively recruited global nurses for over 50 years. 

Since 1960, the US has welcomed over 150,000 nurses from the Philippines to address persistent gaps in their healthcare system. Currently, 1 in 20 nurses across the US were Filipino-trained, making them the largest group of foreign nurses in the country.¹ 

The demand for Filipino nurses opens up various opportunities to pursue a career as a global nurse. These roles allow nurses to practice in world-class healthcare facilities while earning competitive salaries and benefits. Global nurses also get to experience life in a new destination while making a difference for patients. They join vibrant, diverse hospital communities with supportive environments. 

However, before considering these perks, it is important to first understand the foundational elements, which include legal considerations and academic requirements. Exploring these aspects will help ensure a smoother transition as a global nurse. 

Related Reading: Top 5 Reasons Why Nurses Pursue a Career in the US 

Pursuing a Career as a Global Nurse 

In global nursing, education requirements signify more than academic milestones – they point toward long-term contracts and a commitment to stability in employment. Pursuing a career as a global nurse means embracing a journey that goes beyond the ordinary, where your expertise becomes a lasting contribution to healthcare systems worldwide. 

Education Requirements 

When it comes to education requirements, there is flexibility in qualifying as a global nurse. You can qualify with an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). That said, many agencies show a strong preference for nurses holding four-year degrees when making hiring and assignment decisions.  

So, although it is possible to meet minimum requirements with a two-year ADN, having a BSN degree can enhance your chances of securing roles and accessing more favorable opportunities. Assessing your career goals will help you determine the educational path that best suits you. 

Take the NCLEX-RN 

Before you can work as a registered nurse, you need to successfully pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). It is a prerequisite for applying for a nursing license in the US. This test is designed to ensure you’re prepared for the duties of a registered nurse. 

The NCLEX has various versions tailored to different nurse license levels. Both Registered Nurses (RNs) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) must take and pass the NCLEX for licensure. Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) must take a certification exam in their specialty. Your program can guide the specific exam you need to take. 

Related Reading: The NCLEX Study Plan That Works: Crafting Your Ideal Timeline 

Obtain a Visa 

To legally move to the United States, follow US federal immigration regulations and obtain a visa. The essential requirement is the registered nurse immigrant visa (H-1B Visa), which provides temporary residency. 

However, Filipino nurses commonly opt for the employment-based permanent residency visa (EB-3 Visa or “Green Card”). This visa is not time-limited and enables you to sponsor your family to relocate and join you in the U.S

EB-3 Visa Requirements: 

  • Bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited nursing education program 
  • Certification of passing the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) 
  • Visa Screen Certificate 
  • Certification of Proficiency with the English language such as: 
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) 
  • Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) 
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) 

Global Nurse Certifications 

Global nurses need to have standard certifications like Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS), similar to other nurses. While there are no specific certifications required for global nurses, nationally recognized certifications like Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN) or Certified Critical Care Nurse (CCRN) can make it easier to look for and qualify for jobs through your agency. 

Find a Global Nurse Recruiting Agency 

The simplest way to become a global nurse is by joining an agency that partners with global organizations. They’ll help you find suitable opportunities based on your skills and experience. 

Many global nursing roles are handled by agencies working in countries with a shortage of nurses. Use resources from professional organizations to find an agency that works in the places where you want to work. Then, go through the agency’s application process with an agent’s assistance to complete your application. 

Essential Information to Get from Your Agency 

Here are some important questions to ask your global nurse agency before getting started: 

  • Which states do you cover? 
  • How is your compensation package structured? 
  • Is health insurance included? 
  • Do you offer housing and allowances? 
  • Is paid time off provided? 
  • What is the duration of assignments, and how much time is given between them? 

Salary 

Luxembourg, Switzerland, and the United States are the countries where global nurses receive the highest salaries. In the United States, these states offer the highest salaries for registered nurses:² 

  • California: $133,340 per year 
  • Hawaii: $113,220 per year 
  • Oregon: $106,610 per year 
  • Massachusetts: $104,150 per year 
  • Alaska: $103, 310 per year 

Workplace Setting 

Here are several typical work environments for global nurses. Keep in mind that your specializations and certifications will have an impact on the roles you are eligible for. 

  • Hospitals: Employers look for nurses with specialized expertise in critical care units, emergency rooms, telemetry, or operating rooms. Proficiency in these areas demands critical thinking, initiative, and leadership from nurses. 
  • Outpatient Care Clinics: In an outpatient care setting, nurses need to excel in triage, assessment, patient education, initiating IVs, and RN case management. 
  • Doctors’ Offices: In a doctor’s office, a nurse should have expertise in communication, assessment, administering medications, managing wounds, and performing minor medical procedures. 

Living as a Global Nurse in a Foreign Country 

Once you’ve completed the licensing process and taken care of all the necessary paperwork, it’s time to pack your bags, set your course, and embark on your journey. 

If these steps feel overwhelming, there’s no need to fret. A global nurse agency will provide guidance every step of the way. Whether you have additional questions or need assistance, agencies are available to make the transition seamless. 

Always keep in mind the advantages that await you. Stay mindful of the positive outcomes. As a global nurse, you get the chance to work in some of the world’s leading healthcare facilities, enhance your clinical and professional skills, choose where and when you want to work, and receive competitive compensation along with great benefits. 

Related Reading: Ready, Set, Succeed! How to Prepare for Your New Nursing Career in the US 

After all, being a global nurse is a fantastic opportunity to both master your passion and explore the world. So, make the most of the experience. 

EXPERIENCE LIFE ABROAD AS A GLOBALNURSE WITH PRS GLOBAL 

Let nothing stand in the way of your journey to success. PRS Global can help you make a meaningful impact in healthcare while exploring new destinations. You can experience life abroad, enrich your professional skills, and immerse yourself in diverse cultures. 

Unlock your American dream through our Green Card sponsorship program. We eliminate financial barriers by covering all costs associated with requirements and legal filings and providing reimbursements for nurses who have already secured the necessary licensing documents. Become a valuable member of the global healthcare community, representing the Filipino people. Reach out to us today, and let us be the open door for you. 

References 

1. Nazareno, Jennifer, et al. “From Imperialism to Inpatient Care: Work Differences of Filipino and White Registered Nurses in the United States and Implications for COVID‐19 through an Intersectional Lens.” Gender, Work & Organization, vol. 28, no. 4, 16 Apr. 2021, https://doi.org/10.1111/gwao.12657

2. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Registered Nurses.” Bls.gov, 9 Sept. 2022, www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291141.htm