US hospitals increasingly recruiting nurses from hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico: 5 things to know

A national nursing shortage has caused hospitals and health systems to recruit personnel from other countries. However, since Hurricane Maria ravaged the island last year, the most promising pipeline for nursing staff has come from Puerto Rico, according to CNNMoney.

Here are five things to know about hospitals' recruitment efforts in Puerto Rico.

1. Orlando-based Florida Hospital began an international recruitment program for nurses nearly 10 years ago and has since hired nurses from a variety of countries, including the Philippines, India, Canada and the U.K. However, since Hurricane Maria, the hospital has recruited as many as 45 healthcare professionals from the island territory, according to the report.

2. The partnership has proven successful for both Florida Hospital and Puerto Rican healthcare professionals looking for work. Florida Hospital officials have fast-tracked the hiring process, expediting interviews, applications and state requirements for nursing to transition healthcare personnel to the U.S. as soon as possible.

3. Karla Muniz, Florida Hospital's senior director of talent acquisition, told CNNMoney one of the reasons Puerto Rican healthcare professionals are so useful in Florida is because many candidates are bilingual and able to provide care to the large Spanish-speaking population in central Florida.

"Many [Puerto Rican candidates] or most are bilingual, so they already have a good handle on the language," Ms. Muniz told CNNMoney. "Many clinical processes that they are already familiar with easily translate here on the mainland."

4. Springfield, Mo.-based CoxHealth also initiated nursing recruitment efforts in Puerto Rico last year. While the health system has hired nurses from other countries, Puerto Rico has become a prime pipeline for talent because the health system "[doesn't] have to deal with work visa issues," Celeste Cramer, director of recruitment and retention at CoxHealth, told the publication.

5. Ms. Cramer said the health system aims to hire at least 30 more nurses from the island "soon," according to the report.

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