A recent study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston shows that "for every foreign-born nurse that migrates to a U.S. city there are between one and two fewer native RNs observed working in the city."

The study, "Foreign Nurse Importation to the United States and the Supply of Native Registered Nurses", found that over a 10-year period, the flow of foreign-born nurses in the United States has reduced the number of native-born Americans sitting in licensing exams. Here are some of the study's major conclusions:

  • "We find evidence of large displacement effects ... over a 10-year period."
  • "An increase in the flow of foreign nurses significantly reduces the number of natives sitting for licensure exams in the states that are more dependent on foreign-born nurses compared to those states that are less dependent on foreign nurses."
  • "We find evidence suggesting that some of the displacement effects [caused by the presence of foreign nurses] could be driven by a decline in the perceived quality of the workplace environment."

The study was based on date from the Current Population Survey and the National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses. The study determined the at the reduced number of nurses was not due to relocation, but rather due to native-born nurses changing occupations or avoiding the field altogether.

For more information, see the Center for Immigration Studies.

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Updated: Wed, Oct 29th 2014 @ 1:45pm EDT