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How can a nurse from overseas with no general hospital experience get into the U.S. workforce and acquire skills in ICU nursing?



Dear Donna,

I am an overseas RMN and a recently trained RN with no general hospital experience. Can you tell me how I can get into the U.S. workforce and acquire skills in ICU nursing?

Overseas Nurse

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Overseas Nurse,

One option is to look for an international travel nurse agency that recruits nurses from your country to the U.S. such as You also can do an Internet search for “Travel nurse agencies from [your country]to the U.S.” These agencies are very helpful with licensing, housing, work visas, etc.

I don’t know what country you are from, but if you can find a U.S. nursing association related to your ethnic background or country of origin such as the National Association of Indian Nurses of America (, it also could be helpful to you.

Know that the U.S. hospital job market is challenging for any new nurse to get into right now, even new U.S. nurses. If you have a U.S. state you would like to move to, you can try contacting that state chapter of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses ( and see if they can provide local contacts to help you get started.

You also will need to visit the CGNFS International website for information about visas, licensing, etc. (

Best wishes,


About Author

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is’s “Dear Donna” and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” Information about the books is available at and, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://www.

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