Florida health system to hire Filipino workers to boost nurse staffing

Sarasota (Fla.) Memorial Healthcare System aims to hire around 50 nurses and six medical technicians from the Philippines by early 2023, the Herald-Tribune reported Sept. 13. 

The hires are expected to bolster the system's workforce amid a nationwide nursing shortage. In the 2021 fiscal year, Sarasota Memorial hired 2,349 staff members, 70 percent of whom were nurses, a spokesperson for the system told the newspaper. 

However, the tightening labor market led the system to discuss hiring international workers about a year ago, according to the newspaper. The process is laden with red tape; in addition to dealing with COVID-19 travel restrictions, foreign nurses must get a Social Security number, a license to practice in Florida and a special visa under a federal program for essential healthcare workers, the newspaper said. 

Sarasota Memorial sought nurses from the Philippines as Filipino nurses have bachelor's degrees and are fluent in English, according to the newspaper. 

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