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Dear Editor:
I applaud Jose Latour's article on the nursing shortage today and the impotence of Congressional solutions to date. The H-1C program is an example of much hype around a program so limited as to be useless. However, I disagree strongly with the recommendation that the H-1A program be reinstated.

The H-1A program was, for many nursing homes and hospitals, unuseable because of the onerous certifications that had to be made. As one nursing home administrator told me, "If I certified that our quality of care was affected because of our shortage of nurses, the state would pull our license!". Given a choice between green card and H-1A visa, every one of my clients went for the green card because it was cheaper, faster and less risky for the employer.

It would be far better to amend the H-1B program to provide specifically that Registered Nurses - like fashion models - are by definition professionals coming to positions which require that training and experience. Let's stop this ridiculous quibbling by the INS about "does this hospital job really require a BSN?" That would make the H-1B program useable for nurses, and spare hospitals the burden of even more restrictive attestations.

Leslie K. L. Thiele
Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP
Albany, NY


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